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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 03-17-2014, 05:11 AM   #16
bbqgeekess
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokin-Canuck View Post
Let me first say a I have a WSM 18.5" as my go-to smoker and I love it. I have a Weber Q320 as a gasser so the void currently is a charcoal grill.
I am thinking about building a fire basket for the WSM, just the right height, so that it can be used down below for smoking or between the two cooking grates for grilling/searing. (I'll replace the lower cooking grate with the more heavy duty charcoal grate from the 22.5" kettle -- which is the same size I believe.)
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Unread 03-17-2014, 08:31 AM   #17
HarrynVegas
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I love my 1992 Red Performer, but if I'm just doing one or two steaks for my wife and I,I fire up some lump in the chimney over the Performer gas lighter and dump it into my Smokey Joe. Cooks great and less clean up.
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Unread 03-17-2014, 08:44 AM   #18
aawa
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I say go with the kettle. Just add to your Weber collection.

This was my collection. I have since passed the 2 OTG and 1 mini to friends getting into the bbq hobby. I also added another performer.
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Unread 03-17-2014, 11:39 AM   #19
Ozric
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I would definitely go with the Weber Performer Platinum for a few reasons:

1) full disclosure (I have one, and love it)
2) gas-assist lighting (for both charcoal chimneys and Thunderdome's Vortex)
3) I like have a bag of charcoal stored at the grill
4) the side tray is quite large, stable; very usable
5) the storage rack underneath is also quite usable
6) throw the stupid timer away; useless

What's a Vortex? Here's a link to page 2 on Thunderdome's BBQ blog. Scroll down for a few posts with plenty of photos of the Vortex in use. Those photos show the prototype version (the one I bought for $20). The current shipping version is made from stainless steel and has flat, smooth edges all around.

I do a lot of sous vide cooking, with a final sear at the end. The Weber kettle/Vortex combo is perfect for that. I leave the Vortex with partially used charcoal in place. When I next need a sear, I sweep the ashes out of the kettle, add some fresh charcoal to the top of the Vortex, fire up the gas assist (no chimney required; the Vortex serves that purpose) and let 'er rip will the meat is coming up to temp in the sous vide.

When I'm ready to eat, I pull the meat from the sous vide, pat it dry, and give it a 1 minute sear on each side over the Vortex. I immediately shut the vents on the kettle to retain as much useful charcoal as possible. This turns out to be a pretty efficient use of fuel.
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Unread 03-17-2014, 11:43 AM   #20
bwram1
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Nothing beats a Weber!
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Unread 03-17-2014, 12:12 PM   #21
THoey1963
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqgeekess View Post
I am thinking about building a fire basket for the WSM, just the right height, so that it can be used down below for smoking or between the two cooking grates for grilling/searing. (I'll replace the lower cooking grate with the more heavy duty charcoal grate from the 22.5" kettle -- which is the same size I believe.)
Not trying to dissuade you from that idea, but say you did it. To char grill, you'd do the following:
  1. Remove dome.
  2. Remove barrel.
  3. Remove basket.
  4. Replace barrel.
  5. Remove grates.
  6. Set basket and start fire.
  7. Replace grates.
  8. Cook.
  9. Put it all back...
The way I built my basket with the eye bolts, I just:
  1. Remove the dome.
  2. Remove the barrel.
  3. Start fire.
  4. Set grate on top of eye bolts.
  5. Cook.
Seems like a lot less work and less chance of getting ash all in your barrel.
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For info on any mods I have done to my WSM, please see this post.
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Unread 03-17-2014, 12:29 PM   #22
IlliniQ
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I second (nineteenth?) the Weber vote...and agree with your opinion about the crimson, great looking finish!
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Unread 03-17-2014, 12:49 PM   #23
BB-Kuhn
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Akorn is a really nice grill, but it's not like you'll ever regret buying a weber kettle grill.
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Unread 03-17-2014, 01:22 PM   #24
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I have both the Akorn and several Webers. I use the Akorn far more than the Webers. That being said I love to cook on the Weber but the Akorn can do the same with more control. True I have done a lot of mods to the akorn ( thanks Jim Setzler) but it is my goto grill for most cooks.
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Unread 03-17-2014, 02:57 PM   #25
Smokin-Canuck
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Thanks to all that responded. I think if I did not have WSM i.e. needed something for long low and slow cooks the decision would be harder. However I've decided the Performer wins.

I chose to ask the question here and not over at the Weber board thinking I'd get a more "unbiased" opinion here - it seems however that Weber is held in just as high regard here.

Thanks again.
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Thanks from:--->
Unread 03-17-2014, 03:02 PM   #26
deguerre
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Well then. I was going to say I have both too, and would still recommend the Weber for durability if nothing else. The Akorn has weathered well, but I don't think it will last as long as the Performer will.
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Unread 03-17-2014, 03:02 PM   #27
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We're a bunch of Web heads.
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Unread 03-17-2014, 03:19 PM   #28
Friedturkeyspam
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I recently bought a 26.76" Weber and absolutely love it. I've had the 22.5" variety for years and got this new one off Ebay for $219 delivered. It has changed the way I cook steaks by building a fire on one side of it and putting the meat on the other side with the air vent above it. It works great for small smoking projects like a dozen brats etc.
It does eat up some real estate but I wished I'd done it twenty years ago.

Good luck
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Unread 03-17-2014, 11:20 PM   #29
HankB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Friedturkeyspam View Post
I recently bought a 26.76" Weber and absolutely love it.
Love mine too. I can do 10 lb of chicken leg quarters indirect at one time.

OTOH I cooked on my 18 WSM today and used the Performer to light the charcoal chimney and then later to set a tray of meat and other stuff on while tending the smoker. Last Friday I cooked Friday's dinner on it consisting of grilled shrimp, peppers, zucchini, broccoli and onions mostly at the same time.

NB: I'm biased in favor of Webers.
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Unread 03-17-2014, 11:56 PM   #30
bbqgeekess
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THoey1963 View Post

The way I built my basket with the eye bolts, I just:
  1. Remove the dome.
  2. Remove the barrel.
  3. Start fire.
  4. Set grate on top of eye bolts.
  5. Cook.
Seems like a lot less work and less chance of getting ash all in your barrel.
Trying to follow this. You grill/sear right on teh base of your wsm.. but why the eyebolts? Doesn't the grate sit down there without them.. I never tried. I know you have to get this little lid hooks to hold the dim hood on and in place.

But you have to bend over to grill that way right. I guess it would be okay if I used a chair.
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