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Jul 24, 2008 (Updated Oct 15, 2008)
Review by sladowski
Rated a Very Helpful Review
This is, without a doubt, the best grill I have ever owned. While expensive, it has all the features you can ever use, at half the price of grills by Viking, Wolfe and DCS. In fact, those high end grills lack features of this grill.
Recommend this product?
For those that don't want to real my full review, here is the summary. It covers all important points:
1. Solid construction – looks and feels like it is well made
2. Heats up very fast, and can achieve higher temperatures than any other grill I have had.
3. Has everything – large primary cooking surface, searing station, separate infrared read mounted rotisserie burner.
4. Grease management system is second to none. Reduces flare-up and directs grease to a disposable aluminum pan. No clean up needed – you will not find this on grills twice the price. (See problems in Low Points)
5. Lighted dials are wonderful at night, as is the lights on the handles.
6. With 6 separate burners (not counting the infrared, smoker or searing), you only need to turn on the burners you need. Save gas and have a place to put your almost done steak while the other are still on the fire.
7. Well laid out burner controls. Primary burners have a big knob. Knobs for the searing station, infrared and smoker are smaller and a different color.
8. Easy assembly – took 30 minutes with just a screw driver and pliers. The main barbecue comes fully assembled.
1. Only the doors, the cover and the side shelves are stainless steel. It is a shame the sides are not stainless as well. This will likely cause rusting years down the road.
2. Rain water fill up the grease pan. Despite the great grease management system, this is a real pain and messy to empty. I just bought the cover for this grill. This prevents the problem, but you must remember to put it on after the grill has cooled.
3. Side shelves are not fold down. This barbecue is about 74” wide, and you must place it is a very wide area. I would like to have had the option of folding down one shelf. My only option is to remove the left shelf if it is too wide.
4. This barbecue cooks HOT. It will take some getting used to and you may burn the first few things you cook. My usual strategy of just cooking most things on “HI” doesn’t work here – you need to turn down the heat.
That is the summary. For those that want every detail, read on.
I bought this grill online and saved over $500. The price I listed includes shipping. No matter how you buy it, you will want it delivered, as the box is huge and will not fit into anything but a truck, and its shipping weight is about 305 lbs. You should be able to move it close to the position you will use it if you have a sturdy hand truck or movers dolly. Otherwise, just take it out of the box and roll it into position on it's own casters.
Unpacking was relatively easy. It comes on a plastic skid, banded with about 5 straps. Once the straps are cut, the cardboard box just lifts off. However, you will need 3 people to get it off the plastic skid. Two people are needed to momentary lift the unit, and a third to pull out the skid. There is really no other way to do this. (My wife and I managed to do this, and my daughter pulled out the skid.) Once out of the box, the barbecue rolls easily on the pre-installed large casters. Two casters lock. Don’t think you will get this back into the box once out. Lots of the packing just falls out.
For the most part, the barbecue comes almost fully assembled. Once it is off the skid, you only need to install the flame spreading bars over the burners, the grill, the side shelves, the handle lights, and the drip pan assembly. No complicated parts to assemble. The instructions are OK, not great. Virtually all the assembly instructions are with pictures – no verbiage. A minor explanation here or there would have helped.
I bought the natural gas unit. If you had an old barbecue connected to your gas line, you may need adapters depending on the size of the gas line. This is designed for a 1/2 inch gas pipe. Many of the older, smaller barbecues use a 3/8 inch gas adapter for the hose. The adapter that comes with this is designed to go into 1/2 inch pipe and a thicker 10’ flexible gas hose.
The 10’ hose will be adequate for many set-ups, but depending on where you position the barbecue in relation to the gas line, you may use half that length just for the width of the barbecue. I wish the line was a few feet longer.
Not counting changing my gas line to 1/2 inch, the total assembly took about 30 minutes and required nothing more that a screw driver and pliers. This is no big deal, and no need to pay for assembly unless you are really not handy or don’t want to deal with the unpacking.
My unit came with a few broken parts – the rear panel was bent, a rubber bumper for the grill cover was damage, and there was a broken piece of plastic in the box but I can’t figure out where it came from. Weber replaced all the broken part without problem. Also, their customer service is extremely easy to reach without plowing through endless VRU menues.
OK, now that it is assembled, connected to the gas and rolled into place, get ready to cook. I started by turning all the burners on. The thermometer goes up the 700 degrees (was only 550 on my old Weber). The barbecue heats fast. I also turned on the searing burner for a few minutes. After I turned the searing burner off, I put on a few hot dogs. The first once were reduce to black ash on the outside in just a couple of minutes. Obviously, I had things too high. Likewise, I burned the outside of some chicken later in the day, even though I only had 2 of the 6 burners on and no searing this time. I turned down the heat, and the chicken cooked perfectly. I am not criticizing the grill. I mention it just to warn you that you may not want to try some expensive steaks as your first test. If you do, be sure to stay at the grill and watch them. One note of caution. It you turn all the burners on to preheat it, be careful and check it in just a few minutes. The barbecue did heat up to close to 700 degress and started all the left over grease drippings on the flavor bars and sheet metal below the grill that directs the grease into the pan on fire. It was quite a blaze. No damage to the unit, I just lowered the heat and opened the lid. But the flames were quite a sight and not something I want to repeat.
The cooking is even, with no obvious hot spots or cold spots.
I love the grease management system. Most grease falls into a large grease pan below. This keeps flare-up to a minimum and the large grease pan is sloped down and funneled into a disposable aluminum pan. When the pan gets full, just throw it out and put in a new one. These are sold at most stores that sell barbecues. All the others I have seen, including $3000 to $6000 barbecues from Wolfe, Viking and DCS had the grease drain into a large flat shallow pan that you will have to carefully remove and carry to the sink without spilling the contents. They you have to clean it. YUK! I rarely check this thing, so the large disposable pan is great for me with no mess, no clean-up. However, as noted in the low points, this disposable grease pan does fill up with rainwater if you do not cover the barbecue. It is still easier and more efficient that other methods, but I was never good at covering a barbecue, but now I must do it all the time.
I have not used the rotisserie, except to test it. It has a double fork that can hold 2 chickens or roasts. If you want to save the drippings, just remove the grates and place a pan in top of the flame spreaders. You use only the infrared burner, so the 6 lower burners stay cool. I have never been a big rotisserie guy, but I will try it. I have generally used the indirect method on my old Weber, where you turn off the burner(s) directly under the food you are cooking and just lite the outer burners. This worked great for turkeys and roasts.
The number of knobs on the front may seem daunting, especially to the woman in the house that generally like things simple. All I can say is that they are very well laid out. The knobs for the 6 main burners are full size. The knobs for the smoker box, infrared and searing station are smaller, a different color, and easy to identify. Each of the main burner knobs, as well as the smoker box and infrared come with a built spark system that lights the appropriate burner. As outlined in the instructions, you need to hold the knob in for at least 2 seconds after the spark, otherwise the burner goes out.
The smoker box is something I probably could have done without. I used it 3 or 4 times in 12 years on my old Weber. This one works somewhat works better since there is a separate burner for it. Keep the burner set to the lowest setting. Even with soaking the wood chips for 30 minutes (as recommended), they will last less than 30 minutes on the lowest heat setting. Enough to give your food a slight flavor. Don't know if I will use it regularly. They say in the instructions that using it will turn the inside of the barbecue a yellowish color that cannot be removed. It probably did, but after a dozen uses, who could tell anyway.
One final note. The Weber Summit 470 is essentially the same unit but smaller. I considered this, but decided on the larger one. With one side shelf removed (you will need to remove the left side, the right side is the side burner), the width of the 670 is virtually the same as the 470. Having the extra grilling surface and the 2 extra burners is a real plus, and now I am ready to barbecue for almost any number of people I may be entertaining. And, to just cook for the two of us, I just turn on 2 burners.
I love this barbecue. Weber has really outdone themselves when they designed this one and it really blows away even the so called high end grills.
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Amount Paid (US$): 1975
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