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Another Winner From Weber!
on November 22, 2005
I have used a Weber One Touch Gold for many years, but the truth of the matter is that in Northern Michigan winter, it is frequently more than I care to attempt to try to get the fire going. Nomatter whether I use the chimney or parrafin starters, that cold wind does not get me enthused to charcoal grill in January.
So my sons gave me a Performer as a surprise gift (Bless those lads!!)! And, like most Weber products, it's a winner.
ASSEMBLY: It took less than twenty minutes for my older son and I to assemble it. The directions are crystal clear, the parts are well and carefully packed, and the only item not included is the small propane container, which is readily available at hardware stores. (Our local Home Depot had four packs for just under $10.00.)
QUALITY: This is a solidly built unit. The kettle bolts to the frame with four large bolts, and the adjoining work surface is similarly attached. While some have complained that it is not as good as its predecessor, I can vouch for the overall quality of design and construction.
PERFORMANCE: With the gift came a demand for "RIBS!!" There were enough people here to warrant a comparison test with my old One Touch Gold. The Performer had a fire ready to go about 8 minutes before the One Touch was ready, and the fire was hotter by over 50 degrees as measured on the thermometers in the handles. (I believe that the air vents at the bottom are larger in the Performer, which would account for this.)
The work surface adjacent to the kettle is worth the additional cost of this unit over the One Touch. No longer is there a need to balance a tray of goodies on the rim of the kettle with one hand, while trying to place food items on the grill with the other. The tip out charcoal storeage bin is another neat feature.
CONCLUSION: I am an admitted Weberholic. I don't think that they make a grill that is less than excellent, and I cannot imagine any feature that a charcoal griller would want on a grill that this unit lacks. So, now there are four Weber Grills on the deck, and while I will still use the gas grills a lot, I know that this coming January will see charcoal grilling in Northern Michigan.
ADDENDUM: I got some hardwood charcoal (not briquets!) and have done burgers, chops and steaks. The fire is super hot and lasts about 40 minutes, but the flavor of the meat is superb!!