Smokefire Ex4 and Smokefire Ex6 ComparisonPublished: June 13, 2022
Can Weber Beat Traeger?
That is a hard question to answer. When this grill was announced there was a lot of excitement around it. Weber is the biggest name in grilling, and in general there products work as advertised. This however is a little bit different than most of there grills, first off the unit centers around electronics, both for control and ignition. This is a new area for Weber. In addition to the electronics the controller has essentially an operating system that runs the system that generates smoke.
These are all new areas for Weber.
When Weber announced the SmokeFire series, in 2019, everybody was super excited including me. They invited several YouTube and social personalities out to take a look at the grill and see what it was all about. And it was impressive. The grill ticked all the right boxes, it had a good price point, a little higher than the low end Traeger and right in the range of the middle of the road Traeger Ironwood.
Weber decided to come out with two models the Smokefire EX4 with 672 square inches of cooking surface with a msrp of $999.00 and the Smokefire EX6 with a whopping 1,008 square inches of cooking space at a msrp of $1,199.00.
Both grills feature a temperature range of 200-600 degrees, with upper temperatures perfect searing a good steak. Both have a convection like motion on the interior of the grill with downward facing vents. Both grills come with a Wifi enabled controller with ports for 4 temperature probes.
All in all Weber really thought through what it would take make a better pellet smoker and grill.
Did they succeed? Only time will tell.
Will they beat Traeger? Only time will tell, Traeger is definitely knows how to make a great Pellet Grill, and Weber is known for there gas and charcoal grills. In either case it will be interesting to see how this story play out.
Weber Smokefire Comparison
Update March 1, 2020
Doing a survey of the YouTube video posted about the Weber SmokeFire it seems that most reviewers that purchased a Weber SmokeFire EX6 are returning them. And almost all of the reviewers said that Weber Customer Support made every effort to help fix the problems. The following problems where identified:
- Pellet Hopper feed issues, there does not seem to be an easy fix for this, some people have tried to put a silicon lubricant along the inside of the pellet hopper with limited results.
- Likely solution weber is going to have to increase the angle of the pellet hopper, they can likely do this with an insert that they will send to existing customers, or they will need to provide a new hopper
- Grease Fires and flare ups, this is partially the design of the system and partially an engineering issue.
- Grease fires and flare ups can be alleviated by putting a drip pan below the meat you are cooking. In my mind this is kind of a hack since the purpose of the grill is to use the flavorizer bars instead of a grease pan.
- The Drip pan for ash and grease drippings will need to be re-engineered, because with both grease and ash collecting in roughly the same place, the drippings and ash co-mingle, basically making a paste that can’t drip throught the drip hole, and needs to be scraped and removed.
The end result is that our recommendation on the Weber SmokeFire EX6 is a Wait and See. Weber needs to fix these issues before they can justify the cost.
Update February 23, 2020
The Weber SmokeFire Smokers are finally starting to arrive in customers hands.
The Smokefire EX4 does not seem to have the problems that are showing up on SmokeFire EX6.
The problems in a nutshell for the EX6 are the following:
- The pellet hopper seems to not have a steep enough angle, so that pellets are caught on the high side of the hopper and are not sliding down.
- The right side of the grill seems to be much hotter than the left side, as can be witnessed by the large amount of flame coming out
- Because there is no grease tray, and there are only flavorizer bars, this grill behaves more like a grill instead of a smoker, so there are flare ups, and the possibility of grease fires.
- There have been complaints about the controller having some growing pains, this seems to be remedeed with a firmware update.
At this time we do not recommend purchasing a SmokeFire EX6 until Weber works through the engineering issues.
As for the EX4, you can purchase if you don’t mind dealing with some issue around updating firmware, etc. But the engineering portion of the grill seems to be working as expected.