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The worst Weber grill ever

Updated on April 14, 2013
Weber Char Q portable charcoal grill
Weber Char Q portable charcoal grill

I am a massive fan of Weber grills but I am still willing to call a dud a dud when I see one.I recently came across what I consider to be a massive dud last week when I had the chance to put my hands on a Weber Char-Qgrill.

The Char-Q is a small charcoal grill based upon the sleek body design of Weber’s small gas grill the Weber-Q.At first glance I can see why this product line was pursued as it is the same approach used with the Go Anywhere grills where the same body design is used for both a small gas and a small charcoal grill.

The two major problems with the Char-Q are the design and the price.The problem with the design is that it does not offer anything, other than looks, that other Weber grills do not do enormously better.To the point, when grilling with the Char-Q your food is almost touching the charcoal.This is begging for the old burnt on the outside raw on the inside disaster.On a traditional Weber kettle the distance between the charcoal grate and the cooking grate is five inches.If you shrink the kettle to make a Smokey Joe the distance between these two grates shrinks to three and a quarter inches.Flatten the kettle out to get a design like the Go-Anywhere and the distance closes to two and a half inches.The Char-Q takes things even further with just two inches between the charcoal grate and the cooking grate.If you say that a single layer of lit charcoal takes up about an inch of space this means you are cooking your food only one inch away from hot coals.

On the positive side the Char-Q has a very large cast iron cooking surface.The cooking surface of this grill comes in at 280 square inches, significantly larger than the approximate 153 square inches of the Smokey Joe or Go Anywhere.While there is always a case to be made for bigger being better this has to be balanced against cost.The Char-Q has a price tag of about $150.For that kind of money you can buy a 22.5” One Touch Gold and have one heck of a GREAT grill.

It is unclear why Weber thought people would be willing to pay $150 for a small grill that is designed to burn their food when for $130 they could buy a large kettle that is the gold standard in grilling performance.Thankfully the Char-Q was discontinued in 2011 but there are still some in stores working their way through the system! Here are some more Weber grills reviews I have written.

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