The Weber Kettle is iconic. But Weber never rests. The Weber Summit Charcoal is their massive kamado-style charcoal grill, packed with features and some impressive engineering. The question everyone has is, does this all-metal, lightweight grill stand up to traditional ceramic grills.
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Introducing the Weber Summit Charcoal Grill
Weber is known for their charcoal grills. They created the original weber kettle 70 years ago. Over the years there have been many versions and variations but know of them unique as the Weber Summit Charcoal Grill. While this looks like an extra large weber grill, it is in fact a kamado-style grill and smoker. The bowl and lid are dual-layer steel and inside you find a removable diffuser plate so you can smoke large amounts of food at once. We’ll get into the engineering in a minute.
While large, the Weber Summit has many of the features you would expect from a standard Weber kettle grill. The one-touch cleaning system lets you collect ashes easily for disposal. The dampers or vents are located at the bottom and the exact top for great temperature control. The top vent has a few tricks though. This model also comes standard with Weber’s Gourmet BBQ System, a special grill grate that fits multiple accessories including a wok, pizza stone, and much more. So let’s look at this grill in more detail.
- 452 square inches of total cooking space
- Stainless steel cooking grate
- Weber Gourmet BBQ System compatible
- Porcelain enameled steel construction
- Stainless steel hardware
- Hinge mounted lid
- Dual walled, air-insulated body
- Mounted on a cart with three locking casters
- Removable ash catcher
- Total weight of 117 pounds
- Made in the United States by Weber Stephen Products Company
How the Weber Summit Charcoal Grill Works
What makes the Summit different than any other Weber Charcoal Grill is the construction of the body. The body or bowl of the grill as well as the lid is made from two layers of steel. Of course, with Weber’s superior porcelain-enameled finish. There is only air between the inner and outer body. Weber calls it air insulation. It doesn’t sound much like insulation, but it works. The gasket that seals the lid closed helps as well. Air comes in through the bottom and out the top. There are no leaks. At high heat, with the vents opened all the way, this is a grill engine. Hot and fast. Vents closed down to a sliver and you have low and slow smoking.
In a traditional ceramic kamado grill, the insulation comes from the ceramic. The ceramic used in these grills is similar in composition to heat tiles used on spacecraft. The Broil King Keg 5000 is metal and has a high temperature, high-performance insulation between the inner and outer shell. The Weber Summit has air. And yet, it works. This grill can hold low and slow temperatures for very long periods of time. The heat retention is excellent. Not, however, as good as other kamado grills. But then, this kamado is huge and that too impacts heat retention.
This grill/smoker has a two-position fuel grate so you can drop the fire deep down in the grill body, or lift it up for a more direct, intense flame. With the coals in the bottom position, you can add in the dual layer deflector plate. This is similar to the plate setter on a Big Green Egg. Rigged this way, you have an excellent smoker with 432 square inches of primary cooking space.
What you get with the Weber Summit Kamado Grill
Currently, the base model (more on the deluxe version below) costs $1,250USD. While comparing this grill to other kamado grills, I want to point out that it is also comparable in price. This is not an inexpensive charcoal grill. It is big and it is versatile. It is also well built, so it won’t rust anytime soon. And it will sear a steak and smoke a brisket.
You get everything you need to cook. The assembly time is estimated at about an hour and a half. So you could be cooking a couple of hours after you pick this grill up from the store (or order online). What you won’t get is a cover, which I highly recommend. You can purchase cookware for the Gourmet BBQ Sytems for specialized cooking, but really, get the grill and the cover and you are set to go.
Weber Summit Charcoal Kamado Grill
First introduced in 2017, the Weber Summit Charcoal Grill, has hit backyards around the world as the perfect blend of grill and smoker. It is amazingly versatile and yet so simple. Weber has modeled this grill on their classic charcoal kettle design. But this kettle-looking grill is supersized, dual wall insulated, and packed with stainless steel marvels.
Of all the Weber products, this might be the grill that can do the most. Yes, it is charcoal, and that means lighting a fire. But Weber makes that as easy as possible (see the Weber Summit 24-Inch Kamado S6 Charcoal Grill Center below for even more features). You can do the high-temperature grilling, or make barbecue, low and slow. So if you have the money, and don’t want a more traditional Kamado Grill, I strongly encourage you to take a look at the Weber Summit Charcoal Grill.
Weber Summit Charcoal Grill Warranty
- Bowl, and lid assembly – 10 years, no rust through/burn through
- Stainless steel cooking grates – 5 years, no rust through/burn through
- One-Touch cleaning system – 5 years, no rust through/burn through
- Plastic components – 5 years, excluding fading or discoloration
- All remaining parts – 2 years
The Weber Summit Charcoal Grill Center (S6)
For only $900USD more you can buy the Weber Summit on a cart with a gas-powered charcoal lighting system. Consider this the Performer Deluxe version of the Weber Summit. It is the same as the grill/smoker listed above with two major differences.
This is a large cart-mounted grill. The stainless steel work table is large and the cart is very stable. It has two large wheels and two casters, so it is easy to move. The cart has a wire basket for holding whatever you like and a bottom shelf for storage.
The other feature of this model is the gas-powered ignition system. Attach a small, disposable propane tank (like the kind you take camping) to the grill, and a burner at the bottom of the grill lights and starts your charcoal for you. No lighter cubes or, heaven forbid lighter fluid are necessary.
So with this model, you have space to work, a self-lighting charcoal grill, and all the features of a kamado grill. It’s a great package and one I know you will love if you are willing to spend the $2,200USD.