SmokeFire’s back on sale! 🔥


 

Lew Newby

TVWBB Guru
Yes, it is really unfortunate that an innovative product was rushed out with what appears to have been inadequate testing - despite claims to the contrary. I think you may be right that the SmokeFire will join Weber’s gas kettle as a forgotten product. If that guy is right and they just can’t get retailers to carry, display and promote the SmokeFire, it may well take an altogether new product to keep Weber in the pellet grill arena. Maybe the sale is really a strategy to clear out inventory😟. It seems a shame if that turns out to be true, because based on all we have seen and heard here, the SmokeFire has a number of very positive attributes. The sale price is extremely fair when compared to the Traeger Ironwood which it greatly exceeds in my book. You have to go to Traeger’s Timberline to top the SmokeFire, and then better only in a few ways and maybe not as good in others. It costs almost twice as much.
Hey John, I missed the intro of the RT 1250. Do you think it will hit 700 degrees?
 

ChuckH

TVWBB Super Fan
Weber isn’t going to abandon the pellet cooker market anymore than they are going to give up making 22 inch kettles. I believe that they will just lick their Smokefire wounds, make the necessary changes, change up their marketing strategy, and keep on trucking. The Smokefire is turning out to be pretty good product despite the rocky start. There is just to much money in pellet grill sales for them to wave the white flag now. Especially considering how much they have invested in their pellet grills already. Just my opinion.
 

Bruno

TVWBB Gold Member
Wrote a really long reply, then erased it.
The SmokeFire is a great cooker, sears great and smokes great, the ash and grease system didn’t work exactly as they wanted but a pan on slow cooks takes care of that.
By all means make changes and improvements but stay in the market.
 
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C Lewis

TVWBB Super Fan
I just bought a SmokeFire at the Lowes in Nampa, Idaho. It will be assembled and delivered this coming Friday. They had it in stock and I was told they are carried in stock your round. They have a EX6 on display and up until 2 weeks ago also had a EX4 on display. Two days ago when I bought mine, they brought it out on a cart and it was factory sealed. I could have had one delivered from Amazon in two days but I preferred to support the local employees at this Lowes since they are always very helpful. They also had the Weber cover in stock. I am assuming that the problems with the gen1 are why stock is lower now.
Bob, be sure to go over that SF with a fine toothed comb, to ensure that it was assembled properly. Some of the problems have been attributed to incorrectly assembled units. I purposely bought mine unassembled so that I could be sure that it was done right. Hope this helps.

Charlie
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Wrote a really long reply, then erased it.
The SmokeFire is a great cooker, sears great and smokes great, the ash and grease system didn’t work exactly as they wanted but a pan on slow cooks takes care of that.
By all means make changes and improvements but stay in the market.
I am with you, Bruno. I didn’t mean to imply that I thought Weber would - and certainly not SHOULD - abandon the pellet grill market. It is where things are going. What I do think is that if the current model and name cannot gain enough traction for retailers like Home Depot and Ace to have them available and on display because of the bad start, Weber may have no choice but to issue an entirely new pellet grill. My comparison to Weber’s gas kettle was not that it was discontinued but that it was a market failure that lead to Weber designing the brilliant Genesis grill. I think they thought they were going after that same vibe with the SmokeFire by using innovative engineering, but the Genesis took a long time to bring to market. I think that Weber felt they had to speed things up with the SmokeFire. That might have worked with a simpler “me too” design, but the innovations the SmokeFire comes with needed more tweaking as we now all know. It was a very costly mistake.

I don’t own one - yet - but I am impressed with how great it is cooking for those who toughed it out. Those lucky enough to buy one now have ridden on the shoulders of those early adopters.

It does also seem there are still some issues. Longevity may not prove to be one of this grill’s strongpoints. But any pellet grill is not likely to last years and years simply because of the complexity of moving parts and electronics. But, at this sale price you are getting a great deal on a grill that can deliver the goods. It is just sometimes temperamental while doing that😆!
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Hey John, I missed the intro of the RT 1250. Do you think it will hit 700 degrees?
I don’t believe they are saying that. The 1250 is really nice but essentially a 700 with a cool built-in second shelf and added extras. I don’t believe it is the next wave pellet grill I believe Recteq has to be working on. More like a delaying tactic while they ensure their next big thing isn’t a launch disaster like the SmokeFire.
 

Darian Hofer

TVWBB Fan
Wrote a really long reply, then erased it.
The SmokeFire is a great cooker, sears great and smokes great, the ash and grease system didn’t work exactly as they wanted but a pan on slow cooks takes care of that.
By all means make changes and improvements but stay in the market.
Yes, but the pan only helps with excessive grease drippings with low and slows.
But many of us like to cook burgers, pork steaks and ribeyes. The 2 little holes into the lower tray may be great for eventually catching the ash. But the ash quickly soaks up the oil and restricts the flow of hot grease into the lower pan.
Not to mention funneling all the hot grease towards the hottest spot in the grill that is breathing fire at grilling temps is such a poor design. Maybe when they did testing they only cooked a couple burgers at a time And used a new grill for each test. The other issue is keeping the grill level. If it’s not fairly level the grease doesn’t drip straight down into the drip pan. It runs down the grill grate and drips around the edge. Half a dozen 80/20 burgers and some ABTs and you have a very good chance of a nice fire on the smoker floor. Even if you start with a clean grill. And the EX6 should be able to handle 15-20 burgers easily for it’s size. I did 9 and had the whole grill bottom on fire by the end of the cook.
I really like this grill, but it almost seems like Weber said…Let’s take our gas grill design and add a pellet flame thrower in the bottom. The V flavor bars are great in a gas grill where drippings drop past the gas tube onto the bottom floor of grill. No go on the SF where the grill floor has a flaming firebox and flame diffuser that also directs flames back down at the grease drain hole. You have the volume of a 36” wide grill with duel cooking racks trying to funnel ash and grease into 2 small drain holes on the floor of a grill with very little slope. What could go wrong?
My only suggestion would be to make the entire inside taller so the fire box could be raised higher so the dripping grease would fall further down away from the heat along with more slope on the grill floor to funnel grease and ash.
Ok, and the pellet hopper. The thin, rectangular pellet hopper in the back, with the lid that opens in a way you can’t easily pour in the pellets. And then they drop between the hopper and the grill. It’s on wheels but you can’t just pull it out and dump them in from the back because of how the lid opens away from the cooker. Why? I did buy a 20# pellet container with a spout. I’m sure this will help.
I started with a Gen 2. I really feel for you guys and gals who went through the whole Gen 1 trouble.
Sorry for the ramble. It’s a great unit but could be so much better. Come on Weber, you can do better.
 
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C Lewis

TVWBB Super Fan
Lots of fatty dripping foods on mine, 82 cooks to be exact. Drip pans under low and slow, nothing under the others. NO fires whatsoever. (Also no feed issues.) I've hardly cleaned it, and when I do, I just scrape down the gunk into the bottom, through the holes into the grease tray. It has been flawless so far, with the exception of the glow plug losing the ground on one start. When you think about it, the kettle acts exactly the same, hot food and fat dripping down to the bottom near the hot coals, to exit through the same holes as the ash. People run their WSMs with no water pan the same too, cooking ribs hanging style, fat dripping directly onto the coals.
I've been happy with mine so far, very happy actually. I am over analytical and critical to a fault, but I don't regret the purchase at all. In fact, I would buy another in a heartbeat. I may do a "100 cook review" at some point, and go over the pros and cons, as I see them. Definitely some design head scratchers for sure, but not the disaster that it has gotten the reputation for.

Charlie
 

Lew Newby

TVWBB Guru
I don’t believe they are saying that. The 1250 is really nice but essentially a 700 with a cool built-in second shelf and added extras. I don’t believe it is the next wave pellet grill I believe Recteq has to be working on. More like a delaying tactic while they ensure their next big thing isn’t a launch disaster like the SmokeFire.
No doubt that it's a jazzed up RT-700. I was asked about it as an alternative to the Smokefire and pretty much said what you did and added that I thought he would be happy with it. Their high temp spec is 500 but their PR guys get some comments in the grill description that leads some to believe it will hit 700. Like you, I keep wondering what recteq's next big move will be.
 

Tony P in Florida

TVWBB Member
If I were to design a smokefire gen 3, I'd to the following:
- get rid of the flavorizer bars. They work much better on gas grills when there is a direct flame underneath it. Doesn't work as well in the current smokefire gen 2 when there's only one heat source in the center of the grill

- add a grease tray similar to what other pellet smokers use. It's angled and the grease flows down to one side and then goes into a dedicated grease pan with pull out drawer

- upgrade the internals to use better grade metal because the current material they're using is starting to rust and many of us have seen the pictures. And the grill is what, 2 years old? I have no idea if this rusting problem is a problem for everybody

That's going to adjust the price. But the way I see it now, they either stop selling smoke fires altogether, or they stay in the game and raise the price.

I like porcelain enameled coating. Better than that power type coat that traeger uses. Unless it's high quality stuff, outdoor furniture with powder coating eventually rusts. It did for us, anyway.

I was really close to getting a smokefire. And then based on my research and talking to some very knowledgeable members here, it seems like the Weber kamado S6 had less headaches. It holds temp well. But if I want something that holds temp as well as a pellet, I can add a temperature controller for 200 bucks.
 

Brett-EDH

TVWBB Pro
That's going to adjust the price. But the way I see it now, they either stop selling smoke fires altogether, or they stay in the game and raise the price.
Price is what someone is willing to pay in exchange for the value they're about to receive. Price means nothing and price is fluid. It's all about the value proposition, IMO.

And then based on my research and talking to some very knowledgeable members here, it seems like the Weber kamado S6 had less headaches. It holds temp well. But if I want something that holds temp as well as a pellet, I can add a temperature controller for 200 bucks.
The Kamado E/S 6 hold temps incredibly well and are very fuel efficient. You don't need a temp controller on either the E/S 6.

On a total side note, I have yet to read/see any actual fuel consumed cost comparison between a pellet or coal cooker. I do know that I can cook a dinner for 5 using around 30 briqs with fuel leftover to then start another cook on another day. So I'm betting the E6 (my cooker) is fairly inexpensive to run/use. Curious if anyone has done any cost analysis on pellet poopers and coal grills for fuel costs. Not that I'm overly concerned dollars wise, just curious of the math and analysis.
 

Lew Newby

TVWBB Guru
On a total side note, I have yet to read/see any actual fuel consumed cost comparison between a pellet or coal cooker. I do know that I can cook a dinner for 5 using around 30 briqs with fuel leftover to then start another cook on another day. So I'm betting the E6 (my cooker) is fairly inexpensive to run/use. Curious if anyone has done any cost analysis on pellet poopers and coal grills for fuel costs. Not that I'm overly concerned dollars wise, just curious of the math and analysis.
I read a comparison by a pellet manufacturer that said pellets are cheaper fuel. HOWEVER! I don't believe what I read on the internet until I try it for myself. No empirical data but - my 18.5 WSM was cheaper to operate than any of the 3 pellet grills I've owned and one was a portable so not a lot of volume to heat. Using cheap Pit Boss pellets I can get close but not with Weber pellets. The thing is that choosing between a pellet grill and charcoal based on fuel cost is like deciding between a pickup truck and sedan based on gas mileage.
 

C Lewis

TVWBB Super Fan
I read a comparison by a pellet manufacturer that said pellets are cheaper fuel. HOWEVER! I don't believe what I read on the internet until I try it for myself. No empirical data but - my 18.5 WSM was cheaper to operate than any of the 3 pellet grills I've owned and one was a portable so not a lot of volume to heat. Using cheap Pit Boss pellets I can get close but not with Weber pellets. The thing is that choosing between a pellet grill and charcoal based on fuel cost is like deciding between a pickup truck and sedan based on gas mileage.
But Lew, is that using the prices that we used to pay for charcoal, when it would go on sale several times a year? I'm wondering what the cost comparison would be using the current charcoal prices. I've not broken it down to that level yet, but I'm sure I probably will at some point, as I'm a bit of a data junky. :)

Charlie
 

Brett-EDH

TVWBB Pro
The thing is that choosing between a pellet grill and charcoal based on fuel cost is like deciding between a pickup truck and sedan based on gas mileage.
That'd be a silly way to buy a cooker. I am only seeking data to compare. I have my own thoughts, and that's pellets are more expensive for all types of cooks (HAF SAL). I only seek the data; not making any decisions on such data. I am not in the market for anything except a 2nd WSC if one should materialize.
 

Tony P in Florida

TVWBB Member
On a total side note, I have yet to read/see any actual fuel consumed cost comparison between a pellet or coal cooker. I do know that I can cook a dinner for 5 using around 30 briqs with fuel leftover to then start another cook on another day. So I'm betting the E6 (my cooker) is fairly inexpensive to run/use. Curious if anyone has done any cost analysis on pellet poopers and coal grills for fuel costs. Not that I'm overly concerned dollars wise, just curious of the math and analysis.

This guy on youtube, I generally like his videos. Skip to the 16 minute and 22 second mark.


He compares a kamado Joe classic, the kamado pellet joe, traeger Pro 575, and traeger timberline 850.

Here's a down and dirty on the data in case no one wants to view the video.

Based on his test results ( the burn rate of the individual cookers), he then went ahead and calculated what it would cost in terms of the number of 20 lb bags per year based on 10 hours of cooking per week. And that 10 hours is based on one low and slow during the weekend, and one to two short Cooks during the week like steak or chicken.

Kamado Joe classic: 13.5 bags of big block lump (0.52 lb per hour)

Kamado pellet Joe: 13.6 bags of pellets (.52 lb per hour)

Traeger Pro 575: 25 bags of pellets (0.96 lb per hour)

Traeger timberline 850: 36 bags of pellets (1.38 lb per hour)
 
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Brett-EDH

TVWBB Pro
I was all set to spend $1,000 sale price on the ex6. Initially I thought the value was there. Especially compared to some of the competition that was even smaller in size and square inches.


This guy on youtube, I generally like his videos. Skip to the 16 minute and 22 second mark.


He compares a kamado Joe classic, the kamado pellet joe, traeger Pro 575, and traeger timberline 850.

Here's a down and dirty on the data in case no one wants to view the video.

Based on his test results ( the burn rate of the individual cookers), he then went ahead and calculated what it would cost in terms of the number of 20 lb bags per year based on 10 hours of cooking per week. And that 10 hours is based on one low and slow during the weekend, and one to two short Cooks during the week like steak or chicken.

Kamado Joe classic: 13.5 bags of big block lump (0.52 lb per hour)

Kamado pellet Joe: 13.6 bags of pellets (.52 lb per hour)

Traeger Pro 575: 25 bags of pellets (0.96 lb per hour)

Traeger timberline 850: 36 bags of pellets (1.38 lb per hour)
As I suspected, and am not surprised. The 10 hours a week is fairly reasonable. I estimate I grill 3-5x a week and with longer cooks Fri, Sat and/or Sun.

On coals:
JD XL retail is $49.95 /35# = $1.42 per # (i personally do better on price, around $1 #)
Cowboy briq was $9.97 for 28# = $0.35 per #
B&B briq was $13.49 for 17.6 # = $0.77 #
B&B charlogs was $17.99 for 30# = $0.60 #

On Pellets (using Home Depot as generic pricing)
Traeger 20# bags run around $18.95 = $0.95 per #

I am not expert in pellets so I'll just stop here on their pricing. Feel free to add or expand on this. Some will drop this into a spreadsheet knowing this group. Which is cool with me and TYIA for doing so ;)
 

LKruse

TVWBB Member
What I do think is that if the current model and name cannot gain enough traction for retailers like Home Depot and Ace to have them available and on display because of the bad start,

Strange that you mention ACE not being available as my ACE hardware store has the Weber SmokeFire in stock and that is where I bought mine. I agree Home Depot does not carry them and never has, from what I can tell.
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Strange that you mention ACE not being available as my ACE hardware store has the Weber SmokeFire in stock and that is where I bought mine. I agree Home Depot does not carry them and never has, from what I can tell.
We have relatively small Ace in our little town of Brazil, IN. But that does give them a no-competition local market. They carry quite a few Webers, but no SmokeFire. Meanwhile they have a row of Traeger pellet grills. It makes me sad, but it has to drive the Weber marketing people crazy. If there was a SmokeFire on display at every Ace, that alone would help their market exposure. Home Depot saying “no thank” is an even bigger blow.

I saw where the now publicly held Weber announced that they can hardly keep up with demand for the new Traveler. I got to see one up close at our TVWBB Upper Midwest Meet this summer. Very nice, and obviously fills a niche. But I would think the success (or failure) of their pellet grill entry is more important.
 

Bruno

TVWBB Gold Member
I’m a simple human I always figured these companies pay to have their grills, smokers, and what not displayed. Figured Traeger Teamed up with Home Depot and Weber with Lowe’s.
Don’t really understand why you guys care if it’s in the store. If you want something buy it. The SmokeFire is a well made machine. At $799 the EX4 destroys the ****ty little $600 Traeger I saw at Home Depot.
I get that we are an overthinking group here, but Weber stands by their products, I don’t doubt for a second they will stand by the SmokeFire, I have had amazing customer service with the SmokeFire, WSM, kettles and my GB 26 and the new performer. They make sure you are taken care of.
 

 

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