Let’s clear the air before we begin…
Weber barbecue grills aren’t cheap. We all know that. They’re actually kind of pricey, when you get right down to it, and you’re probably hesitating because you’re not the type of person who just throws money at the first shiny object that catches your eye.
You research. You make educated decisions. You base every choice on the value you’re going to receive. In other words, you make smart decisions with your hard-earned money. That’s why you’re here, looking into this Weber freestanding charcoal grill 1481001.
You already know, for example, that with their legendary Weber performance, Platinum charcoal grills have a huge customer following and an excellent reputation. The Performer® Platinum models go back well over 10 years, and the original Performer® model goes back well over 20, so obviously Weber is doing a lot of things right. But you need details. You need specifics. That’s what I’m here to share with you.
Weber Performer® Platinum Highlights
This grill is the top model in the Weber Performer® charcoal grill series, and it has many great features. The ones that seem most useful are the following:
Electronic Touch-N-Go™ gas ignition system
No more lighter fluid, no more chimney charcoal starters, or paper, or matches. Just add charcoal and light it with the Electronic Touch-N-Go™ gas ignition system. It’s almost as easy as igniting a gas grill, but you’re still getting that full charcoal flavor.
Porcelain-enameled bowl and lid
What Weber charcoal grill would be complete without their tough, durable, porcelain-enameled finish? It’s a highly rust-resistant, heat-resistant finish that is likely to last you not just years, but decades (depending on how you store it, your climate, etc.), and it’s far superior to painted grills. There is almost no comparison.
Thermoset work table
One-Touch™ cleaning system
Ash is one of the biggest drawbacks to using a charcoal grill, because there is never a time when you actually want to remove it – you do it because you have to. Because it needs to come out. But what a mess!
Weber has transformed this process into two simple steps that virtually ensure there won’t be a mess. And it’s fast, too.
Just move a handle back and forth a few times to push ash down through holes in the base of the kettle, then remove the ash catcher and dispose of the ash as you normally would. No more digging around in the bottom of your grill with your hands, or trying to turn the whole thing over just to remove ash – and no more airborne ash landing on you, your food and your patio.
Wire bottom shelf
This seems like such a minor feature. However, if you’ve ever used a grill without a bottom shelf, then you’ll appreciate being able to store some supplies up off your patio surface. And it’s not just a flat wire shelf that sags easily. It has extra structure to reduce sagging.
Lid damper (vent) has a glass reinforced nylon handle
Lid dampers get hot when you’re grilling. With the glass reinforced nylon handle on the lid damper, you’ll be able to adjust it with your hands. No need for a hot pad, or to tap it with a grill tool.
Weather-protected CharBin™ storage container
Charcoal bags serve their purpose, but as we all know, they can be cumbersome and quickly make a black dusty mess. Weber designed their CharBin™ storage container to hold up to 20 pounds of charcoal, plus keep it protected from the weather. You just open a fresh bag, pour it in, then throw that messy bag away and enjoy having your charcoal at arm’s reach whenever you need it. You’ll probably need a scoop of some kind, though, to lift the briquettes out of the bin and over to the grill.
I was glad to see wheels on all four legs of this grill, because it isn’t always convenient to pick up one end and wheel it around. It’s also nice that they added locking casters, to prevent unwanted rolling during grilling and storage.
Built-in lid thermometer
With the built-in thermometer, you’ll always know the inside temperature, and therefore be able to adjust your vents accordingly. This can be used to raise internal temperature or reduce it to prevent burning.
Removable LCD cook timer
The convenient cook timer is fully removable, so you won’t be leaving it exposed to the elements. As with anything electronic, it’s going to last much longer when stored indoors.
Plated steel hinged cooking grate
Have you ever tried to lift your cooking grate by the edge, with food on it, just to re-arrange some charcoal? It’s frustrating, isn’t it? Weber added two hinged sections to their cooking grate, allowing you easy access to the coals below – even when food is on the grill. I love seeing small changes like this, because they add so much in the way of convenience.
It’s too bad Weber didn’t opt for stainless steel cooking and charcoal grates, though.
Weber added three convenient tool hooks on the front of the cart for grill tools, grill brushes, etc. This helps keep your work table clear for platters, sauces and other things that require a horizontal surface.
Char-Basket™ charcoal fuel holders
Two metal fuel holders are included with this grill, offering you the option of placing charcoal directly in them instead of on the charcoal grate. Then they can be moved around on the grate as needed, without having to move individual coals. This also creates indirect heating areas, as they don’t cover the entire grate surface. Very creative.
Tuck-Away™ lid holder
I have to confess, I didn’t realize my second-hand Weber had a lid hook until long after it was given to me. I would always remove the lid and place it on my patio, risking burn marks or food stains.
Even though that hook is convenient, it’s still possible to “miss” the side and struggle to get it hooked, or possibly bump it off. Not so with Weber’s Tuck-Away™ lid holder. Just slide the lid down inside the bracket, and you’re ready to tend to your food. Your lid will be guided in every time, and there is no risk of it being bumped onto your patio (and possibly damaged).
Black is great, but you also have dark green and copper options, which you may prefer. In the right setting, they can add a pleasing touch of color your patio.
Pros – What current owners are saying:
- It’s very easily cleaned.
- It’s light enough to easily load in a truck.
- Having it makes you want to grill more often.
- Many users own more than one Weber – a testament to their quality, reliability and well-known customer service.
- Performer® Platinum models offer gas grill convenience with the taste and performance of charcoal, because most people love the gas charcoal lighting system
- It heats more evenly, compared to barrel cookers, and the heat level is easy to maintain.
- The bottom rack is great for storage.
- The price seems high, until you consider how long it lasts. Then it’s an easy decision.
- Ash cleanup is easy with the catch pan. No more manually dumping ashes.
- It cooks evenly.
- Weber customer service goes above and beyond most user’s expectations, replacing parts very quickly.
Cons – Room for improvement:
The height of the charcoal grate is not adjustable on this grill. Although it is set to the perfect height, which is where you’ll need it most of the time, what happens when you misjudge how much charcoal to add, and need to get your food either closer to the coals or farther away from them? Being able to raise or lower the grate would be a nice improvement.
It would also make much more sense if this grill, Weber’s top Performer® model, to have stainless steel cooking and charcoal grates so rust would never be an issue. Many owners have upgraded on their own. This would also give the Platinum level models a second differentiating feature between it and the Gold model.
Features unique to this model
The only difference between this Performer® Platinum model and the Performer® Gold model below it, is this model’s Electronic Touch-N-Go™ gas ignition system. A lot of people rave about it’s convenience, so be sure to give this careful consideration.
Are Weber grills worth the money?
This is obviously a personal decision, so you may or may not agree, but I’ll be glad to share my thoughts with you.
All grills look great when they’re brand new, even the cheap ones. And they’re cheap for a reason. Corners were cut, somewhere. Maybe the metal is thinner, or the parts aren’t as strong, or their painted metal finishes start rusting quickly, etc. By the time you regret your decision, it’s too late. You can’t reverse it. Your money is long gone.
Do the math yourself, but the bottom line with Weber charcoal grills is yes, you’re paying more upfront. However, you’re also getting what I believe to be one of the best freestanding charcoal grills money can buy. It’s going to last longer (probably years longer) and that makes a lot more sense than wasting time, money and frustrations on cheap grills.
• 363-sq in cooking area • 22-burger capacity • Plated steel, hinged cooking grate • Porcelain-enameled bowl and lid • Rust-resistant aluminum damper • Aluminized steel One-Touch cleaning system • Removable high-capacity aluminum ash catcher • Electronic Touch-N-Go gas ignition system • Tuck-Away lid holder • Glass-reinforced nylon handle • Removable LCD cooking timer • 2 Char-Basket charcoal fuel holders • Thermoset work table • Heavy-duty steel cart frame • 3 tool hooks • Built-in thermometer • Weather-protected CharBin storage container • Wire bottom shelf • 2 durable all-weather wheels with full-wheel hubcaps • 2 locking casters • Uses disposable 14.1-oz or 16.4-oz LP cylinders (sold separately) • Owner's guide included • Height: 40 inches • Width: 50.25 inches • Depth: 28.5 inches Check Price / Purchase at Walmart (all colors) Check Price / Purchase at Amazon (black) Check Price / Purchase at Amazon (copper) Check Price / Purchase at Amazon (green) (purchasing from these merchants helps support this website, so we can bring you great barbecue info)
Weber’s Video Overview of Performer® Platinum Grills
Weber Factory Tour Video
The history of Weber Performer® grills
This line of Weber barbecue grills has been a strong seller since 1990, when The Performer® was first introduced. The Performer® combined a classic Weber kettle grill (containing the best freestanding charcoal grills’ features) with a sturdy wheeled cart, and featured a work table for ultimate convenience.
After 10 years of proven Weber performance, Platinum charcoal grills were then added to the Performer® line in the year 2000. This took the feature list to an even higher level, including a tough, durable Thermoset work table that will never rust or rot.
Colors were added, also. Besides their traditional black model, the Weber freestanding charcoal grill 1481001, you also have a choice of two alternately-colored models: A dark green-colored Weber freestanding charcoal grill 1487001, or a beautiful copper-colored Weber freestanding charcoal grill 1482001.
Regardless of color, these Weber barbecue grills will help you prepare delicious grilled or smoked food.
Bart’s Bottom Line:With years of proven Weber performance, Platinum charcoal grills are just about as good as they get. They’re durable, the finish is as tough as, well, the ceramic it is, and everything you cook in them will have an excellent charcoaled flavor. If you’re the type of person who appreciates the value of quality construction, as well as legendary customer service from a rock solid company that stands behind their products, then a Weber Platinum Performer® grill is one of the best freestanding charcoal grills you can buy. Expect your initial investment, although higher than some other grills, to pay off with years of reliable use. Check Price / Purchase at Walmart (all colors)
Check Price / Purchase at Amazon (black)
Check Price / Purchase at Amazon (copper)
Check Price / Purchase at Amazon (green) (purchasing from these merchants helps support this website, so we can bring you great barbecue info) If, however, you’re the type of person who wants to spend the least amount of money, and you don’t see yourself needing a grill for very long (or don’t mind replacing it every few years), then you should not buy a Weber Platinum Performer® grill. There are plenty of lower-priced alternatives out there that will better serve your needs. I would like to hear your thoughts, so if you have additional information or comments, just add them below.