“ Grill, Charcoal, 397.61 sq. in., Wheeled „
It always amuses me that when someone get's a BBQ out, the men of the group always need to take control of the situation, getting the fire going, throwing the meat on the grill and suddenly becoming the 'par excellence' of chefs, ever eager to demonstrate and show off their cooking skills and prowess. And so it came to be that I acquired the 22.5" (57 cm) version of this Weber One Touch Gold about 9 years ago (purely in the interest of wanting to brush up on my cooking skills of course!!) But this Weber One Touch Gold is not just any BBQ - it is a Weber BBQ, and that means it is manufactured by a company at the top of the companies making BBQs, where this particular BBQ has been provided with some extra little features to ensure that man can now prove that he is a good cook.
Before we start on how it makes man a good cook, let's look at the basics of what it has. For starters, it has a large cooking grill area (more than adequate for a large family or group) with openings at either end of the grill to allow you to add more charcoal etc. The charcoals themselves sit on a grill in the bottom of the BBQ to provide the heat, and the whole lot is encased inside a 2 piece kettle drum affair with a removable lid. So pretty much like any other kettle type BBQ that you can get from a DIY store.
But Weber take this design to a whole new level. The lid and bowl forming the kettle is made from rust and fire proofed porcelain steel, which has then been covered all over with a black enamelled finish, which is nothing short of brilliant. My Weber has been kept outside in all conditions under a Weber cover for the past 9 years, and the actual kettle bit (the black area) of the Weber is still as good as new. Even when the metal has been slightly dented during a house move, it has never faltered and I've never really known a Weber to corrode, and despite all the ferocity of the heat on the inside of the kettle, the finish has shown no signs of failing. So these Weber BBQs are built to last. In fact, Weber provide a 10 year limited warranty with these BBQs, such is their faith in the quality of the build and design.
The bottom has a wire shelf placed between the 3 chrome legs about 3" off the ground, and is perfectly handy to store your bag of charcoals on. Two of the chrome legs also have large plastic wheels at the bottom to allow you to move the BBQ around via the handle on the side of the kettle. The lid also has a heat resistant handle on the top to allow you to remove it, and a clever little hook on the inside of the lid to allow you to hang the lid off the side of the BBQ as you tend to the charcoals and meat.
At the bottom of the kettle on the outside you also have the ash catcher, which is basically a removable bucket that can be taken away to empty the ash it collects. Above this sits the air vents into the kettle itself. The opening and closing of the vents is achieved via a lever on the side of the bucket holder, which links to a propeller shaped affair on the inside of the drum at the bottom. So sliding the lever to the left or right (hence the 'One Touch' name - one touch on the lever) will open and close the air vents at the bottom, which in turn controls the temperature of the cooking process inside. This lever action also serves another purpose, because it also scrapes the bottom of the kettle clean to knock the ash out through the air vents into the ash collector bucket below. This keeps the bottom air vents clear, allowing the air to flow through.
The main thing I learnt with it was how to use a kettle BBQ such as this Weber. Typically when I started cooking with this type of BBQ, I always cooked with the lid off. But meat juices dropping on the coals below caused flames and everything burnt (not good when I'm trying to demonstrate my 'par excellence' for BBQ cooking!!). Then I read that you are meant to cook with the lid on, and hey presto, brilliantly cooked food on a BBQ.
With the Weber, you put the lid on and control the heat by opening the bottom vents with the 'One Touch' control, which, when opened, allows more air in enabling the charcoals to burn hotter. Opening the top vent on the lid will enable more air flow, thus increasing temperature again. Hence, you can control the temperature in the kettle by controlling these vents, and keeping the lid on ensures that the heat generated is reflected all round inside the kettle, cooking everything thoroughly. Keeping the lid on also ensures that any flames are quickly doused, and if they should flare up, temporarily closing the vents will quickly extinguish them. So understanding this cooking and air flow control process is 'man's' key to cooking with a Weber Kettle BBQ to prove his 'par excellence' for cooking - learning how to use that control lever, vents and lid together to control the temperature inside. Through the years, I've cooked whole chickens, beef and lamb joints and even a turkey on my Weber one Christmas because in full flow, it acts like an oven with the lid reflecting the heat around the inside.
In terms of longevity, I've already mentioned that the black enamelled finish is second to none. The only minor issues (and these are after 9 years of being stored outside) are that there is very slight rust on the bottom wire shelf, and the chrome legs have some tarnish on them, but again overall still look good. The only failure issue I have ever had with the Weber is when one of the legs came loose and fell off when I was moving it across the garden about a year ago. I managed to jam a matchstick in the fitting with the leg and the problem was solved. But the enamelled kettle itself still looks like new after all these years.
In summary, we still use it regularly throughout the summer for meals, because once you know how to use it, it is really easy. Longevity wise, you can't fault it, nor can you fault the build quality. Weber's are designed to last and after 9 years, my one is still going strong and shows no signs of giving up. So easily a 5 star recommendation.
Review also on Ciao under Randal1.
Having read reviews of all the BBQ's available on the market, I decided to part with my £ and buy one of these. By reputation Weber's are the best BBQ's in the world and will last forever - based on my own experiences thus far I have no reason to call these statements into question.
I picked up mine from B&Q, and had the whole unit assembled and ready to go in about half an hour. Mine came with a free weather cover - definitely worth getting even if you have to pay for it - and also paper and CD-ROM guides to how to get the best from your Weber. Follow these guides and you will never go wrong.
The weather cover is worth getting, although you will need to find a way of weighing it down, otherwise as soon as there is any gust of wind it will vanish.
In terms of actual cooking, I cannot fault the Weber in any way. It is big enough to take a whole chicken! I don't know many people who cook a whole chicken on a BBQ, but the size means there is plenty space even for the largest BBQ parties!
The Weber is easy to clean in every way - the left over ash "self cleans" and gathers in an ash tray below the main cooking unit, which is easy to remove and empty.
I really cannot fault the Weber in any way - from now on this is the only way I will go in terms of BBQ'ing. You do pay a premium for a Weber, but it is definitely worth it!
Only downside is you may find yourself putting on weight from all the BBQ'ing you will be doing!
I am on my second Weber barbecue. My first one lasted for just over 15 years. It is probably the best bit of euipment I have ever owned. It resisted all kinds of weather. It even had a scafolding fall on it and still managed to withhold. I treated myself to a new one for christmas and have used it minimum once a week since. I bought it from www.wowbbq.co.uk. I placed the order on a Wednesday and it was with me by lunchtime the following day. It was WOW. I would definately reccomend this site. There prices are very competitive actually the best I found whilst looking. They also have a wide range of accessories and spares. Will definately use them again in the future for my barbecue needs.
We had a smaller weber bbq for a wedding present 10 years ago. It was used twice a week and was kept out on the patio with no cover to protect it. It finally died last year...the handle fell off the lid and the side. We got through one cooking grill and one coal grate. This is how good and well built a weber is.
Got our new weber now but also have a weber cover to protect it...will this one last 20 years?? The cover is a bit light weight and does 'blow off' sometimes in the wind.
Putting it togather took 30 mins. I like the 'easy clean' function that clears out the ash into the ash collecter. When its full, after about 5 sessions, you simply unhook from the bottom and empty the ash collector into your bin.
Using charcoal spread evenly over the grate with the vents half open it will burn for about an hour. To get best results, we find cooking with the lid on is best and faster.
Also purhased a weber warming rack which is useful to keep sausages warm or to cook sausages for the vegiterians away from the meat.
Some people would say that having to clean the cooking grill is a phaf but the thing to do is don't ever 'clean it'. Just give it a scrub with a wire brush before you use it,,,let the carbon build up...adds to the flavour!
When done cooking, close vents and replace the lid. This will save some of the fuel for next time
We use ours at least twice a week...only problem is you really need to have a beer or two whist BBQing!!
I bought this Weber BBQ from dawsonsdepartmentstore.co.uk. Delivery was fast and free and the price very competitive. The BBQ itself is great, very easy and quick to assemble (took about 10 mins) and the instructions were clear and easy to follow. The ash catcher is an excellent safety feature and makes cleaning the BBQ much easier. This retailer also sells, Dorma Bedlinen, Denby pottery, Moorcroft pottery, garden furniture and other Weber BBQ's and accessories.
The One-Touch Gold Kettle adds convenience to years of reliable service from the classic kettle that started it all. Equipped with a hinged cooking grate to make adding coals a simple task and an upgraded ash catcher for quick, easy clean up, it's a sure bet for the charcoal grilling enthusiast.