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Charcoal Grill with a Built-in Ash Catcher -- the Weber One-Touch Gold
Aug 22, 2011 (Updated Aug 22, 2011)
Review by dlstewart
Rated a Very Helpful Review
I have always enjoyed charcoal grilling. Maybe it is because our family was brought up with old-fashioned backyard barbeques. Perhaps it the memory of holding marshmallows over the graying coals. My latest grill is the Weber One-Touch Gold Charcoal Grill - model 757001.
Recommend this product?
This Weber One-Touch Gold Grill is the 22 1/2" size and is in the green color. This type of grill is also referred to as a Kettle Grill, most likely because of its kettle-like shape. The domed grill lid and bowl are constructed from heavy-gauge porcelain-enameled steel. Three aluminum legs (two with wheels) support the bowl and lid. A bonus feature is the built-in ash catcher that allows emptying of the ash without getting one's hands filthy in the process. With the lid open, this grill measures 38 1/2" high.
My Experiences - Grill Assembly
This grill needs assembly. I looked at the clock before I began the process, and it took me an exasperating hour and fifteen minutes to construct the grill. For one thing, the instruction booklet is pictorial ... all pictures, no words. Not even the parts are given names or part numbers. I had so much trouble that I ended up phoning Weber customer service. The good news is that the customer service person I spoke with had a grill in her area and was able to walk me through the part of assembly that gave me so much grief. Kudos to Weber customer service!
Part One of the construction process is what caused me so much aggravation. It requires that the bottom of the grill (the bowl) be turned upside down to attach a silver-colored metal collar at its base. The grill bottom already has a silver-colored lever pre-assembled and attached. A slit in the collar needs to slide over this lever, and three metal tabs on the collar need to align with the three leg post holes on the bowl. No matter how I turned the silver-colored collar, I could not properly align tabs to leg holes. I also couldn't determine if the collar should fit on the inside of the leg holes or around the outside. (Turns out that once correctly assembled, the tabs fit on the inside of the leg holes, while the collar sides sit on either side of the holes.) Note: It is okay to move the pre-assembled lever (it moves sideways). You may need to move this lever to help align the tabs to the post holes. Also, the tabs are an incredibly tight fit. A metal projection at the bottom of each tab is designed to slide into an equally tight slit at the base of the post hole (next to the kettle bottom). The customer service person I spoke with said this part of assembly was the most difficult; and I gained the impression that I'm not the first person to call asking for help. Once I attached the collar, the rest of the assembly was straightforward.
Tools needed are a hammer for attaching the wheels, and a Phillips head screwdriver for putting together the plastic handles (which are mounted around the metal handles already in place on the sides of the grill bowl and lid).
After attaching the collar to the kettle base, the next step is to attach the two wheels to their legs and slide the wheel posts into their holes on the base of the grill. Pay attention to the picture in the instructions for proper leg alignment. No hardware is used to secure the legs in place. Next, assemble and attach the third leg (without the wheel), and slide it into the bottom of the bowl. The ash catcher then slides into place, hooking into the metal collar. Add the two round grill plates (they sit inside the kettle). Screw the plastic handle pieces to the three metal handles (two handles on the sides of the grill, and one handle on the grill lid). Ta Da! Bring on the food!
My Experiences - Using the Grill
While I have a few issues with this grill, I can't fault the way it cooks. The 22 1/2" diameter is a good family size. Perhaps I am spoiled by my hibachi, but I wish this grill had adjustable height positions for the grill plates. Also, be careful not to touch the metal ventilation tab (to adjust air flow) with bare hands; this metal plate becomes hot during cooking as does the rest of the grill cover. I also like that the lid has a built-in hook on the inside so that it can hang from the side of the grill.
The main grill/grate surface has two sides that fold up for easy access to the charcoal area underneath. This comes in handy if additional charcoal needs to be added to the grill. However, if there is food cooking, the fold-up grill areas cannot be moved without disturbing what is atop them.
I love the convenience of the ash catcher. If you have ever cleaned ash from a hibachi or charcoal grill, you know how grimy a procedure it can be. There is a lever at the bottom of the Weber grill that moves side-to-side. This lever manually turns three blades inside the bottom of the grill. The blades push the ash through three oval holes and into the metal ash catcher. Most of the ash is sifted through the holes and into the catcher; however, not all the ash is "captured" by these blades. Some ash will remain inside the grill unless it is removed another way.
The green is a nice deep color; attractive. However, the leg and wheel assembly seem on the cheap side compared to the quality of the kettle and lid. The wheels are small when compared to the Weber One-Touch Platinum grill. When I wheel the grill to a new location, I feel as though the grill may tip over. I was also upset when movement of the grill caused the lid to fall off. It hit the asphalt driveway with some force, scratching the porcelain-enameled steel, but the lid did not dent.
An older charcoal grill I still own has a nice slatted-wood work area that is attached to the grill side and folds up and down (for storage when not in use). This Weber grill has no work area. I miss that convenience. You may want to compare this grill to the Weber One-Touch Platinum grill (which has fold-out work surfaces and the same cooking area) to see which model would best suit your needs.
This grill retails for $179.70. Amazon.com is offering it for $135.10.
I received this grill from Epinions. This is an unbiased review about it.
I'm torn whether to give this Weber One-Touch Gold Charcoal Grill an Average or Above Average rating. It's attractive, with a hinged grill for easy access to the charcoal beneath, plus it has the ash catcher that I like. The down-side is that I'm not thrilled with the sturdiness of the wheel assembly that feels like the grill will fall over while being moved; plus I miss the lack of a built-in prep area. Overall, for this weekend griller, this Weber charcoal grill works fine but it's not spectacular.
I hope you found this review useful.
Enjoy the day,
Please read my other reviews:
Brinkmann 4-Burner Gas Grill - what we use at work
Reynolds Parchment Paper
Rachel Ray Bench Scrape Shovel
Good Grips Pro Santoku Knife
T-Fal Avante Elite Convection Toaster Oven
Maytag Gemini Double Oven Range
Copyright 2011 Dawn L. Stewart
I am including this review as part of the Hot August Write-Off.
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