Since the early 1950s, the Weber kettle grill has been around so chances are good that you’ve eaten a burger, a hotdog, or a steak on one.
The Premium model adds a few updates to the almost 70-year-old design. A built-in thermometer on the lid allows you to track the temperature of the grill, while a hinged grill grate makes it easy to add coal or reposition embers for improved fire control. And after dinner, an enhanced ash collector makes it even easier to clean up the charcoal mess.
Measuring 39.5x 22.5x 27 inches, this grill takes up a minimum amount of space in your backyard or on the porch while still providing a good cooking surface. For almost everybody it’s about waist level in height, so cooking on is pretty comfortable. The cooking area of 363 square inches will easily handle a pair of whole chickens, or about 10-12 burgers, depending on how big you make your patties. Much more than that and the grill can get crowded, making it hard to cook all evenly and turn the patties together. Weber says it feeds 4-6 people.
A heat shield just below the glass-reinforced, fire-resistant nylon lid handle protects you from burning. In this edition the enclosed ash collector under the grill body is a major upgrade and makes cleaning much simpler.
The lightweight structure and wheels on two of the three legs made the Weber moving or repositioning on pavement relatively straightforward. While the Weber is almost ideal in its simplicity, I do wish they had given bigger, better wheels to this premium model. As it is, rolling the grill through the grass into storage, or when the kids need the yard for a soccer game or water battle, requires some effort. Certainly a minor concern, but I think it’s a simple fix.
The plated steel cooking grate of this Weber is hinged to make it easier to load charcoal onto the heavy-gage steel grate below, even while cooking. Like many, I eschew lighter fluid, so I opted to use Weber’s Rapidfire Chimney Starter for quick fire-starting— just one of many accessories you can buy for that grill (others include a grill cover, Char-Baskets, and a rotisserie kit). The coals take about 10 minutes to lighten with this approach, and another 10 minutes to get the grill dry.
Performance of the Weber Kettel
The Weber can cook it-hot and fast or low and slow, no matter what you slap on it. With fabulous results I threw pork, burgers, steaks, chicken, veggies and even some pineapple on the Weber. Most foods require direct heat over the coals, but you can also position the fire to the side to cook indirectly, something you’re going to want to do if you’re grilling a whole chicken or messing around with a beer that can be recreated. You can even use the Weber to smoke more conventional barbecue by adding a small piece of wood to the flames.
Fire control is the only real learning curve for cooking on a charcoal grill but the built-in thermometer makes it easier. Maintaining a constant temperature is important, and in its price range, the Weber does that better than any other. For that you can thank the bowl and lid enameled with porcelain which are heat retention pros. Also, keeping an eye on the thermometer will help you determine if you need to use the rust-resistant aluminum dampers to add more fuel, wood or even change the airflows. Such ventilations are also useful when the fire is extinguished, because shutting them cuts off oxygen.
Although the Weber is a very simple cooker, it has some useful features to it. There is the elevated ash collector, which makes it easier to dispose the residue than with the original model.
The Weber also includes a hook inside the cover which can be used to hang the lid off the grill side. It removes the possibility of putting the lid on the grass, which in your lawn will singe a circle. Small hooks on the side handle of the grill are ideal for hanging pliers, spatulas, or a towel.
Weber also offers a free app with grill guides to cook different proteins and vegetables, an overview on how to place your fuel according to your cook and a timer to remind you when to test or pull your food. The app features several recipes to keep your menu fresh, and your family is excited to try new foods.
Cleaning the Weber Original Kettel Premium
A clean grill is important for flavour, and thanks to the ash catcher, cleaning the Weber is a rather simple affair. Although firmly attached, the catcher pops off with ease, and its deep, bowl-like shape allows you to pour the ashes seamlessly into the trash without much spilling after they have cooled down.
Build a fire, heat up the grill, then take a bristle-free wire brush (metal bristles can fall out and end up in your food, and you don’t want it), and scrape. As a preventive, before they go on, you will want to oil the meats and veggies to avoid sticking and extra scratching.
What are you waiting for? The Weber Original Kettle Premium 22 “Charcoal Grill is the place to start, if you don’t have a grill. The Weber makes grilling over a flame simple for those new to cook outdoors; you’ll look like an old hand in no time. But even if you have a gas grill or a pellet smoker, the charcoal choice is sometimes simply superior.