All rights reserved.
Weber Grill Review
22.5” Weber Charcoal Grills

Weber makes four 22.5” charcoal grills.  These four grills are the workhorses of the charcoal
fleet and they are all extremely well built.  Trying to choose between them often induces a
bad case of brain lock.  My strong recommendation, and the one I bought for myself, is the
22.5” One Touch Platinum.  
22.5" Weber Kettle
Extras
Cost
Worth It?
One Touch Silver
(OTS)
None
$90
Maybe
One Touch Gold  
(OTG)
Hinged grate
Ash removal
Charcoal baskets
$150
Heck Yes
One Touch Platinum
(OTP)
Hinged grate
Ash removal
Charcoal baskets
Lid thermometer
Tuck Away lid holder
Two work tables
$250
Heck Yes
The Performer
Hinged grate
Ash removal
Charcoal baskets
Lid thermometer
Tuck Away lid holder
Large work table
Charcoal storage bin
Propane ignition
$350
Maybe
Deciding between these grills is tough and for most people will come down to cost.  

You can pick up a 22.5” OTS for under a $100 almost any day down at Wal-Mart or Home Depot.  A great
grill for under $100 is hard to argue with.  The one point that may make you wish you had bought a OTG
instead of a OTS is the ash removal system.  Removing ashes from the OTS is a pain often requiring you to
turn the whole grill upside down.  Ash removal on the OTG is a snap.  For this reason alone I would spend
the extra $60 to upgrade to the OTG.

The OTG is a great grill at a fair price.  For most people this grill will meet all of their needs.  Again, if you
are comparison shopping you will likely see a knock off grill next to the OTG selling for 30-60% less.  You
will be tempted to get the cheaper grill.  Please don’t.

I bought the Platinum and have been delighted.  The two extras that make this grill stand out are the two
side tables and the built in lid thermometer.  If you want to take your barbecue to the next level then give
some serious thought about the Platinum or Performer.  For a little more detail about what I am talking
about give a quick glance to my technique for
cooking spectacular ribs on a kettle.

A small detail that I have come to appreciate about both the Platinum and the Performer is the location of
the air vent on the top of the grill lid. On the Silver and Gold the air vent on the lid is offset from center and
this creates an extra variable you have to think about when cooking indirect.  When using the 22 inch Gold
the ideal setup is to have an indirect fire on one side of the grill with the air vent on the lid on the other
side of the grill.  This draws the smoke and heat from the hot side to the cool side.  If you forget about this
step and have the air vent on the same side of the grill as the fire then the smoke and heat will go straight
out the vent.  I never have to worry if I have put my lid on correctly because there is only one way that it
goes on.  Like I said, it's a small detail but anything that makes my life simpler is appreciated.

The Performer is a class in and of itself.  
This guy has more bells and whistles than all the other 22.5”
kettles but there is one that really sets it apart, the propane ignition system.  The Performer uses a small
propane bottle attached to a burner inside the grill to light your charcoal.  Weber combined the ease of gas
with the flavor of charcoal.  This is not a gimmick, it works great.  
If you do go this route let me encourage
you to do a little upgrading on your own.  The little propane bottles run out at the absolute worst times.  
Weber makes an adapter kit for the Q-Series gas grills that let you switch from little propane bottles to a
regular sized propane tank.  The conversion kit costs about $40 and can be picked up at Home Depot.  

I decided against the Performer because I like lighting charcoal with my chimney and the extra money for
the gas assist did not seem well spent.   There is a version of the Performer being sold that does not have
the gas assist.  This model comes in at about the same price point as the Platinum.  I could not find one of
these locally when I was looking for grills but they are available on Amazon.