The Weber Performer Platinum brings you the best of both worlds: The flavor and authenticity of a charcoal grill mixed with the convenience and speed of a gas grill.
With a whole host of modern features, does this 21st century update on barbecuing make it worth the price?
Features & Usability
Starting with one of the most impressive features of the Weber Performer Platinum, a propane ignition button lies at the controls of the model, which helps minimize the length of time you need to wait for your barbecue to warm up.
For users who want to stay faithful to the traditional flavor of BBQ, without the wait, this is a very welcome feature. The propane gas ignition system lights up the coal successfully every time, enabling you to get on with grilling swiftly and without a hitch.
The Performer Platinum runs on a small propane gas bottle that fits under the work surface, and what’s really great is if you run out of propane, you can still use a manual lighter to ignite the coals. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s great to have both options!
The Weber Performer Platinum has a circular stainless steel cooking grate with a surface area of 476 square inches, which will definitely prove large enough for most platters. Alongside the cooking area is a large preparation area for food. This area is spacious and the worktable makes it convenient to have grub at the ready to then throw onto your grill.
As is common with charcoal grills, the controls on the Weber are simple, in the form of two temperature-regulating air vents on the bottom and top of the grill body.
A built-in thermometer in the lid makes it easy to monitor your cooking. A tuck-away lid holder provides a convenient place to store the lid when checking or plating your food. When you am done cooking, you just close the top and bottom vents and the charcoal extinguishes. This allows you to re-use some of the charcoal the next time you grill.
The grill features a great and simple ash disposal system at the bottom of the grill bowl. These disposal units have become in-vogue with a lot of the more modern grills, making cleaning the grill easy and neat. It is a fantastic feature, and certainly helped to ensure that post-barbecue cleanup time was kept to an absolute minimum.
Every aspect of the Weber Performer Platinum is designed with convenience in mind: The charcoal storage bin; the food work surface; the portable cooking timer; the ash disposal unit. All of these features go a long way to ensuring that your barbecue experience is as painless as possible so that you can get on with the main task: Grilling!
The Weber Performer Platinum Grill is one of the fastest we’ve ever tested for lighting up, with it reaching its optimum temperature (625°F) in well under 9 minutes. Obviously, the propane ignition plays a large hand in this but nonetheless is still very quick.
The grill however is a little weaker when temperatures across its cooking surface are tested, with cooking temperature and times very much depending on the area of the grate, however someone with a bit more experience of barbecuing with a charcoal grill should be able to find a way to work around this through some cunning redistribution of the coals.
The cooking temperature did vary over time somewhat, but the variation was somewhat less than most propane grills, because of the more constant output of charcoal.
While cooking, both the body and the handle of the Weber rose to very high temperatures, so this is a model that definitely requires you to wear oven mitts as a precaution. Be careful out there, chefs!
In our Weber Performer Platinum review, it has been difficult to pick at the faults of what is clearly a very strong and fantastic value barbecue unit. If we were to be really picky, then Weber might want to address issues we found with uneven heat across the grate, but this can be worked around with practice on a charcoal grill.
Otherwise, this is a great grill that offers a lot more features than most other charcoal grills. It goes beyond what most others offer, and that’s what makes the Weber Performer Platinum such a firm favorite of ours at Best Outdoor Grills.
Looking for something else? Check out our other guides to the best outdoor grills.