BBQ legend Weber is getting into the connected cooking game with their new SmokeFire grill, which uses wood pellets for fuel and incorporates technology developed by Weber in partnership with appliance startup June for Wi-Fi-enabled smart cooking.
The SmokeFire grill, which will be available for pre-order in the U.S. starting on Cyber Monday and which will start shipping early next year, is a first in more ways than one for Weber. Yes, it packs in connected smart cooking — but it’s also the first time Weber has made a pellet grill, a style of outdoor cooker popularized by Traeger, and useful for both low and slow smoking, as well as high-heat grilling like a more traditional coal, natural gas or propane BBQ.
Weber may not have a history of building pellet grills, but it does have a very strong reputation when it comes to outdoor cooking appliances. The business introduced its iconic Kettle Grill back in 1952, and consistency racks up top marks for its range of BBQs, known for their even, consistent temperatures and long-term durability.
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This legacy cooking industry heavyweight apparently decided to partner with June once word of the startup’s own Smart Oven started circulating around the office. June and Weber teamed up to test thousands of recipes in the development of the Weber Connect smart grilling software, which provides step-by-step directions ranging from prep through the entire cook, as well as an ETA on whatever you’ve got on the grill, delivered to and controlled from your smartphone.
The SmartFire comes in two sizes, with 24″ and 36″ grilling surfaces respectively, for $999 and $1,199 respectively. The design looks like what you’d expect from a pellet grill — with the interesting choice of locating the hopper wherein you feed said pellets to the back of a small prep shelf on the right side of the grill. If you’re new to pellet grills, they feed these processed wood pellets, which produce great smoke but very little ash because of their high-efficiency burn, in a controlled manner that keeps temperature inside the grill consistent where you set it.
Low and slow is a great way to grill, and having intelligent cooking features to guide you along the way should help alleviate rookie mistakes like over and undercooking. Plus, it’s just exciting to imagine what Weber can do with its first pellet grill.