PK Grills are great grills with a great story. First launched in the 1950s, PK Grills were manufactured in Texas for decades before the company, facing competition from cookers made with less expensive materials, was shut down.
In the early 2010s, Paul James, inspired by an original PK found at a garage sale, acquired the copyright and started producing the PK cooker all over again, connecting the versatile little grill with a whole new generation of fans. The new PK Grill company is located in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Weber grills have a similar storied past, launching their original Kettle grill in the 1950s from their headquarters in Illinois. In the 1980s, when consumers turned toward gas grills, Weber was there, constantly innovating to meet the needs of the time.
Today, Weber makes gas grills, wood pellet grills, and of course charcoal grills with the original kettle design.
Both gills are iconic, with generations of devoted fans. But which one is better?
About the PK Grill
The PK Grill is a grill and smoker in one. The design allows for easy direct or indirect cooking, with simple and effective temperature control. The hand-poured cast aluminum and vented air flow conducts and retains heat very efficiently, creating even cooking without the need to open the lid and re-position food.
The lid and vent system also make flare-ups impossible, by reducing the amount of oxygen inside the cooker. Aluminum is naturally rustproof and lightweight, which allows a PK cooker to last for decades, while making it great for backyards, camping, tailgating, and other outdoor adventures.
PK Grill Standout Features
There’s a lot to love about the PK, but here are the particular standout features.
Versatile: The tight-fitting lid and multiple vents allow you to easily control temperature and air flow, making it operate like both a grill and an oven
Perfect Cooking: Heat retention, low oxygen, and the ability to add fuel without moving the grill mean that you can achieve perfect results every time, without needing to move food around for even cooking.
Durable: Many of the original PKs sold in the 1950s still work perfectly today. The cast aluminum body is rustproof and virtually indestructible.
Portable: The PK lives up to its portable name by being compact, lightweight, and easy to take anywhere. It’s a great option for campers and RVs, tailgates and barbecues, or anywhere you want perfectly grilled food.
About Weber Kettle Grills
Weber still makes the original Kettle grill, with some upgraded conveniences over the years. It has a durable porcelain-enameled bowl and lid, with a plated steel cooking grate.
It has a built-in lid thermometer, and a lid handle with heat shield. It’s also easy to clean, with a removable, high capacity ash catcher, and Weber’s OneTouch cleaning system that collects ash for you.
Weber Original Kettle Grill Standout Features
The classic Weber Kettle grill has some key features worth considering, including:
Durable: The porcelain-enameled bowl and lid, steel grates, glass-reinforced nylon handles, and durable all-weather wheels ensure that the Kettle grill will last for years.
Easy to Use: The built-in lid thermometer lets you know how hot the grill is without any heat loss from opening it, and helps you get great results.
Easy to Clean: The OneTouch cleaning system makes cleaning easy, and ash is collected in the high-capacity ash catcher, making it simple to empty.
Side By Side Comparison
Details and Specifications
|Original PK Grill||Weber Original Kettle Grill 22 inches|
|Cooking surface area (square inches)||310||363|
|Dimensions (lid closed)||36.3”H x 19.5”W x 14.5”D||39.5”H x 22.5”W x 27”D|
|Weight||48.4 pounds||32.3 pounds|
|Vents and dampers||2 + 2||1 + 1|
|Warranty||10 years||10 years|
Both of these are great grills, that are exceptionally rugged and durable, and help you make incredibly delicious food. Both grills can provide direct and indirect heat, both can grill and smoke, and both have great warranties. Here are the key factors to consider:
The Weber comes with a wheeled stand, tool hooks, a lid thermometer, and a cleaning system. It’s simple and easy to set up right out of the box, and you can be barbecuing in no time. While the PK doesn’t require any significant setup out of the box, you need to create a working and cooking area around it.
The PK is a simple, streamlined design that can be easily placed in a truck or trunk and taken anywhere. The Weber is a bit more difficult to transport.
The PK is nearly three times the cost of the Weber, and even more than that if you want to get a stand or cart to support it and add convenience. The PK has a lot of available accessories, and they add up quickly.
The PK is a great grill, but unless you specifically need a portable cooker for a mobile home or tailgating, it doesn’t have enough advantages to justify the purchase price. The Weber cooks just as well, with more convenience and the same warranty, at a fraction of the price.
The team at America’s test Kitchen did a full side by side testing and came to the same conclusion. Stick with the Weber kettle.