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Weber-Stephen Products Smokey Joe Gold Charcoal Grill
(26 Epinions reviews)
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Weber Smokey Joe Gold Grill--A Solid Little Performer
Apr 21, 2006 (Updated Apr 23, 2006)
Review by Mike Mosier
Rated a Very Helpful Review
I've owned my Weber Smokey Joe Gold Grill for about three years, and I selected it for numerous reasons. Before I tell you those reasons, let tell you a little bit about the grill itself.
Recommend this product?
The Weber Smokey Joe Gold Grill is a small, kettle-style outdoor grill. It comes in a box unassembled, but putting it together is a ten-minute job that involves bolting on the top handle, the carrying handle, and the tripod-type legs. The ash pan which is designed to catch the ashes from cooking and ruining your deck or patio attaches to the legs, and the cooking grill and the charcoal grid beneath it sit conveniently on the screws that attach the legs and carrying handle, so it's put together pretty efficiently. When it's completely assembled, the Smokey Joe stands about 18 inches tall, and the stainless steel cooking grill has about 165 square inches of cooking area. The grill is black in color and the carrying handle has a locking feature that also secures the top, making it easy to transport without fear of the grill falling apart on you. Because of its small size, it's easy to store, and when I finish with it I just put in in a corner on my deck where it sits pretty much unobtrusively until I get the urge to cook with it again.
Why I Bought This Grill
My children are out of the nest, so on the vast majority of times that I want to grill a steak, a chop or a couple of pieces of fish, it's just for my wife and me. The Smokey Joe is small and suits me perfectly when I cook for two. A pair of nice T-bones or ribeyes take up most of the cooking area, and the same holds true for chicken breasts, salmon or tuna filets, and nice, thick pork chops. Sometimes I can squeeze four 6 ounce filets or lobster tails on the grill, but really I bought it with the idea of cooking for two in mind.
Because this is a small grill, it takes minimal amounts of charcoal and lighter fluid to build a cooking fire. The idea behind the kettle-style cooker is that the construction is designed to cook the food from both the bottom and top of the grill. Efficiency is the key word here, and this design results in good, thorough cooking with a minimum of fuel and charcoal. Cooking time is minimized too--I like my steaks about 1 1/2 inches thick, and the Smokey Joe grill gets them done to a perfect medium rare in 8 to 10 minutes, depending on outside temperature.
This grill is a breeze to transport. The carrying handle has a locking feature that secures the top of the grill, and because of its size, the Smokey Joe fits nicely in the back of my Jeep. We normally carry it to the river and put it on my pontoon and began searching for a secluded beach to land on and cook a nice meal. Whether you're at home or on the beach, or in the woods camping, cleanup is very easy. Just empty the ash pan and the remaining ashes and charcoal in the kettle, wire-brush the grill, and lock the top on and you're good to go for the next time.
The top of the grill has an adjustable vent so you can control the draft (and the intensity of the heat) so you can sear your food or cook it a little more slowly and more well done
There aren't many, but the most obvious is that you have to stoop or kneel to add your food, turn it or take it off. As I said, this little grill is only 18 inches tall, so you can't stand and deal with it.
The Smokey Joe won't cook for a crowd. It's a cooker designed for two or three people, and if you're cooking for a family of 5, you wouldn't like this grill.
For me, the benefits of the Weber Smokey Joe Gold Grill outweigh the drawbacks by a long shot. It perfectly suits my needs, considering that I cook for two most times, and the ease of transportation and portability make it a pretty versatile cooker for me. I save money on charcoal and lighter fluid, and in these days of $3.00 gasoline I'm looking for every penny that I can squeeze out.
I think I paid somewhere around $30 for this grill, and I consider it money well spent. It comes with a 10 year warranty, but it looks pretty much indestructible to me, as long as you keep it dry to avoid rust.
Thanks for reading.
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Amount Paid (US$): 30.00
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