Small but mighty, the
Whether you’re tailgating at the ballpark or camping in the wilderness, the
The Smokey Joe recently claimed the best portable grill honor on our guide to charcoal grills for 2021.
Constructed in much the same way as the larger
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Weber Smokey Joe 14” Overview
The Smokey Joe has been popular for many years thanks to that
For starters, both models feature a 14.5 inch diameter cooking grate that is triple nickel plated. You might be wondering about why the diameter is 14.5 when the name says 14, but that’s just due to
To put that size into perspective, you’d reasonably be able to fit around three large steaks or six burgers at a time.
So what’s the difference between silver and gold? We’ll go into more detail soon, but there is really only one key difference.
However, the Gold model does come with a convenient handle that secures the lid during transport or storage.
What we like:
- Durability – the
WeberSmokey Joe 14” is built to last, and many customers share that they have had their Smokey Joe well over 10-15 years. With a similar design and construction to the much larger Weberkettles, you get the high quality of other popular Webermodels, but at a fraction of the price.
- Convenience – If you’re doing some small capacity outdoor cooking, the
WeberSmokey Joe 14” is the way to go. It’s small, easy to transport, and can be used pretty much anywhere. Take it camping, to the beach, tailgating, or just simply use it in your backyard.
- Quick Assembly – There’s not much to this little grill, and its simplicity is a plus to its design. We had both the Silver and Gold models assembled in less than fifteen minutes, making for a fast and easy setup.
- Silver Model’s Ash Catcher – We prefer the Silver model’s ash catcher to the Gold model’s closed design. While it is nice that the closed base of the Gold model prevents hot ash from blowing around our food, it does make cleanup a bit more time consuming because ashes can’t be removed until the coals and the charcoal rack are removed.
- Gold Model’s “Tuck and Carry Lid Holder” – This locked lid makes transportation and storage of the
WeberSmokey Joe more easy and convenient. The Gold model does cost a little more than the Silver, but this feature may make that worthwhile.
What we don’t like:
- No Thermometer – While we don’t normally trust the thermometers frequently found in the lid of other
Webermodels due to their inaccuracy, the thermometer’s absence on the Smokey Joe is notable. However, investing in a good digital thermometer makes for a good, quick fix to this problem.
- Handles – One thing really missing from this design would be handles on the sides of the grill to aid in transport. If you need to move the grill after your coals are already hot, you are out of luck unless you bring out some grill gloves to protect your hands from the hot body of the grill.
That being said, if you plan on cooking for larger groups of people you might want to think about upgrading to the Weber Kettle Original.
So long as you plan on mainly cooking for 2-3 people at a time, or using other grills at the same time, then the Smoker Joe is a great portable grill.
One thing can be said about
It’s built to last, and it comes with a ten year warranty. Many customers have had their
They are solidly built and have several features, such as the porcelain enameled lid and bowl, that are designed with durability in mind.
Both models feature a porcelain enameled bowl and lid, which is baked on at over 1500°F to fuse the finish to the steel, preventing rust and wear. The dampers on both the Silver and Gold versions are aluminum, resistant to rust, and allow for easy control of air and heat.
The nylon handle is glass reinforced for easy handling when removing or replacing the lid during cooking. The three legged design is also present on both models, and they weigh in at a very lightweight 9.5 pounds.
Ease of Use
Quick and easy to setup, you’ll find yourself spending mere minutes assembling the
The grill heats up fast and you can keep your coals hot by controlling the vents on the top (and on the bottom on the Silver model). Take the top completely off, and things get really hot really fast with the open air flow.
It’s the little things that count, and so it is worth mentioning that
With either model, cleanup can be a bit of a hassle, but we prefer the easier to clean ash catcher of the Silver model for a quicker cleanup.
However, if we were doing more traveling, the Gold model has the Silver beat for ease of transportation thanks to its “Tuck and Carry Lid Holder”.
With a little ingenuity you can even use the Smokey Joe as a smoker. Check out this video from Baby Back Maniac to see how it’s done.
Weber Smokey Joe Gold vs Weber Smokey Joe Silver
As we said before, the Gold model does not have an ash catcher, and its ashes cannot be removed until the coals and charcoal rack are removed first. This makes cleaning harder and more inconvenient, but may be a plus to some for the fact that you don’t have ashes blowing around during cooking, such as with the open plate ash catcher of the Silver model.
The ash catcher of the Silver model is convenient for easy cleaning, but one thing to be wary of is just how much the ashes fly around during your cooking, as they can not only get in your food but also clog up the vent holes of the bottom ventilation.
The locking handle that secures the Gold model’s lid is a great feature that may be worth the few extra bucks for this model. It definitely comes in handy when you are on the go.
So, which model is right for you?
If you travel frequently and want a grill that’s made for being transported, go for the Gold. If you plan to use your
Should You Buy the
Weber Smokey Joe 14”?
It delivers high quality cooking without a high price, and is built to last without needing any bells and whistles to make it a solid grill.