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Weber Smokey Joe 14" Charcoal Grill Review

By: Kelly Burgess on April 26, 2017

Bottom Line

Those who want a small grill for tailgating or camping, can't go wrong with the Weber Smokey Joe 14" Charcoal Grill. Experts and owners say this portable version works as well as Weber's highly rated, full-sized charcoal models.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Imparts good, grilled flavor
  • Solid, durable construction
  • Easy to use and clean

Cons

  • Vents can become clogged
Our Analysis
Specs
Read Amazon Reviews

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 square inch cooking surface, enough for about four burgers. The step up Weber Smokey Joe Premium 14" inch Grill (Est. $40) [B00004RALP] adds a lid lock, while the larger Weber Jumbo Joe (Est. $60) [B0098HR0RC] ups the size to 18 inches for a total cooking area of 240 square inches, and adds a few more features as well.

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

Séamus Bellamy, May 6, 2016

Weber grills are the top pick in all three categories here, including the  as the best portable option. Séamus Bellamy says, "It's the perfect grill for tailgating, camping, or cooking in smaller areas." The Premium is the version with the locking lid.

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.

Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2017

The Weber Smokey Joe 14-inch Charcoal Grill receives more than 980 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.

Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of April 2017

In more than 125 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.

Contributors to Lowes.com, As of April 2017

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.

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