There are three versions of the Weber Performer charcoal grills and all three are definite upgrades over the standard Weber kettles and even the Weber Master Touch.
Let’s take a look at the standard Performer, Performer Deluxe and Performer Premium and review the differences between them.
What the Performers Have in Common
All three Performers share some common features.
- 22.5 inch kettle grills with 363 square inches of grilling space.
- High Capacity Ash Catcher
- Weber Gourmet Barbecue Grate System
- Porcelain enameled bowl and lid with 10 year warranty
- Built in lid thermometer
- Built in heat shield for lid handle
- Tuck Away lid holder
- Side Tables
- Tool Hooks with Performer Badging
The Performer grills have the same size cooking grate as a standard 22.5 inch kettle and the Weber Master Touch. The grate in the Performers is the same hinged Gourmet Barbecue Grate that comes with the Master Touch.
This is a nice grate for three reasons:
- Thicker rods than a normal grate for longer useful life.
- Dual hinged sides allow easy addition of charcoal while grilling.
- Removable center insert can be replaced with a Weber sear grate, wok, griddle or pizza stone (sold separately).
There are other grates available for these grills as well that are not manufactured by Weber. Here is a list of other charcoal grill grate options.
The lid holder on the Performer series is reason enough to buy one. The two biggest problems with standard kettles is there is no place to put the lid and the lack of a side table.
The lid holder on the Performer works great and is an awesome feature.
The biggest thing the grills have in common is the precise air control via upper and lower air dampers. This is a common feature on almost all of the Weber kettles and is an integral reason for their legendary performance.
Differences Between the Performers
The biggest differences between these grills are the side tables, colors and inclusion of a gas assisted charcoal ignition system.
Standard vs Premium Performer
The entry level Performer has a short metal side table that can be flipped down when not in use. By folding the table down you can protect this grill with a standard grill cover which will save you some cash.
The side table on the Premium Performer is seriously upgraded over the standard Performer and has the following features.
- Significantly longer with more prep area
- Includes removable LCD grill timer
- Integrated weather protected charcoal storage bin.
I am not a huge fan of the grill timer…actually I think it is pretty pointless.
The larger table and charcoal storage bin are both awesome upgrades.
The table on the standard model is functional but just isn’t quite large enough for all of the stuff I bring out to the grill. The table on the Premium is the perfect size and I just think it looks sharp!
It is interesting to see how people use the charcoal storage bin on the Premium. While some folks do use it for charcoal storage other folks use it to stow away their grilling gear. It is nice to have someplace to store paper towels, GrillGrate Panels and other grill accessories. Some people simply use the storage bin as a trash can.
Regardless of how you decide to use the storage bin I promise that it will come in handy!
Deluxe vs Premium Performer
The Performer Deluxe has all of the same features as the Performer Premium but the Deluxe comes with one serious upgrade. The Deluxe is equipped with a propane fired charcoal ignition system.
Here is a quick video that shows you how to access and use the charcoal ignition system.
The ignition system is fueled by disposable one pound propane bottles.
The charcoal ignition system works great but it is not a feature that everyone enjoys. Some folks think that lighting charcoal is simple enough already and that the ignition system isn’t needed. Some cranky old farts just think it is wrong to have propane hooked up to a charcoal grill 🙂
I think the ignition system is a nice feature that makes more people want to use their charcoal grill more often.
The other difference between the Deluxe and Premium Performers are the color options. The Premium is only available in black while the Deluxe comes in Black, Copper and Green.
I think the copper kettles are beautiful.
Weber Performer User Reviews
The Weber Performer has been around a while and there are plenty of real life user reviews. The Deluxe has always been the most popular model and has the most published reviews. Here is a snapshot of the reviews that customers have posted on Weber’s site.
There are 205 reviews posted with 92% of them being either 5 or 4 star.
Here are the reviews for the Deluxe from Home Depot.
Home Depot shows 468 reviews with 96% being either 5 or 4 stars.
The bottom line is that people love the Weber Performer grills.