Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill Review
Weber made their name in the 1950s by offering the first kettle grills to cater to people who adored the flame-kissed smoky flavor of charcoal-grilled meat. While a lot has changed in the world since then, not a lot has changed with the classic Original Weber Kettle Charcoal Grill. Other than the fetching copper paint job, this grill is very much unchanged over the decades, which is a powerful statement that Weber did indeed get it right the first time. It comes in Copper, Black , Green and Crimson colors.
The 22-inch diameter chrome-plated grill grates are a hallmark of all Weber kettle grills. It provides you with 363 square inches of grate space. This perfect for grilling steaks, chops, or burgers for a family of four.
The domed lid has a damper to let you control how much heat it holds. While the lower damper lets you adjust the incoming airflow to control just how hot the fire burns. Under the lower damper at the bottom of the fire bowl is an ash collector that makes for very easy cleanup.
One place where Weber adds a little innovation to the original kettle grill is the hinges on the chrome-plated grill grates. They let you conveniently reload additional charcoal briquettes or smoking wood chips iin the middle of a long grilling session.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
The Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill is infused with Weber’s telltale metallic quality. The lid and fire bowl have thick, heavy-duty layers of heat resistant porcelain to protect them from corrosion. The dampers are made from aluminum to reduce the heat transfer to the hands. The lid handle and the side handles are made from updated glass-reinforced nylon to help prevent accidentally burning your hands.
When it comes to assembly, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to put the Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill together. You don’t need much beyond basic tools to get this charcoal fully assembled in under half an hour.
The consistent performance and ease of use are two of the biggest factors that have made the Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill a mainstay in the world of grilling. You can start a fire with lighter fluid or a charcoal chimney. Then once the coals are burning, you can spread them out, or set up the coal bed on one side to make two heat zones. There is just enough space on the 22-inch diameter grill grates to hybrid grill bone-in cuts of meat like chicken leg quarters or stuffed bone-on pork chops.
If you want a lower temperature inside the fire bowl you can simply close the lower damper to a whisper-thin opening. If you want a hot roaring fire to sear off some steaks, simply open the lower damper up to full and give the coal bed 5 to 7 minutes to flare to full flame. The chrome-plated rods of the grill grates will preheat just as quickly.
You can also affect the temperature under the lid by gently turning the upper damper. This will let some of the heat out dome along with a little smoke to adjust the temperature for times when you need to roast a thicker piece of meat like chicken leg quarters. One of the innovative upgrades in the Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill is a thermometer built into the lid. This is something you didn’t get in past models, and it is certainly something you will appreciate.
The 22-inch diameter chrome-plated grill grates provide 363 square inches of cooking space.
The lower ash collection bin is a nice touch that makes cleanup a little easier.
The thermometer in the lid maybe doesn’t seem all that special at first glance, but you will appreciate it when grilling bone-in pieces of meat. You can even use it to help do some hybrid grilling or maybe even to improvise the Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill as a rudimentary smoker.
The hinges on the grill grate is also a nice touch for times when you want to reload charcoal or add smoking wood chips.
Ease to Clean
The Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill is relatively easy to clean. Most of the ash falls into the ash collection bin on its own. Then a few swings of the lower fire bowl handle usually gets the rest of the ash and unburned embers. You then let the ash cool for at least a day before disposing of it safely.
The grill grates are one of the slightly more challenging things to clean. Right off the bat, the chrome-plated grill grates are prone to scuffing if they are scraped aggressively with a wire grill brush of steel wool. This will make them increasingly sticky. If possible, you should always try to scrape the grill grates with a nylon brush to keep from scuffing the chrome-plated surface.
You also need to pay close attention to the hinges. They have a knack for trapping stuck on material and caramelized marinade. it might help to scrape them down both open and closed.
Weber is known for superior material build quality and warranty coverage. You see that shine through with 5 years of coverage on the Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill’s fire bowl and lid and 2 years of coverage on all other components.
This is a solid step or two ahead of the shoulder-to-shoulder competitors who offer one or perhaps three years of warranty coverage.
The Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill is one of the most popular long-lasting charcoal grills on the planet. That’s because they got it right the first time, and didn’t waste a lot of time trying to reinvent the wheel.
Though they did make it a point to infuse this newest model with some handy upgrades. You will certainly appreciate the ash collection bin, the hinged grates, and the thermometer in the lid. Not to mention the fetching copper paint job of this model. Though it would be nice if they made the tripod base a little more sturdy.
- Superior build quality
- Superior warranty coverage
- Hinged grates
- Lid thermometer
- Ash collection bin
- Copper, Black, Green & Crimson
- The tripod base is a little wobbly
- The handle in the lid is shallow
- Grate Hinges are hard to clean
- Be careful not to scuff the chrome grates