SmokeFire’s back on sale! 🔥


 

Darian Hofer

TVWBB Fan
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)
Interesting review. Basically well insulated cookers vs minimal insulated cookers.
The 2 Kamado grills were very comparable lump vs pellet. Theses 2 seem like a good comparison lump vs pellet.
The 2 Traeger pellet grills are a good comparison of Kamado vs Pellet and the extra pellet weight it takes to use the 850 over the 575. Great read, thanks for posting.
 

Brian B Atlanta

TVWBB Wizard
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.
Actually as I have said in Atlanta no Lowes no HD which never carried it nor my Ace. You want Ace to carry them why should they deal with it they have Traeger no need for competing pellet grills and deal with the inventory.

There was no doubt in my mind the Traveler would be a hit argue for the Q's all you want but it has style like the Smokefire does and the next generation including me at 67 likes style as long as the product works.
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Hall of Fame
I know what you are saying, Brian, but Weber desperately needs exposure for the SmokeFire. I am sure they try, but they need to use all the leverage they can to convince (compel?!!) retailers they allow to carry their products to have at least one SmokeFire on display. If they can’t, I don’t see the SmokeFire surviving.
 

Brian B Atlanta

TVWBB Wizard
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.
Why care I am sure Weber cares how would you expect to grow market share when hardly anyone can actually see one. They can't make a living on people on the forums who are enthusiasts since how many people buying a grill are actually on a forum as a member google your friend I get it. Don't forget Traeger is in Costco also and yes there are Weber gassers in Costco think they still carry some Q's but how many Travelers could Costco move. Its all about distribution that is the name of the game and yes in the Supermarket business you pay for shelf space and my guess is your correct that the big box stores get paid for grill space also but that means the product needs to move just because you pay for the space if it does not move your not going to be in those stores the following year.
 

Brian B Atlanta

TVWBB Wizard
I know what you are saying, Brian, but Weber desperately needs exposure for the SmokeFire. I am sure they try, but they need to use all the leverage they can to convince (compel?!!) retailers they allow to carry their products to have at least one SmokeFire on display. If they can’t, I don’t see the SmokeFire surviving.
Jon, no offense they don't have any leverage they are public now if they want to give every retailer a free Smokefire for display fine ain't gonna happen. What are you going to say to Home Depot either display the Smokefire or we won't let you sell any of our grills with the response being pound sand by HD. And of course they are public and IMO as well as COOK way over valued at the current prices if HD told Weber to pound sand the stock would drop 20% if not worse in a day so that is never going to happen.
 

Brett-EDH

TVWBB Pro
Jon, no offense they don't have any leverage they are public now if they want to give every retailer a free Smokefire for display fine ain't gonna happen. What are you going to say to Home Depot either display the Smokefire or we won't let you sell any of our grills with the response being pound sand by HD. And of course they are public and IMO as well as COOK way over valued at the current prices if HD told Weber to pound sand the stock would drop 20% if not worse in a day so that is never going to happen.
HD ain’t all that. I hate that store and avoid it like the plague. I bought my E6 from our local platinum Weber dealer (very large annual Weber sales and excellent service). And if it weren’t for them, I’d buy it online and have it delivered. Weber’s D2C sales are growing annually. While the channel is valid, Weber stocks a lot of inventory at local disti centers.

Getting a delivery from HD just sux. They’re horrible on service and the employees hold near zero knowledge. I don’t think the world revolves around HD anymore as a key partners. Just sayin.
 
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Bruno

TVWBB Gold Member
Why care I am sure Weber cares how would you expect to grow market share when hardly anyone can actually see one. They can't make a living on people on the forums who are enthusiasts since how many people buying a grill are actually on a forum as a member google your friend I get it. Don't forget Traeger is in Costco also and yes there are Weber gassers in Costco think they still carry some Q's but how many Travelers could Costco move. Its all about distribution that is the name of the game and yes in the Supermarket business you pay for shelf space and my guess is your correct that the big box stores get paid for grill space also but that means the product needs to move just because you pay for the space if it does not move your not going to be in those stores the following year.
Like I said that has to cost money. Shelf space isn’t free.
 

Shane - glitchy

TVWBB Super Fan
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.

If you do these things, you will take away all the benefits of the SmokeFire. This design is what makes the SmokeFire grill better at high temps than all the other pellet grill in that price area and gives it a better smoke profile. The drip pan design of Traeger, CampChef, Recteq, etc. seriously limits the direct heat and smoke the hits food.

They need to fix the hopper, shore up the firmware (which may already be done since I gave up…but don’t fail like Oct 20 - Feb 21 ever again), and give it a new look and name to overcome the bad impression. maybe they could change the grease to drain to 2 drawers on the outer edges instead of right under the fire too. That way when ash and grease mix and clog it the grease pools are at the ends of the barrel instead of by the fire.
 

DanHoo

TVWBB Pro
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 ;)
The Pellets I've bought have been closer to 50 cents a pound, and on sale more like 42 cents a pound. Normal not on sale price is $12 or $13 for a 20 lb bag. I don't buy traeger or weber Pellets.
 

Tony P in Florida

TVWBB Member
If you do these things, you will take away all the benefits of the SmokeFire. This design is what makes the SmokeFire grill better at high temps than all the other pellet grill in that price area and gives it a better smoke profile. The drip pan design of Traeger, CampChef, Recteq, etc. seriously limits the direct heat and smoke the hits food.

They need to fix the hopper, shore up the firmware (which may already be done since I gave up…but don’t fail like Oct 20 - Feb 21 ever again), and give it a new look and name to overcome the bad impression. maybe they could change the grease to drain to 2 drawers on the outer edges instead of right under the fire too. That way when ash and grease mix and clog it the grease pools are at the ends of the barrel instead of by the fire.

Yup, all points. the main feature, I think, with the smoke fire was it was able to hit 600°. Which is unbelievable for a pellet grill to hit that Mark on such a large surface area.

It'll be interesting to see how weber solves the problems. I think the two grease drawers on the outer edges of the Cook area is probably what they'll do first. That seems like a good design solution.
 

Tony P in Florida

TVWBB Member
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)

Something is wrong.

He stated that the traeger Pro 575 requires 25 bags of pellets. The timberline 850 requires 36 bags.

But the timberline has a cookbox dimension of 22x16 (per bbqguys) And is double wall insulated inside the entire cook chamber meaning the sides the bottom and the lid.

The pro 575 has a cookbox dimension of 22x19 (per bbqguys). And offers no double walled insulation.

So how can a comparable sized cookbox with insulation need 50% more pellets?

Unless I am missing something, calls into question is data.
 

Lew Newby

TVWBB Guru
Something is wrong.

He stated that the traeger Pro 575 requires 25 bags of pellets. The timberline 850 requires 36 bags.

But the timberline has a cookbox dimension of 22x16 (per bbqguys) And is double wall insulated inside the entire cook chamber meaning the sides the bottom and the lid.

The pro 575 has a cookbox dimension of 22x19 (per bbqguys). And offers no double walled insulation.

So how can a comparable sized cookbox with insulation need 50% more pellets?

Unless I am missing something, calls into question is data.
I don’t trust his numbers either. The Timberline has a little more volume to heat because the barrel is more oval than round but not 50% more and the Timberline is insulated.
 

Brian B Atlanta

TVWBB Wizard
HD ain’t all that. I hate that store and avoid it like the plague. I bought my E6 from our local platinum Weber dealer (very large annual Weber sales and excellent service). And if it weren’t for them, I’d buy it online and have it delivered. Weber’s D2C sales are growing annually. While the channel is valid, Weber stocks a lot of inventory at local disti centers.

Getting a delivery from HD just sux. They’re horrible on service and the employees hold near zero knowledge. I don’t think the world revolves around HD anymore as a key partners. Just sayin.
Brett, if you don't care for HD that is fine but saying HD ain't all that when they have 2300 stores of which 1992 are in the US with the balance in Mexico and Canada. They are still a large very large channel whether you like them or not. Costco has about 700 stores of which 564 are in the US so between them and HD that is 2,556 stores in the US alone. Lowes has about 1,721 stores in the US how many of them carry the Smokefire I really don't know seems to be a regional thing.

To Jon's point lets just be silly for a moment if Weber was able to convince HD and Costco to carry the Smokefire which I doubt they would damage their relationship with Traeger but lets just say they did and stocked 5 grills a store not a big number all of sudden thats 12,780 Smokefire units that Weber shipped or booked or whatever not a small number. No idea how many they could sell because they were in stock and on display.
 

Darian Hofer

TVWBB Fan
Something is wrong.

He stated that the traeger Pro 575 requires 25 bags of pellets. The timberline 850 requires 36 bags.

But the timberline has a cookbox dimension of 22x16 (per bbqguys) And is double wall insulated inside the entire cook chamber meaning the sides the bottom and the lid.

The pro 575 has a cookbox dimension of 22x19 (per bbqguys). And offers no double walled insulation.

So how can a comparable sized cookbox with insulation need 50% more pellets?

Unless I am missing something, calls into question is data.
I think his findings show you how inefficient most pellet grills operate. A Kamado style smoker uses ceramics, a great insulation material. This means it takes minimal airflow and fuel to maintain temps.
Pellet grills, even if insulated, are nothing in comparison. But the main issue is how a pellet grill works in comparison. The pellet fire heat is stoked and forced through the cooker and out the vents or stack at a much faster rate. So much warm air is wasted in this process. Insulation in a pellet grill is not very efficient because hot air is pushed out faster. So I think the large 850, even insulated, will still burn a noticeable amount more than the smaller 575. Just the nature of fan driven, circulated heat.
 

Shane - glitchy

TVWBB Super Fan
I think his findings show you how inefficient most pellet grills operate. A Kamado style smoker uses ceramics, a great insulation material. This means it takes minimal airflow and fuel to maintain temps.
Pellet grills, even if insulated, are nothing in comparison. But the main issue is how a pellet grill works in comparison. The pellet fire heat is stoked and forced through the cooker and out the vents or stack at a much faster rate. So much warm air is wasted in this process. Insulation in a pellet grill is not very efficient because hot air is pushed out faster. So I think the large 850, even insulated, will still burn a noticeable amount more than the smaller 575. Just the nature of fan driven, circulated heat.

Having had a couple insulated pellet grills and several that were not, my experience has been insulated pellet grills generally burn a lot less pellets The insulated cookers I’ve had were the largest except for a Traeger Texas. My MAK is not double wall insulated, but the design of the flamezone essentially makes the bottom half of the grill perform as such. It is one of the top 2, if not the most efficient pellet grill I’ve owned and can have around 1500 sq inches of cooking space with all the racks installed. My EX4 seemed to burn the most pellets out of all the grills I had. Leaky grills burn more pellets to replace lost heat.

I think picking a grill based upon the efficiency of the fuel source seems strange. In general a Kamado is going to win that every time. Except when you’re going for high heat, you’re going to fill a chimney to cook a few steaks, but might only use a couple pounds of pellets. In that regard, I cooked 5-6 meals on my Traveler on a single one pound LP can, so it beats them all 🤪 However, the flavor from it cannot touch my MAK or my WSCG.
 

Tony P in Florida

TVWBB Member
I think his findings show you how inefficient most pellet grills operate. A Kamado style smoker uses ceramics, a great insulation material. This means it takes minimal airflow and fuel to maintain temps.
Pellet grills, even if insulated, are nothing in comparison. But the main issue is how a pellet grill works in comparison. The pellet fire heat is stoked and forced through the cooker and out the vents or stack at a much faster rate. So much warm air is wasted in this process. Insulation in a pellet grill is not very efficient because hot air is pushed out faster. So I think the large 850, even insulated, will still burn a noticeable amount more than the smaller 575. Just the nature of fan driven, circulated heat.

So I read your post twice. the volume of the timberline 850 is about the same as the volume in the Pro 575.. but the timberline is slightly larger volume but certainly not 50% larger. Timberline is insulated on all sides. The pro is not.

based on the air being pushed around, do you think that the timberline is less efficient because it has that downdraft in the back of the grill, whereas the pro has a single stack for air to escape?

After I reread your post, it soundrd like that is the main reason of the inefficiency of the timberline. And it looks like paying extra for insulated double wall on all sides is a waste of money in this example.
 

Lew Newby

TVWBB Guru
Guys, this isn't something that is simply solved, it's complex, and just talking about heat loss through the vents ignores a huge heat sink that constantly sucks heat out of the cook chamber. The entire outside surface area of the 575 constantly radiates a ton of heat - just like a WSM. Wrap an insulated blanket around a WSM and, son of a gun, it's more efficient. It's all governed by Thermodynamics and that stuff is complicated. When I run my EX6 at 600 degrees the edge of my wood shelf gets up to 375 degrees using my laser therm. to measure. That's constant heat loss. An insulated cooker is more efficient that one that isn't insulated and the type of vents doesn't change that. .
 

Darian Hofer

TVWBB Fan
So I read your post twice. the volume of the timberline 850 is about the same as the volume in the Pro 575.. but the timberline is slightly larger volume but certainly not 50% larger. Timberline is insulated on all sides. The pro is not.

based on the air being pushed around, do you think that the timberline is less efficient because it has that downdraft in the back of the grill, whereas the pro has a single stack for air to escape?

After I reread your post, it soundrd like that is the main reason of the inefficiency of the timberline. And it looks like paying extra for insulated double wall on all sides is a waste of money in this example.
Maybe the 850 uses a slightly larger fan as well. But I think the slightly larger cook box still takes more fuel to stabilize even if it’s minimally insulated.
As Lew said, insulation is good no matter what. But what is that insulation value?
In order for a pellet grill to cook evenly, the air has to be forced around by a fan bringing in fresh air. So air also has to be forced out. Doing so at such a high rate, on top of natural draft, means the insulation really doesn’t have time to be very efficient.
Does it help, yes, of course. Does a thin layer of insulation make a BIG difference in a pellet smoker, no. But I bet the colder it is outside when you’re cooking the more benefit the insulation will provide.
But I would really like to see the pellet use difference between EX4 and EX6. Let’s compare apples to apples.
 

Darian Hofer

TVWBB Fan
Some of the pellet smokers advertise having newer control boxes such as “D2” that have adaptive learning.
Does the E4 and E6 have this or is just low temp…spit pellets…high temp…stop spitting pellets.
I know when you open the lid on E6, the temp drops, and it just constantly drops pellets. Wish it at least had “open lid detection“.
 

Lew Newby

TVWBB Guru
Some of the pellet smokers advertise having newer control boxes such as “D2” that have adaptive learning.
Does the E4 and E6 have this or is just low temp…spit pellets…high temp…stop spitting pellets.
I know when you open the lid on E6, the temp drops, and it just constantly drops pellets. Wish it at least had “open lid detection“.
Is D2 a technology or marketing term for someone's PID controller? SmokeFire has a PID controller but the software needs work.
 

 

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