The taste and smell of charcoal grilling meet the convenience of propane in the Performer Deluxe grill by Weber. The Touch-N-Go gas ignition system, which utilizes propane to fire your charcoal, will never leave you unable to start the coals on this grill.
The grill’s design features an open cart surrounding the traditional Kettle style grill area that Weber is best known for. Weber has genuinely added a level of convenience to their Original Kettle style grill with the Performer Deluxe.
This review will go over some specifications to give you a better idea of the grill’s identity, talk about some pros and cons of owning it, and then compare it to a few similar Weber grills so you can get an idea of where the Performer Deluxe lands in the lineup.
Specifications and Dimensions
To get a better idea of this grill’s identity, let’s take a look at some numbers.
- Grilling Area: 363 inches of primary cooking area
- Grates: Heavy-gauge steel charcoal grate, plated steel hinged cooking grate
- Fuel Type: Charcoal
- Ignition Type: Touch-N-Go liquid propane ignition system
- Materials: Porcelain-enameled bowl and lid
- Dimensions (with lid closed):5”H x 48”W x 30”D, Diameter: 22”
- Color Availability: Copper, Black, Green
- Warranty: 10 years on bowl and lid, 5 years on one touch cleaning system and plastic components, and 2 years on all remaining parts
On Weber’s website, this grill had 96 reviews with 95% being 5 or 4 stars and only .02% being 1 or 2 stars.
The few negative reviews on Amazon appear to have more to do with shipping and handling than the product itself, and so I would take the negative ones with a grain of salt. Most reviewers are head-over-heels for this grill, mainly for the extra conveniences we will talk about later in this article.
America’s Test Kitchen ranked the Performer Deluxe as the Best Charcoal Grill Under $400. Here is a look at how they came to their conclusion.
What Makes the Performer Deluxe Great
My favorite feature on this grill is the Touch-N-Go ignition system. The system sets the Performer Deluxe apart from other charcoal grills by creating an easy to use ignition system. Anyone could start this grill, and that’s not something every charcoal grill can boast.
The ignition system on the Performer Deluxe is not only easier to use, but it’s also more convenient and safer than typical charcoal grills. Rather than the gas dousing and match tossing of days gone by, this grill essentially starts itself. Your likelihood of singing eyebrows or arm hair has gone down significantly with this feature.
In addition to the easy-to-use ignition, this grill has a built-in thermometer as well as a detachable LCD timer. The lid features a shield to block the top handle from getting hot, meaning the days of the grill sized hot mitt are behind us.
Finally, the steel cart is a fantastic feature for this grill. Weber’s Original Kettle style is great, but having some space on the side to prep and a shelf and hooks to store tools is invaluable for a grill master. The cart feature alone could sell this grill for a lot of charcoal lovers.
What I Don’t Like
There are two features of this grill that I don’t particularly love. Number one is the assembly. Unlike many charcoal grills, the Performer Deluxe is not quick and easy to assemble. It takes the time that you’d expect to spend were you to purchase a propane model.
Assembly also includes hooking up propane, although this model can work with the small camping tanks versus the full LP tanks you would buy at a gas station and refill.
The second feature I don’t love is how difficult the ash bins are to remove. The Performer Deluxe comes with the one-touch cleaning system Weber buyers have grown to love, but to keep things working properly, you need to empty your ash bins. Unfortunately, this is not always a simple task.
Versus the Performer 22”
The Performer is a step down from the Performer Deluxe in conveniences and fun features. Although the two grills share many features including the one-touch cleaning system, lid handle heat shield, and built-in thermometer, the Performer leaves some significant features off as well.
The Performer is missing the removable LCD timer on its smaller open cart. It is also missing the Touch-N-Go ignition system that makes the Performer Deluxe an easy to use and convenient option.
Both grills share the same 363 square inches of cooking space and are made from the same materials from top to bottom. Both the Performer and Performer Deluxe are also modeled after the Original Kettle design, with a few extra conveniences.
The Performer Deluxe is well worth the higher price tag for the convenience, space, and safety you get over and above what the Performer can offer.
Versus the Master-Touch 22”
The Master-Touch is the epitome of simple charcoal grilling. It is a no-frills option for beginners and true-blue charcoal grillers alike. It is simple to assemble and features two tool hooks and a bottom shelf for your convenience.
Although the Master-Touch is a much simpler grill than the Performer Deluxe, they still have a lot in common. Both grills are made from the same materials, feature tuck-away lid holders and aluminized steel one-touch cleaning systems.
The features that the Performer Deluxe comes with are far and wide better than the much more basic features on the Master-Touch, but if you’re looking for a simple, yet professional charcoal grilling experience, the Master-Touch is a great, inexpensive option.
I would recommend the Performer Deluxe hands down between it and the Master-Touch, simply because of the added conveniences provide an entirely different grilling experience than you get with simpler grills.
Versus the Summit Charcoal Grilling Center 24”
If the Performer Deluxe is the Cadillac of charcoal grills, the Summit Charcoal Grilling Center is the Mercedes. It has a more advanced kettle grill design that can double as a low and slow smoker, an open cart design with added storage, and a double-walled lid and bowl.
The Summit is the top of the line in terms of charcoal grilling. It has everything the Performer Deluxe does, and more. Unfortunately, the price tag reflects that fact. You are truly going to be paying a top of the line price if you decide to go with the Summit model.
In terms of charcoal grilling, few designs offer a combination of smoking, baking, and grilling like the Summit offers. It can truly do it all. That doesn’t mean I would recommend it over the Performer Deluxe, though. If anything I think they have two very different purposes.
If you are looking for a small step into smoking, this might be the way for you to get there while keeping the convenience and comfort of charcoal grilling on the same machine.
If, however, you aren’t into the idea of spending an arm and a leg on a charcoal grill, but you want the best of the best in that way, go with the Performer Deluxe. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.