204 of 206 people found the following review helpful
When it came time for us to get a new charcoal grill I searched every site and checked out dozens of different grills, some costing many hundreds of dollars, all promising some advantage.
Some units were really interesting, and not too expensive, but upon close inspection many of these proved to be tinny and cheaply made. The very expensive systems were very nice, but did not offer rotisseries and other useful accessories and were just too expensive for us anyway.
So, we ended up with another Weber, the Gold Model. In the many years since our last Weber, there have been a lot of improvements that kept it attractive. The ash catcher really does make cleanup much easier and the vent system is more functional. The grill itself has the new flip-up hatches that allow you to add more coals and move them around without having to lift up the grill. I did that all the time with the old grill.
The optional little bent-wire style of charcoal retainers do help to keep the coals out to the side when you want to use a drip pan in the center.
Others have recommended the chimney style charcoal start for ecological reasons. It is also just plain faster to use as well, and it is made of heavy gauge metal that is both attractive and long-lasting.
I love the optional rotisserie (see those reviews) and it comes with an extension ring that is also useful for other cooking options.
We got the green colored kettle and it looks very nice on the patio. The general design and those odd white-wall tires give it a kind of vintage look.
This is a well-made and very functional grill with all sorts of interesting available accessories that really work well. There is a reason for the popularity of the Weber. I looked, I bought. Hard to beat.
Update 7/2012. Still good, used daily all summer and even in the rain under my porch cover. Something I came up with that could be interesting to the more dedicated user. I essentially bought a downed oak tree and have been splitting it for firewood for next winter. Had a lot of small, crooked, knotty, twisted pieces that couldn't easily be split. I cut them up into 1" cubes on a band saw, hoping to use them as briquettes in the Weber. A newspaper sprinkled with cooking oil got them started in the Weber chimney starter quite quickly. The secret is to be a bit patient so that they stop flaming and turn to glowing coals. And then you have a genuine oak BBQ, just like on a ranch. Very good, but a lot of work and dangerous enough even on a band saw. And it messes up the blade and rollers. The other more accessible method would be to simply start an oak campfire in the Weber, using regular old pieces of oak like you would in a fireplace. It would take some time to burn down to coals, but even more of an excuse to drink too much and then burn the food because....well, everyone has done this. Right? Anyway, flaming oak imparts a kind of bitter taste while glowing oak coals make it delicious. I do this research for you.
Update 2, on cooking an expensive steak. This works and requires no skill. I went out and bought the most expensive steak ever, an organic, grass fed, free range whatever ribeye at a boutique market and the attractive butcher girl probably had her thumb on the digital scale besides. I about died when I saw the price. Hmmm, can't afford to cook this any way but perfectly.
I once saw a YouTube video on how to properly cook a steak using high heat and this is my BBQ grill interpretation of that.
Use the coal retainers to block off a section of the lower grill and fill up that smaller portion with lots of hot coals. It cannot be too hot in this case.
Put on the cooking grill and let the previous session's grease flame off, which of course also heats it up hotly and is somewhat entertaining and makes you feel guilty about what you are eating...
Put on the steak. Having those long tongs helps a lot. You can rub it with olive oil if you want, but it is unclear to me if that is necessary and it causes more flame-ups. No BBQ sauce though. Lid off! Deal with the flame-ups by maneuvering the steak around. Some people use a water spray. This is hands-on, attentive work.
Stand by. It will cook fast. Have your other food well under way. Within minutes the down side will have that crust of goodness, short of burnt of course. Turn it over and do the other side. When that side is seared, remove the steak and insert a digital cooking thermometer, taking care to place it in the very center, from the side (not stabbed in from the top). I use a Polder and the line from the sensor to the display seems to hold up in high heat, but don't string it out over the coals. Run it out the back. Set the alarm for 130.
Put the steak back over the un-coaled area. The effect now is that this is a very hot oven, not a grill. Put on the lid, make sure all vents are open. Watch the temp rise, amazingly fast so don't wander off.
Remove the steak, with tongs, to a plate and cover it with aluminum foil, resting it as they say on cooking shows. By the time everything else is served up, maybe 10 minutes or so, it should be ready to serve.
This gives you a steak that looks exactly like the ones in advertisements, medium rare with a great crust. You can throw it back on and in a couple of minutes the temp and doneness will go up. There is no shame in putting food back on the fire, but there is shame in over-cooking it! If you paid the big bucks for your meat, burning it will make you cry.
BTW, this works for other meat like thick cut pork chops (thick ones are easier to cook properly). Use the same method, but run the temp up to 140-145 (145 being the new govt standard, and in fact it is the standard for all meat other than poultry. If you were brought up on thin, over-cooked pork chops (we all were) you have a revelation coming. Chicken parts don't require the high heat, but a quick sear and off the the oven part works very well for them.
It is suggested that the steak be served with salt and pepper, applied after it is cooked as it may be a bad idea to subject the salt and pepper to high heat. The more expensive the meat, the less you should put on it. Cooks always suggest kosher salt and it is indeed very good for this, and ground pepper is better as well. I really think BBQ sauce is too much for expensive beef, but if you want to fancy it up, slowly heat up some butter and garlic and let it meld together. Strain it and serve it on the side, or simply pour it on. What the heck, you have already gone well over the fat grams or whatever for the month anyway...
If you have to cook more than maybe 3 or 4 large steaks, you could fill the entire bowl with coals and then finalize them in the kitchen oven set very high, like 450, and with the temp probe stuck in the most representative steak. This gives you 90% of the grilling experience and taste.
129 of 130 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2006
We bought this grill as our first grill based on reviews. The Weber grill is a solidly built grill. You don't feel they skimped on materials when they built this. Assembly was only difficult when installing the base ring for the ash catcher but once I got past that, it was easy. The metal grate for the charcoal is smart for allowing air to come up beneath the charcoals, helping keep them hot, which the cooking grate is smartly designed, with two sides able to be flipped up so that you can add more charcoal if you need to. The two handles on the cooking grate make it easy to move the grate. The wheels make it easy to roll the grill around, although I would have preferred rubber wheels as opposed to plastic wheels.
The only complaint I have about this grill is that the handle for the lid can get really hot when it's been sitting on the grill for a while. You can remedy this by wearing a grilling mitt when removing the lid. I'm not sure if a wood handle would make a difference. Just a minor complaint.
The big cooking grate is terrific. I can throw all kinds of stuff on the grill at once and it doesn't matter where it lies, if you spread your coals evenly, everything cooks great whether on the outskirts of the sides of the grate or on the center of the grate. I attribute this to the Weber design and the grill's ability to distribute heat evenly and well.
The ash catcher is one of the nicest features on this grill. If you are trying to decide between the silver and the gold Weber grill, make no mistake that this is the better option hands down. The ash plate on the silver model will most likely get filled up with ash quickly, not to mention it is a possible fire hazard if hot charcoal bits fall off the side of the ash plate. The ash catcher on the gold model is like a pan and can hold a lot of ash and hot charcoal bits with no problem. Spend a little bit more and get the better feature and you won't regret it.
222 of 235 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2000
You're probalby thinking that there's no reason to update the 10-year-old Weber you've got in your back yard. Well, turns out Weber has made some smart improvements over the years-- the new "gold" model is worth the upgrade.
The ash-catcher is super, the one-touch vent system is a big improvement (no more knocking each vent with a trowel), the plastic handles stay cooler... you get the idea. Nothing dramatic, but good progress.
But here's the clincher: setting one of these up (takes about 20 minutes, even if you make a mistake or two) just makes you feel like you're in heaven. It's summer embodied. People rhapsodize about the new car small... well, fughettaboutit. The look of a shiny new grill that you've assembled yourself is about as good as it gets.
Highly recommended accessory: the charcoal companion. Put your lighter fluid (or your MatchLight) away and use this instead-- it works flawlessly, and it's better for the environment.
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2007
I'll admit from the start that I'm biased. I swear by Weber products. I've been happy with my Smokey Joe, but I just needed a bigger grill. Enter the 22" One Touch Gold. A friend of mine has an 18" One Touch, but I think that the ~$20 price difference is a marginal cost for the extra size. Four inches doesn't seem like a lot of extra room, but it really is.
Installation was a snap. No tools required, except for a hammer to tap the wheels onto the base. The kettle itself is porcelain-enameled, which means it doesn't rust. All of the parts seemed to be built to last. The lid forms a nice seal with the base of the kettle, and the "one touch" vent adjustment works well.
I debated whether to get the Silver version or go for the Gold. The grills are basically identical, but the Gold version has a hinged cooking grate and an enclosed ash catcher (and costs $50 more). The Silver has a standard cooking grate and an ash pan. The hinged cooking grate is an essential feature for anyone who likes to grill indirectly. Adding charcoal or wood chips without disturbing the food on the grill is quick and easy. However, Amazon sells a hinged cooking grate for under $20. I'm not sure if the enclosed ash catcher is worth $30 because you could just set a coffee can on the ash pan. Then again, if the grill lasts about 10 years (which it should with proper care), then it's only $3 more per year.
I saved the best for last. I noticed that the assembly manual pictured two parts, a pair of charcoal rails, that were not included in the box. I called Weber customer support, and they explained that the wrong manuals were sent out with some of the grills, and I wasn't actually missing the charcoal rails. Then they offered to send me the charcoal rails for free anyway! That kind of customer service is rare in my opinion and sets Weber apart. I'm very confident that they'll stand behind their products if anything happened to go wrong.
To sum up:
- quality construction
- great customer service
- good ventilation
- lots of cooking area
- hinged cooking grate
- enclosed ash catcher
- Silver version may be a better value
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Although I have only been using Weber grills for ten years, I feel that I can safely comment on the longevity and craftsmanship of the Weber One Touch Gold. There are a lot of Weber charcoal grill imitations out there, but there is nothing quite like the original in terms of cooking surface, oxygen flow, temperature control, ash removal and durability. I recently purchased the One Touch Gold to compliment my Weber Performer (The model before the disastrous makeover...IMHO). The versatility and control that I have for grilling is second to none. I also cannot say enough about Weber's customer service. My Performer had two warranty replacements because of how much I used it...thus the reason for the second kettle. Both times, the Weber CSR was able to ship me the parts needed to keep my grill going. If you are looking at buying a charcoal grill, do not be fooled by the cheap imitations that fill the shelves at your local big box retailer. Get a Weber. In fact, get a 22 ? inch Weber and skip the 18 ? inch model. You will regret it if you don't! If you believe in buying the right tool for the right job and doing something right the first time, you cannot go wrong. I'm a Weber devotee for life.
BTW, one additional request. Unlike the Performer, the One Touch does not have a protective rubber tab on the top vent. I of course found this out by burning myself while adjusting my air flow. Along with a built-in thermometer, these would be simple additions in future models.
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2004
I'm a big Weber fan-- I've used a Genesis gas grill for six years and a Smoky Mountain Cooker for two. Recently purchased the Kettle Gold. Great charcoal grill! The enclosed ash catcher is particularily useful if you grill with lump charcoal versus briquettes, like I do. It catches any sparks and small pieces of lump that drop through the charcoal grate. Hinged grate is also a big plus. I like to use the Weber charcoal holders to hold my lump when grilling steaks-- push them together in the center to sear (brings charcoal about 2 inches from meat) then push them to the outer edge for indirect cooking. I also added a thermometer to the lid to check and adjust cooking temps.
This baby would get five stars if Weber was still offering the cast iron grate upgrade for the kettles. It's been discontinued this year, but I hear some are still out there to be found. Even without cast iron, you can't go wrong with this as a charcoal grill, and being a Weber, it will last for years and you'll get great customer support if it is ever needed.
68 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2006
The One-Touch grill cooks just as well as the old Weber kettles I've used over the past 30 years, and is easier to clean, but...
Weber has replaced the wooden handles on the grill and top with a plastic or composite of some sort, and if the top stays over the fire for a significant period of time (15 minutes or so), the handle gets almost too hot to hold. I'm a disappointed long-term Weber fan.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2005
This is the third charcoal grill I've purchased over the last 15 years. The first was a small kettle that with lot's of care lasted about five years until she gave in to old age and rust. The second was a Coleman that has given me 7-8 years but is on her last legs,bless her heart. I found the Weber Gold on the web, but was afraid to shell out the extra bucks.
Well, I found it at Home Depot for $125 and just couldn't resist. This is absolutely worth every penny! It is typical of Weber products in that it is simple, sound and sturdy. Putting it together took all of 20 minutes and I was ready to cook. It is a sound design that has been around for years and it is soo easy to grill just about anything. In the last two months, I've done steaks, turkey breasts, hamburgers, hot dogs etc. All with great success!
The kettle is constructed of an enameled porcelin that will not rust, and all metal pieces are rust resistant aluminum. This grill will far outlast any previous unit and will definately take it's warranty with it!
I would recommend the charcoal chimney starter and basket fuelholders as extras. The chimney starter makes lighting the coals easy and "starter fluid" free and the fuelholders make indirect cooking a snap. With indirect cooking you can turn your grill into a "mini-smoker" with terrific results.
The major improvement on this model is the ash can which makes removal of spent ashes easy and clean. I heartily recommend this product!
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2005
This grill arrives in parts and has to be assembled. The instructions were clear. Even a klutz should be able to do it. However, one of the press-fit legs was not tight enough, and continually fell out of its fitting. I used superglue to fix that.
Also, the ash container is somewhat difficult to remove and re-attach. Nonetheless, it makes disposing of the ashes pretty easy.
This grill works well. I cooked a catfish filet on it last night. It was deee-licious!
Charcoal is certainly more trouble than gas. It takes 30-40 minutes to prepare the coals using a Weber chimney, which I highly recommend. However, I consider the charcoal taste well worth the extra effort. If you do, too, then I recommend this grill. Despite the minor problems, it does exactly what I expect of it.
I bought this grill through Amazon. I occasionally see complaints from others about Amazon's fulfillment, shipping, etc. I have purchased many products from Amazon, and have never had a problem. The company's service when I bought my Weber grill was excellent. The price was right, too.
29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2010
Before I get to the review I'd like to mention something I've seen debated about this grill way too much in other reviews. Made in the USA. Is it really so hard to figure this one out? I don't get it. Just look at the box "Made in USA." Look at the grill itself "Made in USA." Look at the manual that comes with it "Made in USA."
On to the review.
This is the second grill I have ever owned in my life (well, actually it's the third, but the first one wasn't really a grill in the same sense so it doesn't count). The previous grill I bought from that massive retailer whose name must not be mentioned here but it rhymes with "wall-cart." That one cost me $100 and featured plenty of plastic covering and side tables. I only mention this because it's my only frame of reference here.
This Weber I love. Everything about it seems perfect. I have some complaints (and I'll get to those soon, I promise) but overall I couldn't be happier with my purchase. I know it makes no sense to say that a grill has improved my cooking, but as far as I'm concerned it has. My pork chops have been consistently cooked properly and juicy. My steaks have been delicious. My kebabs out of this world. My wife thinks I deserve all the credit for this, but I'm putting most of it on the grill since the last one didn't produce results this good. In fact, my wife is begging me to grill now, whereas last summer she'd find excuses not eat my overcooked food that chewed like rubber and was garnished with burnt spices that tasted like the coals I cooked it over.
I don't know what it is about this grill, but I'm inclined to believe it's the shape and depth which cradle the charcoal and burn it thoroughly and evenly eliminating my previous nemesis which was cold spots and blazing hot spots.
It seems very sturdy and very well made. It weighs the perfect amount (hasn't been blown over even in this horrible weather with gusts of wind in excess of 100mph, and yet it's still light enough for me to lift and carry as I see fit). The ash catcher is large enough to accommodate 3-4 loads before needing emptied. The propellers above the catcher are perfect for allowing air to vent for the fire (or to kill it) and they also move the ash into the catcher very efficiently. The grill part (where you put the meat) has two folding sides that you can lift to add things to the fire while you're cooking and without needing to lift the entire grate off. Lastly, assembly was a breeze (well, for my wife. She put it together with the help of my 19 month-old daughter in 10 minutes while I did some yard work).
Now the cons. I didn't remove any stars for any one of these in particular because most of them I knew about before I purchased this and I believe you should never subtract stars for features that you know are not included when you buy. I did however take away one star for all of these put together (with some weighing more than others).
*Very dangerous for young children. This is my biggest complaint and the main one for removing a star. Don't get me wrong; all grills are dangerous for young children, and you should never leave them around a grill that's in use unattended. BUT, my last grill was covered in plastic guards all around it so I could cook without worrying if any kids were beside me. With this Weber I have to keep half my focus on the children because if any of them come too close they could get burned by the scolding hot base. Even after I'm done cooking and everything has been put away and the coals have burned out, this thing stays hot for hours. My daughter, of course, wants to be where I am, and do what I'm doing, so we've had several crying fits because I had to keep her far away. And then when the meal is done and the kids want to run in the yard and play I have to find a safe hideaway for it or stand guard around it. This has become a major problem recently.
*Hot handles. Why? I don't understand. They are plastic handles. My last grill had plastic handles and they never got hot (or even warm). I'm simply not use to using an oven-mit to grill and the result is that I'm constantly touching the darned hot handles with my bare hand. Aggravating.
*Nothing to hang the lid from. Why? Why couldn't they put it on a hinge so that I could pull it up like with my last grill? With this one I have to find a spot for the lid to rest. I mostly grill with the lid on so when it's time to add the coal, put the meat on, take it off, and other times, I have to find somewhere to rest the hot lid. Annoying.
*Working space. I didn't take any stars off for this because it's obvious it has none from the picture. I knew this before I bought it, but at the time I hadn't realized how much of a problem this would be. Because the grill gets so hot I have to take it far away from any children and pets (I forgot to mention the pets earlier. One of my dogs burned its nose on it the first time). So while I'm so far away I have no place to put any dishes, the required oven-mit, any spice or sauce bowls etc. Oh sure, you can BUY the extension, but to me that feels like buying a car with no windows and then getting charged extra to have some installed.
*No utensil rack. Seriously? You're going to make us buy this separately? A simple little hook rack to hang my grilling utensils, is that really too much to ask for? Yes, I did spend the money and bought one.
*The vent is metal. This might seem absurd since I complained earlier that the plastic was getting hot, but the lip on the top vent doesn't even have that much. I open and close the vent several times while cooking (depending on the food of course). With no guard on the lip you have to be cautious or you'll burn yourself. I guess I should just accept that everything with this grill requires an oven-mit.
Like I mentioned earlier: I didn't take any stars off for any ONE of these complaints, but all together they do (and should) add up to a "not perfect" rating. For this much money I'd expect more, not less than what I got from my last grill. Maybe the extra money is for longevity, because the last one was a piece of horse-dung that started falling apart from the first day I used it.