Weber Pellet Grill

Richard Garcia

TVWBB Super Fan
Far cheaper than a high quality new pellet grill is an ATC and some gaskets for your WSM 18.5". I almost bought a new Rec Tec earlier this year. I had given up on my WSM 22.5" because even an ATC could not contain its temp swings, and like you, I was tired of chasing temps on long cooks. Instead, I refreshed and renewed my 22.5" wsm with gaskets, new dampers, new door and a lid hinge. Now that all of the leaks are plugged, my ATC can hold the temp constant. It is almost as easy as a pellet grill; only firing it up is more work.

My ATC is a Stoker (no longer selling new units, just parts), but BBQ Guru, Thermoworks, and others sell excellent ATCs. If you are an electronic DIY'er, you can even build a heatermeter yourself. The current generation ATCs let you monitor and control a WSM remotely so overnight cooks no longer need to wait for the weekend.
Time to refresh my WSM 18" "Classic" that I bought new in the year 2008. Question, where did you place the gaskets and what type of lid hinge? Also, did you also replace the Lid damper?
 

J Grotz

TVWBB Pro
Time to refresh my WSM 18" "Classic" that I bought new in the year 2008. Question, where did you place the gaskets and what type of lid hinge? Also, did you also replace the Lid damper?
I installed gaskets for the lid and the door. I did not install a gasket for the middle section/bottom bowl interface. Here is a great thread with pictures on installing gaskets:

https://tvwbb.com/showthread.php?55072-THoey-s-WSM-Mod-Thread

I chose the unknown BBQ hinge:

https://unknownbbq.com/product/custom-wsm-hinge/

I have not replaced my top damper yet. The damper kit I bought from Weber only included three dampers for the bottom bowl. My top damper is very loose. I plan on carefully drilling out the rivet and installing a nut & bolt to tighten it up. I'm waiting until after Super Bowl to do that in case I fubar the damper and need to order a new one.

I did a pair of small rib roasts in the WSM for an after Christmas dinner party using Jealous Devil lump and post oak. It was smokey perfection. One of the guests was a Traeger user (I've had many delicious meals from her Traeger) and she wanted to know how to get so much smokey goodness into her cooks. I told her I didn't think it was possible, but she could try cooking her next roast at <200 degrees for an extended time to maximize smoke production.
 

Robert McGee

TVWBB Gold Member
One thing I have never seen mentioned. How much does it cost to run a pellet smoker. Pellets aren't cheap and I have no idea how many lbs. of pellets are used in a long cook.

Can anyone help me?

Keep on smokin',
Dale53:wsm:
 

Bruce

TVWBB Olympian
Geez, I saw an estimate posted somewhere and i think it was about 20 hours for a full hopper on one of the Weber Smokefire grills. I think the hopper has about a 20 lb capacity as well. I would guess that temperature has something to do with it as well.
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
My experience is that for low and slow - say 225 - pellets do last at that rate. If you crank it up to full speed then consumption does go up significantly. I think pellet grills are relatively cost competitive for bbq, but grilling steaks would be cheaper on a gas grill, especially something like a Weber Q.
 

Lew Newby

TVWBB All-Star
This is from a pellet grill article on Steven Raichlen's site. "Under normal circumstances, a pellet grill will use about 1/2 pound of pellets per hour on the smoke setting and 2-1/2 pounds on high." The article didn't cite any reference for those figures. Smoke setting on my Controller is 180° and high is 500°. Just like Charcoal smokers consumption rate depends on many variables. My experience is that the numbers cited in the article are close for my Rec Tec Mini, a portable grill, but low for my Camp Chef PG24 with the same Rec Tec controller retro fitted in it but with almost double the volume to keep at temperature. At 250-275 the Camp Chef burns about 1 lb./hr. here in Florida and since I buy cheap Pit Boss pellets it costs me about 25 cents per hour on long cooks, less when smoking Beef Jerky and more when cooking chicken.
 

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Thanks for sharing that Lew. I suspect it will cost a little more pellet vs. charcoal, but for the ease and convenience I think it will be worth it. For barbequing that takes longer to do not being tethered to a smoker will be nice, also having room to do multiple racks of ribs without stuffing them into the 18.5 WSM will be nice also.
 

Bruce

TVWBB Olympian
Where exactly is the Smokefire going to be sold retail? The only places I have seen are Amazon and Lowes. Nothing on Target, Ace Hardware, or Home Depot. I suppose they could be waiting to list them after they get them in stock, but even if they are not going to offer "Pre-Order", I would think they would have a "Coming Soon" listing up by now.
 

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I think Weber may be in trouble with a lot of retailers as their products were not selling well (overpriced?). Many maybe not interested, they are going to wait and see if this takes off first.
 

J Grotz

TVWBB Pro
I read somewhere that Lowe’s and Amazon are the exclusive retailers initially. So I figure they paid extra for that. Once the pre-orders are fulfilled (or whenever the exclusive period ends), Smokefires will be available in other retailers.
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
Wasn’t one of the early “reveals” from an upcoming Ace catalogue? I would be very surprised if Ace isn’t on that list as well. Around me the largest of the three Ace stores in a 15 mile radius, is the retailer with the widest selection of Weber grills and supplies - much more than at Lowe’s or Home Depot.
 

Bruce

TVWBB Olympian
Yah, but if you do a search on Ace's web site, they don't have any Smokefires listed...not even "coming soon".
 

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Might be that Weber wants a limited amount of SmokeFires out there initially to limit their exposure if something goes south. Those that have used them are pretty much grill experts, when the general public gets hold of them there may be some issues that the experts didn't see.
 

JKalchik

TVWBB Pro
Yah, but if you do a search on Ace's web site, they don't have any Smokefires listed...not even "coming soon".
I found out a couple of weeks ago that the owner of the local Ace did know about the Smokefire, IIRC, he mentioned seeing it at a convention a few months ago. He didn't have any availability info.
 

Bruce

TVWBB Olympian
Seems like the market is expanding fast. Maybe too fast. It will take some time for all these companies to either find their niche or soon drop out. Once the Pellet grill fervor dies down, sales will begin to slow and level off and several of these makers will fall by the wayside. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next 4 or 5 years and how it affects the other grill markets.
 

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