Grilling Season Approaches...What Gear?

I’ve had a variety of grills/smokers/rotisseries over the years, but it’s become painfully obvious I’ve yet to scratch the surface of the appliances and gear for cooking over (and next to) fire. I always wanted a cooking hearth in a kitchen, but that may not happen.

This past week, I’ve been put in a grilling/BBQ mode of thinking by watching the Chef’s Table episodes on BBQ, particularly the segments on Snow’s BBQ in Texas (See, Firedoor in Sydney, Australia. See,

So, what gear do you want for this summer’s grilling? Utensils? Fireman’s gloves? A thermostat/blower for your Big Green Egg? A “china box” or Cajun microwave?

My own goal is to configure a rotisserie for side-fire, so I can capture the drippings in a lechefrite.

What’s your dream grilling/smoking/BBQ setup?

This Weber Summit 670 is what I’ve been using for 13 years and quite happy with it (more specifically, this is a stock photo of a slightly tweaked version of what it was then - they revised the design a bit for 2009–> models).

The burners just started getting gas bleed-through in a few spots last year, so replaced them, but I normally use this 2-3 times a week. For the last 13 years. Grating is still in perfect condition.


It has six burners, side stove, smoker burner, and rotisserie/burner. Some pro/con notes:

First thing is a lot of grilling surface. With 6 of us and often cooking for 8-10, having a huge cooking surface was a plus. It uses propane (I did not want to run a gas nipple out, plus I like to be able to move it around out there on the deck depending on wind/rain conditions) and so I just got a couple of the bigger propane tanks so I can swap out anytime one runs out.

Other “Pros” -

Very high domed lid - very useful if you’re cooking or smoking a big bird. Edit - what I mean is, if you have the food elevated off the grill surface, as in the wire grate example below, the lid when closed still won’t hit the food.

Unless you’re in high wind, the cabinet is pretty good at maintaining a constant temp. This is really necessary if you’re doing ribs or something where you want to keep the temp constant at, e.g. 135°C or so for hours on end.

Burners run front to back, not side-to-side. Smoker compartment on right. This has a dedicated burner and does a great job of keeping a pretty even level of smoke whenever you want it. (Aside, if you’ve never smoked using pear wood, try it. Sweeter even than apple and no hint of bitter.) Because the burners run front to back, smoking is really easy. I have an old rectangular wire grate (came from a new microwave - who ever microwaves on two levels??) and two bricks. When I want to smoke, I put the wire grate on the small elevated warming tray and stack the bricks to support the front of the grate. I put this near the middle of the grill. Then I can run the far left burner, far right burner, and the smoker burner to smoke whatever meat I want without having any flame under or too close to the meat.

Once the cabinet is warm I can easily keep it at 135°C/275°F (or whatever temp I need) with the left/right on low-medium low. I also slide a foil lined cookie sheet underneath to catch drippings. Same thing with rotisserie.

The grill grates are stainless, solid, cylindrical bars almost as thick as a Sharpie pen. In 13 years of use there’s still no pitting or breakdown. Love them.

For searing, you can get the grill grates screaming hot then turn down the flame to sear steaks or burgers or whatever, and rarely get flare ups (unless super fatty meat) because of the shields between the flame and grates. Yeah, lots of grills have these but I’ve had 4 grills and this one seems to do a better job.

Rotisserie - I only got this because where I bought, the same grill without was only minimally cheaper. I thought I’d hardly use it. I was wrong. It’s great for chicken, cornish game hens, big pork loin roasts, I even did a prime rib roast and it turned out great (except for the aesthetic-wrecking square hole down the middle of each piece cut).

Side burner: Meh, only a “pro” because my wife is sensitive to certain smells. So if I’m making lamb stock or lobster stock, I do it outside using this side burner. I’ve (rarely) also used it to sauté onions or mushrooms, but my deck where the grill sits is on the 2nd floor adjacent my kitchen anyway. So I think for most people the side burner is probably not of too much use. Now if I had the grill at ground level down on the patio and had to run up/down stairs to tend something I was trying to sauté, I might use the side burner a lot more.

Cons - price. Edit2: This one lists at $2800. Oh My Goodness - I just checked online and now it’s $3650! But note that is Weber’s list price . At the time I bought mine I believe it was very similar, around $2700, but I got it from some warehouse outfit out of Maine or CT (can’t remember) for $1800, and that included the shipping. I can’t think of another “con” to list.

Of course, if you don’t need so much cooking surface, look at the smaller/cheaper Summits.

But my primary likes are: burners run depth direction not left/right, big fat cylindrical bar grates, rotisserie, and a smoker bin with dedicated burner.

I know purists don’t cotton to the notion that you might get great results smoking on a propane grill. My old boss and several of my colleagues in the Texas HQ of my former company sure laughed at me when I claimed I made good brisket on a propane grill. Then one week they visited my location and I brought in some smoked brisket and smoked lamb chops (the ones that look like mini porterhouse steaks). They didn’t laugh after that.

P.S. I’ve cooked and baked in my fireplace hearth. Mostly my wife saw it as a stunt, but I thought it was kind of fun. But the dogs were always such a pain about it, trying to get to the food (and sometimes eating the ashes if there were any drippings) that I gave up on it.


I bought an Egg in 2014 and have since bought every grilling accessory I’ve wanted. I can’t imagine there’s anything new but will keep my eyes peeled in this thread. :star_struck:


My husband bought a Green Big Egg about 5 years ago. He cooks amazing things on it. We don’t use our Weber gas grill anymore. I can’t get up and down the steps to the patio where it sits, and he prefers the Egg.


Wow, what a detailed reply!

There’s a little bit of “preach-to-choir” though, because last year I was gifted a Summit 4-something. It too has a side burner (totally wimpy), and I retrofitted it with a rotisserie mount. [Anyone wanting to add the rotisserie should NOT believe Weber’s claims that it can’t be done] will set you right up.

I like the Summit , and it really is super convenient. It’s certainly overpriced. I have the Weber chip box for smoking, and it does an OK job with that. I did a Boston Butt/kalua pig not long ago that I probably rushed

Do you use the rotiisserie burner much?

Do your fuel level indicators work?

I’ll try to source some pear wood. I like apricot when I can get it.

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Before I got my dream Weber we had a cheap (but functional) gas grill. I bought Grill Grates and it was a game changer. Food cooked better–more evenly, good sear, etc. I have no affiliation with the company.

Using both a cheap Weber (smokey joe) and a minimax big green egg. When using good charcoals, I don’t really notice a difference. For me that was quite a revelation - that the quality of charcoals used is such an important denominator.

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Oooh, I’ve never tried apricot wood. (Adds to bucket list).

My fuel level indicator was just a spring/weight based system with green/red paint lines. I never bothered to use it because I found trying to get the tank hung up on the catcher-hook, at the same time as the regulator/tank were rotated correctly to get the door to stay closed (so that the hose didn’t interfere with the door), to be a pain. So I just jiggle the tank before I start a long cook, and if it seems kind of low, temporarily swap out for the newer refilled tank. For short cooks I don’t worry because I’m out there enough to quickly figure out if it runs out.

The rotisserie burner use depends on one particular daughter and whether the in-laws are coming over. My daughter #2 LOVES rotisseried chicken so summers and winter break when she’s home from college, I use it a quite a lot. Before she left for college I probably used it 1-2 times a month, and when she’s home from college, it’s similar. She just left for an engineering internship in another city, and in 2 weeks when she comes back home for a weekend I plan to do a brined rotisserie chicken, more or less “in her honor”.

My in-laws also really love the brined rotisseried pork loin roasts and chicken, so if they’re coming here instead of us going there (we usually do weekly dinners at their house) I’ll rotisserie something. They also have friends from the next state over who visit about once a quarter for a week or so, and when they’re visiting we have all of them over for dinner at least once. The husband of the couple is a retired old engineer who loves pork loin roasts and the first time he had mine, he said he had to steal my recipe and method because “This is the first time ever I had roast pork loin that didn’t even need gravy!”. Apparently he cooks them too dry. Not to mention, I had to work really hard to convince my in-laws at first (30 years or so ago) that a “bit of pink” was fine for pork. They’d been cooking stuff to 170°F for decades. What finally convinced them was when I pulled my MIL’s 1960’s version of the Becker Family’s Joy Of Cooking and pointed out that even then, the Beckers said 150°F-ish pork was fine.

I think I’ve posted that reply on CH before, maybe 5 years ago? I found it as a text doc on my computer when I saw your question, so I just copied it and tried to update for today (obviously missing the inflationary effect on the Summit pricing, as noted in my “Oh, Crap!” edit about cost). Unfortunately I didn’t keep any other CH posts, and was unaware when it got shut down in March (I’d stopped posting a couple years earlier because of a flap I got into with one of the mods, an assistant prof at an obscure small college). So I didn’t get the chance to archive any of my posts there, not that they were a big deal anyway. I did look at the Wayback but it’s kind of a PITA to deal with so I just gave up.

But anyway between my first post here and this one, you can see that it’s obvious that the men in my family are well-known for being unable to tell even the simplest of stories without excruciating detail! We’re famous for that.



Current setup:

Traeger pellet grill (use a lot any day)
Medium big green egg (used a lot on weekends)
XL big green egg (never used yet)
Primo Jr. (never used yet)
Ooni Koda 16 (just got it, use it a lot any day)

Dream setup:

Yoder Pellet grill

The Yoder has the advantage that it can do everything the Traeger can do, and can also can get got enough to cook steak (~600 F).

Weber summit E6 Kamado

I think the Weber, though metal, might be the best Kamado out there. Tell me if I’m wrong.

Since we’re dreaming, I might like a Santa Maria style grill with an adjustable height grill grate.

I’ve considered getting a Weber pellet grill to match the Weber summit Kamado, just so they look nice together, but not sure if it’s any upgrade compared to my Traeger.

I also have a Weber Smokey Joe and a Little Chief front loading smoker. Neither get used much.

About that lèchefrite…
Last week I was searching for a piece of cookware - I knew what I wanted but I didn’t know the name for it. And so I discovered the lèchefrite. I then texted my French friend about my newfound French word of the day, and my friend replied she didn’t know what it was and had to go look it up in her dictionary. No, I’m not going to do any grilling, sadly. Fire regulations don’t allow it on balconies here. And we have no common grilling area, unlike the student warren up the street.

Weber grill found on the side of the road . Big fan of b&b charcoal . Sometimes I use the e old traeger . Always comes out fabulous from both .

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For decades we used an hibachi. KISS. Husband starts briquets with oak kindling. Necer starters. As he became more and more involve in keeping nature at bay (wildfire area), I started using grill pans inside so he didn’t have to both work all day and cook. Never went back to outside grilling. Anyway, our son abscounded with the beloved hibachi.

Some of our best meals have been cooked riverside using a circle of found rocks and some screen.

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