Barbecue Grill

Weber Charcoal Grill Review

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BarbecuingUpdated MAY 18, 2018

Seeing my neighbour having a barbecue in their front yard seems so enjoyable. It reminds me of my childhood when my family with all the cousins and I built a DIY barbecue pit using bricks and wire fencing as the cooking grate. That is two bricks stacked up on each side, put a wire fence on top and charcoal below. Fire away! There you go, simple days…

Should I do the same with my kids now? Probably not. Although it is a good experience, I wouldn’t want to cause a mess with the ash blown all over. I guess it is time to search for a charcoal barbecue grill.

Why Charcoal

My experience with charcoal goes a long way back to the early 80s. Living with my grandmother then, she always cooks using charcoal especially making soup and stews. “Aroma and flavour are much better when cooked over charcoal”, she said. Being a young kid, I don’t know much. But now, I totally agree and love the smoky taste. It tastes so different compared to cooking with gas. Reminds me of yesteryears.

Can I convince you to get a Charcoal Barbecue Grill rather than Gas

Charcoal vs Gas GrillIt is convenient to operate a gas barbecue but there is something that you cannot replicate when using charcoal. It is the experience encountered when starting the fire. More so, controlling it. It gives us a sense of satisfaction. Are you not proud when you have started a nice fire? I mean for barbecuing ONLY. Doing it together with your family, fussing over it. This is the type of atmosphere and moments worth capturing.

On the other side, you can start a gas barbecue with a push of a button. Fast and convenient, yes. The temperature can be adjusted with ease to the desired degree. Think about the cleaning up. No ash, no mess.

No matter, my personal preference is still charcoal grill because I am going for the magical moments with my family that I want to cherish. Also, the distinct smoky chargrilled flavour of the food that I longed for.

Are you with me?

My Hunt for Charcoal Barbecue Grill

Which Brand

Searched for the top brands and there were quite a number – Broil King, Char-Broil, Hasty-Bake, Kamado, Napoleon, Portable Kitchen, Weber and a few others. The brand that caught my attention was Weber. It appeared on all the top 10 websites which wrote about charcoal barbecue grills that I read.  The other brands appeared randomly over the 10 sites. So, it is an easy decision to go with Weber.

Which Model

A small family of four, I am looking for something simple to install, yet sturdy. The previous unit I had was a bit wobbly after a few times of usage. It was disposed of when I relocated two years ago. Now you know it has been a while since my family and I had a barbecue and yearning for it.

As I do not have a big yard, a unit that takes less storage space is preferable. Also, on a budget, I don’t require anything fanciful. A simple unit with basic functions is all I need. Ultimately, it is the time spent with my family that matters.No. 1 Best Selling Charcoal Grill on Amazon

I found Weber charcoal grill. To be precise, it is Weber Original Kettle 22 inch Charcoal Grill. This grill was invented by Weber’s founder in 1951 and has been in production since then. That is more than 60 years ago. Today, with its classic domed lid, it is still available almost everywhere and listed as one of the BEST Selling and TOP Rated charcoal grills on Amazon. Still is as of May 2018.

My Weber Original Kettle 22 inch Charcoal Grill Review

Easy and quick to assemble. The installation manual is in picture form. For most people, it is pretty easy to follow. There aren’t any wordings explaining the how-to. So, there might cause some confusion, not knowing if it is done correctly. Well, let’s not rush through the assembling process. Enjoy the task, do it with your kids! I am sure my kids will be excited doing this together.

Do be careful of the assembly sequence. The assembly of the wheels is irreversible. Therefore, when assembling the legs, make sure to follow the sequence cautiously. Built up dimension, with the lid closed is 38.5″H x 22.5″W x 25″D.

The grilling surface of this Weber is 363-square-inch, able to serve 4 – 6 person. It is possible to grill 12 burgers at one time on it. The domed lid makes it possible to roast a whole turkey or chicken. Its circular shape creates a convection grilling area. The outcome – perfect and even cooking.

The bowl and lid, made of steel and coated with porcelain enamel can withstand the heat of many cookings. Also, resist rust and burn-through. On top of that, the smooth, hard-wearing surface makes cleanup easy.

The damper on the lid allows us to easily control the heat inside the grill without lifting the lid. Opening the damper will allow heat to build while closing it will cause the fire to die out. Turning it to the middle will maintain a moderate constant cooking temperature which is needed when roasting a turkey.

The damper is made of rust-resistant aluminium. It is durable, but aluminium is a good heat conductor. Therefore, the damper can heat up during the course of cooking. Be careful when turning the damper.

The 22-inch-diameter cooking grate, made of heavy-duty plated steel is durable and easy to clean. Furthermore, it can hold enough heat to give us beautiful sear marks. This is the kind of outcome I am looking for in perfectly grilled food.

The charcoal grate is also made of heavy-duty plated steel that can withstand the heat of any charcoal fire. It will not warp or burn-through.

Cleaning after use is easy with Weber’s One-Touch Cleaning System. By turning the handle of the cleaning system located at the outer bottom of the bowl, the three blade in the bowl will move the ash down through the bottom air vents and into the ash tray.

The aluminium ash tray is easily detached for ash disposal and cleaning. Since the ash can be removed easily, it enables us to remove it frequently to prevent build-up that blocks the vent and quash the fire.

Additionally, the One-Touch Cleaning System also acts as a second damper. The same vent that allows ash to fall easily out of the bowl helps bring oxygen up to the fire. On another hand, closing the bottom vent and the top damper will put out the fire easily.

A word of caution – the composite handle can heat up. Be extra cautious when turning the handle to move the ash down.

From all the reviews I read, found two things that might be of concern.

Firstly, the height of the grill. Although the assembled height of this unit is 38.5 inches, the height from ground to cooking grill is 27 inches. Compared to the standard height of our kitchen counter which is 36 inches, it is relatively low for some people, especially myself who has a lower back problem. Well, I suppose it’s the men who are always standing next to the barbecue grill. Let me sit back and enjoy the food. Or involve the children in the cooking. Needless to say, supervision needed here. The height might be ideal for them.

Secondly, the cooking grate comes in one whole piece. Thus, making it difficult to add charcoal throughout the course of cooking. We have to lift the grate to do so. It would be great if this model comes with a hinged cooking grate. But then, we can buy the hinged cooking grate separately as a replacement or upgrade later on or simply as a spare.

Found My Charcoal Barbecue Grill

Prior to my hunt for a barbecue grill, I never take notice of the brand names available. After reading all the reviews, I found what has been said about Weber products quite true, “There is a reason why the design of the Original Kettle didn’t change much throughout the last 60+ years”.

There might be a flaw or two, depending on how you look at it in terms of the height and the cooking grate. As I have mentioned above, the hinged cooking grate can be bought separately. The height could be ideal for my kids now. At least for another 2 years. After which, I can jack the grill up with a few stepping stones.

But then, the pros outweigh the cons and I am pleased with my findings. The size of the grilling surface is perfect for my family of four. There is a little bit of room still, for a friend or two.

Easy to assemble. It is light and can be carried easily to my preferred location. Also, does not need a large storage space.

A delectable roasted chicken can be cooked in this grill before the actual barbecue party starts. I am visualising – having my roasted chicken while grilling other food for second and third helping. Looks like I may be able to cook for more than 6 persons. Even 8 perhaps. Early planning of the menu needed here.

With Weber’s One-Touch Cleaning System, clearing the ash will be easy.

Other Features at a Glance

  • Dimension – 38.5”H x 22”W x 25”D
  • Plated Steel Cooking Grate
  • Heavy-gauge Steel Charcoal Grate
  • Porcelain-enamelled Bowl and Lid
  • Bottom Wire Rack
  • Lid Handle with Heat Shield
  • Angled Lid Hook inside Grill Lid
  • Removable, Aluminum Ash Tray
  • Aluminized Steel One-Touch Cleaning System
  • Spring Clip/Push Pin Leg Assembly

To Share

Larry Olmsted, an author for Forbes.com wrote an article on 10 Best BBQ Grills & Smokers with Steven Raichlen: Ultimate Buyer’s Guide. In this article, he mentioned that Steven Raichlen, “The Professor of Barbecue” said, where price is concerned, “It is hard to beat a Weber Kettle”, referring to perhaps the single most iconic and classic backyard cooker, the cartoon image of a charcoal grill.

In AmazingRibs.com, Weber Original Kettle Premium 22 inch Charcoal Grill was in their 2015 Top 10 Best Value Charcoal Grills and it was the 3rd year on the list then. In 2017, Weber brand still dominated their list. Latest update: as of May 2018, this Weber Original Kettle Premium 22 inch Charcoal Grill is on its 6th year on their list.

The above-mentioned unit is a premium model. Here is the difference:

  1. Instead of an open ash tray, this model has a removable, high-capacity, aluminium ash catcher to hold the ash so it won’t be blown around.
  2. Premium comes with a plated steel hinged cooking grate that allows us to easily replenish charcoal without lifting the whole grate or removing the food.
  3. It has a built-in lid thermometer. Sadly, I have to tell you not to rely on the built-in thermometer. The recommended cooking temperature is the temperature at which our food should be cooked. If using the lid thermometer, we’re likely to have variation from 35°F to 50°F, either too high or too low.

If you have a little bit more to spend, you might want to get this premium model.

As for me, I am satisfied with the earlier model. It is a simple, basic and economical (fit my budget) charcoal barbecue grill that I want. How about you?

Take a Closer Look on Amazon

This Weber is covered by the company’s limited 10-year warranty.

Go on, order yours today!

While waiting for your Weber charcoal grill to be delivered, get your spice rub ready.

Last but not least, get a grill cover for your new barbecue grill. It would have been a complete set if the grill comes with it. Unfortunately, not.

Nevertheless, Happy Barbecuing!

Enjoy the much-awaited family time with good food, air filled with chargrilled goodness.

I hope this Weber Charcoal Grill Review has given you enough information to easily make a decision buying yours. Do you own a Weber? Or any other brands? Share your experience with us in the comment section below.

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If you find this blog post interesting, please share it with anyone that you think might find it useful. Thank you and have a good day!

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Sharon

Sharon is on a career break, minding her family. During her free hours, she loves sharing her passion for herbs and spices. She learned how to build this website at Wealthy Affiliate University. If you have a passionate topic and would love to share, click here to learn how to build your own profitable website!

26 Replies to “Weber Charcoal Grill Review

  1. Hi Sharon

    Nothing as aromatic and wonderful as a charcoal barbecue! Only, coming from South Africa, we call it a braaivleis (braai), and this method of cooking is our national pastime! We entertain a lot outdoors, and also use Weber’s here, as well as have built in “braai” areas outside.

    Gas does not compete at all with charcoal! (we also use wood). You are right about it tasting different – there is no comparison! The extra work and bit of mess it takes to not use gas is so worth it! Also, it is a social thing. More so if you have to light the fire, rather than just push a button. Watching the flames is something I love to do, sitting outside on a still evening, smelling the delicious aromas and chilling with family and friends. Amazing!

    You can buy many different brands to use for barbecue/braai grilling here, but Weber is definitely the gold standard in terms of quality!

    1. Hi Natalie,

      Am glad we share the same view – charcoal barbecue definitely the best. The word “braai” sounds familiar. You reminded me of “The Ultimate Braai Master” I watched a couple of years back.

      Happy Barbecuing!

      Sharon

  2. Very nice and friendly article on charcoal grills, it is amazing this product still is available on the market today. I often wonder if the gas grills really are healthy for us, you can smell the gas which you are breathing and might even be a part of your meal?

    I also have fond memories of grilling with charcoal as a boy at family reunions, family reunions are not nearly as popular today as when I was a boy just like the charcoal grills.

    1. Hi Jeffrey,

      The argument on charcoal vs gas grill is never ending. There are pros and cons to each. Which is best, really boils down to personal preference.

      I am glad we are on the same side!

      Cheers,

      Sharon

  3. There is absolutely nothing a good charcoal grill . Just the smell persuades me to get one and plus, I love me some outdoors. The Weber original kettle 22 inch charcoal grill is really appealing because of the compact size since you don’t need an overly big storage place. I really look forward to buying one ASAP.

  4. I totally agree with you regarding the taste of food cooked over charcoal as opposed to gas cooking, the smoky taste brings memories back for me too. We are considering switching back from the convenience yet modern boring taste of gas cooked food and purchasing a charcoal grill as the smoky taste epitomizes alfresco dining for us in our garden through the summer months.

    Weber’s original kettle 22 inch charcoal grill sounds easy to set-up, sturdy enough and the right size to cater for four people however I like the look of tradition it displays as this style is exactly how barbecues started out, simple and does the job perfectly with that distinctive BBQ taste.

    Thanks for the tip and link regarding the hinged cooking grate too as we prefer having a spare.
    I’m sold, back to tradition. Thanks for your review,
    Simon.

  5. Nothing beats grilling with a Charcoal grill! The yummy taste it leaves with the food. Plus charcoal is not as expensive and easier to find in stores when you are out. I agree with your insights and like how informative you are on your site!

    I believe charcoal grills last longer with hotter coals for cooking verses gas grills? I could be wrong but I do only use a charcoal grill. We may have to take a look at this grill you listed on your site! It does sound great!

    1. Hi Kristin,

      Thanks for visiting my site and agreed that charcoal grill is the better option.

      How long does a grill last really depends on what and how it is made. Always read the product specifications thoroughly and look for the warranty. A good company like Weber offer strong warranties.

      Do check out the Weber Original Kettle Charcoal Grill.

      Warm Regards,

      Sharon

  6. Great review! I think you may have almost convinced me to pick up a Weber Charcoal Grill next time we buy! We have one season left maybe with our current (gas) grill, but we haven’t loved it, to be honest. We do have a Weber portable (gas) grill also for camping trips, and we’re very happy with the quality of Weber products! Weber is totally the name I’d look to for a charcoal grill too.
    I guess what I’ve always thought was a downside of charcoal grilling was that it just takes more time than gas grilling… to heat up AND to cool down. Dinner hours are often hectic enough (with two little kids and a hubby not home yet). I guess the question I’ll have to determine the answer to is, “taste vs convenience”.
    You’ve given me lots to think about! Thanks!

    1. Hi Marlaine,

      I am glad you had good experience with Weber product. 

      It does take time to get the charcoal grill up and going, and I totally understand it can be a handful with two ‘hungry’ little kids 🙂 

      Perhaps you may want to have the barbecue session on a weekend. Then, you can spend more time with your family.

      Happy Barbecuing!

      Sharon

  7. Hi Sharon! Really interesting article about your experiences with charcoal and grilling and I totally agree with you that charcoal is definitely better than gas!

    Really glad to find this article because I was actually considering getting a grill as mine has become too dirty to use and was contemplating on whether I should find on that is charcoal or gas and after reading, I think I would go with the charcoal grill. Will consider getting this after discussing with my family!
    Thanks and really nice review!

  8. Hey,

    Your charcoal review really helped.I was looking to buy a grill for my place. Although i have an LG microwave with a charcoal grill!

    Could you maybe do a comparison with a microwave charcoal grill and tell me what i can go with.I’m convinced that i need to buy a charcoal grill but i’m not sure of i should upgrade my microwave or get a separate grill!
    Thank you

    1. Hi Swastik,

      A microwave charcoal grill uses a charcoal filament to maintain a flow of heat to cook your desired dish. Food is cooked in a shorter time and taste is enhanced. But I doubt it will be as good as cooking over charcoal. Additionally, I love to do it outdoors with my family, fussing over the fire and food.

      Having a microwave charcoal grill is most convenient but for me, I would get a separate grill. Barbecue time is family bonding time. Fill the air with smoky goodness and capture the precious moments with your family.

      Hope you are with me.

      Sharon

  9. Hi Sharon!

    You got me just with the title itself. Charcoal always! I absolutely agree with you.

    I’d never get a gas barbecue grill. The smoky flavour is the best when you cook the meat and toast the bread. With the gas you lost all of that magic, it’s like cooking in the kitchen, but with sun and mosquitoes lol

    That Webber Original looks nice! My dad is now looking for a new one, he is going to love this one for sure.

    Thanks for the tips and the review! 😉

    Cheers and Happy charcoal cooking 😉

    1. I am really glad that you are on my side and always happy to be of help in deciding which to buy.

      Happy Barbecuing!

  10. I loved reading through your article, I am from Cape Town, South Africa and over here we only barbecue (or braai as we call it) with charcoal or wood,

    I am actually on my way now to light the fire 🙂 nothing better that a “braai fire” burning while watching some sports.

    We often make fun of our friends(only one or two of them) when they invite us over for a “braai” and they do it with gas, that is just so wrong in our eyes lol… With charcoal or wood, you just get a different taste to your meat and the smells are to die for.
    Great article, let’s go light that “braai fires”

    1. Thank you for visiting my site.

      I watched a couple of episodes of the “Ultimate Braai Master” a few years back. That was when I learned of the word “braai”.

      Happy Barbecuing!

  11. This was just what I needed to read. I have been debating over which grill is the best between a propane, charcoal or wood from trees I’ve cut, especially when compared to my fire pit in my back yard. I am a novice when it comes to stuff like this, and it’s really just because I am a major penny-pincher. That said, I think that I will stick with a basic $59.98 charcoal grill from Home Depot to use WITH some wood and a few charcoals (but no lighter fluid!)

    Thank you for the review!
    -Nerissa S.

  12. Sharon,
    Having a charcoal grill will give you many more options of taste of your food. Adding flavored wood to your briquettes will help in food flavoring.
    The amount of time that it takes to prepare the grill and cook your food will give you quality time with friends and family around the grill.
    The simple Weber charcoal grill in this article is great for homeowners with out a lot of outdoor space.
    Would this grill be good on composite and wood decks also. I do not like ashes and grease to stain these materials.
    John

    1. Hi John,

      The ash catcher of this Weber Original Kettle is a removable open ash tray. Thus, chances of spilling the ashes or being blown onto the deck are very high. You may want to consider the premium model which is a closed ash catcher. 

      Regardless, it is always better to have a mat, bricks or tile as a cover resting place to protect the deck. Accidents do happen. You do not want bits fo charcoal, utensils or any food to accidentally land on the deck, staining it.

      Let me know if you have any other queries which I can help.

      Sharon

  13. Hands down – I love Charcoal BBQ, there is not authentic BBQ without charcoal in my opinion.
    Finding the right charcoal BBQ can be testing and this article is a great guide to what would be best.
    I personally find that Gas BBQ’s are kind of like a “cheater’s” way out of doing the hard work of getting the coals going.
    But it is the taste and aroma of the coals that make a BBQ what it is a BBQ! haha =)
    Thanks for this really good article.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment, Orion.
      Besides the taste and aroma, the whole process of building and maintaining the fire, plus the grilling are also very much enjoying with the whole family. I am sure you will agree with me, don’t you?

      Have a good day!
      Sharon

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