Has anyone added lower vents, Smokey Joe

Matt Currie

New member
Just cooked me and my mum some chicken breast butterflied on my smokey joe with the vents on the side.
The chicken hardly sizzled on the grate no matter how much Weber briqquets I use, and this is always the case. I’ve seen a guy online make a vent on the bottom and say this makes it a lot hotter as the air gets to the coals easier. What do you guys think


TVWBB Hall of Fame
It is a really pi$$ poor design. The only way coals will stay lit is to keep the lid off. Though I will say I have much better luck not using briquettes but hardwood lump charcoal. I imagine some kid of vent(s) could be put on the bottom but then you'd need to make sure to put something under it that is fireproof

Robert McGee

TVWBB Gold Member
I tried the Smokey Joe as a grill and could never get it to work well (however, the Mini-Smoker is a hit). At any rate, I found a Jumbo Joe and it is a REAL grill (both direct and indirect) and is a keeper. I often use my Jumbo as an additional grill when I run out of space with one of my Performers. I even added a "doggy bowl Vortex" that works well.

As a for instance, if I have a crowd over and fill up my Performer doing chicken parts, I often use the Jumbo Joe with the doggy bowl to grill ABT's.

I consider the Jumbo Joe as a complete REAL grill that works well both grilling and indirect. It is VERY useful!

Keep on smokin',

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I have heard that the side vent SJ doesn't perform as well as the earlier bottom vent SJ. I have a mini WSM which uses a older version of the SJ and I occasionally use it as a grill if we are just doing a couple of burgers or a single steak. It will get screaming hot so adding a bottom vent may help.

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB Hall of Fame
I have one new in box but, have not fired it yet, the performer is right out the back door, even if I’m just doing something for myself, it’s easier to simply open the 22 (or the 18 if the cover is off) the Go Anywhere is un fired as well. I do use an old cast iron hibachi for a quick steak or the chimney for a single steak.
You may be talking about me, as I posted my Smokey Joe mod here, quite a while ago. I too was not happy with temp, so I modded my Smokey Joe by enlarging the bottom vent holes. I simply turned the grill upside down, and used a step bit to open up the holes by about a 1/4" each.

The grill now is sustatialy hotter now, but, my vents are not in the sides.