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Though this is a portable grill, it is terrific for at home use if you're single, or have a small balcony apartment. It takes very little space, and is easy to maneuver when cleaning time comes.

I've used this gem for years. My apartments, on the whole, mandated the simplicity and efficiency offered up by the Smokey Joe.

A great feature is the rounded top. This enables better smoking, as air and smoke circulates more fluidly.

The downsides:
The legs aren't as sturdy as they could be. Given time, a bit of bumping around and general abuse, and the screwed on legs might turn askew. If you notice this while the grill is hot, you've a problem. The solution is to keep them tight during non-use.

The air intake at the bottom gets clogged with ashes. A key to good charcoal grilling is the manipulation of air flow. The intake might be open, but stopped up. If you are diligent to clean the ahes, you'll be OK.

Because the grill is so close to the ground, you need to be careful. Unlike most of Weber's grill, this one os also apt to getting kicked over, run into by dogs, cars and children.

I fully recommend Weber's Smokey Joe. Now, I'm hungry. Time to stir the coals and pop on a few brats.

Anthony Trendl
AmericanSpeechwriter.com
11 comment| 224 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 21, 2010
I was reading reviews for this product and I had to laugh at some. I've been using my same grill now for 15-20 years, and here are some of my thoughts. 1. An absolutely fantastic cooker, I have chicken down to a science. Try always to use bone in skin on chicken, 1 hr-1hr 15 min. for large breasts, 1hr 15 to 1 hr 30 min. for legs, 40 min give or take a few for large boneless breasts, btw always start bone side down, protect the meaty side of your breast, same with legs. number 2, I use a coffee can full of charcoal, probably 15 to 18 briquets, and I always soak some hickory, now using apple wood, gives the chicken a very nice taste and by putting the damp wood on it keeps heat down at beginning of cook and smokes up a storm for first 20 minutes. I turn my lid every 10 minutes or so,keeps cooking more even and lastly every 10-15 minutes or so I find the cool spot in the grill and use that to my advantage to keep my cooking uniform, big pieces, small pieces etc. Finally, as chicken shrinks as fat is cooked out, if you did everything right, you nuked a few potatoes and 20 minutes b-4 chicken is done you'll have room to squeeze a few in there, no foil, get grill flavor without, and remember potatos are almost completely cooked from microwave. number 3, finally you take chicken off, you grill your peppers, zuchini, and corn, grill corn husked and just laid right on grill for just maybe 5 minutes or so, keep turning veggies and you have a meal fit for a king, I entertain 5-6 people like this because I can fit 6 breasts on grill or 5 very large ones, 5 being perfect so you can squeeze the potatos on there too.
Hands down best grill 30 bucks will buy.
I will absolutely buy a new one when this finally goes and if you're cheap like I am, turn your top damper when done cooking and reuse larger pieces of charcoal by putting in coffee can after cooled and always wipe grate down with oil.
Happy grilling
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on April 13, 2005
I've had one of these little Smokey Joes for probably 15 years now. It definitely has some strong points, but also a few drawbacks.

Pros:

1. Durable. Mine's been outdoors in the weather for 15 years now. When I give it a good cleaning, it looks almost new.

2. Cooks well. I've grilled steaks, burgers, dogs, etc. It does a nice job on them all. And it doesn't use a whole lot of coal to do it. I've got a 22 1/2 weber too, but sometimes when cooking for only 2 of us, I use the smokey joe to save on coals.

3. It's small and does a nice job in a small space like apartment porch or patio.

Cons:

1. It's inconvenient as a Portable grill when traveling. It's got no carry handle or way to seal it up. Also, once you've grilled and need to go, there's nothing to do with the hot coals. You've got to seal all the vents and wait for them to be extinguished. Even then I'd be nervous about dumping them out or putting the grill in my trunk.

2. The legs get bent out of shape easily. I never abused mine, yet somehow they always are bent out of shape. Sure you can bend them back again, but later on its the same story.

If I were buying a small portable grill today, I would go with a rectangular grill like the Weber Go Anywhere grill. The legs fold up and snap over the cover. Then you just pick it up like a tool box by the top handle and go. If you choose a propane version you avoid the problem of dealing with the hot coals afterward.
1717 comments| 342 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 9, 2007
This Smokey Joe Silver grill replaced my old Smokey Joe regular grill (which was 10 years old when I got it and then lasted another ten years). The Smokey Joe Silver grill is made from heavier steel than the old one and feels more substantial. It's just small enough to rinse out in my kitchen sink but big enough to grill for 4 to 6 people on the deck. You'll get about 40 to 60 minutes of premium grill time after your 12 to 15 charcoal briquettes turn grey after lighting. Keep the grill kettle lid on to keep the heat working longer.
Tip: While grilling, never lift the lid straight up, rather move it to the side before lifting so as not to draw ashes up directly into your food.

5/19/2009 This is still a great little charcoal cooker. I continue to use it and recommend it.

1/29/2010 Using this grill in winter is fun because it's so easy to clean up and bring inside after it cools off. For example, after work yesterday we grilled delicious marinated chicken and veggie kabobs in the early evening moonlight, even though it was only about 10° outside. For dessert we roasted marshmallows over the charcoals and watched the full moon. It was great.
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on June 11, 2000
The smaller sized Weber kettle comes through with all the quality and performance as it's larger big brothers. For hamburgers, medium steaks, shish-kabobs, and small family get-togethers, the Smokey Joe lives up to its' family name. Food is prepared to your liking in quick order and domed cover returns heat from charcoal to cook evenly and retained heat and adjustable vents on top and bottom greatly reduces flare-up. Best way to start charcoal with this unit, is with electric starter, and only drawback we found is accumulation of ash in bottom of grill after a few uses. Cleans up easily, and 14" grilling surface is able to meet most needs.
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on May 10, 2015
Piece of garbage. The handle from the lid broke off after using the grill once. Honestly thought Weber grills were built with some sort of quality control. I am very disappointed.

Update: I must say that Amazon has yet again, went above and beyond to make me satisfied with the order. Although this purchase was well over the 30 day return mark, Amazon has replaced the broken grill free of charge. Lets hope this new grill will last longer than the first one. Amazon is AWESOME!
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on March 14, 2016
I've had this great grill for about 3 years now.... works perfect! WAY better than a cheaper imitation grill. The one thing that was bugging me about it is that I couldn't keep the coals super hot.... now I know to open both vents all the way... and if it is still not enough heat or the heat is dying... just take off the top and it will get super hot with an open top air flow! Hope this helps someone.
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on July 20, 2011
The Pros are that it will heat your coals faster, due to the vents on the bottom. Cons is that the vents also will cause some coal dust to fly around when you open the lid.
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on June 26, 2007
The Weber Smokey Joe is a great portable grill as far as cooking quality is concerned but there are a few issues.

First the good. You get a decent size grill area for an ultra-portable grill. It measures at 14 1/2 inches in diameter. Sure you probably can't do much with this grill if you are cooking indirect, but that's not what this grill is meant for. The grill cooks much like it's larger cousin - the Weber One-Touch. The porcelain enamel coating helps prevent rust. There's a vent damper on the bottom of the grill (as well as the top) so it's quite easy to control your temperature, much better then any other portable grill I've owned anyways. The ash-catcher works well enough to keep hot pieces of ember from falling to the ground.

As I mentioned before, there are a few caveats. My main complaint is that this grill has no lid-lock. This makes transportation a bit cumbersome, especially for a grill that is meant to be portable. You have to buy the Gold or Platinum version to get this functionality. I believe all portable grills should be easy to transport. I use a couple bungee cords to lock my lid down during transportation. Another small issue I had with mine is that one of the legs is a bit shorter then the other two, so my grill doesn't sit as evenly as it should. This isn't a big deal because Weber has great customer service, it's not that big of a deal anyways, it's just a little off. Finally the top grate doesn't fit very tightly so it wobbles around a bit - again a small issue. One other thing I should mention is that even though it has an ash catcher, it doesn't have any sort of One-Touch type of system, so you have to dump it to clean it (the vent damper doesn't quite do it). This isn't an issue at all for me because it's very light and easy to clean anyways but I thought I would mention that for those that might be curious.

All in all this is a great portable grill. For my wife and I this is a great grill to use even when we aren't going anywhere because it needs so little charcoal. Cooking on this grill definitely feels like I'm grilling on a baby version of my One-Touch. There are a few issues that keep this grill from getting a perfect score, but don't let these small issues keep you from buying this great grill. Personally I believe it's worth the $5.00 to go ahead and upgrade to the Gold so you can have the lid-lock, but it's not essential, like I said before a couple bungee cords do the trick if you need that functionality. Happy grilling!
11 comment| 36 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon June 30, 2002
I've had my Smokey Joe for just about two years, and it was a replacement for a Smokey Joe that I had for 6 or 7 years before that. It's my only barbecue grill and I use it at least 15 or 20 times a year. I leave it outside for the entire grilling season, uncovered and unsheltered. The only maintenance it gets is emptying the old ashes and cleaning the grill with a wire brush before each use. It is very durable.
As a barbecue, the only really useful feature it lacks is the ability to change the distance between the hot coals and whatever is being grilled. Other than that, it does as good a job as any unit regardless of size.
If you like charcoal grilling, but there are only one or two of you to cook for, this is an obvious and inexpensive choice. You won't be disappointed.
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