which smokey joe?


 

jeff davidson

TVWBB Super Fan
Hi,

Once our kids graduated college and I retired, I started favoring my performer over my wsm. About a year ago, my wife popped out of bed one morning and said "kids are out of the house, it's far too big for us, let's move back to NYC!". So now we have an apartment in NYC with a storage cage in the basement and we also own a condo on the beach in fl. Neither place allows BBQing so with a heavy heart I gave away all my BBQ/smoker equipment to friends. I've tried a number of oven expirements but miss both the taste and process of grilling/smoking.

Friends in our old town asked us to dog sit for a couple of weeks and it occured to me it would be fun to purchase a smokey joe and grill/smoke some meat. the SJ is small enough that it will easily fit in our storage cage and perhaps there will be opportunities in the future for more use. For example, my brothers live about an hour away in florida, I could bring the SJ there for some cooks. otoh, we have a fairly small car (model 3), have to be careful to leave space for our dog/suitcases/etc.

As I understand it, there are three SJ models from which to choose, standard, premium and jumbo. Here then are my criteria:
- small form factor
- good for both smoking and grilling
- would prefer not to embark on the SJ mini-project as I gave away my tools but do still want to smoke a pork butt or rack of ribs. Alternatively, I could purchase a SJ now, take it with me to fl and use my brother's tools.
- Hoping to get 6 hours burn time from a load of charcoal (not sure if that's reasonable)
- would like to keep total cost < $200

any and all suggestions welcome!

tia,
 
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Joe Anshien

TVWBB Emerald Member
Hi,

Once our kids graduated college and I retired, I started favoring my performer over my wsm. About a year ago, my wife popped out of bed one morning and said "kids are out of the house, it's far too big for us, let's move back to NYC!". So now we have an apartment in NYC with a storage cage in the basement and we also own a condo on the beach in fl. Neither place allows BBQing so with a heavy heart I gave away all my BBQ/smoker equipment to friends. I've tried a number of oven expirements but miss both the taste and process of grilling/smoking.

Friends in our old town asked us to dog sit for a couple of weeks and it occured to me it would be fun to purchase a smokey joe and grill/smoke some meat. the SJ is small enough that it will easily fit in our storage cage and perhaps there will be opportunities in the future for more use. For example, my brothers live about an hour away in florida, I could bring the SJ there for some cooks. otoh, we have a fairly small car (model 3), have to be careful to leave space for our dog/suitcases/etc.

As I understand it, there are three SJ models from which to choose, standard, premium and jumbo. Here then are my criteria:
- small form factor
- good for both smoking and grilling
- would prefer not to embark on the SJ mini-project as I gave away my tools but do still want to smoke a pork butt or rack of ribs. Alternatively, I could purchase a SJ now, take it with me to fl and use my brother's tools.
- Hoping to get 6 hours burn time from a load of charcoal (not sure if that's reasonable)
- would like to keep total cost < $200

any and all suggestions welcome!

tia,
I would go with the Charcoal Go-Anywhere over the Smokey Joe if you want to do any smoking. You can also get risers, rotisseries, etc for it. It is more compact and more versatile. Check out this FB group and YouTube vids. https://www.facebook.com/groups/webergalife
 

Bob H.

TVWBB Hall of Fame
I
Hi,

Once our kids graduated college and I retired, I started favoring my performer over my wsm. About a year ago, my wife popped out of bed one morning and said "kids are out of the house, it's far too big for us, let's move back to NYC!". So now we have an apartment in NYC with a storage cage in the basement and we also own a condo on the beach in fl. Neither place allows BBQing so with a heavy heart I gave away all my BBQ/smoker equipment to friends. I've tried a number of oven expirements but miss both the taste and process of grilling/smoking.

Friends in our old town asked us to dog sit for a couple of weeks and it occured to me it would be fun to purchase a smokey joe and grill/smoke some meat. the SJ is small enough that it will easily fit in our storage cage and perhaps there will be opportunities in the future for more use. For example, my brothers live about an hour away in florida, I could bring the SJ there for some cooks. otoh, we have a fairly small car (model 3), have to be careful to leave space for our dog/suitcases/etc.

As I understand it, there are three SJ models from which to choose, standard, premium and jumbo. Here then are my criteria:
- small form factor
- good for both smoking and grilling
- would prefer not to embark on the SJ mini-project as I gave away my tools but do still want to smoke a pork butt or rack of ribs. Alternatively, I could purchase a SJ now, take it with me to fl and use my brother's tools.
- Hoping to get 6 hours burn time from a load of charcoal (not sure if that's reasonable)
- would like to keep total cost < $200

any and all suggestions welcome!

tia,
I could not live in a place where I was not allowed to grill or use a smoker.
 

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
The jumbo joe is an 18" grill and the smokey joes are 14" I have both and for two people the jumbo joe is ideal, enough room for indirect grilling where the smoky joe is pretty much direct grilling only. I've done Baby backs on the Jumbo joe, and they came out great.
I use a charcoal basket out of my performer to do indirect and it works great.
 

jeff davidson

TVWBB Super Fan
The jumbo joe is an 18" grill and the smokey joes are 14" I have both and for two people the jumbo joe is ideal, enough room for indirect grilling where the smoky joe is pretty much direct grilling only. I've done Baby backs on the Jumbo joe, and they came out great.
I use a charcoal basket out of my performer to do indirect and it works great.
thanks rich, I'm intrigued by the jumbo since I doesn't seem like I'd need to purchase additional equipment/make modifications. If you don't mind, some questions:
- my wsm I used to get around 8 hours of burn, so a pork shoulder would generally be two loads. how many hours of burn do you get with one load of charcoal on the jumbo? Could I just add unlit charcoal to the lit or do I have to clear out ash before adding charcoal?
- Have you tried high heat cooks on the jumbo?
- did you purchase any accessories? seems like I'd need a heat diffuser and some sort of thermometer?

thanks so much!
 

jeff davidson

TVWBB Super Fan
I would go with the Charcoal Go-Anywhere over the Smokey Joe if you want to do any smoking. You can also get risers, rotisseries, etc for it. It is more compact and more versatile. Check out this FB group and YouTube vids. https://www.facebook.com/groups/webergalife
thanks joe, I applied for membership to the fb group. Looked at the rise accessories, solid but pretty expensive plus international shipping costs...
 

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
thanks rich, I'm intrigued by the jumbo since I doesn't seem like I'd need to purchase additional equipment/make modifications. If you don't mind, some questions:
- my wsm I used to get around 8 hours of burn, so a pork shoulder would generally be two loads. how many hours of burn do you get with one load of charcoal on the jumbo? Could I just add unlit charcoal to the lit or do I have to clear out ash before adding charcoal?
- Have you tried high heat cooks on the jumbo?
- did you purchase any accessories? seems like I'd need a heat diffuser and some sort of thermometer?

thanks so much!
How long the coals will last is hard to say, it would depend on how hot you're running it. I mostly use it for grilling, The Baby Backs I did hi heat and didn't have to reload. I basically use it as a grill for HH direct and indirect. Chicken, burgers, steaks, wings, Etc. It uses a lot less fuel than the performer and is easier to clean.
No accessories except the use of the charcoal basket from the performer.
I have a thermoworks smoke remote thermometer that I can monitor the grate and meat temps with.
 

Darryl - swazies

TVWBB Guru
Your criteria is hard to fulfill.
I would expect you could do some of that but not all of that.
Smoke a pork butt on a small portable grill? Maybe, but not without a lot of work.
I have the Jumbo Joe. I use this for travelling. I have cooked 2 pichana's on it at once...just barely. Smoked ribs on it once...all it holds is one rack cut in half. You have to stagger them and put a bit of raw meat over unlit charcoal to make it work. This is with an 18" grill, not a tiny grill.
I use the SNS basket for good charcoal life and 8 hours is not something I have never got out of it. This is a big basket and uses about half the available space. This is why I stress about the available space for proteins or ribs ect. I have also used it for smoking.............if you want the traditional thin blue smoke this is also hard to do.....it's a grill and the wood cooks more than smolders. Manipulating the wood to produce the smoke you want is possible and you will only get a bit of that white bitter smoke. I am not trying to sound like a real bummer, just pointing out the facts. I do however love my jumbo joe......wouldn't trade it for anything else......just the accessories I have for it cost more than the grill itself so if you don't need any accessories then it may work a bit better for you perhaps. The price is right and it grills very well.
Good luck.
 

jeff davidson

TVWBB Super Fan
Your criteria is hard to fulfill.
I would expect you could do some of that but not all of that.
Smoke a pork butt on a small portable grill? Maybe, but not without a lot of work.
I have the Jumbo Joe. I use this for travelling. I have cooked 2 pichana's on it at once...just barely. Smoked ribs on it once...all it holds is one rack cut in half. You have to stagger them and put a bit of raw meat over unlit charcoal to make it work. This is with an 18" grill, not a tiny grill.
I use the SNS basket for good charcoal life and 8 hours is not something I have never got out of it. This is a big basket and uses about half the available space. This is why I stress about the available space for proteins or ribs ect. I have also used it for smoking.............if you want the traditional thin blue smoke this is also hard to do.....it's a grill and the wood cooks more than smolders. Manipulating the wood to produce the smoke you want is possible and you will only get a bit of that white bitter smoke. I am not trying to sound like a real bummer, just pointing out the facts. I do however love my jumbo joe......wouldn't trade it for anything else......just the accessories I have for it cost more than the grill itself so if you don't need any accessories then it may work a bit better for you perhaps. The price is right and it grills very well.
Good luck.
thanks darryl, couple of thoughts. I wonder if a rib rack where the ribs are standing on their sides would help increase capacity? And I'm thinking with some sort of diffuser, I could reclaim the whole cooking surface? I did a lot of smoking with my kettle grill before purchasing a wsm, thinking I may be able to figure out the smoke issue...

edit: here's cheap deflector hack:

best,
 
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jeff davidson

TVWBB Super Fan
How long the coals will last is hard to say, it would depend on how hot you're running it. I mostly use it for grilling, The Baby Backs I did hi heat and didn't have to reload. I basically use it as a grill for HH direct and indirect. Chicken, burgers, steaks, wings, Etc. It uses a lot less fuel than the performer and is easier to clean.
No accessories except the use of the charcoal basket from the performer.
I have a thermoworks smoke remote thermometer that I can monitor the grate and meat temps with.
thanks for the clarity, I've had a lot of luck with high heat pork and brisket, so maybe 4 hours is all I need...And I love the forum's famous 90 min rib recipe so that's a go...
 

 

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