Dave's Smokefire EX6 Experiences

BobJ

TVWBB Super Fan
I was going to say the same thing. Buy a ThermoWorks Signals plus the optional Billows temp controller or something similar. Get it setup and running smoothly by 11PM and the thing will alarm on your smartphone if you develop a low or high temp situation overnight. Nighty night, sleep tight! 💤
That is my other option, weighing to pros and cons of each. After all I've learned during this Smokefire fiasco, charcoal is looking better and better.
 

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
It seems they’re treating pit temp like a home oven. Once it reaches the set temp, the display shows only the set temp even though actual pit temp is wandering above and below the set temp. I think that’s fine, but people are expecting to see actual temp.
 

Brian B Atlanta

TVWBB All-Star
I have another $50 worth of stuff showing up from Amazon as a result, including more electronics and hardware. I damn near ordered a Camp Chef Woodwind 36 Wifi with the Sidekick box, front shelf, and cover last night.
By the time your done with these mods the Woodwind might have looked like the buy of the year. :)
 

LMichaels

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Looks to me like Weber screwed the pooch by trying to make the pellet grill what it is not meant to be. Perhaps they would have been much better served and received if they made it be what the others are (primarily a smoker/oven type appliance) only make it the best rather than trying to make it the Leatherman of grills. Or make it a true "grill" that uses pellets instead of gas/charcoal fuels. Just seems to me there is no way to make it excel at both tasks.
 

Dave - Unixadm

TVWBB Super Fan
It seems they’re treating pit temp like a home oven. Once it reaches the set temp, the display shows only the set temp even though actual pit temp is wandering above and below the set temp. I think that’s fine, but people are expecting to see actual temp.
It will display an alternate temp when it drops like 20-40 degrees below if I remember right. Normally that's when it's ran out of pellets again. lol
 

Dave - Unixadm

TVWBB Super Fan
Damn me too, do you have to vacuum the ash? I wanted stainless grates too.
You have to vacuum ash from pretty much all pellet smokers at some point. All of them will have ash inside, but to what extend depends upon the design. I have a cheapie mini shop-vac type vac that I only use for this purpose.
 

Dave - Unixadm

TVWBB Super Fan
By the time your done with these mods the Woodwind might have looked like the buy of the year. :)
You know it. I had my finger on the buy button for a Rec Tec BFG or something like that. But I read some concerning reviews about it and then I saw Weber was coming out with something, so I preordered the EX6. I wish I had never seen that damn Weber info.
 

Brian B Atlanta

TVWBB All-Star
Dave from everything we have read and of course experiences like yours here there are a lot of people who wish they had never saw the damn Weber info.

I agree with what Larry said, why not instead of shooting for the moon on the first try, build a solid pellet grill forget the high sear and it can do everything. Probably could have priced it lower get your foot in the door and their are plenty of people who would have bought the Weber offering. Even if it was priced a few hundred more there would have been buyers.
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Honor Circle
I am sure there is a lot of second guessing going on all over the BBQ world and in the secret depths of Weber’s corporate offices. It all sounded really good. I believed that Weber had outsmarted the other pellet grill makers and then added some nice style to put together a winning package. Most of us here were pretty excited, and some were brave enough to jump in as preorder early adopters. Then the November dog and pony show fired us up all the more.

I am still sorting this out and have yet to even see a SmokeFire in person. It seems more and more apparent that this was a reach too far. I am now a lot more content with my Rec Tec that I was starting to describe here as “dated.” It is looking, instead, more like a solid, reliable choice for low and slow BBQ and maybe an occasional way to do grilling (with GrillGrates) just for a change of pace. I just used it tonight for an event where it did a fine job churning out hot dogs while enticing guests with nicely smelling smoke.

I am very concerned about all the suggestions that Weber knew about these problems and chose to actively suppress the truth from people like the guests at the big November show and now on social media. I don’t really know what to believe. I admit it is hard to see how their “extensive” testing would not have revealed these issues that are being so commonly reported.
 

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I wonder how many of the SmokeFires got out to the general public. It maybe that those who preordered as now unofficial beta testers have given the Weber folks what they wanted to see. Could be the damage isn't as wide spreads as thought.
 

Dave - Unixadm

TVWBB Super Fan
Alrighty - I received most everything and decided to do the following:

  • Dump all the pellets from the hopper and clean it throughly.
  • Install 2" UCMW Tape on the sloped surfaces in the hopper assembly.
  • Install the 3D printed hopper divider.
  • Disable the vibratory motor I had installed.
  • Inspect the cooking chamber and run the 24V fan at 12V to check airflow.
What I can say is that the UCMW tape reduces friction significantly. I tested it with different objects by laying down one strip of tape covering about 40% of the hopper and seeing how the object would move. On the standard galvanized surface, an item could be placed stationary on the slope. On the UCMW tape, I could not get it not to slip down into the auger tube. I installed the vertical separator but I don't know if the position will work. It's feeding pellets from the right side of the hopper assembly but it is feeding. I've had the smoker running for about an hour and each time I open and tap the hopper assembly, pellets do not settle.







Testing will continue....
 

Dave - Unixadm

TVWBB Super Fan
I had a little chicken in the fridge that I needed to cook and my order of Head Country rub and sauce showed up. I also got a new poultry roaster, so I decided to season up the bird, pour some beer into the cup and use one of the Weber probes for the first time. Cooking at 325 degrees with some older Cookinpellets.com 100% hickory pellets. These pellets are not in the best shape, so we'll see how it goes.







Cook chicken, cook.
 

Dave - Unixadm

TVWBB Super Fan
Thank you sir? What exactly is the tape you purchased? Is it food safe?
That's good question. It's not exactly touching the food and I'd imagine it's about as safe as I'm good with considering I'm eating smoked food. lol. I'll look into it though. My main test here is to see if simply reducing friction on the ramp promotes better pellet feeding.

UHMW Tape
 

Bruno

TVWBB All-Star
You know I’m just waiting to follow, thanks Dave, Weber really needs to take care of you, and maybe just a thanks for being a bad *** could be enough. I’m 46 but when I grow up I want to be like Dave!!
 

Dave - Unixadm

TVWBB Super Fan
When using the probe, I noticed that it tries in a way to act like a Meater device. Projecting the time you have to wait until it's done.






The Weber Ashmaster is still cooking away. It does appear that the divider does help with pellet feed or the UHMW tape does. I've checked the hopper about six times, tapping it each time with no settling of pellets. Temp bumped up to 350 a little bit ago.

I also restricted the air flow on the fan using a business card. I wanted to see how it changed the behavior of the fire coming out of the fire pot. While it was actively fueling, I blocked off about 1/4th of the fan's intake. Went back and checked to see flames coming out the right side of the fire pot. My hunch is that due to over fueling at higher temps, the fire pot is getting so full of pellets that it screws with the directional air flow. Just a hunch right now but when I blocked the air flow, it would simulate more pellets in the fire pot, thus reducing air flow. That may be why it's noticed at higher temperatures, even though the fan is already running at the maximum. The ash around this thing is a pain. I may order up some #4 stainless mesh and some stainless wire and do some experiments to see if I can reduce the ash situation. None of this is free. Hey Weber, give me a little bit of your R&D funds. LOL!
 

Chris in GA

TVWBB Pro
Looks to me like Weber screwed the pooch by trying to make the pellet grill what it is not meant to be. Perhaps they would have been much better served and received if they made it be what the others are (primarily a smoker/oven type appliance) only make it the best rather than trying to make it the Leatherman of grills. Or make it a true "grill" that uses pellets instead of gas/charcoal fuels. Just seems to me there is no way to make it excel at both tasks.
100% agree with Larry.
Very well put.
 

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