The Weber Q1200 and Q2200 are no doubt some of the best portable gas grills for RV and camping. But what if you wanted a classic cooked-on-charcoal grilling experience? Which grill will be more worthwhile to have between Weber Go Anywhere vs Smokey Joe?
Well, these two are big names amongst campers and not just from their compactness or portability. They are also affordable and work on the meat pretty well.
But even though they’re from the same maker and under the same family, the two grills still provide varying barbecue experiences. And in this review, I’ll briefly take you through some of the deciding factors you should know before buying.
Verdict: 5 Reasons Weber Smokey Joe is the Best Grill
- The Weber Smokey Joe is way cheaper
- The Weber Smokey Joe has a quick ash cleanup
- The Weber Smokey Joe is slightly smaller & lighter
- The Weber Smokey Joy has a porcelain-coated steel build
- The Weber Smokey Joe can accommodate Gourmet BBQ Griddle
Weber Go Anywhere vs Smokey Joe: A Summary of the Charcoal Grills
|Weber Go Anywhere vs Smokey Joe|
|Image||Weber Go-Anywhere Price||Weber Smokey Joe Price|
|Grill Series||Go-Anywhere||Smokey Joe|
|Dimensions in inches||11.5 by 19.5 by 14.5||14.2 by 14.5 by 17.0|
|Finishes Options||Porcelain Black||Porcelain Black|
|Type of Fuel||Charcoal||Charcoal|
|Main Cooking Area Cooking Area||Approx. 160 sq. inches||Approx. 147 sq. inches|
|Secondary Cooking Area||N/A||N/A|
|Cooking grates Material||Chrome-Plated Steel||Chrome-Plated Steel|
|Highest Grilling Temperature||Up to 500+°F||Up to 500+°F|
|Rotisserie Kit Included||N/A||N/A|
|Best Features||Slightly larger, a bit better indirect cooking, & locks the lid during transport||Relatively Cheaper, easy ash cleanup, & lighter to carry around|
|Warranty Support||Up to Ten Years||Up to Ten Years|
Weber Go Anywhere Mini-Review
The Weber Go-Anywhere is a nice grill for classic barbecuing while, indeed, on the go. It has a compact, lightweight design and a lockable hood for easy carrying.
But even with its compactness, the Weber charcoal grill can handle up to seven or eight burgers in a single run. So, you can efficiently cook for two adults and a kid during your picnic or camping weekend.
While it might not take the normal griddle like Weber Q2000 or Q2200, the Go-Anywhere portable grill can still cook fish well. But you’ll now need the Firespice Cedar Planks, which the company sells separately.
Weber Smokey Joe Mini-Review
The Weber Smokey Joe grill is also an excellent pick for a classic barbecue on the beach, camping, or road trip. It’s actually the bestselling portable charcoal grill on the list, thanks to its compactness and nice performance.
In the performance essence, the Weber grill records up to 500+°F in the cookbox once the charcoal heats up well. And with a 147-square-inch cooking surface, you can easily prepare five or six burgers in one go.
Even better, the Smokey Joe grill can perfectly accommodate the Gourmet BBQ System Griddle (with the lid open). Thus, making it possible to prepare sizzling bacon, fish fillets, pancakes, hash browns, and other delicacies.
Weber Go Anywhere vs Smokey Joe: Comparing Features & Performance of the Grills
Here’s a detailed comparison of how the two Weber portable charcoal grills compare in the real world:
Technically, these two Webers fit the bill if you’re in the market for a simple charcoal grill under $200. But the Weber Smokey Joe is way cheaper, with a regular tag of $45 while the Go-Anywhere model can cost up to $80.
On various occasions, Weber has limited-time offers on their products, with up to 50% or more off. And a perfect timing would be now on the 4th of July Sales or Amazon Prime Day deals.
Personally, both the Weber Go-Anywhere and Smokey Joe have a well-thought design for the regular campers. But, sadly, there’s no cooking versatility like that of the larger full-range grills.
As a matter of fact, the grills only come with the primary cooking grate. So, you’ll have to purchase the Firespice Cedar Planks (for Weber Go-Anywhere) or Gourmet BBQ System Griddle (for Weber Smokey Joe) separately.
If interested, Weber also has a fire Chimney Starter and Lighter Cubes at a separate cost. Then, you could also get an all-weather bag for either of the grills to protect against elements and enhance portability.
Build & Style
As I’ve just mentioned, Weber designed these two grills with a simple but innovative design for grilling on the go. They both have a solid build with black porcelain-enameled steel, which is not only easy to maintain. But also highly resistant to rust, provided it (porcelain coating) doesn’t wear off.
The two grills also have their cooking grates in chrome-plated steel, which will not rust until the coating wears off. So, you really have to be careful not to drop on a hard floor or chip with another metallic object.
Meanwhile, Weber supports both the Smokey Joe and Go-Anywhere grill with a ten-year warranty for the firebox and lid. Then, the glass-reinforced plastic handle boasts a 5-year warranty and two years for the other parts.
On the Weber Smokey Joe vs Go-Anywhere portability convenience, I’m going to give the points to the former. It has a rounded design, with slightly smaller dimensions that are easy to carry on the shoulder.
Oh, yes, the Smokey Joe grill weighs around nine pounds, plus you can assemble it in under ten minutes with the right tools.
Sure, the Weber Go-Anywhere is also quick to put together. But it has a few extra parts to consider, which you can spend 12-20 minutes depending on your speed.
Conversely, the standing legs of the Go-Anywhere grill can pivot to lock the lid for easy carrying. Then it has the glass-reinforced plastic handle on the top of the lid, as well as on the sides.
The Weber Go-Anywhere has a relatively larger footprint than the Smokey Joe 14-inch grill (224 vs 165 sq. inches). And since the boxed firebox doubles as the charcoal hopper, you can also use more coal lumps than the round bowl.
Sadly, however, the Weber Go-Anywhere grill requires you to flip it over to empty the burnt ashes.
But with Weber Smokey Joe, the four holes of the bottom damper also act as a quick release for the coal remains. And since there’s the aluminum ash catcher, you won’t need to worry about dirtying your cooking grounds.
Unfortunately, charcoal grills don’t heat up as fast as their gas counterparts. But once they do, your cookbox can heat up as high as 600°F temperatures.
The Weber Go-Anywhere and Smokey Joe grill actually have a porcelain-coated base and lid. So, the cookbox retains the heat pretty well, providing the consistent temperature (up to 550°F) you want for even cooking.
Speaking of temperatures, you don’t need to lift the lid on either of the Weber grills to control the hotness. The aluminum (vent) damper on the top is precisely for that purpose, whereby it has holes to control the oxygen flow.
On the bottom, the Weber Smokey Joe has another damper, but the Go-Anywhere grill has a sliding vent bar instead.
The two grills are also almost alike in this part. And the main reason for that would be the porcelain-coated cookbox and the air vents for temperature control.
You can also cook your meals on either grill by roasting, smoking, or frying with the right accessories. But the rectangular cooking grate of the Weber Go-Anywhere is a little larger than that of the Smokey Joe grill.
Of course, the extra space will only be enough for one burger. Then again, the shape’s a little more convenient when you want to bank the charcoal on one side for indirect cooking.
Commonly Asked Questions
What’s better Smokey Joe or Go Anywhere?
While they’re both great camping grills, the Weber Go Anywhere is better than Smokey Joe in the cooking space. It can also hold a little more charcoal lumps to cook continuously for a longer time. But do remember it doesn’t have the quick ash cleanup with the Smokey Joe.
Can you smoke on a Weber Go Anywhere?
Yes, indeed, you can smoke your steak or stack of ribs on the Weber Go Anywhere. You just need to drop a few wood chips together with the charcoal lumps. Then, use the top vents to control the heat and smoke inside the cooking chamber.
How do you use a portable Weber BBQ?
Well, to use a portable weber BBQ like Go-Anywhere or Smokey Joe, you’ll need to light it up (you can use a fire lighter cube & chimney starter). Then, adjust the vents at the bottom and top to regulate the air flowing into the grill for temperature control.
After the grill grids heat up, you can now lay your burgers, steak, rack of ribs, or a packet of sausages. Then, cook them on direct or indirect heat.
The differences between Weber Go Anywhere and Smokey Joe grills aren’t exactly many. Even the performance where many brands tend to differ is almost similar here, and so are the build constructions.
The main deciding point between them’s primarily the price point and perhaps the cooking convenience. And in my opinion, the Weber Smokey Joe has the best of it as you’ll pay almost half the price of the Go-Anywhere grill. Yet you can still cook enough food for two and as well by either grilling or smoking.
But in the smoking, Smokey Joe still has a relatively small, circular firebox. And for that, you can only do indirect cooking for a small meal.