Which Weber Charcoal Grill To Buy

Everdure By Heston Blumenthal 4k Charcoal Grill & Smoker

Smokey Joe Charcoal Grill | Weber Grills

The Heston Blumenthal Grill and Smoker leads in innovation and is a treat for the tech-savvy, according to Shoults. The patent-pending Fast Flame ignites with the touch of a button and the grill even connects to Bluetooth so that you can keep an eye on your grilling at all times, he said.

The 21-inch grill and smoker combo is also pet-and kid-friendly with a cool-to-the-touch exterior and auto-locking lid. The temperature ranges from 230 to 725 degrees Fahrenheit and it can be controlled through your smartphone or the LED touch glass display. This grill also has top and bottom vents that create a balanced air flow to grill meats evenly, added Shoults.The technical capabilities of this grill sends it well above your standard grill while the sleek and masculine graphite finish is just another reason we have all the heart eyes for this grill.

Best Budget Grill: Weber Original Kettle Grill

The true original Weber grill, the Weber Original Kettle Grill, can be purchased for under $100, making it our top pick for best budget grill. This grill measures 18 inches wide, which is a noticeable surface-area difference from the 22-inch grill. It does not include a lid hook or thermometer, and the ash catcher is not enclosed. That said, this Weber takes under 10 minutes to set up and requires no hardware. Like the Weber Original Premium grill, hamburgers tested on this grill cooked up to a perfect medium rare. The chicken we grilled took four minutes of sear time and 25 additional minutes on indirect heat to come up to a safe internal temperature. If youre looking for the best affordable charcoal grill under $100 that will cook your meat to a perfect temperature, then this Weber is for you.

How Do You Use A Charcoal Grill

Cooking on a charcoal grill is a bit more complicated than using a gas-powered model. First, you’ll need to measure out an appropriate amount of charcoal briquettesthis will depend on the size of your grill, what you’re cooking, and how hot you want the grill to get. Next, you have to light the charcoal using a chimney starter or other tool.

From here, you’ll want to clean and oil your cooking grates and preheat them for several minutes before placing food on the grill. As you cook your food, control the grill’s temperature by using the upper and lower vents. For the hottest fire possible, you’ll want to open both vents all the way, or for a lower temperature, close the upper vent to a half or quarter.

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Weber 15501001 Performer Deluxe 22

Best for Easy Food Prep

Our next grill has a lot in common with the Original Kettle model, but with a few additions that make your grilling even more efficient and enjoyable! Notably, the Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill has a built-in work table that makes preparing food outdoors much easier because you can keep all your ingredients close at hand. The other great feature is the electronic touch-and-go gas ignition system that quickly heats the charcoal within 15 minutes, so you can get right to grilling. Also, the open-cart design allows for more tool storage, and the built-in CharBin acts as an easy, weatherproof waste container. This model’s available in black, copper, or green and it’s made to entertain!

Features of the Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill Include:

How Do You Clean A Charcoal Grill

Weber 22 in. Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill Black ...

Upon extinguishing the coal and allowing the grill to cool down, you can clean the grates using a scraper or wire grill brush. If needed, you can take the grates off and soak them in soapy water for a few hours to loosen up burnt-on food and grease. Once they’re clean, make sure to oil them using a rag or paper towel to prevent rust.

You’ll also want to wipe down the inside of the lid and bowl using a mild soap. Finally, empty your grill’s ash catcher.

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How Do You Start A Charcoal Grill

There are several ways to light a charcoal grill, but the best option is to use a chimney starter. All you do is place crumpled newspaper in the bottom of the tool with charcoal on top, and after you light the bottom, your charcoal will be ready to add to the grill in around 10 minutes.

Another option is to use an electric charcoal lighter, which you put on the grill along with charcoal to bring the coals up to temperature.

The Complete Buying Guide To Weber Grills: Every Model Explained

From the Smokey Joe to the brand-new Genesis II, heres everything you need to know about Weber, Americas favorite grill makers.

Welcome to Brand Breakdown, a series of comprehensive yet easy-to-digest guides to your favorite companies, with insights and information you wont find on the average About page.

It was the early 1950s, the brazier grill was king and George Stephen was not impressed. Braziers lacked lids, leaving food exposed to rain and flooding the coalbed with oxygen, creating uncontrollably hot fires. According to Smithsonian Magazine, Stephen, a salesman for Weber Brothers Metal Works, was filling out orders for buoys from the Coast Guard and Chicago Yacht Club when it hit him he needed a lid. He cut a buoy into two half-spheres, added legs and punched holes in the top and bottom for airflow. The Weber Kettle was born.

Webers original kettle remains its most popular grill today, but in the 60-plus years since its invention, the company has expanded. The Weber name is stamped on propane gas grills, smokers, electric grills and portable grills. There are sub-products under each category, each at different price points, and all with different features. Heres everything you need to know about the most famous name in grilling.

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Flaws But Not Dealbreakers

The 22-inch Weber Original Kettle Premium is short. The grates are just 27 inches from the ground. Compare that against the standard kitchen-counter height of 36 inches, and you quickly grasp the reality we experienced: Its a literal, if passing, pain in the ass to spend a lot of time working over the grates. Granted, you spend 90 percent of your grilling time standing around waiting for stuff to cook, not leaning over the coals. But the Napoleon, which we otherwise didnt love, is a generous 34 inches in height at the grate, and that made it a pleasure to work on. Given Webers attention to engineering details, we suspect the low height is by design. For the same reason, we believe Weber could do things differentlyand better.

The Weber grill has three legsan inherently stable design, because having three points of contact means the legs will automatically find their level even on bumpy ground. That said, the Napoleon models four legs felt just as stable, and more stiff, on a garden-variety concrete patioand also allowed Napoleon to install a big, square shelf underneath the grill. The Weber grill has a smaller, triangular shelf, but its far less useful.

Finally, the Weber model doesnt come with a grill cover. We think every grill should, even though most dont. Weber sells one for its 22-inch kettle for about $40.

Weber Original Kettle Premium 22

Weber 22.5-inch Performer Platinum Charcoal Grill : Weber…

Best for Value

We put to the test the Weber 14401001 Original Kettle Premium 22-Inch Charcoal Grill, one of the best-rated, well-priced charcoal grills you can find on Amazon at an entry price of $149. This model is basically a souped-up version of Weber’s Original Kettle Grill an evolved version of the first grill they debuted back in 1952, hence the name “Original.”

If you’re relatively new to charcoal grilling, this is an easy model to learn on, and it allows for plenty of surface space to cook meats, veggies, and any of your summer food favorites using a combination of direct or indirect heat. At 22 inches in diameter, this grill is still compact enough that you can wheel it to the corner of your patio when it’s not in use, and it makes a sleek addition to any backyard.

What sets the Premium model apart from the standard model is the addition of an ash catcher that makes cleanup super easy, and a built-in lid thermometer to help monitor the temperature of your meat as you’re cooking. Upgrades worth the extra 50 bucks, if you ask us! The original model without the built-in thermometer is even more budget-friendly at just $99, and for either model, you can pay extra on Amazon for full assembly.

Features of the Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill Include:

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Construction And Air Control

Gas grills need to be well vented for safety reasons. If the burners are deprived of oxygen, the flame goes out, but the gas fuel keeps coming, building up under the hood and creating a serious fire hazard. The opposite is true of charcoal grills, which function best as sealed systems with solid, tight construction for effective air control. Just as with gas, the charcoal fire needs oxygen to burn, and you can use this oxygen flow to your advantage. Shut down the air dampers to drop the cooking temp or snuff the charcoal out entirely when finished. Open them wide to flood the fire with oxygen and create a rip-roaring, red-hot coal bed.

Flimsy charcoal grills with loose, warped lids and rickety moving parts make temperature control a nightmare. Charcoal grills don’t need to be tanks made of heavy, quarter inch-thick steel, but they shouldn’t be tin cans that lack structural integrity.

The air control required for charcoal grills actually makes them dang good smokers, too. Unlike smoking on a gas grill, where wood chunks or chips burn up quickly and the small amount of smoke generated blows out the back before your very eyes, charcoal grill vents can be closed down to allow very little air in and out. This gives smoke plenty of time to leisurely caress foods and impart that magic, smoky goodness.

Why You Should Trust Us

Before lighting a single briquet, we spoke with more than a dozen experts, including Joe Salvaggio of Big Apple BBQ. Joe and his brother Tony have run Big Apple BBQ, one of the New York regions leading grill shops, for 30 years. They carry regular charcoal grills, kamados , and griller-smokers that burn wood pellets . Salvaggio spent an hour explaining the fundamentals of charcoal-grill design, function, materials, and maintenance to us. And because hes an independent retailer, he was able to speak freely about what he sees as the relative strengths and weaknesses of the various designs.

We also interviewed senior product managers from almost every major grill maker at the 2017 Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Expo in Atlanta in early March 2017, including representatives from Weber and Napoleon.

We backed this reporting up with comprehensive researchthe in-depth, professional reviews at AmazingRibs.com being a standout sourceand hands-on time with grills at the big hardware chains.

Then we tested multiple grills ourselves. Our experiments ran the gamut from grilling burgers to smoking . All of our tests were designed and run by Wirecutter senior writer Lesley Stockton, who has over a decade of experience in professional kitchens, many of them spent on the grill station. Sam Sifton, food editor of The New York Times , joined in the testing and added his extensive knowledge.

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Weber Original Kettle 22 Inch

Easy To Clean

The One-Touch cleaning system provides hassle free cleanup of charcoal ash and debris by swiping it into the rust-resistant ash catcher.

Precision Heat Control

Control the temperature of your grill, without lifting the lid, by easily adjusting the dampers. Closing the dampers completely will cut the oxygen flow to help extinguish coals.

Withstands High temperatures

Arrange charcoal on the fuel grate for either direct or indirect grilling.

Durable Cooking Grate

The heat shield helps prevent your lid handle from getting too hot.

Superior Heat Retention

Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat for consistent temperature and even cooking. The finish also prevents rusting, cracking, and peeling while withstanding high grilling temperatures.

Convenient Lid Placement

The angled lid hook allows you to conveniently hang your lid on the side of the grill to avoid placing it on the ground.

Durable Wheels

The durable wheels allow you to easily move your grill around the yard, and will withstand the elements.

What’s The Difference Between A Gas And Charcoal Grill

Weber Performer Charcoal Grill Review

There are many differences! Check out the chart below or read our in-depth guide about the differences between gas and charcoal grills right here. But here’s the TL DR: When it comes to price, it’s easier to stick to a lower budget with a charcoal grillyou can even get a good one for $99. A good gas grill will set you back more. When it comes to quick cooking, a gas grill will serve you well, but if you prefer longer, slower cooks where you want that smoky charcoal flavor, charcoal grills are best. Temperature-wise, charcoal grills can get much, much hotterup to 1,200°F . They also can help you achieve that low-and-slow temp, whereas a gas grill’s range is more limited.

Occasionally emptying grease trap and cleaning bars Regularly disposing of ash and cleaning bars.

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How To Shop For The Best Charcoal Grills

The experts we consulted recommended keep these aspects in mind while considering which charcoal grill to make officially yours:

  • Look at the lid. According to McManus, you absolutely want a charcoal grill that comes with a lid as you greatly limit what you can make without one. Also look for ones that leave plenty of room underneath for cooking taller foods when closed, like a 14-pound turkey.
  • Check out the airflow. When it comes to controlling the temperature of a charcoal grill, its all about the air inflow and outflow from bottom and top dampers, explained Lilly. The more airflow, the hotter the fire. You also need to restrict the airflow to reduce the cooking temperature as needed. Check the metal joints and seals to make sure they are flush with no cracks, he said. Its impossible to control the grill temperature when air and smoke are free-flowing through all of the crevasses. The tighter the seals, the more temperature control you have when cooking.
  • Look for adjustable vents. In addition to making sure that the vents seal, you also want to ensure the vents are adjustable on the lid and base, McManus added. They give YOU absolute control over the heat of the fire: More air getting in equals a hotter fire less air getting in gives you a cooler fire that will cook slower, which is good for low, slow barbecuing like ribs and brisket.
  • Master The Art Of Charcoal Grilling

    The menu has been planned and the details considered. Itâs time to light the briquettes, pour drinks, and anticipate the sound of sizzling meat placed on a hot cooking grate. The ritual of charcoal grilling meets the innovative features and wow factor of the Master-Touch charcoal grill.

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    Best Overall Grill: Weber Original Premium Kettle Grill

    The 22-inch Weber Original Premium Kettle Grill lives up to Webers storied history. The Weber charcoal grill has been around for nearly 70 years and, while the design of the kettle has barely changed, its easy to see why.

    In our testing, the Weber Premium was hands down the easiest grill to control temperature on, with the flames inside the kettle responding expertly to any tap of the vents. Temperature control is key to successful charcoal grilling. During our cooking tests on the Weber Original Premium Kettle Grill, hamburgers cooked to a medium rare temperature and our chicken ended up juicy, with a solid sear on the outside. Other grills we tested either ran hotter and overcooked the hamburgers, or they werent hot enough and barely seared or cooked the meat.

    The premium version of the original kettle measures 22 inches wide and comes in three colors. The premium version also includes Webers One-Touch cleaning system, meaning that it comes with a large enclosed ash pan for easy cleanup, and it also boasts a built-in thermometer and lid hook. While we found both Weber grills to cook flawlessly, the upgrades on the premium model make the Weber Original Premium Kettle Grill our top charcoal grill of 2022.

    The Pros And Cons Of Charcoal Grills

    Grill Spotlight: Weber Kettle Master-Touch 22″ Charcoal Grill (Unboxing, Setup, & Review)

    The number one biggest benefit to cooking with a charcoal grill is the flavor it gives food. You can’t beat charcoal-grilled flavor, said McManus.

    But, a close second is the heat and airflow control a charcoal grill gives you. With gas grills, usually all the vents are across the back of the grill, so heat and smoke flow out the back and there’s nothing you can do about it, McManus said. Gas grills give you far less control over where the smoke and heat goes than with charcoal.

    Other pros that Shoults appreciates include the diverse price points and sizes. Charcoal grills come in every price range, making it easier for to find their perfect fit, he said. You can also buy a countertop grill for easy portability while folding grills are excellent for camping or hunting trips and kettle grills are great for apartment balconies.

    A potential downside is that charcoal grills are a bit slower to get started. You have to set up the chimney, start the coals and wait 20 to 30 minutes before you can cook, she explained. With gas, you just switch it on like a stove. However, she noted that with both styles, it’s best to preheat the grates for about 15 minutes with the lid down to get the whole grill box good and hot. And scrub the grates every time otherwise your food will taste like soot and you will not get great grill marks.

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