Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker

One of the oldest and most respected manufacturers of barbecue and grilling equipment, Weber creates grills and smokers that have great features and cook beautifully. You can read more about the Weber company here.

Smokey Mountain Cookers are Weber’s high quality, charcoal fueled, bullet-shaped smokers. Often seen winning at competitions against commercial cookers, the Smokey Mountain Cookers are easy to use and produce incredible results.

The popular Weber Smokey Mountain Cookers are available in three models:

  • Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker 14.5″;
  • Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker 18.5″;
  • Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker 22.5″.

The cooker is comprised of three sections—a charcoal bowl, where the charcoal briquettes and smoke wood reside; a cooking section containing a water pan, two cooking grates, and an access door; and a classic Weber domed lid.

Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker SmokerCooking Performance & Features

The cooking area is 286 sq.in. on the 14.5″ model, 481 sq.in. on the 18.5″ model and 726 sq.in. on the 22.5″ Smokey Mountain model.

The large 22.5″ Smokey can accommodate a few slabs of ribs on the grates without cutting them or bending them as would be necessary on the smaller models.

All these big units can cook at remarkably steady temperature for hours and using the vents makes raising and lowering temperature easy.

The four rust-resistant dampers allow for easy heat control without lifting the lid. Made of rust-resistant aluminum, the damper system is not only functional but also durable. The Weber Smokey Mountain grill also features a built-in thermometer, but for perfect cooking results we recommend the use of a special meat thermometer.

Made of heavy-duty plated steel, the cooking grates are durable, easy to clean and can hold enough heat for giving your stakes great sear marks. The Smokey Mountain Cookers features a rust-resistant aluminum fuel door for easy access to fuel and for adding water to the water pan. However adding water or charcoal trough the side door may be a little tricky. On the grill we have tested, the door was not a perfect fit, thus letting smoke out and oxygen in.

Porcelain-enameled water pan on the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker

The charcoal chamber is porcelain enameled and the heavy-duty plated steel charcoal grates are durable and capable of withstanding the high heat of any charcoal fire.

Construction

The Smokey Mountain grills have a beautiful solid construction. Considering their size and weight and the lack of wheels, moving is not as easy as with other grills.

Help & Support

All the Weber charcoal grills are covered by a 10-year limited warranty, as follows:

  • Cooking /charcoal grates – 2 years warranty;
  • Stainless Steel One-Touch Cleaning System – 10 years warranty;
  • Bowl and lid against rust trough or burn through – 10 years warranty;
  • Nylon handles – 10 years warranty;
  • Thermoplastic/ thermoset parts – 10 years, excluding fading;
  • All other parts – 2 years warranty.

The Weber website has an extensive FAQs page that features information about gas grills and charcoal grills. You’ll also find product manuals, general tips on grill maintenance and grilling itself on this site. If you can’t find the information you’re looking for, there is a search feature to help you find it quickly.

Summary

Solid built, the Smokey Mountain Cookers are great cooking machines. Their great results at barbecue competitions are a reliable proof of their capabilities.

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[tab]Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker 14.5″

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Weber Ranch Kettle Charcoal Grill

Weber is one of the oldest and most respected manufacturers of barbecue accessories in the world. With great reputation for quality, reliability and outstanding customer support, the company enjoys worldwide popularity. You can read more about the Weber-Stephen brand in our detailed article here.

The Weber Ranch Kettle charcoal grill is another great example of the company’s superior quality products.

Cooking Performance & Features

According to Weber, their Ranch Kettle charcoal grill is a “Weber kettle on steroids” and considering its generous cooking surface we agree. Originally designed for ceterers and country chefs, the 1104 sq.in. cooking surface is great for picnics and large family reunions. The cooking surface is large enough for cooking multiple turkeys, roasts, chickens, up to 19 Cornish hens in the same time or approx. 54 burgers. This is also the grill used in Weber Grill restaurants.

Aluminum damper system on the Weber Ranch Kettle charcoal grill
Aluminum damper system

The closed lid cooking systems is a signature of Weber products. The four rust-resistant dampers allow for easy heat control without lifting the lid. Made of rust-resistant aluminum, the damper system is not only functional but also durable. The Weber Ranch Kettle grill does not feature a built-in thermometer. We recommend the use of a special meat thermometer for perfect cooking results.

The grill comes equipped with a rack (Tuck-Away lid holder) which can be used for holding the lid while you are tending on the food. It is a nice option, especially considering the large lid dimensions.

Made of heavy-duty plated steel, the cooking grates are durable, easy to clean and can hold enough heat for giving your stakes great sear marks. The Weber Ranch Kettle feature hinged grates, which are great for easy access to fuel without lifting the whole grate or removing food from the grill. Adjusting charcoal quantity as needed is super easy.

 

Large cooking area on the Weber Ranch Kettle grill
Large cooking area

The Ranch Kettle charcoal grill also features heavy-duty plated steel charcoal grates, durable and capable of withstanding the high heat of any charcoal fire. By using the charcoal grates and the charcoal baskets you can set up your grill for direct or indirect heat, according to your preference. You can even use the charcoal baskets with chips or chunks for extra smoke and flavor.

Construction

Built on a heavy-duty steel cart frame and porcelain-enameled bowl and lid, the grill has a solid construction and the large wheels and small locking casters are great for positioning it as desired. Ash is easily collected in the ash catcher system, made of an aluminum removable bowl. This is an open system and not an enclosed one, as on the Weber Performer grills.

The Weber Ranch Kettle also features two glass reinforced nylon lid handles and three tool hooks, useful for keeping your cooking tools close.

The grill is well sealed and even if it does have a very large cooking space, it does not consume so much more fuel than a regular charcoal grill.

It is 42″ high, 37.75″ wide, and 44.75″ deep.

Help & Support

All Weber charcoal grills are covered by a 10-year limited warranty, as follows:

  • Cooking /charcoal grates – 2 years warranty;
  • Stainless Steel One-Touch Cleaning System – 10 years warranty;
  • Bowl and lid against rust trough or burn through – 10 years warranty;
  • Nylon handles – 10 years warranty;
  • Thermoplastic/ thermoset parts – 10 years, excluding fading;
  • All other parts – 2 years warranty.

The Weber website has an extensive FAQs page that features information about gas grills and charcoal grills. You’ll also find product manuals, general tips on grill maintenance and grilling itself on this site. If you can’t find the information you’re looking for, there is a search feature to help you find it quickly.

Summary

Even if it may seem a bit expensive at around $1,200.00, if you are looking for a large charcoal grill for your big barbecue party, you can be sure the Weber Ranch Kettle will make your guests happy.

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Weber Ranch Kettle Charcoal Grill

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Weber Performer Charcoal Grills Review

Weber is one of the oldest and most respected manufacturers of barbecue accessories in the world. With great reputation for quality, reliability and outstanding customer support, the company enjoys worldwide popularity. You can read more about the Weber-Stephen brand in our detailed article here.

The Performer Series design is based on the original Weber kettle design, the most popular backyard grill in the world. The kettle is now mounted on a cart instead of three legs, but there are also other important improvements which we’ll look at in this article.

The Performer Series features three models:

  • Weber Performer Silver
  • Weber Performer Gold
  • Weber Performer Platinum

Cooking Performance & Features

The closed lid cooking systems is a signature of Weber products. The damper system allows for easy heat control without lifting the lid. Made of rust-resistant aluminum, the damper is not only functional but also durable. All the Weber Performer charcoal grills feature a built-in thermometer for easy checking the heat inside the grill. However, for perfect cooking we would recommend the use of a special thermometer.

Hinged cooking grate on Weber Performer charcoal grills
Hinged cooking grate

The Weber Performer grills come with a rack which can be used for holding the lid while you are tending on the food. It is a nice option, however if the grilling surface is fully loaded with food, access might be a little difficult on that part.

The total cooking area of the Weber Performer grills is 363 sq.in.

Made of heavy-duty plated steel, the cooking grates are durable, easy to clean and can hold enough heat for giving your stakes great sear marks. The Weber Performer models feature hinged grates, which are great for easy access to fuel without lifting the whole grate or removing food from the grill. Adjusting charcoal quantity as needed is super easy.

The Weber Performer charcoal grills feature heavy-duty plated steel charcoal grates, durable and capable of withstanding the high heat of any charcoal fire. By using the charcoal grates and the two charcoal baskets you can set up your grill for direct or indirect heat, according to your preference. You can even use the charcoal baskets with chips for extra smoke and flavor.

Electronic Touch-N-Go™ gas ignition system
Electronic Touch-N-Go™ gas ignition system

Our favorite feature of the Performer grills is the Electronic Touch-N-Go™ gas ignition system, powered by a disposable LP gas cylinder. Simply fill the charcoal burners and position them over the burner. Turn the gas knob, press the ignition button and in five minutes your grill is ready for cooking.

Another advantage of the One-Touch cleaning system is that it also acts as a second damper. The same vents that allow ash to fall easily out of the bowl help bring oxygen up to the fire. Closing the One-Touch cleaning system and the top damper allow you to choke out the fire easily.

The CharBin storage container is useful for storing charcoal away from rain or can be used as a garbage can if needed.

The CharBin is a convenient way to store your charcoal. The size has been designed to hold up to a 30-pound bag. Although it has no lid, I think it pivots back close enough under the work table that rain water should not be able to get into your charcoal. The bin is designed to hold the bag, itself. I already have the perfect charcoal storage system, so I used this with a kitchen trash bag for a close at hand garbage can, which is also convenient.

Construction

The Weber Performer is built on a heavy-duty steel cart frame. The bowl and lid are heavy-gauge porcelain enameled and the vents are rust-resistant. Equipped with 2 wheels and 2 locking casters, the grill is easily moved into place.

The ash catcher is made of aluminum and the One Touch cleaning system is made of aluminized steel. The grills are easily assembled.

The overall look of the Weber Performer grills construction inspires quality and reliability.

Help & Support

The Weber Performer charcoal grills are covered by a 10-year limited warranty, as follows:

  • Cooking /charcoal grates – 2 years warranty;
  • Stainless Steel One-Touch Cleaning System – 10 years warranty;
  • Bowl and lid against rust trough or burn through – 10 years warranty;
  • Nylon handles – 10 years warranty;
  • Thermoplastic/ thermoset parts – 10 years, excluding fading;
  • All other parts – 2 years warranty.

The Weber website has an extensive FAQs page that features information about gas grills and charcoal grills. You’ll also find product manuals, general tips on grill maintenance and grilling itself on this site. If you can’t find the information you’re looking for, there is a search feature to help you find it quickly.

Summary

Built to last, the Weber Performer charcoal grill takes the original successful Weber design and packs it with great features which we’ll not only guarantee great cooking but also fun while doing it. Even if it might seem a little expensive, the Weber Performer grill will not disappoint you.

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Weber Performer Silver Charcoal Grill

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Weber Performer Gold Charcoal Grill

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Weber Performer Platinum Charcoal Grill

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Weber One-Touch Charcoal Grills Review

Dedicated to making grilling fun and flavorful, Weber has been building high quality grills since 1952, when they invented the first charcoal kettle. Now, Weber’s legendary charcoal grills have become a backyard icon.

The Weber One-Touch Charcoal Grills Series features 4 models which you can easily compare in the table below. These four models are:

    • Weber One Touch Silver 18.5″;
    • Weber One Touch Silver 22.5″;
    • Weber One Touch Gold 22.5″;
    • Weber One Touch Gold 26.75″.

Cooking Performance & Features

The closed lid cooking systems is a signature of Weber products. The damper system allows for easy heat control without lifting the lid. Made of rust-resistant aluminum, the damper is not only functional but also durable. The Gold models also feature a built-in thermometer for easy checking the heat inside the grill. However, for perfect cooking we would recommend the use of a special thermometer.

The total cooking area of the Weber One Touch charcoal grills varies between 240 sq.in. on the smallest model (the Weber One-Touch Silver 18.5″) and 504 sq.in. on the largest one (the Weber One-Touch Gold 26.75″).

Made of heavy-duty plated steel, the cooking grates are durable, easy to clean and can hold enough heat for giving your stakes great sear marks. The Weber One-Touch Gold models feature hinged grates, which are great for easy access to fuel without lifting the whole grate or removing food from the grill. Adjusting charcoal quantity as needed is super easy.

The Weber One-Touch charcoal grills feature heavy-duty plated steel charcoal grates, durable and capable of withstanding the high heat of any charcoal fire. By using the charcoal grates you can set up your grill for direct or indirect heat, according to your preference.

The One-Touch cleaning system makes cleanup easy and hassle free. Rotate the handle and the three blades in the bowl move ash through the vents in the bowl and down into the ash catcher. The aluminum ash catcher lifts out for easy ash disposal and cleaning. The Weber One-Touch Silver grills feature an open aluminum asher, while the Weber One-Touch Gold models feature a fully enclosed ash catcher which keep ashes from blowing around and is easily detached for quick and clean ash removal. This not only allows for easy ash cleaning but helps you cook longer, preventing the build-up of ashes that blocks vents and suffocates the fire.

Another advantage of the One-Touch cleaning system is that it also acts as a second damper. The same vents that allow ash to fall easily out of the bowl help bring oxygen up to the fire. Closing the One-Touch cleaning system and the top damper allow you to choke out the fire easily.

There is also an optional rotisserie kit for the Weber One Touch, which expands cooking options even further.

Construction

These sleek Weber units feature a heavy-gauge porcelain-enameled bowl and lid with glass-reinforced nylon handles, rust-resistant vents, durable all-weather wheels. The ash catcher is made of aluminum and the One Touch cleaning system is made of aluminized steel. The grills are easily assembled.

Made in the USA by Weber.

Help & Support

All the Weber charcoal grills are covered by a 10-year limited warranty, as follows:

  • Cooking /charcoal grates – 2 years warranty;
  • Stainless Steel One-Touch Cleaning System – 10 years warranty;
  • Bowl and lid against rust trough or burn through – 10 years warranty;
  • Nylon handles – 10 years warranty;
  • Thermoplastic/ thermoset parts – 10 years, excluding fading;
  • All other parts – 2 years warranty.

The Weber website has an extensive FAQs page that features information about gas grills and charcoal grills. You’ll also find product manuals, general tips on grill maintenance and grilling itself on this site. If you can’t find the information you’re looking for, there is a search feature to help you find it quickly.

Summary

Versatile, durable and easy to cook anything on them, there is no wonder why the Weber One-Touch grills enjoy an evergreen popularity from one generation to the next. Check out below the accessories which can extend your cooking options.

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Weber One Touch Silver 18.5″ Charcoal Grill

[divider] Weber One Touch Silver 22.5″ Charcoal Grill
[divider] Weber One Touch Gold 22.5″ Charcoal Grill
[divider] Weber One Touch Gold Gold 26.75″ Charcoal Grill
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I’ve owned a number of under $100 grills, and there’s no comparison to the quality of my new Silver 22.5″ One Touch. I certainly could afford the Gold but in truth, the Silver is a better grill for far less money. As always I read all the reviews, good and bad, and then make up my mind. I chose the Silver and honestly, the few criticisms I read here were not justified once I actually bought and used this fine grill… (read more)

Overall I am still happy with the purchase, I love looking at that grill. It’s probably gonna grown on me more and more as years pass by. Based on price I decided to get the Silver version, but the Gold might be worth looking at. Afterall you get a much better ash-pan… (read more)

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Using the Chimney Starter for Lighting a Charcoal Grill

Chimney Starter for Charcoal Grills Lighting

The easiest method for lighting any charcoal grill is by using a chimney starter. The chimney starter is an upright metal cylinder with a handle on the outside and a wire rack inside. Simply fill the space under the wire rack with a few sheets of newspaper or a few parafin cubes and fill the space above the rack with briquettes.

Chimney Starter for Charcoal Grills Lighting

Once you light the newspaper, the heat is evenly spread throughout the briquettes.

Chimney Starter for Charcoal Grills Lighting

Once the briquettes are red and lightly covered with white ash, put on two insulated barbecue mitts and grab hold of the two handles on the chimney starter. The swinging handle helps lifting the chimney starter and safely aiming the coals just where you want them.

 

Please see below some of the customers’ favorite chimney starters.

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Fuel Choices for Charcoal Grills

Lump Charcoal

Lump Charcoal for Charcoal Grills
The process of making lump charcoal typically begins by stacking wood logs in underground pits and covering them with sheet metal and dirt. The logs are lit at one end of the pile and the wood smolders for a few days, during which time the oxygen-starved fire burns off water, sap, and other volatile substances. What’s left is almost pure carbon, also know as char or lump charcoal.

Grilling over a lump charcoal fire is a dynamic experience, full of exciting challenges and rewards. As the coals begin to burn, they spark and crackle. When they reach their hottest temperatures, they sometimes pop because of gasses trapped in gnarly pockets of the wood. Lump charcoal gets broiling hot pretty quickly, usually in 10 or 15 minutes. Its intense heat can sear food in seconds, browning the surface and scenting it with beautifully clean wood smoke aromas. In many cases the smokiness emanates from one kind of wood only, such as mesquite or oak. Quite often though, a bag of lump charcoal will hold a mix of hardwoods: oak, hickory, maple and possibly some tropical woods from South America or Asia. In terms of aromas, the differences between the hardwoods are subtle but still important. They don’t differ as much as apples and oranges, but they do differ as much as various kinds of apples. Once a lump charcoal fire gets to its hottest point, it begins to lose heat rather quickly. In many cases the temperatures will fall from high heat to medium heat in less than 30 minutes, so, if you want to maintain a certain temperature range for cooking, the fire needs replenishing. Fortunately lump charcoal lights and heats so quickly that you can get a burst of heat within 5 or 10 minutes of adding unlit coals.

Hardwood Briquettes

Hardwood Briquettes for Charcoal Grills
For the sake of convenience, some charcoal briquette companies go a little further in their production processes. They crush their charcoal with a binder, usually a natural starch, so the compacted little pillows will hold their shape. Briquettes with no other additives are usually labeled “natural” or “hardwood.” They burn almost as hot as lump charcoal, but they also burn out almost as quickly. Their major benefit is their evenness of size and shape. With these briquettes, it is relatively easy to create a smooth bed of coals, whereas the irregular shapes and sizes of lump charcoal can leave “holes” in the fire.

Kingsford® Briquettes

Kingsford Briquettes for Charcoal Grills
Kingsford® briquettes are America’s most widely used brand of charcoal. Kingsford adds mineral char (a soft coal to raise and prolong the heat), mineral carbon (a hard coal, also for raising and prolonging the heat), and limestone (a sedimentary rock to provide a coating of white ash) to their mix of crushed charcoal and cornstarch. Recently the company launched a grooved design that creates more surface area on each briquette, meaning they light faster now, usually in about 15 minutes. These briquettes produce longer and more even heat than lump charcoal or hardwood briquettes and they cast a subtle smokiness on almost anything cooked above or beside them.

Here are the Kingsford ingredients and purposes for each:

  • wood char, for heat;
  • mineral char, also for heat;
  • mineral carbon, also for heat;
  • limestone, for the light-ash color;
  • starch, to bind the other ingredients;
  • borax, press release;
  • sodium nitrate, to speed ignition;
  • sawdust, to speed ignition.