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The best cheap charcoal grills are functional and durable

Weber's iconic kettle grills have been around for more than 50 years and this brand appears at or near the top of almost every reviewer's list. Among this company's most popular charcoal grills is the Weber One-Touch Silver (Est. $100) , which draws praise for its reliable performance, good price and solid construction. The model is also available in a slighter smaller size for about $20 less.

The One-Touch Silver has a porcelain-enameled bowl and lid, plated-steel cooking grate, "one touch" cleaning system that funnels ash toward the bin, and a glass-reinforced nylon handle. More than 240 users post about this model to Amazon.com, giving it an average rating of 4.6 stars out of 5, while nearly 100 users posting to Home Depot's site give it a near-perfect average rating of 4.9 stars. About 60 users also post to Walmart.com, for an average 4.8-star rating. Owners widely praise its ease of assembly and maintenance, cooking and smoking performance and durability. In addition, About.com's Derrick Riches includes it on his list of top-10 charcoal grills, saying it is built to last and has superior cooking capability.

Nevertheless, the grill does draw a range of complaints, with some users finding that the handle gets exceedingly hot and many complaining that because the ash catcher has an open design, ash flies everywhere. Some say the model feels flimsy, or wheels or legs tend to come loose.

If you like the basic, affordable kettle design of the One-Touch Silver but want a few extra conveniences, a good option is the One-Touch Gold (Est. $150) . For $50 more, you'll get a built-in thermometer, a hinged cooking grate (which is helpful for adding charcoal) and a closed ash catcher that's considered more effective than the Silver's version. The Gold also comes in a larger version (Est. $300), with a stainless-steel (not plated steel) cooking grate.

The Webster Gold is highly recommended in one professional, comparative test of charcoal grills, and it earns an average rating of 4.5 stars (out of 5) from more than 100 Amazon users. Owners say it heats up quickly, holds heat effectively, cooks well and is easy to assemble and clean. However, some find that the handle gets hot and one reviewer says the hinged portion of the grate should be larger. There were also a couple of reports of rusting or mold.

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Weber 441001 Silver One-Touch 18-1/2-Inch Kettle Grill, Black
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from Amazon.com
New: $79.70 $50.00   
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Weber 1351001 One-Touch Gold Kettle Grill, 22.5-Inch, Black
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New: $159.00 $132.92   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  

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