The Bottom Line
Consider this the 14 1/2-inch version of the iconic Weber Kettle charcoal grill. Yes, this is small, lightweight, and around $50USD, but it does things other little portable charcoal grills don't. This portable actually has temperature control and works very much like a full sized Weber. The Smokey Joe is great for the small balcony, the college student, or a trip to the beach or park.
Take good care of it and it will last you for years. What would make this a great portable charcoal grill would be better airflow control.
- Good, authentic grilling abilities in a small portable
- Very lightweight
- Side vents make airflow a problem
- Legs are thin and prone to bending
- 147 square inches of cooking space on a nickel plated steel cooking grate
- 10-pound total weight
- Porcelain-coated steel construction
- Three leg design with locking lid bar
- Top vent allows a wide range of temperature control
- Bottom vent is actually on the side, above the coals
- Grill closes down to put the fire out so you can save charcoal
- Made in the United States by the Weber-Stephen Products Company
Guide Review - Weber Smokey Joe Premium 14
The Weber Smokey Joe Premium 14 is built just like Weber's full sized charcoal grills that have been the bar by which all other charcoal grills are measured.
This little, portable grill has a 14 1/2-inch diameter cooking surface that gives it 147 square inches of grilling space. The body is porcelain coated steel and temperature is regulated by top and side vents. Unlike many other portable charcoal grills, this one offers you temperature control and the ability to snuff out the fire by simply closing the vents.
This portable charcoal grill has been a mainstay for decades and is one of the most popular and widely available little grills on the market. The reason is that this is a very good grill. It does have a few limitations, however. Being small and lightweight it can be knocked over easily so you need to keep it away from foot traffic. Because of the small cooking chamber, the bottom vent can get clogged by ashes and food particles so it does need to be cleaned out well. A bar locks the lid in place so it can be picked up with one hand and so that the lid doesn't come off in the back of your truck or car while driving around.
While I really like the lid locking bar that makes this grill perfectly portable, the intake vents are on the sides of the grill, above the charcoal. This limits airflow and makes it harder for this grill to develop higher temperatures. For this reason, I would recommend saving a couple of bucks and buying the Weber Smokey Joe 14.