Longevity......


 

Lew Newby

TVWBB Guru
Jon,
I have looked through many Traeger and Rectec forums as well as other brands. There are horror stories on each forum, this one says stay away from this brand and then the next guy says the exact opposite....I love the SF results, just wish it was a little more stable. I am a Weber fan and have only had great experiences with CS in the past. I just wonder how are they going to continually ship out parts that will just keep breaking ??? I guess as long as they support it for the next 3 years , it'll be worth keeping. I got my EX6 for what most are paying for their EX4. I still have the Summit 670 gasser if I need a quick grill. Mainy find people are complaining about lack of some taste. Haven't experienced it on my SF, just undecided what to do. One minute I want to send it back, then I figure I'll keep it and keep getting replacement parts as needed
I still remember Bruno going through the emotional roller coaster you're on. That was about 18 months ago. I felt for him then and I sure feel for you now. I know how good the food can taste but the frustration when it acts up is maddening. It's a tough decision and you're being pulled in both directions. Good luck.
 

Brian B Atlanta

TVWBB Wizard
Well the title of the thread is "Longevity". This one has not been around long enough to determine that as of yet but no question it becomes an issue after the 3 years are up. I doubt those controllers or mother boards are cheap if you had to replace them on your own dime nor would Weber as a public company keep selling a product that is eating their margins with a low price for them I assume have 100 day return policies with no idea how many are coming back and replacing these parts on their dime they have no choice for now I get it.

My prediction they are not getting out of the pellet market but I also for next season have this feeling they come out with a v.3 whatever that might be. Maybe abandon the flavorizer bars go to a more conventional pellet grill with their name on it which to me is what they should have done anyway forget this 600 degree thing period build something that works.

Smoke is subjective I am sure the average consumer cares more about I fire up the grill it works, I put a brisket on it and I don't need to worry about it crapping out and destroying a $50-$60 piece of meat. If I got to get up in the middle of the night to make sure pellets are flowing just buy a WSM which will last forever and check your charcoal load. Either way you need to get up or maybe not buy a Maverick with an alarm or a Thermoworks smoke which will wake you up if the temp drops to much.
 

Lew Newby

TVWBB Guru
I have no idea what Weber will do next year and I would be shocked if they revert to conventional design. I belong to a Smokefire Facebook group with almost 5000 members and most own the grill. Some folks join to gather info before they make a decision. Some of them have had the grill since Feb. 2020 and are still on original parts and are delighted with the grill. That shows me that the design works so why change that. I see a definite QA problem, poor material selection in and around the fire pot, and immature software. There are cheap steps that owners can and do take to greatly improve pellet flow. I don't think it's more complicated than that. It will be interesting to see what the future holds.
 

Brian B Atlanta

TVWBB Wizard
Lew it would not shock me at all that they changed the design no offense 5k members in a forum which is now private does the average person join those forums. Most likely if they do they are seeking information or have problems or they say the heck with it and just return it which my guess they don't bother to join a forum, they can come here and get the info they need not really sure they even bother with that but at least its not private.

June as I said before which I believe they supply the software has zero experience in grills they do a high end convection oven which it seems they are good at its a niche product but they do it well from what I have read. Its a big jump to go from writing software from a controlled enviroment to a grill that is much larger subject to weather outside. Who writes the software for Traeger or Rec or Camp I don't know the answer I get Weber who has zero experience in this field felt they had to buy a company lets not go over the fact they bought Igrill or whatever it was called which has not exaclty been a great product either.

Again I will say it this is not a consumer friendly product and until they fix a lot of stuff or maybe they cannot fix this stuff they are a niche product in the pellet grill market. Not to mention their lack of distribution so the thought of them ever overtaking Traeger is a pipe dream from 2016 to 2020 Traeger sold 2 million grills Weber will never tell anyone how many Smokefires they sold that would be stupid to let the competiion know that.

Does any of this matter no it does not if you are willing to put up with the issues which again the average consumer will not and you are happy with the food fine. But lets stop talking about this being a revolutionary design with the issues its had its anything but that believe me or not now I am up to 22 people in my subdivision asking me about the Smokefire since they know I am kind of the Weber guy with zero knowledge compared to people here I never bad mouth the product I own 2 Webers. I direct them here let them make their own decisions as well as another forum which many people on the Smokefire forum here are members there also seems to be few new members basically the same people here over there. Certainly can't speak to Facebook but I suspect alot of people here Smokefire posters are on Facebook also,
 

Joe Anshien

TVWBB Guru
Like my Weber Smoky Mountain 18" Classic that I bought new in the year 2008???:D
I am with you on this. After trying the SF I sold it and went back to the WSM. You just can't beat it for now for results and reliability. If you want you can add an ATC to it. I have an ATC but never use it. Without the ATC it keeps temps for me way better than my Smokefire did;-)
 

Lew Newby

TVWBB Guru
Lew it would not shock me at all that they changed the design no offense 5k members in a forum which is now private does the average person join those forums. Most likely if they do they are seeking information or have problems or they say the heck with it and just return it which my guess they don't bother to join a forum, they can come here and get the info they need not really sure they even bother with that but at least its not private.
I’m not sure why you raised the issue of the “private “ group. Yes, the average person joins the group and the rate of growth didn’t decline when we went private. Anyone can join so it’s still inclusive. When Facebook changed the rules to allow non members to post to public groups the group admins decided to go private in order reduce the number of Trolls using the group as an advertising vehicle. Nothing sinister. I think that’s how Chris runs TVWBB.
 

Darian Hofer

TVWBB Fan
I’m not sure why you raised the issue of the “private “ group. Yes, the average person joins the group and the rate of growth didn’t decline when we went private. Anyone can join so it’s still inclusive. When Facebook changed the rules to allow non members to post to public groups the group admins decided to go private in order reduce the number of Trolls using the group as an advertising vehicle. Nothing sinister. I think that’s how Chris runs TVWBB.
I don’t do Facebook. So question. Can anyone that’s not a member of Facebook and not a member of the private Facebook Smokefire Group still view the posts and just look at posts for information?
On this site, non members can view posts and look at information posted by members.
So you might think everyone is willing to join Facebook, but I know lots of people who don’t use Facebook or any of the private groups because they don’t like all the spam associated with Facebook.
 
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Lew Newby

TVWBB Guru
I don’t do Facebook. So question. Can anyone that’s not a member of Facebook and not a member of the private Facebook Smokefire Group still view the posts and just look at posts forinformation?
On this site, non members can view posts and look at information posted by members.
So you might think everyone is willing to join Facebook, but I know lots of people who don’t use Facebook or any of the private groups because they don’t like all the spam associated with Facebook.
I'm pretty sure that non members can't view the posts. That was one thing that was discussed before we went private. For us the hassle of dealing with Trolls drove our decision. If not for a veterans group I joined and the Smokefire group I wouldn't be on Facebook. I don't blame you for avoiding it.
 

BFletcher

TVWBB Guru
I kinda enjoy Facebook. I feel I have civil friends but on the very rare occasion of any issue I can easily employ the eliminator feature.

As for private groups, there is nothing complex about joining and a very similar approach can be employed to reduce annoyances.

And now back to the topic: I still dig my SmokeFire and so far haven't experienced issues since the June purchase :). I wish other dissatisfied owners here were able to experience the same enjoyment.
 

Don D.

TVWBB Member
So this is where it gets tricky for me. I received my replacement controller two weeks ago. Today I received a new motherboard, but so what ??? Look at these pics ... On all Weber parts they have a manufactured date, on these two packages the bottom half of the label had been removed before they shipped it.... So I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA is these part are even newer than my EX6 that was built in June 2021. Are they replacing broken parts with the older manufactured parts that will have the same issue ???? Come on man !!!
 

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Tony P in Florida

TVWBB Member
No dates on the board or on the controller

Since you are still having issues, have you considered going with a kettle and a temperature controller? I considered going with a 26-in kettle and putting an aftermarket controller on it. That would have had me around the $550-600 mark... A lot of surface area and stable temperature.

I decided against that because I do like the efficiency of kamados because in the long run I'd be spending too much money on fuel if I went with that 26-in kettle.

so I picked up a summit kamado E6. There is very little that can break on it. That's what's great about kettles and kamados. If anyond needed more space, they can always put a 22-in stainless steel grid on top of the existing grid for an extra 380 sq. Inch (830 square inches total then).

I know you're attached to the smokefire :). Based on my short stay at the traeger forum, they have their issues too. But not as bad as what you're having. The pro series and below have more issues than the ironwood and the timberline.

Anyway, I know you got it for a steal of 800 and some change. Reminds me of George Costanza from the Seinfeld episode. He parked in a space right outside his building, which is prime real estate. But then he refused to move his car cuz he didn't want to give up his spot :)

Don't be a Costanza. Don't keep it just cuz it was a great deal. Go to slickdeals.net and believe me you're going to find other deals out there. I visited that place almost daily but I have plenty of alert set up
 

Don D.

TVWBB Member
Since you are still having issues, have you considered going with a kettle and a temperature controller? I considered going with a 26-in kettle and putting an aftermarket controller on it. That would have had me around the $550-600 mark... A lot of surface area and stable temperature.

I decided against that because I do like the efficiency of kamados because in the long run I'd be spending too much money on fuel if I went with that 26-in kettle.

so I picked up a summit kamado E6. There is very little that can break on it. That's what's great about kettles and kamados. If anyond needed more space, they can always put a 22-in stainless steel grid on top of the existing grid for an extra 380 sq. Inch (830 square inches total then).

I know you're attached to the smokefire :). Based on my short stay at the traeger forum, they have their issues too. But not as bad as what you're having. The pro series and below have more issues than the ironwood and the timberline.

Anyway, I know you got it for a steal of 800 and some change. Reminds me of George Costanza from the Seinfeld episode. He parked in a space right outside his building, which is prime real estate. But then he refused to move his car cuz he didn't want to give up his spot :)

Don't be a Costanza. Don't keep it just cuz it was a great deal. Go to slickdeals.net and believe me you're going to find other deals out there. I visited that place almost daily but I have plenty of alert set up
 

Don D.

TVWBB Member
I am not keeping it because I saved money on it. I'm in it for the long haul and I don't believe the SF will make it. I am returning it and will see what Weber does for next summer season. In the meantime I have my Masterbuilt electric smoker to get me through the winter. If Weber redesigns it or completely redoes the software , I will consider it again, otherwise I'll buy a different brand.
 

BFletcher

TVWBB Guru
So this is where it gets tricky for me. I received my replacement controller two weeks ago. Today I received a new motherboard, but so what ???

It's not likely you would find a manufacture date on a box. I'm not certain what components you received but using these two pics as an example I would guess one date code is 0920 (ninth week of 2020) and the other is 4619 (forty-sixth week of 2019). If you received a printed circuit board there could be a label affixed to it. If you see an etching in the board silkscreen that would possibly be the date code of when the bare board was produced and not when the assembly was manufactured. But the labels pictured below do not necessarily tell the entire story to us without knowing all that the label encompasses. For instance; there's a possibility that it does not mean the printed circuit board assembly was produced on that date. But I don't mean to come across as an expert; there are a variety of possibilities.

20210124_095113.jpg

20210124_095141.jpg
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Sorry to see another bailout on the SmokeFire. I have to admit its challenges keep me on the fence. In thinking about it, I don't see Weber doing anything dramatic with pellet grills for the upcoming year. They may be thinking starting over in a couple years, but I think they will just have to ride it out for a while. One thing I think they COULD do is one up "Spider" and come out with a "pellet kettle" to compete with Recteq's Bullseye. That would be pretty easy and a lower bar to aim for. It would also be a natural fit for Weber and could have some variants like a Performer based and a cheaper kettle only model. A success with a kettle based pellet grill could be a help in getting a better toehold in the pellet grill arena.
 

Don D.

TVWBB Member
The replacement said 0820, you might be correct. So basically I'm putting in a part manufactured 10 months before my grill was... Assuming the grill's Motherboard is newer. Well I called Weber this morning told them I want to return it. Rep said I happen to be a SF specialist ( they prob all are by now) I told him I love the grill but I'm on my second controller and motherboard and can't keep it. He said he understood and asked me for my receipt. I send it to them and are awaiting their response.
 

Don D.

TVWBB Member
So after I contacted Weber, my Wife decided she likes the food so much and she wants to keep it .... We talked through the issues and cost of parts after the 3 year warranty is up. I received an email from Weber stating a freight company will call me and arrange a pick up. I emailed back and asked them to call me.
A really nice Rep called , I told him my love/hate relationship with the EX6. He said we'll take it back gladly or you can keep it and we'll take of any issues you might have. Any replacement parts have a two year warranty if I have to purchase them after the 3 year manufacturers warranty. I decided to keep it. Of course today my grill froze during a cook. Restarted grill and worked fine for the rest of the cook Ten minute call to Weber. They are sending out a new controller and motherboard. They asked to call them after I replace them and they want to get the old parts back to test them.
 

 

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