Added a Performer to my backyard last night


 

Christopher M

TVWBB Member
I've been on the forums for a few months now and I now own 3 working grills and random parts! Having spent much of my time in the gas grill section, I've become interested in kettles and started looking through FB and Craigslist. Last night, I drove an hour plus into NYC to pick-up a Crate and Barrell Performer for $125. The seller lost the timer (which had apparently broke), but replaced the ignitor and burner just a few months ago. The cooking grates are in fairly decent shape. The kettle has cleaned up nicely with some Dawn detergent and water. Coming from rehabbing Genesis 1000s, this was a fairly easy clean. Both of my restorations have clean grills. This one, it's getting it's first cook tonight. Burgers! I placed an order for the Slow n Sear with plans to make cowboy ribeyes this weekend.

Excited to fire up coal tonight. Any recommendations on coals I should buy? Where's the best place to pick up spare propane? I'm guessing these aren't refillable and I just dispose when finished?

Other grilling gear en route include Chimney and high temp gloves.

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BillSmith

TVWBB Pro
I guess places like Costco will have a decent deal on charcoal. Usually, you can find them on sale around the major holidays (Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day) and sometimes they clear stuff out at the end of the season. I got ~40 bags of Weber charcoal for around $3.50 a bag last year from Home Depot. I've read that a lot of people here like Kingsford Blue, I think.

With the little tanks, you can buy an adapter to let you refill from a larger tank or your home LP supply if you have one. I have a friend who does this.
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I’d have been on that like smoke on pork!
Excellent find!
I have considered a S&S but, I just can’t get off the dime for it. (I throw nickels around like manhole covers!)
The 304 SS baskets have done the job that they are designed for which is probably the best thing I ever got for my “overperformer” the baskets do so well for reverse searing I can’t justify an S&S, did I say I was a cheap so and so?
KBB is the performers friend, for me but, others swear by everything else too. I stock up when it’s on sale and keep inventory as full as space allows. Glad that sale time is getting closer!
There is a thread somewhere here about converting the ignition system to a full size (20#) tank as well as refilling the small ones. Mine is pre gas assist so, the chimney and Kalamazoo Gazette are my ignition source. It’s the only thing the paper is good for, it’s not even printed in town anymore!
You are in for some seriously good fun and I might actually mean “Seariously”!
Ok, that was bad, I’ll go stand in the corner!
 
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J Grotz

TVWBB Wizard
My favorite briquettes were Stubbs, but they have been discontinued. Allegedly, the same formula is now sold under the Cowboy brand, but I can't confirm.

For everyday grilling (burgers, dogs, etc.), I use the HD house brand Embers. It's good and cheap. Lots of folks around here love the Weber charcoal, but I haven't tried it yet. I'll likely give it go after my stash of Stubbs runs out.
 

Karl Quist

TVWBB Pro
I’d have been on that like smoke on pork!
Excellent find!
I have considered a S&S but, I just can’t get off the dime for it. (I throw nickels around like manhole covers!)
The 304 SS baskets have done the job that they are designed for which is probably the best thing I ever got for my “overperformer” the baskets do so well for reverse searing I can’t justify an S&S, did I say I was a cheap so and so?
KBB is the performers friend, for me but, others swear by everything else too. I stock up when it’s on sale and keep inventory as full as space allows. Glad that sale time is getting closer!
There is a thread somewhere here about converting the ignition system to a full size (20#) tank as well as refilling the small ones. Mine is pre gas assist so, the chimney and Kalamazoo Gazette are my ignition source. It’s the only thing the paper is good for, it’s not even printed in town anymore!
You are in for some seriously good fun and I might actually mean “Seariously”!
Ok, that was bad, I’ll go stand in the corner!

+1 on all of that. KBB is the 'standard' bag of charcoal, and I buy it generally twice a year (Memorial Day, Labor Day) when it's on sale at Home Depot or wherever. Costco is a good source for the Kingsford Professional (competition? I still can't remember what they changed the name to) briquets, and they usually have a sale coupon for them in the Spring, something like $15 for 2-20lb bag bundle.

Like Timothy, my Performer doesn't have the gas assist either, and that bothers me zero percent. I use the Weber chimney starter, and whatever newspaper that comes in the mail. I don't use the glossy ad stuff, just the stuff that looks/feels like newsprint.
I haven't bought a Slow & Sear for mine yet either, for the same financial reasons. I have a motorcycle that tends to eat up my allowance, so the Weber charcoal baskets serve me just fine for now.

Enjoy that thing! FWIW, the timer isn't all it's cracked up to be. Mine quit working after a year, and when I replaced the battery(s), it still didn't work, so it just sits in the timer dock now doing nothing. It's just a one-off countdown timer anyway. The basic timer on my phone has more functions.
 

BillSmith

TVWBB Pro
Like Timothy, my Performer doesn't have the gas assist either, and that bothers me zero percent. I use the Weber chimney starter, and whatever newspaper that comes in the mail. I don't use the glossy ad stuff, just the stuff that looks/feels like newsprint.

Same here except that I don't have a performer. I'm amazed at how well the Weber chimney starter works.
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Look, it’s really just making an appropriate chimney of coals do an amazing end result. That takes a bit of “Individual Experience”.
I’ve been on the learning curve for a very long time, I firmly believe that less is more. You can always find a brown paper bag, bacon grease and paper towel or something to “ touch it off”. I remember taking a Weber kettle to a few Bluegrass Festivals with a box of turkey drumsticks and how the “Beans and cornbread crowd” shook their heads...suffice to say, Th following year, folks were asking me what I’d done!
The design of the kettle is brilliant, how one uses it is only limited by the imagination!
Face it, a performer isn’t anything more than. 22.5 with a fart burner! It’s a LOT less worrisome than most really care about.
Every city has a newspaper only fit for ignition or fish wrap! I look at it as my environmental duty. Burying, recycling or grill ignition ends up with the same carbon footprint so, buy a newspaper for a week’s grill starting? And there is no concern of the small tanks blowing up during further processing.
Just my thoughts.
 
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Christopher M

TVWBB Member
I've had a few cooks and last night I used the Slow n' Sear. It was also the first time I used the Weber chimney. The grill came with Match Light, which has a smell to it. Picked up some of the blue bag and Weber starter cubes. I was amazed at how well the chimney lights up and gets the charcoal ready to cook. I'll probably default to that method going forward. As for the SNS, I mostly followed the directions. I didn't have the attachment to properly measure the interior heat, so I propped my Weber iGrill thermometers on some foil and did my best to achieve 250 degrees. I'm still not using iGrill right, so used a Thermopen to check temps throughout, flipping the at 80 degrees and pulling them off at 115. I fired up a full chimney of coals, coated the steaks with olive oil, pepper and seared each side 1 minute each x 2. I did make the mistake of putting them on them a hot grill at first. Here are the results.

Q: Does the stock grate allow you spin? I'm using the cold grate method and it seemed to be difficult spinning this around.


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Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I’ve never used the spin method myself but, the grate can be rotated easily enough. Round grate, round grill, no problem.
Steak looks just about right for my taste!
 
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Karl Quist

TVWBB Pro
Great results!

The stock Performer hinged grate (mine at least) will let you spin a little, but not a complete circle. I haven't cared enough to investigate, but I think there are pieces of the wire grate that extend down from the grate handles, and those catch on the kettle 'tab' that the grate rests on, if that makes sense.

I actually use that to my advantage when brushing the grill grate off before cooking; it will only spin so far then 'locks' in place.
 

Bob Correll

R.I.P. 3/31/2022
I really like the side flips and opening on a gourmet system grate, the not as easy to clean thing is ok with me as a trade off. I only remove the whole cook grate for cleaning the sweeps and bowl.

In case some of you hadn't noticed, on the Performers with the thermoset tables, on the back side of the cart is a slot for hanging the grate by its handle. Not sure if the newest models have it.
 

Karl Quist

TVWBB Pro
In case some of you hadn't noticed, on the Performers with the thermoset tables, on the back side of the cart is a slot for hanging the grate by its handle. Not sure if the newest models have it.

LOVE that little feature! It's just a dumb little slot, but boy howdy is it handy. If anyone if keeping score, mine has the thermoset table.
 

Wayne Dimirsky

TVWBB Super Fan
Nice find. I like that color of blue. I have two Performers, a 1995 Red one that I restored about 10 years ago and a black 2007 model with an upgraded steel table. I hardly ever use either one of them anymore. I also have the SnS that I've only used a few times though it does work well.
 

EddF

TVWBB Member
I'd say go with some cowboy for the mesquite / hickory flavor (I like the spike it gives to heat as well) and mix it with either KBB or Royal Oak Briquettes. I've used them all, and although KBB has a bit more ash, they all work great.
 

 

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