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Weber Charcoal Grills: The Topic


ronnie_suburban
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I love my Weber charcoal grill (22 1/2" One-Touch). This week, after 8 years, the handle came off the lid. Unfortunately, the handle is (was?) attached to the lid with cheap rivets and I didn't think I could pull off an adequate repair job and leave the lid safe to use.

So, I bit the bullet and ordered a new one from Weber (~$48.00/del'd). In spite of a very prompt delivery, my initial response is disappointment. I think it's made of thinner metal than the original lid. It's lighter in weight, the damper control lacks the touch-friendly, plastic tab cover that the original had. And here's the most annoying part, unlike with the original lid, the handle gets too hot to touch with a bare hand. It just really sucks because now I have to cover my hand every time I want to open or close the grill. :angry:

Is Weber making their products differently now or is this just innate to their replacement parts? I'm just disappointed because, for now, the grill is harder to use. Maybe I can find someone with welding capabilities who can fix the original lid for me. I've sent an inquiry to Weber to ask about this as well. Has anyone else experienced anything like this with Weber products?

Are there any tried and true alternatives to the Weber charcoal grill or is sticking with the Weber still my best play?

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Pop rivets and fender washers will fix most anything. Fender washers are about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and fix most problems like that.

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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Pop rivets and fender washers will fix most anything. Fender washers are about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and fix most problems like that.

Problem is, there are no holes in the lid or the handle at all...the old 'rivets' were just welded to the outside of the old lid, if that makes any sense...perhaps I misspoke before and the original lid was simply welded on. Either way, there are no holes in the lid or the handle, so I don't think the fix you're describing is workable. But, if I'm just not getting it (which is quite possible), please say so :smile:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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That's disappointing, I was thinking of picking one up as a secondary grill to my Weber Genesis Silver gas grill (which I am very happy with)

Maybe I need to go looking for a vintage Weber kettle.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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You can drill holes in the lid for rivets.

I have one of the big kettle grills, and have drilled two holes in it for thermometer probes.

I rarely use it now, since I bought a larger combination unit but keep it in case I need the extra grill area for parties.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Pop rivets and fender washers will fix most anything. Fender washers are about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and fix most problems like that.

Problem is, there are no holes in the lid or the handle at all...the old 'rivets' were just welded to the outside of the old lid, if that makes any sense...perhaps I misspoke before and the original lid was simply welded on. Either way, there are no holes in the lid or the handle, so I don't think the fix you're describing is workable. But, if I'm just not getting it (which is quite possible), please say so :smile:

=R=

A Drill will solve your problem.

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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Ok, a drill it is.

This may be the wrong place to ask this question but do I need a special bit to drill through metal?

Thanks for the replies :smile:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Ok, a drill it is.

This may be the wrong place to ask this question but do I need a special bit to drill through metal?

Thanks for the replies :smile:

=R=

Yes, you need a carbon steel bit for metal use.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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When we had to do this to our Weber one-touch (now about 24 years old), he used a standard steel bit on a high speed drill (this was before we had a cordless).

Worked just fine. Is the reason mine seems to heavy is all of the crud on the inside of the lid? The newer ones seem lighter in weight, but I'm not sure if it's because they are lighter or mine is "seasoned."

Yes, it's almost a quarter of decade and still going. Going strong. I forget how much we paid for it, but it was worth every penny.

What is that plastic you are are talking about? Must have happened after 1980.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Thanks Jason, Susan. :smile:

Yes, Susan it's a very convenient plastic tab that allows a 'cool touch' of the damper control on the lid. I don't know if they've been discontinued altogether or if they simply don't come on 'replacement' lids. Since this happened, I haven't been able to check any new units (I suppose italso possible that I ordered the wrong replacement lid, but the person to whom I spoke on the phone at Weber, assured me I was ordering the right one). And yes, my 1-touch was given to me as a housewarming gift almost 8 years ago, so it is definitely a post-1980 feature :biggrin:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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What color is your Weber? The reason I ask is because, if you drill a hole, you might want to touch it up a bit with some high heat spray paint to prevent rust.

Spray the hole on both sides before you bolt the handle back on.

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What color is your Weber?  The reason I ask is because, if you drill a hole, you might want to touch it up a bit with some high heat spray paint to prevent rust. 

Spray the hole on both sides before you bolt the handle back on.

Thanks mnebergall. I appreciate the good advices. Mine happens to be black.

Here's a pic...

weber1-touch.JPG

Here is the original damper control. That plastic tab really works; it stays cool...

weberdamperoriginal.JPG

and here is the replacement damper control which is very hot to the touch...

weberdamperreplacement.JPG

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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You could probably use some type of bonding material to put a peice of plastic on that new tab. I'd bring the top into the hardware store and see what they can recommend as far as a peice of plastic and the proper type of cement or glue.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I priced them. The pedestal version for $200 (on sale now for $150) and the cart version for $250...at a local DFW dealer.

The dealer also said that Weber discontinued the plastic tab because the plastic was melting.

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I priced them. The pedestal version for $200 (on sale now for $150) and the cart version for $250...at a local DFW dealer.

The dealer also said that Weber discontinued the plastic tab because the plastic was melting.

Thanks for the pricing info on the Napoleon Apollo, Richard. Curious though about what the dealer told you regarding the plastic tab. My tab never melted and I've routinely taken that grill up past 600 (maybe even 700?) degrees F. over the past 8 years :sad: But, I'm sure he has a lot more experience than I do in this area.

Oh well, I will consult my local hardware professional this weekend for a carbon steel bit and to see if there's a suitable way to add some sort of melt-proof tab to the damper control on the newer lid. As it turns out, a friend of mine had the lid of his grill stolen (probably by vandals, it's become a trend of sorts around here) so I can pass one of them on to him.

Thanks also Dave, for the grill recon. :smile:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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The dealer also said that Weber discontinued the plastic tab because the plastic was melting.

I'm not surprised. I've measured 550 F+ at the vent with a full chimney of lump charcoal on the grate. That's as high as my thermometer will go, so I'm not certain what the actual temperature was. I don't know of any plastics (well, maybe some silicones) that aren't at least severely degraded from exposure to such temps.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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I just use the tongs to operate the vent. Ronnie, you have the Performer, so do I (only mine is green). I have replaced many parts, including the bottom part of the kettle. Weber maintains a great supply of replacement parts. I have even replaced the gas jet. Then, my dog chewed up the gas line. Home Depot fixed me up with a solid copper replacement. Never get rid of that unit. No matter what wears out or rusts out, you can replace it. Use some Dawn Power Dissolver to clean the stainless steel cover. PS: Spring for a cover for the entire unit.

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I just use the tongs to operate the vent.  Ronnie, you have the Performer, so do I (only mine is green).  I have replaced many parts, including the bottom part of the kettle.  Weber maintains a great supply of replacement parts.  I have even replaced the gas jet.  Then, my dog chewed up the gas line.  Home Depot fixed me up with a solid copper replacement.  Never get rid of that unit.  No matter what wears out or rusts out, you can replace it.  Use some Dawn Power Dissolver to clean the stainless steel cover.  PS:  Spring for a cover for the entire unit.

Yeah, that's what I foresee doing until I get my original lid retro-rigged--using the tong or the back of my thumbnail...very, very quickly. :biggrin: Either way, since the handle now gets very hot, I'll have to keep some sort of cooking mitt close at hand.

BTW, I do have a soft cover for the entire unit but I tend to only use it during the "off" season and leave it uncovered during the spring and summer.

As for Weber's replacement parts, there are far worse options for sure. They're reasonably priced, they can be ordered directly from Weber and the service was outstanding (friendly and prompt delivery--arrived days before they said it would even ship).

One quick anecdote though...when I ordered the lid, the woman on the phone at Weber asked me if I needed any other parts. I paused and then told her I didn't. She then asked, "not even the blades [used to clear the ashes from the bottom of the kettle]?" I laughed and said "No, but I guess I know what's going to break next." :biggrin: She also laughed. But...so far (knock wood), my blades are good.

But yes, this is a fantastic piece of cooking equipment and I cannot envision being without it or something similar.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Paul and I were young and in lust and not wearing reading glasses and grey hair was not a thought when we bought our Weber.

Like I said, we have drilled holes (used just one of the regular bits from his Craftsman set) and nuts and bolts (2 of each) or secure handle a couple of years ago.

i9022.jpg

There never was nor has there been a plastic tab.

Underneath, on the wire thing (my set-up is not nearly -- yet -- as fancy as yours, we keep a wire brush to keep the grill thing, which I did replace with a hinged model -- a very good move -- and a garden tool for spreading coals ane operating the top vent. I also have a dandelion tool (one that is v-forked) that also serves well.

i9023.jpg

The tray underneath also serves as a fine ashtray.

The top of ours is heavy, but when I looked at it, there is a lot of "stuff" built up on it.

I has been a wonderful unit. Thanks to Klink, I have learned that I can smoke easily with this thing. When the area by the handle rusts too much, we will just add some sheet metal and drill holes in that for the handle. It is low tech, and over the course of almost 24 years, has been unbelievably low-maintenance.

Meantime, Paul and I are staring the construct on a cabinet which will sit beside the Weber. Doors to hold charcoal and the misc. gardening tools we use for the grill. With a granite top. Using the sink-cutout from the granite counters that will be installed in my kitchen day after tomorrow. :biggrin:

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I priced them. The pedestal version for $200 (on sale now for $150) and the cart version for $250...at a local DFW dealer.

The dealer also said that Weber discontinued the plastic tab because the plastic was melting.

Thanks for the pricing info on the Napoleon Apollo, Richard. Curious though about what the dealer told you regarding the plastic tab. My tab never melted and I've routinely taken that grill up past 600 (maybe even 700?) degrees F. over the past 8 years :sad: But, I'm sure he has a lot more experience than I do in this area.

Oh well, I will consult my local hardware professional this weekend for a carbon steel bit and to see if there's a suitable way to add some sort of melt-proof tab to the damper control on the newer lid. As it turns out, a friend of mine had the lid of his grill stolen (probably by vandals, it's become a trend of sorts around here) so I can pass one of them on to him.

Thanks also Dave, for the grill recon. :smile:

=R=

Uh, this may seem a bit on the simple side, but why don't you just get one of the very small vise-grip pliers, (I have one that is 4 1/2 inches long, and the handles are coated with silicone so heat won't transfer), and clamp it on to the tab.

I don't have the problem with my old Weber, but I have one of these little vise grips clamped on to the damper on the heater in my greenhouse - poor design, the damper is in a recessed area and it is impossible to grasp it with fingers when the heater is hot. The vise grips have been doing a fine job for about four years.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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