The kind folks at Barbecue Kettle Accessories (based in San Jose, CA) recently sent me a Smokenator 2600 and Hovergrill kit. Together, these two BBQ accessories convert a Weber charcoal kettle into a 3-rack smoker. Currently, there are two sizes of the Smokenator: the 1000 and the 2600. The Smokenator 2600 fits the 26.75″ Weber One Touch Gold charcoal kettle and the Smokenator 1000 fits the 22.5″ Weber One Touch Gold kettle. The Smokenator is an 18 gauge stainless steel insert for your Weber kettle that provides perfect indirect cooking by blocking direct heat with the steel wall and also provides moisture to your cooking environment with an included water pan.
After having cooked with the Smokenator a couple of times since receiving it, my opinion is that it is perfect for someone who has a Weber kettle and interested in low and slow smoking without having to invest in a stand alone smoker. A lot of “back pork” BBQ fanatics have Weber charcoal kettles and grill a lot on them, but are only interested in all day, low and slow cooks every once in a while. A lot of people can’t justify the expense of a stand alone smoker b/c of time constraints so for folks like that, I think the Smokenator is a no-brainer. It will give you a smoker set up for your kettle without having to break the bank for a stand alone model.
Below you’ll see the 4 pieces that come with the kit (you can buy the Smokenator and Hovergrill together as a kit, or buy them separately). The 18 gauge stainless steel baffle, water pan and charcoal skewer make up the Smokenator and then the Hovergrill comes in just one piece.
The Smokenator mounts to either side of your kettle and takes less than 15 seconds to snap in.
Here is a shot showing you the inside of the Smokenator. For my first cook, I easily had 40 charcoal briquettes, plus some smoke wood, piled inside providing hours of cook time.
Here is a shot with the water pan added. For most typical cooks around the 225° – 250° range, you’ll need to refill the water pan about once an hour.
Lastly, here is the Hovergrill added to the top grill of the kettle. As the Smokenator maintains all of the charcoal inside the baffle, you can use the charcoal grate as a cooking grate and then with Hovergrill added, you’ll have 3 racks to cook food on. That is a ton of cooking real estate, especially on the 26.75″ One Touch Gold kettle!!
Below is a video of me cooking a Boston butt on my kettle with the Smokenator. Please note that I was cooking at about 300° so the water in the water pan obviously boiled and evaporated quickly. I was too lazy to refill it every hour, so I decided to add a much large water pan below the butt. I also needed something there to catch all the fat drippings. But…if you plan on cooking around 200° – 225°, then I think the water pan will hold water for closer to 1 1/2 hours before needing a refill.