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If you’re a hard-core tailgater, you know better than to compromise on the quality of your grill. You also want the quality to meet the price, but scoring a good deal on one is not always obvious. Chances are you landed here while checking out Weber Smokey Joe Charcoal Grill reviews to determine whether it’s worth all the hype.
Well, at Simply Tailgating, we have everything you need to know about the grill in our detailed Weber Smokey Joe Charcoal Grill review. You definitely don’t want to buy this grill without reading some of the shocking complaints. So let’s fire things up, shall we?
About Weber Grills
The Weber-Stephen Products LLC, found online at www.weber.com, is an American manufacturer of charcoal, electric and gas grills, including the Weber Smokey Joe Charcoal Grill. The company was founded by George A. Stephen back in 1983, as a metal works shop in Palatine, Illinois, where they are currently headquartered.
Weber Smokey Joe Features
Weber claims the Smokey Joe Charcoal Grill provides convenience in grilling, combining simplicity in design with lightweight components for on-the-go grilling. So let’s take a closer look at some of the grill’s features and see if you agree.
Porcelain-Enameled Domed Lid and Bowl – Both the lid and bowl are peel and rust resistant with a porcelain enamel coating that also works to retain heat.
Plated Steel Cooking Grate – Under the lid is a removable plated steel cooking grate that’s normally ideal for charcoal-based grills as they tend to heat up faster than griddles.
Tuck-N-Carry Lid Lock Carrying Handle – To avoid placing the lid on the ground, the Tuck-N-Carry lid lock also doubles up as a lid holder.
147 Square Inches Cooking Area – The cooking area under the domed lid can hold up to 5 standard-sized burgers.
Other Notable Features:
- Heavy-gauge steel charcoal grate
- 3 rust-resistant aluminum dampers
- Lid handle
Cleaning & Maintenance
Cleaning your Weber Smokey Joe Charcoal Grill shouldn’t be a problem. You can use a glass cleaner for the porcelain-coated lids and a stainless steel cleaner for the steel cooking grate and the charcoal grate.
You can use a grill brush to clean the cookbox. Once the grill cools off completely, remove the cooking grates and brush off grease and all food residue from inside the cookbox in to the damper.
I don’t know about you but some of my friends like to go old school. As you’re allowing the charcoal to light up, place the “unclean” cooking grate and let the food residue burn up for a couple of minutes before grilling. The residue will turn to ash making it easier to brush it off with a stainless steel brush.
Since the Weber Smokey Joe Charcoal Grill is mostly porcelain-enameled, it’s not necessary to season the grill before storing it away, unlike the Blackstone 36” Griddle. Just make sure you wipe off any water residue or let it dry before storing it away.
Weber Smokey Joe Portability
While out tailgating, you don’t want your grill coming in the way of your “moving around” time. Well, the Weber Smokey Joe Charcoal Grill is actually quite portable. When closed, the grill measures 17″H X 14.2″W X 16.5″D.It weighs 9.8 pounds, same as three 2-liter bottles of soda. So pretty much anyone can carry the unit and it can fit in the trunk of a sedan.
Weber Smokey Joe Warranty
The Weber Smokey Joe, the bowl and lid have a 10-year, no rust through/burn through warranty. The one-touch cleaning system carries with it a 5-year, no rust through/burn through, same case with the plastic components, excluding fading or discoloration. All other parts have a 2-year warranty.
Weber Smokey Joe Accessories
If you want to get the most out of your Weber Smokey Joe Charcoal Grill, here are a few accessories you can buy:
- Premium tool set that includes a pair of tongs and spatula
- Instant-read thermometer
- Premium carry bag
Weber Smokey Joe Replacement Parts
While considering replacement parts, you’ll need to note the diameter of your charcoal grill and the unit’s product code. This Smokey Joe’s product code is 40020, with the cooking grate, charcoal grate and cover making up the unit’s replaceable components. You can get great deals on these items on Amazon.com.
Weber Smokey Joe Cost
This unit costs around $70. But if you want to get the latest best price, Amazon.com would be a clear winner since they provide great discounts. You can even get free 1-2 Day Shipping if you’re a Prime member.
What Do We Like?
Here’s what we like about this grill:
It’s easy to clean – The Weber Smokey Joe is porcelain-enameled where it counts. So unless you would give a rat’s ass about cleaning your unit, cleaning should be straightforward.
Fits in tight spaces – The grill is decently small, lightweight and easy to carry while out and about.
Weber Smokey Joe Complaints
You want to spend your money on something that’s worth the price. A worst case scenario would be to buy a unit that ends up in storage after it’s short glory days. With that in mind, take a look at where this grill falls short so you can decide whether it’s worth the investment.
You’ll struggle with temperature – Since there are no air vents at the bottom, you may burn your food when the charcoal is burning at full throttle. Customers say you may need to have prior experience with charcoal grills to use this unit well.
It’s not the best for a large party- With this unit, you may have to cook in rounds if you’re hosting a large tailgate party. The cooking space can fit 5-6 burgers, which is ideally not enough for a party of five or more.
Other Tailgating Grills to Consider
If you’re not okay with either the grill’s size or vent design, you can consider checking out other tailgating grills we’ve reviewed before below.
Should you buy the Weber Smokey Joe Grill?
This Weber Smokey Joe grill can be a worthy buy for a small party, but the designers didn’t have a whole crew in mind while designing the unit. Some customers are pissed at the vents not allowing enough airflow to regulate the temperature.
But it’s lightweight, weighing just a little under 10 pounds, and easy to carry with carry-handles that double up as the lid’s handle. So if you like the Weber Smokey Joe, you can buy it on Amazon.com for the best price and can even get 1-2 day Free shipping if you’re a Prime member.
- Doesn’t take up much space
- Easy to clean
- Compact and durable
- Poor ventilation design
So that’s my thoughts on the Weber Smokey Joe. Did we miss something? Feel free to share your thoughts about this or any other tailgating grill you have used before in the comments section below. If you still have questions about the unit, you can visit the Q&A section on the product’s Amazon Page.