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New Charcoal Grill Recommendations?

We are saying farewell to The Grand Experiment of having a Char-Broil gas grill.

Two years ago, we switched after our second charcoal grill died.

The Char-Broil is poorly made and a pain in the derriere to clean and maintain. Plus, it doesn't give that good grilled flavor to foods.

So I'm switching back. I'm looking for recommendations. I had a Weber kettle grill for more than 12 years, and it performed well. But I figured the experts on this board could broaden my horizons.

So what do I buy?

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  1. Gas grills are not smokers. They cannot and are not for adding smoked flavor to foods. Sure, you can add wood chips in boxes, or foil, but it really just ain't the same. That being said, I often use a gas grill for what it is for. It's an outdoor oven / broiler that can add grill marks to foods. I love using my weber kettle as a smoker set up as well, but that's for real bbq'ing, and not quick grilling. I'd also sworn off my gas grill, but I'd suggest you revisit the idea. The gas grill is EXCELLENT for what it's really for: QUICK grilling. I'll bet that if you cook outside a decent amount, you will want a gas grill again, because of the ease and speed of using it. Charcoal / wood smoke are definitely better for flavor WITHOUT QUESTION, but with a gas grill, you can have dinner done before your charcoal is ready to use.

    Hint: buy your gas grills after the season ends at big box retailers.
    I go through a new one every 2 to 3 years, but I get them at 50-75% off of retail prices, so I don't give a $%#@ when I have to throw one out. I don't clean or maintain them at ALL. My weber, however, gets treated like a baby. So, all in all, I'd suggest a weber bar b kettle, it's a tank, but I'd also suggest giving gas grilling a re-thought because once you settle in with the fact that it's really good for what it's for, you will be much happier with using it. I use both, and really like them both.

    1. check out the cookware board - there are numerous threads on gas and charcoal grills.

      1. weber weber and weber. We love charcoal as well and have two (one at the lake is huge) but a smaller one too. We just did a recent blind burger taste test on three different grills at our camp - I thought for sure the charcoal would win but it came in second over the Weber Genesis Silver Gas Grill. Either way, I will always stick with Weber.

        1. jmckee,
          I have 5 grills, 2 gas, 2 charcoal, 1 charcoal/wood (offset). Don't ask, I have 2 houses and a problem...
          I love my Weber sliver series b gas, I HATE my Char-broil gas, so I understand your post.
          If I wanted a new charcoal grill now the old standby Weber kettle really is hard to beat. However, I have a BBQ Grillware charcoal that I am very happy with - it's a big, rectangle shaped, rear hinged monster with lots of vents and a crank (raise/lower) charcoal grate so you are really in control. I bought it at a Lowe's (NC). I am sure you can see it online.
          I will be firing it up tonight!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Tee

            You need to look into the Weber Performer. We absolutely LOVE it. It is a charcoal grill that uses a gas ignition. It uses those small camp-style propane bottles, they last forever and are very inexpensive. It takes five minutes to light your fire. You do not need lighter fluid or 1-2 chimneys, newspaper, lighters, etc.

            It is the large kettle grill, with a large side table, and a waterproof charcoal storage drawer. Oh, and a built-in thermometer.

            Another awesome addition is the one-touch ash removal system. you never get your hands dirty. I can't say enough about this grill.

            -Becca
            www.porterhouse.typepad.com

          2. get another weber.they last forever,cook anything,a million options,they do it all.worth getting the delux model for ease of ash removal,the lid holder thing is pretty essential too.