The Weber Smokey Joe Premium is a portable kettle barbecue with a superb design. Its lid clips in place so you can safely carry it, even when it's loaded with hot coals. And when the lid's not in use it doubles as a windshield. Cooking is slow and steady, making it a reliable alternative to cheaper portable bucket and kettle barbecues.
The design of the Smokey Joe Premium is superb in many ways. First up are its slender metal legs. These are stable and long enough to lift the fire off the ground or other surface. It's easy to lean down and tend to a low fire on the ground, but the height also works fine on a tabletop.
Next comes the lid and handle combo. When the lid's on, you can clip the long, thin body handle over the top into the lid's small, fat carry handle. This holds the lid in place beautifully. And this means you can carry it safely and easily, even when it's loaded with hot coals.
When you're cooking on the barbecue, the thin handle is again useful: it props up the lid for use as a windshield. This unusual feature sets the Smokey Joe Premium apart from cheaper portable kettle barbecues like the Bodum Fyrkat.
The cooking area measures 35cm diameter, generous for a portable barbecue. And the design inside is simple, drawn from Weber's heritage making kettle barbecues. A grill at the bottom to support the charcoal, a grill at the top to support the food, large adjustable air vents at the sides to control heat, and again large vents in the lid that can be adjusted.
It's available in four colours: slate grey, spring green, smoke and crimson.
When you first unpack the Smokey Joe Premium, some assembly is required to attach the legs and handles. This takes a good ten minutes but doesn't require any tools and there's no need for instructions.
Lighting the barbecue is straightforward but it's slow to get started compared with more hi-tech barbecue designs. It feels very much like a mini version of a traditional kettle barbecue.
Once the coals have turned white and you're ready to cook, the Weber comes into its own. It's a serious barbecue that cooks evenly and reliably.
It's not particularly fast, but it won't burn your bangers. We cooked marinaded chicken on it to great effect: the slow, steady heat sealed in flavour and moisture.
Yes. It's basically a proper, grown-up barbecue in miniature. Great design, including the lockable lid and windshield, sets this apart from more basic portable bucket and kettle barbecues. It's a superb barbecue for camping and beach barbecues and would double as a fire pit to boot.
Alternatives worth considering include the speedy, fan assisted Lotus Grill, the foodie Cobb Premier and the stylish Thuros Tabletop Grill, but the Weber is more affordable and versatile than all of them.
Perfect for the campsite or beach as well as the garden, superb design sets this portable kettle barbecue apart from basic bucket BBQs.