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Weber Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill Review

If you're interested in a new charcoal grill, then you should definitely read this Weber Performer Deluxe review. It's an amazing bit of kit, and just may be the right grill for you!

Emma Braby

Last Updated: June 30, 2020 | 7 min read

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In this Weber Performer Deluxe review, you’ll discover exactly why it is that: Deluxe!

From the Performer range, this grill offers the traditional and smokey taste of charcoal, but with added convenience thanks to its plentiful features that take the best of charcoal and gas grills, and combine the two.

But how, I hear you wonder? Well, fear not reader, this guide is going to take you through everything that you need to know.

If you’ve never heard of Weber grills you probably haven’t shopped for a BBQ before!

Weber is a top-of-the-range brand that produces grills to service the differing preferences of all grill connoisseurs. With over 30 years of grill expertise and smooth customer service, this is a brand that we are more than happy to recommend.

So, let’s take a closer look at the Weber Performer Deluxe charcoal grill, and discover what makes it stand out from the crowd!

General Overview

Weber 15501001 Performer Deluxe Charcoal...

 

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The Weber Performer deluxe range has three main players, the standard, the premier, and the deluxe.

The deluxe is a big step up from the other models that will make your grilling life more convenient and easy.

Compared to the standard model, the deluxe offers a variety of extra features that transform it from a standard Weber grill to a joy-to-use outstanding grilling machine, which all but forced us to include it as the best high end option in our list of best charcoal grills for 2020.

It uses the original Weber kettle grill design with a 22” grate, and that’s 363 square inches of grilling surface. This means you can grill more than enough food to feed as many 6 people, or grill up 13 burgers at once on the cooking area.

The Weber Gourmet BBQ System (GBS) allows for convenient grilling and a variety of cooking options, interchanging temperature zones, and easier access to the charcoal.

The gas starter option means that you don’t have to get down and dirty with the coals either. It has a simple ‘touch-and-go’ electronic and gas lighting system for the charcoal. Simplicity itself!

And with a lot more to go through, this grill packs a lot into a compact setup.

Key Features

In our opinion, here are the Weber PDG’s best features:

Touch-N-Go Gas Ignition System

The Touch N Go gas ignition system is electronic and makes starting this charcoal grill quick and swift with a click of a button, very similar to a gas grill.

Forgotten your matches or lighter?

No problem, with the flick of a switch, it lights the gas burner under the charcoal briquettes, so no having to get your hands dirty.

It’s fueled by a standard disposable small propane bottle sold in most stores.

You simply start by heating the coals for 5 minutes with the propane flame before turning it off, and then letting the coals build up their own heat.

This reduces the classic firelighters or fluid start time by over 50% – down to just 15 minutes before cooking temperatures are reached.

Gourmet BBQ System

The steel-plated hinged cooking grate in the Weber Performer Deluxe helps make this grill uber convenient.

Both sides of the grate can flip up, enabling you to reach the twin charcoal baskets below while your food still grills, so you can top up with charcoal or add smoking wood easily.

These two baskets also allow you to utilize direct or indirect heat with ease, by moving the coals around, ensuring you achieve better control over your cooking temperatures.

The GBS is designed with a circular grate insert in the middle which expands your cooking possibilities. Simply remove this center section and replace it with your weapon of choice.

There is an array of accessories that you can purchase separately, including a pizza stone, wok, steamer, griddle, poultry roaster, sear grate, Dutch oven, a trivet, and possibly my favorite, the waffle and sandwich maker!

Endless possibilities equal endless food, so what’s not to love? You can see the GBS system in all it’s glory in this quick video:

As an extra added bonus, this deluxe model comes with the sear grate accessory as standard.

One Touch Cleaning System

Weber 15501001 Performer Deluxe Charcoal...

This stainless-steel one-touch system makes cleaning of Weber performer grills so much easier, so you never have to dread the clean again!

A simple slide mechanism moves the three-point diffuser side to side, which pushes ash through the central hole into the removable, high-capacity, aluminum ash catcher.

This is then removed and emptied, so no more scooping out dead coals in a cloud of dust.

Prep Areas

To the right of the Weber performer grill is a metal-painted and heat-resistant work surface area. This is great for food prepping, a place to stand rubs and sauces, or simply to place your beverage while flipping your burgers.

It is a sturdy weather-resistant, pressed sheet metal that you can clean with chemical surface cleaners while being light enough so that the whole setup is moved with ease. This means you can chase the sun in your yard as you cook.

Underneath is a convenient ‘CharBin’ that Weber suggests you use to store your coals.

While convenient, I also think it useful as a trash can, so that when you are prepping you can place your plastic wrappings and waste in the bin, rather than them blowing around the garden.

Manufacturers Specifications

Weber 15501001 Performer Deluxe Charcoal...
  • Dimensions (with lid closed): 43 ½” (H) x 48” (W) x 30” (D)
  • Diameter: 22”
  • Fuel Type: Charcoal
  • Built-in lid thermometer
  • Worktable
  • Removable LCD cook timer

Ease of Use

This grill is very simple to use once setup, and assembly takes approximately 60 minutes. Simply follow the user guide. Once complete, you will see that Weber has made the PDG a breeze to use.

Having designed it with the Touch-N-Go to take the hassle out of lighting coals, and then adding the twin coal baskets and the GBS, they have designed a complete system that makes charcoal grilling an easy everyday activity.

The extra preparation surfaces, the CharBin, and the simplicity of the tuck-away lid holder show that they have thought of everything.

Performance

The Weber PDG setup performs well, like all Weber grills. The kettle design is favored for its simple temperature control vent system and iconic design.

The addition of the gas lighting system means that it’s now efficient on startup time too, so not only can you grill spontaneously, but you can do it quicker and with more cooking options at your fingertips thanks to the GBS system.

So, the options for what you can cook and how well it does it have multiplied tremendously.

Maintenance and Cleaning

With the One-Touch cleaning system, cleaning the ash out of the grill is easy – simply swipe the lever back and forth to release the ash into the ash catcher, then remove the ash catcher and dispose of the ash.

Clean the grates after every use as you would with any grill, and the rest can be cleaned once every 3 or 4 sessions with your usual cleaning materials, after you’ve warmed it up so that all the grime and food residue is easier to clean.

Design and Build Quality

This grill is top-of-the-line with a porcelain-enameled bowl and lid, with the coating fused to the steel to prevent rust and burn-off.

It is a hard-wearing, time-proven and classic Weber design that protects it from the elements.

The lid has an easy-to-grip handle that is protected by a heat resistant plate, which you can then place in the tuck-away stainless-steel lid holder conveniently attached to the side of the grill. This saves you from holding it or putting it on the floor.

The aluminum top and bottom vents are rustproof, and the heat resistant plastic handles allow easy adjustment of the airflow for consistent temperature setup and safety. Combined with the addition of a built-in thermometer for effortless control.

Weber 15501001 Performer Deluxe Charcoal...

This grill comes with a removable backlit LCD timer, however, (being picky now), with the use of our phone timers and thermometers to tell us about our grills, this is not the most useful of gadgets. However, it doesn’t take anything away from the design.

Overall, this grill looks simple yet sleek and polished, transforming it from a simple kettle grill to one that looks like it means business!

The build quality, as with all Weber grills, is among the very best in the game, which is proven in their warranty.

Warranty and Support

Weber offers a great warranty, which varies for the different parts and has terms attached, so be sure to check out their full warranty details.

But in short, the bowl and the lid are covered for 10 years, the One-Touch cleaning system and plastic components are covered for 5 years, and all remaining parts covered for 2 years.

Weber states that customer service is their priority, and with the support request form, contact number, email address, and a variety of social media teams, their customer support systems appear to be an easy and smooth process.

Weber Performer Grill Review – Final Verdict

Overall, we really like this grill.

It takes the classic Weber kettle charcoal grill and makes it into a cooking station that even the most professional of grillers would be impressed with.

What We Like

  • Ease of use
  • GBS – this grill can cook almost everything thanks to the accessories you can slot into the grates.
  • Build quality – as with all Webers it’s built to last with a warranty that backs it up
  • Accessory range – with the GBS and other add-ons it has a lot to offer

What Could Be Improved

  • The lid could have the Weber stainless steel lid hinge seen on other Weber’s
  • The timer seems like an afterthought without much functionality

Value for Money?

It sure is!

It gives you a lot of cooking versatility for the price and is built to last.

If you were to average the purchase cost over the years of service it will provide, you will see plenty of value for money.

Is this a Recommended Product?

Weber 15501001 Performer Deluxe Charcoal...

You probably guessed the answer to this one already – we thoroughly recommend this product, especially if you love easy charcoal grilling.

 

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Conclusion

The Weber Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill is a competent multitasker. It gives you the best of the charcoal grill experience with the ease and diversity of an expensive gas grill cooking station. Giving you the ability to master all sorts of different cooks, from all-out grilling to smoking, through baking and even on to pizza making.

So, whether yo’re looking to make charcoal grilling quicker and easier, or looking to widen your range of offerings while cooking al fresco, this Weber performer deserves serious consideration.

If you own one, or do make a purchase, let us know in the comments below how you get on so we can share your cooking journey.

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