Pros & Cons – Weber SmokeFire EX4 (Gen 2)

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The Weber SmokeFire EX4 is to be replaced by the Searwood 600. However, as it’s still on sale today, it’s still worth discussing this pellet grill/smoker. The SmokeFire pellet BBQs have a troubled past, but they have some good qualities as well. Right, let’s review its Pros & Cons.

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There is no question that Weber is the biggest brand in BBQ in general. Therefore, when Weber entered the pellet grill game, there was a lot of excitement about what they would offer.

There is no question that the Weber SmokeFire EX4 is a premium product from a premium brand.
When it comes to backyard cooking enthusiasts, many wish to own a Weber-branded product

With the Weber branding and its feature set discussed below, there is no question that the SmokeFire EX4 is a premium branded product with some premium features.

While Weber has a lot of experience engineering charcoal and gas grills, the SmokeFire pellet grills/smokers showed that they still had things to learn about pellet combustion.

On the SmokeFire EX4, ash gets blown out of the burn pot and into the base of the cooking chamber, where it ends up mixing with the grease running into the grease trap.

The Weber SmokeFire EX4 requires more regular cleaning than the average pellet grill/smoker for safe operation.
Ash and grease can end up mixing in the base of the cooking chamber, which needs to be cleaned out by the user

Due to the ash and grease mixing together and collecting in the base of the cooking chamber, the SmokeFire pellet grills developed a reputation for being vulnerable to grease fires.

The grease fire risk can be addressed with frequent cleaning. However, the point remains that for safe operation, the SmokeFire EX4 needs more regular cleaning than the average pellet grill/smoker.

While the grease management system on the SmokeFire EX4 requires additional effort from the user, where the SmokeFire EX4 excels is in its grilling/searing performance.

While not the most practical pellet smoker, the Weber SmokeFire EX4 is an excellent pellet grill.
The SmokeFire EX4 is better suited to being a pellet grill than it is a pellet smoker

The heat from the pellet burn pot has an easy route up to the cooking grates, and with a 600-degree temperature setting, the SmokeFire EX4 is an excellent pellet grill.

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While the Weber SmokeFire EX4 does come with WiFi connectivity and the use of the Weber App, its connection reliability and how easy it is to setup has been questioned by owners.

The Weber SmokeFire EX4 does have WiFi/App functionality, but some owners do struggle to use it,.
Quite a few owners on the forums/Reddit have expressed frustration with setting up the WiFi connectivity/Weber App

Now, the SmokeFire EX4 is by no means the only ‘Smart Grill’ to give owners some trouble when it comes to the WiFi/App setup, and not all of the issues will be due to the grill itself.

However, Weber has released several firmware and software updates over the life of the SmokeFire EX4 to address connectivity issues. Therefore, some of the issues will be down to the grill.

While with the SmokeFire EX4, Weber was still getting to grips with the functionality of a pellet grill/smoker, in terms of build quality and materials, it is definitely above the norm.

The build quality and the materials used on the Weber SmokeFire EX4 are above the average pellet grill/smoker.
The build quality of the Weber SmokeFire EX4 is above that of the average pellet grill/smoker

The porcelain enamel-coated lid, the insulated side walls, along with the general fit and finish of the SmokeFire EX4, they are above that of the average pellet grill/smoker.

Weber likes to market that their BBQs are made in the US. However, the reality is more like they are assembled in the US, using ‘globally sourced components‘.

The Weber SmokeFire EX4 is more of a US assembled BBQ than a true made in the US pellet grill/smoker.
I think Weber’s marketing around the SmokeFire EX4 being made in the US is a bit misleading

The fact that a pellet grill/smoker with these specifications and price point of under a thousand dollars is even assembled in the US is notable. Most are simply Chinese imports.

My point is that I know some people are under the impression that a supply chain of US jobs is involved in steel fabrication, etc, whereas that’s not the case with the SmokeFire EX4.

My Final Thoughts On The Weber SmokeFire EX4

The SmokeFire pellet grills/smokers had a very bumpy start when they were first introduced. However, many of the issues were addressed, and it does have some positive features.

I would always describe the SmokeFire EX4 as a better pellet grill than a pellet smoker, but as a pellet grill for its price point, it has been a good option for several years.

However, the Weber Searwood 600 will be the better option for those considering a Weber pellet grill/smoker. But don’t just take my word for it. Use our database through the link below to compare their specs/price points.

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