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

Sam Bee

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.
Hi Dave, for the Sam's Club cleaner do you spray and just let it soak then pressure wash or do you spray, soak, scrub then pressure wash? I'm trying to get an idea of the most effective and quickest way to clean out the firebox without going the grinder route.
 

Dave in KC

TVWBB All-Star
Scrubbing can be more useful at times, depending on how bad it is,
but normally I just spray and let it sit for about 20 mins prior to washing.
Any longer than that, it tends to dry up, and then you have to respray.
Still very much a learning process though. The older than grill the less
useful this or any chemical seems to be, but the same goes for the grinder.
I have run across a couple of old 1000's that I wore out a wire cup brush on,
and they still didn't look all that great.
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
Hey, Jeff, welcoto TVWBB!

So, do you still have that CharQ? Have you tried it out at all? If you can, post some pictures!
 

Bruce

TVWBB Olympian
I picked up my first one a month or so ago. First one I had ever seen in the wild. I will dig into it next spring. It was a good idea, but I just think the coal guys preferred the kettles which were probably cheaper any way.
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB Hall of Fame
I pulled out my old hibachi the other night, I was on my own and firing up a chimney for one steak in the kettle seemed like too much work, I was really feeling lazy!
Somewhere about 15-20 coals, half an hour and then while it cooled down I enjoyed my steak then just before I decided it was time to go to bed, I looked out the window to see an inch of snow on the thing! Trotted right out and put it away before it was a snow covered snowball!
I think one of these might be a great alternative to the hibachi for small projects.
OK, I do have a NIB Smokey Joe and a Go Anywhere but, they are unused! I suppose I should get over that!
 
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Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
My Dad used a Hibachi on Saturday/Sunday afternoons when I was a kid growing up on Long Island. The first time I cooked a sirloin steak on my CharQ it was like going back in time:D. That same steak and charcoal smell!!!

I love the CharQ and hope to eventually do a rehab on mine to make it look more worthy of its rare uniqueness and its griloling capability. It was too expensive to compete successfully, but the same strengths the Q brings to gas grilling are there: aluminum and glass infused plastic construction largely impervious to rust, cast iron grilling, and ease of cleanup.

This is great little machine for doing a few steaks, burgers, dogs, etc. No, it's not a replacement for a kettle. It's small charcoal capacity and not-easy-to-refuel-while-cooking design makes it a poor choice for anything besides quick, hot-sear grilling. You won't be doing a pork shoulder or brisket on one of these unless you just enjoy defying its limits. Having gotten mine for only $25, it is great bargain and a much better choice for the hot grilling it is meant for than a Smokey Joe or Go Anywhere, at least in my opinion.

Just make sure you use charcoal that gets hot fast. A small charcoal tray and less than superb airflow necessitate that. I have had good success with Kingsford Professional but not with Weber briquettes which are much better for low and slow kettle cooking. I have heard B&B briquettes also make quick high heat and want to try them next.
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB Hall of Fame
My dad and I used a hibachi when camping/picnicking for years. Great tool!
An old girlfriends dad HATED charcoal grilled steaks until I did some beautiful 2” porterhouses for him for Father’s Day. He truly was impressed! He, in turn, taught me how to pan broil a steak that was, almost, as good! If there is three feet of snow and I have a steak available but, don’t feel like braving the misery of February winter Polar Vortex I know I can pan broil with a cast iron skillet and vent fan!
 

Chris in GA

TVWBB Super Fan
Jon, thats awesome. Love these grills as I like charcoal better than gas. I never seen any for sale here. All aluminum top and bottom that is wonderful. I think there is no better combination for a durable charcoal grill except maybe a FireMagic. Excellent find.
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
Hey Chris, Hope your Christmas was wonderful and that the new year is off to a great start!

Yeah, the CharQ was a flop, I guess because it was too expensive and has limitations. But for simple grilling of burgers, chops, dogs, etc. it is a GREAT little grill, long lasting, and stingy on charcoal.

I suppose the best all aluminum charcoal grills are the ones by PK. They are well respected but VERY expensive. I know someone that got a classic original one for something like $40 but that is a rare find. They are bigger and can do indirect cooking, etc.

https://www.pkgrills.com/?avad=259581_f189dabe1

p.s. Trying to locate bases for all that Broilmaster stuff. Everything I see is too far away, but I will keep looking. I have a set of redwood tables to make one old-fashioned really pretty one:cool:!
 

Chris in GA

TVWBB Super Fan
Jon, holidays were good, thank you, same to you.
Too bad CharQ was not successful, aluminum is great for a long lasting grill. I don't think aluminum is that expensive in that form factor, compared with the Weber sheet metal porcelain bowl.
I did look at PK grills and even bought one but after reading reviews I canceled the sale. It has an issue with the way the charcoal is cleaned is on the bottom which does not work work me.
 
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Chris in GA

TVWBB Super Fan
Jon, question please, does the tray on which the charcoal sits rest on the lower body directly at different points ? Is there anything else between the tray and lower body ? does the lower body has any holes in it ?
Also does the top and bottom edge all around the perimeter makes contact or it has vents ?
Appreciated.
 

Bruce

TVWBB Olympian
Here you go Chris. It is a SS (Magnetic) coal holder. The coal holder basically sits on the four corners which fit into notches on the bottom cook box. The bottom of the cook box does have the same oval shaped hole that a gas Q has but the lid is closed all the way around and doesn't have the side vents like the Q grills.



 
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Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
Yeah, that is how mine looks. I didn't think my tray was stainless but rather "aluminized steel." Almost impossible to find a replacement. I found a company that has a Canadian website with this part but their US website does not. They said they couldn't sell from their Canadian site to a US location:confused:! Fortunately, mine is still usable but not nearly as nice as Bruce's.

The only bottom airflow is from that oval hole in the middle (you can barely see it in Bruce's picture) which sits directly over a drip pan - the same pan and holder the 200/2000 gas Q has. Not a substantial amount of air flow in my opinion. Once I switched to higher heat burning charcoal, starting the fire with the hood open until all the briquettes are gray, things improved. It didn't do as well with Weber charcoal which I have had good success with in a kettle. This is pretty much a high heat quick grill not something I would personally use for low and slow BBQ.
 

Bruce

TVWBB Olympian
Jon, Not sure what "aluminized" steel is, and mine could certainly be that. I just figured with no rust and it being magnetic, it must be some sort of stainless steel, but it is quite magnetic.
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
Jon, Not sure what "aluminized" steel is, and mine could certainly be that. I just figured with no rust and it being magnetic, it must be some sort of stainless steel, but it is quite magnetic.
I found this:

Aluminized steel is steel that has been hot-dip coated on both sides with aluminium-silicon alloy. This process assures a tight metallurgical bond between the steel sheet and its aluminium coating, producing a material with a unique combination of properties possessed neither by steel nor by aluminium alone.

People also ask
Is aluminized steel better than stainless steel?
Aluminized steel is not as aesthetically pleasing, or as rust resistant as stainless steel. It has a much more dull appearance than stainless steel does. Although aluminized steel is the better of the two money-wise.


I am pretty sure this is what Weber now uses on the "sweeps" in the bottom of kettles. Originally, these were made of stainless steel, and finding an unused set of the stainless ones seems to be a goal of some of our Weber Kettle Club friends.

I am just glad that we both have a usable tray for our CharQ grills, since whatever they are made of they are now almost impossible to locate.
 

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