Weber Master Touch vs Premium: Which Is the Better Buy?

November 30, 2022

The standard Weber Master Touch is the better version because you can add GBS inserts, among other things.I know the first time you got to know about the Master Touch series, you would have concluded that the Master Touch Premium version would be the better and upgraded version. After all, the better versions in the hardware and grill equipment market always come with Premium, Pro, or Plus. Well, you’d be totally wrong in this case.

However, is the standard kettle worth the close to $50 difference? We’ll find out all in the Weber Master Touch vs Premium Kettle Grills review/comparison. I recently tested and analyzed the difference between the Weber Performer Deluxe and Premium grills. I must say they have a lot of things in common with the Master Touch kettle grills except for the addition of a cart and table. Once you read this article, you will clearly know which Weber Master Touch kettle to choose.

Weber master touch vs premium

What’s the Difference Between Master Touch and Premium?

Preview
Weber Master-Touch Charcoal Grill
Weber Master-Touch Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch,...
Weber Premium Charcoal Grill
Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill,...
Kettle Diameter
22 inches
22 inches
Total Cooking Area
443 square inches
380 square inches
Warming Rack
Available
Not available
GBS Compatibility
Yes
No
Charcoal Basket
Available
Not available (can be purchased separately)
Lid Holder
Tuck away system
Tuck away system (hinged lid on the E5770)
Weber Master-Touch Charcoal Grill
Preview
Weber Master-Touch Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch,...
Kettle Diameter
22 inches
Total Cooking Area
443 square inches
Warming Rack
Available
GBS Compatibility
Yes
Charcoal Basket
Available
Lid Holder
Tuck away system
Weber Premium Charcoal Grill
Preview
Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill,...
Kettle Diameter
22 inches
Total Cooking Area
380 square inches
Warming Rack
Not available
GBS Compatibility
No
Charcoal Basket
Not available (can be purchased separately)
Lid Holder
Tuck away system (hinged lid on the E5770)

To put it simply, the Original Kettle Premium Grill is a more affordable, smaller, and more simplified version of the standard Weber Master Touch. Meanwhile, the standard kettle has the possibility of adding GBS inserts. 

There is a $50 difference between both. But what are the key differences in features?

The biggest and most important difference between these two grills is the GBS compatibility. While the Original Kettle Premium does not have this compatibility, the standard Weber Kettle Master Touch includes it. For a surcharge of around 50 dollars, this is definitely worth considering. 

Also, note that the total cooking area of the standard kettle is larger than the total cooking area of the premium Master Touch model, even though they have the same 22-inch diameter bowl size. The Master Touch has 443 square inches of total cooking area. Meanwhile, the Weber Kettle Premium version has 380 square inches.

The extra cooking space on the Master Touch is due to the secondary warming rack, which the Premium Master Touch obviously lacks. 

The specificity of the GBS grid is its removable center which allows the installation of cooking accessories from the Gourmet BBQ System range: pizza stone, chicken support, searing grid, or cast iron dish.

Regardless of these central factors, the two grills are similar except for a few small things (e.g. Tuck-Away lid holder).

The Tuck-Away rod is attached to the back of the Master Touch tank, allowing you to position the hood to turn the grills over without feeling entangled. 

Also, the Master Touch benefits from an I-Grill support on the handle of the tank as well as protection against heat on the ventilation flap of the lid. This drastically limits the risk of burns when you want to adjust the opening.

Finally, both grills have the One-Touch cleaning system and hinged cooking grates.

About the Weber Master Touch 

The standard Master Touch is 22 inches (or 57 centimeters) in cooking diameter. It has a  porcelain-enameled bowl and lid. You’ve got your all-weather lid handle and bowl handle as well. On the bowl handle, you have integrated tool hooks. There is a lid thermometer and your rust-proof lid vent at the back. 

As mentioned earlier, the Master Touch comes with a GBS cooking grate compatibility.

It has the GBS part in the middle which stands for Gourmet BBQ System. This is a modular cooking system on which it is possible to cook both fresh sausage and a Neapolitan pizza with a single tool. Ingenious isn’t it? 

The GBS  allows you to use any of the gourmet barbecue system accessories. These can include a pizza stone, sear grate, wok, dutch oven, waffle maker, or any of those accessories that you can see in the GBS accessories section on Amazon or any of your favorite stores. 

Of course, you do need to purchase them additionally. The GBS also has a convenient hinged cooking grate which gives access to your charcoal during cook times. 

Master Touch Charcoal Grill

The Master Touch also comes with charcoal baskets. So they’re easier to move. You can move them together to have more direct heat and you can move them apart for your indirect heat. 

You have the enclosed ash management system on this one too. So once you’re cleaning your barbecue, all the ash falls into the pot at the bottom which you can then remove and clean out all your ash. 

The Master Touch comes with two all-weather wheels. So they are quite robust and can go over various terrains. There’s also a secondary warming rack that offers more cooking space.

About the Weber Premium Charcoal Grill

The Weber Master Touch Premium, like all Weber Master Touch models, is known for its iconic ball shape. They all work with charcoal or Weber briquettes. In terms of size, they all have the same dimensions: a compact format that easily finds its place in a garden, a terrace, or even a courtyard.

Then you have a plastic handle to prevent your fingers from getting too hot. The Master Touch comes with a lid holder so you can just roll the lid back to access your food. 

Two wheels make it easy to move, and a lid – a trademark of the American giant – covers the food during cooking. So you’ll never eat a rib of beef or a dry chicken again.

However, the main characteristic you won’t find in the Premium Master Touch grills is the Gourmet BBQ System found in the Master Touch grill. The Premium also doesn’t have a hinge lid. There’s just the tuck-away lid holder. Also, you’d miss out on the charcoal baskets.

Asides from the charcoal baskets, it also lacks a secondary warming rack. The warming rack would have certainly added extra space. The grill doesn’t have a heat deflector so it’d be suitable for high-heat cooking applications but it doesn’t have great heat retention and is not suitable for low and slow grilling.

The Weber Master-Touch GBS Premium E5770, an Even Better Version

Okay, I’ve been talking about the Master Touch and the Premium all day. I also mentioned that the GBS is the key difference between the Master Touch vs Premium. But there is a newer GBS version that has some features you don’t find in the Master Touch or the 22-inch Premium and 26-inch Premium. This is called the Master Touch GBS E-5750 and it’s also part of the Master Touch series.

This barbecue is aimed at low and slow grilling. It comes with a heat deflector and a charcoal ring to help keep your charcoal all together if you’re doing like the snake or minion method. You also get your charcoal holders as well. Briquette holders come with the sear grate. 

You also get a nice little heat guard on your ash capture. You can remove the hinge on the Premium if you want to use the charcoal rotisserie. You just unscrew it and slide it off.

What’s New in the Weber Master-Touch GBS Premium E5770?

I’m introducing this because I found that a lot of the Master Touch and Premium users were asking for this. This is because of the hinged lid and heat deflector which the previous models lack. 

The Weber Master Touch E5770 has a lot of other features, and of course, differences from the standard Master Touch or the Original Premium series. 

Master-Touch GBS Premium E-5770 Charcoal Grill

Hinge Lid 

So, the first key difference between the Master Touch GBS is the hinged lid. While the standard and Premium Master Touch one had the rollback lid holder, this one has a hinge that helps with lifting to access your food. You don’t need to do much once it’s up. 

Both Weber Master-Touch models are equipped with the integrated tuck-away mount. But what you have here is a spring-loaded lid hinge. This allows the kettle grill lid to be opened and closed quickly.

The lid can also be removed from the hinge quickly and easily with just a few turns of the black screw cap. This means that it is still possible to use grill accessories such as a rotisserie spit, pizza ring, or individual setups with the ventilation flap in the lid in an individual position.

Heat Diffuser Plate

The heat diffuser plate is probably familiar to most from the ceramic grill and is known there as a deflector stone. The Weber Master-Touch Premium model fulfills exactly the same purpose: to quickly regulate the temperature downwards from direct to indirect heat. The diffuser plate is particularly helpful for indirect grilling and smoking and enables almost 100% use of the cooking grate.

Porcelain-enameled Charcoal Ring

Also known from other Weber grills is the new Char Ring, a porcelain-enameled charcoal ring. 

In combination with the diffuser plate, the Char Ring is the ideal setup for smoking, low and slow cooking, and baking

The charcoal ring can be used in two ways: either you put the briquettes around the outside and work with the minion ring method, or you fill the inner area with briquettes, add smoking chips and place the diffuser plate over it.

FAQs 

1. Is the Master Touch Worth It?

I’ll start by stating the standard kettles are definitely worth the price they’re sold for. For the additional $50, you get a GBS-compatible system, a larger cooking space, a very good lid holder, and an excellent charcoal basket set. The additional cost to upgrade from the Original to the Master Touch kettles is well worth it.

2. Is the Weber Premium Worth It?

The Weber premium 22-inch charcoal grill was deemed by many to be the best charcoal grill. It’s ideal for those who like classics. I found this grill outperforms any other grill for convenience and simple assembly. That’s why it’s more popular than the standard models. But you have to note that it lacks a warming rack, and GBS compatibility and is a bit smaller in terms of cooking space.

Final Words: Which Should You Choose?

All in all, the Master Touch grill is the best of the Master Touch series. It’s got all the kind of mod cons that you’d want from a charcoal BBQ. People seem to really love it. The Premium Master Touch is the more popular for the reason that it’s $50 cheaper. But it doesn’t feature GBS compatibility. So it’s a matter of budget.

I’d urge you to go for the Master Touch. However, if the GBS doesn’t interest you, or you don’t have the extra budget to get GBS accessories, you can of course choose the Premium model. 

I would have chosen and recommended the newer E5770 as my overall best because of the extra features. It’s currently more available in Europe and Canada and not yet on Amazon for US customers. So, for now, while I hope Weber makes it available soon, the Master Touch is my overall best of the series. 

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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