Board index Barbecue Board General Discussion Is the Performer worth it?

Is the Performer worth it?

This is the place to ask your BBQ questions, share information, and more.
Post Mon Apr 05, 2004 6:28 pm

Posts: 4
Hi. Newbie here and excited to have found you. My fiancee and I have bought a house, and I finally get to have a grill of my own. After apartment living for a long time, I am very, very excited. I've done a lot of research at this point, and I've come up with the Weber Performer. A few questions for you:

(1) Is the Performer really as good as the reviews (such as at Amazon suggest)? Any complaints out there?

(2) Is the gas ignition system worth the $200 extra over the kettle platinum?

(3) My fiancee is still leaning toward a gas grill for the convenience factor. "Say it's a Tuesday night, and we just want a couple of quick chicken breats," she says. My response has been that we can have the charcoals up and running pretty quickly with a grill with a gas ignition for the charcoals. And, in fact, a gas grill wouldn't be that much quicker (and wouldn't taste nearly as good). Am I I right, or am I engaging in wishful thinking?

Thanks!

Post Mon Apr 05, 2004 9:41 pm
AndyC medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 87
Location: Oshkosh, WI

grillkingwannabe wrote:

(3) My fiancee is still leaning toward a gas grill for the convenience factor. "Say it's a Tuesday night, and we just want a couple of quick chicken breats," she says. My response has been that we can have the charcoals up and running pretty quickly with a grill with a gas ignition for the charcoals. And, in fact, a gas grill wouldn't be that much quicker (and wouldn't taste nearly as good). Am I I right, or am I engaging in wishful thinking?


Well I have been a charcoal/wood guy for many years. I just stepped up and bought a new gas grill from vermont castings - http://www.myownbbq.com/about/products/products.php?category=1 I really love it! I stilll use my charcoal grill and think it is superior is many ways, but on the week nights when I don't have a lot of time it saves the day. I use a chimney to start my charcoal , its easy, takes about 25 min, but its kind of messy and I still need to clean out the ash from the grill from the time before.

All in All - I really like having both
My BBQ/Grilling log - http://catertots.net/

Post Tue Apr 06, 2004 3:01 am
Vinsect well done
well done

Posts: 576
Location: Middle Tennessee
I second Andys suggestion to get both. Personally, I'd spend the money for a Perfomer before I would spend equivalent money on a gas grill.
For the same money though, you could get a Weber one-touch Platinum and a Char-Broil too.
Incidentally, I have heard that propane charcoal starter is pretty awesome.
If it aint broke, Break it!
Then rebuild it better.

Post Tue Apr 06, 2004 8:24 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
My 7-in-1 has propane but when I use charcoal a "propane assisted start" is how I go. It works great.
Someone said the other day the best note I've heard on the entire gas charcoal debate. It was something to the effect of Gas for the weekdays, Charcoal for the weekends. That really puts it perfectly especially when you break down they types of meals you do during the week vs weekends. The weekend meals would be better with the charcoal. But since they would still be acceptable with gas my advise would be this.
Go with both, if your financing won't allow both right now, get gas. You'll benefit during the week, and still be perfectly acceptable on the weekends, untill you CAN get both. If you go gas just make sure you get a smoker box or plan on using wood chips it'll get you closer to that wood/charcoal flavor.
Its easier to get the grilling bug with gas, then graduate into full blown hysteria with wood/charcoal.

Good luck, Let us know what you choose.

P. S. Welcome to the board, enjoy the insanity!
Image

Post Wed Apr 07, 2004 2:59 pm
Guest

I have the Performer and have no complaints. Put some charcoal in, turn the gas dial, push the ignition, run it for 3 to 5 minutes, let the coals go for another 10 to 15 minutes, your ready to cook. However, I use a chimney starter when adding coals (cooking time more than 75 minutes), and it seems to get the coals going just as fast.

So is it worth the $200? I would probably put the additional $200 into a gas grill for the quick weeknight meals or for preparing other items while doing a main course on the Platinum or even a Gold (the ash catcher is a nice feature worth the premium over the Silver). You could get a Gold and then add the savings to the $200 and step into a Weber Gas Silver A for a little more money (sorry don't mean to be spending all your money). With the A you have less room and only two burners, but you will have your Kettle for larger items and indirect cooking.

I use a Weber Silver B on weeknights and for the other/non-main course items on the weekends. Generating smoke using a smoker pack (as Steve describes in How to Grill) on the gas grill takes 30 to 50 minutes with the pack(s) sitting directly on a flavorizer bar with the grill on high. So it is not faster to get going than charcoal if smoking, but is very effective.

Post Wed Apr 07, 2004 3:00 pm
Guest

I have the Performer and have no complaints. Put some charcoal in, turn the gas dial, push the ignition, run it for 3 to 5 minutes, let the coals go for another 10 to 15 minutes, your ready to cook. However, I use a chimney starter when adding coals (cooking time more than 75 minutes), and it seems to get the coals going just as fast.

So is it worth the $200? I would probably put the additional $200 into a gas grill for the quick weeknight meals or for preparing other items while doing a main course on the Platinum or even a Gold (the ash catcher is a nice feature worth the premium over the Silver). You could get a Gold and then add the savings to the $200 and step into a Weber Gas Silver A for a little more money (sorry don't mean to be spending all your money). With the A you have less room and only two burners, but you will have your Kettle for larger items and indirect cooking.

I use a Weber Silver B on weeknights and for the other/non-main course items on the weekends. Generating smoke using a smoker pack (as Steve describes in How to Grill) on the gas grill takes 30 to 50 minutes with the pack(s) sitting directly on a flavorizer bar with the grill on high. So it is not faster to get going than charcoal if smoking, but is very effective.

Post Wed Apr 07, 2004 4:46 pm
Airfoils well done
well done

Posts: 1063
grillkingwannabe wrote:
Hi. Newbie here and excited to have found you. My fiancee and I have bought a house, and I finally get to have a grill of my own. After apartment living for a long time, I am very, very excited. I've done a lot of research at this point, and I've come up with the Weber Performer. A few questions for you:

(1) Is the Performer really as good as the reviews (such as at Amazon suggest)? Any complaints out there?

(2) Is the gas ignition system worth the $200 extra over the kettle platinum?

(3) My fiancee is still leaning toward a gas grill for the convenience factor. "Say it's a Tuesday night, and we just want a couple of quick chicken breats," she says. My response has been that we can have the charcoals up and running pretty quickly with a grill with a gas ignition for the charcoals. And, in fact, a gas grill wouldn't be that much quicker (and wouldn't taste nearly as good). Am I I right, or am I engaging in wishful thinking?

Thanks!


You are right. To put things in more perspective for you, from what anyone can tell, the Performer is Steve Reichlein's grill of choice. It's in his books, its on his shows and he says if he had just one grill to live with, it would be his charcoal kettle. I concur, if there was one grill to have it would be a charcoal kettle. Also, with as long as gas grills having to heat up compared to coals in a chimney (say 15 minutes vs 20) the time savings of gas is negligible and overstated by gas grillers and the smoke problem they constantly battle (the lack of it) and how long it takes to get good smoke, puts their method far behind the 8 ball for anyone that is truly serious about the hobby. Visit any real BBQ competition and see how many gas rigs you find. The last one I attended had a grand total of none.

Lastly, most gas grills you'll find aren't built to last like a Weber charcoal kettle is. WHen you choose a Weber charcoal kettle, be sure it's the one you'll be happy with 15-20 years from now because it will still be just as capable then as today. I have a 14 year old Bar-B-Kettle that's been sitting on my patio and serving me well the whole time with no cover and it still looks great!

Post Wed Apr 07, 2004 7:08 pm
Reidmid rare
rare

Posts: 30
Location: Providence, RI
Like the rest of the posters, I have both, but have a slightly different take on the issue.

I recommend buying a really nice gas grill first - use your performer buget for this. A nice gas grill makes all the difference in the world.

Later, if you can't do both now, you could easily justify a charcoal grill. Expensive charcoal grills are nice, but the cost vs reward just isn't the same as for gas grills.

So, in short, I recommend using your bugeted money for gas and then later using "petty cash" for the charcoal.

Post Wed Apr 07, 2004 10:58 pm
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5370
Location: Damascus, Maryland
I tend to agree. Weber kettles are not that costly. (performer excluded). You can find them on sale towards the off season with regularity.

A high quality gas (also Weber for reasons stated elsewhere in this board). Makes a lot of sense. It's quick, clean, durable and predictable for night to night cooking. You need something with the reliability of an oven for weekday use.

Charcoal! I dearly love my Mastertouch. As close to perfection as I have found in a charcoal grill.

Gas! I wish we had bought a Summit D instead of the Kenmore Elite. It cooks well , has a very large cooking surface (with six 11K burners) but parts are a pain. Weber parts are available almost at your favorite drug store. At least most towns have a Home Depot or a Lowes. Both of which have it all in stock.

Sears has spotty availability at best. Like Charbroil, too many changes from year to year and too many different models.

Best thing I did with the Kenmore was to purchase the extended warranty. They come to the house just like it was a stove. 3 years for 80 bucks. Last service call they replaced EVERYTHING between the lid and the bottom. Grates, burners, all of it.

Still got 34 months to go. Gonna make them back it up to the hilt.

Then I smell a Summit in my future!!! (big 'un too)

YB

Post Thu Apr 08, 2004 8:16 am

Posts: 4
Thanks for all the advice. It's all enormously helpful. We'll start with a Weber gas grill (one of the Genesis models, I think), and I'll look forward to adding a kettle to my collection in the future.

Meanwhile, I'm going to suck in as much of the great advice on this board as I can (while still getting a little work done).


Return to General Discussion