Top positive review
Surprise! It's Not Bad at All
on June 2, 2017
It's a far better grill than I ever expected it to be. I bought it because it was inexpensive but still had some useful features, like the attached stay-up lid and the sense that I could effectively mod it, which I've been able to do, if precariously at times. I've made competent ribs, burgers, sausages - all of the stuff you'd expect. This Spring I went back and tightened it up all around. I have a cover for it and keep it wiped-down clean. It's survived two years of a Brooklyn rooftop and a move to the country and I use it at least a couple of times a week. Will it hold up over the long run? With reasonable care it doesn't seen out of the question. I would not travel with it. I wouldn't even move it any more than I had to, and when I do I'm very careful about where I put it down.
Good ventilation - nice range of airflow control
Good-sized and useful cooking area - bigger than you might expect
Reasonably stable - beats the Weber with four legs, not three, if not the solid feeling
Love that lid.
Very hack-friendly: The Weber 22.5" hinged grate is a vast upgrade over the standard grill. Thirty seconds with a drill and now there's a thermometer in the lid. A little imagination has turned it into a functional smoker. Using a smaller diameter coal grate instead of the standard one gives you a little more control over the heat. The Weber coal baskets are incredibly useful for effective heat management.
The bottom half of the grill body is shallow so it takes some creativity to get some distance between your food and the coals
The cooking grate is not adjustable and default height (without taking out the coal grate underneath) is set very close to the coals. A moment's inattention will probably burn whatever you're cooking
The grill is stable but still feels a bit wobbly - it definitely benefits from a flat solid surface and no sudden moves.
The ash catcher is welcome but small and fills up quickly, which blocks the (small) vent holes
The ash catcher slides in and out but jolts easily and doesn't always attach the first time or feel entirely secure when it does
The grate is a little too widely spaced to comfortably grill things like asparagus and appears to be made of repurposed metal hangers; when I swapped mine out I noticed how much it had warped.