TrendKill posted a goodSmokeFire🔥 video.

Lew Newby

TVWBB Wizard
I hadn't seen his videos until he got his second SF. He said something I can really identify with. It does everything I wanted it to do. My Performer was my grill but now I have the EX6 and it's my grill. I'm also not great about regular cleaning but the 600° burn out prevents problems before a hot cook. His first SF had the original software but now he's operating with the latest update. I suspect, but don't know for a fact, that the software has been responsible for a lot of the problems the grill had and still has. I know some people like to blame flameouts and burn problems on pellets and the mechanical side of pellet feed. I've read folks experiences, have a solid engineering background, have written code, and I've had a burn problem myself and that's what I base my blasphemous suspicion on. The hardware in the fuel feed system is not a radical departure from other pellet grills but the software can really mess with things and PID isn't as simple as some think. The software has been improved substantially but I suspect that it will be 2021 before Weber gets it where they want it to be. That's my story and I'm stickin to it. 😁
 

ShaneF

TVWBB Fan
The feed system cannot feed what’s not in the chute, so it’s not always software. The shallow slope with the finger guard right on the chute opening creates bridging at times, that cannot be corrected with software. There have definitely been a lot of issues addressed in software and it still remains to be seen if more problems start cropping up when the weather turns cold again. This thing came out in the dead of Winter. Problems seemed to lessen as the weather warmed, but that’s hard to correlate scientifically since updates came out too.

Don’t take my comments the wrong way, I have a SmokeFire again and love it. It has come a long way since it was released. First thing I did on this one was lube the slide and remove the finger guard and have not had any feed problems. Same model before had multiple flameouts due to bridging. I’ve only run Weber pellets through both.
 

Lew Newby

TVWBB Wizard
The feed system cannot feed what’s not in the chute, so it’s not always software. The shallow slope with the finger guard right on the chute opening creates bridging at times, that cannot be corrected with software. There have definitely been a lot of issues addressed in software and it still remains to be seen if more problems start cropping up when the weather turns cold again. This thing came out in the dead of Winter. Problems seemed to lessen as the weather warmed, but that’s hard to correlate scientifically since updates came out too.

Don’t take my comments the wrong way, I have a SmokeFire again and love it. It has come a long way since it was released. First thing I did on this one was lube the slide and remove the finger guard and have not had any feed problems. Same model before had multiple flameouts due to bridging. I’ve only run Weber pellets through both.
I didn't say the software was the only culprit but I'm convinced it's a big one. I think you're seeing what I'm seeing. Remove the finger guard and make the pellet ramp slicker and the pellets feed just fine. I used UHMW tape and you did your thing. Mechanical flaw mitigated. My glitch was a 60° drop in pit temp. with a pellet feed problem. The chute was full, pellets were waiting to drop, but the auger wasn't running. I sat and watch the smoke and listened for activity. I still had fire. After 15 min. the auger motor kicked on and the fan ramped up. It finally reacted to a temp 60° below set temp. 2 minutes later the pit temp was back to 250. I think what caused that 15 minute delay was the software. I could be wrong. You're spot on about what occurred as the weather warmed. It will be interesting to see winter performance.
 

ShaneF

TVWBB Fan
Lew, I do agree that a lot of the early issues were software and I think the reason they won’t send me a new welded chute is because it was their shutdown algorithm more than the chute, backing up too much during shutdown. I misread your comment as saying all the issues were all software. I still think there’s room for improvement in the firmware as I’ve noticed sometimes it’s 10-15 minutes after I increase the temp before it finally decides to start dumping more pellets to do so.

Isn‘t the software based on June OS? So, they started with the logic for a smart oven in a pellet grill? The mobile app is much better than it was in Jan/Feb, but I still think all the others I’ve seen are better, simpler, and more intuitive. I’ve had GMG, Memphis, Traeger, and Camp Chef.
 

Lew Newby

TVWBB Wizard
I hadn’t heard about the smart oven logic but it makes sense. That delay you’ve had and the delayed response I had point to the software to me. The only WiFi controller I’ve had is the Rec Tec and it’s what you said about the other controllers. I put one in my Camp Chef. I’m going to ride mine with the original hardware as long as it doesn’t give me a problem. Like you I am delighted with the great tasting food I’ve gotten off the SF. I hope Weber gets the App and firmware reliable and user friendly soon but it will probably take longer than we want.
 

Andrew-Dollins

TVWBB Member
I have developed my own PID controller for pitboss grills. Let me just say when you introduce variable speed fans to a pellet grill it can have some unintended consequences. I adapted the controller from my charcoal grill controller. Let’s just keep it simple there are many adaptations Weber made that allow a variable speed fan. The pellet slide is one of them, if you don’t constantly pump pellets and lots of air into the treager style fire pots you can and will get auger fires. Also the ash production changes when you run a rich pellet to air ratio. The ash becomes thicker, and will absorb more moisture from the burning pellets. This cause a pile of ash to reach the mid point of the pellet tube which will propagate fire back into the auger. The rich pellet to air ratios do get you more smoke, at lower temps. However to avoid auger fires you need a pellet slide.
 

Andrew-Dollins

TVWBB Member
The slow response of the grill temperature thermocouple is due to filtering, I suspect it is an exponential filter. The filter is there so your grill’s PID doesn’t go crazy every time you open the lid and over stoke the fire. On a charcoal grill you can simply stop the fan when you see a rapid temperature drop. Pellet grills you don’t really want to ever stop the fan, slow it down yes but stopping airflow can lead to flameouts.
 

Andrew-Dollins

TVWBB Member
Trendkill was upset that his EX6 let him down. So he sold it and tried to replace it with another grill. After doing that and experiencing all that other grills had to offer he realized that no other grill can replace the EX6 Smoke Fire warts and all. So he got another EX6 smoke fire to replace the hole that his previous EX6 filled. I cannot comment about the EX6 but my EX4 Smoke Fire has a special place on my patio because of its capabilities of making great tasting food isn't that why we are all here?
 

LKruse

TVWBB Member
Yes - great tasting food without tons of hassle as compared to the Big Green Egg. The quick ramp-up of temperature, great flavors, and an excellent controller when compared to other grills. I am not picky about the temperature in various locations on the grill just so long as it is reasonably close.

For long cooks, I can see the SF being simpler to maintain and don't mind stirring the pellets. SF is way easier to maintain temperature when compared to the BGE, as I would be up at various times of the night ensuring there were no temperature drops/spikes.
 

Andrew-Dollins

TVWBB Member
On my Kamado Joe, I have a charcoal temperature controller so it doesn't ever dip on temps unless there is no more charcoal left to burn. My problem with my Kamado is that it will not snap from one temperature setting to another. Even with a temperature controller, it is like a battleship it takes about an hour to get to a stable temperature and smoke quality. It will hold that for as long as it has fuel and wood to burn. The smoke fire will snap from 200 smoke mode to 600f in 10 minutes or less. Great for doing whole birds steaks, and burgers.
 

Andrew-Dollins

TVWBB Member
The question I am doing a brisket tomorrow for work should I put it on the smoke fire or my pit boss modified with my very own homegrown pellet master controller. Here are the issues the smoke fire has a pellet bridging issue. The pellet master after 12 hours will cause auger fires. I can mitigate either issue, the smoke fire I can stir the pellets after 8 hours. The pellet master I can turn up the minimum fan speed so it will blow out the ash it produces. Decisions decisions.
 

Lew Newby

TVWBB Wizard
The question I am doing a brisket tomorrow for work should I put it on the smoke fire or my pit boss modified with my very own homegrown pellet master controller. Here are the issues the smoke fire has a pellet bridging issue. The pellet master after 12 hours will cause auger fires. I can mitigate either issue, the smoke fire I can stir the pellets after 8 hours. The pellet master I can turn up the minimum fan speed so it will blow out the ash it produces. Decisions decisions.
No brainer. Go with the one that gives better flavor. For me, the Smokefire wins in a photo finish. :)
 

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