There are two designs of smokers available in the market place. Vertically or horizontally oriented, both types can be fueled by charcoal, wood, electricity or gas.  Vertical smokers usually have a water source to dampen temperature and keep the interior of the smoking environment high in humidity.  This is important in keeping many tougher meats moist while heat dissolves the fibrous collagen. Most horizontal smokers are typically run dry, like the Stillwater (see below).  Electric smokers are usually vertical in orientation and typically have a water pan to keep moisture in the smoking environment higher than dry heat.

The purpose of the Smokenator is to provide either a final or an interim solution for a Barbecue Chef who already owns a 18.5", 22.5", or 26.75" Weber and desires to maximize the versatility, capacity, and temperature control features that are built into this classic American kettle.

Most people know that the Weber kettle has superior control of temperature.  What most people don't realize is the capacity of the Weber can be easily expanded.  If you purchase a Smokenator and the Hovergrill or use an alternative extra grill such as one used for the 18" Weber, what capacity do you really have?  How does this capacity meet your personal needs? How does this capacity compare to other smokers on the market?   This picture illustrates the area to hold food of the 22.5" Weber with a Smokenator 1000 installed.

The Hovergrill rests on two supports that raise the grill 3 1/2 inches above the food support grill.  In the 22.5" Weber, the total area of the combined grills is 547 square inches.   We have used the combination to smoke over 15 pounds of ribs.

One can cook 8 chicken halves, four on the top grill and four on the Hovergrill.

Using just the lower coal support grill (bottom grill) and the top grill with rib racks, customers report doing 10 racks of St Louis style ribs!

The Smokenator really allows the space in the kettle to be utilized effectively without burning or charring.

The Smokenator 1000 and Hovergrill combination amounts to $91.95 plus shipping, and the Smokenator 2600 and Hovergrill to $103.95.  It's only reasonable to ask what other kinds of smokers are out there that compete with this combination?


The Weber Smokey Mountain is a popular vertical smoker due to its ability to control air intake to the charcoal fuel and to add moisture to the enclosed cooking environment.  The 22.5" Weber kettle with the Smokenator is a combination that is basically equivalent to the Weber Smokey Mountain.  The loading of fuel and water into the Weber is easier than with the Weber Smokey Mountain as is clean up.  The temperature regulation is simpler and more stable, provided one follows directions.  The directions provided make it easy for anyone to get the right settings to start doing real low and slow cooking.  With a Hovergrill the capacity of the set up is the same if not more since the lower grill can also be used.  Just remember due to temperature gradients in the kettle means food has to be rotated.
If you already have a Weber kettle you save space and $150.00!
And no greasy clean up of the water pan!

The Brinkmann's 2- 15.5" diameter grills have 377 square inches of surface area, about 68% less surface than the 547 square inches of the Smokenator-Hovergrill combination.  The Brinkman does not have any means to control air to the charcoal except the ash that forms over the burning charcoal.   In fact one has to stir the coals on occasion to increase heat roduction.  Eventually, the coals get smothered in ash.
Both of these vertical smokers collect the drippings in the water pan resting beneath the food support grills.  It takes about 20 minutes to clean this pan.  In the Weber kettle drippings are absorbed in the ash collecting under the coal support grill, one just sweeps ash and dripping through the vents-No Messy clean up!   If you have one and want to learn how to modify it turn it into a good smoker this website shows how.

The New Braunfels Compact smoker is a nice compact smoker which has 244 square inches of grill space.   The 22" Weber with just the food support grill not counting the surface taken by the Smokenator is 300 square inches.  One could buy a new 22" Weber One Touch for $99.00 and a Smokenator 1000 for $65.95 and have almost $65.00 left over to use for spices, wood chunks, and remote thermometers!  One would save space and not clutter the patio.

The Brinkmann Stillwater features a grill area of 480 square inches and an offset fire box.  It's a traditional smoker with 1/4" steel walls!  Cost? $920 and includes a free $45.00 Value cover.  A Smokenator 1000 with a Hovergrill has 550 square inches, and costs $91.95 plus shipping.
When you buy a Smokenator you get detailed directions on how to set up the Weber to run between 210 to 230°F.  Plus you won't have to put up with cold spots or making modifications that are common with the these horizontal offset smokers.

The New Braunfels/Charbroil Bandera Description:
 Vertical Smoker with Offset Firebox
 Heavy Duty Steel Construction
 992 sq. in. of Cooking Space
 Heat Resistant Powder Coat Paint
 Convenient Front Shelf
 Dual-Air Damper System
 Cool Touch Handles
 Firebox Includes Cleanout Door
 Removable Ash Pan
 Lower Storage Rack
Now this is a smoker!!!  You can go to the Barbecue Brethren forum and get the modifications that turn it into one heck of a smoker.
The Bandera's costs $0.60 per square inch of smoking area.   Cost of a Smokenator when you already have a 22’ Weber? $0.22 a square inch.  Buy a Hovergrill you get 550 square inches of smoking surface for $0.17 a square inch.



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