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Weber EX6 vs Traeger (2020): Can the SmokeFire Series Compete?

Not too long ago, Weber launched its answer to Traeger: the SmokeFire series. This isn’t an easy battle to win, of course. After all, Traeger is considered as the pioneer of wood pellet grills. However, the SmokeFire EX6 in particular has shaped up to be quite the opponent.

Arguably, the direct competitor of the SmokeFire EX6 is Traeger’s Timberland series, but we’re comparing it to the Ironwood 650 instead. That’s because these two are priced the same. That way you’d know which smoker you should invest in, paying the same amount regardless of which you choose.

Weber EX6 vs Traeger Comparison Chart

ModelWeber SmokeFire EX6Traeger Ironwood 650
 Weber 23510001 SmokeFire EX6 Wood Fired Pellet Grill, BlackTraeger Grills Ironwood 650 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker with Alexa and WiFIRE Smart Home Technology...
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Dimensions (W x D x H)

Lid open: 55″ x 33″ x 62″

Lid closed: 55″ x 33″ x 47″

46″ x 27″ x 48″
Cooking Area

Bottom: 648 sq. in.

Top: 360 sq. in.

Total: 1008 sq. in.

Bottom: 418 sq. in.

Top: 231 sq. in.

Total: 650 sq. in.

Hopper Capacity22 lbs.20 lbs.
Temperature Range200°F to 600°F165°F to 500°F
ControlsWeber Connect Smart GrillingIronwood D2 with WiFIRE
GratesPlated steelAdjustable two-tier
Meat ProbeSingleSingle
ColorsBlackBlack

Design

The Weber SmokeFire EX6 and Traeger Ironwood 650 each have another variant, the SmokeFire EX4 and Ironwood 885, respectively.

Weber EX6 vs Traeger Design
The Weber SmokeFire EX6 (left) looks slightly similar to the Traeger Ironwood 650 (right).

When it comes to appearance, the Weber SmokeFire EX6 shares design cues with the Traeger Ironwood 650. To be exact, they have sawhorse-like legs with wheels and a sideway barrel for a body. However, the former is bigger, and it’s more comparable to the latter’s sibling, the Ironwood 885. Speaking of, the SmokeFire series has a smaller model called the SmokeFire EX4.

Cooking Performance

You can cook more food on the Weber SmokeFire EX6, but a larger cooking area isn’t everything.

Weber EX6 vs Traeger Cooking Performance
The Weber SmokeFire EX6 (left) has flavorizer bars, while the Traeger Ironwood 650 (right) has a Super Smoke mode.

Each grill has something unique to bring to the table. First off, the SmokeFire EX6 has what Weber calls “flavorizer bars.” These don’t only drain grease and excess drippings, but they also prevent runaway flames from burning your food and add an extra smoky flavor. The Traeger Ironwood 650 has something similar. It has a grease tray that pretty much does the same thing, besides diffusing heat.

Now the Weber SmokeFire EX6 has a larger hopper capacity that can hold up to 22 lbs. of pellets. In contrast, the Traeger Ironwood 650 can support up to 20 lbs.

However, it does have a few advantages. For starters, it has a Downdraft Exhaust System that helps retain smoke until it completes a cycle around the barrel. On top of that, it has a Super Smoke mode that reduces the temperature and uses its fan at variable speeds to produce as much smoke as it can for a full-bodied smoky flavor. The SmokeFire EX6 also has a similar feature called SmokeBoost, which Weber recently added via a firmware update.

Additional Features

Clever features are always nice to see, but in the end, how well a smoker can cook is the most important part.

Weber EX6 vs Traeger Other Features
The Weber SmokeFire EX6 (left) uses Weber Connect Smart Grilling, while the Traeger Ironwood 650 (right) has the company’s D2 Controller with WiFIRE technology.

Initially, Weber’s app was spotty at best. However, it ironed out the kinks after some time. As mentioned earlier, it added a new SmokeBoost feature for the SmokeFire series. You can also remotely adjust the temperature now.

Using WiFIRE technology, the Traeger Ironwood 650 can keep you up to date with how your food is cooking. It also lets you control the temperature on the Traeger app.

One thing that makes the Weber SmokeFire EX6 stand out is its ash and grease drawer. It’s a welcome addition, but it’s not as easy to clean as advertised.

Verdict

Traeger’s years of experience really show.

It wasn’t an easy pick, but we’ll have to go with the Traeger Ironwood 650 here. That’s simply because it can impart a rich and woody flavor that’s hard to match. Still, the Weber SmokeFire EX6 has a couple of advantages: it can accommodate more food, reach a higher temperature, and hold more pellets at a time. It even has an ash and grease drawer to boot.

However, what really matters most is how well a smoker can cook.

FAQs

📌 Does Weber have a pellet grill?

Yes, Weber recently launched its new SmokeFire series that consists of two models: the EX4 and EX6.

📌 Can you leave the Weber SmokeFire EX6 or Traeger Ironwood 650 unattended?

Yes. The respective apps of the Weber SmokeFire EX6 and Traeger Ironwood 650 let you monitor and control temperatures remotely. That means you don’t always have to be near it to keep an eye on things. However, leaving any cooking device running for long periods always poses risks. Make sure to take preventative measures such as placing the pellet grill away from houses or buildings.

📌 Which is better, the Weber SmokeFire EX6 or the Traeger Ironwood 650?

The Weber SmokeFire EX6 is better because it has a larger cooking area and hopper capacity. It can also reach a higher temperature. However, the Traeger Ironwood 650 has features such as the Downdraft Exhaust System and Super Smoke mode that arguably gives a deeper woody flavor.

📌 Are pellet grills worth the money?

Yes. Pellet grills are versatile that you can grill, smoke, bake, and more with them. They’re generally easy to use, and models such as the Weber SmokeFire EX6 and Traeger Ironwood 650 make things even easier with their features.

Last update on 2020-11-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Vincent Lanaria
Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.