Weber portable BBQs: Weber Go Anywhere vs Smokey Joe

The BBQ geniuses at Weber have put together two of what I think are the greatest portable BBQs out there. This article of the Weber Go Anywhere vs Smokey Joe will help you decide which works best for you. I personally have owned both and still use one regularly which I’ll explain later.

These two iconic BBQs are completely different yet are so similar, it does seem a shame to put them together in a heads up because they are both so brilliant in different circumstances.

Long gone are the days of foil disposable BBQ’s!

To be perfectly honest with you before we go any further you really can’t go wrong with either of the Weber Go Anywhere vs Smokey Joe and it’s very difficult 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 the m both.

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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 actually a portable BBQ, not just one of those “oh yeah you can carry it”.

A tuc-n-carry lid lock which also doubles 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 much like all Weber kettle BBQs, joined in the center with a wing nut which makes it extremely easy to put together.

Much like all Weber grills the lid and bowl are porcelain-enameled coated meaning it 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 meaning that food will not stick to it with a bit of taking care of, it’s built to last.

The lid has a temperature control damper allowing you can keep air circulating into the cooking area. With these dampers, you also have the potential to ‘low and slow’ a couple of short ribs or a small piece of meat.
For the charcoal to sit on a heavy-gauge steel fuel grate, will support the charcoal underneath the cooking area, all 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 with 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

Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill details

Weighing just 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 giving you the ability to carry it while still hot or during a cook if you need to move it urgently.

Porcelain-enameled lid and base, come with a 10 year burn-through/no rust warranty as standard. 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 full heat control when BBQing.

The cooking area is 42cm x 26cm which makes this an ideal portable smoker and grill. This room 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 the ability to control the temperatures and really turn the heat down for some slow-cooked BBQ.

What we didn’t like

With the added ability to fully control heat, it really could do with a temperature gauge especially if you’re a newbie charcoal griller. The gauges aren’t always the most reliable, I know! It would help to have a ball park temperature to work from though.

Not much room under the lid so don’t think about grilling a whole chicken.

Why you should choose a Weber portable BBQ over another brand

Purely just the warranty alone for both the Weber Go-Anywhere and Smokey Joe is reason alone to choose a Weber portable BBQ. They both come with Weber’s great standard warranty if you should you need to use it:

  • The lid and base are covered by a10 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 actually need to use any of these warranties but just piece of mind is priceless.

Where could I use either of these?

Both Weber go anywhere or Smokey Joe is the perfect portable BBQs for camping trips with the family, beach days with friends, or a quiet day fishing by the river.

Neither requires a huge amount of 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 a huge amount of 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 really don’t get better for the money.

But, in my opinion, having owned both I personally own and kept the Smokey Joe, I feel bang for buck it’s a great choice of portable BBQ and suits my family of three with cooking room for more people if and when needed.

The Go-Anywhere is still an absolutely perfect for grilling on and has the feel of a big BBQ. As a larger portable BBQ, it suits a larger family but comes with a bigger price tag. The thing that led me to sell mine was I enjoy smoking a whole chicken and I couldn’t fit a small one on it with the lid closed.

To summarise the Weber Smokey Joe is my personal winner but I’m. In reality the Go Anywhere is a better unit and those that own one will find it difficult 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 what you are cooking but the Weber Go-Anywhere or GA as it’s known has a slightly larger grilling area.

Summary

You should now see the main differences when comparing between the Weber go anywhere vs Smokey joe. To summarise however if you are on a budget then the Smokey joe is a great a choice.

If money is no object then you really should be considering the GA, the GA is a far better designed portable BBQ. There are lot’s of optional extras popping up on the internet and with so many neat tricks with charcoal positioning you can really get the most out of it.