Whenever Weber decides on a specific design of one of their products, they stick with it. They only make a couple of changes here and there, aiming towards the grilling perfection. Ever since 1952, this has been Weber’s ethos, and it’s easy to see that it served them pretty well.
Even though their little tweaks don’t always work, the company always listens to its customers. In other words, mistakes make them go back to the drawing board. The result of this kind of thinking is an array of the world’s best grilling products. It’s something that turned Weber into one of the most famous and popular grill manufacturers on the planet – and for a good reason.
Their Original Kettle Grills have, thus, become a standard when it comes to backyard grilling. Although they don’t sport many bells and whistles, these grills offer both a durable design and an excellent grilling performance. One of them is the Weber Original Kettle 22″.
Designed for cooking for up to eight people, it’s an entry-level classic barbecue model coming at a genuinely affordable price. Its advantages include convenient design, high portability, easy cleanup, large cooking area, as well as the excellent air-flow system. Let’s take a closer look!
This is a 22-inch kettle charcoal grill manufactured by the Weber-Stephen Products LLC (Illinois).
- Classic design
- Quality Weber construction
- Porcelain-enameled bowl and lid
- Large cooking area (363 square inches)
- Excellent heat retention
- One-Touch cleaning system
- Portable – comes with durable wheels
Invented by the company’s founder, this is a modern version of a kettle charcoal grill that has been in use for decades. Its full name is the Weber 741001 Original Kettle 22-inch Charcoal Grill.
Why Get It?
Driven by the unsurprising passion of grilling steaks, George Stephen invented a revolutionary kettle grill all the way back in 1952. Even then, he knew that a cooking bowl with a lid is the key to success in grilling. He merely cut a buoy in half, added handles and legs, and the rest is history.
Nowadays, the company uses a similar mindset and goals to achieve everything they put their minds to. That is precisely why Weber is among the most trusted brands when it comes to BBQ and grilling. Is their 22-inch original kettle grill the right model for your needs?
The first piece of good news accompanying this model is that it comes practically fully assembled. All that the buyer needs to do is to connect the lid and the bowl to the frame – and that’s it. Rare are the grilling enthusiasts who enjoy assembly, which turns this kettle grill into an ideal choice for the beginners.
When it comes to the looks and style, on the other hand, there are no complaints to be had either. Although simple, the model looks attractive and is nicely finished with a dark enamel coating. This is also something that adds to the overall ease of cleaning.
Besides the fact that it looks good in anyone’s backyard, there is also an array of accessories available for this grill. This includes things like covers, char-baskets, chimney starters, rotisseries, as well as the easily-obtainable spare parts. For some, this broad array of accessories is one of the most significant reasons for buying a Weber product.
The model is actually quite large (363 square inches of cooking surface), although that’s expected for a grill that caters for a family. However, this also means that you’ll need a lot of charcoal. Unlike some other models we’ve reviewed, the Weber Original Kettle 22″ requires a lot of fuel to become usable. Fortunately, though, it comes accompanied by a handy measuring cup.
Some other Weber grilling units come with hinged cooking grates; which makes it easy to add charcoal during cooking. As far as we’re concerned, it’s a feature that would make this model much more usable. Moreover, the charcoal grate is far below the cooking grill, and its height cannot be adjusted. However, using enough charcoal turns this downside into an advantage – it’s excellent for zonal or indirect grilling.
Another vital thing to mention here is that the grill bars on this unit are quite thin. This is also the case on many other entry-level products of this type. While they’re fine for preparing kebabs and sausages, the bars are too thin to produce those fine-looking chargrilled lines on steaks. Other than that they cook well, although it’s up to the user to arrange the fuel to get the adequate temperature where he wants it.
The unit’s damper system allows the users to further control the bowl’s interior heat. The system also allows for experimenting with many different types of cooking. As per usual with this company, the dampers function very efficiently. A potential downside is that those who never owned a grill of this type might find it difficult to use its closed cooking system. If you’re not used to closing the lid and like seeing your food cooked in the open air, this product probably isn’t your best choice.
The Weber 741001 Original Kettle 22-inch Charcoal Grill is also highly portable. The model comes with durable wheels for moving across concrete, yards, and gravel. They were made to easily withstand elements. The low weight of the grill makes it quite easy to move it around.
The design of this model is an excellent example of small but mighty. Once it’s fully assembled, the Weber Original Kettle 22″ has the dimensions of 38.5″ x 27″ x 22.5“, and can appear as somewhat minuscule to some potential buyers. However, the impressive 363 square inches of cooking space should be more than enough for most families.
The fact that the model was built to last is apparent right out of the box. The unit is durable from top to bottom – from its rust-resistant aluminum damper to the all-weather heavy-duty wheels. The seal that’s located between the body and the lid is sufficiently tight. This allows the unit to keep the temperature under control. This impressive insulation is something that will let you use the model as a smoker.
It’s a shame that the unit was not built from thicker metal. However, it should be remembered that this is the company’s base model. Another minor complaint is that, unlike Weber’s more upmarket models, this grill comes without an integrated lid holder.
Cleaning & Warranty
Cleaning this kettle grill is exceptionally easy. The main reason behind that is the presence of the One-Touch cleaning system. This would be an enclosed ash catcher, which can hold a substantial amount of ash before it needs to be emptied. Thanks to the integrated spring-loaded handle, removing and reattaching it can be done by anyone.
The warranty for this model covers the cleaning system for five years. The bowl and the lid, on the other hand, are covered for ten years. There’s also a 5-year warranty on the plastic components (does not extend to discoloration or cover fading). The rest of the grill is covered by a 2-year warranty.
Pros & Cons
- Classic design – user-friendly operation
- Durable construction
- Large cooking space
- Tight seal – excellent heat retention
- Two quality wheels for portability
- Very easy to keep clean
- Reasonable price
- Lots of accessories available
- Overall 89% 89%
- Lid thermometer placement
- Flimsy aluminum legs
“I consider myself to be an outdoor grilling enthusiast, as I’ve owned and used many different grills of various design types and fuel sources. In my opinion, Weber 22″ is the best of them all, especially when it comes to real-life everyday grilling. The taste I get with this grill is simply unmatched. It is also cheap, highly adjustable, and can be used a smoker, too. Simply put, it offers the best value and performance that money can buy.”
The fact that this model is so affordable certainly contributes to its popularity. Once we combine this with the overall ease of use, we get a charcoal grill that just had to become a bestseller.
What to Watch Out For
Lid thermometer placement
The lid thermometer of this grill is located high above the hot grate and the coals. Because of this, you’ll never be able to get an accurate reading of the internal temperature. We advise investing in a digital thermometer, such as Weber iGrill 3.
Flimsy aluminum legs
When it comes to construction quality, our only major complaint is the flimsiness of the unit’s aluminum legs.
They have a light and cheap feeling, which is in sharp contrast with the rest of the appliance.
A Piece of Advice
As we said, the thermometer that comes with Weber 741001 Original Kettle 22-inch Charcoal Grill isn’t really useful. It is located too high above the grate and provides inaccurate readings. We advise investing a digital thermometer instead – check out our reviews of the best BBQ thermometers of 2019.
As it is easy to assemble and use, this is an excellent grill for the beginners. The model doesn’t have many bells and whistles, but simplicity can sometimes become an advantage. Moreover, Weber 22″ Kettle is very durable, affordable, and versatile. With it, you’ll be able to cook almost anything – the possibilities are endless.