Weber Copper Grill

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by joe black, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thinking of getting one of these as a backyard backup. I would like to have comments from owners of these with your pros and cons. Thanks in advance, Joe.
  2. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Are you referring to the charcoal kettle? If so, they are sweet to cook with, both for indirect and direct heat. You literally have infinite fire control and very even grate temperatures (based on your fire building techniques), and they are air-tight enough to kill a fire when you close the intake and lid vents. I have a Weber 18.5" One Touch Gold (5+yrs old) and a 26.75" One Touch Gold (1+yr old)...sisters to the 22.5" copper kettle "original"...between these two kettles, I rarely use any thing else, unless I get the itch for an all-night smoke...then I break out my trusty gasser (Smoke Vault 24). I can't vouch for the gas grills, as I have no desire to go that route again with grills. The 26.75" OTG is what I would call the fore-runner to the "original premium". The 22.5 and 18.5 OTG did not come with the additional amenities offered with the 26.75" OTG.

    Anyway, they changed the names to create confusion, I guess...confused me enough to have to double-check the specs to be sure what I was looking at when I started browsing Weber kettles again last summer. This was possibly just for the introduction of the "master-touch". The "original premium" is what was the OTG (my favorite models), while the "original" is what was the OTS (silver...lowest grade of kettle)...then they recently added the "master-touch" which is an upgraded OTG having the removable cooking grate center for adding their branded cast iron accessories, and, a lid thermo, lid holder, etc. I don't like the upgraded $50 price for what you get, though, but then I have no intention on buying cast accessories for my kettle when I already have stuff I can put on the grill if I wanted to. I will say this: the 26.75" OTG (original premium), if you can get one (it's basically outdated now...I bought the last one I could find a year ago online, now they're back again through some retailers), is nice for family gatherings. It also has the stainless cooking grate with tip-ups, charcoal baskets, ash catcher, lid thermo, tool-hook handle, lid holder/cradle. List is $300, but it's 40% bigger than the 22.5". It quickly became my go-to for warm smoke/sear (reverse sear), hot smokes, char-grilling...everything but the longest smokes such as pork shoulder and beef brisket. I'll be smoking a couple smaller turkeys for my kids and grand kids this Thanksgiving with the 26 just for a little challenge (gassers are no fun anynore...LOL!!!) worries about the outcome with it, either. The 18.5 OTG will be utilized for my famous turkey/veggie bisque/gravy and some smoked stuffing in a pan.

    Which ever Weber you choose, base the model on what you plan to do in the future, because some of them are over-priced, IMHO, even though they're designed for added (expensive) accessories. Example: I can fit my 15" Lodge CI skillet onto my Weber 14" Smokey Joe, with wire S-hooks on the rim of the kettle to act as spacers to allow heat to flow up through the kettle past the skillet. With a proper fire, you can reach smoke-point for most cooking oils quite easily, so yes it can get plenty hot enough to cook with, even with all that mass of CI sitting over the grate...I have no doubt the same could be achieved with a larger kettle. Point being, the accessories offered for the upgraded kettles are not necessary, so I see no reason, at least for me, why I would want those models. A little imagination can go a long way for adding functionality to your existing gear.

    The only issue I have with the Weber kettles is the flimsy three-legged platform they're built careful when rolling them around, and you may need to flare-out the aluminum tubing from time to time to get a snug fit in the socket on the kettle. If transported while assembled, use extra ratchet straps to keep them from twisting on the legs...that twisting motion is a quick killer for those kettles...been there, more than once. I transport frequently (for onsite cooking at gatherings) on a receiver hitch cargo carrier...lots of anchor-points, so I can use as many straps as I feel is needed (4 on my 26" and 3-4 on the 18"). The "performer" series (with 22.5" kettle) is likely a very good solution to the somewhat unstable, non-rugged 3-leg design, provided you have a solid, level surface to park them on. You can park the 3-legged kettle just about anywhere you want, within reason, so there are trade-offs with each type. Otherwise, good quality construction, and the enamel finish will last for many years. I do recommend a stainless cooking grate, though, if you can get it...pretty hard to screw up those grates, unlike chrome plated...I learned to hate chrome years ago, and have avoided it when ever possible.

    I don't know everything about the Weber kettles, but I've spent quite a bit of time researching them on retailer's sites for the past 5 years or so, as well as checking the Weber products pages. Some sites don't give accurate descriptions, while some models aren't even listed on Weber's site. I look for what makes the most sense for my purposes, and I hate to make mistakes on a larger investment in time and money...just so you know where my opinion is coming from. After cooking on them for 5 years and counting, I'd be lying if I said I wanted any other charcoal grill. After years of grilling with gas before going back to charcoal, then to Weber charcoal kettles? There would have to be a serious life-changing event for me to ever go back to gas.

    Hope this helps you find the right Weber to fill your wants and needs.

    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    They sure are a Pretty Color! I had a basic Black 22 for years, got wobbly and was a pain to move. The Mrs' liked the Copper and pointed it out when I was contemplating a replacement earlier in the year...JJ
  4. bill1

    bill1 Smoke Blower

    In the Weber line, copper is just the outside color.  Did you mean their classic charcoal kettle BBQ or their 38000BTU propane gas grill?  In this forum you'll mostly get comments on the kettle, which **is**a classic.  My black one has lasted decades; only the wood handles have gone bad.  But +2, the legs are for moving only on smooth concrete.

    I won't say it's the best, just the best for me.  I've used it since I was a youngun' so it's the charcoal grill I'm used to.  So for sure I'd buy another.  And there's no shortage of accessories, recipes, and mods for it on line either.    
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
  5. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Just seen your thread Joe.  My dad taught me to cook on a weber.  And I've always owned one. Always a GREEN one. Wonderful machines no matter what color. B

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