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May 23, 2006 12:44 PM

Charcoal grill question

  • n

Seeking opinions on the Weber kettle w/gas ignition. Looking to replace my old grill, I'm wondering if it is easier and faster than a chimney or other coal starting methods.

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  1. We just got the Weber charcoal with gas ignitor and I am a big fan. My husband was skeptical because he was a chimney user, but even he has agreed that the gas ignitor is much easier and quicker.

    1. I'm sure it's somewhat faster and more convenient. I don't know if it's worth the extra money. The gas starting unit does give you that extra working surface, which is nice. I use the base of my turkey fryer/crab boiler, which sits next to my other gear (gas grill and weber 23" deluxe kettle). So instead of using newspapers, I just plop the chimney over the turkey fryer burner and light it up with gas. The coals are ready in minutes. And I get to use the turkey fryer to boil lobster, whatever... btw, don't do this with cheap chimneys, they just fall apart quickly - the Weber chimney is made well and lasts.

      1. One of my co-workers has one, and loves it. More than once, tho, he's left the burner going for longer than he intended to, so now he sets a timer to remind him to turn the burner off.

        1. I bought one without the gas starter. Then I bought one with it and find it quite a bit handier (and gave the first one to my best friend) but it is not an essential item. It is helpful especially in windy and cooler weather for starting the charcoal.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Tom Hall

            Weather is definitely a consideration in this, as I "q" year round above the Mason-Dixon line, so sitting around w/beverage waiting for coals in the winter is not great.
            Thanks to all posters; seems the way to go next purchase.

            1. re: nickdanger

              I've got to say, dumping charcoal into a chimney, wadding up a few sheets of newspaper and lighting them with a match sure isn't much work. Weather doesn't matter much. It takes about as much time outside to do that as it does to turn the switch on propane. I just don't see a need for a propane starter for charcoal. Certainly not a need when it doubles the price of a weber kettle...

              but that's just crazy me. And I grill and smoke all year long - blizzard or blazing.

              1. re: adamclyde

                I'm with you Adam. If it's windy I might use a parafin cube starter with a pile of charcoal on the firegrate-- or when it's super cold and I can't wait, hit the charcoal w/ the torch and that's even faster.

                Saw that you're making your own cooker-- cool! Good luck.

                1. re: adamclyde

                  Well, you can tell I'm crazy as I bought one without then with the propane. And an even older Weber and a crummy gas grill and a crummy non-Weber water bullet and so on...

            2. I have owned the gas ignition Weber performer for about 10 years now and think it's great. I grill often and only have to fill the 5 gallon propane tank about once a year.