HELP! Will a EX6 SF suit my needs

MattyM

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Howdy, a new member and not yet an owner of a Smokefire as they have just been made available for preorder here in OZ.

Based on reviewing a heap of reviews and you tube videos I'm really liking what Weber have come up with - particularly now that they appear to have addressed initial issues from the US release. I really love that this really could be a 'one stop shop' BBQ where other Pellet Grills/Smokers have not, as they do not offer such high temps and steak searing. And of course cooking with wood is a benefit to me over gas, even if wood pellets offer a more 'discrete' infusion of smokiness to foods.

But I'm a little nervous still as I am coming from a 20yo 5 burner (natural) Gas Grill, which we have up until now been looking at the Weber Genesis II E-455 as a preferred replacement. I'm worried on leaving the convenience of gas grilling behind (and more so is my dear better half, who often does the quick weeknight grill sessions!)

My wife is keen to easily be able to cook some steaks/sausages/chicken etc for a weeknight meal - currently she does that lid up and med-high heat. No reverse searing for her....(yet!!). We also have a Performer Charcoal Kettle which is where I do rotisserie and low and slow cooking using wood chunks for smoke. I still see us using the Performer ongoing, if not a lot less

So my PROS vs CON's list is as follows - appreciate any input, particularly re the CON's to reconfirm the SF is indeed the way to go!

If there were potentially other options (possibly wrong Forum for that ha ha!) I would only consider something that could offer similar 'all in one' functionality. My wife would simply NOT entertain the concept of say a Pellet Cooker for smoking/low and slow and a seperate Gas Grill for the other stuff. I will not get financial sign off on that option for sure :p

PRO's
  • Cooking with Wood
  • Able to do both Low and High Temp (steak searing) cooking
  • Easy to Operate via controller or Smart Phone App
  • Relative (to Gas BBQS) quick heat up (even to max temp - seems it can be done in only 12-15 mins??)
  • Negates need for 2 seperate BBQ's (wood/charcoal vs gas)
  • Overall Weber build quality and customer service

CON's
  • Wood Pellets seem expensive here in OZ (AUD35 for Weber 9lb bag)
  • By some reviewers, seems Weber brand pellets work best, but do see on here that many use others (B&B, Lumberjack which are available here but still not cheap - @ AUD28 for a 9lb bag)
  • Unsure of Pellet usage if using SF often for high heat/grilling - could get even more pricey to keep up in Pellets!
  • Convincing the Better Half that we can REALLY say goodbye to cooking with gas.
  • Needs Electricity - I will need to run and extension cord from opposite side of porch where current external outlets exist (minor!)
I think that's it, please let me know what you think !!

Cheers!
 

JpsBBQ

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The SF is the versatile cooker you hope it would be. Puts out great food very conveniently. The big issue is expense for you. It will be expensive because you will love it and burn through a bunch of pellets. On the other hand, isn’t that kinda a “pro”?
 

Bruno

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Biggest thing that I saw was that your mate cooks with the lid up. The SF really does not like that and you will burn through pellets. What you need. Is what most of us have - two grills. Best wishes.
Was going to say the same thing, the SF does not do lid up. You gotta get in and get out or you will get some crazy temp swings.
 
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MattyM

MattyM

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Biggest thing that I saw was that your mate cooks with the lid up. The SF really does not like that and you will burn through pellets. What you need. Is what most of us have - two grills. Best wishes.
Was going to say the same thing, the SF does not do lid up. You gotta get in and get out or you will get some crazy temp swings.
thanks guys for your feedback. So searing steak etc at high temps should still be done lid down? i suppose I can get her to change her ways (ha, how long she has tried that on me I can’t tell you!!) as long as the results are good!

ive Seen videos online where theyve cooked steaks on 600f for the whole cook (come to think about it he did have lid down also) but am thinking a reverse sear would be the way to go?


Also how long would a bag of pellets last on average? say for a high and fast cook of 8-12 mins would this suck up 1/2 bag or more, or not quite that extreme?

Cheers! 🍻
 
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MattyM

MattyM

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The SF is the versatile cooker you hope it would be. Puts out great food very conveniently. The big issue is expense for you. It will be expensive because you will love it and burn through a bunch of pellets. On the other hand, isn’t that kinda a “pro”?
Thanks! If I love it and it does all I need/expect it to then she will be worth the upkeep for sure 😂
 

bbqking

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My favorite thing about the SmokeFire is you can cook anything on it. It’s like a pellet oven. I’ve done meat, side, and desert on it. I have kettles and a gasser, they all have their place here. I do still like my kettles, use my gasser for quick burgers and dogs, or a quick steak. The pellet consumption is something to consider. I use my EX6 probably 2-3x a week and I go through a 20lbs bag every 4-6 Cooks. These are usually 1.5-4+ hour cooks. I use pit boss pellets and have never had any issues. Cheers.
 
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Dassman5

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thanks guys for your feedback. So searing steak etc at high temps should still be done lid down? i suppose I can get her to change her ways (ha, how long she has tried that on me I can’t tell you!!) as long as the results are good!

ive Seen videos online where theyve cooked steaks on 600f for the whole cook (come to think about it he did have lid down also) but am thinking a reverse sear would be the way to go?


Also how long would a bag of pellets last on average? say for a high and fast cook of 8-12 mins would this suck up 1/2 bag or more, or not quite that extreme?

Cheers! 🍻
I use my SmokeFire as an important part of the reverse searing regimen for Steaks and other things, but only on Smoke Boost or around 200F to heat the meat through. I then throw the steaks on the sear station of my Weber Summit 670 grill.
I tried doing the entire reverse sear on the SmokeFire a couple of times but between the high rate of pellet burn and the delay time waiting for the SF to get to 600F, it was not worth I had I had my gas grill right next to it.😉
 
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AHoneyman

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Also how long would a bag of pellets last on average? say for a high and fast cook of 8-12 mins would this suck up 1/2 bag or more, or not quite that extreme?
For short and hot, the gasser is the way to go. We have been using a sous vide to cook steaks followed by a reverse sear on a gasser with a flat top. That lets the time for eats to be variable with work, etc. not affecting the cook on the steaks.

But I will not give up my SF for butts, brisket, slow brots, chicken thighs, smoked pretzels, etc.
 
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MattyM

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Hmmm I’m a bit confused now, as there seem to be some users here and other bbq forums that find it great for searing and like my train of thought have replaced their need for a gas grill. But how often they cook high heat and any concerns for increased pellet usage is unclear.

I really thought one of the major features Of the WSF was its ability to do both. But is that more marketing, and dare I use the pun - SMOKE and Mirrors 😜

I’m thinking maybe I could hedge my bets by getting the smaller EX4 and see how I get on. If I really miss the gas then I can use the money saved ($500 diff here in AU) to buy a small gas grill.

But then I worry the EX4 will be too small .... not that I’d always use it to capacity but coming from a 5 burner grill it’s sure nice to have the extra space!
 

JpsBBQ

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I think it’s great as a do it all cooker. Others might have habits formed that they like to stick with for various reasons, but rest assured, this son of a gun does it all if you wish. I have the 4 at home and it’s quite a bit of cooking space.
 

Dassman5

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Hmmm I’m a bit confused now, as there seem to be some users here and other bbq forums that find it great for searing and like my train of thought have replaced their need for a gas grill. But how often they cook high heat and any concerns for increased pellet usage is unclear.

I really thought one of the major features Of the WSF was its ability to do both. But is that more marketing, and dare I use the pun - SMOKE and Mirrors 😜

I’m thinking maybe I could hedge my bets by getting the smaller EX4 and see how I get on. If I really miss the gas then I can use the money saved ($500 diff here in AU) to buy a small gas grill.

But then I worry the EX4 will be too small .... not that I’d always use it to capacity but coming from a 5 burner grill it’s sure nice to have the extra space!
I have an EX4, and it really can do it all. But then I have a number of “toys” including a Summit 670 gasser, a WSM 22” briquette and chunk wood smoker, an Italia Pizza oven and a charcoal kettle. I enjoying using all of them and switch back and forth depending on what’s cooking...24# turkeys and rotisserie chickens and big burger orders on the Summit, WSM for family reunions when I do briskets and 3 pork butts simultaneously, my ex4 for everyday smoking and cooking especially bacon, burgers, ribs and brisket for us and friends, side-burner on 670 for fried onions and annual (blanching) prep of 100 stuffed peppers for vacuum sealing and freezing, and my pizza oven for 680-700F fast thin-crust pizza.

Having said that, if I could have only 1 unit to do everything, it would be my EX4 as it can handle all of the above tasks (I would just have to get my wife used to the smell of fried onions and blanched hot pepper water in the house🤢🤮)

As JpsBBQ said, some of us are fixed in our ways, and some just like to play with our toys, especially during these Covid-19 days.
 
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bbqking

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Bottom line I think is you will spend on pellets. Depends on how often you use it. It can and will do anything you need it to. EX4 for smaller cooks. EX6 for bigger cooks. I have the EX6, because I found one on offer up for over 1/2 off original price, and I use it all the time. Just did burgers on it last night...everyone was freaking out on how good they where. And the cool thing was....I did not have to flip them.
 

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MattyM

MattyM

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I have an EX4, and it really can do it all. But then I have a number of “toys” including a Summit 670 gasser, a WSM 22” briquette and chunk wood smoker, an Italia Pizza oven and a charcoal kettle. I enjoying using all of them and switch back and forth depending on what’s cooking...24# turkeys and rotisserie chickens and big burger orders on the Summit, WSM for family reunions when I do briskets and 3 pork butts simultaneously, my ex4 for everyday smoking and cooking especially bacon, burgers, ribs and brisket for us and friends, side-burner on 670 for fried onions and annual (blanching) prep of 100 stuffed peppers for vacuum sealing and freezing, and my pizza oven for 680-700F fast thin-crust pizza.

Having said that, if I could have only 1 unit to do everything, it would be my EX4 as it can handle all of the above tasks (I would just have to get my wife used to the smell of fried onions and blanched hot pepper water in the house🤢🤮)

As JpsBBQ said, some of us are fixed in our ways, and some just like to play with our toys, especially during these Covid-19 days.
wow that’s quite a toybox you have 😆

i would never Be allowed to have that many toys, let alone play with them all at once 😂

But strong words for the EX4, thanks that does help a lot!

Bottom line I think is you will spend on pellets. Depends on how often you use it. It can and will do anything you need it to
I think that may be the reality, YES it can do all I want it to but may pay a premium on pellet consumption. However we prob would only do steaks/burgers maybe 1-2 times a week during Summer. This may even reduce if we start cooking differently on the WSF so it may not be such a huge deal overall.

love the look of those burgers 🍔 inspiration at its finest 😆

Cheers!
 

AHoneyman

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love the look of those burgers 🍔 inspiration at its finest 😆
I do not know how bbqking does his burgers but I have been doing them at 350 for a while because I get lost doing other things and this helps me so that I do not burn them. :(

What I am saying is that you do not have to do burgers at high temp. Might help save on pellets.
 

bbqking

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I do not know how bbqking does his burgers but I have been doing them at 350 for a while because I get lost doing other things and this helps me so that I do not burn them. :(

What I am saying is that you do not have to do burgers at high temp. Might help save on pellets.
Ok here my entry. Just good ol’ burgers. Did some pretty big patties. Probably .75 lbs. each. Used Worcestershire and a couple eggs in the meat. Also salt lick original seasoning. On the SmokeFire at 300 for .5 hour, then cranked her up to 375, for about 20 more... pulled the meat off when they read 140. On one we did roasted garlic and regular burger sauces. Tomato, onion, lettuce. The other we did same sauces, bacon and grilled onion/mushroom.
 

AHoneyman

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That sounds real good to me. Mine do not get that fancy since both of us work from home and cooking is usually done in a hurry too often.
 

abmet

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I’d echo a lot of what others have mentioned. It can do high temp but will go through more pellets especially if leave lid open since it will be trying to keep that temp with the outside air constantly coming in. I kept my Genesis gas grill and WSM charcoal/wood smoker. I haven‘t touched the WSM since but I still use the Genesis for quick things and searing steaks. I could probably do it all on the SmokeFire but like having options and the convenience of the gasser for some things.
 

Bruno

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I don’t feel like it uses a ton of pellets at 600, it isn’t like you cook at that temp for very long, it’s a raging inferno at 600 and it will sear the hell out of anything you throw at it.
 
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MattyM

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I don’t feel like it uses a ton of pellets at 600, it isn’t like you cook at that temp for very long, it’s a raging inferno at 600 and it will sear the hell out of anything you throw at it.
Exactly! Sure it will burn thru more pellets to get to those soaring temps, but you’re not gonna be using them for long unless you like torching your food! I’m more confident that this won’t be as big a concern as I first thought.
 

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