The BBQ geniuses at Weber have put together two of what I think are the most excellent portable BBQs. This article of the Weber Go Anywhere vs. Smokey Joe will help you decide which works best for you. I have owned both and still use one regularly, which I’ll explain later.
These two iconic BBQs are entirely different yet similar; it does seem a shame to put them together in a heads-up because they are both so brilliant in other circumstances.
Long gone are the days of foil disposable BBQ’s with either of these!
To be perfectly honest with you before we go any further, you can’t go wrong with either of the Weber Go Anywhere vs Smokey Joe. It’s tough to pick a clear winner in a heads-up of Weber Go Anywhere vs Smokey joe, but you’ll be able to decide for yourself with this review of them both.
Note: If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we may receive a commission but at no extra cost to you.
Not interested in reading more, check them out here:
Weber Smokey Joe
Weber Smokey Joe Premium 14-Inch Portable Grill details
The Weber Smokey Joe only weighs 4.76kg and comes with a carry handle, meaning it’s a portable BBQ, not just one of those “oh yeah, you can carry it.”
A tuc-n-carry lid lock that also doubles as a lid holder, much like the Weber Master Touch, meaning you don’t ever need to put the lid on the floor and burn the grass (been there, done that).
The Smokey Joe has three support legs, like all Weber kettle BBQs, joined in the center with a wing nut, making it extremely easy to put together.
Much like all Weber grills, the lid, and bowl are porcelain-enamel coated, meaning they will not rust and helps to retain heat. Like all Weber grills with this build quality, the factory 10-year lid and bowl, no rust/no burn through warranty is included.
With a 14″ cooking area, the Smokey Joe is ideal for approx. 5-6 burgers or a couple of decent-sized steaks. As standard, a plated steel grill grate means that food will not stick to it with a bit of taking care; it’s built to last.
The lid has a temperature control damper to keep air circulating into the cooking area. With these dampers, you also can ‘low and slow’ a couple of short ribs or a small piece of meat.
The charcoal sitting on a heavy-gauge steel fuel grate will support the charcoal underneath the cooking area while not melting under extreme temperatures.
Weber’s history of BBQs is evident in this portable grill taking on Weber’s iconic kettle design in a portable format.
What we like
It’s just the right size, you can get a decent amount of food on it, and if you’re clever with the charcoal, you can smoke with it. Ideal when you may have a bit of spare time on your hands.
What we didn’t like
Theirs not much not to love with this portable grill; however, the only fault with it is what it’s missing, in my opinion; No temperature gauge in the lid; although they aren’t always accurate, it would help when grilling on the go, without having to carry digital cooking thermometers.
Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill details
Weighing shy of 7kg, the Weber Go-Anywhere is a larger portable BBQ but is still light enough to carry. The two plated steel legs pivot to lock into the lid and keep everything secure for carrying.
The lid handle comes with a heatshield, allowing you to carry it while still hot or during a cook if you need to move it urgently.
Porcelain-enamel lid and base come with a standard ten-year burn-through/no rust warranty. This choice coating helps with heat retention.
Vents just below the charcoal grate on the base of the Go-Anywhere with sliding dampers on either side give you control of the oxygen getting to the charcoal. Alongside, not one but two temperature control dampers in the lid give you complete heat control when BBQing.
The cooking area is 42cm x 26cm, making this an ideal portable smoker and grill. Which equates to approx. 6-8 burgers, allowing you to cater to quite a large family or group.
What we like
It feels like grilling on a full-size charcoal BBQ because of its ability to control the temperatures and turn the heat down for some slow-cooked BBQ.
What we didn’t like
With the added ability to fully control heat, it could do with a temperature gauge, especially if you’re a newbie charcoal griller. The meters aren’t always the most reliable, I know! It would help to have a ballpark temperature to work from, though.
There’s not much room under the lid, so don’t worry about grilling a whole chicken.
Why you should choose a Weber portable BBQ over other brands
The warranty alone for the Weber Go-Anywhere and Smokey Joe is a reason to choose a Weber portable BBQ. They both come with Weber’s great standard warranty if you should need to use it:
- The lid and base are covered by a 10-year no rust/no burn though warranty
- The Plastic parts, such as the handle, are covered for 5 years but not against fading or discoloring.
- All remaining components come with a 2-year warranty
Weber’s build quality means you will be very unlucky if you need to use any of these warranties, but just peace of mind is priceless.
Where could I use either of these?
Both Weber Go Anywhere, or Smokey Joe is the perfect portable BBQ for camping trips with the family, beach days with friends, or a quiet day fishing by the river.
Neither requires enough charcoal to fill them to their capacity and create a ragingly hot BBQ. As a bonus, you can store charcoal and accessories inside the BBQs when carrying them, meaning they are fully mobile and won’t take up much room in the car.
What’s the best way to store a portable BBQ?
I found both suitable to be stored in the cupboard under the stairs without the storage bags. If you are storing outside in the shed, I strongly recommend investing in the storage bags available separately:
Which is better out of Weber Go Anywhere vs Smokey Joe?
Before you read any further, these are both elite portable BBQs you don’t get better for the money.
But, in my opinion, having owned both, I own and kept the Weber Smokey Joe; I feel bang for the buck. It’s a great choice of portable BBQ and suits my family of three with a cooking room for more people if and when needed.
The Go-Anywhere is still absolutely perfect for grilling and has the feel of a big BBQ. As a giant portable BBQ, it suits a bigger family but has a bigger price tag. The thing that led me to sell mine was that I enjoy grilling a spatchcock chicken and couldn’t fit a small one on it with the lid closed.
To summarise, the Weber Smokey Joe is my winner, but I’m. In reality, the Weber Go Anywhere is a better unit, and those that own one will find it challenging to pick a fault with it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is cheaper of the two?
The Weber Smokey Joe is cheaper, around half the price of a GA.
Which can you cook more on?
It depends on what you are cooking, but the Weber Go-Anywhere or GA as it’s known, has a slightly larger grilling area.
Can you use wood in a Smokey Joe?
You can cook with either charcoal or wood on a Smokey joe. Or both to add that extra flavor to your food.
You should now see the main differences when comparing the Weber go anywhere vs. Smokey joe. To summarise, however, if you are on a budget, then the Smokey joe is a great choice.
If money is no object, then you should be considering the GA; the GA is a far better-designed portable BBQ. There are get the most out of it.