The Weber SmokeFire Gen 2 and Gen 1 are pretty much the same pellet grill with the same features and performance. However, you’re less likely to run into issues with the former. In other words, there are practically no upgrades to speak of but rather fixes. If nothing else, the glow plug for ignition and fan for heat distribution were improved, but they’re not that significant to begin with.
In summary, the Weber SmokeFire Gen 1 was riddled with issues, and Weber provided solutions to those problems to existing customers, where said solutions are preinstalled in the SmokeFire Gen 2. Basically, the newer models are simply the “fixed” version of the pellet grill lineup. For that reason, the second-generation SmokeFire EX4 and SmokeFire EX6 are essentially the same as their previous generations but with fewer issues, which we’ll be talking about here to highlight their differences.
Weber SmokeFire Gen 2 vs Gen 1 Comparison Chart
|Model||Weber SmokeFire EX4 Gen 1||Weber SmokeFire EX4 Gen 2|
|Price||Check Price at Amazon.com||Check Price at Amazon.com|
|Temperature Range||200 – 600°F||200 – 600°F|
|Cooking Surface||Top grate: 240 sq in|
Bottom: 432 sq in
Dual grilling space: 672 sq in
|Top grate: 240 sq in|
Bottom: 432 sq in
Dual grilling space: 672 sq in
|Hopper Capacity||20 lbs (22 lbs without insert)||20 lbs|
|Weber Connect App||Yes||Yes|
|Fuel Type||Wood fired pellets||Wood fired pellets|
Weber sent out an insert to fix the SmokeFire Gen 1’s pellet feed problem, which is built into the SmokeFire Gen 2.
To start things off, the SmokeFire Gen 1 had an issue with its hopper that kept the pellets from flowing. For the SmokeFire Gen 2, Weber included an insert that increases the slope by 33 degrees, resulting in a more consistent pellet feed.
But there’s a trade-off here: the total hopper capacity went from 22 lbs to 20 lbs because of this insert, but to be honest, it’s a nonissue. After all, a lower chance of running into problems with the pellet feed is better. Besides, a capacity of 20 lbs is still pretty big compared to most counterparts in the market.
Weber replaced the SmokeFire Gen 1’s auger design with a single welded piece on the SmokeFire Gen 2, which should reduce the likelihood of grease fires.
The SmokeFire Gen 1’s auger design included a small seal called a grommet. With constant use, this seal started to peel and eventually caused blockages. Weber’s solution is to overhaul the whole thing. The SmokeFire Gen 2 now has a single welded piece, taking the old grommet out of the picture.
This new setup prevents flare-ups caused by sawdust or ash and grease buildup—or a mix of those. Needless to say, frequent cleaning is still required.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that the SmokeFire Gen 2 didn’t get improvements in how ash and grease are managed or cleaned. Sure, the ash and grease drawer still does its job, but the problem is they still accumulate in the base of the pellet grill, which can potentially cause grease fires. Again, the fix here is to clean your grill properly.
Weber launched the Weber Connect app built on JuneOS, fixing the issues the SmokeFire Gen 1 had.
The SmokeFire is a smart pellet grill, owing to its app called Weber Connect. Thanks to that, it can let you know when whatever you’re cooking is ready to be served or flipped, as well as monitor temperature and cook time.
However, the SmokeFire Gen 1 had problems on the software side of things, but they were fixed by rolling out a new Weber Connect version based on JuneOS. This is the same app preinstalled on the SmokeFire Gen 2, and it promises more accurate temperature control and step-by-step grilling instructions.
There’s no reason to get the SmokeFire Gen 1 with the SmokeFire Gen 2 around.
There’s no contest here, of course. The obvious pick is the Weber SmokeFire Gen 2. It’s really just the same pellet grill as the Weber SmokeFire Gen 1 minus the issues. Besides, it’s not like the first generation is widely available anymore, as they’ve been replaced by the second generation already.
If you’re deciding between the SmokeFire EX4 and the SmokeFire EX6, what primarily sets them apart is their cooking surface and, by the same token, their dimensions. The latter can accommodate more food at a time, but in most cases, the former is more than enough for small to medium families.
The Weber SmokeFire Gen 1 had issues with its hopper, auger and software, and the Weber SmokeFire Gen 2 simply fixes all of them. The newer generation also has an improved ignition plug and fan.
When the problems with the Weber SmokeFire Gen 1 surfaced, Weber sent out the materials and software update to existing customers to resolve them. Essentially, the SmokeFire Gen 2 is the same as its predecessor with all the fixes preinstalled.
The Weber SmokeFire EX4 has a dual grilling space of 672 sq in, while the Weber SmokeFire EX6 takes it up a notch with 1,008 sq in. Aside from that, they’re more or less the same, from their features to their temperature range.
Weber may have gone international and globally sources materials, but it still manufactures its grills in the United States.