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Charcoal and Solid Fuel Cookers - Weber and the rest

Charcoal and Solid Fuel Cookers - Weber and the rest
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  • Post #61 - May 18th, 2022, 9:34 pm
    Post #61 - May 18th, 2022, 9:34 pm Post #61 - May 18th, 2022, 9:34 pm
    cito wrote:Being the total cheapskate that I am, I bought the basic 22” grill and placed a galvanized bucket on the bottom triangular wire support (after removing the flimsy ash catcher). Ash problem solved


    I did this too on an old beater Weber kettle from sometime in the mid 80's. That extremely shallow aluminum ash catcher with the little pipe clips and turn-lock shape was a really bad design. The kettle itself and even the grids are still surprisingly solid.

    At one time I also experimented with a Green Egg inspired firebox made from a big (12 or 14 inch) terracotta azalea pot with the bottom cut out sitting on the charcoal grid. Goal was to insulate and concentrate the fire for searing. Didn't really work all that well and I gave up on the idea. Might have worked better with a gigantic clay pot that was closer to the diameter of the kettle.
  • Post #62 - May 21st, 2022, 11:52 am
    Post #62 - May 21st, 2022, 11:52 am Post #62 - May 21st, 2022, 11:52 am
    Love the ash bucket suggestion, cito. Thanks!
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #63 - May 21st, 2022, 1:07 pm
    Post #63 - May 21st, 2022, 1:07 pm Post #63 - May 21st, 2022, 1:07 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:I recently had an issue with some back-ordered parts from Weber. Older parts, so I had to call, as they were not available on the website. That took some time but I got some good help and thought I was on my way.

    However, my credit card had been hacked a few days after the order was placed and I received an email from Weber informing me that if I didn't call to update the payment method within a week, the order would be cancelled. No problem. Made perfect sense and not likely Weber's fault (unless they were responsible for my card getting hacked).

    I called the number provided in the email and even though I had the order number, the CSR with whom I spoked required a lot of additional information from me beyond my name, the order number and my email address. Honestly, I think it was easier to get a mortgage. In any case, 20+ minutes later, after quite a bit of fumbling at Weber's end (and me being put on hold several times), I was able to provide them with the new cc number. The CSR didn't sound very confident and didn't seem too competent, so who knows if it actually took. I guess I'll find out soon enough.

    "Hilarious" post script to this escapade. 5 minutes after I got off the phone with them, I received yet another email from Weber informing me that there was a problem with my payment method. So, I called again. This time it took 18 minutes but the CSR seemed more confident and competent. I'm now up to 38+ minutes on the phone with Weber today and still have no solid idea if my order still exists in their system or when it will be delivered. Ugh.

    Pps . . . It will probably surprise no one that my order was duplicated by the crack staff at Weber. It showed up twice and I was charged twice. I'm still going back and forth them via email on getting a credit for the dupe and trying to return it to them. Such a joy to deal with. I've spent well over an hour so just trying work out all the issues that have arisen with this order, and that doesn't even count the fairly lengthy phone call I made to actually place the order.

    Too bad that Napoleon I bought is an also-ran. I'd love to move on from Weber for my daily driver but I just don't see it happening at this point.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #64 - June 30th, 2022, 6:27 pm
    Post #64 - June 30th, 2022, 6:27 pm Post #64 - June 30th, 2022, 6:27 pm
    I have a problem with my 2ish year old 22" Weber.

    There are 3 sweeps ( don't know what else to call them ) at the bottom that you use to get the old ash into the ash catcher. Somehow one of them got angled up and hits the grate. I can push it down, but it doesn't stay down without being pushed below the bottom which cannot be done. I don't know how else to describe this problem and what can be done. These things are essentially riveted to the grillo and cannot be replaced ? as far as I can see.
  • Post #65 - June 30th, 2022, 10:35 pm
    Post #65 - June 30th, 2022, 10:35 pm Post #65 - June 30th, 2022, 10:35 pm
    lougord99 wrote:I have a problem with my 2ish year old 22" Weber.

    There are 3 sweeps ( don't know what else to call them ) at the bottom that you use to get the old ash into the ash catcher. Somehow one of them got angled up and hits the grate. I can push it down, but it doesn't stay down without being pushed below the bottom which cannot be done. I don't know how else to describe this problem and what can be done. These things are essentially riveted to the grillo and cannot be replaced ? as far as I can see.

    Frustrating. It wouldn't surprise me if you have to replace the entire bowl. Rivets save money, so that's Weber's preferred way of doing things these days. When the handle came off my lid, I had to buy a new lid because the old handle had been riveted to the lid and could not be replaced (this isn't true with all models). Of course, I had to call to order (and verify ownership of my grill) because they have some policy that prevents customers from buying lids online. Whatever you do, watch some youtube videos and check reputable 3rd party sellers. It'll probably save you time and money.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #66 - July 1st, 2022, 8:32 am
    Post #66 - July 1st, 2022, 8:32 am Post #66 - July 1st, 2022, 8:32 am
    lougord99 wrote:I have a problem with my 2ish year old 22" Weber.

    There are 3 sweeps ( don't know what else to call them ) at the bottom that you use to get the old ash into the ash catcher.


    Nothing revelatory to add, just curious to try and clarify:
    Is it the "One-Touch Cleaning System?"

    If it is, there's a possibility of replacement parts and instructions. The "sweeper" might be called a "damper blade."
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
    Pronoun: That fool over there
    Identifies as: A human that doesn't need to "identify as" something to try to somehow be interesting.
  • Post #67 - July 1st, 2022, 9:46 am
    Post #67 - July 1st, 2022, 9:46 am Post #67 - July 1st, 2022, 9:46 am
    seebee wrote:
    lougord99 wrote:I have a problem with my 2ish year old 22" Weber.

    There are 3 sweeps ( don't know what else to call them ) at the bottom that you use to get the old ash into the ash catcher.


    Nothing revelatory to add, just curious to try and clarify:
    Is it the "One-Touch Cleaning System?"

    If it is, there's a possibility of replacement parts and instructions. The "sweeper" might be called a "damper blade."


    The blades are called ash sweepers, not sure if they're available individually but you can find the whole assembly at Home Depot or Amazon. Part # is 7444.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Weber-Repla ... /203127931
    Cookingblahg.blogspot.com
  • Post #68 - July 1st, 2022, 2:14 pm
    Post #68 - July 1st, 2022, 2:14 pm Post #68 - July 1st, 2022, 2:14 pm
    I didn't think they were replaceable, but from the info you linked to, I see you can do it from underneath.

    Thank you.
  • Post #69 - July 1st, 2022, 6:41 pm
    Post #69 - July 1st, 2022, 6:41 pm Post #69 - July 1st, 2022, 6:41 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:When the handle came off my lid, I had to buy a new lid because the old handle had been riveted to the lid and could not be replaced (this isn't true with all models).

    The spot welds failed on my Smokey Joe Platinum (18") lid handle, first one, then the other about two years later. I wound up repairing the welds by drilling through the handle & lid where the welds had been and installing stainless nuts, screws and washers. That was a few years ago now and they're still holding strong, hopefully for another 15+ years.
  • Post #70 - July 1st, 2022, 7:17 pm
    Post #70 - July 1st, 2022, 7:17 pm Post #70 - July 1st, 2022, 7:17 pm
    Just recently I saw discussion related to the ash catchers on Weber kettles. If I recall correctly, some people were disconnecting them and putting a metal wash bucket underneath. They were far happier with this substitute than the original design.

    Regards,
    CAthy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #71 - July 4th, 2022, 8:04 am
    Post #71 - July 4th, 2022, 8:04 am Post #71 - July 4th, 2022, 8:04 am
    Cathy2 wrote:Just recently I saw discussion related to the ash catchers on Weber kettles. If I recall correctly, some people were disconnecting them and putting a metal wash bucket underneath. They were far happier with this substitute than the original design.

    Regards,
    CAthy2

    Cathy, these are two separate issues. The "one touch sweepers" funnel the ash into the "catcher"...Although you can technically use the grill without them, they make life a lot easier. There are YouTube videos illustrating how to replace the One Touch blades, I have done it and it can be a pain. Best Wishes!
    "Goldie, how many times have I told you guys that I don't want no horsin' around on the airplane?"
  • Post #72 - July 5th, 2022, 2:24 pm
    Post #72 - July 5th, 2022, 2:24 pm Post #72 - July 5th, 2022, 2:24 pm
    With all due respect to Weber, the Professional Kitchen 360 is the best charcoal grill I’ve ever owned. It isn’t a large grill, but large enough for a family meal. The venting system makes it the king of indirect cooking. The thick aluminum body retains heat and the shape of the body keeps the heat and smoke rotating. I have grilled steaks and chops and smoked pork butts, ribs, and brisket. The Pk360 handles all these tasks very well. I have an expensive electric smoker in the garage I haven’t used since I bought the PK360. I’ve owned Weber charcoal and gas grills. You might want to read the reviews of PK products on Meathead’s site. It isn’t an inexpensive grill, but a very good grill and smoker that, due to its aluminum construction, will last generations.
    Find good food and eat it.
    Sapatero
  • Post #73 - July 5th, 2022, 3:03 pm
    Post #73 - July 5th, 2022, 3:03 pm Post #73 - July 5th, 2022, 3:03 pm
    At $900, I'm not sure why I wouldn't buy a green egg.
  • Post #74 - July 5th, 2022, 3:10 pm
    Post #74 - July 5th, 2022, 3:10 pm Post #74 - July 5th, 2022, 3:10 pm
    sapatero wrote:With all due respect to Weber, the Professional Kitchen 360 is the best charcoal grill I’ve ever owned. It isn’t a large grill, but large enough for a family meal. The venting system makes it the king of indirect cooking. The thick aluminum body retains heat and the shape of the body keeps the heat and smoke rotating. I have grilled steaks and chops and smoked pork butts, ribs, and brisket. The Pk360 handles all these tasks very well. I have an expensive electric smoker in the garage I haven’t used since I bought the PK360. I’ve owned Weber charcoal and gas grills. You might want to read the reviews of PK products on Meathead’s site. It isn’t an inexpensive grill, but a very good grill and smoker that, due to its aluminum construction, will last generations.

    Let's get the pendantry out of the way first. I *think* the P in PK stands for "Portable." :lol:

    That said, I do like the look and design of these and have been tempted over the years. It was the price that kind of put me off. They probably offer more modularity and portability than I'll ever need but the apparent durability and ventilation/cleaning seem quite promising. I know this is a tough question to answer about something you like but if you had to pick an attribute or two that you don't like about the PK, what would they be? Anything you wish were better/different/easier? Also, how long have you had yours? Have you encountered any (potential) durability issues? Thanks.

    lougord99 wrote:At $900, I'm not sure why I wouldn't buy a green egg.

    See my comments above. The PK seems way easier to clean and is also quite portable. Green Egg is not the easiest to clean and definitely not easy to transport. But yeah, BGE's are nice units. Just entirely different beasts, it seems to me.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #75 - July 5th, 2022, 3:52 pm
    Post #75 - July 5th, 2022, 3:52 pm Post #75 - July 5th, 2022, 3:52 pm
    Portability is definitely a plus for some people. As someone who has never grilled somewhere else, nor desired to do so, $900 for a portable grill ?????
  • Post #76 - July 5th, 2022, 4:13 pm
    Post #76 - July 5th, 2022, 4:13 pm Post #76 - July 5th, 2022, 4:13 pm
    lougord99 wrote:Portability is definitely a plus for some people. As someone who has never grilled somewhere else, nor desired to do so, $900 for a portable grill ?????

    Well, it's clearly not for everyone. And I do think it's pricey. But it seems to have lot of extremely useful and thoughtful features, especially the 4-point ventilation scheme. And the build quality appears excellent. Thick, cast aluminum has some serious advantages over thin, cheaply enameled steel.

    As someone who's burned through several Weber kettles via fairly normal (albeit frequent) use, I'm mostly curious about the durability of the capsule. It doesn't seem like it's susceptible to the same kind of wear and tear. I just paid ~$165 for a replacement bowl for my Weber and that's at least the 4th time I had to replace it (I do this because the chassis it sits on is highly functional and no longer available). If that sort of thing could be eliminated with the PK 360, I'd be very interested. That the PK 360 is modular and portable are nice bonuses.

    Fwiw, I also have a Komodo Kamado ceramic cooker, which is even easier to use than a BGE . . . and yet, still a relatively big pain . . .

    Image
    Komodo Kamado Cooker

    If this were the only cooker I had, I wouldn't consider grilling an everyday possibility.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #77 - July 18th, 2022, 3:03 pm
    Post #77 - July 18th, 2022, 3:03 pm Post #77 - July 18th, 2022, 3:03 pm
    You’re correct, it is Portable Kitchen. My bad.

    You asked what I would change about the PK360. I would add a nice, trimmed 3/8” hole in the lower section of the grill to allow a thermocouple to pass through. I use a digital thermometer often when cooking. Having the probe and wire pass through the stationary half of the grill would be more convenient than using the open top vent. I don’t like running the wire under the lid as I lose a little air control.
    I think 4 wheels that lock would be an improvement. The 2 small wheels work, but the unit is less maneuverable. The standard shelves function fine, but can be a little trouble to clean as they have a cross-hatched surface. The charcoal basket PK sells fits into one end of the grill. I later found where a fab shop somewhere sells a charcoal basket that runs the full length of the grill with a movable divider so you can better adjust how big you want the hot side of the grill to be.

    This grill is well engineered. The lid hinge system is genius. The grill went together solidly and nothing has moved since. I’ve already told a nephew to come get it when I die. I think it will last generations.

    I’ve only had it a little over a year, but I wish I had known about PK a long time ago. Like I said, it isn’t cheap, but I would have saved money in the long run.
    Find good food and eat it.
    Sapatero
  • Post #78 - July 18th, 2022, 10:29 pm
    Post #78 - July 18th, 2022, 10:29 pm Post #78 - July 18th, 2022, 10:29 pm
    sapatero wrote:You’re correct, it is Portable Kitchen. My bad.

    You asked what I would change about the PK360. I would add a nice, trimmed 3/8” hole in the lower section of the grill to allow a thermocouple to pass through. I use a digital thermometer often when cooking. Having the probe and wire pass through the stationary half of the grill would be more convenient than using the open top vent. I don’t like running the wire under the lid as I lose a little air control.
    I think 4 wheels that lock would be an improvement. The 2 small wheels work, but the unit is less maneuverable. The standard shelves function fine, but can be a little trouble to clean as they have a cross-hatched surface. The charcoal basket PK sells fits into one end of the grill. I later found where a fab shop somewhere sells a charcoal basket that runs the full length of the grill with a movable divider so you can better adjust how big you want the hot side of the grill to be.

    This grill is well engineered. The lid hinge system is genius. The grill went together solidly and nothing has moved since. I’ve already told a nephew to come get it when I die. I think it will last generations.

    I’ve only had it a little over a year, but I wish I had known about PK a long time ago. Like I said, it isn’t cheap, but I would have saved money in the long run.

    Thank you. This is really helpful and very much appreciated.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #79 - August 19th, 2022, 6:46 pm
    Post #79 - August 19th, 2022, 6:46 pm Post #79 - August 19th, 2022, 6:46 pm
    In case anyone is interested (and didn't already know), the FTC is going after Weber and their warranty.
    FTC Takes Action Against Weber for Illegally Restricting Customers’ Right to Repair
    The thing about quotes on the internet is you can not confirm their validity. -- Abraham Lincoln
  • Post #80 - August 19th, 2022, 7:13 pm
    Post #80 - August 19th, 2022, 7:13 pm Post #80 - August 19th, 2022, 7:13 pm
    Xexo wrote:In case anyone is interested (and didn't already know), the FTC is going after Weber and their warranty.
    FTC Takes Action Against Weber for Illegally Restricting Customers’ Right to Repair

    Thanks for the link. I did see some other news that they were laying off a significant percentage of their employees due to sagging sales. This, however, was news to me and given how so many of my recent experiences with these big bad bbq bullies have gone, this news is quite satisfying. The layoffs, not so much.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #81 - August 19th, 2022, 7:33 pm
    Post #81 - August 19th, 2022, 7:33 pm Post #81 - August 19th, 2022, 7:33 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    Xexo wrote:In case anyone is interested (and didn't already know), the FTC is going after Weber and their warranty.
    FTC Takes Action Against Weber for Illegally Restricting Customers’ Right to Repair

    Thanks for the link. I did see some other news that they were laying off a significant percentage of their employees due to sagging sales. This, however, was news to me and given how so many of my recent experiences with these big bad bbq bullies have gone, this news is quite satisfying. The layoffs, not so much.

    =R=
    Most welcome. Given the simplicity of the charcoal grills, I fail to see how after market parts or owner repair should invalidate a warranty. Just a greedy company I guess.
    The thing about quotes on the internet is you can not confirm their validity. -- Abraham Lincoln
  • Post #82 - August 20th, 2022, 11:32 am
    Post #82 - August 20th, 2022, 11:32 am Post #82 - August 20th, 2022, 11:32 am
    Good news indeed, especially since the primary motivation of Weber's policy was undoubtedly to save money by denying legitimate warranty claims.

    One could make the argument, though, that some mods are intended to get the things to cook hotter which probably does shorten their life. Too bad, so sad, Weber; hot rodding a grill is part of the suburban dad way of life.
  • Post #83 - August 20th, 2022, 11:48 am
    Post #83 - August 20th, 2022, 11:48 am Post #83 - August 20th, 2022, 11:48 am
    I will never forget the intense, unnecessary hassle Weber subjected me to when all I wanted to do was obtain a replacement lid -- a lid I was willing to pay for. And I very vividly remember being told that if I used the wrong lid -- even one that was a different color from my kettle -- it would void the warranty. What a fucking joke. These guys have been playing games for a long time and it's nice to see their questionable and unfriendly practices finally get the attention they deserve.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #84 - September 27th, 2022, 6:05 pm
    Post #84 - September 27th, 2022, 6:05 pm Post #84 - September 27th, 2022, 6:05 pm
    My 2 year old Weber 22" is a piece of crap compared to the one I replaced. The sweep arms, the handle on the top, the basket that catches the ashes are all already falling apart. I will definitely be looking at reviews of other grill brands the next time ( something I did not do when I bought this Weber ). I would have been happy to pay another $50-$100 to get a better built Weber.

    Their horrible customer service just makes it that much easier to buy another brand.

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