In recent years, Big Green Egg has made a huge impact on the grill scene, with their distinctive design and the versatility to smoke, roast, grill, and even steam and bake in one cooker. But is a Big Green Egg actually better than the classic design and flavors of a Weber Summit charcoal grill? Let’s take a look and find out.
About the Big Green Egg
The original Big Green Egg was developed in the 1970s, using ceramic material partly developed by NASA. This ceramic material provides superb insulation and can withstand extreme temperatures and temperature variations.
The design of the Big Green Egg reflects heat and generates an airflow that circulates perfectly inside the egg shape, cooking food incredibly evenly. Because hot air is trapped inside the grill, you need less charcoal to achieve the desired temperature; charcoal burns longer and creates fewer ashes. Temperatures from 165-650° can be maintained precisely, no matter what the weather is outside, making it perfect for year-round use.
The Big Green Egg is made of sustainable materials, produced exclusively from ceramics made in a certified partner factory in Mexico. These high-end ceramics are ISO 9001 UL certified, and the Big Green Egg is thoroughly inspected and tested.
The Big Green Egg can be heated at least 100,000 times without damage. In fact, these materials and certifications are so reliable that the Big Green Egg has a limited lifetime warranty on materials and manufacture.
Big Green Egg Standout Features
There’s a reason so many people love their Big Green Egg. The most key features include:
- Wide Temperature Range: With the ability to cook from 165-650°, it suits a huge range of foods and cooking methods (note that the temperature gauge goes up to 750°, but the gasket is only rated to 650°).
- Even Temperatures: The egg shape creates a precise air flow and traps heat inside the grill, for incredibly even and consistent temperatures with less charcoal. This consistency allows you to use the Big Green Egg like an oven, and steam and bake foods to perfection.
- Durable: With UL and NSF certifications and the ability to be heated over 100,000 times without damage, the Big Green Egg is so durable and reliable that it has a limited lifetime warranty.
About the Weber Summit Charcoal Grill
The Weber Summit Charcoal grill is the evolution of the iconic Weber Kettle design. It’s designed for grilling, smoking, and baking, and, like the Big Green Egg, the oval shape creates even temperatures and controlled air flow, while using less charcoal during cooking.
The Weber Summit has a quick-start gas ignition system, and a Rapidfire lid damper. When closed, the lid damper regulates air flow for consistent temperatures. When open, it creates a chimney effect that helps the grill come to temperature faster, and more quickly recover from heat loss when the lid is opened.
The Summit also has a hinged diffuser plate that helps maintain low temperatures for long periods of time, with a hinged door that provides access to the firebox during cooking. When you’re done cooking, the OneTouch cleaning system automatically sweeps ash into the removable ash bucket for fast and easy cleanup.
The Weber Summit Charcoal is made of a rugged porcelain enameled bowl and lid, with a double-walled, air insulated design. The grates and the cleaning system are made of stainless steel, and Weber backs this grill with a 10 year warranty on the bowl and lid assembly, 5 year warranty on the grates, cleaning system, and plastic parts, and 2 years on all remaining parts.
Weber Summit Charcoal Standout Features
With the Summit, Weber refined and evolved many of the features of the classic Kettle charcoal grill, to make grilling easier, faster, and more consistent. Summit improvements include:
- Fast Ignition: The gas-powered ignition makes lighting the charcoal fast, easy, and hassle-free
- Rapidfire System: The Rapidfire system creates consistent, even temperatures while also bringing the grill to temperature more quickly and recovering more quickly from heat loss when opening.
- Hinged Diffuser Plate: Adding a hinge to the diffuser plate is a great way to get low, even temperatures while also making it easy to add fuel to the grill.
- OneTouch Cleaning System. It’s a thoughtful little convenience to add this self-sweeping ash collection feature to a charcoal grill.
Big Green Egg vs. Weber Summit Charcoal Grill
Given the similarities between these two grills, let’s do a head-to-head comparison:
|XL Big Green Egg||Weber Summit Charcoal 24”|
|Cooking area||452 square inches||452 square inches|
|Size (lid closed)||35”H x 32.5”W x 32.5”D||45.5”H x 39.5”W x 35.8”D|
|Weight||424 pounds||114 pounds|
|Heat diffuser||Yes||Yes, with hinged design|
|Accelerated time to temp?||No||Yes|
|Easy cleaning?||Fairly easy to clean, but no assist||OneTouch Cleaning system|
|Warranty||Limited lifetime||10 years|
The Weber Summit Advantage
Both these grills are powerful, durable, versatile, and cook excellent, flavorful food. Neither one is a bad choice. But the Weber Summit charcoal has the edge, because it offers all that consistency, performance, and efficiency, along with one important thing: convenience.
The Weber is a better option because it reaches temperature more quickly and recovers more quickly from heat loss when the lid is opened. It has the convenient quick-ignite system, and the OneTouch cleaning system.
More importantly, the Weber Summit Charcoal comes with everything you need to start grilling, right out of the box. It has a sturdy wheeled stand with swivel locking casters, tool hooks, and charcoal fuel holders included with the grill.
The Big Green Egg doesn’t require users to purchase a lot of accessories but buying all those accessories makes the incredibly heavy Big Green Egg easier to use and easier to move.
Over time, the cost of the external wheeled cart, tool holders, and utility racks for the Big Green Egg really adds up. The Big Green Egg also delivers most on its promise when you add additional roasters, grids, and racks, all of which cost extra.
For sheer convenience, usability, and fantastic food right out of the box, the Weber Summit Charcoal delivers.