New EX4 Owner: there have been issues…but we’re cooking…

Off To The Side

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Folks,

New member here.

I have had a brand new EX4 purchased directly from Weber for about a month now. Here is the summary, the good and the bad, so far: 1) shipping was projected as 3-5 days, but took 15. Weber customer service did nothing but point me to tracking info I already had when I called about not receiving my grill. When I finally called the shipper and personally nagged them, they miraculously informed me that my grille had just locally landed at the warehouse, which I doubt. 2) Assembly by one handy guy working alone was easy, until Box E was missing the smoke box and grate cover. Weber promptly overnighted those. 3) 5” caster upgrade = easy and worthwhile, especially if you are a taller individual. 4) The lid had a spot where no porcelain enamel was applied. Weber shipped me a replacement lid. Installing that was easy. 5) Weber sold me the side shelf discounted to $45 for my other hassles. Installation was easy. It’s flimsy, but stows out of the way and is acceptable for light duty use. 6) This grill heats up FAST and will easily sear steaks. My prior grill, a Weber e330 Genesis propane, was seemingly no faster. 7) Strip and flank steaks, chicken thighs, breasts and drumsticks, a brisket so far, all excellent. Ribs tomorrow. 7) App and temp probes work fine, no pellet feeding, ignition or temp maintenance problems, though the right side runs noticeably hotter than the left. 8) Foil trays under grids help a lot with fatty cooks to keep things clean. I vacuum ash with a 12v Milwaukee toolbox size vacuum. Works well, but the inside of the vac hose gets greasy. (I think the occasional vac hose soak in degreaser in a bucket will keep it acceptably clean.)

Should you buy one? I would buy mine again, but I am a fiercely DIY kind of guy. I fully expect glow plugs to eventually break, flavorizer bars will rust, etc. And the grill has a fine coat of ash on it after every cook, along with smoke stains and a bit of grease around the lid. I keep things clean as a rule, so I keep up with it after each cook; spray and wipe surfaces down, dump ash drawer, vacuum as needed. If maintenance, repairs and cleaning will annoy you, it may not be right for you. For me, I seem to be through the initial teething pains, and it is running well.

Hope this post is helpful to some….
 
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JpsBBQ

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Folks,

New member here.

I have had a brand new EX4 purchased directly from Weber for about a month now. Here is the summary, the good and the bad, so far: 1) shipping was projected as 3-5 days, but took 15. Weber customer service did nothing but point me to tracking info I already had when I called about not receiving my grill. When I finally called the shipper and personally nagged them, they miraculously informed me that my grille had just locally landed at the warehouse, which I doubt. 2) Assembly by one handy guy working alone was easy, until Box E was missing the smoke box and grate cover. Weber promptly overnighted those. 3) 5” caster upgrade = easy and worthwhile, especially if you are a taller individual. 4) The lid had a spot where no porcelain enamel was applied. Weber shipped me a replacement lid. Installing that was easy. 5) Weber sold me the side shelf discounted to $45 for my other hassles. Installation was easy. It’s flimsy, but stows out of the way and is acceptable for light duty use. 6) This grill heats up FAST and will easily sear steaks. My prior grill, a Weber e330 Genesis propane, was seemingly no faster. 7) Strip and flank steaks, chicken thighs, breasts and drumsticks, a brisket so far, all excellent. Ribs tomorrow. 7) App and temp probes work fine, no pellet feeding, ignition or temp maintenance problems, though the right side runs noticeably hotter than the left. 8) Foil trays under grids help a lot with fatty cooks to keep things clean. I vacuum ash with an 18v Milwaukee toolbox size vacuum. Works well, but the inside of the vac hose gets greasy. (I think the occasional vac hose soak in degreaser in a bucket will keep it acceptably clean.)

Should you buy one? I would buy mine again, but I am a fiercely DIY kind of guy. I fully expect glow plugs to eventually break, flavorizer bars will rust, etc. And the grill has a fine coat of ash on it after every cook, along with smoke stains and a bit of grease around the lid. I keep things clean as a rule, so I keep up with it after each cook; spray and wipe surfaces down, dump ash drawer, vacuum as needed. If maintenance, repairs and cleaning will annoy you, it may not be right for you. For me, I seem to be through the initial teething pains, and it is running well.

Hope this post is helpful to some….
Great attitude. For what it’s worth, I’m on the original glow plug (since feb20’). The porcelain finish makes cleaning any smoke residue a breeze. Just get a degreaser or use Clorox wipes. I leave my side a front tables up all the time and they are much better and sturdier than was my initial assessment. I was right in line with you as far as thinking they were flimsy. Turns out that once locked in place, they are more than able to handle the task. I find the fact that one side is hotter to be a bonus. It’s not very noticeable on low and slow cooks and if so can be neutralized by rotating the protein position in the cooker. At high heat, the two zones is a plus as you can better mange doneness of steaks and such.

Again, great attitude and assessment. Hope you get as much enjoyment as I have. Cheers!
 
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bbqking

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Agree. I great attitude for sure. Kind of a first around here. So thank you. Welcome and post some of those cook pics. We all like those, just watch out for Dutchie pics.
 

Bruno

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I‘m also on my first glow plug and love my SF. I am pretty good with the tools myseof and I think it’s key for a SF owner. Weber will send you stuff all day to get it right, you just need to be able to install it all, well.

She’s a finicky little %$#@ but I love her. I’m back on charcoal for grilling and I kind of miss her. If I can find a butt at a decent price I’ll throw one on soon,

Welcome! Oh and Dutchie is actually a famous food photographer who likes to fuck with our heads. “Ehhh boys lookie what I whipped up today 🥩!!”
 

JpsBBQ

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I‘m also on my first glow plug and love my SF. I am pretty good with the tools myseof and I think it’s key for a SF owner. Weber will send you stuff all day to get it right, you just need to be able to install it all, well.

She’s a finicky little %$#@ but I love her. I’m back on charcoal for grilling and I kind of miss her. If I can find a butt at a decent price I’ll throw one on soon,

Welcome! Oh and Dutchie is actually a famous food photographer who likes to fuck with our heads. “Ehhh boys lookie what I whipped up today 🥩!!”

I’ll just say that she was a finicky one for me 16-18 months ago, but have had not a single issue since. Can’t say that for my other pellet cookers which are usually very reliable. That said pellet cookers are very heavy on electronics and moving parts. The minor issues are part in parcel of the convenience you gain when operating properly. Every single brand has some attrition baked in the cake. 🤷🏼‍♂️
 
OP
O

Off To The Side

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Thanks for the feedback, folks. This morning's glitch was a no start/no display. The fuse blew for some unknown reason. The preceding cook went just fine, and the grill cycled through its shut down procedure with no trouble. After the last cook/shutdown, I cleaned the grill, unplugged it, and covered it. Not sure when the fuse blew as it was unplugged between cooks. Anyway, my local Lowe's and Home Depot do not have the exact correct fuses in stock. I ordered them from amazon. (The fuse is easy to change. See page 31 of the SmokeFire manual.)

For a clean out vacuum, I highly recommend the battery powered "lunchbox" style vacuums:highly portable, lightweight, decent suction for the size, acceptable (but by no means long) run time. Mine is a Milwaukee Fuel 12v brushless -because Milwaukee is the best brand !-, but Dewalt, Ryobi, etc all make them. My workflow to keep the grease in the vacuum mess to a minimum is currently: 1) complete cook; 2) run grill up to 575 for a little bit to dry out the grease and harden up any crud on the grids; 2) open lid and start shutdown; 3) scrub grids while grille is cooling; 4) when shutdown cycle completes, pull grids and grille innards, and vacuum. 5) Afterward, take vacuum to basement, pull the hose and spray the inside of the hose and wand with degreaser (so far I like Easy Off in a hand pump spray bottle); 6) let the degreaser work for a bit, then rinse the vac hose/wand with hot water, let it hang to air dry, and congratulate yourself on a job well done. If you don't jack around and do this the vacuum will get nasty, and stay nasty...........
 

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