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SmokeFire Reported Issues and Fixes

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    SmokeFire Reported Issues and Fixes

    Some of you may be experiencing issues - some of you may not. Nonetheless, this is a current collection of problems I'm hearing/experiencing about the Smoke Fire.

    *NOTE*: This is not an attempt to start yet another discussion topic slamming Weber; this is an honest attempt to discuss issues and fixes. What's working? What's not? What have we not tried?
    1. PELLET HOPPER: Pellets don't consistently feed, so you can't rely on long cooks without close monitoring of the SmokeFire. Pellets get clogged, bridging, etc.
      1. FIXES: Trying different pellet brands, spraying food-grade silicone on the internal walls of the hopper to make the hopper more slippery, and/or removing the "finger guard" at the base of the hopper.
    2. TEMPERATURE REGULATION: SmokeFire will not get up to advertised temperatures (600), but rather gets to and then stays at or around 500 degrees but never gets higher. Or the temperature swings wildly above and below the set temperature.
      1. FIXES: I've heard of people getting new control units(?).
    3. GREASE FIRES: Grease fires because the bottom of the kettle clogs and holds grease during low and slow cooks.
      1. FIXES: ?
    4. HOT SPOTS: Hot Spot on the right/center quarter section of the grill at high temperatures
      1. FIXES: This actually (to me) seems like something you just need to be aware of when you're cooking. Be aware of the hot spots, and move the food around as necessary.
    Here's the beauty of a community like this! We help each other figure these things out. So, what am I missing?
    Last edited by Jordan S; February 20, 2020, 07:24 PM.

    #2
    1. I recommend trying Weber pellets if the bridging is a problem. Not all pellets are the same size. Stands to reason they'd engineer their products around their other products.

    I'm glad you stressed "This is not an attempt to start yet another discussion topic slamming Weber; this is an honest attempt to discuss issues and fixes." since there seems to be a lot of ganging up on Weber at the moment, maybe it's deserved, maybe not. Fact is, yes some reputable folks have expressed some real concerns, but some of these things could be experienced due to hasty testing processes to be 'the first review', or workarounds could be figured out after the videos were released. I'm looking forward to some uber-thorough testing by Max who's well aware of what all the others are saying.

    Comment


    • Jordan S
      Jordan S commented
      Editing a comment
      I ran exclusively Weber pellets for the first 120 pounds I cooked with but had a lot of bridging issues. Trying a bag of Lumberjack pellets tomorrow.

      Again, not piling on. I'm a Weber fan and I want this cooker to work. I'm just providing facts to help with solutions.

    • Huskee
      Huskee commented
      Editing a comment
      Roger that Jordan S

    • jhedges983
      jhedges983 commented
      Editing a comment
      The Weber pellets didn't make a difference for me. I think it will take the hopper getting seasoned too. I found that the dust from the pellets help the pellets slide down better. Or stack it high over the pellet entrance. I believe the lucky ones like me that were able to get one will help Weber fix their very small issues. I love this thing even though I have only had one cook with it.

      Also, my temp stayed at 600. The problem is it really munches the pellets quicker at that temperature.

    #3
    Obviously no hands on here, but one of the things I saw was pellets bouncing off the chute into the "grease fire zone" (right of the burn pot). Maybe a triangle shaped piece of foil over the chute to the burn pot over the chute would help that?

    I also oddly think a rolled piece of foil down the center of the hopper chute might keep stuck pellets on one side from affecting pellets on the other side sliding. IT looks like from videos that it's 1 random pellet that gets stuck and jams the rest of them up. Just make sure it's rolled out past the lid and can't get sucked into the auger.

    Comment


      #4
      No hands on here either, but I'll just say... hot spots: I find on my Rec Tec that the right side is somewhat hotter and I just move or turn around the food when needed throughout the cook. Maybe this could even be used to your advantage if it is consistent, not too drastic, and you are aware of it.

      Comment


      • Murdy
        Murdy commented
        Editing a comment
        Even my oven in my kitchen (a pretty decent one) has hot spots, and I typically rotate food (particularly frozen pizzas) 180 degrees about half way through the cooking.

      • CaptainMike
        CaptainMike commented
        Editing a comment
        Same with my old Traeger.

      • Goldenbear
        Goldenbear commented
        Editing a comment
        The issue appears to be a combination of the fire pot and the fan channel, as at max temp the fire is visibly exiting the fire pot on the right, but not the left.

      #5
      No hands on experience, but could a shallow drip pan fit under the flavorizer bars at the bottom to catch the grease on either side? This may not disrupt air flow and keep dripping from getting too close the heat source. I can see where a pan above the flavorizer bars would change air currents.

      Comment


      • jhedges983
        jhedges983 commented
        Editing a comment
        I will probably put a small pan of water on the lower grate. I do that with my Ranch when smoking low and slow, works great. Sometimes I will get creative and use some apple cider in the water. All apple cider will burn if too close to the heat.

      #6
      I think it has been reported that Weber recommends a drip or water pan under the meat for long low and slow cooks. That would help with item 3, by reducing grease that makes it to the bottom.

      Comment


      • divisionbell77
        divisionbell77 commented
        Editing a comment
        This is the first I have heard of this, so I found the manual online. This might be being misinterpreted. After describing the different ways it can cook(searing, smoking, etc), it simply states:

        "NOTE: When grilling or smoking over a longer period of time, WEBER encourages the use of a water pan inside the cookbox."

        It doesn't state under the meat, nor for low temps. The way I read that, without them stating it, is to add moisture during longer cooks regardless of temps.

      #7
      No one has talked about the assembly of the SmokeFire EX6 so I will chime in. I had no problem putting it together other than it was 6 degrees and I had to keep warming my hands! I had to correct 2 things while building. I put the castor wheels on the back instead of the front legs. And I had to take out the starter rod and redo that after wheeling it through the snow to my back of the house. Instructions are diagrams rather than words and they are very well put together. All pieces were there and nothing was left. Looking forward to more time cooking. 2 hours even counting the frozen hand thawing time.

      Comment


        #8
        Max Good

        seems like a good thread to mine as well as others in the pit. A few folks in the pit have put this thing through paces. Seems like if the issues can be replicated and documented, fixes can be pushed.

        main question i have is can we trust it to run in a “set and forget” mode safely.

        Comment


        • Max Good
          Max Good commented
          Editing a comment
          Goldenbear what brand of pellets and were they fresh and stored properly? I know...I know, but this thing seems sensitive to those issues.

        • BBQPhil
          BBQPhil commented
          Editing a comment
          I bought my Yoder 480 to compliment my BGE, specifically to do low temperature smoking overnight for 10-15 hours at a time. Was just too hard to maintain the BGE at low temps for anywhere that long without tending to the fire and vents.For me the primary use mode depended on trusting the grill to work for at least 8 hrs overnight. In 2 years of use it's never failed me.

        • Goldenbear
          Goldenbear commented
          Editing a comment
          Max Good Absolutely. My fault for not stating. All I’ve used is Weber’s pellets, one bag they sent to me, another picked up from Lowe’s. Their behavior was identical.

        #9
        Max Good “ I am going greasy all week”

        now there’s a quote to save out of context ;-)

        Comment

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