Question about Weber Grills from a new member

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by lowbass, May 1, 2011.

  1. lowbass

    lowbass Fire Starter

    Hello everyone. I did my intro on the roll call so let me say that I am a long time griller and I just love to cook and I'm very happy to be here. 

    Currently I own and use the large Char-Grill with cast iron grates and a side smoker. And a 22.5" Char-Grill kettle. My kettle grill is getting on in years and it's starting to break down really bad. I don't think the legs on it will last a couple more years and it's starting to rust pretty bad. That being said, I've been looking to upgrade to a Weber grill because of it's quality and reputation.

    My question is, should I get the 22.5" kettle or the 26.5" kettle? The 22.5" I have now is big enough for our little family dinners of burgers(8), some hot dogs and sausage. All of this I can get on the grill at one time. But if I also do some chicken and steaks I have to do more than 1 cooking. Anything I plan on smoking I do on my larger grill with the side smoker. 

    So, is the 26.5" that much larger than the 22.5"? Can I get everything(except the steak) on the larger kettle? From what I've read, the 26.5" kettle is good for smoking too, but is the extra size worth it if all I want to do is a few burgers and dogs? And also, do you have to add more charcoal to the larger grill to cook the same amount of meat that you would have on the smaller grill?

    I like the extra size of the 26.5" and I also like the built in thermometer and the grill cover holder. But I don't like that it's twice the cost of the 22.5". I know you can purchase a thermometer  to add to the 22.5" grill and I think Weber sells an attachment for the 22.5" grill that's a cover holder.

    Sorry to go on about this but what do you guys(and ladies) think? The same size kettle as I have now or go to the larger kettle? Thanks for your help.
  2. thunderdome

    thunderdome Master of the Pit

    Welcome Lowbass!

    I would vote for the 22.5. I've never had an issue size-wise.

    The 26 is noticeably bigger when side by side. 2 extra inches on each side does make a huge difference.

    Also, the 22.5 seems to be the most common, so anytime you need parts, replacement grates, or accessories, the 22.5 is the most accessible.

    EIther way you'll win w/ a Weber Kettle. I have 2 18.5" (perfect for me & the wife), and a 22.5
  3. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What he said.
  4. fife

    fife Master of the Pit

  5. tyotrain

    tyotrain Master of the Pit

  6. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'd run with the 22.5" myself, as well. I have the weber 18.5" gold and a cheapo 22.5". I'm usually cooking for 7+, and if I build my fire with it heaped up a bit more in the center and just a single layer towards the outside and all the way to the kettle, I can high-heat sear, then pull those off to the sides and hit everything with rotations to finish without any trouble on the 18.5". On ocassion, I fire up the 22.5", but not that often. I am going to convert my SNP 40" to straight charcoal grilling, as it's been a fuel hog for a smoker with a full tuning plate, so I don't smoke with it anymore. The 18" x 40" grill will be a nice addition for larger gatherings as a barrel grill, and without buying another grill (I don't need more cookers), this will make good use of what I have in my arsenal.

    Yea, for double the money, the 26" looks nice, but I can't say I'd ever spend that much coin for a grill thats only (roughly) 40% larger cooking grate size than the 22.5".

    Oh, to answer your question about the amount of charcoal you would use in a larger kettle vs a smaller kettle with the same amount of food, you may be using more just because of the additional size of the cooking chamber space, and also if there is a larger gap between the fire and cooking grate,  more fuel will likely be used as well. The nice thing about my weber kettle is that it is air tight enough to close the intake and lid vents when you're finished grilling, and it will snuff out the remaining coals for use on another day, so even if I use more than I needed to get a really hot fire, I don't loose it.

    Happy grilling!

  7. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I have 2- 22.5 kettles & 1- 22.5 WSM. The top grates are all interchangeable, & you can even use the top grate on the bottom of the WSM if you reverse the bracket bolts, giving you handles on the bottom grate. Also the 22.5 parts are readily available at Home Depot. 
  8. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hows the lid on the ol' char-griller? Sounds like it may come in handy as a UDS lid.. I have no opinion on the grill size since I don't use kettles.
  9. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit


    Could'nt help it.[​IMG]
  10. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The 18.5 uses less fuel and is usually fine for two people.  The 22.5 is much more versatile though.  Unless you want to buy both for different purposes, my vote would be for the 22.5.  Either way you go, you just can't beat a Weber kettle!

    Good luck and good smoking.
  11. the dude abides

    the dude abides Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If you do think that you might try and do some smoking on it, I'd go with the bigger one and make sure it has the flip up grates.  Because it's bigger you can do a better job of cooking indirectly by getting the food further away from the heat.  And with the flip up grates it's easy to add more coals and wood chips.
  12. lowbass

    lowbass Fire Starter

    Thanks for the replies everyone.

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