Hey BBQ Family, today we've got an exciting showdown by popular demand: the iconic Weber Kettle versus its larger, newer, and highly popular sibling, the Weber Summit Kamado. Both grills come with a stellar reputation, but is the Summit Kamado worth the extra $1,000? We're about to find out!

The Old vs. The New

The Weber Kettle is a staple in the grilling world, with its recognizable round shape and open design, known for its simplicity and versatility. On the other hand, the Weber Summit Kamado takes everything Weber has learned from the Kettle and adds several enhancements. Let’s break down their specifications.

Basic Specifications

The Weber Kettle is available in two sizes: 22 inches and 26 inches, giving you a cooking area of approximately 363 square inches for the 22-inch model. The Summit Kamado sits right in the middle at 24 inches and offers 452 square inches of cooking area.

One of the significant advantages of the Summit Kamado is its insulation, which allows it to hold temperatures efficiently and burn charcoal more slowly. It also features an adjustable charcoal grate and comes with a diffuser plate, making it ideal for both smoking and grilling right out of the box. The Kettle is versatile too, but lacks these additional conveniences.

Hands-On Cook Comparison

To truly test these grills, we carried out a cook-off. Both grills were set up using slow and sear accessories to contain the coals, although using the baskets or banking the charcoal to one side are also good options.

Setting Up the Grills

We decided to cook spatchcocked chicken on both grills, prepped the same way: brined overnight, dried in the refrigerator, sprayed with duck fat, and seasoned with Suckle Buster's Clucker Chicken Dust Rub.

We aimed for a grill temperature of at least 350°F, ideally around 400°F, to allow for a drop in temperature once the cold chicken hit the grates. Both grills heated up quickly to over 400°F, which was a good sign.

Cooking Observations

During the cook, the Summit Kamado required fewer adjustments due to its insulation. The Kettle, however, needed more frequent tweaking to maintain a steady temperature. Both grills did well in terms of fuel efficiency, but the Summit Kamado outlasted the Kettle in fuel preservation.

The Taste Test

Here's where things get very interesting. Despite the Summit Kamado's technological advantages, when it came to taste, Jeannine and I both had mixed feelings.

Jeannine's Perspective

Jeannine found a significant difference in smoke flavor between the two, rating the smokier chicken from the Weber Kettle at 8.5 out of 10. She stated that the Kettle chicken had a richer, deeper smoke flavor compared to the Summit Kamado, which she found more subtle.

Kenyatta's Perspective

I agreed with the smoke flavor assessment but didn't find the difference as stark. Both chickens were juicy, but the Summit Kamado's chicken seemed slightly juicier, possibly due to its more stable cooking environment.

End Results

In all the taste tests we've done, we've frequently favored the flavor from the non-Summit Kamado grill. However, the Summit Kamado holds its own in versatility and ease of use.

Final Thoughts

So, which grill should you buy? If you're new to BBQ and looking for a budget-friendly option, the Weber Kettle at around $140 is a stellar choice. It's versatile, dependable, and offers a smoky flavor that's hard to beat.

The Weber Summit Kamado, priced at about $1,250, provides a more convenient cooking experience with better fuel efficiency and additional features right out of the box. For those who value ease and efficiency, this could be a worthwhile investment.

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Let us know your thoughts! Which grill would you buy? Comment below and don’t forget to like this post, subscribe to our channel, and stay tuned for more BBQ content. Get out there and enjoy your grills and smokers!

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