Marcel - June 2013
So, I told my wife I wanted a Big Green Egg, because I have a Weber kettle grill and I’ve always been frustrated by it’s inability to cook low and slow well enough, but I don’t really have space for a dedicated smoker and a grill with lots of real estate. For Father’s Day she bought me the Smokenator 1000, and I used it today to make baby back ribs. Holy cow! It was easy to use, the heat was very easy to regulate, and the results were simply fantastic: easily the best ribs I’ve ever made, by far. Yet I still have my kettle for high heat grilling. This device of yours is excellent. Really.
Wall Street Journal - May 18, 2013
The Smokenator was recommended in the Graphics section of the article "The New Barbecue" by Josh Ozersky in the Wall Street Journal: "I strongly recommend getting the Smokenator 1000, an accessory that inserts into the Weber kettle and allows you to smoke without exposing your food to direct coal or wood heat." For the full article, click here.
Eric - May 2013
...I've been a Weber charcoal grill maestro for 30 years and thought I knew everything there was to know about Weber grills. Well, I didn't know that my weber could also be a smoker, but it can! I was considering dropping the $299 for a Weber Smokey Mountain and saved $220 by buying the Smokenator.
As a test, today I smoked a pork shoulder and a turkey breast at the same time. The pork was on for 9 hours and for the entire time, the temp never wavered from 200-260. I threw the turkey on at the 3 hour mark and it was done in 5 hours. No more guessing when the meat will be done! Follow the directions and the temp is just locked in.
The directions are great. They teach you how to adjust the dampers to dial in the temp. Compared to the bullet type smoker I used before with no air control, the Smokenator is so much easier to use, so easy to clean up, and so easy to manage throughout the day...
Overall, I am an instant fan of the Smokenator. Can't wait to use it again.
G. Hartman - September 2012
As an experienced grill master, I used to use just wood chips to smoke mainly BBQ chicken and ribs for a short period only, without drying them out. I discovered the Smokenator 1000 on Amazon and had to have it. I have owned a Weber kettle grill for 30 years and was considering buying a conventional smoker. I received the 1000 as a birthday gift and put it to use on Labor Day weekend 2012.The directions were simple to understand for the setup for the 1000, I smoked 3 full racks of ribs for 9 1/2 hours without a hitch, and chicken thighs for 5 hours. The best ribs and chicken we have ever had, save the BBQ sauce for the end results if desired. The key is to maintain the 230 deg. temp and keep the water level full. I used Kingsford charcoal and both mesquite and hickory wood chunks, thanks for the great product.
Wesley - February 2012
I would have never thought this would works as well as it does. I was really thinking it would supply very little smoke since I am used to using the vertical smokers. This thing SHOCKED me. Had a better infusion of smoke, better smoke ring and cooked better than the vertical smoker. I have since stopped the use of the vertical smoker unless I am doing several racks of ribs. This has replaced it easily. I use it every two weeks and have NO complaints at all about it... Anyway, if you like to smoke meats and have a Weber 22.5" grill, you won't regret this purchase!!!
Andrea - November 2011
I bought the Smokenator 1000 to smoke a turkey for Thanksgiving. Unsure if it would get here in time and if in fact the Smokenator would work correctly my wife and I bought two turkeys just in case. She did one in the oven and I did one on the grill using the Smokenator. WOW, WOW, WOW is all I can say!!
I soaked my turkey in a brine the night before and smoked it the day of Thanksgiving. While smoking the turkey it took a long time and I was constantly checking the Smokenator for temp, coals, and water. All in all it took about 6 hours to smoke the turkey and I was deathly afraid that in that amount of time the turkey had dried out. Not the case at all!! The turkey was moist and juicy with a smoke flavor to die for!
Now my wife and I can't wait to try smoking ribs, pork shoulder, and anything else we dare try. The Smokenator 1000 worked just as advertised and produced undisputed results. In my limited BBQing experience this is the best accessory that you can buy for a Weber grill. Try it out and you won't be disappointed!!
Don from Garland, TX - July 2011
I just wanted to say I cooked my first brisket with your "Smokenator 1000". I cooked for a small dinner party and everyone was asking where I got the brisket from. When I told them I cooked it myself with your product they asked when I was going to open a BBQ Joint of my own. They loved it as did I. This was the first session with it and all I can say it "was as advertised". The test didn't go quite as well, but the main cooking for 7 hours was perfect and the end result was wonderful. Thanks again, I'm now a much more avid outdoor cook and can't wait to put some Baby Backs on the grill.
Such a Great Product !!!!!!
Alex - May 2011
Just wanted to let you know how great your product is. I entered my first ever competition - a 50-team IBCA cook-off, armed with nothing but Weber Silver 22.5" equipped with a Smokenator. Got a lot of funny looks from the other competitors who were almost exclusively working with large, commercial style pits. My brisket ended up placing 4th out of 50.
So there you have it - the Smokenator can produce championship quality brisket that beats out 90% of large commercial pits.
Walter from Los Angeles, CA - August 2010
I have never smoked anything in my life. I have grilled and am very good at using a pan to cook steaks and chops, but have never smoked anything. Today, following the directions that came with my Smokenator, I went through the "test run" process. I decided to just try smoking a nice piece of salmon during the test. What' s the worst that could happen? I could ruin a piece of fish. (Which would be a shame) I used Kingsford charcoal and a few pieces of apple wood. After first adjusting the temperature and getting used to using the vents/dome thermometer I put the fish on and smoked it for two hours. Controlling the heat was very easy. I have eaten a lot of great salmon. This one was the BEST! The Smokenator turned this newbie into a smoker in a few short hours! I cannot wait to smoke ribs for my BBQ party this weekend. I am NOT returning my Smokenator!
David - July 2010
First off, thanks so much for the prompt shipping. My Smokenator arrived as promised on Wednesday and I fired up my newly smoker-enhanced Weber Performer today. Although the dome temperature fluctuated all day between 210-245, and I thought that would pose problems, these are some of the very best backyard ribs I have EVER had. I'm so impressed not just with the product and the terrific service, but also with the accompanying literature. I used the rub recipes as a starting point to create an outstanding St. Louis rib rub, and thanks to the advice in the pamphlet, I just can't say enough good things about my first smoking experience.
You guys are the real deal, and I'm now the newest Smokenator convert.
John from Houston, TX - March 2010
I really like my Smokenator 1000! It works exactly as described, the instructions are great, and my neighbors are calling me the Rib King. The Smokenator and the recipes and info on amazingribs.com are everything I needed to get up to speed on ribs and other types of great barbeque. The Hovergrill helps produce large quantities also. I cooked 6 racks of ribs yesterday and would never have thought it possible without a big smoker before receiving your products.
Praise for the Smokenator 2600 from Scott - December 2009
Got my Smokenator this morning. Read the manual and did a test run. Used a full chimney of Kingsford inside the Smokenator. Fired up twenty and tossed em in with some oak chunks. It took around 1/2 an hour for it to get to 230 and then it went for about 8 1/2 hours at 220-240...awesome!!
I did not have to add any coals to it at all. I poured in the 20 briquettes at 10:30 a.m. and at 7:00 it was at 220!!!!!
I can not believe the moist atmosphere it created!! I had to dump out the ash catcher because it was about 1/4 full of water!!
This is the real deal and it has turned my 26.75 kettle into one mean lo and slo cooking machine!!
I will spread the word about this simple, yet remarkable attachment!!
Happy New Year
Robert from Brandon, MS - December 2009
This is an awesome product. It works exactly as advertised and the results are amazing. For years I fought with a "bullet" smoker and endured fluctuating temperature, inconsistent smoke output, etc. With the Smokenator, the temperature can be easily maintained as well as a good consistent smoke output. I just wanted to let your company know what a fantastic product this is, and let everyone with a Weber kettle know that if you don't have a Smokenator you are missing out on some of the best bbq you have ever had. This says a lot, since I live in what some like to call the BBQ Belt. Count me as a huge fan of your product and thanks again.
Robert from Jacksonville, FL - June 2009
The results were fabulous! I cooked a slab of St Louis cut ribs and a whole roaster chicken on a single layer and still had room for my aluminum mop container. The temperature stayed at between 220 and 230 almost all of five hours I cooked. I used Kingsford competition briquettes and did have to add several after three hours. Since my Weber is old and leaky around the rim the clamps you suggested helped. So did removing the tool and other rack that hung off the rim. For most of the time I left the bottom vent wide open and the top vent closed to a pencil width, literally.
The meat was the best I have ever cooked and I have been using a Weber for over thirty years and other smokers for over twenty! The rib ends showed very little but the meat was very tender. At the beginning of the last hour I topped the ribs with my Kansas City style BBQ sauce. I have never tasted chicken breast as moist and tender. It was a huge success.
I believe you are quite right in saying that the secret is having the water directly over the heat source. Thank you for the Smokenator.
Brant from Hawaii - April 2009.
I fired up my new Smokenator yesterday and I am blown away by the results. We had the most amazing moist, tender, pink baby back ribs. I was never able to get meat like that out of my electric smoker and it was easily half the effort. I came so close to wasting my money on a big box smoker and I am so happy. I have one simple weber kettle in the back that does it all. Thanks so much.
A review of Smokenator from Germany! January 2009
Best wishes for 2009 and happy smoking in the kettle!
The Smokenator is worth every cent spent. it is absolutely easy to handle, the temperature is kept steady, only check for the water from time to time and you'll get best results! Even much better than a friend of mine achieves with his self-built barrel-smoker! and it is definitely no problem to smoke for more than 6 hours (pulled pork i.e.): just put the meat in foil and aside, clean the kettle and make a new setup for the Smokenator for another 6 hours. amazing! the Smokenator is by far the best invention for the Weber kettle to date.
For reviews in GERMAN check my bbq-blog Old Mountain BBQ
From Robert in Bradenton, FL - December 2008:
I just used my new Smokenator that Santa brought me. The chicken and ribs were perfect. Realized my lid was a little more warped than I thought but all went well. Thanks for saving me the cost of a new smoker. Robert N.
A BBQ forum review by an experienced home BBQ Chef, Tom in Sparta, Tennessee, posted his comments over at Sharky's Grilling Forums using the Smokenator for the first time in June, 2008. The rib pictures are excellent!
John C in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania did a very good overview of the Smokenator in June, here at Scott's Poker Table. He asked the question what is a fair test of the Smokenator? His answer, " ... the whole setup should be so consistent that a fair first test would be to see if I got good results first time out using the manual." Read to find out. A lot of great pictures
ChiliBrown in Rodeo, California Wrote up a piece in his Mad Meat Genius blog, look for the July 11th review. Great picture of a excellent pork roast.
Bryan in Fort Myers Beach area in Florida - March 2008
Hi Don, what a great product, received the Smokenator at about 3:00 on Friday, went out and bought 12 lbs of ribs, smoked for 6 hours and seared on grill they where awesome, didn't stop there, went out and bought 2 chickens and cooked them on Saturday, fantastic, then for the finale, on Sunday got the kettle going at 8am and smoked a 15 lb turkey for 7 hours, the guests raved over it. Don you have a great product, Thank you.
Chuck in Scottsboro, Alabama 02/12/08
I got the Smokenator today. I bought a couple of 5 pound chickens before it got here, so I was thrilled to see it arrive. I looked at every available retail store for the Taylor thermometer, but could not find one. Time was short, so I made the decision to go for it. I rubbed the birds with KC Masterpiece sweet rub, and I followed the directions when lighting my Kingsford charcoal. I also used fresh hickory chunks. I found a firewood seller who basically gave me a log. I kept my bottom vents wide open, and I kept the top near the recommended setting. I checked and filled the water every half hour or so, and I poked the coals every now and then. I put them on at 3 PM. It was approx. 50 degrees outside and breezy. At 7:45 PM they were done. These were the best birds I've ever done at home, and they were better than any I've ever had at a BBQ joint! Without a thermometer, and cooking in cool and breezy conditions, I succeeded! Thanks for a great product!
From Jim in New Haven, Indiana - December 2007
I want to thank you for developing such a fool-proof way of maintaining low temps in the grill. I tried my Smokenator out for the first time last night. I started out with a 7 pound boneless pork butt. The Smokenator performed flawlessly. I could maintain the 230-240F pretty much with my eyes closed. I used the Mitch's Fantastic Barbeque Rub on the pork butt. That gave it so much flavor. My wife and kids couldn't stop sampling the cooked pork butt.
It was 28F outside with minimal wind. I had to make small adjustments to allow for slightly more combustion air. I do thank-you for including a baseline chart of how much each vent needs to be opened to maintain a certain temperature. This helped me out a lot. I would have never started out with the vents closed down that much. I was even skeptical to start out that way even though the directions told me too.
From Andrew in Bloomington, IN - August 2007
I felt kind of silly spending over $50 (including shipping) for a piece of sheet metal, but I do not regret it after using this. The Smokenator Man obviously did his home work because it maintains a consistent 230 degree temperature inside my Weber kettle--perfect for lovely smoky pulled pork goodness! The time he spent in researching the settings, and writing the instruction manual makes this a worthwhile purchase. The construction is top notch - a nice sturdy piece of stainless steel that conforms perfectly to the interior of the grill.
One caveat--The instructions are written for the "modern" Weber 22 ½' grills - the types with the one touch ash removal system. I have a caveman model, old school grill (circa 1997) that has the 3 round vents similar to the vent on the kettle lid. The extensive tables in the manual and a little high school geometry allowed me to find the temperature "sweet spot" for my grill.
I have also used my Smokenator with the ring that came with my Weber rotisserie (see my review for that device.) This allows for a much larger cooking chamber -perfect when smoking a lot of food for a crowd.
3 reasons to buy this:
1. Cheaper than buying a new smoker
2. Saves room on my patio--Made my Weber Kettle even more of a multi-tasker.
3. Easier to tend than Brinkman barrel smoker or Weber Smoky Mountain, as the fueling and food handling are done at waist level--no bending over or crawling around on the ground.
From Meathead of Amazingribs.com - July 2007
Check out Craig's site, Amazingribs.com, you are going to find a very accessible site whose goal it to introduce you to the art of slow cooking the most succulent object of low and slow cooking the rib. Craig personally tested the Smokenator and gave it a "Hot Stuff Award" because the Smokenator "advanced the art" of low and slow cooking in the Weber.
From Richard in Olympia, WA - July 2007
I'm looking forward to putting it to good use. I also have a Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker but with it just being my wife and I, we typically don't want to eat as much food as the WSM is capable of producing. Then, if you just do one item, it is a lot of work and cleanup just for one piece of meat. Your product is exactly what I'm looking for.
From Alan in Great Neck, NY - July 2007
Don, Success! I got to finally use my Smokenator this past Saturday. I made a 13 lb. turkey and it came out great. The good news is you wrote in the pamphlet that it could take up to 6 hours, and that’s what it took…the next time I will have to start earlier in the day. The unexpected result, my wife loves the smoked turkey legs that are sold at Disney and Hershey parks, and she said mine were just as good. I was very impressed with the ease with which I could use the Smokenator, I can’t wait to go out again. Thanks for your asking how it was going with the unit, and if you have some recipes you can refer me to, that would be appreciated.
From Doug in SC - July 2007
Hi Don, Received the Smokenator in plenty of time to take to the bbq class. People were very interested in it and we ended up putting 2 slabs of ribs on the grill. We had the rest of them in a Stumps and a Stumps clone. The ones cooked with the Smokenator were by far the best looking ribs of all of them. I didn't finished them the way I wanted because of time so they didn't win the contest but everyone was amazed at how good they looked. I'm glad I purchased the Smokenator and plan on using it often. Thanks again Don!
From Mike also in SC - June 2007
I like the product and have used it to smoke:
Pork shoulders for Carolina Pulled Pork BBQ
Whole turkeys and boneless turkey breasts
Baby back ribs and spare ribs
Whole chickens and chicken wings.
I especially find the grill extension to be most useful because I never smoke anything in small quantities so the extra space provides more room.
Smokenator 1000 Review, Part 2
........The Smokenator itself is very professionally made and of sturdy construction, not some shoddy piece of metal that you might find from other “corporate” sources (who have the resources to build these things for as little as possible), so if you’re concerned that the Smokenator, despite being made by a lone individual, is cheap - don’t be. Don’t let the price fool you, this is a quality piece of grilling equipment.
The beauty of the Smokenator is that it builds onto your existing grill, which means you don’t have to store the smoker when you’re not using it. Sure, for the same price you can buy a bargain basement smoker but you’ll have to store it when you’re not using it. With the Smokenator, you don’t have that much to store and you get basically an entire smoking guide - something I doubt that corporate smoker is going to give you.
Grill Maestro Smokenator Review Part 2
JW BBQ Blog - April 200712:55 PM 2/15/2010
These poor chicken breasts didn't stand a chance........
I can't say enough about Don and his Smokenator. It is a simple system that really turns the Weber kettle into an even more versatile piece of barbecue gear. Don's instructions are excellent and a great guideline to getting started using your Weber kettle as a water smoker. Next on the Smokenator agenda will be a Tri-Tip roast I think. I'll let you know. Whatever it is it's going to kick ass because that's what the Smokenator and Weber kettle do!
JW BBQ Chicken Breast-Smokenator style!
JW BBQ Smokenator in da houz!
Cactus1 - January 2007
Just writing to tell you how pleased I am with the Smokenator 1000 that my wife purchased for me for Christmas. Used it for the 1st time yesterday to cook a 4 1/2 lb. brisket flat. In your set up instructions, you noted that it was developed with an ambient temp of 90 degrees with low California humidity. I set mine up, in the Chicago suburbs with an ambient temperature of approximately 40 degrees. I did not know what to expect with this temperature difference. I lit 30 Kingsford briquettes and figured I could make adjustments for temperature differences - I set my bottom vent approximately 1/2 open and my top vent approximately 1/8 inch open. Took about 10 minutes for my Weber to come up to 250 using a Pyrex instant read thermometer inserted into the bottom right top vent hole and 225 on the grill surface using a Pyrex oven thermometer. I had no trouble holding these temperatures for a 6 hour cook. I did add 8 briquettes ! at the 1 1/2, 3, and 4 1/2 hour marks. I also refilled my water pan at these times. I started with 1/2 cup wine aged oak chips and added 1/2 cup at the 1 1/2 hour and 3 hour marks. I wrapped my brisket at the 4/1/2 hour mark for the final 1 1/2 hours. This was the best brisket I have ever done - juicy, tender, very flavorful - very nice smoke ring. I cannot wait to use my Smokenator again and I will use it often. You have a great product and I think others need to know about it.
Curt in Palm Desert,CA - January 2007
Many thanks for the shipping notice and the priority-shipping. Two of the units are for my son and son-in-law, both of whom are Weber aficionados.
I thought I would start small and work up, so my first run with the Smokenator was Monday with a small 2.5 lb tri-tip ..... one of my favorite cuts of meat which I would normally cook indirectly for about 90 minutes. Following your instructions, and using hickory chips, I cooked it for 3 hours at 230F to 250F and was blown away with the result ...... just amazing.
I judge doneness as much by texture (softness or rigidity) as by meat thermometers, or formulas, and I had a bit of trouble convincing myself that the roast was done. This because it was still very soft which, using the Weber indirect method, would mean too rare.
But having confidence in the info you sent, and remembering a Texan friend of mine who has a large smoker and does a lot of brisket which is still, for lack of a better word, very "wiggly" when done, I brought it to the kitchen, let it rest for about 15 minutes, then cut off an end piece. The tenderness and moistness of the meat was hard to believe ...... cotton candy had nothing on this little roast. So needless to say, I am now a Smokenator evangelist.
Brian in Berwyn, PA
I've read up on the Smokenator, and some thought that it was a gimmick. I have only used it once, but I felt as if it was easy to use, and temperature control was easy. I'll be using it again!
Stuart in Oregon - September 2006
Nicely designed and well made. My first smoked salmon turned out quite well. I appreciate all the effort that went into the instructions.
MEN IN APRONS - May 2006:
If you are fortunate enough to have a kettle-style charcoal grill, but unfortunate enough not to have a giant professional smoker, then you might want to try The Smokenator 1000. This handly gadget will instantly transform your kettle grill into a lean mean, smoking machine with no effort whatsoever. You can get Smokey Mountain flavor from a basic kettle and probably use less charcoal in the process. ...... It's funny how such a simple curved piece of steel can help you do wonders with barbecue.
Check out the The Smokenator 1000. on the web and pick up yours today. MEN IN APRONS
BBQ REPORT May 11, 2006:
A water smoker is the ideal cooker for slow cooking lean meats like chicken and and turkey. Indirect heat lowers the temperature, extending the cooking time, while a water pan provide a nice moist cooking environment. That means no basting is necessary. But not everyone is serious enough to have multiple grills and pits and smokers laying around, especially since most people tend to grill more frequently then barbecue. That’s where this gadget comes in. The difference between a water smoker and a charcoal grill comes down to two things. Heat and moisture. The Smokenator 1000 is a cleverly designed stainless steel insert that snaps into your existing grill, effectively providing you with a setup that looks like it will work well for smoking.......................
We received a sample from the manufacturer, and in the next couple of weeks I’ll be putting it through its paces. I’ll fill you in on what I learn, and see how this compares to my Brinkman “bullet” style water smoker.