The Bottom Line
The Weber Ranch is one of the largest charcoal grills on the market. The Weber grill starts with the classic 18-inch kettle grill. This model has four times the cooking area of that grill. With all the features, versatility, and temperature control of its smaller siblings, this has been a popular albeit expensive solution of country clubs and anyone who might need to grill 50 burger patties at a time.
Of course a grill this size presents of logistical challenges like cleaning, refueling, and keeping covered.
- Extremely large
- One of the coolest grills on the market
- Versatile cooking abilities
- High quality construction
- Size presents unique challenges
- Burns through a lot of fuel
- 1104 square inches of cooking area
- Stainless steel, hinged cooking grate
- Removable aluminum ash catcher
- Roll top lid
- Aluminum vents
- Heavy cart with two wheels and two casters
- Porcelain-enameled lid and body
- Made in the United States
Guide Review - Weber Ranch Kettle
It is probably important to start out by saying that this is a $1,300USD charcoal grill, making it one of the most expensive on the market. And yet it is built, in many ways, not all that different from its $80USD little brother. Of course, building a grill of this size isn't easy and neither is maintaining it. This grill can handle around 20 chickens at the same time.
It can cook hot and fast or low and slow. It works as a basic direct grill or as an indirect smoker. Simply put, this is as versatile as one would expect a Weber grill to be.
Most of us will never have cause for a grill this size, but if you do, this is the one to buy. Well made and expertly engineered it can last for a decade or two with proper care.
Unfortunately, Weber does not have a cover that fits this model and a cover would be a must for this kind of investment, so a custom cover would be in order.
Aside from all the great capabilities of this grill it is important that anyone wishing to buy it understand what they are getting into. Need to lift off the cooking grate loaded with food to add more charcoal? Plan on having two people help you. Even with the hinged grates, accessing the fire can be a challenge. Similarly, this isn't an easy grill to clean. Most people probably don't have a way to soak a nearly 40-inch cooking grate, and while there is an ash catcher below, it will take a shovel to clear out all the ash from this grill.
Speaking of the ash production, which can be prodigious, this grill will burn through a lot of fuel. Plan on starting with as much as two large bags of charcoal and for longer cooks, have more on hand. Need to add burning coals to the grill? A couple of charcoal chimneys will be a good start. This grill burns through a lot of fuel. The size requires it just to get it heated.
I don't want to discourage anyone from making this investment, but this really is the grill for someone cooking for 30 or more people, not for the casual backyard griller.
It is impressive, but without the definite need, there is no real reason to own one.