Weber launches its first WiFi-enabled pellet grill
Owing to their convenience and dependability in delivering gently smoked meats, pellet grills are gaining some serious popularity, and now one of the biggest names in barbecue is getting in on the action. Weber’s entry involves a few features it says should make for a painless backyard smoking experience, all packed inside the company’s renowned porcelain-enamel steel shells.
Smoking meat on a barbecue over the course of 12 or so hours in a traditional sense means staying close by, ready to add extra wood and charcoal as needed to keep temperatures stable. Pellet grills offer a little more freedom and a lot less hassle, using a hopper mechanism to automatically deposit pellets of fuel onto the heating elements at just the right rate to keep temperatures constant.
Hooking them up to Wi-Fi adds another degree of freedom, with the ability to remotely tap into real time data from temperature probes placed inside the meat and the chamber to make sure the cook’s running smoothly, whether that’s from the living room or beyond.
So far as Weber’s newly announced SmokeFire grills are concerned, this means an ability to gain ETA’s on the finish time, according to food and grill temperature readings. This comes by way of a smartphone app developed together with smart oven-maker June, which also offers tips on food prep, grill setup and custom doneness alerts.
The SmokeFire’s heating element can bring the chamber to temperatures ranging from 200 °F (93 °C) for a low ’n’ slow smoking session, to 600 °F (315 °C) if some ultra-hot sizzling is in order. This can be tracked and adjusted with a single knob alongside an LCD that displays the temperature.
The hopper mechanism can accommodate 22 lb (10 kg) of pellets, and Weber says its specially-designed gravity feeding mechanism is shorter than most, accelerating the preheating process and helping avoid pellet jams.
When the cooking’s done, the resulting ash and grease will be gathered in a removable drawer for easy disposal and cleaning.
Weber is offering its SmokeFire grill in 24-in and 36-inch sizes, both of which will be available in early 2020 in 25 different countries. Pre-orders will be available for US customers from December 2, with the smaller SmokeFire grill priced at US$1,000 and the larger version at $1,200.