Weber 22" Original Kettle Grill

Weber 22" Original Kettle Grill

Weber 22” Original Kettle Grill

I have barbecued for most of my adult life, on various grills of varying sizes, both charcoal, propane and offset stick burners (that’s those larger smokers you see, with the offset barrel), but I really didn’t smoke meat as much, just a lot of high heat type stuff, like steaks, grilled chicken, sausages and the like. I have a strong love of cooking, and I decided to try my hand at smoking meats. I do a decent amount of research before I purchase, and I kept circling back to the Weber Original Kettle Grill, during my research.. I’d seen people discussing the “snake method”, and showing off these amazing smoked meats, from ribs to brisket and all kinds in between. So, I got one. And I’m never going back. 

Let’s start with the “snake method”. Imagine a row of dominoes that you’ve lined up, spaced closely together, very close, and then knocked them down. This is what the “snake method” is. You line up your charcoal briquettes closely, almost vertically, in a snake around the rim of the grill. Typically it is 2 rows on the bottom and 1 or 2 rows on top. You then would put your chunks of wood or wood chips on the charcoal, so as the coals ignite, they’ll maintain the temperature you want and burn the wood for the smoke flavor.

 I started with the bottom vent wide open and controlled the temperature with the top vent. At first I didn’t have a probe thermometer, and my original kettle is the base model, no thermometer in the lid. The manual discusses temperature ranges using the open bottom vent and closed top vent. Optimal smoke temperature is around 222-250ish. You can go lower or higher, it really depends on you and how you want the food to taste. The majority of barbecue smokers try for that 225-250 range. You’ll hear the phrase “low and slow” and that’s a really great way to approach smoking meat for beginners and advanced cooks. I finally picked up a 4 temp probe bluetooth thermometer from InkBird, I’ll review that soon as well, and I found Weber’s manual to be accurate. I was getting the temp ranges listed by closing the top vent to match the suggestion. I started closing the bottom vent however, and started noticing finer control and more consistent temperatures., with minor fluctuations due to different ambient conditions, the amount of wood chips I used, their placements, and the charcoal itself.

The grill included a thin stainless steel grate, a thicker stainless steel charcoal grate, the legs, two wheels and the ash pan, and a small wire rack that spans the wheels and the third leg. Assembly was quick, maybe 10 minutes? I didn’t time it, but it didn’t seem like a very long time. The lid has a hook that allows you to hang the lid on the side of the grill when accessing it, and a handle on the base that allows you to lift and wheel it around. The legs also have small retaining knobs that allow you to quickly remove them, presumably for transporting on camping trips. It’s pretty light, and looks to be listed at 32 pounds. 

Proper maintenance is a must, as with all things, and easy. I use a ball of aluminum foil to clean the creosote on the lid interior, and scrape the ash and grease from the base. I recommend cleaning that with some solvent as well, and touching up any missing spots of paint with some high heat bbq paint if they develop, but if you clean it regularly, they shouldn’t develop. I don’t always use all the coals when I’m done barbecuing, and I’ve found closing all vents will put the coals out, and typically i’ll have enough to start in a chimney for the next round of smoking/grilling. 

There are a bevy of accessories for Weber grills, and various upgrades and higher end kettle grills as well as clam style grills. I’ve purchased a few of them myself, or had them bought for me, and I’ll review them in the future as well. 

My conclusion, this is the best grill made by man for the price you pay. Its simple use and consistent quality of use is bar none the best I’ve experienced. With proper maintenance, this grill will probably last most of the rest of my life, and I’m 40 years old. I’ve smoked a variety of different meats and vegetables on it. If it fits, you can smoke it. Over the next few months, I’ll be going into some of my different smokes, and providing video of the processes I use in my bbq’s. Keep an eye on our reviews and news section, as I update it. 

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