SmokeFire vs Traeger Pellet Grill


TVWBB Member
SmokeFire Vs Traeger Pellet Grill

This competition blindsided me early Saturday with an early morning call around 9:10 AM from my sister. She proposed cooking some baby back ribs that she would provide on the SmokeFire and on her Traeger. There would be no sauces applied before or afterward and only light salt & pepper would be applied to the ribs prior to cooking. I have never cooked ribs on my SF and I was a little apprehensive about this competition as this was my first somewhat long cook.

So, I am out early morning trying to find some pellets. There was no stipulation on the type of pellet used. I bought Traeger mesquite pellets while my sister used Traeger Gourmet Blend. I know I posted elsewhere that I would be buying B&B pellets next time but knowing how the Traeger mesquite pellets tasted, I wanted to go with a known value for the contest. I do plan on switching to B&B pellets.

My sister arrived around 11:30 AM and the ribs went on shortly afterward. I did not wait until the SF reached 200 degrees but placed them on immediately to get all the smoke. I was hesitant about leaving the SF but we went to lunch and did some shopping and returned at 2:00. My sister left to go check on her ribs. Upon my return, the SF was rock steady at 200 degrees which I am not accustomed to with my BGE. The following is the cooking method we used:

Sister provided a pan which I used as she was using one on her Traeger. The pan looked similar to this on Amazon: HTTP://

2 - 2 - 1 Baby Back Ribs:
  1. Smoke the ribs at 180 degrees for 3 hours (meat side up). Since the SmokeFire would not go as low as 180 degrees we agreed that I would set min at 200 degrees and shortened my time to 2-1/2 hours due to my temperature setting. Later, I read the SmokeBoost temperature setting was between 180 and 200.

  2. Wrap the ribs in foil and cook the ribs for an additional 2 hours at 225 degrees.

  3. Remove the ribs from the foil and smoke for an additional 30 minutes. This original recipe called for adding sauce to the ribs at this time and cooking until the sauce tightened up on the ribs - in our competition no sauce would be used.

Winner: Weber SmokeFire

To my astonishment, the SF ribs were much more tender and easily pulled away from the bone. The SF ribs were a lot more succulent/juicy and my daughter which never had ribs before said the ribs had a touch of honey flavor. She had to be interpreting the mesquite smoke for the honey taste.

KUDOS to Weber for developing a great GRILL/SMOKER!

Lew Newby

TVWBB Wizard
Well done Sir. The design of the SmokeFire coupled with their controller algorithm seems to make better tasting food. I assume your sister is now a believer. :)


TVWBB Member
Glad it turned put well. Was worried that mesquite would be too strong. Well done.

I would say it was a tad strong but we do like mesquite very much and it left my daughter wanting more. My sister used Traeger Gourmet Blend and we could not taste any flavor. With this cooking process, this left hers dry and tough on the Traeger. I am guessing hers needed more cook time to make them tender but they were already dry so I don't know.


TVWBB Member
I don't know if the smoke fire algorithm is the winner here. I think the grill design is what you need to look at. First, the Smokefire employs a chute pellet feed system. This allows the fan to run at slower speeds without causing an auger fire. The Traeger cannot slow down the fan speed too much otherwise the pellets in the auger will start burning because of the low airflow in the burn pot. Next, the Traeger has a big heat deflector, which causes the smoke and heat to have to travel around that mass of metal to reach the meat. It takes a lot of energy to heat it up and releases a lot of energy to cool it down. Additionally, the smoke cannot just go up and kiss the meat it must make a meandering trip to reach the meat. The smoke will most likely just go out the stack without kissing the meat on a Traeger.