If you’re in one of 25 countries come 2020, you’ll have the fortunate opportunity to get your hands on a Weber SmokeFire Pellet Grill. Based out of Palatine, Il, Weber has been making charcoal and gas grills for a while, but they’ve steered clear of the pellet smoker/grill niche. Now they’re changing directions, and they’re doing it right.
One of the interesting aspects of the SmokeFire Grill is the name. It does indeed use smoke generated from burning pellets, but that makes it more of a smoker than a grill. Yet Weber stands behind calling it a grill, which suggests that it gets hot enough to sear a steak just like any other grill would do. That means that it would need to have enough infrared heat to take care of the job. Hot air from smoking doesn’t create that kind of heat. Smokers use a firepot—a small contain that is about the size of a beer can. SmokeFire uses a different style of hotpot that creates higher temperatures, and makes it possible to sear your steak. This heating phenomenon is accomplished in part by Weber using a variation of their “flavorizer bars,” which uses open spaces between the bars to allow more heat exposure.
The SmokeFire grill also tackles the problem of ash. Many smokers struggle with ash removal, but the SmokeFire Grill uses a perforated bottom that lets ash escape as you cook. The ash falls to a pull out drawer that also collects the grease that falls from the cooking surface. The grill also mounts the pellet hopper to the back of the grill rather than the traditional side. This allows for a shorter auger—eight inches—and for the auger to be set at an angle, which increases control. And speaking of control, the SmokeFire Grill uses a proprietary PID control system, which also allows for remote control using a smartphone with Weber’s Weber Connect app.
Now that Weber’s in the smoking game, things will definitely be different, especially since their design for the SmokeFire grill will no doubt be the new standard. You can pick up either the EX4 model for $999, or the EX6 for $1,199.