For this week’s review I was sent the Smokenator 1000 from Jennifer Thompson at Barbecue Kettle Accessories.
Barbecue Kettle Accessories was established in 2004 to manufacture and distribute the Smokenator. The company is located in San Jose, California in the heart of Silicon Valley.
The Smokenator 1000 is an 18 gauge stainless steel insert that fits in the lower part of a 22.5″ Weber kettle grill and transforms it into a smoker. This setup frees up space since it’s only 6″ wide and delivers true indirect cooking. The Smokenator contains the hot charcoal while channeling the heat upward and shields food from the direct heat. The chamber of the Smokenator holds enough briquettes for about a 6 hour cook at 230° F at the dome.
The Smokenator also makes it so the food is cooked by convection and gentle radiation through the 18 gage stainless shield. A water pan rests on top of the charcoal which is the most efficient way to fill the kettle with high humidity. This humidity keeps food moist and helps to keep the temperature lower and more controllable. This also helps to ensure a nice deep smoke ring penetration.
Included in the Smokenator 1000 box was the baffle, water pan, skewer and instructions as seen in the picture below.
The first thing I did before I used the Smokenator was to make sure my grill was clean. With the grill grate removed I then placed the Smokenator in the lower left side of the kettle.
I then removed the water pan and placed around 48 Kingsford charcoal briquettes and some of the new cherry Mojobricks Bar-B-Qubes inside the Smokenator. After that I took 12 Kingsford charcoal briquettes and lit them in a charcoal chimney until they were ashed over.
Once those 12 briquettes were ready to go, I spread them over the top of the unlit charcoal and Mojobricks Cherry Mini-Qubes inside the Smokenator. Then I filled the water pan with water and placed the grill grate back in place.
Once that was done I made sure the lower vent of the kettle was fully open and then adjusted the upper vent opening to 5/16”. I placed the kettle lid on with the upper vent opposite the Smokenator and slid a thermometer through one of the upper vent holes.
After the temperature registered around 230° F I removed the lid of the kettle and placed in a 4 1/2 pound beer can chicken. Then I inserted a meat probe in the thigh of the chicken and attached an ambient temperature probe onto the grill grate and then placed the lid back on the grill.
The grill stayed at around 235° F at grate level and around 255° F at dome level for the full cook, which was about 3 1/2 hours long. I also didn’t have to adjust the top or bottom vents at all during the cook.
I checked the water pan every hour and added water as needed. I also used the included skewer to stir the coals about every hour since this knocks the ash off and the result is a more consistent burn rate for the charcoal.
2 hours in I rotated the beer can chicken 180° and basted it with some beer.
Then around the 3 1/2 hour mark the beer can chicken registered at 170° F, so I removed the meat probe and double checked the temperature with my new Maverick PT-100BBQ Pro-Temp Thermometer.
After that I removed the beer can chicken from the grill to take inside the house to rest 5 minutes before serving.
The chicken was very moist and tender and it also had a great smoke flavor to it.
I wasn’t sure how well the Smokenator 1000 would work since I hadn’t used an insert like this up until now and I have to say I am extremely impressed with how well this product worked.
I never had to adjust the vents at all during the 3 1/2 hour cook and the temperature of the kettle stayed at around 235° F at grate level and around 255° F at dome level for the full cook like I mentioned above. I also didn’t have to add any more charcoal to the Smokenator during the cook.
I used my Maverick ET-732 to monitor the temp of the meat and the grill at grate level, so the only time I had to go outside to check on the grill was to add water twice to the water pan and stir the coals about every hour to knock the ash off.
With the Smokenator 1000 you can do about a 6 hour cook at 230° F at the dome with the max of 60 charcoal briquettes that it will hold, so after that you will have to add more charcoal for those longer cooks.
The Smokenator comes in 3 sizes and fits in the 18.5″, 22.5″ and 26.75″ Weber kettles.
If you’re someone who owns a Weber kettle grill and are thinking about getting a smoker be sure to look into the Smokenator and get a great product you can use with your existing kettle grill.
You can find a great deal on the Smokenator 1000 here.
Make sure to check back next week for another BBQ Tools & Tech Review!