Weber is one of the world’s most well-known barbecue brands, owing to their extensive and successful range of grills and smokers. They are a brand who have managed to adapt to the broader needs of today’s BBQ enthusiast with a variety of modern models and updates, while also never abandoning the spirit of traditional grilling by ensuring that even their most recent models follow the same principles of their very early models from the 1950’s.
If you need to feed a huge crowd with a BBQ grill that offers an insanely large grilling area then check out our Weber Ranch Kettle review below.
Weber Ranch Kettle Review
Features & Usability
The Weber Ranch Kettle is a grill that has a unique shape of a kettle with a HUGE cooking area of 1104 square inches, enabling you to cook whole platters all in one go. Other features include:
- A removable ash catcher that prevents hot ash from blowing around, helping you keep the surrounding areas of the grill safe and clean
- Fantastic portability which allows you to use the grill for parties, barbecues and as an outdoor BBQ kitchen
- Dimensions of 42 by 37.75 by 44.75 inches thus make it a compact product which will not occupy much space on your patio
- Locking casters that ensure that the grill is stable in its position
- Coated with porcelain enamel, preventing rust and keeping the grill durable.
- Weather resistant and thermoplastic handles allow you to move the utensils without feeling hot or getting burnt.
When we assembled the grill it took about an hour, which is a good amount of time for something of this size and was made easier by the excellent instructions that Weber have provided with the model. It may sound like a minor point to pick up on, but I’ve always been really impressed with how straightforward and clear Weber’s instructions are for every grill that manufacture.
The grill features four plastic wheels: Two large wheels; and two smaller ones that lock, keeping the grill fixed on your patio. The wheels rotate freely over most surfaces, making it easy to move the grill even while it’s in use.
There are a few downsides to what the grill offers, but believe me when I say that I am being very fussy to point these out.
The Weber Ranch doesn’t feature a shelf, which is a shame as shelves come in handy for tools and keeping sauces and other items nearby, but perhaps this is the tradeoff for the grills space on offer. The grill does has several hooks for keeping tools, which is hugely convenient.
As is to be expected from an outdoor charcoal grill of this size, the Weber Ranch requires a fair amount of charcoal to fuel it, and so the further investment that this will require is something that you will need to take into consideration when buying this grill.
The Ranch Kettle is tough to clean. While most removable cooking grates on other models can easily fit in a dishwasher, this is not possible with the huge cooking grates of the Ranch. However, with a grill area of this size this is really to be expected and a fair compromise for the massive grilling space that the Ranch offers.
For all its size, the Weber Ranch Kettle’s lid doesn’t seem to provide enough vertical clearance for a good-sized bird to fit underneath. I measured about 10 inches from the top of the middle of the lid down to the cooking surface; which is unlikely to be quite enough to fit in something like a large turkey. The Ranch Kettle is unrivalled in so many aspects of cooking potential, but this could certainly pose a problem.
Though not experienced personally, I have read reports in reviews of slight warping to the coal grate due to the heat. While this is not great, it can be remedied by flipping the grate over between uses.
The advantage that having a grilling area as large as that of the Weber Ranch Kettle gives you is that it then also boasts a massive heated area beneath it. The natural power that this then generates is superb, and the combination of these two features means that you can cook large meats easily and relatively quickly.
The flexibility this offers you is seen in use of indirect heat, enabling you to slow-cook your meats, which produces cooking of superb quality and spectacular taste.
Everything that we have grilled on the Weber Ranch Kettle has come out perfectly, with even large tenderloins cooking evenly and thoroughly, and with a satisfying char and those gorgeous grill marks that we like to see on charcoal grilled meats.
The grill gives you a lot of room to work with the heat as well, with it being easy to move the coals around as you wish, meaning you cook directly or indirectly, or even smoke your food. If the vast size and flexibility offered by a grill is your only criteria then this unquestionably should be the grill you choose.
First of all, let’s deal with what will strike people first when looking at a simple overview of the product: Given its price, this is a serious investment for anybody and if you decide to buy it is a decision that should not be taken lightly. If you are quite casual with your grill usage then you don’t need me to tell you that this might not be the wisest use of your money.
However, Weber are incredibly eager to cram in as much value as they can into the Ranch Kettle to justify that $1,299 price tag: The size of its grilling area is unparalleled; the durability of its parts prevent rust or decay affecting your grill, meaning that your investment is well protected; and its ash catcher keeps the grill clean and tidy, making the experience much less of a chore.
It does come at a cost, but many may feel that it’s worth it for an an almost unrivalled grilling experience.