Weber Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill Review
Weber have been making grills for a long time, but they’re not regarded as an old-fashioned company, because everything they do is so innovative. As the market for grills continues to grow, they keep responding with new pioneering designs to keep buyers interested. One of these designs was a bowl shaped cooking area which is now well-known and easily recognizable worldwide. Another huge Weber success was perfecting the art of grill grate manufacture, and both of these are present on the Weber Performer Deluxe 22-Inch Charcoal Grill, which has become Weber’s standout product. We’re going to discuss it here; taking a tour through all the features and identifying some potential flaws. Ultimately after reading this review, you’ll have an idea about whether a purchase would be right for you.
- 363 square inches of cooking space
- 22-Inch cooking bowl
- Easy Set-up
- Porcelain-enameled surface for ease of cleaning
- Removable timer
- Excellent grates
- Design could have been more visually pleasing
- Inaccurate lid-thermometer
The Performer Deluxe weighs 99 pounds, but they’ve installed great wheels, so you’ll be able to roll it out into the back garden with very little effort. The measurements are 41.2 inches in length by 28.5 inches of width and the height is 50.2 inches, so it’s a pretty big unit, that offers lots of space for all your cooking needs, but if you want to transport it you’ll have to take the Performer apart and re-assemble. Fortunately the assembly is doable in 15 minutes, following the instructions in the manual, so you’ll be able to take it with you for camping trips and tailgating parties. If you recognize the bowl, that’s because it’s the same design Weber used on the Original Kettle Grill, with the difference here being the inclusion of the wheeled cart with extra space for food preparation. The shopping cart style design could have been a little more pleasing to look at, but it would be harsh to labor this point, because this is one absolutely incredible grill, for reasons I’ll explain in the performance section.
I mentioned the bowl was the same as on the Original Kettle, and while this is true, when it comes to design and how it looks; there’s more to it than that. In gas grilling, BTU output and grates determine a products success, whereas in charcoal grilling, grates are all-important. Grates retain heat, and disperse it outwardly, enabling food to cook, and the speed at which they do this, along with how evenly they hold heat inside, is the difference between greatness, and an average taste. Weber did something magical here with the grates; they’re the perfect thickness, are made of solid cast-iron, and cook food in a way Weber have tried to re-create on other grills like the Original Kettle, but never quite succeeded. These grills are very good, and with the Performer, you get magical moist flavor-filled end results that have no parallels. When you pair these grates, with the added benefit of the bowl system enabling you to cook whole chickens and turkeys, as well as stake and ribs, you get outrageously good value.
Have you ever started cooking, and you got called inside almost immediately, only to run back out fearing your food might be burnt? Have you ever been grilling, and felt like you’d rather be watching TV until the food is done? Usually, you’d be risking an imperfect dinner, but Weber have helpfully included a detachable timer, so you can take it with you wherever you go, and always be in full control of your barbecue. This is classic Weber, to have an idea of what specific things would make grilling easier for customers, and adding them on.
In this same vain, the ash-catcher on the Performer Deluxe, will also please customers. Isn’t it annoying to see ash flying around as you cook? Well, the Performers ash-catcher is enclosed so none escapes, and ash will stick to its surface at the bottom. When you want to clean it out, the ash will simply fall into a garbage bag. The whole grill is just as easy to clean, with Weber’s porcelain-enamel coating, so one wipe will completely clean the grill, ready for its next use. This way you can enjoy your 363 square inches of space, rather than worry about how long it’s going to take to scrape all the debris off it.
The only thing I’d say against the Performer is that they tried to sweeten the deal by including a lid thermometer, but it doesn’t work very well and isn’t all that accurate. Fortunately though, the Performer does heat up quickly and reaches temperatures of over 470 degrees; just don’t rely on the thermometer to tell you that.
These are the best grates in existence, outside of commercial grills used at restaurants. Weber have also provided 363 square inches of space, an easy to clean surface, detachable timer, a great ash-catcher, and extra space to prepare food. This is a phenomenal grill, and that’s why it’s so popular, even though it does have an unreliable thermometer. The Verdict: A supreme new high in grill manufacture.
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