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My Grill (Weber Q Grill)

Weber Grill

Welcome to Joshua's grill! I am very excited about Tammy's new site and I am honored that she asked me to do a regular contribution to her site. Now that I have all the major portions of the site deployed and functional I can move onto something much more exciting... like grilling meat!

It is fitting that my first blog starts with the foundation of all my outdoor cooking: my grill. But to begin, a little background is necessary. Being the oldest of six children I did a bit of cooking growing up, which I quite liked because I was good at it and I could 'experiment' much like one would do in chemistry class. Sure, there were some freaky accidents along the way...I have yet to forget the super-peppermint sugar cookies I made when I was about 12. I am still attempting to get rid of that horrid aftertaste! ... but overall it was a positive experience and prepared me well for manhood.

Like other males, as I began to branch out from boyhood to true manhood (grunt grunt) I had the uncontrollable urge to merge my fascination with fire with the consumption of red meat. Call it a right of passage, call it primal hungers being unleashed, or just call it a desire for a good steak! Whatever you call it I began practicing the forbidden (to women!) art of grilling.

My first grill was a small portable charcoal grill that Tammy and I bought weeks after being married. Being a man I had to demonstrate my manly skills in providing food! Thankfully she always had a backup plan when I came in with the bad news, "Uh, honey... our charbroiled burgers are now... uhmmm... charcoal burgers"! With time and patience I slowly learned the fine art of cooking a meat over a flame, and all was good.

After using this cheap-o grill and another charcoal grill (kindly donated by some friends) until they fell apart (literally) it was time to get serious. We were grilling on a regular basis and charcoal had become expensive and the preparation time was making grilling more work than pleasure. While I did not want to give up the delicious charcoal flavor I had decided the convenience of a gas grill--and the savings--would be worth a try.

Problem: Most gas grills are great at burning food and horrible at cooking it! Hot spots, cold spots, flare up and flame guards that did not work, direct heat the burned the outside and left the inside cold and mushy, and in general a very poor experience. The consensus: serious grillers need not apply.

But all hope was not lost. After months of reading up on grilling and reading various grills I had finally focused in on my future grill: The Weber Q Grill. Everywhere I turned this grill earned high marks. About.com ranked it highly and rated it as the top portable grill in its class. Likewise MSNBC recently ran a video segment concluding it was by far the best grill in its class (sorry I cannot find the link right this moment). The feedback at Amazon.com was absolutely amazing as well (the two current models here and here are just slightly different than mine).

I have used my Weber for two full years now and I can report back after nearly 4 tanks of gas and nearly 200 uses that this grill is not only the best grill I have ever used, but produces better grilled food than I have had anywhere else--including restaurants.

Yes, it is THAT good.

What makes it special? Lets cover some of the common complaints consumers have about grills:

- Hot spots & Cold spots
- Flare ups
- Too large of a dome to retain heat
- Poor balance between burner/grate temperature and ambient temperature in the dome

The Weber Q grill solves these problems in two unique ways:

  • Most grills are too big for the amount of heat they produce. To compensate the burners run hot resulting in focused hot spots and spotty cold spots and the general ambient temperature, due to a cavernous lid, is inadequate to help cook the food. To remedy this Weber created a dome with a very controlled profile. The Webber Q is compact and well designed for good airflow (giving a nice smoky taste) while reducing the unnecessary volume of air to arbitrarily heat.
  • The burner and grate on the Weber Q grill is ingeniously designed. Instead of multiple burners (which lead to further cold and hot spots) the Q grill has 1 burner. And instead of flimsy, ineffective flame guards Weber designed the burner as a giant loop with a corresponding thick strip of cast iron into the grill grate so the flames hit the bottom of the grate. This prevents most flare-ups and makes the cast iron grill EXTREMLY hot, leaving foods seared by the heat and not the flame. This encourages even cooking and leaves absolutely fabulous grill marks.

Grill Grate

The food this grill churns out is incredible. But Weber, being the company they are, went the extra mile. Instead of leaving me empty handed trying to figure out what temperature and time to cook food to, they provide a handy booklet with a dozen or so recipes and cooking instructions and in the back dozens upon dozens of meats, cuts, and cooking times / settings for the desired doneness. And they are ALL spot-on for the grill.

The Weber Q is also crafted with impeccable construction. After two years of frequent (and I mean frequent) grilling the grill is still in great shape. I had originally thought it would last 2 or so years and I would move on from there. Now I am looking more at 5 years! Considering the use I get out of it the price was a steal (~$180 when I bought it).

One of the nice features of this grill is that it is portable. I did not buy it for a portable grill mind you, but it is very easy to transport. And while it is classified as a "portable" grill don't let that fool you. It has a very large great--280 square inches--and I have cooked for 12 people at one time with the grill. 12 is pushing it, but you can do 8-10 people easy. If you do more of an ala carte you can do even more.

I have tweaked my grill slightly. The only consistent complaint I read about this grill was the small propane tanks did not provide even cooking due to pressure variations. The users I talked to said buy an adapter ($20) and hook up a traditional 20lb propane tank. Not only has this saved me money and convenience, it really works great. The only small note is you have to remember to turn off the pressure and bleed the line before you turn off the grill.

Overall I have no complaints about the food that comes off my Weber Q Grill. The food comes of sizzling hot and tasty with excellent grill marks. The combination of the searing hot grate and the super heated ambient air create perfectly crafted foods to your desired doneness. It is convenient, easy to use, large and portable.

My next grill won't only be a Weber, it will be another Q Grill. And at the price (under $200) I will be getting an absolute bargain.

Some examples of grilled food:

 

Edited to add: It has now been more than 2 years since this review was written. We still have the same Weber grill and we're still completely in love with it!! We use it weekly (if not daily!) in the summer, and even occasionally in the winter (it's in our garage, so we just open the garage doors).

This grill just works fabulously. Even I (Tammy) can grill with it -- it turns out beautiful food without much effort -- notice the lovely grill marks in the photos above: this is what this grill does every time. Even hot dogs taste great made on our Weber Q grill. 

Comments

Tammy's picture

Great review!

I completely agree that this grill has been a great investment! I can't imagine eating grilling on anything else! (Or rather, seeing you grill on anything else ;D)

This grill is excellent!

I have had many meals off of this grill and I must say that it is to be rated highly! I don't think I've had a meal I didn't like from this grill!

Great!

This was a great review-- and funny! My husband grills a lot, too, but we have a regular ol' Weber charcoal grill. We'll have to look at one like yours when we're ready for an upgrade.

I'm looking forward to your future grilling posts, and I'll definitely share them with my husband. :)

Tammy's picture

Weber grills are excellent!

We used charcoal for a couple years, and enjoyed it, but it is a lot more work and more expensive. I don't think we would ever want to switch back now that we're used to gas. :) Our grill has spoiled us. ;)

Joshua loves to grill; he grills all year (in the winter he opens the garage doors and grills in there!) but especially in the summer. I certainly won't complain! :D

Joshua's picture

Thanks Kate!

I am glad someone got a giggle out of it!

As you can tell I am really happy with this product. I had never owned or used a Weber grill before purchasing this one. I had read some rants and raves about Weber online but you know how that goes--people get all sentimental about all kinds of products (cars, computers, etc) so I kind of ignored it.

While I cannot say much for the Weber product line as this is the only grill I have used from them, I must say I am absolutely impressed by it and my next grill will almost surely be a Weber. The new Q grills have porcelain coated cast iron grates--so I want to do some reading up on these about (a) how do they endure a lot of use and brushings, i.e. do they chip or flake and (b) how are the results in comparison to cast iron?

Outside of that the new models looks pretty spiffy. The 220 I believe has a nice little thermometer and a slightly more domed lid. The 300 series has 2 burners; while this destracts from one of the major "pluses" of the Q grill IMO, if you managed it well (i.e. turned on both burners to keep ambient temp right) you could do a LOT of different kinds of grilling, namely indirect heat which is GREAT for chicken and such. e.g. You would get a nice searing on the direct heat and then move it to the "off" side and allow the ambient temperature to bake it.

Rambling aside, thanks for your comments and feel free to contribute comments, ideas, and recipes :)

new owner

I have just purchased the webber Q and am very happy with it, I am sick of having large bulky grills that i have trouble controlling. The Q is teriffic and will be very easy to store. I have only used the samll gas bottles so far but may switch to the larger in the future.

The Weber Q and Charcoal grills

I own both the Weber Q 220 and their Performer charcoal grill. While I agree the Q is a fantastic grill, I think there are many times when the charcoal grill delivers better tasting food.

Gas surely wins for convenience and for foods that require long cooking time. For the best tasting burgers and steaks, I consistently turn to the Weber Performer. It's great to have both charcoal and gas grills.

Your mileage may vary.

Eric

Rock'in Grill

This grill rocks. I have had this grill for over 2 yrs. and it just keeps getting better with every use.
I cook almost everything on it. I follow the recommend cooking times in the book for the most part. I live at 4200'. I recommend this grill to everyone who is getting away from charcoal and wants a no brainer grill. Keep Qin.

Pizza

Just for all to know , Pizza works great on the "q" as well , I used a cast iron hot plate with the pizza on it , but Im sure an oven pizza plate will work just as well

Indirect Heat

How do you use indirect heat with this grill? I have the same grill and because the loop burner, I'm not able to get indirect heat.

Indirect Heat

You simply place aluminium foil and a gridle under your food to reflect the direct heat away

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

DH & I loved grilled foods. The problem is, we have yet to have a good gas grill. Our food tends to be charred on the outside & less than done on the inside. After reading your fabulous review & looking at the scrumptious looking pictures, I think we have found our Christmas gift to each other this year! I'm afraid that the TV that was in first place will have to be bumped to next Christmas. Thanks for such an wonderful write up.

A balanced opinion

I've owned this bbq for a few years and cook infrequently. It is good for those who do cook infrequently, and don't have a large family or space to put a larger bbq.

That said, the burner is underpowered for grill cooking. The bbq is more designed for lid-down cooking. A lamb leg roast over an 1.5 hours is great! Do 10 of these and you will need to clean the grease off the lid but your wife you doing that to her cleaning the kitchen oven!

The lid appears to be powder coated (mostly on the outside) with a thick layer of some sort of (refractory?) material which stops the aluminium lid from becomming as hot to touch as it might otherwise would. However this material will delaminate over time and will flake off the outside if you wash the lid, ruining the appearance of the unit.

The bars in the grill make it diffficult to clean as you cannot insert a scourer through the grill at these points and the bars are not an insignificant area of the grill. Burnt food tends to get stuck in the grill in these areas and you will periodically need to use oven-cleaner to 'eat' it off. I have also used oven cleaner to clean on the *inside* of the bbq without problems, but I wouldn't try that on the outside.

The folding shelves are a good idea but cannot hold a plate with more than one steak on it without deflecting enough for the plate to slide on to the ground.

actually

this is a pretty negative opinion...

Tammy's picture

Weber Q grill review -- negative?

I agree with the comment above that this grill does great with lid-down cooking. That's how we grill everything on it! It's faster, more efficient, and heats the middle of the food better, eliminating the burnt-outside still-raw inside problem nearly 100%, at least in our experience!

As far as how the grill would perform doing 10 legs of lamb all in a row, well, I haven't tried that. ;) We've never needed to use oven cleaner on the grill though! I've shared in other posts about how Joshua cleans the grate (a wire wheel brush in a cordless drill makes quick work of "brushing" the grate for a deep cleaning!) and keeps the holes in the heating element open (using a 1/32 drill bit to clear them from any buildup). This maintenance is more like once a year or so (and we grill quite a bit, probably once a week on average). :)

We have cooked for large groups on our Weber Q grill! It's also so fast (think 8-12 minutes for things like burgers, chicken breast, etc.) that the times when we've had a lot to grill, it wasn't a problem to do 2 "batches" if necessary. But that has been for groups of 8+ adults. :)

I am open to other opinions of the Weber Q grill though! :) That is why I allow comments like the above! Anyone researching the pros and cons of Weber Qs would want more than just our opinion/experience, right? :)

Q220 great on balconies

We live in an apartment in Sydney (they call them "Units"). Bought a Q220 2 weeks ago with a 9kg gas bottle. We use it about 5 times a week. Perfect results so far, every time. Done beef stakes, veal stakes, lamb leg stakes, Ling (fish), chicken breasts, and lots of roast vegetables (try them, for a healthy and yummy meal!). Today will be our first roast - a leg of lamb.

It is a great way to cook and it takes away the heat from the kitchen too. Only recommendation - the cheaper trolley is half the price of the other one and is more practical to boot.

Thanks, Mr. Weber!

Roasting or indirect cooking on Weber Q

Roasting on a Weber Q is extremely easy. You need a roasting trivet and a piece of aluminium foil. Place the aluminium foil flat on the grill directly under the trivet. The foil should extend only 1cm around the circumference of the trivet. Get a sharp knife and cut slits into the foil to drain fat away.
Pre heat Q with lid down on high for 10 minutes. Turn Q to medium setting and close the lid. A 2nd leg of lamb should take approx 75-80 mins to cook. With 50 minutes to go place potatoes and pumpkin around the trivet for beautiful roast vegetables.

For the q300 turn middle burner off.

Regards luke

Foil tray instead of tin foil

Would it be possible to sit the roasting tray in an aliminum tray with holes in the bottom for the fat to drain out - instead of putting tin foil on the BBQ plate??

indirect cooking

Thanks to Luke for posting the hints on indirect cooking on a Q.
I've had a q220 for a little over a year and really like it. It is, however, a grill not a bbq. Therefore, suggestions like Luke's are always welcome.
As for the portability issues ... not very! The 220 is rather large for a portable unit. I'm considering a 120 or 100 for that reason. The limitation for me is that, in my part of the world, the grills are readily available but the accessories to fit are not. For a perfect fit, it seems I'd have to order the griddle plate from the U.S. and the shipping is costly.
Also, wrt to portability: The small, allegedly disposable, 1 lb propane canisters CAN be refilled from a 20 lb tank with a "Mr. Heater F276172 Propane One Pound Tank Refill Adapter " available from amazon.com ... only in the States, not Canada. [grumble]. An alternative for some might be a smaller refillable tank. 10 and 15 lb tanks area available but are more expensive to buy than the, far more common, 20 lb tanks.
A couple of my favourite recipes are:
bannock (any version): use low heat directly on the grill or moderate heat on a griddle, bake until bread sounds hollow when thumped lightly with with finger or spoon;
curry halibut: [my own concoction] take a thawed halibut steak about 1 inch thick, pat dry with paper towel, spread both sides of the steak with Patak's (TM) curry paste (mild or madras ... use hot or vindaloo at your own risk) and place on lightly oiled sheet of heavy tin foil [large enough to make a sealed envelope around the contents], top (don't bury the steak but close to it) the steak with chopped onions and chopped fresh tomato (optional: a sprig of fresh cilantro or a sprinkling of ground cumin), seal the envelope around everything and place on pre-heated to medium grill, cook for about 15 minutes with lid closed to keep heat at 350 (approx.), the envelope will balloon with the steam (I guess that creates a bit of a pressure cooker effect (?) speeding up the cooking process), if you open the envelope and find that the fish doesn't flake or isn't already falling apart a bit re-seal and return for a few minutes (ocean fish is far better a bit undercooked than overcooked), serve with a garden salad or basmati rice.
happy Q-ing!
Clem

Portable Q

The 220 is not really portable and can really cause smell and grease issues in a car while travelling.

So, I built a slide out road case from marine ply for the Q and the Gas tank with a cutlery draw and a place for locking down cooking utensils. I also made it air tight with a silicon gel.

Voila, 2 people to lift in and out of the 4WD and instant BBQ on the beach with no smell or grease issues. Everything slides in and out of the case on 1 metre kitchen drawer runners.

Enjoyed reading!

Enjoyed reading this review and all the comments that come with it!
I have a small portable grill similar to this and have not used it quite yet but I'm looking forward to it. When I buy a new grill I'll have to think about tihs one for sure!

-Liz

Cleaning the grill plates

I was informed that after you have cooked you meat, turn the heat up to high for 3 - 5 minutes, (weber now sell what is called a 3 sided grill brush in small and large - it is a round head full of metal bristles). Immediately prior to using the brush, dip it into water and then use it on the grill while keeping the temperature on high. Becare of any steam which may be caused by the water on the flame. The high flame burns of residue food and by dipping the bristel head in water while hot, it cleans the brush.

I have yet to try this method myself but I am going to purchase one of these brushes and use it in this fashion as I use my grill almost daily.

-Lyn

Cleaning the Grill

I have one of the Weber 3 sided metal cleaning brushes and use it every time we've finished grilling just as the above post described. It's fantastic, and very fast. You can easily position the brush to get in between the grill bars. When you've finished grilling leave the burners on high for a few minutes with the lid down. Anything stuck on the grill will turn to ash. Have a quarter of a bucket (or similar) of water handy & once you turn off the grill dip the brush in water & clean the grill. The steam it creates helps sanitise the grill & the heat dries off any water so no rust forms. I would definitely say buy one when you buy your grill!

~ Michelle

Cleaning the Grill

The wire brush available from Webber cleans the grill nicely. It needs to be kept wet when cleaning which stops food attaching and clogging.

I have read many ideas for removing builtup grease/food from the inside but I find the easiest way is to use a plastic putty applicator to scrape the interior. These applicators bend so can easily scrape the internal curves.

At a cost of $1 each they are cheap and can be reused.

The one I use is a panel beater plastic filler applicator, sometimes called a bog applicator. You can get them from most auto shops that sell automative paints. ( I am not fussed in oven cleaners after the mess they created.)

New Q220

Hi all, recently purchased Q220 for our balcony. The food tastes great. So far we have cooked steak, fish, chicken fillet, sausages and last night seafood skewers in garlic yum. Love the Weber Q220. As for cleaning, best to do it straight away. I agree with using the wire brush dipped in cold water with the grate HOT well worth the price to clean the grate. Then when the grate cools down I remove it to clean the inside with either Weber spray cleaner or Selleys BBQ cleaner and a paper towel for a quick wipe. I am determined to keep it clean as I am sure we will use 3-4 times a week. Keep the recipes coming.

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