A sturdy, classic kettle barbecue with a simple design, this is ideal for new users and anyone who wants tasty results easily. Big enough to feed up to six people it’s easy to move in and out of storage and has handy features including easy cleaning, ash collection and a hook on the hood to tuck it out of the way when you’re turning the burgers. The helpful handbook ensures great cooking results and we gave this a BBC Gardeners' World Magazine Best Buy award.
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Is the Weber Classic Kettle charcoal barbecue easy to assemble?
Packaging around this barbecue isn’t excessive, the main parts are enclosed in recyclable cardboard and only the smaller, easily lost parts are in little plastic bags. The whole barbecue needs building, the legs, wheels and handles need to be attached and a hammer and Phillips screwdriver are required but thanks to the instruction book and it's easy to follow pictures, this is easy. It's a simple step by step process taking about 25 minutes.
What is the Weber Classic Kettle charcoal barbecue like to use?
Once built it takes over half an hour to get this ready to start cooking – 25 mins to get the coal lit and up to temperature, plus another 10 mins to heat the grill. At 57cm there's ample room to feed six people, including a whole spatchcock chicken with plenty of vegetables. The Weber is well thought out with vents, below the drum and on the lid, to help control the heat, a sturdy steel grate, a temperature gauge on the lid and it comes with charcoal rails that fit to the grate to contain the charcoal for easy, indirect slow cooking and roasting. The excellent instructions in the included Weber Barbecue Bible are also really useful and make cooking easy. The hood has vents, a heat proof handle and although it's reasonably heavy, it has a hook for hanging it out of the way on the side of the grill when you’re cooking. Unfortunately, there are no tool hooks, although you can loop one or two over the handle. A built-in cleaning system below the grill expels ash with a flick of a lever into a removable ash collector so cleaning is easier. The wheels don’t lock but there are only two with one leg so the barbecue remains stable throughout cooking and it’s reasonably light and easy to lift and push about the patio or in and out of storage. It does take up a fair amount of room in the shed, (it can’t really be packed down once built) but it can be kept outside if you invest in a cover to protect it from the weather.
How does the Weber Classic Kettle charcoal barbecue cook ?
Once lit and up to temperature there is even heat distribution across the grill for cooking barbecue favourites such as burgers and for grilling vegetables. Food cooks food evenly and well, producing excellent grid lines on the vegetables and lovely charring on aubergines. Grilled potatoes are crispy and soft and fluffy inside and food is ready in just a few minutes. Chicken roasts in about an hour and is crisp and succulent, with a lovely barbecue flavour.
Is the Weber Classic Kettle charcoal barbecue good value for money?
This feels very durable and long lasting and is made from high quality materials. It comes with a 10 year warranty on the bowl and lid with other parts guaranteed between 2 and five years. It cooks well and is a good size but it does feel a little expensive and comes with no tools or accessories at all.
Who is the Weber Classic Kettle charcoal barbecue useful for?
This is great for anyone new to charcoal barbecuing with an an intuitive design that helps make it very easy to use. The accompanying handbook explains simply how to grill both directly and indirectly and instills confidence in beginners and those who haven't barbecued for a while. It's bit enough for large families and small gatherings but small enough to suit a smaller garden, even if you lack storage.
If you're in the market for a grill, check out our tests of the best gas BBQs, the best charcoal BBQs, and our guides to barbecue accessories.