View Full Version : Need a Grill! Moving up from WSM

Van G
06-08-2012, 12:36 PM
Age old request: I need suggestions for getting a grill.

Currently I use the bottom of my WSM (18.5") to grill meats but it's time to enjoy a standing grill and keep my WSM for the sweet smoke sessions (just finished a 24 lb of pork butts).

I put value in quality and will pay for it but don't need the latest and greatest.
I see the quality in the Big Green Eggs but could never pull the trigger!

Typically grilling just for my family. Large grills are done on Weber E320.

So, with that said, making a trip state side this weekend and figured I see what sort of Father's Days deals are going in the Buffalo/Niagara area.

I'm considering a Weber One-Touch 22.5" (or similar simple bowl grill).

Recently read about the Char-Grill Komado which gets the blood going if they are quality.

If $300 is my budget but I'm happy to spend less, what should I look at for quality grilling?

Or do I hold out for a Big Green Egg on sale?

Apologies for the age old post. If you need further info I'm happy to provide.


06-08-2012, 04:33 PM
If you're looking just to grill it's hard to beat the Weber OTG! If you think you might want to use to for smoking as well it's possible to do this with the OTG, but the Char-Grill would probably do a better job.

06-08-2012, 04:39 PM
Yup...Weber all the way!

06-08-2012, 04:41 PM
Yep. OTG, and use the rest of that 300 for meat.

Or, for a little over the 300, a Weber Performer. You get a gas assist and a table.

06-08-2012, 04:45 PM
If I had a $300 budget for a grill today, I'd pretty much flip a coin and either buy a Weber Performer (for a few extra bucks) or a Char-Grill Komado.

Personally I like the table on the performer better, but everything else about about the Komado better :P

06-08-2012, 05:04 PM
+1 on the Weber. It's not a fanboy thing, it's just the standard in charcoal grills is all.

Happy Hapgood
06-08-2012, 05:13 PM
These Guys nailed it. Weber OTG or Performer.

06-08-2012, 05:16 PM
Weber. OTG is definitely worth the extra $$$ vs. a OTS. Can't speak for the Performer, but I wish I had one.

06-08-2012, 05:17 PM
Put me in the Weber camp too...

06-08-2012, 05:25 PM
If it were me the Weber 26.75 would be the best bang for your buck, plenty of room for direct or indirect cooking.

06-08-2012, 05:33 PM
Depends on your need. It seems you're more needing into grills vs. smoking so I would vote for OTG too.

Chef Jim
06-08-2012, 05:39 PM
Weber Performer, it's better than the otg, and you can buy lots of other goodies for it, or the otg.

J'ville Grill
06-08-2012, 06:03 PM
Weber OTG. You can also smoke on it.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

06-09-2012, 07:46 AM
Weber Performer.

06-09-2012, 08:35 AM
weber performer, it's better than the otg, and you can buy lots of other goodies for it, or the otg.


06-09-2012, 09:25 AM
For quality of product, go with Weber. I still have and use at our cabin an 18" kettle my father gave to me in the early 70s when he upgraded grills.

Having said that, I haven't touched my performer or WSM since I got my Char Griller Akorn in March.

06-09-2012, 09:35 AM
Another vote for the OTG or Performer option. I don't know how a person could design a better charcoal grill.

06-09-2012, 10:06 AM
get the weber, ive had mine for nearly 6 years.

Terry The Toad
06-09-2012, 10:07 AM
Jambo sells a backyard grill... but it's $375. :shock:

06-09-2012, 10:19 AM
Highly recommend a Performer. I now have two, both CL scores, to supplement the WSM.

06-09-2012, 11:09 AM
I'd spend a week scouring craigslist, and get a OTG for US$50 or an older performer for $US75.

In any case weber is the way to go IMO.

06-09-2012, 11:13 AM
Weber 22 1/2" OTG or Performer.

06-09-2012, 11:32 AM
If you want to sear steaks at +700F.......or if you want to minimize your charcoal purchases by using an insulated grill, then get the CG Komado Kooker. I have both and if I had to choose and have only one, I would choose the CG Komado as I love cooking steaks over high heat and I like how little charcoal it uses. Since I have a UDS, the ability to smoke is a bonus.......but it uses less fuel for smoking than the Weber Kettle (and probably the UDS). The Weber Kettle may require a little more management (depending on how long you smoke).

Van G
06-11-2012, 11:01 AM
Thanks for all the replies. We camped state side this weekend so I had a chance to pop into a Lowe's and take a look at the CG Akorn and HD to look at the Weber OTG 22.5

The Akorn looks pretty good but I wish it was older in order to establish a track record like the Weber OT line.

I don't do a lot of high temp cooking and this is mainly for grilling but the oven functionality of the Akorn is very appealing.

For steaks, I've not had problem on the bottom part of WSM to get a sear on two side, indirect cook, and then direct again to get a nice crust. Like many here, I buy whole cuts cryo vac'd and wet age/trim to my own preference. I like them thicker than most counters cut them so there is some time to get the crust. Probably preaching to the choir at this point!

Some more informed questions:

Akorn: Assuming this is 22.5" grill diameter (looked to be but didn't put a tape to it)? Any concerns about the longevity of the shell material? I like the oem cast iron grill!

OTG: 22.5 seems like enough room, as opposed to 26.75, to grill indirect for family of 3 or dinner for 6. Do the Akorn and OTG function just as well as a grill?

Performer: I've got lot's of counter space so it's actually taking up room (live in city so every square inch counts!). How 'great' is the gas assist for lighting? All I know is the chimney and starter cube/paper which works fine. Do you use a chimney with the OTG or Akorn?

BGE vs. Akorn: I'm more than happy to make a few mods to the Akorn but is the BGE worth the big premium or is it simply a first to market/brand things. I would have to get the BGE XL to get the rights amount of grill space which is a big chunk of change. I'm looking at the long term!


06-11-2012, 11:45 AM
When you set up the 22.5" for direct and indirect you run out of space pretty quickly. I can get about 7-10 hamburgers, depending on size, without any problems. That's normally plenty for 5-7 people, but for larger crowds it becomes a juggling act.

The 26.5" would be great for those larger crowd but we only have the larger crowd a 3 or so times a year. I got an additional 22.5" OTS for added capacity. The two 22.5"s give me more grilling space than the 26.5", are cheaper, and I can use a smaller grill for normal situations. They're easier to find on CL also. The downside is you do have to have the space for 2 grills.

06-11-2012, 11:51 AM
Weber OTG or Performer, depending on how much room you want your grill to take up.

I've been happily grilling good food on my 22.5 OTG since 1995, and recently added an 18.5 OTG.


06-11-2012, 11:52 AM
On the performer, I've personally never used my gas assist. If you don't need the table, then I'd definitely go qith the OTG.

06-11-2012, 12:04 PM
The Akorn's grate is actually around 19" so it is smaller than the 22.5 Webers, but larger then the large BGE.

Longevity is unknown, I keep mine under the cover made for it. It seems to be made well.

I've always loved the ease of starting charcoal with the performer using a chimney, but have found that I can have my Akorn to 400 deg in 15-20 minutes using a weber starter cube or isopropyl alchohol and cotton balls, no need for the chimney.

I've never cooked on a BGE but I believe they have a lifetime warranty, and look to be well made. I understand the outside of the BGE can get hot, I can put my hand on my Akorn's exterior when it is running at 400 deg. The BGE is also heavy. I can't say if that is good or bad, but the Akorn is much lighter. So much so that I've found I have to use the caster lock on it or a strong wind will move it across the deck.

I've looked at BGE's for years but just couldn't justify the $1,100+ when it is mostly used just my wife and I. When the Akorn showed up with the improvements this year, it seemed worth the roll of the dice. It fits my needs well, so far so good.

Another thing about the egg style smoker/grills. I've never used a charcoal grill on my deck for fear of an ember starting a fire. With the enclosed design of the Akorn I'm comfortable using it on the deck.

06-11-2012, 12:22 PM
I've been cooking with a weber for 10 years and just upgraded to the akorn a few weeks ago and i don't think i will use the weber much anymore unless i'm cooking for a bunch of people.

Dylan's Dad
06-11-2012, 12:35 PM
I'll throw my 2 cents in and say go with the Akorn.:blah: You'll save on lump and it's versatile enough for all your needs. Plus the food is fantastic! :grin:

I've been overly pleased with mine.



Van G
06-11-2012, 01:57 PM
Appreciate the feedback. Looks like the CG Akorn will find it's way to my patio in early July. Will keep my eyes out on CL to see if I can pick up an OTG and hide it from my wife.

I'll give the CG Akorn thread a read but if you feel like posting worthwhile mods and/or accessories to purchase when getting the Akorn, it's appreciated. Don't get to US that often so I have to plan my purchases!

On my list are: quality lump charcoal, thermapen (oranje), and cover.

06-11-2012, 05:23 PM
Add an aluminum pizza pan for a deflector and a weber charcoal grate to hold it.

One of the Brethren started a forum for kamado style grills, it has a lot of good information. http://www.kamadoguru.com/

And excellent choice on your thermapen color!

06-11-2012, 06:33 PM
If you are a veteran, Lowes gives 10% off on July 4. You need a DD-214.

Sent from my Kindle Fire using Tapatalk 2

Van G
06-14-2012, 10:25 AM
A lucky break for the boys north of the 49: Lowe's Canada has the CG Akorn on sale for $278. Look like Father's Day just came early!

06-14-2012, 02:20 PM
Blue Performer.

Then get a Blue Thermopen.

Then you will never have the Blues. :mrgreen:

Van G
06-15-2012, 01:32 PM
Look what Daddy did! Now I just need advice on my first lump purchase. Dragons breath seems to be popular around here.

06-15-2012, 08:04 PM
You made a good choice!

06-15-2012, 08:07 PM
Yeah, yeah, yeah. You're only a full-fledged farker. I'm a Babbling farker, and I would have gone with the OTG.

CD :becky:

06-15-2012, 11:44 PM
Congrats! FYI tighten the hinge bolts when you assemble it, I've seen a couple of floor models missing them and they were very loose when I got mine.