So the sun is shining, why waste time inside?
The Weber original kettle 22 inch charcoal grill is an American icon that’s been seen on patios for over 60 years. The body and lid are pressed from solid sheets of steel so there are no welds to rust, and it’s coated with a durable powder coated baked on porcelain enamel that lasts for decades. The 22 and a half inch grate allows plenty of room to set up dual zone cooking over the coals and there are loads of add ons that you can purchase to tailor the Weber grill to your own cooking style. With some basic modifications, it can even be used as a smoker. From the looks of the newest models, you’d never know that the original design was birthed from a fishing buoy used in Lake Michigan and Weber’s frustration with temperature control. Innovation led to the parabolic design and vents on the lid, which allow the BBQ master to adjust the temperature accordingly.
- Reasonable price, excellent quality
The price is reasonable for the longevity of the product. It is not the least expensive charcoal grill on the market, but the quality of craftsmanship and size of the kettle make it a great value. The lid fits tightly, which allows for a good seal which is key to more accurate temperature control. The grill is rustproof and includes a 10 year manufacturer warranty and the latest models introduced in 2015 include hooks for tools and lower air intake vents that double as ash collection.
- Small and relatively lightweight
At approximately 30 pounds, the Weber is heavy enough to be of good quality but light enough to move around the patio, especially with the help of the two wheeled tripod stand. the 22 inch grate allows for 397 square inches of cooking capacity. The glass reinforced vinyl handles stand up to the heat of the grill and the outside elements. I advocate a grill cover just for an extra layer of protection when it’s not in use, added bonus is you’re off to a clean start when it’s time to heat up the coals.
One of the drawbacks to the Weber is that the exterior dial thermometer relates the temperature at the top of the interior of the grill. This temperature can vary from the actual temperature of the grate which is just inches above the coals. For more accurate temperature control, you may want to add a thermometer to the actual grate.
A benefit of the Weber design and the fact that the basic design has not changed over the years is that there is a wide range of accessories that can amp up your grill experience. There are, of course, Weber accessories, but also a large variety of aftermarket add ons that are relatively inexpensive. Dual zone grates, charcoal rails, and chimney starters are some of the most popular.
I’m a tech lover, but I fully understand that sometimes it’s worth it and sometimes it’s not. However, the introduction of the iGrill bluetooth powered thermometers is a huge plus factor. Each time the kettle is opened to check the cooking progress, heat is lost. This thermometer pairs with an app and allows you to see at a glance (from the other side of the patio or inside checking the game) what the internal temperature of your protein is. The cord is long enough that it sits outside the actual grill and the wire is slim enough that the seal is not affected. This one’s on the pricier end at almost $100, but you can achieve a similar result, without the bluetooth and the app, for under $30.
- Multi Purpose
When budgeting for a grill, you want to keep in mind the versatility of the product. Adding on the Smoke EZ conversion kit takes your Weber 22 inch grill to the smoker level in just a few minutes. The fire ring allows for the perfect coal shape for a low and slow cook and the pan allows for a wet smoke or dry smoke depending on your protein. The Smoke EZ has room for up to three adjustable racks to maximize smoking capacity. These aren’t just for amateur patio smokers, you’ll see these same setups at BBQ competitions cooking right alongside the $25,000 custom grills, with similar spectacular results.
Most products these days have some level of assembly required. I choose to look at this from the viewpoint of “get to know your product time.” The instructions are relatively simple to follow and customer service is happy to help you via phone or webchat if you run into troubles. Check out the informative video below for more information on the Weber Original Kettle.