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Weber Summit Charcoal – Thoughts on #GrillOfALifetime

Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center

Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center (all pictures courtesy of Weber.com)

“It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.” – Ferris Bueller

#GrillOfALifetime

Weber just announced their new Weber Summit Charcoal grill, which they’ve been teasing with #GrillOfALifetime hashtags for months now. If you were following me yesterday on Twitter, then you know I’m excited about this grill.1

It’s Weber’s response to the kamado grill craze – a double walled steel grill, with gas ignition, a 24 inch cooking surface, hinged lid, redesigned vents, and adjustable height charcoal grate. I can’t wait to get my hands on one and try some reverse searing with the adjustable charcoal grate…or low and slow barbecue…or maybe just some butterflied chickens.

Why am I so excited?

  • Double walled – giving me the heat retention of a ceramic kamado grill without the weight. All my complaints about Winter Grilling? This fixes a lot of the problems.
  • Adjustable charcoal grate – need to sear? Lift the grate close to the coals for a hit of high heat
  • 24 inch grilling grate – I can always use extra space.

They even built in a port for electronic temperature controllers like the BBQ Guru – I’ve never played with one, but now I’m going to have to try electronic temp control out.

In summary: I wants it. I needs it! Well, other than…

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Weber Summit Charcoal

The price…

Are you sitting down? $1699 for the Weber Summit Charcoal, or $2299 for the Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center with attached table and charcoal bin.

Wow. That’s…wheeze…a lot of money. A LOT of money. 2 This is definitely not a grill for a bargain hunter. But, after looking around, it’s priced in the neighborhood of its kamado grill competitors. It’s a within a few hundred dollars of a 24 inch Big Green Egg XL with Egg Nest, or a Kamado Joe BigJoe. (And those don’t come with a gas starter.)

…but, still, that price. Yikes. I’m going to have to save my pennies for this one…

No Rotisserie

I love my rotisserie, and desperately want one for the Weber Summit Charcoal. I’m hoping Weber makes something like the Kamado Joe Joetisserie – a wedge shaped rotisserie that fits under a hinged lid. But, for now, there isn’t one for the Summit Charcoal. And that makes me sad.

Can I actually get one?

[Update 2016-04-18]: Thanks to commenter Nick for the heads up – Weber updated their available dealer list. This includes The Place, my local high end Weber dealer, just down the road from me in Medina. I’m going to drool all over one check them out in person as soon as I’m done updating this post.

Weber is only selling the Summit Charcoal through a limited set of dealers – and the nearest one is about a two hour drive away from me in Columbus, OH. (They are the only dealer selling the Summit Charcoal in the state of Ohio, from what I can see.)

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Weber Summit Charcoal Grill Center

All that said, my grill lust is strong for this one

Now, I know a lot of people are…upset?…offended?…by the price of the grill. The anger on Twitter was intense. If you’re a price conscious shopper, just move on. If you think $1700 for a charcoal grill is expensive…you’re right.

Do I really need a Weber Summit Charcoal? No, my Weber Performer is a great grill, and I still love it. Can I afford one? Umm…ask me when my credit card bills arrive.

But, do I want one? Oh, my, yes. A weather-insulated, XL sized charcoal grill with a gas starter and adjustable charcoal grate? From Weber? I’m so there. Even though the price makes me wheeze (and my wallet cry), I want one.

Other Info

For more info, check out Weber’s official #GrillOfALifetime site, and the reviews from a couple Friends-Of-DadCooksDinner who got prerelease copies to review. 3

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What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

 

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10 Comments

  1. Scargosun says

    I have to agree it is good looking and the description is mesmerizing…BUT…while we love our Weber and use it all the time except for winter, the fancy igniter broke rather quickly (even with the right care) and we ended up removing it. We know others that had the same problem. Extras like the igniter and the temp gauge are begging to break. Not sure I want to take a $1700 hit for that. Thankfully, the grill was a gift and the fact that they charge you a crazy amount for an igniter and table on wheels was not felt by us that much. 😉

  2. John Carran says

    I have a vintage performer with the stainless steel table. Over the 20 or more years that I have owned this masterpiece, I have replaced nearly every piece at least once. The exception might be the frame, which is held together by angle brackets. I just replaced the regulator last week. Anyway, it has become a part of the family, and in spite of the features of the Summit, I think I will keep the performer until it literally disintegrates! The money I save will be used to buy top-quality meats.

  3. I freely admit to being a Dad Cooks Dinner fanboy. When I bought a gas grill a few years ago I bought a Summit because “that’s what Mike uses”. I was going to buy a Weber Performer because “that’s what Mike uses”. Then I saw the promotion for this new grill and put off my purchase until I saw it. It looks great but I just can’t justify the price.

    Being self-centered, my second thought (after realizing I can’t afford it) was worrying that Mike will get one and I’ll be drooling over the posts and being disappointed I can’t cook like that because I don’t have the”right” grill

    At any rate, I’m going to buy a Performer today so I can “be like Mike” for a while

    • I have a fanboy? I’m honored! That said, the right grill is the right grill *for you*. Gas, charcoal, Weber, BGE, those are just details. (My obvious bias is for a Weber, and then “with a rotisserie”)

  4. Peter says

    You’ve got another fanboy! Been with you for some years now, ever since I found a reference to an early rotisserie recipe of yours (had to roast it, though, as I didn’t have the wherewithal for a long while, see 2 below)

    I WANT the Grill Center, Trouble is
    1. No rotisserie, though if they can do a wedge for the Q series, I’m sure they can do one for this
    2. I’m in the UK, so expect it’ll be a long time before it gets here (as the rotisserie was),and
    3. When it does arrive the price here will probably be much higher than in the U.S, As I’m now a mere pensioner any major new BBQ toys are subject to heavy bargaining itch the boss!

    Keep up the good work

  5. Joachim Licameli says

    You are saying what I am thinking exactly. Great product, awful price. But let’s be positive about that — I am positive the Grill of a Lifetime makes a great gift! As to the rotisserie, the Kamado Joe vendor was in my local Costco yesterday. He said the Joetisserie is available for their 18 inch model and the 24 inch is under development.

  6. Ed Stern says

    I have ‘lust in my heart’ for this grill,but somehow, it wouldn’t pass the ‘wife’ test. I currently have three Weber grills, which I use- each one gets used a lot… a Performer which I keep on my deck (and of course a Weber rotisserie which of course makes the best turkey ever), a Spirit E310 on my patio and a Q3200 which I have in my garage and use in winter as well as when it rains in summer and I’ll be cooking out (all the time!) When I heard the price on TGOAL, I was totally floored. It is indeed a great product, but adding up the costs of the three grills I currently own (as well as the two Webers I gave my son – the old standard charcoal Weber and a Q200), I’m still nowhere near the cost of it …. so I’ll just forget this and take a cold shower!

  7. Nick Neforos says

    Mike

    You don’t have to go to Columbus to find the new weber summit charcoal grill. Pettities Garden Center in Strongsville has one and B&B Appliance in Parma, OH has theirs on order for their showroom. Also you may want to check out The Place in Medina (SR 18).

  8. Joe D says

    I bought a Summit Charcoal Center and I have had it for about a week. I own WSM & 6 year old Performer that works fine but i have been thinking about a upgrading for some time. The price is high but people waste there money on much more things they use maybe once or twice in there life. I grill usually 2 or 3 times a week so it made sense to me as a Purchase and so far the grill hasn’t disappointed in one bit. if you are serious about grilling, smoking etc then this should be the GRILL for you.

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