Original Kettle Charcoal Grill, from $189, Weber, weber.com
The Charcoal Barbecue
It’s getting hot out there. Time to fire up the grill!
It all started with a burnt steak back in 1951, when metalworker George Stephen invited his friends over to test his new brick barbecue. Said beef went up in flames, so George set to work. His day job was welding spherical steel buoys, so in a major aha moment he took a half sphere, punched a few holes in it, finagled a lid and legs, et voilà, lovers of charcoal-grilled food everywhere could finally put down their fire extinguishers. While George has yet to be canonized, we’re happy his innovation led to the classic Weber kettle barbecue we know today (yes, George is the Stephen in Weber-Stephen). Initially dubbed the Sputnik after the similarly shaped satellite, the kettle’s form has barely changed, because, well, why mess with a classic? To celebrate the brand’s 70th birthday, the only update Weber has made is the introduction of 1950s-inspired tints. Hot Rod Yellow and Rock N Roll Blue have us thinking of chrometrimmed muscle cars; Diner Green makes us crave a burger served on roller skates; and Hollywood Gray is actually all kinds of chic. Did we just call a charcoal grill chic?
Fast-forward 70 years and, of course, new charcoal barbecues have stepped into the fray, each with their own look and features. The Big Green Egg makes a statement with its showstopping form and bold green finish. Based on age-old outdoor ovens from East Asia, it can tackle your hots and hams, as well as take its time with a smoked brisket. Charcoal fanatics, chefs and barbecue pitmasters alike all dig the form-meets-function styling of PK Grills’ PK360, fashioned of rustproof, heat-conducting cast aluminum. If you have one of these on your deck, you definitely take your grilling seriously. Now then, sign us up pronto for a couple of cheeseburgers, and we hope the beer is good and frosty.
Available in a range of sizes and colours, there’s even a portable version of Weber’s kettle grill that’s perfect for tailgating.
70th Anniversary Edition Charcoal Grill, 22", $549, Weber, weber.com
Big Green Egg Kit, from $1,399, Big Green Egg, biggreenegg.ca
PK Grills’ PK360, $1,200, Luxe Barbeque Company, luxebbq.ca
-- Arren Williams