Weber Original 22-inch Kettle Review

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Bottom Line

Formerly known as the Weber One-Touch Silver (and sometimes still sold under that name), the Weber Original 22-inch Kettle is as basic as they come, but is still suitable for cooks of any skill level. Owners say it's an amazing value -- especially since it will last virtually forever. It's also easy to assemble, use and clean. This version of the Original Kettle comes in two sizes, 22 inches, which is the size we review, and the Weber 18-inch Kettle (Est. $80) [B00004RALW]. There are also upgraded models of this bare-bones charcoal grill that will add some bells and whistles, but also add to the price.

ProsImparts excellent flavor, Can grill or smoke foods, Easy to assemble, use, clean, Fairly small footprint for its cooking surface, Lasts for many yearsConsAshes may fly when emptying

Breaking it down

Performance

Can grill or smoke a wide range of foods. Experts love the versatility of the Weber Original 22-inch Kettle, saying the circular shape, large cooking space and superior venting give owners a high level of heat control, enabling both grilling and smoking. Users overwhelmingly agree, saying the Original Kettle can cook virtually any type of food, using indirect or direct heat as well as long, slow cooking with superior results. This grill is as popular with those who are new to grilling and just exploring the various methods as it is with those who are experts at even the most challenging foods to grill. The Weber 22-inch grill has a 363 square inch total cooking space, large enough, most users say, for a family of six. It also comes in an 18-inch version and in three finishes, black, copper and green.

Ease of use

Nearly foolproof. Owners report that the Weber Original 22-inch Kettle can be assembled in about 15 minutes. While some users say they felt there was a learning curve when first using this Weber, many of them had simply never used a charcoal grill before -- quite a few came back and edited their review once they were more experienced to rave about the grill. Most also agree its "one-touch" ash emptying makes it easy to use and clean. The one quibble we saw was that the ashes can fly around when you're emptying them from the bottom of the kettle; however, if you purchase the upgraded version, the Weber Original Kettle Premium 22 (Est. $150) [B00MKB5TXA] (formerly known as the Weber One-Touch Gold), it has an enclosure that prevents that from happening.

Durability/safety

Minimal safety concerns. We saw very few complaints about safety issues with the Weber Original 22-inch Kettle. The dampers make shutting down the fires easy and safe, and there are very few reports of flare-ups -- users say the design of the grill makes the occasional grease flare-up very easy to handle. A handful complain that the handle gets hot to the touch, but others sensibly point out that using a grill mitt should be standard operating procedure when grilling. Many say their grill works perfectly years or even decades after purchase. Annual maintenance involves removing the grates and cleaning with mild detergent and water. The warranty runs 10 years for the bowl, lid and handle; and two years for the grates and other parts.

Our Sources

1. Cook's Illustrated

Charcoal Grills, Editors of Cook's Illustrated, May 2015

Editors of Cook's Illustrated evaluate seven charcoal grills, including the Weber Original Kettle Premium 22-inch grill. Testers judge them on factors including grilling, heat retention, cleanup and quality of construction. Each grill is assessed as either highly recommended, recommended or not recommended.

2. About.com

Top 10 Charcoal Grills, Weber Original Kettle 22, Jan. 2, 2016

Derrick Riches ranks the Weber Original Kettle 22 as one of the best charcoal grills overall, calling out its excellent cooking abilities and versatility. Ultimately he gives it his top overall rating of 5 stars (out of 5). He notes that the design is perfect, which is why it hasn't changed in decades. He also says it's one of the least expensive smokers you can buy.

3. Reviewed.com

Weber One-Touch Charcoal Kettle Grill, Ethan Wolff-Mann, April 25, 2013

The Weber Original Kettle earns an Editors' Choice designation. Reviewer Ethan Wolff-Mann notes that it's "…an American icon for a reason." This review includes the Silver and the Gold, the former names of the original 22-inch kettle and its upgrade, now called the Weber Original Kettle Premium.

4. Lifehacker.com

Five Best Grills, Alan Henry, June 16, 2013

The Weber One Touch Kettle Series is No. 1 in this "Best Grill" roundup based on a poll of LifeHacker.com readers. It's accompanied by a review that gives an overview of how it was chosen by those who voted for it. This review encompasses the entire Original Kettle line.

5. Amazon.com

Weber 741001 Silver One-Touch 22-Inch Kettle Grill, Black, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2016

More than 595 owners post reviews for the Weber Original Kettle on Amazon.com, giving it an overall rating of 4.8 stars out of 5. Many rave about its performance and ease of assembly, with quite a few reviewers noting that they have owned one for more than 5, 10 or 15 years and it's still going strong.

6. HomeDepot.com

Weber One-Touch Silver 22-1/2 in. Charcoal Kettle Grill in Black, Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of April 2016

About 205 owners post about the Original Kettle 22 on Home Depot's website, giving it another 4.8-star rating; 97 percent would recommend it to a friend. It earns praise for cooking and smoking food excellently and assembly is reported as quick.

7. Walmart.com

Weber One-Touch 22.5 Inch Diameter Charcoal Kettle Grill, Black, Contributors to Walmart.com, As of April 2016

The Weber Original 22-inch Kettle, garners an overall score of 4.8 stars out of 5 from nearly 110 owners posting on Walmart.com. Most agree: Nothing beats a Weber grill. It gets raves across the board for performance, ease of use, durability and customer service. Ninety-eight percent would recommend this product to a friend.

8. Lowes.com

Weber Original Kettle 22-in Black Porcelain-Enameled Kettle Charcoal Grill, Contributors to Lowes.com, As of April 2016

About 105 reviewers give the Weber Original Kettle an overall rating of 4.8 stars out of 5; 98 percent would recommend it to a friend. Pros include a durable, quality build and easy assembly and use. There are very few complaints, although a very few say the handle gets hot.