Weber Jumbo Joe Fan Site

A little site about a great portable grill: The Weber Jumbo Joe!

The Weber Jumbo Joe is a great portable charcoal grill.  If you are looking for your first Weber grill this is a great place to start.  If you already have a Weber kettle collection then the Weber Jumbo Joe is a mandatory addition.  This site shows how I use my Weber Jumbo Joe, compares it against other Weber kettles, and lets you know what upgrades and modifications I have come across.  I hope you find the information useful.

Weber Jumbo Joe Kettle Pizza

Upgrades for the Weber Jumbo Joe

One of the things I love about the Weber Jumbo Joe is since it only costs $60 you can splurge on a few extras.  I absolutely recommend upgrading the cooking grate with either a standard hinged grate or the Craycort cast iron grates.  Upgrading from the standard grate makes low and slow cooks on the Jumbo much easier.  You can also get a set of GrillGrates for the Jumbo which let you utilize more surface area for direct grilling. I have given the KettlePizza a spin on the Jumbo Joe and can report that it works very well and I have also hooked up a rotisserie.

Click HERE to see the full range of accessories that are available for the Jumbo!

Comparing the Weber Jumbo Joe

There are several portable charcoal grills (and larger kettles) you need to look at before you buy a Weber Jumbo Joe.

It is my belief that the Jumbo is a better grill both in price and performance than Weber’s other portable charcoal grills, the Smokey Joe Silver or Smokey Joe Gold.  I also like the Jumbo much more than my 18 inch Weber One Touch.

Although I love my Jumbo it is no match for my 22.5 inch kettle in terms of capacity and flexibility.  Of course the 22.5 inch kettles aren’t really portable and they take up quite a bit of room.  Below is a quick comparison of the different Weber kettles.  For a more thorough explanation of the differences click HERE.
Weber Jumbo Joe Comparisons

Using the Weber Jumbo Joe

You can easily use the Weber Jumbo Joe as a grill or a smoker.  When I use the Jumbo as a grill I keep both vents (top and bottom) completely open.  When I use the Jumbo as a smoker I keep both vents at 50% open.   The performance of the Jumbo as a smoker is excellent and for small cuts like chuck roast is my preferred smoker.  Click Here to see how I use the Jumbo Joe to create awesome pulled pork, beer can chicken and a ton of other great recipes!
Pulled pork on the Weber Jumbo Joe

Modifications for the Weber Jumbo Joe

I have fabricated two modifications for the Weber Jumbo Joe; an extension ring and an air diffuser/heat shield.  Both projects were fun but I don’t really use either one very much; the Jumbo does very well as designed.  You can click Here to learn more about these projects.

Weber Jumbo Joe Heat Shield

 

What about other Reviews?

I am not the only person who loves this grill.  Below is a snapshot of the Amazon reviews from folks who have bought and love this portable charcoal grill.  Not too shabby :)

Weber Jumbo Joe Reviews

About the Weber Jumbo Joe

The Weber Jumbo Joe was introduced around October, 2012 and is the official replacement for the Smokey Joe Platinum.  The Weber Jumbo Joe is designed to be the ultimate portable charcoal grill and Weber did an excellent job.  The Jumbo has a locking lid which makes it extremely portable.  It also has an 18.5 inch grilling grate which makes it substantially larger than Weber’s other portable charcoal grill, the Weber Smokey Joe Gold.  The major flaw with the Smokey Joe Platinum was the location of the air intake vents; this issue was corrected with the Weber Jumbo Joe.

Thanks for visiting the site and I hope you found the information to be useful.  If you think you might also need a kick ass has grill to go along with your Jumbo then let me point you over to the Weber Genesis S 330!

Update 10/16/2014:

I just launched a site to help people find the right cover for their Weber grills regardless of when it was made.  If Weber ever starts making a cover for the Jumbo Joe I will have it listed over there.  If you need any covers for you other Weber grills then please drop by and let me help you find what you need!

52 Responses to “Weber Jumbo Joe Fan Site”

  1. adam holmes says:

    hey have you tried the charcoal rails with the jumbo joe, im thinking i will try them with it and see how they work

    • admin says:

      Adam, I have never played with charcaol rails but if they work for the other kettles I can’t imagine why they wouldnt work with the Jumbo!

      • Nick says:

        I have used the rails for pork loin and plank salmon (three zone heat), together with the hinged grate, and they work great! I look forward to trying the many great ideas on this site too.

        • David S says:

          Nick,

          Great! I haven’t tried the three zone approach yet but it sounds like a perfect idea.
          I appreciate you dropping by. Please share any other hints/tips/tricks you learn along the way.

          David

  2. Peter says:

    I am trying to purchase one as inexpensively as possible. Any suggestions?

  3. adam holmes says:

    i got mine used like new on amazon warehouse deals, i also got the compact chimney starter, hinged grates and the charcoal rail to try out. waiting for it to be delivered.

  4. adam holmes says:

    I can confim that the charcoal rails do indeed fit in the jumbo joe!

  5. Lance Wood says:

    David, Thank you for creating a great resource for Jumbo Joe owners and thanks to Adam for heads
    up on the charcoal rails, been looking at those for a while but wasn’t sure they would fit, had the
    opportunity to test fit the charcoal baskets for the bigger, deeper kettles and was really disappointed
    when they weren’t even close to fitting,

    • admin says:

      Lance, you are very welcome!

      Please tell me more about the charcoal baskets not fitting. I took one out of my 22 inch kettle and it fit perfectly under the grate.

      • Lance Wood says:

        I was at a local Ace Hardware and they had a JJ and a 221/2 OTG sitting next to each other and I pulled the
        aluminum indirect cooking baskets from inside the OTG and tried them in the JJ and the cooking grate would not lay flat.
        Every item I was looking at is/was brand new so if you have older baskets they may fit fine.

  6. Steve says:

    Hi, I have the old smoky Joe Platinum with the side vent holes. I’m thinking about selling it on Craigslist and getting the new Jumbo, Your thoughts?

    • admin says:

      Steve, if I had the Platinum I would keep it in my collection! Go ahead and get the Jumbo..send some pictures of the two side by side, I would love to see them!

      • Mylo says:

        On the issue of the platinum you say, “The major flaw with the Smokey Joe Platinum was the location of the air intake vents;” Can you explain why?

        • David S says:

          Mylo, the Platinum had the air intake vents on the side of the grill located slightly above the charcoal grate. This meant that the combustion air was flowing OVER the charcoal bed instead of THROUGH the charcoal. Some folks resorted to drilling holes in the bottom of the Platinum kettle to get better air flow.

  7. Pete says:

    I am using Royal Oak lump charcoal and the small pieces fall through the charcoal grate. Has anyone tried out a 304 stainless steel expanded metal sheet with much smaller holes?

    • admin says:

      I would love to hear from anyone who has tried this. I am staying away from lump because of sparking on my wood deck. Any information on better ways of using lump would be great.

      • Justin says:

        I know this is late, but all my Weber grills have an extra charcoal grate bolted to the original at a 90 degree angle with Fender washers. Best $10 bucks and 5 minutes you’ll spend on your Weber kettle.

        • David S says:

          Justin, very interesting! I haven’t seen this done before. What does this gain you? If you would send some pictures I would be happy to post them.

  8. Pete says:

    David, have you thought having the heat diffuser made with refractory material?

    • admin says:

      Pete,

      No I haven’t…educate me a little..something like a formed pizza stone? Maybe cutting some fire bricks to shape? How would you approach?

  9. Dave says:

    David, love the website! I think the JJ is the perfect Kettle. I’ve used the larger Webers for years, a WSM, etc. However I have a Cookshack 55 (bought in 06) and just love it for pure smoking. BUT, there is just nothing like charcoal for poultry, steaks, etc, etc. The 18″ size is definitely perfect. The JJ is also a much lower profile rig than the ots. Really appreciate your website to help with discovering what this unit can indeed do. Took your recipe for blade roast and indeed it was good. What this grill needs is some sort of table thingy. Know Weber has a new portable table, but it is seriously lacking. Wobbly, and honestly not up to Weber standards. Wondering if others have solutions for the JJ on a table? Best to all.

    • David S says:

      Dave,
      Thanks for visiting and I very much appreciate the positive feedback!

      I went to a bbq supply store and tried fitting the JJ onto the Weber portable table. The legs fit into the slots but the legs didn’t fit down far enough for the locking latch to slide shut. So not only is the table wobbly but it doesn’t really “fit” the JJ.

      I will look around and see what other folks have come up with. Would love to hear responses from others as well.

      As far as lid thermometers goes…I know a lot of folks have talked about this…the simplest mod I have seen is using a wooden clothes pin to hold a thermometer in place that was inserted through the top vent. I am not familiar with Trend but can start looking!

      Thanks for the questions! This gives me some projects to work on this weekend :)

  10. Dave says:

    One last thought, I humbly think this grill would be a good candidate for a good lid thermometer. It really seems to hold the temps good for what you would cook on it. Any recommendations on thermometers? I know of and have used Trend but can’t seem to find them now? Any good alternatives?

  11. Dave says:

    All, had a chance to pickup a small 2″ tru-temp with a wing nut fastening setup. Goes up to 700 degrees. Think this will be perfect. David, if there is a way to send some shots to you of the device and post install let me know and I’ll do so. (thumbsup)

  12. Steve says:

    Does anyone know how I can clean the rust off of a 18 inch weber grill grate?

  13. Alan says:

    Can you use the weber cleaning kit to “upgrade” he jumbo joe?

  14. Mylo says:

    David,

    Now, I get it. Over vs through are the key words. I’ve been looking at pics on the internet of the two models and it wasn’t readily apparent to me. Thank you for explaining this!

    Mylo

  15. Nick says:

    Subject: JUMBO Mini Weber Smokey Mountain

    Gents, I am giddy with excitement. I had the desire to expand my Smokey Joe Gold into a Mini WSM. I went to Walmart in search of a tamale pot.

    INSTEAD, I saw a $40 Brinkmann ‘El Cheapo’ smoker. I eyeballed it, and figured it would sit nicely on my Jumbo Joe.

    BINGO! It sits nicely on the Jumbo’s grate lip. My Jumbo lid has a an after-market thermometer anyway, which I installed. I’m off to the races!!!

    Instead of drilling a zillion holes and buying extra racks, I just took a Brinkmann “El Cheapo,” left off the legs and lid, and plopped it on the Jumbo Joe!! I still can’t believe it.

    In time I’ll tweak grill level placement, but for $40, I just had to let you know!!!!!

  16. Mylo says:

    This is big news. A game changer. Please post pics and more descriptions so that it can become widespread. this may be the best use for a Brinkman smoker yet!

  17. Steve says:

    Should I get the grill for 29.98 on clearance at Target?

  18. Mylo says:

    That’s a great price. Even if you don’t do the mod (which I’ve decided against) its a great grill to have.

  19. Mylo says:

    Thoughts on the Weber Jumbo Joe smoker mod vs Weber Smokey Joe mini mod:

    I’ve been researching the Smokey Joe and Jumbo Joe mods quite a bit and I’ve come to this conclusion. The mini Smokey Joe mod is the better deal IF you want to make a mini smoker (but a 22.5 kettle mod is still a way better alternative and cheaper mod). However, if you want a smoker you are probably better off trying to score a used 18.5 WSM on Craigslist. The problem comes down to fact that the Jumbo Joe mod doesn’t scale well compared to the Smokey Joe. Here are the numbers, based on Amazon/Target/Home Depot prices. Someone asked me, “$10 for stainless steel bolts?” Go price them. Little, seemingly insignificant parts can slyly eat up your budget, and you will need at least six nut/bolt/washer sets.

    Weber Smokey Joe mini mod

    Smokey Joe $30
    32 qt stock pot $21
    Extra Grill $8
    SS nuts/bolts $10
    Diffuser $7
    Total $76
    WSM 14.5 $200
    % ratio 38% of the cost of a new 14.5 WSM

    Weber Jumbo Joe mini mod

    Jumbo Joe $60
    80 qt pot $103
    Extra grill $14
    Charcoal ring $10
    SS nuts n bolts $10
    Diffuser $10
    Total $207
    WSM 18.5 $300
    % ratio 69% of the cost of a new 18.5 WSM

    The problem here is the pot. A large 80 qt pot has to be special ordered, and the larger the pot the greater the cost. Now Craigslist can provide some deals, but you’ll rarely find a Jumbo Joe and an 80 qt stock pot that would actually fit the JJ. Smokey Joes can be scored for $10 quite commonly on CL, yard sales or thrift stores, the Jumbo Joe not so much. One can also go into Target tonight and assemble to the entire suite of materials required for the Smokey Joe mod. After finding a Jumbo at Target the other day for $40 I’d considered the Jumbo mod, but when I ran the numbers I realized that it just wasn’t a good deal, especially since there were two used (aka “seasoned”) WSM 18.5’s on CL, one for $120 and the other for $150. I like the Jumbo Joe cause I think it stands very well on its own as a great portable grill, but for now I’ll just use my 22.5 for weekly smoking (I also have a 22.5 WSM for big events). But I’ll keep my tape measure in my pocket in the highly unlikely event that I see a big stock pot that might fit the Jumbo Joe.

    If you want to do the mod then here is the appropriate pot forwarded to me by FWIsmoker on Smoking Meat Forums.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/CONCORD-Stainless-Steel-Stockpot-Brew-Kettle-w-Lid-Heavy-Cookware-Beer-Hops-/141106351809?pt=Cookware&var=&hash=item20da980ec1

    • David S says:

      Mylo, go check out the “Share Your Pictures” page! You can skip the 80 qt pot and just use the body from a $40 ECB. It’s a cheap and awesome idea!

    • Nick says:

      Hi Mylo,

      The photos of my $40 Brinkmann mod are up on the “Share Your Pictures!” tab at the top of this screen. Please have a look. All you need is $40 and some extra nuts and bolts that you probably have lying around anyway.

      Let me know what you think!

  20. adam says:

    heck yeah, thats a great deal, thats the cost of the small one!

  21. Mylo says:

    Thanks David. I’ve looked, I haven’t found a Brinkmann model that fits the Jumbo Joe. If anybody has a model number that works then that would be helpful. There are so many Brinkmanns on CL, but it’s hard to tell which one will work.

    • Nick says:

      Hi Mylo,

      It’s the Brinkmann “Smoke’N Grill.” It’s $47 at Walmart, currently on sale for $40.

      It comes with a water pan (aka. heat diffuser), and a couple of flimsy (but ok) grills. Disregard the lid, legs, and charcoal pan. Lower the handles and upper grill by 2-3 inches. Fill remaining holes with the leftover nuts and bolts, plus whatever you have lying around at the bottom of your toolbox. I added 3/4″ bolts at the bottom of the ‘barrel’ to add stability.

      It’s not perfect, but for $40, it’s perfectly fine.

      Of course, one can go ‘whole hog’ and do a fancy upgrade, but this is cheap and easy.

  22. Mylo says:

    Thanks, Nick! Certainly a better deal than a $120 stock pot.

  23. JT says:

    Good news for those interested. I contacted the Smokenator folks. They have plans to make a Smokenator for the Jumbo Joe! It won’t be anytime real soon though they said they have some other projects they working on right now.

  24. Justin says:

    It saves lump. With the extra grate criss crossed on top, the lump does not fall through until it’s burned down to almost nothing.

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