I am delighted to have a guest post from Jarhead, a gentleman I have been following on the forums for a while. He has graciously agreed to write some posts on the Weber 26.75 inch charcoal kettle grill. This is one of those grills that has always fascinated me so I am excited to see it put through its paces. So without further delay….
I must say UPS done a great job on delivery. No torn up box nor was it tossed over the fence. Shipping weight is 60 pounds.
Looking at the inside of the box, everything is nicely protected from damage. We will see, because some items are loose inside.I looked at the directions, and everything seems to be in the universal language of pictures.First thing out of the box is the charcoal grate. Well constructed and heavy duty.Notice the heavy bridge work underneath for added durability.The lid was next. Again, heavy duty steel. It had a slight ding in the porcelain which will not affect the cooking, but not what you would expect from a brand new grill. The thermometer is already installed for you. A nice add on from Weber, if it is accurate.
The One Touch System with associated hardware was next. Well protected.
The base with the blades come pre-assembled. Packed in 2 corners are the charcoal baskets. Another nice add on from Weber.
They look to be the same size as the ones for a 22” kettle. The wheels and the handle are in the other 2 corners. I would have liked to have seen a better quality wheel.The front leg was placed alongside of the base and rubbing. We will see if there is any damage. The base was well protected from the grill underneath. No damage to the base from the front leg. Things were loose in the bottom. Could have been better packed. The grill was next. This is one big and heavy duty grill. The lid holder and bottom rack were at the bottom. I was running out of places to set things so I put the grill on top of the 22. The base and the ring were a challenge. What seemed to be in the instructions were not so in the real world. The ring seems to be a little too big and the clips had to be bent in to lock, with a little persuasion from a hammer. The ring seems out of round since I think it is too big.
The leg assembly is next. Notice the welds are facing UP and the flat sides are facing OUT. Open bag 88696 and you will find the push nuts for holding the wheels on. (3 ??) You will have to remove one leg for the next step. Just be sure that you remember to put it back on, flat side out, then the wheel, BEFORE putting the nut on. Just a word of experience, with my first Weber. I got in a hurry to cook on it and the push nuts do not come off without a fight. Install the leg (flat side out), wheel and push nut by gently taping it on with a hammer and wooden block. Repeat for the other side. Install the legs and wheels AWAY from the FRONT handle with the hook of the bottom rack facing you. I had to persuade them to go all of the way to the base. I wiggled, pushed and tapped gently with a hammer. Don’t crack the porcelain. Just be gentle. It is like glass. Install the front leg, using the hole for the bottom rack, then into the base. GENTLY until seated.
I chose to install the ash catcher while it was upside down due to the out of round ring. I did try according to directions, but my way was much easier. I just hope it plays nicely in the future when removing and reinstalling. The lid holder is next. It goes on exactly as pictured from the left side.
Attach the holder along with a spacer, washer, through the kettle, another washer and a nut. Do this for both sides of the lid holder. 7/16 box end or equivalent is required. Leave slightly loose. Take the remaining bolt and insert it through the brace and spacer. Install a washer and place it in the hole in the kettle followed by another washer and then the nut. Tighten securely and finish tightening the two top nuts. Attach the lid handle to the lid using the sheet metal nuts with the provided plastic finger powered nut driver. Don’t get cheap on us now Weber. I would have liked to have seen washers and a real lock nut like the others. Keep your worthless nut driver and just add a 7/16 wrench to the required tools.
I do like the addition of the heat deflector below the handle. If it works, it will save many a de-haired knuckle and burnt fingers from lifting a hot handle. I also wish they would bring back the wooden handles of days gone by.
Attach the front handle. Make sure Weber is facing up. (Don’t ask) Insert the charcoal grate and the cooking grate. Install the plastic hubcaps. Tools required: