Kettle Grill Done Right
I won't waste your time telling you the virtues and the vices of grilling with charcoal. You already know that grilling with charcoal requires more effort and attention than grilling with gas, but that you gain significantly more flexibility and capability as well. This grill makes charcoal grilling much easier:
- the cooking grate is hinged, making the addition of fresh charcoal easier.
- the cooking grate also has a removable center that can be replaced with specialized accessories, like a
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whole chicken roaster, sear grate, etc.
- includes two charcoal briquette holders that allow you to easily set up different temperature cooking zones on your charcoal grate for indirect cooking (try *that* with gas)
- convenient worktable for prep and serving (you know you always can use more room)
- plenty of storage space underneath the table for your accessories (e.g., charcoal chimney, grate grabbing tools, mitts, etc. — yeah, you need all that, too, but admit it, you love playing with fire)
- very good system of vents on both the top and bottom lids to easily control air flow (& therefore cooking temperature)
- easy to assemble — I assembled it in an hour. While Home Depot offered to assemble the grill, I wanted to make sure it was done right (e.g., tightening screws that bolt the handle to the top lid to no more than hand-tightness, so that the bolts wouldn't pierce and crack the porcelain enamel coating that protects against rust)
- the included LCD timer is a joke and next to useless — you'll be better of using the timer on your smartphone
- you'll need an iron grip to release the ash catcher — man up!
Excellent product. I had a Weber charcoal grill (basic model) for over twenty years. Then I switched to a competitor's gas grill. Biggest mistake I ever made. The gas grill lasted only a few years before totally rusting out (except, of course, for the stainless steel exterior). This is even though it was covered and cared for meticulously.
The only downside of the Weber Performer Premium is the assembly, specifically, the four top bolts that hold the table down to the frame. These bolts have to
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go through multiple layers of material and align with a captive bolt. Alignment is nearly impossible, and so i had to go to the hardware store and try to find similar bolts, since two of the got stripped during assembly. I've got to believe this is a common problem.
Otherwise, I expect this Weber Performer to be just as reliable and long-lived as my old one, and given my age, I expect it to be the last one I purchase.