Converting Weber Q to charcoal


 

Nick Matthews

TVWBB Member
I have been looking for a Char Q for a year or so now with no luck. I've been considering finding a propane model and trying to convert it to run charcoal. I know that there are several differences beyond the obvious intake and exhaust such as the lids being different. Has anyone modified to burn charcoal? Any tips, advice or pictures that may help?
 

LMichaels

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I would not go there. Charcoal runs hotter than gas and is not as controllable. It's just looking for problems where one did not exist
 

Stefan H

TVWBB Wizard
I would not recommend it either. You can not regulate the airflow on the gas grill lid and the bottom half. I bought a CharQ a few years go but I was not impressed with it and sold it again. The kettle is a better choice in my opinion.
 

Joe T Gomez

TVWBB Fan
Nick Do it I made one out of an old old Kenmore I found at the dump I couldn’t find a weber so I just made this one my kids call It grandpa’s ghetto grill works great just for grilling put mine on a seat so I can sit down and grill
 

Joe T Gomez

TVWBB Fan
Nick
 

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Jon Tofte

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Of course everyone has an opinion. I absolutely LOVE my beat-up, old CharQ. I would like to overhaul and repaint it, but I use it regularly and don't want to take it out of service! I agree that I would NOT attempt to convert a Q 2200 because of all the issues in making an air vent for the bottom and another for the top. Then some kind of charcoal grate. Too much in my estimation, at least. I would keep looking and expand your online search. I wish I had known because there was a nice one for $65 an hour away from me. The CharQ wouldn't be out of the question for shipping since it is relatively light. Also post your interest here on the Buy Sell Trade section.

Back to using the CharQ. First, you have to accept that it is not for low and slow bbq. It lacks the flexibility of a kettle, which I would imagine is Stefan's reason for preferring a kettle. It isn't even as flexible as a PK Original, which shares the CharQ's aluminum construction but is larger and has a taller hood. The PK can do great low and slow. Of course, if you aren't in Arkansas, Texas or nearby, you will have a harder time finding a used PK and will like pay a lot more for its greater features.

The CharQ is just a very cool, high heat grilling machine. Burgers, steaks, dogs, chops, grilled chicken strips - that's where it shines. It doesn't use a ton of charcoal, and the cast iron really works nice in my opinion.

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CharQ cooking burgers & dogs.jpeg
 

Ed Pinnell

TVWBB Guru
Jon, is the CharQ constructed any differently than a LPG Q grill? It's hard to see the grill with all that yummy food in the foreground, but because a charcoal grill can run hotter than LPG, would a LPG Q withstand the heat?
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Hall of Fame
The construction doesn’t seem different to me. The lid has a fairly high dome. I don’t think the aluminum is any thicker. The main difference is the vent on the bottom (where a gas Q has its grease drain) and the vent in the top center that looks like a kettle lid vent.

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The CharQ grill also has a special aluminized steel charcoal tray. These are no longer available. I suppose you could fabricate some kind of replacement.

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Ed Pinnell

TVWBB Guru
Thanks, Jon! @Bruce has noted that the first thing to fail during an overheating event on a Q2xxx was that the mounting screws got so hot that they began to melt the plastic and the grill began to sag. This was after being left on high overnight. Assuming the mounting scheme is the same for the CharQ as the LPG Q, the higher heat available with charcoal shouldn't be a concern...unlike an LPG grill that will run until the gas runs out, a charcoaI grill is more self-limiting and is less likely to be used unattended. I can't think of a good reason why a determined person couldn't make a CharQ from an LPG Q, if unique is what you seek...
 

Richard in NS

TVWBB All-Star
Looks to me like the CharQ’s lid seals all the way around allowing you to control airflow with the vents. The propane lids have openings on each side for airflow so just adding a top and bottom vent would not achieve the control you would want unless you blocked off the side vents. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for modifications, but IMHO it seems like a lot of work for questionable results when Weber already makes proven available charcoal alternatives.
 

Ed Pinnell

TVWBB Guru
Looks to me like the CharQ’s lid seals all the way around allowing you to control airflow with the vents. The propane lids have openings on each side for airflow so just adding a top and bottom vent would not achieve the control you would want unless you blocked off the side vents. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for modifications, but IMHO it seems like a lot of work for questionable results when Weber already makes proven available charcoal alternatives.
GREAT catch, Richard! I missed that one entirely. Yep, I agree, that's gonna be a problem. And I agree that there are a lot better alternatives out there than a DIY CharQ, IMO, but to each his own.
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB Olympian
If you have the real desire and skills, give it a shot! If it was me, I have no metal working skills and would have a hard time bugging the guys I know that do have that skill set.
To be honest, my mind goes to the “Slider” style of vent used on the Go Anywhere grill. I don’t kno.
 

 

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