It wasn’t until April 6 in 2016 that Weber finally revealed its big secret- the Weber Summit Charcoal grill. Its price on the street is almost 15 Benjamins, while the MSRP is about two hundred more.
Why is this a Grill Weber Produced? What’s all the Hype About?
This question is a biggie… why was the Summit Charcoal Grill created by Weber, and what do existing grills from the Weber lines not have that is offered by the Summit Charcoal?
Well, Weber wants part of the pie in the higher-end, profitable market of charcoal grills that is taken up currently by the Kamados and the Big Green Eggs of the grillosphere, just like they’re already huge players in the cream-of-the-crop gas grills.
What do you get when you cross a WSM with a Weber Kettle?
Weber wouldn’t be making all this fuss if it wasn’t for the grill’s ability – proficient equally in both smoking and grilling. Weber’s classic kettle is a really good “fast & hot” grill, but a poor smoker. True, the thing can bed used for smoking, but it won’t be effortless. The Weber Smokey Mountain is a real good “slow and low” smoker, but not that good as a grill. The attempt of the Weber Summit Charcoal is not to overlook either of these areas, while doing so greatly. Now it’s bulked up in the same sort of weight class as the Kamado Joe and the Big Green Egg.
Taking advantage of their historic work with metal, Weber is putting their money on porcelain-enameled, air-insulted, double-walled steel to bring about performance and efficiencies not far off from ceramic cookers.
But, it’s in a package that doesn’t weigh as much and with an ability assumed to be superior to ceramics for recovering in less time when oversaturated with heat.
Higher Fahrenheit readings when grilling is a reality with its design, as well as more efficiently using charcoal when smoking, being able to save charcoal through a 10-12 hr cooking period than we’ve come to expect in the Weber Smokey Mountain. The charcoal (height adjustable) grate lowers the coals for BBQing, and for grilling it raises them nearer to the meat.
A diffuser plate (air-insulated) can be set in place for cooking indirectly or taken out for grilling in a direct manner. The lid (Rapidfire) damper offers Weber’s traditional control of wheels in the daisy style, but can be popped unclosed while the grill’s firing up so it only takes 20 minutes to get up to 550 Fahrenheit.
Lighting the charcoal is a cinch with the propane gas-assisted lighter. Wheels on it roll the whole thing around, there’s storage for accessories, and there’s storage for charcoal onboard the Grilling Center unit. This is all crack-resistant, in a package that is less in weight and not as hard to transport and move than ceramic style cookers, and at a dollar amount similar to ceramics.
Should you splurge a piece of your income on this grill?
Its value will vary with each person. This is the first time fans of Weber have seen one of their charcoal grills going for 1.5- 2 grand, and really, some guys are freaked out by it.
This is basically a period of adjustment with BBQ fans. This grill is new, and many are still warming up to what it’s capable of and whether its price follows their gut instinct.
Good luck determining what part of its price reflects the actual product versus the prestige. Although, we’re familiar to the cost of Big Green Eggs being $1,100 (not figuring in the additional pieces you’ll want with it), and the Weber Summit no less than $1,500, while the flaired-out Weber Genesis not even half the price of the Summit.
With that being said, its going price is only for select grillers out there, and I can expect few will be seen putting their smoker and grill up on Craigslist to splurge on a Weber Summit Charcoal grill.
For the grill newbies out there who want to dip their toes in the hobby while still being economical, for about $800 you can get both the super 22.5” Weber Smokey Mountain and the cream of the crop Weber Performer Deluxe (assuming your backyard patio has room for them), and still be left with $700 of play money for a stockpile of charcoal and some grass-fed steaks.
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