Thursday 28 November 2013

SmokeWare Chimney Vented Cap Review

Last week I was given the opportunity to do a review on the Smokeware Chimney Vented Cap made by Smokeware. Which I was pretty intrigue in doing this review since I have never heard of the Smokeware Chimney Vented Cap before and I was very anxious in try it and putting it to the test. Well a few days ago I receive the Smokeware Chimney Cap in the mail and it was well packaged so no damage would incur during transit. I would like to take this time to say thanks to Matthew Merrit from  Smokeware for providing us there product for making this review possible.

Right off the bat I like these facts about the Chimney Caps:

  1. Its made of high quality 304 stainless steel and won’t rust if left in the elements like all the cast iron vents on ceramic cookers and won’t break if accidently dropped while handling;

  1. It won’t prop open on you while opening the lid of your cooker ( a common issue with ceramic cookers daisy wheels);

  1. The top of the chimney caps has nice size overhang which means you can cook in the rain without worrying about any rain getting in the cooker and effecting the cook and temps (which is a big bonus for me here in Nova Scotia where it rains a lots);

  1. Lots of us has experience mold growth in our ceramic cooker and moisture build up inside when not used in a while. But this chimney cap can prevent this mold and moisture build up by leave the vent open slightly and it will allow a little airflow, which in turn will prevent this issue. (before doing this insure your fire is completely out or you will waste you left over lump charcoal)

Before we get deep in this review here’s the story and bibliography of the Smokeware Company which I got from there website:

Source of picture Smokeware website

“I have always enjoyed grilling, but in 2006 I got a large Big Green Egg for Christmas. That is when I learned first-hand about all the advantages of cooking on a Kamado-style ceramic grill. After grilling some steaks pittsburg-style and slow-smoking some chickens I immediately became a big fan of the Kamado grill and I found myself grilling out more frequently.

I live in Florida and we have a lot of great grilling weather, but we also have a lot of afternoon thunder showers that can show-up during the prime grilling hours. After getting rained on several times I began to look for a solution to the problem so I could keep on grilling in the Rain! I tried holding umbrellas over my grill but my arm got tired. I tried moving the grill in my garage, but I decide that was not safe. I tried a couple of other solutions but none of them seemed to work until I came up with the prototype for the stainless steel vented chimney cap. It worked beautifully in the rain and solved all my grilling weather problems. No more cook-out ruined by an unexpected Thunderstorm!

I also found that it had many additional benefits. It kept its position when I raised and closed the grill so I did not have to keep re-adjust the setting and prevented Flare-ups! Another way to ruin a good cook-out very quickly! It also allowed me to keep the vents open when the grill was not in use and that greatly reduced the mold and mildew problems that its typical in a Kamado grill that sits idle for a couple of weeks.. This cut down on the mold that would sometimes grow in my grill in the humid Florida climate. It is also easy to clean. It’s dishwasher safe or can be cleaned with steel wool and soap to keep it shiny.

After making several units for family and friends I decided to form a company and sell them directly to the public and ceramic grill dealers. The response has been unbelievable! Over the next few months we will be adding some other grill accessories so check back with us soon!

Happy Grilling!
Matthew H Merritt”

The chimney cap come well package and when you open the box you get a Nomex gasket, a fixed base and rotating cap. The Nomex gasket is to be attached to the bottom potion of the base or on the cooker's chimney to provide air tight seal on your ceramic cooker.

For Kamado Joe users you don’t need to use the Nomex gasket since they already have gasket installed on the ceramic of there vent.

I tested the fit on my Classic Kamado Joe and Large Big Green Egg and fitted on both of them perfectly!

I was also told by other users and from research that the Chimney Vented Cap will also fit the following Ceramic cooker:

  1. Primo Oval JR and Primo Oval XL;
  2. Classic Kamado Joe and The Big Joe;
  3. Big Green Egg XL, Large, and Medium;
  4. Grill Dome all sizes;
  5. Steele Kamado grills;
  6. Akorn Kamado.

I really loved the way it looks on my Kamado Joe and Big Green Egg. It really pimped up the look of them! It is a lot sharper on the Kamado Joe it brings out it red colour very nicely.

These caps are manufactured in china most likely to keep the cost down for us consumers.

 The chimney vent assembled

 The chimney fixed base

 The rotating cap with silicone sleeve on tab

One thing I noticed immediately is the stainless steel does get a lot hotter than the cast iron daisy wheel but this didn’t affect the cooker in any way. However it does have a high temp silicone cover on the vent adjustment tab to prevent yourselves from getting burnt. I strongly recommend using gloves or tongs to do the adjustment because the hot air and steam that comes out of the vent can also be really hot depending at what temps your cooking at. I also found some sharp edges on the chimney cap so use a little caution when installing.

The stainless steel vent was 238 F at pit temp of 475 F

As you can see in my video this cap is excellent in keeping the rain out of the ceramic cookers. It’s also a lot better then holding umbrella on top of the cooker or using the old tomato juice can with holes punch on its side.

I found it was just has easy and efficient to maintain and control the internal temp of my cookers.

I did a slow and low cook on the Kamado Joe and it maintain the temp at 225 degrees F for over 8 hours no problem. I then tried a high temp 700 degree F cook on the Big Green Egg to cook a pizza and it work perfectly for it as well. But at higher temp it causes a sight discoloration to the base of the chimney which isn’t that bad.

My verdict on the Smokeware Chimney Cap:

I am actually quite impressed with this product. I would definitely buy one without hesitation if you plan to cook on rainy days and if you don’t use your cooker often to prevent mold and mildew build up inside the cooker. It also a good ideal to use this chimney cap if you plan to leave your cooker exposed to the elements. I also found that it also improves the look of the cooker and it’s quite sharp on them. I especially loved the fact that when I open the lid the settings on the vent didn’t change like my old daisy wheel did. You can control the temp just as easy has the standard daisy wheel. The benefits of this caps outweighs the cost of this cap and for $37.95 it’s steel!

The only real negative aspect I found is the slight discoloration of the stainless base of the chimney at high temperature cook which is a minor thing and some of its edges where quite sharp which is also quite minor.

Update: I tried using the chimney vent caps in 100 to 120km/h wind gust and heavy rain the other day and it survived the wind gust and work 100% which is quite impressive :)

I hope you enjoyed this review!

You can order you Chimney Vent from here: SmokeWare Store

There website: Smokeware

Facebook: Smokeware Facebook

Contact by Telephone

Phone # (855) 344-9273

Fax # (904) 395-9039

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Sales and Dealer Inquiries

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Mailing Address
P.O. Box 1655
Ponte Vedra, FL 32004-1655  

Happy Grilling! J

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