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Weber-Stephen Products One Touch Silver Grill
(8 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating:
A Classic - Versatile and Functional
Jul 12, 2005
Review by gimpson
Rated a Very Helpful Review
I actually got my Weber 18" Kettle free from Freecycle. Its previous owners had purchased a gas grill and decided they no longer needed their charcoal grill. Their loss is my gain. A gas grill can be very convenient, but I just don't think you can beat the flavor of food cooked over charcoal. The Weber Kettle has the added advantage of doubling as a smoker when set up for indirect cooking.
Recommend this product?
For direct heat grilling, this grill works great. The bowl design lets you spread coals in the middle of the lower grate and leaves cooler spots near the edges of the cooking surface. You can sear meats in the center, then move items to the edges to slowly finish cooking. The 18 inch grill is sufficient for the small grilling chores I have, I'd guess you can fit up to ten burgers on the grill.
What most surprised me about this grill was how effective it is when set up for indirect cooking. Even this small model can be used to slow cook ribs or brisket. Simply place a disposable aluminum pan to one side of the lower grate, put your lit coals on the other side, add some wood to the coals for smoke, and place your food on the upper grill as far away from the coals as possible over the drip pan. If you insert a thermometer in the lid's vent you can easily keep the temperature in the ideal 200° - 225° range for long periods of time.
Just this weekend I cooked a brisket. The brisket smoked for thirteen hours between 200° and 225°, and in that time I only had to add fuel six times. (As purchased, you would need to lift the upper grill to add coals. I invested in the Hinged Cooking Grate to make this task easier.) I've made ribs and brisket that rival many of the barbecue joints in my home town of Kansas City in this unit. Before acquiring this grill I had purchased a Char-Broil Bullet-style Water Smoker. For temperature control, the Weber set up for indirect cooking easily outperforms the Char-Broil Water smoker.
For direct grilling, this unit has always been sufficient for my barbecues of less than 10 people. You may want to go with the 21" model for larger groups.
For indirect grilling/smoking this unit does not have much room. When set up for indirect grilling you only have access to half of the cooking surface, so you can only fit one brisket or two racks of ribs. You may be able to fit more ribs if you buy a rib rack and stand them upright, but I haven't tried this and wonder if the lid will get in the way.
Cleaning is not difficult, though the grill must be overturned to empty ash from the kettle after grilling. Sometimes the legs fall out when doing this, but that's probably the biggest inconvenience with this grill.
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