PK Grills vs Weber Kettles: Both are Excellent But One Is a Better Value

Weber vs PK Grills

PK Grills vs Weber Kettles: Both are Excellent But One Is a Better Value

If you want to buy the best charcoal grill available then you need to do the Weber vs PK Grill comparison.  Both of these grills are American icons and while I understand and respect why some people but the PK I will recommend a Weber kettle as the best grill for most people.

Weber vs PK Grills

Let’s take a look at what makes the PK grill special and how it stacks up against a Weber kettle.

There are two basic versions of a PK grill, the Original and the upgraded 360.  Both grills are made from thick cast aluminum and will last a lifetime.  Both grills have precision air control that allow use as a high heat grill or a low and slow smoker.

PK Grills

Original PK (Left), PK 360 (Right)

Original PK Grill Review

The Original PK grill has 310 square inches of grilling space and a four air dampers for heat control.  Here is a quick video walk through of the grill.

The Original PK has an MSRP of $369.

There are a couple different colors and cart options for the Original but the grill is identical between them.

Original PK Grill

Although the Original is a great grill with many loyal fans there are a few things that make me say that a Weber kettle is a better grill.

Bottom Air Vents

The air vents on the Original are metal sliders located on the bottom of the grill.  Setting up the air vents before you start the charcoal is simple and easy.

Adjusting the vents in the middle of a cook can be a pain.

You need to get on one knee, reach underneath a hot grill and then get yourself turned sideways so you can see how far you have opened or closed the vent.

The bottom air vent system works…it is just awkward.  This is one of the features they upgraded on the 360.

Adjusting the lower air vent on a Weber kettle is simple.

Ash Removal

And speaking of those bottom air vents, that is how most people get the ashes out of the grill.

And it sucks.

There is not ash removal system on the Original.  One option to clean out the ashes is to take the lid off the grill, remove the grates and then dump the base over.  Another option is to take a Shop Vac out to the patio and suck the ashes out.

Most folks use a brush, spatula or scoop of some kind and push the ashes down through the bottom air vent and into a bucket they have placed on the lower table.

This is another item that was addressed in the upgraded 360.

Cleaning out the ashes on a Weber kettle is easy.


The Original offers 310 square inches of grilling space and plenty of vertical space under the dome for things like beer can chicken.

And while the space provided by the Original is usually adequate sometimes it falls short.

To put things in perspective, a 22 inch Weber kettle gives you 17% more grilling space than an Original grill and there are times when I wish my kettle was just a little bigger.

This is another issue that was addressed in the upgraded 360.

I respect the beauty and ability of the PK original but there are real issues with the grill that make the Weber Performer a much better (and less expensive) choice.

PK 360 Grill Review

The PK 360 was introduced as the first upgrade to a PK grill in about 40 years and it fixed most of the known issues associated with the Original.

Specific upgrades include:

  • An easy to use bottom vent control system.
  • Dedicated ash removal port.
  • Increased cooking grate size
  • High quality lid thermometer located at grate level.
  • Stainless steel cooking grate
  • An optional upgrade to teak side shelves is available.

Here is a great video walk through of the features on this grill

The PK 360 is a great grill and I think it looks beautiful.

The only issue I have with the 360 is the price tag as the grill has an MSRP of $799.

For the cost of a PK 360 you can buy a fully loaded Weber Performer with gas assisted charcoal ignition AND an 18.5 inch Weber Smokey Mountain.

I really do love the PK 360 but just can’t see the value case to buy it over a Weber kettle.

Weber vs PK

Both companies make amazing charcoal grills but, in my opinion, the PK Original is outdated and the 360 is too expensive.

Another factor to consider is that due to the immense popularity of the Weber kettle there are many more accessories available for kettles.  If you have a kettle you can get a rotisserie, Rib-O-Later, Slow N Sear, cast iron grates, griddle inserts, etc.

If you do decide to go with a PK you will be supporting a small American company and will end up with an amazing grill.

I guess what I am trying to say is that there is no wrong choice but I think one choice is the much better option.


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