A week or so before our big move (which I mentioned in a previous blog post), I was sent a RV care package by David Somerville of QualityGrillParts.com — a Weber Jumbo Joe with accessories to kick-start its use!
We have officially been out of Charlotte for a little over 2 weeks now, and I have had several chances to use the Weber Jumbo Joe. Overall this is a great portable charcoal grill, but let’s get down to the important details…
Dimensions & FEATURES
The Weber Jumbo Joe is intended to be a portable grill, so naturally the overall dimensions are going to be smaller than its cousin, the Original Kettle 18″ grill. However, the Jumbo Joe is larger than its sibling, the Smokey Joe.
- Total cooking area — 240 square inches
- Dimensions (height x width x depth) — 19.75″ x 20.5″ x 19.75″
Below are comparisons of the Jumbo Joe to the Smokey Joe and the Original Kettle 18″. Not included on this comparison is the observation made that the charcoal bowl on the Original Kettle 18″ is deeper than the charcoal bowl on the Jumbo Joe.
The shipping weight of the Jumbo Joe, according to Amazon, is 17.2 lbs. This makes it a lightweight travel charcoal grill in respect to the amount of cooking surface available.
There are a couple of features that I want to call out that make the Jumbo Joe extremely handy in terms of portability. The first is the Tuck-N-Carry® lid lock & holder. This consists of a curved metal bar with both ends in the Jumbo Joe that locks on to the lid handle to keep it in place. This also makes the Jumbo Joe extremely easy to move, and you don’t have to worry about the lid flying off.
Another handy feature is actually part of the Tuck-N-Carry® assembly. On the side of the grill, there is a metal piece used for tucking the carry bar when cooking. But in addition to keeping the carry bar out of place, it provides a handy place for resting the lid when needing to get to the charcoal or cooking grates.
The Jumbo Joe is a nice combination of the portability of the Smokey Joe with the expanded cooking area of the Original Kettle 18″.
Assembly AND USE
Assembly of the Jumbo Joe is fairly straightforward. I did run into some problems with mounting the tuck bar, but those were issues of my own doing. It took me approximately 30 minutes to get the grill assembled, but I was also taking my time. The instructions that came with the Jumbo Joe for assembly were good and easy to follow. One thing that I don’t recall being in the directions: don’t overtighten the bolts that hold on the top and bottom dampers, otherwise it’s gonna be a real pain to move those once it’s time to cook.
Firing up the Jumbo Joe works like firing up the Smokey Joe or the Original Kettle. You can use the Weber lighter cubes (which I find super duper handy) in combination with a charcoal chimney, or you can light a lighter cube that is on a bed of unlit coals. Since I have a charcoal chimney with me, I go that route.
In my times cooking on the Jumbo Joe, I’ve noted a few things:
- Since the charcoal bowl is not as deep, you don’t need as much charcoal.
- The tab for adjusting the bottom damper is really short. And that bottom damper gets REALLY HOT. I really wish there was a longer handle on here to adjust the damper. I recommend either some tongs or some heat-resistant gloves.
- It has an air-tight fit when everything is closed. Coals go from lit to unlit within an hour or 2 after closing off both dampers and securing the lid.
- The amount of space in the cooking chamber allows for direct cooking and multi-zone fires (potential for low & slow).
I’m looking forward to cooking in more versatile ways on the Jumbo Joe. Look for posts on two-zone and three-zone cooking on the Jumbo Joe in the future.
Once again, a huge thank you to David Somerville of QualityGrillParts.com for making all of this possible! His site is a great resource for all accessories and parts Weber-related. Check it out!
(NOTE: This post is a sponsored post. Also, links to Amazon in this blog post are affiliate links for my site. Any clicks and purchases are greatly appreciated!)