Got a $25 Unicorn found on Letgo: The Elusive Weber CharQ

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
Having become a big fan of the Weber Q line, I have always been curious about the CharQ. This was a relatively short-lived (2008-11) version of the Q that uses charcoal instead of LP or electricity. I have never seen anyone here post about using one, and I have to admit I have had my doubts. But, typical me, I was still very interested. I have been following one for months listed in the Tampa area for $50. A very long round trip. I have contemplated trying to make it a multi-grill pickup to justify the distance, but I already have too many projects...

Yesterday, I was perusing Letgo which I don't always follow as closely as OfferUp and CL. What do I see but a CharQ for $25 and not all that far from me:smilekettle:! The seller said it was "dirty" and for sale "as is" just "get it out of here." I was happy to oblige:D! I finished another boring tax return and shortly after was out to get it.

These date back over ten years, so I wasn't expecting a lot. Scuffed and dirty, but intact:



The cool thing for me is that I have the identical sized Q2200 that rests on a cart from which it can be readily removed. So, now I have the option to swap out gas or charcoal in the same limited deck space:



A quick inspection of this new find was enlightening. The dome shaped hood/lid is higher than a gas Q. Naturally, it has an air vent. No thermometer. This one is begging to be turned into a redhead, but that will be a little trickier than with a gas Q due to the riveted air vent on top.



Inside, I was happy to find a certainly redeemable set of cast iron grates. A good thing, because they are different from the gas version. They lack the special grease deflection shields that protect the burner on a gas Q. Two pieces.



Underneath is a "aluminized steel" tray that holds the charcoal allowing airflow underneath. A quick search reveals that this part could prove impossible to replace and thereby become the long-term Achilles heal of this otherwise simple grill. I suppose you could fabricate some type of replacement when that becomes necessary. Fortunately, other than some sagging, the original still looks pretty usable:



Bottom airflow is controlled by a lever on the front that opens a singular vent above the same drip tray the LP version of the Q uses.



This is clearly a charcoal grill for high heat, quick grilling of stuff like burgers, steak, chops, etc. I look forward to putting that to the test soon, so stand by. There is some celebrity chef that mentions using them favorably. Here is a short positive review from another source:

https://www.bonfeu-bbq.com/weber-char-q.html

Here is a 9-year old archived thread from our board back when the Char Q was for sale. Some pretty interesting discussion:

https://tvwbb.com/archive/index.php/t-3397.html

What the CharQ is NOT is a replacement for the PK charcoal grill. There is superficial similarity because of the aluminum construction. I have never used a PK and only seen one once. However, the PK is larger and capable of fully adequate 2-zone cooking. Thus, you can both do high heat searing and indirect low-n-slow bbq on the PK. The CharQ would not be able to duplicate that, I think, since the charcoal tray is small and would not hold enough fuel for a long cook. PKs are nice but not seen for sale used very often.

https://www.pkgrills.com/

I will update this post with actual real use pictures and feedback.
 
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Bruce

TVWBB Olympian
Jon: That is an inaugural year 2008 grill. Good find. I am looking forward to seeing where you go with it.
 

Jason in CA

TVWBB All-Star
Ever since I first learned that those were a thing (a very short time ago in an earlier thread here) I've been curious about them also. I don't think I can justify owning one but I'm very curious about your impressions on it.
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
Ever since I first learned that those were a thing (a very short time ago in an earlier thread here) I've been curious about them also. I don't think I can justify owning one but I'm very curious about your impressions on it.
I will definitely follow up. For $25 and not far away it was a no-brainer. I had some birthday money left laying around (April 14th - I was born to be a CPA:rolleyes:), so my wife didn't object. I am looking forward to seeing what it can do and eventually what I can make it look like. If I don't like it, I will clean and paint it and then flip. But, based on reading the old posts, I think it might be a dark horse winner:eek:.
 

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Never knew such a beast existed nice find for sure. I'm also an April birthday boy, this year my birthday was on Easter Sunday. But Barb said just because it's your birthday and Easter Sunday your still not getting another grill.:(
 

Jason in CA

TVWBB All-Star
"I had some birthday money left laying around (April 14th - I was born to be a CPA), "

Jon. You made me laugh with that one.



"I'm also an April birthday boy, this year my birthday was on Easter Sunday. But Barb said just because it's your birthday and Easter Sunday your still not getting another grill."

That's funny. I could go places with that but ,,, okay I'll shut up ;)


One of my best friends was born April 1st. You can imagine how some of that has gone over the years. I met him in the sixth grade and we're both over the hill now. But with his birthday you can imagine how some of it has gone over the years.
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
When I was pretty young, I picked up on the April 15th tax deadline. I used to think I might spend my birthday doing my tax return. Little did I know then that, for my adult life, I would spend my birthday doing EVERYBODY ELSE’S tax return:rolleyes:!
 

Dave in KC

TVWBB All-Star
Awesome score. I have been after one of those for a year now. One of these days .......

All I am seeing lately are 3200's and E210's of which I am stockpiling until I get the time to tend to them.

 

Stefan H

TVWBB Wizard
Holy smoke. I don't even that much room in my garage. Ok mine is filled with bicycles and bicycle projects. lol
I have also seen quite a few Q grills in my area. But most of them are not cheap with not enough margin left to flip them. Same for the E-210 or S210. New ones sell for around $200-$270. I really would need to get one for free to make any money. I sold one Spirit E-310 last year but it took a few weeks to move it.
 

Bruce

TVWBB Olympian
I don't look at spirits unless they are free. They wind up being just about as much work to rehab and only a little less expensive to rehab than a Silver B or Genesis E3xx, but the resale value is significantly lower.
 

Dave in KC

TVWBB All-Star
I'm rolling the dice on the Spirits. I did ok on a couple last year, and barely made $20 on another.
Im into each of these for less than $40. 2 came with tanks. 1 has a nice cover. None of the 3 need
anything other than a good cleaning. Grates, flavorizers and igniters are all good to go. They routinely
get advertised here for $200 to $225 and never sell. I plan to put an hour into each one, list with a full
tank at $150 obo and use everyone elses high prices as a selling tool.. I can sell for $125 and still come
out fine. It also gives a chance to sell a different grill.
 

Bruce

TVWBB Olympian
One hour rehab? Wow, that is excellent. No wonder you can do so many. My guess is there no painting involved then.
 

Dave in KC

TVWBB All-Star
These are true flips. Nothing particularly wrong with any of them. Spit shine, and gone.
Q's on the hand need major cleaning, couple need burners, and all 4 will be painted red or blue.
 

Stefan H

TVWBB Wizard
This sounds great Dave. But I have never seen them that cheap here. I may find a 2 or 3 burner Spirit here for $50 but it would need new flavorizer bar and grates at least.
How far do you clean yours if I may ask?
 

Dave in KC

TVWBB All-Star
Sams Club Cleaner, pressure wash, wipe down. I will take a razor blade to the lid
if need be. One set of grates will need seasoning. That's about it. I've already fixed
the drip pan that the Home Depot idiot installed inside the firebox on one of them.
No grinder or paint work needed. No parts needed either. However, while the
porcelain flavorizers are in good working order, they look particularly hideous on
one of them. I found a set of 16 gauge stainless on Amazon for $17. When all
three are done, I will post the one with the stainless first, in hopes of hitting $175.
If that works, I will do the same in the other 2 as well. My thiniking is the shiny new
stainless will be well worth the $17 not only in appearance, but also in real value.
 

Bruce

TVWBB Olympian
That looks like a 3 bar set. I didn't even realize that Webber made a grill with only 3 bars. That explains the low price.
 

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