I’ve posted an article on this grill before here, and for a spoiler, Weber is listing the Summit Charcoal grill at almost $1,700 on their website.
If you look at the general reaction to the price of the Weber Summit Charcoal Grill- other blog posts, forum boards- you’ll see that Weber is targeting newbies of smoking and grilling, NOT those who own a number of Weber grill products already and/or that have had a long standing passion for outdoor cooking.
If you’re still a Weber virgin, the Summit Charcoal Grill isn’t just eye candy. Take the people who bought a Big Green Egg in the past decade who never previously owned a Weber, let alone a grill. These guys are successful. And they hadn’t a single clue about smoking or grilling. Their first serious BBQ relationship was with a BGE. It was within their budget and they could cook in more than one style with it. These are the guys Weber is targeting.
It’s going to be hard to convince the seasoned folks (no pun intended) to buy a Weber Summit Charcoal, but not so the others, the younger blood- millennial professionals, “yuppies”- who want to get in on the current popularity of BBQ (shows on cooking and BBQ are feverish in 2017).
A product that’s versatile is what newcomers are looking for, so long it accomplishes what the Kamado grills have done: a unit that bakes, grills, smokes and so on.
The first time the AmazingRibs site reviewed this grill, it made it rather obvious that Weber put enough thought into it, especially on the design (and pricing). The grill’s height adjustable? Check. A port to control the digital temperature? Yessir. Insulated by air without maxing 400 pounds, let alone 300? Check. Able to cook long? Oh yes. Moveable. Sturdy. Typical weber stuff.
Weber didn’t really forget anything, except perhaps the fact the lid has no probes underneath it. Yes, the price is a bit over the top, especially another $600 will get you the table. But the competition is going to be following these price marks.
If there’s a set of grills and/or smokers out on your patio already, there’s really no need for a Summit Charcoal grill. If this is your first time looking for a standalone outdoor cooker, it certainly has the features to quickly get you up to speed with cooking outdoors.
Fewer Reasons to Buy the Weber Summit Charcoal Over a Big Green Egg?
1.) Portability goes to the Summit Charcoal grill. No contest. It also doesn’t tip around as much. A BGE is heavier, and more likely to fall over (and crack). Now, if you’re planning to set up an outdoor kitchen, there’s no (current) way for a Summit Charcoal grill to fit into a built-in (the Big Green Egg can).
2.) Storage. It also has the advantage of having a drawer to store your thermometer, a lower shelf for accessories, a charcoal basket for storage, your heat diffuser has a spot to be kept in (made with metal unlike a ceramic diffuser that might crack from falling over). As you’re pulling hot parts out of the Weber after a cook, there’s a wire base on the bottom to set them on.
In the End, the Edge Goes to the Big Green Egg
Sorry, Weber lovers, but there’s also a huge, established community for BGE users. Even though the BGE is a smaller company, they’ve had kamados on the market way before Weber has.
So, if you ever wanted to flip it back on the market, you’d be able to quickly sell it and pocket a large portion of what you originally payed for it.
Cheaper. The Big Green Egg XL goes for around $1,200. $1,500 would have been a lot better starting price point (for the cart version of the Summit Charcoal). Less people are going to get their hands on the Weber, where as it could have taken over the market if it was 2-$300 less.
Accessories are plentiful.
Bailing out on the Price?
The 27″ Weber Kettle is probably the best your money can buy for a grill that will get the job done (dare I say it can replace that offset smoker of yours?). Sear steaks all day long without all the bells and whistles.
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