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Article posted: 5/8/2013 10:54 AM

Weber grills still hot by Cook's Illustrated standards

After judging seven grills on nine features, product testers with Cook’s Illustrated magazine gave Weber’s Performer Platinum Charcoal Grill its highest rating.

After judging seven grills on nine features, product testers with Cook's Illustrated magazine gave Weber's Performer Platinum Charcoal Grill its highest rating.


Courtesy 2013 Weber Stephens Products LLC

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You happened to mentioned that you're in the market for a new charcoal grill and now everybody from your father-in-law to your neighbor Joe to the lady at the coffee shop is giving you advice on what to buy.

Unless they're saying Weber, you can stop listening.


According to the persnickety product testers at the venerable Cook's Illustrated magazine, Weber's One-Touch Gold 22.5 inch grill remains the gold standard in the category. Its $149 price tag earns it a CI "Best Buy." It earned three stars (the highest rating) for grilling and barbecue performance as well as assembly, cleanup and capacity (it can fit a whole turkey under the dome).

Listed at a couple hundred dollars more ($349), Weber's Performer Platinum, the same sized grill but with some added perks, earned three-stars across the board (high-quality construction and design) and was Cook's Illustrated's most highly rated grill.

"The souped up Weber Performer, our new favorite charcoal model, comes with all the features we liked in the basic Weber kettle, along with a host of new accessories that make outdoor cooking much more enjoyable," the magazine reported.

Here are some things the testers liked about it:

Easy assembly: It took testers less than 30 minutes to get the grill out of the box and upright, compared to nearly two hours to get a 30-inch Char-Broil (model 12301672) ready.

Push-button gas ignition: No more lighter fluid or clunky chimney starters. The Weber Performer uses a small, inexpensive propane bottle to light the coals.

Rolling cart: The sturdy, easy to roll cart boasts a heavy-duty plastic surface where the cook can set down food platters and an icy beverage.

Thermometer: A built-in thermometer allows you to monitor temperature without removing the lid.

Ash catcher: Like Weber's original model, the sturdy, easily removable ash catcher makes cleanup a breeze.

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