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This guy nailed it (SmokeFire Review)

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    This guy nailed it (SmokeFire Review)

    I don’t know this guy and I get no benefit from sharing his video. But I think his review captures the excitement, concerns, issues and ultimate disappointment of SmokeFire ownership perfectly.

    https://youtu.be/Js1yUaXOa_o

    #2
    Baby Back Maniac is awesome, I've watched a lot of his videos, especially the ones with the SnS folks. He knows what he is doing, and unfortunately, I think he shows too many deal breakers in this first iteration of the SmokeFire. The pellet feed issue, the grease fires, and the temperature seems way off from what the grill says it is set to as well. The grease fire reminded me of some I have had in my gas grills over the years - something I haven't seen since I started cleaning the grill routinely, and installed Grillgrates.

    Like Baby Back Maniac and many others, I just knew Weber had a home run on their hands, but now I am feeling bad for you guys that jumped out there and pre-ordered and have already experienced issues with it.

    These issues go a long way towards convincing me to get a WSM 22" for my next smoker, and stick with charcoal for now.

    Comment


    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      klflowers yes my thoughts are the Party Q that works great on my Performer will work just as great on a WSM!

    • Hulagn1971
      Hulagn1971 commented
      Editing a comment
      jfmorris I have this unit for temp control on the WSM 22 and has worked just fine in the past. I'm sure the party q would work just as well. https://pitmasteriq.com/collections/...products/iq110

    • Pequod
      Pequod commented
      Editing a comment
      The one cooker I regret giving up is my ol’ WSM 18. Awesome smoker.

    #3
    I don't grill on my pellet grill, even with GrillGrates to me it's just something I can do a whole lot better on something else.

    The ironic thing is this Grill seems to be just the opposite.

    Comment


      #4
      Justin (BabyBackManiac) was a member here for a while. He's a great guy and really knows his stuff.

      Comment


      • Bobby Q's
        Bobby Q's commented
        Editing a comment
        Most of his grills were free in exchange for a review... Not a bad deal

      • Alphonse
        Alphonse commented
        Editing a comment
        He is obviously feeling duped by Weber's media launch and his invitation there. They effectively borrowed his personal brand and reputation as well as the other attendees who published something as a result of their introduction to the grill. He bolstered his reputation by speaking out quickly after the poor product release.

      • SpaceCoyote
        SpaceCoyote commented
        Editing a comment
        Jerod - can't fault people for their hobbies. I'd be scared to tally up what I spent on woodworking machines and bbq stuff My rule for my shop is, shop income buys tools. If I if i want X, i better sell some work!

        Don't forget he makes money from his videos - maybe not a tonne, but figure on average $5 per thousand views (on the low end). He has 7.2m views. That pays for a lot of BBQ, especially considering $5 is on the low end and doesn't include sponsorships, merch, affiliate links, etc.

      #5
      Very disappointing that Weber missed the mark.

      It seems like they tried to design the grill to mimic the functionality of a gas grill rather than a smoker. It can do hot fast direct cooks reasonably well, but they didn't focus on long low and slow cooks. It can't manage the grease that builds up during those longer sessions. For me low and slow set it and forget it is why I want a pellet cooker.

      Charcoal burns hotter and is more efficient for direct "grilling" not sure why they would design it this way. I want a pellet grill that I can set up and forget it and not worry about overnight cooks, temp swings, or fires. A smoker first. Possibly for reverse searing steaks at 225 or roasting chicken at 350. It seems to me that "grilling" is best left to charcoal or gas.

      Comment


      • surfdog
        surfdog commented
        Editing a comment
        While I fully agree...I think it was that unique feature that made some of us, that aren’t in the market for pellet cooker, to really take notice. And for those that can only have one, it seemed like a game changer.

        After seeing some of the reviews, comments, and videos...I’m right back to, “I don’t need, or particularly want, a pellet cooker.” Even if this one DID get my attention.

      #6
      I just do not understand how they did all this testing, and failed to see the grease and pellet issues. Heck, they had all those youtubers out to their headquarters for showing them off and this never happened once? Not once did the pellets stop falling? Not once did grease and ash combine and stop dripping down to the tray?

      Comment


      • Old Glory
        Old Glory commented
        Editing a comment
        I think the issue is longer low and slow where the ash and grease build up and cause the fires. Short hot cooks burn off the grease and the pellets are pulled from directly on top of the auger and don't have to slide down the ramp.

      • surfdog
        surfdog commented
        Editing a comment
        Old Glory That seems to be the case. It appears they spent more time creating a pellet grill rather than a smoker. Sort of the opposite of most pellet cookers it seems, despite them being called grills. Go figure.

        That, and we don’t know if there were any last minute production model design changes...perhaps having to do with vendors, manufacturing/tooling, or costs. It’ll be interesting to see Max’s review and any announcements from Weber.

      #7
      That is a shame, hopefully they implement revisions that will correct these issues and make this top tier. But from what his review states this may take a full redesign......
      Last edited by Voodoo628; February 18, 2020, 06:13 AM. Reason: Words are hard!!!!

      Comment


        #8
        Thank you for posting this. It was worth the 35 minutes spent to watch. I have another model of pellet smoker which I love to cook on. My regret here is that this situation may turn people away from pellet smokers generally, which would be tragic. Sometimes you don’t want to spend all your time tending a cook and the fire, and many pellet smokers fill that gap better than this one.

        Comment


          #9
          That was a great video. I don't mind that it was 35 minutes long, but I did soup up the playback speed to 1.25.

          I've always liked Justin's videos. He's a real stand-up type of guy. Plus he asks the questions I would, and then some.

          If you don't subscribe to Baby Back Maniac You Tube videos, you may want to. They're all excellent in content and well done.

          Kathryn

          Comment


            #10
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d23GYKYdIng

            You can skip to the end when he gives his opinions. Same issues. Lowe's is picking it up for a full refund.

            This is really a shame. I don't understand how the product they demoed to all those BBQ people turned into this.

            Comment


            • fzxdoc
              fzxdoc commented
              Editing a comment
              Started at the 18 minute mark. No point watching the train wreck. Or maybe not.

              Kathryn

            #11
            Man, it really sounds like weber screwed the pooch on this one

            Comment


              #12
              It’s like buying the first roll out of a new car line. Wait and see is the best course of action.

              Comment


              • Hulagn1971
                Hulagn1971 commented
                Editing a comment
                Troutman I was thinking the exact same thing.

              • Steve R.
                Steve R. commented
                Editing a comment
                That's why I quit trying to be an early adopter. I would much prefer to learn from others' mistakes.

              • FireMan
                FireMan commented
                Editing a comment
                Can you say Edsel!

              #13
              I'm in need of some help here, guys. While many folks are returning their units to Lowes, etc, my retailer (a well-known online retailer) is refusing to accept a return because the unit has been used. So, I've got a $1,200 grease fire waiting to happen in my backyard, and nobody wants to claim responsibility for it or provide me with any kind of solution or assistance. Any ideas? I saved up for a long time to buy a quality cooker, and now that money is all gone and I feel duped.

              Comment


              • grantgallagher
                grantgallagher commented
                Editing a comment
                I would also contact weber directly. It seems like they are going to have to figure out some way to make right by a lot of customers.

              • Jordan S
                Jordan S commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks for the suggestions. I have contacted PayPal and opened a dispute, and also attempted to contact Weber 3 times now with no response. I'll keep trying.

              • Goldenbear
                Goldenbear commented
                Editing a comment
                Jordan S Man, I feel you, as I felt the exact same way. When I spoke to them last week about taking it back I conveyed the same message. I wasn’t irate, just confused. Two years in the making? Really?

                It’s getting picked up this morning. Sorry to hear they’re not getting back to you. Have you tried leaving an honest review, conveying your above thoughts, on their site? You can view my review (Chris C), left before I spoke with them, and their response. Wish you the best.

              #14
              Great watch. I think he went through the same range of emotions as all of us. I think the video almost needed to be 35 minutes to see him go from "It's working great" to "My wife talked me out of returning this thing."

              Still holding out a small thread of hope that Weber has an answer. Maybe a taller firebox or changes to the fan to keep everything from collecting in the bottom. I don't know. But as it stands now ash + hot grease in the bottom of these things = bad news.

              Not ready to return mine yet only because I still haven't had a lot of time to play on it. However, I'm fairly certain I'll do my first low and slow on the top rack with some catch pans underneath to try avoid the greasefire (could be a new name for the thing?? ).

              I still can't believe they didn't see any of this in all of the testing that they claim went into these.

              Comment


              • Old Glory
                Old Glory commented
                Editing a comment
                Weber Catch Fire

              #15
              Originally posted by Jerod Broussard View Post
              I don't grill on my pellet grill, even with GrillGrates to me it's just something I can do a whole lot better on something else.

              The ironic thing is this Grill seems to be just the opposite.
              I think that was the market they were after. It's one thing for people who are really into it to lay out $1k for a smoker/roaster and another few hundred for something that grills well too. But many people are probably in the "I want one cooker that does it all" camp and Weber wanted to be able to say "You want that, eh? Well... have we got the thing for you!"

              There is NO way they tested this well, though. My suspicion is that they tested it by doing shorter smokes and grilling, not by doing 8-20 hour low and slow session. OR... they tested it, found these things and shipped it anyway.

              Comment


              • Steve R.
                Steve R. commented
                Editing a comment
                grantgallagher 's explanation seems the most likely, based on the solid reputation Weber has always had. I don't think they would want to throw that away by selling a multitasking pellet grill that they know is garbage.

              • surfdog
                surfdog commented
                Editing a comment
                grantgallagher That’s exactly my thoughts. Quite possibly a tooling/manufacturing change that seemed reasonable enough, but with profound consequences. That and they seem to have spent a great deal of time developing & promoting the “grill” aspect.

              • rickgregory
                rickgregory commented
                Editing a comment
                I don't agree. The grease fire is due to not channeling the grease away and I can't see a tweak that could reasonably be considered minor that caused that to newly occur. It's not like there's some channeling mechanism that just isn't working... there's not one *at all*. These aren't minor tooling issue kinds of things.

                Neither of these issue are hard to find. Do a single long cook and they seem to appear pretty reliably. So, yeah, I think they flat out never tested longer cooks.
                Last edited by rickgregory; February 19, 2020, 10:08 AM.

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