Review: Weber’s Performer Charcoal Grill
March 7, 2013|By Gary Glen
At first glance, Weber’s Performer charcoal grill does look impressive. It seems solid and well built. Let’s pop the hood and see how this grill really performs. The gas ignition system looks certain to light the charcoal. I like the two charcoal baskets which can be positioned for direct heat or indirect heat and can easily accommodate a few handfuls of smoking chips. The One-Touch cleaning system at the bottom of the bowl acts as the lower vents as well as a means of pushing the ashes into the lower ash catcher.
As I carefully inspect the overall characteristics of the grill, the thing that seems to jump out at me the most is the quality of the construction.
Slide the lever, which also acts as the lower vents, back and forth and it forces the ashes into this pot which can be easily removed to dispose of the ashes.
The CharBin is a convenient way to store your charcoal. The size has been designed to hold up to a 30-pound bag. Although it has no lid, I think it pivots back close enough under the work table that rain water should not be able to get into your charcoal. The bin is designed to hold the bag, itself. I already have the perfect charcoal storage system, so I used this with a kitchen trash bag for a close at hand garbage can, which is also convenient.
Prepare Your Fire
Powered by a disposable LP gas cylinder, the Touch-N-Go gas ignition system is the best charcoal lighting method I have ever used. I was able to get the grill ready to cook in almost the same amount of time and effort that my gas grills require.
Simply fill the two charcoal holders and position over the burner. Turn on the gas knob and press the ignition button. About five minutes is all that is required to get the coals going.
I’ve had my fair share of grills with less than adequate temperature gauges, but Weber seems to have included a quality heat gauge that I hope is accurate and maintains that accuracy over time.
The lower air vents work in unison with this upper air vent. Just be careful that you are moving the lower vent handle and not the ash control handle. Otherwise, down falls the ash pan. Live and learn!
Judgment day has arrived! I have to say that I like the 2 charcoal holders. After my initial impression of them being someway gimmicky, I now see that they are needed in order to place the charcoal over the “flame thrower”. They also simplify the set up of indirect or direct heat.
The ignition system worked wonderfully and the coals were ready to go in record time. The temperature gauge matched an external gauge that I hooked up. Controlling the temperature with the vents takes a little practice. If slow cooking with indirect heat, keeping the temperature constant requires some serious babysitting.
The Weber Performer grill comes with a rack that holds the lid when you’re tending to your food, sparing you of having to set it on the ground. Originally a selling point for me, I found that it blocks part of the grilling surface if it’s fully loaded with food. This makes it difficult to get in there and flip, say steaks or burgers. Therefore, I’m still using the ground to place my lid.
The wheels and wheel locks, the charcoal bin, the ash catcher and the work top all worked perfect without any inconveniences.
The Weber Performer grill may be a bit pricey from this cheap boy’s perspective, yet I am completely happy with my investment. The bells and whistles included aren’t just show and tell. They actually do work, and work well.
I believe my only concerns about this grill will eventually fade as I become more familiar with its use and understand exactly what I can expect from it.
I would recommend this grill to anyone who takes their grilling seriously. I believe if taken care of, the Weber Performer will perform for many years to come.
- 363-square-inch charcoal grill with Touch-N-Go gas-ignition system
- Rolling steel-frame cart; work table; 3 tool hooks; lid-mounted thermometer
- 2 charcoal fuel holders; charcoal storage container; One-Touch cleaning system
- Requires disposable LP cylinder; Weber cookbook included
- Measures 28-1/2 by 50-1/4 by 40 inches
The Weber Performer Charcoal Grill features a Touch-N-Go gas ignition system that ignites charcoal briquets with the push of a button. Organizational features enable you to keep your focus on the food, including an attached work table, a weather-protected charcoal storage container, a wire bottom shelf and three tool hooks. This grill is built to last, as demonstrated by the heavy-duty steel cart frame, heavy-duty plated-steel hinged cooking grate, no rust aluminum vent, a glass-reinforced nylon handle, two crackproof all-weather wheels, and two locking casters. Its One-Touch cleaning system with a removable black aluminum ash catcher allows for easy clean-up. Comes in black, green, and dark blue. 22.5 inch dia. cooking grate.