SmokeFire issues on YouTube.

Brian B Atlanta

TVWBB All-Star
Dave, I have been surfing cause I am bored most of the day trying to find every video or write up on the Smoke Fire and following your experience on your own thread. You seem to be spot on with a lot of your observations which others have experienced. You also have not experienced some other things that have come up or maybe you have. Here is a list of things that I have seen feel free to comment whether you have had the same issues obviously I am mentioning some stuff you brought up already.

1) Controller issues quite a number of them and you mentioned that also really could not walk away from the grill for hours kind of forced to keep an eye on it which kind of defeats the purpose of a pellet grill.
2) Chamber not sealed well there was a video I saw showing the gap so you figured that out so you were not the only one with that problem.
3) Right side of the grill running much hotter than the left side also problem with a high flame on the right side which on one video evens out as it runs but some have had grease problems on the right side as it was not draining the way it should.
4) Complaints about the auger, also pellets in the hopper not flowing freely seem to be getting stuck sometimes if you don't keep an eye on it. Also as you mentioned the way you have to load them can cause pellets spilling all over the place if you are not careful.
5) You are in CA if I am correct some of these people in the colder climate seem to be having more problems on various issues with temp I get it colder but the wind seems to because Weber deciding to vent the grill out the back which I think they are the only ones who do that causing problems also I know one thread I read not the only one mentioned those vents needed to have more of a deflector as they were forced to move the grill around to account for that.
6) The app pretty universal its horrible.

BFletcher, I do kind of agree with some of your comments but my guess most of the first adopters that this is not their first rodeo with a pellet grill not like they don't know how the work of course I could be totally wrong which most of the time I am.
 

Jason in CA

TVWBB All-Star
Four days ago Baby Back Maniac responded to something I said with I don't have a Smoke Fire. I guess since then things have changed. This just popped up for me. Haven't finished watching yet, but here's the video.

 

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
really could not walk away from the grill for hours kind of forced to keep an eye on it which kind of defeats the purpose of a pellet grill
I know that people think having a WiFi-enabled controller means you can walk away from your grill and run errands, whether we're talking about SmokeFire or just a WSM outfitted with a ThermoWorks Signals + Billows temp controller...but you're NEVER supposed to leave your grilling running unattended. From the SmokeFire manual:
Someone familiar with the operation of the grill must be in close proximity of the grill in order to address any emergencies that could arise. Do not leave the grill unattended.
Weber deciding to vent the grill out the back which I think they are the only ones who do that
Traeger Ironwood and Timberline grills have the Traeger Downdraft Exhaust System which exhausts out the back of the cooking chamber.
 

Brian B Atlanta

TVWBB All-Star
Chris, thanks for clarifying that really just trying to learn as much as I can about these pellet grills like others. Birthday in October so we will see. curious is the Traeger's you mention a different design.
 

Dave - Unixadm

TVWBB Super Fan
Dave, I have been surfing cause I am bored most of the day trying to find every video or write up on the Smoke Fire and following your experience on your own thread. You seem to be spot on with a lot of your observations which others have experienced. You also have not experienced some other things that have come up or maybe you have. Here is a list of things that I have seen feel free to comment whether you have had the same issues obviously I am mentioning some stuff you brought up already.

1) Controller issues quite a number of them and you mentioned that also really could not walk away from the grill for hours kind of forced to keep an eye on it which kind of defeats the purpose of a pellet grill.
2) Chamber not sealed well there was a video I saw showing the gap so you figured that out so you were not the only one with that problem.
3) Right side of the grill running much hotter than the left side also problem with a high flame on the right side which on one video evens out as it runs but some have had grease problems on the right side as it was not draining the way it should.
4) Complaints about the auger, also pellets in the hopper not flowing freely seem to be getting stuck sometimes if you don't keep an eye on it. Also as you mentioned the way you have to load them can cause pellets spilling all over the place if you are not careful.
5) You are in CA if I am correct some of these people in the colder climate seem to be having more problems on various issues with temp I get it colder but the wind seems to because Weber deciding to vent the grill out the back which I think they are the only ones who do that causing problems also I know one thread I read not the only one mentioned those vents needed to have more of a deflector as they were forced to move the grill around to account for that.
6) The app pretty universal its horrible.

BFletcher, I do kind of agree with some of your comments but my guess most of the first adopters that this is not their first rodeo with a pellet grill not like they don't know how the work of course I could be totally wrong which most of the time I am.
1. Thanks!
2. Ditto!
3. I have not noticed a temperature difference right to left (the ribs I cooked laying across the chamber seemed to cook evenly), but I do know what they meant about a big flame coming out the right side of the fire pot. I was surprised how aggressive the flame was during burn in up to 600 degrees.
4. I've not had an issue with the auger, however I have had the pellets not sliding cleanly into the auger hole. To be fair, I've had this happen on many other pellet smokers, but none of them had the large ramp like the Smokefire does. I might try putting some food safe wax (like cutting board wax) on the chute to see if it helps reduce friction.
5. The temp control is odd. Sometimes it's spot on, other times it's slow to heat or maintains a distance from the set point.
6. Agree. It's very basic.
 

Tony-Chicago

TVWBB Fan
I am concerned with wind effecting the vent
2. Temp control seems to be better at higher temps. Indicating production or simple heat loss issues.

Let's hope all is perfected and the rush is stopped. I want a brisket machine and a well made/designed tool. Fiem up the cooker, add plenty for stout, and change the software to make it simple and absolutely fool-proof
 

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
4. I've not had an issue with the auger, however I have had the pellets not sliding cleanly into the auger hole. To be fair, I've had this happen on many other pellet smokers...
That's interesting. I was wondering if this log jam phenomenon was unique to this grill or not. This problem has already been solved by the designers of the refrigerator ice maker. It needs one of those offset whirligigs that spins around, breaking up ice in the storage bin so it dispenses through the auger and out the door!
44E81438-CB7A-4846-BEB2-6B6BFCD8340D.jpeg
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
Well this is a sad way to get started, especially after all the anticipation. I haven’t had time to watch the videos, but reading all these posts I see several separate things to consider: (1) There certainly seems to be software issues, not just the app but the algorithms that control the reactions to temperature changes, etc. (2) Weber tried to bite off a lot with new innovative design features but appears to have also been racing to get this thing out the door. This is a recipe for plenty of teething issues. (3) The expectations for this grill were really high, so any shortcomings are quickly pointed out. I haven’t seen one yet, so I guess I have to withhold final judgment. Still, the pictures I have looked at overall show a stylish nice looking grill for the mid level price category it competes in. The caulking doesn’t really bother me, although my Rec Tec doesn’t have that. Those who have received grills with poorly fitting lids I do agree have some justifiable grievances.

I still feel we shouldn’t over-react to these videos even as I understand the frustration some of you early buyers are expressing. I am not ready to write off this product. If I had one on order I would still follow through and get it.

Having said that, I would not be as enthusiastic about pellet grills if my Rec Tec had exhibited this many issues. I have never had it flame out, the auger jam or experienced wild temperature swings. In fact, I can only remember one time it struggled a little to get right back to the set temperature. Usually it sticks there like glue. The app is the picture of simplicity and works like a charm. And while I admit that Chris is right about unattended grills, I have monitored mine from my office (just down the street) and even church (also within an easy walk). My Rec Tec has given me great service and made me really like pellet grill cooking.
 

Lynn Dollar

TVWBB All-Star
Baby Back Maniac with new vid, sounds like he got his problems solved, mostly. And interestingly, he found the probe port, which seems to be kept a secret , or something .

 

Lynn Dollar

TVWBB All-Star
I wonder if the issue of the pellets not sliding down the box to the augur , is just with the 36" . Maybe the 24" has a steeper incline due to having a shorter width ?
 

ShaneF

TVWBB Fan
I have the 24” and have the exact same problem. I had a flameout 4 hours into a brisket cook, just like BBM described, I looked in the pellet box, it looked almost full, touched the pellets over the auger and had a big collapse filling in a void below. f think the hoppers, augers, firepots are exactly the same between the two models.
 

Bruno

TVWBB Pro
Well BBM’s video has given me some hope, also huge help from Dave W as well. As of right now the plan is to put the EX6 together when it gets here.
 

Bruno

TVWBB Pro
Baby Back Maniac with new vid, sounds like he got his problems solved, mostly. And interestingly, he found the probe port, which seems to be kept a secret , or something .
Lynn, I laughed when I read your comment, I saw the video before checking in here and when BBM showed the probe port I thought why the hell is this the first time I’ve seen this. I’m glad the notch is there.
My plan is to use the EX6 un-modded until I decide if it’s a keeper.
 
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ShaneF

TVWBB Fan
My problem with their 'port' is that if you rearrange food at all, you can move the wires and end up pinching them in the lid. Just one more thing to check every time you close the lid...had they put a little guide/clip there to keep wires from moving, maybe that would be better.
 

Bruno

TVWBB Pro
My problem with their 'port' is that if you rearrange food at all, you can move the wires and end up pinching them in the lid. Just one more thing to check every time you close the lid...had they put a little guide/clip there to keep wires from moving, maybe that would be better.
Truth be told the right way is Dave’s way, Weber should have stuck 2 grommets in there.
 

russ olin

TVWBB Diamond Member
It's a single slot located lower on the back of the cooking chamber. Some nonsense about forcing smoke to exit below where your food is cooked.
Chris, I don't agree that having the air vent below the grate is nonsense at all. Hasty Bake has their vent on the sides of their smoker grills about 2 inches below the grate. I've had a little over 5 years now. Any why it isn't great for higher elevations where I live because of the air flow design. but on low & slow cooks it flat can kick some tail. The smoke & heat circle around the meat & has to find its way out the vents below the cooking grate. I believe that they started a couple of years before Weber came out & they still have the same design today. For the record; a lot of Pellet Poopers cookers will use a dryer vent hose & stuff it inside the chimney on their pellet cookers, then let the open end of the hose lay flat on the grate. Once again the purpose not let the heat & smoke fly out the chimney. It forces the heat & smoke around the grate to find its way out of the cooker. A pro tip from the pro's. As far as the Weber's new exhaust system isn't gonna work on my deck in the breeze we have every day here. More air would blow into the exhaust than heat would come out.
 

Dustin Dorsey

TVWBB Platinum Member
I don't like the idea of the low vent. I guess it can work, but I've had a food out of a reverse flow insulated cabinet smoker where the smoke has to go down to go up and it tasted like an ashtray. That's a system that already has low airflow, though. A pellet smoker should move air pretty well with that fan either way I'd think.
 

Dave - Unixadm

TVWBB Super Fan
When I made ribs with the EX6 the other day, the smoke flavor was great. I think the way the fire pot blows half burnt pellets out and they smolder in the bottom helps a lot with this. The lack of a drip pan helps to better encapsulate whatever you're cooking with more smoke. The Smokefire might have some issues, but smoke output is not one of them IMO.
 

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