Weber Smokey Joe 14" Charcoal Grill Review

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Weber Smokey Joe 14" Charcoal Grill Review
Bottom Line

For those who want a small grill for tailgating or camping, reviewers say you can't go wrong with the Weber Smokey Joe 14" Charcoal Grill. Formerly known as the Smokey Joe Silver, experts and owners say this portable version works as well as Weber's highly rated, full-sized charcoal models, such as the Weber Original 22-inch Kettle. We found a few complaints about the vent design, but most say this model is solidly built and cooks dependably. The step up Weber Smokey Joe Premium 14" inch Grill (Est. $40) [B00004RALP] (formerly the Smokey Joe Gold) adds a lid lock, while the larger Weber Jumbo Joe (Est. $60) [B0098HR0RC] ups the size to 18 inches and has a few more features.

ProsPerforms a variety of cooking tasks, Imparts good, grilled flavor, Solid, durable construction, Easy to use and cleanConsVents can become clogged

Breaking it down

Performance

As good as a full-size Weber. Most reviewers say the Weber Smokey Joe 14" Charcoal Grill performs as well as full-size Weber grills. Owners report using this model with great success to cook a range of foods -- even on indirect heat, although a few say it's a bit small for that method of cooking. Others disagree, saying it's perfect for searing, then roasting, a few pieces of chicken or a tri-tip roast. This is a great grill if you need something highly portable, and is very popular as a tailgate grill, or for those who have a small deck or patio. Many say they purchased it not for its portability, but because they just need a good, small charcoal grill for one or two people. It has a 147-inch cooking surface, enough for about four burgers. If you need something larger, the Weber Jumbo Joe offers 240 square inches of cooking space.

Ease of use

Simple to operate, but keep it clean. Virtually the only complaint we saw about the Weber Smokey Joe 14" Charcoal Grill was that the vents can sometimes become clogged with ashes, but that seems to be more of a problem if it's not cleaned out well in-between uses. Most say it's very easy to clean and, with its squatter build, catches ashes more effectively than the full-sized Weber Original Kettle with the same basic design. Once users get the hang of it, they say it's extremely simple to lay and light the charcoal, and it's ready to cook fairly quickly.

Durability/safety

Inexpensive, with "rock-solid" construction. The combination of an extremely affordable price and a build that many owners say lasts for years makes the Weber Smokey Joe 14" Charcoal Grill a great value, according to reviewers. The grill comes with a 10-year warranty on the bowl, lid and nylon handle, and a two-year warranty on the grates and remaining components. It's extremely safe, if used properly, but one expert says the legs seem flimsy -- a complaint we did not see echoed by owners.

Our Sources

1. AmazingRibs.com

Weber Smokey Joe Silver and Gold Portable Charcoal Grills, Max Good, Not Dated

Max Good gives the Smokey Joe 14" Charcoal Grill, formerly known as the Smokey Joe Silver, a thorough review based both upon testing and research. It earns a Best Value and Top Ten Best Value award. Good notes that it has the same construction and durability as the larger, original Weber kettles. The Smokey Joe 14 Gold is also included in this review, but that grill is now called the Smokey Joe Premium.

2. About.com

Weber Smokey Joe 14" Charcoal Grill, Derrick Riches, Feb. 16, 2016

Derrick Riches, the About.com Barbecues & Grilling expert, gives the Weber Smokey Joe Gold a thorough review and rates it 4.5 stars out of a possible 5. He says it's basically a scaled-down version of the iconic Weber kettle grill and performs well for a small grill, but it's flimsy and the bottom vent can clog.

3. Amazon.com

Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2016

The Weber Smokey Joe 14-inch Charcoal Grill receives more than 755 reviews on Amazon.com, with an overall rating of 4.7 stars out of 5. Most users say it is extremely durable and performs very well; many like it for travel or for a small apartment deck.

4. HomeDepot.com

Weber Smokey Joe Portable Charcoal Grill , Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of April 2016

In more than 65 reviews, the Weber Smokey Joe 14-inch Charcoal Grill earns an overall rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 and 97 percent would recommend it. Owners say it's great for tailgating, and it's easy to use and transport. Many also like it for apartment living and other small spaces.

5. Lowes.com

Weber Smokey Joe Silver 147-sq in Portable Charcoal Grill, Contributors to Lowes.com, As of April 2016

Just under 40 reviewers give the Weber Smokey Joe 14-inch Charcoal Grill an overall rating of 4.8 stars out of 5; 100 percent say that they would recommend it to a friend. Pros include good flavor, a classic design, and a durable, high quality build.