Welcome to my Weber SmokeFire EPX 6 Stealth Edition review. As anyone who has read T3 before will know, I review a lot of grills for T3 and curate its best BBQ and best smokers buying guides. As such, I feel I have gathered a modicum of expertise in testing and rating them.
Here I provide my considered opinion on the Weber SmokeFire EPX 6 Stealth Edition, after having received shipping of it myself, building it myself and using it myself. My testing of this hyper-premium smoker and grill has been 100 per cent conducted in the real world so I can communicate to you what it is actually like in the real world.
Is the Weber SmokeFire EPX 6 Stealth Edition the best smoker money can buy? Let's find out.
Weber SmokeFire EPX 6 Stealth Edition review: price and availability
Other third-party retailers are also available in both territories. To check availability out of these areas consult Weber's international store page.
Weber SmokeFire EPX 6 Stealth Edition review: setup and build quality
Ok, let's start with setup. The Weber SmokeFire EPX 6 Stealth Edition was delivered on a large wooden pellet because it is absolutely massive. The delivery driver used a mini forklift jack to decant it off the truck and into my garage.
Be under no illusion, this BBQ grill and smoker is crazy heavy, weighing in at over 200 pounds.
My first job, then, was to get the top box off and then decant the grill and its components.
The Weber SmokeFire EPX 6 Stealth Edition cooking drum, auger and hopper come pre-assembled and are one unit out of the box, with the grill's legs, handles and all other components and tools coming in labelled boxes.
My first problem came when it came to moving the main Weber SmokeFire EPX 6 Stealth Edition unit, which on its own was still crazy heavy and required my partner and I to half lift/ half carry it through my rear garage door. It was a tight fit but we just got it through and out onto my rear patio (where the build had to take place).
Once the grill and components were outside I started the build. This requires tipping the SmokeFire EPX 6 Stealth Edition onto its end (on top of an included protective cardboard base to protect it) and, let me tell you, even with two people this was awkward. The smoker is just so heavy!
The manual instructs you how to keep the grill stable when it is on its end, including using some of the component boxes to prop it up for stability while you attach its legs.
Attaching the legs was straight forward, with each labelled so you can't mix them up. Legs and wheels attached, I then had to tip the SmokeFire EPX 6 Stealth Edition back off its end and onto its legs, which again is a process where you absolutely need two people (and even with two it was awkward).
Happily, once the legs and wheels are on, and the grill is back on its natural orientation, the physically demanding part of the setup is complete.
Unlike some wood pellet grills I've tested, though, the SmokeFire EPX 6 does not come with its heating element installed. This means you do have to take off the back panel of the grill and fit one of the three elements included out of the box. The fact that there are spares included is good in my opinion.
Once I'd fitted the smoker's heating element I then proceeded to fit the remaining components to the Stealth Edition, including its ash box, handles, and internal furnace housing, grill shelves and grills.
With the SmokeFire EPX 6 Stealth Edition physically assembled I could then evaluate the build quality of the smoker grill. Simply put, Weber has spared no expense in terms of Stealth Edition. Each part of the grill feels incredibly well made and weighty, with attention to detail paid in key areas.
The main cooking drum's handle, for example, not only is fashioned out of strong and pleasingly weighty steel, but it is also wrapped in a heat-proof rubber shroud that means it never gets uncomfortably hot even in the midst of an intense BBQ session.
The drum's lid mechanism is also pleasingly resistive, meaning you can open the grill to various angles without the lid just slamming shut unless held. Also, the large food preparation plate to the right of the drum means you can store plenty of food to be cooked as well as a cold frosty beer pain free, too.
Legs and casters don't feel cheap either, and the front wheel brake locks hold the grill rock solid still once engaged. The included grill shelves are also really premium and dense, too. Basically, from a build quality point of view you're getting the best level on the market with the SmokeFire EPX 6 Stealth Edition.
The final part of the SmokeFire EPX 6's setup was running its first-time-operation heat cycle to run it in and remove any lingering manufacturing residues from within its drum and on its internal components.
This involves firing the grill up and running it for 30 minutes at 450 degree Fahrenheit (230 degrees Celsius).
To do this I emptied wood pellets into the SmokerFire's massive hopper (it can store 10kg of wood pellets!), connected the grill to the Weber Connect app, and then turned on the grill, asking it to heat up to 450 degrees as instructed.
Once the grill has been run in like this you then need to wait for the drum and grill shelves to cool, clean them, and then put everything back. The grill is now officially ready to use to cook food in.
Overall my experience in terms of setup here was fine, although not best in class. Assembly was definitely a bit awkward in places and there's no doubting that the build and run-in procedure is quite involving.
Luckily you only have to do the build and run-in once. And, yes, many wood pellet grills I've tested have similar setup experiences, so it's not like this is notably bad, but I can say it wasn't the easiest or quickest I've experienced and it is something to pay in mind when buying this.
If you and your partner aren't physically strong I'd seriously consider getting this BBQ built by a professional, as its very large physical dimensions and weight have to be negotiated multiple times during construction.
Weber SmokeFire EPX 6 Stealth Edition review: performance
Ok, we can now get to the good part of reviewing any barbecue grill – the cooking (and then eating!) of food.
I ran multiple grilling and smoking sessions on the Weber SmokeFire EPX 6 Stealth Edition to get an idea for its performance and, overall, I am pleased to report that it performed superbly.
Firstly, heat-up time on the EPX 6 was fast, surprisingly so. This is one of the fastest wood pellet grills I've tested, reaching temperature within about 15-20 minutes from cold.
Getting it started doesn't require a degree, either. You just turn the power switch to on, then use the dial on the control panel to select your desired temperature with a twist and then click it in to set. Easy.
And, with a combined dual grilling spare area of 6,370 square centimetres, you are literally spoiled for choice in terms of where you cook your food, and what you cook in it.
Seriously, this is a grill that is so large you could cook multiple large birds in it at once, along with ribs, steaks, burgers, sausages, fish, vegetables and any other sides dishes you desired.
A whole suckling pig could easily be roasted, too, with the EPX 6 delivering a cooking temperature range between 95-315 degrees Celsius and total closed lid dimensions of 119.38x140.24x83.82 CM (HxWxD) cooking drum.
My grills were less adventurous than a suckling pig, but I still managed to smoke up whole fishes, seafood kebabs and sausage rings, grill steaks and loins, as well as cook traditional BBQ staples like burgers, corn, vegetables and sausages.
The pictures and video nearby show the results of one of my cooking sessions. I was really impressed with the flavor imbued in the food I cooked on the EPX 6 Stealth Edition, as too how evenly it was cooked.
The SmokeFire EPX 6 is fast, too. Even at a modest 230 degree Celsius this grill absolutely flew in terms of getting food ready to eat and I can imagine just how useful that would be at a large event, like a birthday party, when you need to cook a variety of food for 20-30 people or more.
There's serious drama using the SmokeFire EPX 6, too. Whenever you open it (which as I make clear in my common BBQ mistakes feature, you shouldn't do too much) the flames and heat coming from the wood pellet furnace at the bottom is very evident and definitely adds to the atmosphere of grilling outdoors. I love gas grills, too, but there's definitely something about seeing the wild-ness of charcoal or pellet grills in full flame.
Like all pellet grills the SmokeFire EPX 6 emits a noticeable fan noise when in operation, so as I've said before in reviews, if quiet is what you want then make sure you set this up at least a modest distance away from entertaining areas. The operation noise will only be noticeable in a quiet environment, though, so as soon as the party music and people arrive it will fade into the background. Just don't expect to sit next to it in a quiet garden and not hear anything is all I am saying.
Shutting the grill down when you're done cooking is also straight forward. Just press the control dial in and hold down for a few seconds, you can then select 'Shut Down' from the menu screen. The grill will then go into its shut down cycle and, roughly within 15-20 minutes or so, will notify you that the grill is fine to be turned off and put away.
Last note on that. The review unit here was supplied with a protective cover for it. This covers the grill entirely but isn't very weighty, meaning that unless it is secured thoroughly will blow away – as happened to me twice. Weber produce a more premium, heavy cover I think, too, so I'd say opt for that one if stuck deciding.
Weber SmokeFire EPX 6 Stealth Edition review: verdict
Ok, I hope my Weber SmokeFire EPX 6 Stealth Edition review has helped you get an idea for what this grill is like to get, setup and use.
My feelings are that this is truly an epic smoker and grill and, probably, if money is not taken into consideration, the best smoker on the market today.
If you're a serious grill master and want to invest in a wood pellet barbecue it would be a superb choice if you can afford it. The cooking performance and build quality of the SmokeFire EPX 6 Stealth Edition are superb. The best smoker on the market doesn't come cheap, though.
And that very high price, especially in the UK market, means I can't recommend this to most people, even if they specifically want a wood pellet smoker.
You can get a quality smoker for much less money and there's plenty of wood pellet smokers and grills that retail for less than the Stealth Edition, too.
What the Stealth Edition delivers is truly epic cooking capacity, top-tier smoking, grilling and roasting capabilities and master craftsman-level build quality. But do you need that? My feeling is that for many people what the Weber SmokeFire EPX 6 Stealth Edition delivers will be over the top for their needs.
Overall, though, money and a person's actual outdoor cooking needs aside, it is impossible not to be left in awe of the Weber SmokeFire EPX 6 Stealth Edition. The Stealth Edition is a state-of-the-art smoker and barbecue grill that can cook food for an army of people while infusing it with delicious flavor. If that sounds good to you, meeting your needs and budget, then go buy it – it really is that simple.
Weber SmokeFire EPX 6 Stealth Edition review: also consider
If you like the sound of the Weber SmokeFire EPX 6 Stealth Edition but feel you want a slightly smaller wood pellet barbecue then you should check out the Traeger Ironwood 650. As I detail in my 5-star Traeger Ironwood 650 review, this barbecue grill offers a very similar package to the EPX 6 and while it doesn't match it in capacity or heat-up speed, it delivers superb results and is a fantastic all-round barbecue, roaster and smoker, too.