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Weber CEO's Letter on Smokefire

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    Weber CEO's Letter on Smokefire

    So, anybody who says they had a grease fire in the SmokeFire doesn't know what they're talking about?


      If Weber were to "man up" and admit that they have made serious mistakes in the design of the SmokeFire, they would take a step toward recapturing my respect for the Weber company. Until then, every new BS filled SmokeFire denial lessens my prospect for buying any of their products. Their attempts to deny the problems and browbeat their former loyal supporters, like Justin (Babyback Maniac) only serves to lower my prior esteem for the Weber brand.
      Their new business philosophy seems to be:
      If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull$hit.


        I would think that serious BBQ folks would recognize the difference between a grease fire and a flareup, so if some of them like Baby Back Maniac reported seeing grease fires on the first use, Weber would do well to investigate the grease drainage design a little more closely.



          They really flopped on this roll out. I was one of the "intently waiting" for production. Almost pre ordered, but decided to wait. Boy am I glad I did. Not putting them down, but surely, it could have been better. They've lost many sales and the mods they are sending out wouldn't satisfy me at all. Disappointing...

          Still love their gassers though
          Last edited by Blues1; March 27, 2020, 07:59 AM.




            • bbqLuv
              bbqLuv commented
              Editing a comment
              Good old Alfred E. Newman
              You Got My Vote

            I have no skin in this game, and no interest in ever owning a pellet cooker. But I'm not sure what this guy is hoping to accomplish by making such comments. It's for sure not worth harming Weber's longstanding good reputation. That's the part that bugs me about this situation.


              I haven’t kept up as closely as some, but the noise around these grease fires is impossible to ignore. There seems to be a legitimate problem here and telling frustrated customers that they don’t know the difference between a grease fire and a flare up is probably not the best coarse of action at this point. But since I’m getting cabin fever....I’m here for the drama 🍿


              • tbob4
                tbob4 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hahahahahahaha. Love the cabin fever and popcorn

              I've had 2 other pellet cookers and never came close to a "flare up" ever. It's almost as if they don't consider it a grease fire unless the whole cooker, your house and the neighborhood goes up in flames. Anything short of that, it's just a flare up. I agree, just fess up to some design errors and fix them accordingly.


                How hard would it have been to write "We've heard your concerns and we're investigating." Deny, deny, deny works only for so long. Ask Boeing's (former) CEO. Once a company has flushed its reputation it's awfully hard to get it back.
                Last edited by TheQuietOne; March 28, 2020, 01:12 PM.


                  I think that the folks who know the difference between a grease fire and a flare up are just not their demographic.


                    The Weberr PR and Marketing departments failed this gent. The letter they drafted for him is not equal to the former Weber brand that they seem intent on trashing.


                      Weber apologists trying to choke down the Kool-Aid be like:

                      Click image for larger version

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                        I get that lots of people in the pit master club don't think much of the smokefire. But there are many of us who have now owned it and cooked on it for almost two months who really like it. I love my smokefire and have never had a grease fire. It is a non-issue that those who don't own one seem to think it is a big deal. It isn't. If you follow the Facebook groups and other websites where actual Smokefire owners post you will not even hear about grease fire complaints any more. You won't even hear much about the pellet slide issues. You will read about the actual issues related to the auger motor and software that causes some (~20%) to not reach high temperatures. I have had mine since Feb. 11th and I use it at least three or four times a week. It makes amazing food. I can't believe that Justin Baby back Maniac gave up so quickly and never really gave it a chance. His grease fire was very small, to the point that many (including me) would not consider it a safety issue. It was also completely avoidable if he put a drip pan on the flavorizer bars. Even though Harry Soo tried to get a grease fire and couldn't, he will never do a low and slow cook without a drip pan because it makes a mess according to his recent video. The smokefire is a great product and does have some design issues, but in my opinion they have not been reported, even by Max since he did not talk about cooking in the rain and he was one of the lucky 80% that did not have a motor problem. The major design flaws are the fact that water can get into the bottom of the barrel if you are cooking in the rain since there is no cover over the place where the Auger tube enters the cook barrel. The other is that the auger motor is not a very robust design and about 20-25 % of the units seem to work at first and then cannot crank out enough pellets to permit the grill to reach 600 degrees (I am on my third one and it is finally working really well). It is disturbing to hear so many people trash a great product that they do not even own. It is true that it was oversold at the November event. But it still is amazing to see all of that live wood fire when you crank it to 600. Knowing what I have experienced, I don't blame the CEO from making his comments. Did he write a good letter? No. He should have acknowledged the fact that they oversold the low maintenance, simple cleanup, ash collection system, etc. He talks about the customer service and it IS really good but you have to get to the right person. The folks on the phone are very nice but they don't really know much. They need to let the engineers talk to the customers so they can actually improve the product. The smokefire is still a pellet grill. But when it is cranked it is an amazing searing machine. That is why I bought it and am willing to put up with what I think are minor issues the Weber is helping me solve. I would absolutely not want to return it.


                        • pknj
                          pknj commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Can I ask, with no negative intent meant, if the water entry and 25% chance of a bad auger would have you hold off on getting one now? Or would you wait until the designs are fixed?

                          I have a friend who wants to start outdoor cooking and frankly needs to start with a simple set up. This seems like a good product for him, in theory, but I wonder if he should wait for version 2 before signing up?

                        I was a but critical on another forum. Early on before introduction I shared several engineering and marketing items. Wish they had paid attention to some. The choice to be an all-in-one is a high hurdle and in direct conflict with several necessary methods. However, their use of an open flow is at least on part why some cooks are extremely successful. Would love to hear from people here how the best cooks compare to the Karubecue.
                        Early I was a big supporter of going pellet. It is a growing market and provides a steady stream from pellet sales. With grill sales down Weber needed to move. Good smart idea. Now the critical part comes with the open flow and the fan etc. Design needed to have the searing function. Biggest worry is embers setting a deck or house or even forest on fire. That would end Weber. Smaller but important is the fan speed and design. Next would be the hopper (already there are new ones both Weber and third-party). New revision to the auger, f now over the d version. Fix the electronics to fool-proof. Then add lower shelf to stiffen legs, mucher larger casters, front shelf, better insulation. Perfect. From what I am in the middle of, this thing already can deliver great food. Partly pellets, partly open air flow, partly pellet burning. I was pulling for Weber to really knock it out of the park. This could have been a lifeline or rainmaker for them.



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