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Finally pulled the trigger on a smokefire

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    Finally pulled the trigger on a smokefire

    I have been reading the reviews since Weber announced they were coming out with the smokefire for a while now. I have been wanting a pellet grill for way longer but have been waiting to see if Weber could work out the kinks.. I am confident enough that if I don't like it I can return it but don't plan on doing that. I am not in fancy apps and that sort of stuff so I don't mind tending a smoker somewhat. This will be to cook lunch on everyday and occasionally a brisket or some ribs for lunch for the help. But mostly hot dogs , brat,. and burgers. I burned all the gunk off when I got it home today so much tomorrow will be the first cook. Probably just burgers or brat patties. Click image for larger version  Name:	PXL_20210621_220024760.jpg Views:	0 Size:	5.32 MB ID:	1048656
    Last edited by Backroadmeats; June 21, 2021, 05:33 PM. Reason: I can't spell

    #2
    I was bummed when they recommended putting pans to catch grease. I wanted to fill that thing up wall to wall.

    Congratulations!!!

    Comment


    • Backroadmeats
      Backroadmeats commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks. To me you can't beat the taste of charcoal or wood. But these days time is scarce
      So the convenience of the pooper will be nice but to be able to throw 4 racks of ribs on for lunch and not worry to much about it will be nice. That being said this thing will get a lot of use at the locker!! Let's see if it holds up....

    #3
    Very interested in learning more.

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      #4
      Congrats. New cookers are lots of fun.

      Comment


        #5
        Congrats!

        Comment


          #6
          Congrats! I was only a few weeks away from buying one myself with the $200 off promotion they're having now, but the wife went and got me a different cooker for father's day. Everything I've read about the Gen 2 is that its a marked improvement over the initial ones put out last year, and I have every confidence that Weber has fixed the issues.

          Comment


            #7
            Congrats! I snagged my EX4 off marketplace for real cheap, never used with stickers still on it. I like it a lot and have only had one issue when cooking at 250. I just tried the smokeboost this weekend and had a great smoke flavor which I’ve been trying to attain since buying it. I also used a smoke tube with hickory chips. I really purchased mine for smoking, but I have done steaks on it and they turned out really good. Note, mine was a gen 1, but I’ve replace most parts to bring it up to gen 2. I have the shoot, but debating on if I really need it. Seems to run fine without. I think you’ll find the “set and forget” really nice when smoking meat, if you ever do. Seems the grill might be overkill for just brats and such. Also, the app works really good along with the probes. Lastly, get the drip pan kit, it solves all the worries of a grease fire. Super easy fix and I think a lot of people freaked out for no reason. If you keep it cleaned after each cook, you should be good. The one time I had issues was when I didn’t clean it from the previous cook. Just takes a few minutes. Good luck with it.
            Last edited by Mark-B; June 21, 2021, 08:28 PM.

            Comment


            • Backroadmeats
              Backroadmeats commented
              Editing a comment
              What is the drip pan kit?? Yes I know it is overkill but if I buy everybody lunch it cost 30-40 dollars a day but if I cook it it costs less than 10$ so the payback is pretty quick. I also want to be able to do an occasional brisket. And it looks cool!!

            • Mark-B
              Mark-B commented
              Editing a comment
              I guess Weber calls it a "wet kit", but serves both, adding moisture and drip pan. It just gives the pan stability. I bought two and depending on how large a cut I'm smoking, I use one or both. It's not necessary, but I find it worthwhile. They aren't used when doing high heat cooks of course.

            #8
            Congrats on the new cooker. I'll probably go with one of these or another Camp Chef when my current one dies.

            Comment


              #9
              Congrats! What made you pick the Weber over other pellet smokers?

              Comment


              • Backroadmeats
                Backroadmeats commented
                Editing a comment
                To be completely honest I only shop in the small town I live in. The local hardware store stocks traeger and Weber and I have always had Weber grills. I run a small meat locker and most of their employees bring me their deer and buy beef and pork from me.. I can walk in and know most of the employees on a first name basis .

              #10
              Congratulations on your New Pellet Grill. I've had a pellet grill for several years and don't want to be without one. I think it will fit well for your daily use and needs. Have fun!

              Comment


              • Backroadmeats
                Backroadmeats commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks skip!! It looks pretty cool sitting out front of the meat locker too!!

              • Skip
                Skip commented
                Editing a comment
                It's also great advertising for your Customers! Let the mild smoke roll.

              #11
              Wet smoke kit to avoid flare ups:

              https://www.weber.com/US/en/accessor...2%A0/7004.html

              Comment


                #12
                Congrats on the new cooker. When not moody, the SmokeFire was a great cooker. I'm really hoping for you that the recent firmware update returned it back to being more stable like it was around this time last year, maybe even better. I think for the grilling of burgers, brats, etc. that you have planned you will really enjoy it.

                I would definitely recommend some sort of grease collection for fatty smoking sessions. If you're only planning on smoking stuff that could fit on the upper rack, you can just throw aluminum pans on the main grate underneath them. I'd guess on the EX6 you could possibly fit 2 packers on the upper rack. The wet smoke kit works well, but you'd probably need 3 for the EX6. Keep us posted as to how it's performing and if it seems to be more stable now.

                Comment


                • Backroadmeats
                  Backroadmeats commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Will do. I did burgers for lunch today. But that isn't much of a test..

                #13
                You provide lunch. I just might wanna work there, cept
                the commute would be a bear.

                Comment


                • Backroadmeats
                  Backroadmeats commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I do provide lunch !! And it is a paid lunch break if that changes your mind??

                #14
                Enjoy! As I'm sure you have seen, there is definitely a love/hate relationship between the few of us here that have/had one and the units themselves. As glitchy noted above, moody is definitely an appropriate word. When she's on though, she's hard to beat.





                Comment


                • Backroadmeats
                  Backroadmeats commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Moody I can handle!! You should meet Mrs. Backroadmeats !!

                #15
                I have to admit to some trepidation to buying the EX4. I am building a new house and am staying temporarily in a 3 bedroom ground floor apartment. Until I complete my dream grilling backyard I wanted something for the next 10 months to cook on. I picked the Surefire EX4 due to size (for patio placement) and the dual use of smoking and grilling.

                This Gen2 I have to admit to being impressed. Build is just fine for $999 product, and frankly better than most. The usual learning curves apply in getting the right amount of smoke and sear.

                I have found the best smoke and flavour come from mixing Pit Boss charcoal pellets and any other wood you choose. Thus far I have done hickory and apple(both Bear Mountain) and Jim Beam Bourbon(was curious). Even tried the Weber Grillmaster variety. But none of them on their own gave that stickburner smell or flavour I was missing from my Weber Performa that is currently illegal at my apartment. But adding some Pit Boss charcoal pellets did the trick. So now it goes with every cook.

                Pork Butt to make carnitas came out fantastic and with a smoke ring to be proud of. I make sure to keep a pan beneath the meat to capture fat and drippings. For the carnitas they get added to the braise that happens after words.

                I do make sure to use the upper level for my longer smokes as I feel it has a more consistent smoking temperature. The plus being a pan can go directly underneath.
                The Smokeboost is best used at the very start. It works by lowering the temp to 180 to 200 degrees. Once you go over 325 - there is little smoke to be had. For example if you do burgers at 500 with just standard wood pellets there is no real smoke flavour. But adding or using the Pit Boss charcoal pellets either 100% or mixed does definitely add that stickfire flavour profile. That was a welcome pleasure to find as it makes not having my Performa that much less painful.

                Did St. Louis ribs for 3 hours and it held a steady 240 to 250 temp. I had to reheat them days later directly on the grill at 400 degrees and it worked like a champ.

                Searing steaks (550 degrees -1") and burgers(500) have been excellent. Beef kabobs at 450 came out well crisped.

                Reverse searing a tomahawk was very successful at 200 degrees until 110 internal. Searing at 600+ was completed in under 4 minutes to hit 125 degrees. Smokey and great all over sear. More grill marks than I wanted since I cannot rotate to a cooler side on every flip/rotation. Perhaps Grillgrates reverse side(note below)?

                Time to hit those highest temps with the lid closed is minutes not tens of minutes. Almost instant gratification.
                Having two probes and two extra igniter tips was a nice bonus. The probes have a nice channel to follow outside the lid to the head unit. Very easy to use, especially with the phone app (using Android). Setting alerts, timers and temp are all simple via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

                All in all - worth the money.

                Cleanup is easy as well. No grease buildup. Ash does not fall upon the food at all even though it looks like it could happen at any moment. Even after 12 hours of smoking and then 2 high heat cooks that grease trap holes never clogged and were clear of ash.

                The flavorizer bars do add that nice sizzle and smell as well when fat does hit them. How much they add is an unknown at this time.

                Unit cools down within 15mins and a cover an be placed immediately over it.

                Now the bad:
                The hopper for this Gen2 still does not flow completely. The grill will not stop, but the laser sight for the pellets will report low capacity when there is clearly another 10lbs sitting there. Removing the finger guards from the pellet opening does help with flow however.

                The software startup screen instruction is incorrect. Follow the manual. Keep the lid open while starting.
                For whatever reason there are times I set the temp for 350 and it overshoots to 500 degrees before coming back down (when setting initial temperature). It has happed 4 times thus far. I find the Weber grilling instructions from the app to not be useful. It is really for beginners and some handholding. But if you want your steaks and tenderloins med-well then have at it and follow their instructions. It is free after all. Weber purchased Yummly recently. Let's see what type of integration they can yield.

                I have used the grill everyday, sometimes twice a day for everyday meals and weekend smokes for 3 weeks now. So figure 40+ cooks of chicken, beef, pork and vegetables. Making sure to use both cooking levels and all surfaces left to right.

                I did a biscuit test and found the left to right variance with the front right being the hottest and the most even being the middle and upper middle. However, nothing was egregious regarding the heat level at 350. Knowing the grill better I understand its heat displacement better.

                Since it is summer in Texas I do wonder how it will handle consistent temperatures in colder extremes later this year. Right now the grill is within 10 degrees my personal temp probes for the middle center and upper center. Extreme 600+ can definitely hit 700+. Which for me is a good thing.

                No issues using various types of pellets from different manufacturers with the current firmware. So worries not using Weber only wood.

                Next up is trying GrillGrates for the EX4. They are backordered. Also a packer brisket. Just really wanted to wait and get a better feel for the Gen2.
                I do believe the latest charcoal gravity grills from Char-griller and Masterbuilt are going to give a run for the money to Weber. If I could have gotten away with one at this apartment complex I would have as that is the flavour profile I most desire. But the complex' lack of knowledge about pellet grills (they believe it to be an electric smoker, which I guess it is technically) vs seeing actual charcoal chimney baskets makes it the safer bet.

                Comment


                • Bbqmikeg
                  Bbqmikeg commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Posts like this make Pitmaster Club awesome!

                • Old Glory
                  Old Glory commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Great write up!

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