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Glitchy’s SmokeFire Redeux

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    Glitchy’s SmokeFire Redeux

    Starting up a thread to document my second go round with the Weber SmokeFire. I really liked the grill when I got one at launch, but ended up returning it after having some flameout issues and seeing the issues others had with grease fires and failures to reach high temps. It produced excellent food, but I could easily see the causes for the all of the issues and the supporting mobile app was very weak. With Weber being very quiet at the launch, it was hard to know how much they were going to stand behind the product, so I decided not to risk owning $1000 headache and return it. After seeing the advancements in the product and message from the Weber CEO, I have decided to give the grill another shot. This time the initial intention isn't to be my everyday LnS to mid temp pellet grill, but rather to be a replacement for my rarely used gasser possibly only used at 350 degrees and up.

    So, I ordered another SmokeFire EX4 on Sunday June 28 directly from Weber. It showed up on Friday July 2. First thing I checked is the P(roduction) date and it was 1/1/4/2020, so I’m a little disappointed. I ordered direct to hopefully get the latest hardware revisions from the start. I went ahead and assembled the grill, with no surprises and it did feel like something I’d done before.

    I was pleasantly surprised to find the ramp insert already installed, but kinda disappointed to find the original gen auger/chute in the grill. I’m going to call them and ask why they are still sending out grills with the part they are supposedly replacing in home for customers. Sure seems like it would be a lot cheaper to install that before it leaves rather than pay someone to come install it at my house.

    During install, I removed the finger guard and lubed up the ramp with food safe silicone spray. I fired up the grill, ran it to 600 for 40 minutes then turned it down to 450 and cooked up some burgers. Burgers turned out great. Later Friday night I fired it back up and threw in my pizza steel and cooked up frozen pizzas. Worked great. This evening, I fired it up again and cooked some Tilapia filets. So far, no problems. My understanding though is that issues come later getting to high temps with the original auger after it backs pellets up a few times during shutdown.

    I didn’t take a bunch of pictures of the unboxing and assembly as it would have looked the same before: https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...st-impressions
    Attached Files
    Last edited by glitchy; July 6, 2020, 07:29 AM.

    #2
    On man, fingers crossed this time!

    Comment


      #3
      Sure hope it goes better this time around. Good luck!

      Comment


        #4
        Good luck with your new grill. Totally understand your thought process on ordering from Weber.

        Comment


          #5
          glitchy I hope this one is not so glitchy

          Comment


            #6
            Sounds like you're having a good time giving the Smoke Fire a second chance.

            I just watched the Baby Back Maniac videos testing the SF last weekend (again). It's obvious to me that he returned it because he felt embarrassed that he had so highly recommended a product that he had not personally tested in advance. So part of his motivation for the return was that the SF didn't perform as expected and as advertised and part was sheer embarrassment. Just guessing about the embarrassment part but that's sure what I would have felt. For me he didn't lose any credibility. I still enjoy his videos.

            At least this time you're going in to this with eyes wide open--I hope it works out well for you. Sounds like you're off to a good start.

            Kathryn

            Comment


              #7
              fzxdoc You made me realize I didn't put any of my rationale into my original post, so I updated the intro to add a little of that. The gasser my SmokeFire is replacing had turned into my reverse searing station almost primarily and I can just as easily do that on the Woodwind's SearBox or my Q1000. The only reason I used the Spirit was that it was already sitting there and had the BTUs to heat up to screamer quickly. Outside of that, it was lucky to get fired once every couple months. The goal for the SmokeFire is to take over stuff that should have been done on the gasser, but ended up on the Woodwind or Summit frustrating the family because dinner is later than they want after work because of the extra time to setup the Summit or extended cook time of the Woodwind at high temps. The SmokeFire definitely performs different at high temps than any of the other pellet grills I've had.

              So my goal and expectations are totally different on round two. If things go really well, I may down the road look at LnS cooking on the SmokeFire, but it is not a requirement at this time.

              I felt bad for BBM and respected his reaction the first time around. Weber touted heavily the amazing grease collection system they designed and emphasized that drip pans were not needed. To have grease fires that soon after firing it up would have been absolutely infuriating. Especially for someone that is a YouTube star and had been promoting the product.
              Last edited by glitchy; July 6, 2020, 11:07 AM.

              Comment


              • fzxdoc
                fzxdoc commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks for the background info, glitchy . It makes perfect sense why you want to give the SF another go. I'm watching it closely, as I would love to add one to my stable of smokers when Weber releases Version 2.0. In the meanwhile, I'll live vicariously through you and others who make the SF perform well.

                Kathryn

              #8
              Well, ran into strike one. Called Weber this morning to talk to them about the old auger being shipped out to me. The service representative I talked to did not have the personality that can provide excellent customer service. She was very argumentative about everything even the way she asked for information about the grill, what firmware I have, etc. From the moment she asked which version of iPhone I had and I responded 'Ten S Max' (XS Max) and she started telling me that it should be 3 numbers only, the problems started. In the end she wanted the version of iOS or the Weber Connect app but she ended up skipping the questions because she couldn't clarify what info she really wanted and my iOS version 13.5.1 and the version of the Connect App didn't fit her pre-populated list of values.

              She took the stance that I have to encounter the problems and go back and forth through troubleshooting cycles before I can get the updated auger assembly. I did ask for to speak with a supervisor and will supposedly get a call back. I'm willing to work with Weber on problems, but I will have little patience working through existing known problems that there are already solutions for. A few members on another site that I'm on have gotten the parts no questions asked.

              Comment


              • tiewunon
                tiewunon commented
                Editing a comment
                The old adage “that a company must make you want them” applies here. You clearly have given them a second chance and and not feeling much initial support when you reached out for a fix to a known problem. I too on 4 different forums have seen individuals receive auger replacements.

              • rickgregory
                rickgregory commented
                Editing a comment
                Yeah, that'd be strikes 1 through 3 for me. Coupled with shipping out old builds, it looks like Weber talks a good game but doesn't play it. Sorry, man.

              • Bogy
                Bogy commented
                Editing a comment
                I think I talked with the same service representative when I needed some parts for my Weber Genesis. I was OK with paying for the parts because the grease fire that caused the problems were my fault, and I suppose I could have not been so forthcoming about that, but I paid for some of the parts I think should have had a lifetime guarantee.

              #9
              Did you get her name? I would talk to Weber about that rep, since it sounds like others has good experiences. Weber has to know that personalities are the face of the company& that gal does not currently fit as performs.

              Comment


                #10
                The new software updates seem to fulfill Weber's original promise for the Weber Connect App. I'm playing with the new SmokeBoost feature that is meant to provide heavier smoke. I will do a proper test with brisket soon.

                Comment


                • zinfella
                  zinfella commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Max,your review pf the EX 4 shows that it was updated on 10/27/20, but there is no reference to the actual content of the update.

                • Max Good
                  Max Good commented
                  Editing a comment
                  zinfella I made a couple changes. The hopper insert is now being preinstalled and the software and app issues have been resolved.

                • zinfella
                  zinfella commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks, Max.

                  That's easier than re-reading the whole review, wondering if I missed the updated info.

                #11
                Originally posted by FireMan View Post
                Did you get her name? I would talk to Weber about that rep, since it sounds like others has good experiences. Weber has to know that personalities are the face of the company& that gal does not currently fit as performs.
                I do have her name, but despite the fact she was extremely frustrating to work with and possibly not tech savvy enough to be taking SmokeFire calls, I'll probably avoid getting her any grief from her management unless she happens to be on the end of at least a second call and behaving the same. I cannot put on her shoes to know how truly busy with Covid-19 they are as well as it being the day after the busiest grilling holiday, etc. She even gave me grief trying to get a new regulator for my Summit Charcoal which hasn't worked for months. Something in their system was wrong with registration dates even though I don't think any parts on it could really be out of warranty on any of the Summit Charcoal Grills yet. I had to e-mail in my receipt showing I haven't even had it a year and I'm waiting for her to 'approve' it. She was trying to tell me that someone in my house tried to register it in 2017. Well, no one else here would know/care to register a grill and I sure didn't try to register it 2 years before I had it. I hadn't called yet because I hadn't taken the time to clean it good to make sure there was not a spider web inside or something. Which I did yesterday in preparation for this call to knock out two birds with on call.

                She said they had gotten instruction to only send out parts after troubleshooting, so I have to take her word that she was doing her job as instructed. However, that pretty much contradicts the CEO's letter about their renewed commitment to SmokeFire service and says either someone is behind updating the CSR process or the CEO is blowing smoke on the www. Therefore, it should probably count as more than one strike.

                Comment


                • glitchy
                  glitchy commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Mojo0209 that was my point to them, it's a known problem that they engineered a hardware fix for and forcing me to wait for it to happen is going to frustrate me. Especially when dinner ends up ruined or 2 hours late because I have to fire up the WSCG and wait for it or something.

                • Sweaty Paul
                  Sweaty Paul commented
                  Editing a comment
                  You're more than am I. I would likely have already packaged this one up too and sent it back and ordered a Yoder, Grilla, Rec-tec, or Blazn. Best wishes to you on this. By the way your Turkey looks good!

                • Max Good
                  Max Good commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I applaud your compassion broham.

                #12
                Today’s SmokeFire cook was Turkey Tenderloins done at 275.
                Attached Files

                Comment


                  #13
                  Today’s SmokeFire cook was reverse seared Ribeye and Strips.
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                    #14
                    I'd like to see wall-to-wall briskets in that bad boy.....not that I envision that in my Smokefire 2.0.

                    Comment


                      #15
                      Threw some skinless brats on today. As a gas grill replacement I’ve been very happy with the SmokeFire. I haven’t been as thorough in testing this time around as I’m worn out on extensive grill data collection and don’t get paid to collect it. I do think it’s running hotter on the right though.

                      Used at mid to high temps, cleaning isn’t as bad as before. I just scrape the ash down into the pan every 2-3 cooks and call it good. This takes maybe 3-4 minutes. I finally finished off the first bag of pellets tonight. That was the burn in and seven cooks. I’ve scraped three times. Just grilling I haven’t found the drains clogged or much grease at all in the bottom.
                      Attached Files

                      Comment


                      • glitchy
                        glitchy commented
                        Editing a comment
                        But it is still the honeymoon phase and Weber still hasn’t called me back or confirmed shipment of my WSCG regulator.

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