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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 9:26 pm 

Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2015 8:47 pm
Posts: 5
Hi all, firstly I have to say I am a massive meat fan. I love looking at it, selecting it, cooking it and eating it.. I've been BBQing for years, but now want to take it to the next level and start smoking.. Ribs, brisket etc.

My old Barbie just karked it so it's a great opportunity to get a new one. My research has ended up with Weber. They seem to have the best build quality, are reliable and therefore have consistently good reviews.
By the way, I have a young family with little time to mess around with charcoal, so Looking at gas options, with additional smoker box.

For smoking though as a grill and smoker combo, I'm wondering which Weber would be best.
I was looking at the Family Weber Q, everything looks great, but I'm questioning its smoking ability since it's got 2 big gaps at each side. Will too much smoke escape? Do you need a completely encased lid to get the best smoking effect?

The other model I'm looking at is the Weber Spirit. It looks and seems more like a traditional BBQ, with
a vertical grill and a lid that seems to be fully enclosed.

Happy to look at other models/options. But for under $1,000, this seemed to be my best bet.

What do you think my best option is?

Thank you.


PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 9:41 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:42 am
Posts: 2381
Location: Melbourne
Welcome to the site BunMaster. Sadly, I can't give you any advice as I've never owned a weber gas bbq. Plenty of kettles but that doesn't help you.
I'm sure someone will be along who can help you out though.
But I will also add that for a bit more you could look at a pellet smoker too.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:20 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2014 3:08 pm
Posts: 150
Welcome aboard BunMaster.

Unfortunately unless you go with a purpose built gas smoker like a hark or Aldi Coolabah you will struggle smoking on a gas bbq. Mainly because they need airflow and have air gaps built into them to achieve that air flow, which means the smoke gets away and doesn't penetrate the meat like a smoker does. My Weber Summit gasser has a smoker box as standard kit but I have never used it to smoke with. I have a mate who also has one and has tried, but the only time he had any sort of success with it he used al foil to pack into all of the gaps around the lid & underneath to try and keep the smoke in, which he swore he wouldn't bother with again as it was a PITA repacking it every time he opened the lid. You can get the Hark or Aldi smokers for $200 - 300.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:41 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:22 pm
Posts: 165
Hey Bunmaster, I absolutely agree with Barney regarding smoking in Weber gas BBQ's. It can be done but it's just not worth it IMO.

If your budget is around $1,000, then my 2c is to buy the Family Q and get a second hand Weber kettle. They often go for next to nothing on Gumtree and you sometimes find perfectly decent kettles on roadside collection days.

You will be amazed at how little effort a kettle is. Buy a chimney starter, some firelighters, Heat Beads or Hot Shots and wood chips from bunnings. Put a couple of blocks of firelighter under the chimney starter, pour the briquettes in, light the firelighters and walk away. The coals will be ready in 20-30 min (when the top ones are lightly ashed). Pour the coals in two heaps around the sides of the kettle and throw a chicken with some basic spices on in the middle of the kettle. Throw a fistful of wood chips on the coals. Close the lid and walk away.

Come back in an hour and a bit and the chicken will be ready (the "bit" depends on how large the chicken is). I would really recommend getting a meat thermometer so that you know for sure when larger cuts of meat are done. Thermapen is best but expensive, the Weber instant read is much cheaper and gets the job done. It's exactly the same process for lamb and pork roasts.

You can do ribs and brisket etc. in a kettle if you master the snake method or get a Smoke-a-nator. If your budget is a lot bigger then, like yakabot says, you can do it all on a pellet grill.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:12 am 

Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2015 8:47 pm
Posts: 5
Hi guys, thank you so much for your replies and advice.

To be honest I'm quite surprised that Weber are producing a product that doesn't work properly. I did a lot of research and Weber really seemed to put a lot technology, and thought into their design. And I thought I'd finally found what I was looking for a BBQ Grill and smoker in 1 unit.

I mean it may not produce competition quality taste, but would it at least give me a little intro into smoking, so I could dabble without forking out extra now? Doesn't sound like it but thought I'd ask..

It kind of defeats the purpose for me of having 2 units - I don't have much space.

Also the reason I wanted a gas unit is that I'm looking for a 'set and forget' system. I love meat but have 2 toddlers, so hard to focus and give attention to both. The only thing I wanted to be looking at during an 8 hour smoke is my digital thermostat for the meat and chamber. Is that realistic?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:19 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:45 am
Posts: 3667

I created a list (now a little out of date i will update soon) on all the smokers avaliable, their pro's cons and prices


Unfortunately most smokers there is compromise when asking for features


Weber Gas

in the case of the weber Gas range their primary function is grilling so other features are really afterthoughts and as such not its core function (which by the way they do PERFECTLY)

Coolabah / Hark Gas cabinets

These are relatively easy to control and are relatively automated but their downfall is that they are essentially just an oven with a smokebox in them. the flavour profile produced isnt consistent with that of a solid fuel BBQ

Ideally if you are chasing proper bbq either you have to invest either effort or $$$.
As above the most authentic you will get with very little outlay is a weber kettle but as you have said it requires input. the cabinet smokers dont give you the genuine flavour profile and you cant grill on them and the pellet bbq's are not in your budget.

Personally i would suggest (above) a family Q for the best day to day grilling and when you can find the time to dabble in proper low/slow get yourself a $50 kettle bbq of gumtree. these 2 bbq's take up less room than your average 6 burner BBQ and will cover 90$ of the cooking styles you want to play with

KCBS Melbourne 2015 - 9th/15 Outright
ABA Port Macquarie - 11th/45
- 3rd Lamb
KCBS Melbourne 2016 - 7th/17 Outright
- 2nd Chicken

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 7:04 pm 

Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2015 8:47 pm
Posts: 5
Thanks for all the replies guys..

One more question is - the Weber Family Q and the Weber Spirit are about the same price.

Any pros and cons I should consider? I know the recommendation was for a Family Q, but should I also consider the Spirit and why?

Thank you!

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:06 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:21 am
Posts: 1
Location: North Berhen,NJ
This is seemingly an old thread, but I'll add my two cents.

Traeger makes a few nice ones. Great customer service. A lot of people complain about smoke flavor but you can just leave it on the smoke setting longer or get an amazing smoke tube. I like them but make sure you can get pellets locally. Pellet grills are great when you work a lot of over time. Rain is a concern but just put a large plastic bag over the pellet hopper. Make sure you don't cover the fan up. It is on the bottom of the pellet hopper. There are times I use it a lot and times I prefer a wsm. The wsm when I have time and the Traeger when I am busy. The Traeger is under rated imo. Probably because people don't learn how to use them to get the results they want. There is a slight learning curve but it's as simple as just leave it on the smoke setting longer or use an amazing smoke tube.

I guess it depends on price range but the Traeger is a good all around grill and smoker. I like kettles too but to smoke with them takes some planning to get the longest burn you can without refueling. It is a good starter grill that can be used as a smoker.

Does he have the time to manage a fire? Is he busy with work a lot? It just depends on his needs.

Traeger for as close to set it and forget it as you can get.

Kettle grill if he has a lot of free time.

Kamado if he can wait for it to warm up but can over shoot temps easily if not careful and it takes a long time for them to come down if you over shoot the temps.

I prefer my Traeger right now because of overtime but my weber go anywhere has gotten a lot of use lately to conserve fuel and I have to come up with meals and deserts that can be done while camping out of a tent. Kind of my New toy. It just depends what you want to do.

Does he grill more or smoke more? Traeger can grill a burger but probably not going to get a sear on a steak.

UDS well they work good and you can probably make a fire basket you can raise up for grilling. They are called ugly for a reason but if you put time into it you can have a pretty one. Not a huge fan myself but mine was built on he cheap and built to be truly ugly as sin. My wife does not care for it.

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