When most people think of Weber Grills, they think of that ball-shaped kettle grill that has been so popular for nearly 70 years. Lesser known is the Weber Ranch Kettle. At nearly $2,000USD, this isn’t the charcoal grill for the average backyard cookout. The enormous capacity of the ranch kettle makes it perfect for catering, country clubs, or just to be impressive. You get all the features you expect from a Weber Charcoal Grill, only super-sized.
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- Good Airflow Control
- Solid Construction
- Easy to Use
- Huge Cooking Area
- Too Big for Most Needs
- Awkward to Cook On
- 1104 square inches of grilling space
- 38-inch diameter stainless steel grate
- Removable aluminum ash catcher
- Roll top/tuck away lid
- Aluminum vents
- Removable ash catcher
- Heavy cart with two wheels and two casters
- Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl
- 148-pounds total weight
- Made in the United States by the Weber-Stephen Products Company
Full Review – Weber Ranch Kettle Charcoal Grill
It is probably important to start out by saying that this is a $1,900USD charcoal grill, making it one of the most expensive on the market. And yet it is built, in many ways, not all that different from its $80USD little brother. Of course, building a grill of this size isn’t easy and neither is maintaining it. This grill can handle around 20 chickens at the same time. It can cook hot and fast or low and slow. It works as a basic direct grill or as an indirect smoker.
Simply put, this is as versatile as one would expect a Weber Kettle Grill to be.
Most of us will never have cause for a grill this size, but if you do, this is the one to buy. Well made and expertly engineered it can last for a decade or two with proper care. Unfortunately, Weber does not have a cover that fits this model and a cover would be a must for this kind of investment, so a custom cover would be in order.
Should you Buy the Weber Ranch Kettle?
Aside from all the great capabilities of this grill, it is important that anyone wishing to buy it understand what they are getting into. Need to lift off the cooking grate loaded with food to add more charcoal? Plan on having two people help you. Even with the hinged grates, accessing the fire can be a challenge. Similarly, this isn’t an easy grill to clean. Most people probably don’t have a way to soak a nearly 40-inch cooking grate, and while there is an ash catcher below, it will take a shovel to clear out all the ash from this grill.
Speaking of the ash production, which can be prodigious, this grill will burn through a lot of fuel. Plan on starting with as many as two large bags of charcoal and for longer cooks have more on hand. Need to add burning coals to the grill? A couple of charcoal chimneys will be a good start. This grill burns through a lot of fuel. The size requires it just to get it heated.
I don’t want to discourage anyone from making this investment, but this really is the grill for someone cooking for 30 or more people, not for the casual backyard griller. It is impressive, but without the definite need, there is no real reason to own one. Also, the cooking grate is more than three feet across. This means it is better to walk around the grill than reach over it. Particularly when cooking at high temperatures. Also, the grill isn’t particularly tall. So there is bending involved.
Weber Ranch Kettle Charcoal Grill
When George Stephen first introduced the Weber Kettle Grill he couldn’t have imagined all the shapes and sizes it would develop into. This monster, sometimes called the Mothership, is huge. But it has all the features that make Weber the biggest manufacturer of charcoal grills. The huge lid fits into a roll-back lid holder that keeps it handy but can also be used to deflect the wind. The front handle has tool hooks, and ashes and debris fall into a collector under the grill.
Like any Weber Kettle, you get a consistent temperature and precise heat control. The round design gives it superior heat retention and you can grill directly, indirectly, low and slow, or at high grilling temps. All in all, this is an impressive grill.
However, the size and price do make it a specialty item. You will find stainless steel versions of this grill used in the Weber Restaurants. You will also find this model used for catering or large food events. It really is an event grill and not something that the average backyard cook will be able to take full advantage of. It is a great conversation piece tough.
I have been writing about Barbecue & Grilling for 25 years. I have cooked on almost every grill or smoker ever built. In that time, I have endeavored to match people with the grill or smoker that is right for them. I believe that the right product is the one that you find easy to use and capable of doing everything you want with the reliability and durability to make it worth your investment. If you have a good first experience, you will be back for more. In this way, we grow barbecue for the next generation. I want you to make memories that your children will cherish.
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