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My Perfect Charcoal Grill

Updated on June 18, 2013
My Weber Platinum
My Weber Platinum

How I Selected the Perfect Charcoal Grill

The first step towards selecting the perfect grill was to waste many years trying to make a cheap grill perform like I thought a real grill should. I suffered through rusted out bodies, wobbly frames, collapsing grates, and the refusal to keep my coals burning. I spent way too many afternoons assembling cheap grills because I just hauled my last cheap grill down to the curb for trash.

One day I finally decided to stop buying grills that looked like a Weber but were only half the price. I bought an 18.5 inch Weber One Touch Silver for $70 instead of the cheap knock-off for $35. The One-Touch was easy to assemble and was actually worked like I always knew a grill could. Ahhhh! I still kick myself thinking about all of the time I wasted because I wasn’t willing to shell out an extra $30-$40 for a Weber.

The second step towards selecting the perfect Weber charcoal grill was to figure out an 18.5 inch grill was not big enough. I could cook enough for my family of four but when we had guests over I quickly realized that I did not have enough grill real estate. If you are interested in a sweet little small charcoal grill you ought to check out the Weber Jumbo Joe.

I knew that Weber made grills that were 22.5 inches and one that was 26.75 inches. I also knew about the colossal Weber Ranch at 37.75 inches but just couldn’t figure out where to put something that size. I decided to get the 26.75 inch Weber One Touch Gold because I knew that I would never run out of space on that guy.

The third and most important step towards selecting the perfect grill was to head down to the store and actually put my hands on what I wanted to buy. It took a long time to find a store that had the 26.75 inch Weber in stock. I finally found it at a specialty hardware store and am glad I waited instead of just buying it online. The grill was beautiful but the lid was incredibly heavy. A porcelain enameled metal dome that size is a monster! Once I laid eyes on this grill I also realized that I just don’t need something quite this big. The 18.5 inch Weber has 268 square inches of grill space and is just a little too small. The 26.75 inch Weber has 561 square inches of grill space making it more than twice as large as the 18.5 inch grill.

I realized that 18.5 inches was too small and that 26.75 inches was too big. This left me with the 22.5 inch grills to choose between; the One Touch Silver, One Touch Gold, Platinum and Performer. The Silver is a very affordable grill (under $100) but my 18.5 inch grill was a Silver and I hated how you had to dump the grill over to clean out the ashes. The Gold has a great ash removal system and I was ready for an upgrade. The Platinum has the ash removal system of the Gold along with a built in lid thermometer, a “tuck away” lid holder and two sweet side tables. The Performer is just decadent. A nice long work table, lid holder, built in thermometer, integrated charcoal storage bin and, gasp….a propane fueled charcoal ignition system!

I was so very tempted by the Performer but in the end decided to go with the Platinum. I am a purist at heart and just couldn’t bring myself to purchase a propane powered charcoal grill. I have had my Platinum for six months now and am confident that I selected the perfect charcoal grill. This grill is the reason I started writing a Weber grill reviews; with grills like the Platinum out there I think everyone should know about it.


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