just trying to get anyone's thoughts on specific Weber Grill models. Any recommendations? we were set to purchase one, but saw some negative reviews from one of the consumer rating websites. Thanks-
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We are on our fourth, now downsizing to a Spirit from a Genesis (empty nest looming). Our needs are basic, so I am not sure if our experience will be relevant.
We decided to buy another Weber for a few reasons:
1) They are made well enough and seem to last at least five years when stored covered, outdoors. Our experience with the cheaper brands, Charbroil and the like, has been that they are ready to go a lot sooner. We've been doing this for 27 years, so we have had ample time to try things out.
2) The grease drip pans on the Webers seem to be the only reasonable sized ones out there (not counting giant outdoor grills and outdoor kitchen models). I don't know about you, but something the size of small ashtray isn't going to cut it for me through two beer can chickens.
3) In spite of complaints that they are "cheaping out", for example, using stainless steel grates versus cast iron, their parts are still readily available at any home center or hardware store. That means grates, igniters, burners. Pretty much, you can give the thing a heart transplant, if you are so inclined, rather than toss every 5-6 years the way we do. It is a value call based on the price of the parts needed. I know people who keep them a lot longer.
re: willie 2
I have never seen a charcoal/gas combo, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. It seemed to me that the big push in new grills was infrared technology, and this made grills at least $100 more expensive on all brands. Note that I wrote "at least", and that it could be much more.
I used to use a smoker frequently before moving to Texas in order to satisfy our BBQ craving. We don't own one anymore because we can drive two miles in any direction and find great BBQ places now, so it seems like too much trouble.
As a casual BBQ hobbyist, we used an electric smoker when we had one. It was much easier to regulate the temperature, and that means a lot when you consider how much charcoal tending and prestarting you have to do over a long smoke. We had a cheap Brinkmann, and other than the fact that it used to be a little harder to maintain temperature when it was really cold (we lived in NJ) and that when it rained, the GFIs would trip, I never regretted using an electric smoker. Most restaurants use electric smokers BTW.
Thanks-do you know if they make a model that can use both charcoal and gas? Does such a thing exist?
The only thing close to resembling that made by Weber that I know of would be the Weber Performer. It is a charcoal grill, but has a propane ignition.
re: willie 2
Napoleon makes a charcoal tray for gas grills. They come in several sizes and sit on the sear plate under the grill rack. You put charcoal in the basket and the gas lights the charcoal. While you can turn off the gas, using gas + charcoal gives you a superhot grill surface. These are quite cheap.
I used one of these before getting a model with infrared. I never had any problems with it.
Things to consider:
- There must be sufficient clearance between the sear plate and the grill rack for the charcoal tray to fit
- The casting and cover must be strong enough to withstand the additional heat without warping
- I don't think these world work in a grill that uses lava rocks
Napoleon might have a handle on other brands/models that can accommodate one of these.
If you will consider an electric smoker, Cookshack has a great reputation. My own smoker, a Canadian Tire Centro, is identical to the widely available Masterbuilt Electric Smokehouse. It performs flawlessly, though long term durability remains a question. Do not buy a Bradley!
I own the Weber 22" One Touch Gold and love it. I only use it for steaks, burgers, dogs, skewered veggies... it works great. Get yourself a Weber Chimney starter too. LOVE mine.
Now I am buying a Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) for slow cooking ribs, brisket, butt, turkey and chicken.