Thursday, August 21, 2008

A New Grill For the Boy

Our one year anniversary is approaching, and I've decided to buy the hubs a new grill!

For a year now, we've been using my parents’ Weber 22.5in Silver. I would like to stick to a Weber just because it’s what A is used to, and I don’t want him to be disappointed if we get a different grill and it doesn’t work as well. With that in mind, the models up for comparison are the Silver, Gold and Performer, all in the 22.5in size. Under my assumption that a Weber kettle is a Weber kettle, the only difference between all these is the little extras. Now, what I’m trying to decide is whether or not these little extras are worth it. What better way to do it than an apples to apples comparison?

- $85
- I’m calling this the bare basics grill. Everything listed on the other two is either in addition to or an upgrade of what this grill comes with

- $135
- High capacity ash catcher that sits close to the bottom of the kettle
- Hinged grill grate
- Charcoal rails

- $300
- High capacity ash catcher that sits close to the bottom of the kettle
- Hinged grill grate
- Charcoal baskets
- Tuck Away lid holder (as opposed to a lid hook, it seems)
- Attached table with tool mounts
- Attached charcoal bin
- Removable thermometer
- Propane ignition system

Obviously, the Silver is the easiest on the wallet. A does kind of like the grate and rails included with the Gold, and I like the ash catcher of the Gold; but is it worth it? At first glance, the Gold really doesn't seem worth the price increase of $50. However, if we bought the hinged grate and charcoal rails separately, it would cost us around $25-30. That would mean the cost of the better ash catcher is only $20-25. Or in my case, the cost of not having A attempt to fashion a high capacity ash catcher using his “engineering skills” is $20-25. Or I could use the extra $25 to get him that blower he’s been wanting…so he can use it for dusting off the ash from the balcony. ;-P

Now, while A and I are in agreement that the Performer’s extras are awesome, at $300 ($165 more than the Gold and $215 more than the Silver), it’s a hard buy to swallow for a charcoal grill. To turn a Gold into a Performer (as close as possible, at least), it would cost us $75-85 not including the attached charcoal bin and the propane ignition system. I would put the charcoal bin at $20-30, so let’s just say $25 (hey, one less unsightly thing on my balcony is a plus for me). That puts the cost of the propane ignition system at $55-65. Since I understand that propane ignition systems can be expensive (just look at the price of gas grills!), I can see how they would expect someone to pay that much extra for a starter, but that still doesn’t make $300 sound like a good deal for a charcoal grill.

To buy everything in one go or to trick out a more basic model? That is the question. Last night, I was thinking Silver. After breaking down the prices this morning, the Gold is looking a lot better, but I’m holding out in the hopes that the Performer will go on sale. :-P

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