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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 12-31-2012, 04:12 PM   #1
Toast
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Default Can't decide...

Looking for a small charcoal rig just for doing steaks and burgers quick for just the Wife and me without firing up the gasser or the WSM.

Have it narrowed down to 3. The little rectangle Weber travel grill, the 18.5" round Weber (I think it's called a Smokey Joe), or maybe a 22" Weber OTG.

The OTG is really more than I need for short uses like that though.

Anyone have any of these units and have any Pro's or Con's?

Thanks for any and all input.
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Unread 12-31-2012, 04:18 PM   #2
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I have a OTG and a Weber GA,The little rectangle Weber travel grill.
I find myself using the kettle for most cooks,using one of the baskets for charcoal for the steaks for us two.
Just how it works for me,the GA is not as versatile as the Kettle.
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Unread 12-31-2012, 04:25 PM   #3
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The 22" will be more versatile, as it's bigger and you can fit more on it. It's not as portable as the WGA. You can do long cooks on it (pork butts, etc.) and there are rotisserie attachments and whatnot available for it.

As for the 18.5 - they just re-issued the Jumbo Joe, which is a tabletop version of the 18.5. I just did the first cook on mine today (hotdogs! ). If you were to get the 18.5, I'd go wtih the Jumbo Joe for the portability of it.

The WGA is an amazing machine. Probably the least expensive of the 3 (or maybe about the same as the Jumbo Joe, not sure) and you can do some phenomenal things with it - look at any of Phubar's threads and you'll see. You can also cook indirect on these and they are highly portable and just simply amazing.

It's a matter of what you want to do - are you just gonna do steaks, burgers, etc.? Do you wanna grill up some side dishes as well? Do you want portability? Do you wanna use a rotisserie?

I'd get all 3 - oh wait I already did.
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Unread 12-31-2012, 04:29 PM   #4
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For quick work I fire up my Silver A (2 burners so smaller than your S-320.) If it's charcoal, I recommend a 22 1/2" Weber kettle of some sort. The 18 1/2" is good but the extra space gives you bigger cooking zones (more coals to one side or either side with none in the middle.) The most common Smokey Joe is 14 1/2" but I think there is one that is 18 1/2".

I do my shopping on Craigslist because I prefer their pricing. :)

Edit: I just looked in Shreveport Craigslist and there's nothin!
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Unread 12-31-2012, 04:30 PM   #5
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Get the OTG I guarantee no regrets. I had a WGA it was good for 1 cramped for 2. A Smoky Joe is good for two but unless you put it on a table It's a PIA. OTG plenty of room easy temp control and versatile as all get out. I will never be with out a Kettle. In fact when I check out I'm gonna have My ashes put in a new one and buried in the back yard got a rider on my living will.
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Unread 12-31-2012, 04:36 PM   #6
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thats one of those loaded questions. having all three and more, it gives my whatever choice i need at the time. firstly i would recommend getting whatever on craigs list.
jumbo joes are nice but $$$$$$. you can get a used 18.5 kettle, cut the legs and you got a nice portable that costs a lot less. if i could only have one then it would be 22.5 kettle. but i do use my cga a lot. don't forget the smokey joe also. suggest you get all of them then you don't have to worry.
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Unread 12-31-2012, 04:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbshop View Post
thats one of those loaded questions. having all three and more, it gives my whatever choice i need at the time. firstly i would recommend getting whatever on craigs list.
jumbo joes are nice but $$$$$$. you can get a used 18.5 kettle, cut the legs and you got a nice portable that costs a lot less. if i could only have one then it would be 22.5 kettle. but i do use my cga a lot. don't forget the smokey joe also. suggest you get all of them then you don't have to worry.
Thanks for the replies Friends. I'm not seeing a consensus here other than all 3.
That could happen too.
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Unread 12-31-2012, 06:51 PM   #8
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lodge makes a really nice ci hibaci
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Unread 12-31-2012, 07:36 PM   #9
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Small BGE
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Unread 12-31-2012, 07:55 PM   #10
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I like my smokey joe. Its good for small amounts.
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Unread 12-31-2012, 08:25 PM   #11
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You want an OTG or the new silver (if you like the lid holder).



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Unread 12-31-2012, 09:14 PM   #12
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My vote is for the OTG. I fire up my 22" Weber Kettles all the time, even for small stuff like just a steak and potato.

Typically, the routine is like this. It is quick, simple, and all of the words to describe it make is seem far more complex and difficult than it really is.

1. I put a couple wads of paper under my Weber chimney (it's bigger than the average chimney) and fill it just under halfway with new charcoal, then top off with whatever is left behind in the unit from last time. If needed, I top off with new charcoal but this almost always fills the unit between the new and used stuff.
2. I light the paper, then turn the blades in the One Touch system to clean out the ash leftover from the previous cook.
3. I go inside to prep something (or finish prep)...season meat, whatever. I just need about 10 minutes to get that chimney fired up.
4. I dump the lit coals on one half of the unit and use a fureplace shovel to arrange the coals on that half evenly, then put the grate on to heat it up and put the lid on (vents open of course).
5. I go back inside to bring all the stuff out for cooking. By that point I brush the grates to make sure they are clean, rotating them to get both sides.
6. Cook.
7. Shut down the intakes and exhaust as soon as the meat is pulled.

Wow. That's it. Pretty much anything you cook on those things (save for longer smoking sessions) follow those exact same rules almost to the letter.

I have cooked just a single steak/burger/chop/whatever for lunch (search for my Q-Talk threads, many are jsut what I had for lunch), all the way to feeding the family on that thing complete with sides, with the same setup every time. The trick is simply having methods and timings for moving items from the hot side to the cool side. This isn't an issue for smaller cooks like you are looknig for.

So, in a nutshell, I see no reason to get a smaller cooker if your goal is smaller amounts of food to cook.

If portability is a factor, well, then that's a whole different story and I would probably suggest the rectangular Weber in that case.
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Unread 12-31-2012, 09:15 PM   #13
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jumbo joe!
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Unread 12-31-2012, 09:20 PM   #14
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I've got the Weber performer and the smokey joe. When all I'm cookin' is burgers or steaks for the 2 of us the smokey joe is perfect. As far as putting it on a table being a PIA, I just set the smokey joe on the performer table or, I have an extra table by the Q anyway, so no biggie for me. In any case the Smokey Joe is perfect for my needs when cooking for 2-4 people.
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Unread 12-31-2012, 09:30 PM   #15
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Out of my 7 grills what am I cooking New Years Eve dinner on. My 22.5" Kettle. 2 zone all day turning the grate between cooks. Wings, followed by Shrimp Kabobs, followed by Ugly steaks and twice bake potatos..oh wait i still have to put that on.. Any way if only 1 grill get the OTG it is by far my go to grill.
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