The classic Weber Kettle charcoal grill has been in use for over 50 years. The basic design and pleasing shape hasn’t changed much, but the company has made many small improvements. Recently, Weber has rebranded its kettle grills under the ‘One-Touch’ line, which refer to the one-touch cleaning system that all kettles have. This review discusses the whole line of Weber One Touch grills and the differences between the Silver, Gold, and Platinum models.
No matter which grill you choose, the accessory that is recommended above all others is the Weber chimney starter. This is a large metal cylinder that makes lighting your charcoal a snap. You simply put some newspaper in the bottom, fill up the cylinder with charcoal, and light the paper. In a few minutes, your coals will be hot and ready to go. The chimney starter only costs about fifteen bucks, and it makes grilling with charcoal easier and more pleasant – no charcoal lighter fluid is needed.
“I’m impressed that the chimney starter is so simple, yet every time it works. It eliminates the annoyances usually associated with charcoal grilling. You get to enjoy the flavor benefits of charcoal, but you don’t get the lighter fluid taste.” – Reviewer on Amazon
Read on for information about the Weber kettle grill.
Basics Of The Weber One-Touch Kettle Grill
The Weber kettle grill is a bowl-shaped grill 22.5 inches in diameter. This is plenty of room – enough to cook two chickens, six large steaks, or twelve burgers. The kettle design retains heat when the lid is closed, allowing the grill to act like an oven. Since the lid has lots of room, you can cook large foods like whole chickens. The shape of the grill also distributes heat evenly over the entire surface, so there are few hot or cold spots.
The lid and bowl of all kettle grills are made from porcelain-enameled steel, which makes the kettle weather-resistant. As a result, these grills last forever – many buyers have reported using their Weber for over a decade. Here’s a typical review of a Weber kettle grill:
“I like the large area cooking area – I can throw lots of stuff on it at once. It doesn’t matter if the food is on the center or the outskirts of the grilling surface – if your coals are spread around evenly, everything will cook great. I attribute this to the kettle design which spreads the heat out evenly.”
The phrase ‘One Touch’ refers to Weber’s patented cleaning system. This is a series of lever-activated blades on the bottom of the kettle. When the lever is turned, the blades sweep ash out of the grill and into the ash-catcher.
Read on for a comparison of the three models.
Weber One Touch Kettle Grill Silver 22.5″
The Silver kettle is the least expensive of the three models. You can get it for under one hundred dollars (check the price here: Silver kettle grill), and it will last for a decade. The largest difference between the Silver and Gold is the way in which they collect ash. The Silver has a pan which rests about six inches under the grill, while the Gold has a catch-can that fits closely to the bottom.
The ash pan is the only source of complaints about the Silver kettle. If you’re grilling on a windy day, there’s the chance of hot ash missing the pan and blowing away. Since the ash could land on your pants, don’t wear white when using the Silver kettle. The ash plate connects to the legs using spring clips. Some users felt the clips were flimsy – one wrote, “After the way everything else fit together perfectly, the clips seemed kinda cheesy to me. It was hard to level the pan.”
The other main difference between the Silver and Gold is the grate (grilling surface). The Gold model comes with a hinged grate that opens at the sides to allow access to the coals; the Silver model does not come with this grate. Thus, the default setup on the Silver model requires you to lift the whole grate if you want to add more coals.
However, the hinged grill can be purchased separately, so this problem is easily overcome. It’s less than $20 on Amazon: Weber 70915 Replacement Hinged Cooking Grate. Make sure you buy the 22.5″ grate for the same size grill.
Weber 751001 22.5-Inch One-Touch Gold Charcoal Grill 22.5″
As mentioned, the Gold model has a catch-can that sits just under the bowl, so you are protected from flying ash. The can can be emptied without getting your hands dirty. Another big feature is that the Gold comes equipped with a hinged flip-up grate, which allows you to add more coals during a long roast. You can also use these hatches to move the coals around.
Pricewise, the Gold sells for about twice as much as the Silver – check the pricing on Amazon here: Weber Gold Kettle. A lot of people think this extra cost is worth it for the catch-can, which makes cleanup much easier. One user wrote,
“If you are trying to decide between the silver and the gold Weber grill, the Gold model is hands down the better option. The ash plate on the silver model is small, so it gets filled up with ash quickly. Also the ash plate is a possible fire hazard, because hot charcoal bits can fall off plate and singe the ground or your pants.”
In addition to black, the Gold model can be purchased in others colors such as green or blue. This is a nice aesthetic touch in addition to the kettle’s already classic form. If you’re able to spend the extra money, then the Gold’s extra features make it a good buy vs. the silver. For more higher-end features, read on to learn about the Platinum model.
Weber One-Touch Platinum Charcoal Grill 22.5″
The Platinum is the highest priced grill (see pricing here: Weber Platinum kettle) due to its many extra features. To begin with, this model has two Thermoset work-tables for food and utensils. This solves the problem of where to put stuff while you are grilling. With the other models, you can always just use your own worktable, but it’s nice to have them included as part of the grill. Additionally, the Thermoset worktables have hooks for hanging your utensils so as to keep room on the tables free.
The Platinum also has a sturdier cart than the Silver or Gold models. One user wrote,
“In the past I’ve had an issue with the three legs that came with the Gold kettle. They were too low and you couldn’t lift the kettle up or the legs would fall off. Not so with the Platinum. It’s bolted together which makes it safer and more sturdy. This cart is also higher which bring it closer to the user.”
Another nice bonus is the TuckAway lid holder. With the Platinum, you simply lift the lid of the grill and slide it back. This is convenient for storing the lid while grilling, and it also acts as a shield against the wind when lighting the grill. The Platinum also has a convenient built-in thermometer in the hood, a feature the Gold models lacks.
Weber also throws in a pair of Char-basket fuel holders to faciliate indirect cooking (a $15 value). That’s something that’s hard to do with a portable barbecue.
Summary of Weber One-Touch Kettle Grill Review
The three models of the Weber One-Touch Kettle Grill all have their advantages. The Silver is the least expensive of the lot – you can pick one up for under a hundred bucks on Amazon, and it will last for many years. The Gold has a couple of extra features like the ash-catch can and usually sells for about a hundred and sixty dollars. The Platinum is the top of the line and has tons of convenient extra features. It usually costs over two hundred dollars. To see additional reviews and pictures of the three grills, check out Amazon here: Weber kettle grills.
Author: Mitch Green