The Weber Performer series of grills are the perfect grilling option for hosting a dinner party. For those in a rush, I’ll pick the more expensive Weber Performer Deluxe over the Premium. I know both grills essentially have the same features except that the Deluxe has a serious upgrade in the electronic gas ignition. This helps for a quick lighting of the grill and is not something you see on the Performer Premium or Standard.
But is this extra feature worth the extra $50 price tag on the Deluxe? You have to keep reading to find out. Having worked with grills all through cooking school and my career working as a professional chef, I know what features make a grill more practical or a money waster.
We’ll start with a side-by-side comparison of both grills so we can see how strikingly similar they are and what the differences are:
The Deluxe is better and this is a no-brainer despite how similar both grills are.
As you can see, both the Weber Performer Deluxe and the Performer Premium have thermometers on the porcelain enamel lid and have the same cooking spaces.
The typical difference is that the Deluxe has the Touch-N-Go propane ignition system. And that’s what makes all the $50 difference between both Weber Performer charcoal grills. But is it worth it?
I think it is worth it!
Everyone knows how annoying coal grills are when it comes to lighting the coals, compared to the ease of using pellet grills.
Now imagine if you can with a touch of magic get the charcoal turned to embers. This is what the charcoal ignition system is all about.
And for the smart ones who may be saying, doesn’t a charcoal ignition system cost $8 to $10 online? Well, you have to consider that you need to have it installed. This one on the Weber is built in.
Unfortunately, for those thinking along that line, Weber says it doesn’t offer a propane igniter which you can buy and install separately to another model. So you have to buy the Deluxe if you want this feature.
I’ll pay the extra $50 to have this function on a charcoal grill. I consider the Performer Deluxe to be more functional and sold at a reasonable price.
If charcoal grilling makes you salivate, then these Weber Performer charcoal grills are made for you. The Performers have many similarities. Here I’ll break them down.
Weber Performer Premium and Deluxe both feature similar forms and designs. Imagine Weber kettles in wheels: that’s what the Weber Performer Premium and Deluxe are.
Unlike the classic charcoal grills, both grills feature a bowl and lid. The bowls and lids on the table are coated with porcelain enamel to protect them from corrosion. This also makes the bowls retain heat.
In front of the door are ergonomic handles. They have their own thermometers as well as the tuck-away lid holder at the rear. The Weber Performer Grills differ significantly from kettle grills in that the cart has a sideboard which is a distinctive feature.
Both the Weber Performer Premium and Deluxe grills have similar capabilities for cooking crafted by Weber and called the gourmet BBQ system (GBS).
The GBS consists of practical barbecue accessories so you can roast, bake, steam, and sear your foods. The dual-sided cast iron sear grate helps for grilling multiple steaks.
The glazed pizza stone ensures non-stick cooking while the roasting basket comes in handy for roasting veggies and sea foods.
These common components may also be replaced by other accessories from Gourmet BBQ systems.
They have the same size as the average 22-inch Weber kettles. They’re just a Weber Master Touch without a cart. They both have a cooking area of 363 square inches and can accommodate up to 13 burgers.
Like all Weber charcoal briquette grills, the Weber Performer series bowls and lids are constructed with porcelain enameled steel.
This prevents rusts and makes the grill easier to clean. It also extends the lifetime of the grill, ensuring ultimate convenience.
It’s easier to slide your grill lid into the tuck-away lid holder. This makes adding charcoal briquettes or food in the grill a smoother and cleaner experience.
All of the Weber grills come with a hinge cooking grate that makes the slow cooking process a breeze.
You can simply lift any side of the charcoal grate so you can add more charcoal every hour. You don’t have to remove food from charcoal grill to do this. The value of this can’t be understated.
The Performers have an upscale charcoal experience that includes a kart design and a steel table. This provides ample prep space when you need it.
The front side of the Weber kettle cart features a removable LED timer that can remain attached to the grill. It can also be removed to go where you go all that in a char burn storage container.
Both the Performer Deluxe and Premium are equipped with stainless steel work tables, which are also the highlights of the two models. This certainly simplifies preparing the ingredients near the grill.
What if you had a charcoal grill that could ignite the charcoal briquettes by simply pushing a button?
As earlier mentioned, the Performer Deluxe charcoal grill does just that with the Touch-and-Go electronic gas ignition system.
Simply place your charcoal briquettes in the fuel container over the igniter on the Performer grill. Then push the ignition button dedicated for the charcoal ignition system.
Included with each Performer series grill is a built-in lid thermometer which makes monitoring the inside heat effortless.
The One-touch cleaning system is a common Weber Grills feature and is found on both grills. The One-touch cleaning system allows you to easily empty briquette ash to a high-capacity removable ash catcher that’s fully enclosed.
The Weber Performer Deluxe charcoal grill is sure worth the extra money you have to pay. The grill’s gas ignition system offers one important advantage which makes starting your grill free from any hassle. It definitely compensates for the high cost and certainly makes it worth buying.
All reviews on the Weber Deluxe are positive and correlated strongly with my conclusions. The user-friendly nature of the Deluxe grill has been described by a user, who praised the ease of adding wet wood chips to the grill for smoking. So it’s a highly functional and versatile grill.
But it doesn’t matter which of the Performers you choose, you’ll get great value for money. Both products have ratings close to 5 out of 5.
Many users appreciate the durability of the grills, declaring they have used both the Performer grills for over 10 years. One user even mentioned they’ve been using the Deluxe for 20 years.
Weber’s extensive experience with producing and selling grills explains the wide range of reliable grill options they have.
The porcelain enamels on their grills have outstanding conductivity, and thermal efficiency, and are extremely durable. The handles are built from glass-reinforced nylon and will remain cooler during cooking even if the heat rises to high temperatures.
Weber grills also have an impressive warranty. You’ll get 10 years of warranty on the lids and bowls, 5 years on the stainless steel burner tubes, and 2 years on the remaining parts.
Many customers opt for Weber Grills products like these because of the quality grills made over the years. From the Weber gourmet BBQ system to the porcelain enameled lids and the work tables, the Weber Performers are some of the most highly valued grills your money can get.
But if you have a budget that can allow you to buy any of the grills, I recommend you go for the Weber Deluxe. The Touch-N-Go ignition mechanism is an impressive upgrade feature that makes it one of the best grills online. If you’d like to avoid manually getting the charcoal to light and turn it to embers, it’ll be a good addition. Again, this feature is not on the Performer Premium. It’s why the Deluxe is a bit more expensive.