Looking for a good charcoal grill? You have likely considered the Original PK Grill and the Weber Kettle, but, which one of them is better?
As someone who owns both a PK300 and Weber Kettle Master-Touch, I have some thoughts here.
Let’s sort this out once and for all, Original PK Grill vs Weber Kettle Grill, here we go!
If you want to take your steak game to the next level, you have to consider a charcoal grill.
These ones offer a more versatile cooking technique and are much easier to light and use than wood pellets all the while making juicier meat with a unique taste!
If you’re looking for a good charcoal grill, you’ll hear many recommendations and names, but perhaps the most common ones are the Original PK Grill and the Weber Kettle, so which one of them is better?
To help you pick the better grill, I present you with this complete guide that puts the Original PK Grill vs Weber Kettle in a head to head comparison in terms of the most essential aspects of a grill.
Let’s dive in and see what they both have to offer!
- Interior ash containment and airflow management
- Custom aluminum wheels with rubber tires
- More shelf space
- Ultra high-quality cart construction
- Temperature probe access door
- Reengineered cooking surface with removable fuel door
- Optional Tel-Tru thermometer
About these Grill Brands
One thing you should know is that you can learn a lot about a grill from its manufacturer. For that reason, let’s start this guide by having a quick look at the history of the two makers of these popular grills
The story of PK Grills dates back to the early 50s of the last century when Hilton Meigs made his original BBQ grill from cast aluminum and called it “Portable Kitchen Grill”.
The unique design was an astronomical success that lasted to this day due to the rust resistance qualities and the heat retention properties that surpass most other cookware materials to this day, making it one of the best outdoor grill materials to this day.
The durability and the versatility of the original PK Grills allowed it to remain a staple in the industry to this day, although the company also makes some popular models, such as the PK 360 and the PK TX.
Sometime in the 2000’s it appears PK Grills moved their manufacturing from Arkansas USA to China.
- Holds up to 13 burgers made with a Weber burger press
- Slide the lid into the Tuck-Away lid holder on the side of the grill to avoid placing it on the ground
- Cooking grate is compatible with GBS inserts and is hinged for easily adding charcoal while grilling
- Tool hooks for hanging grilling tools, such as a spatula and tongs
- Built-in lid thermometer displays your grill’s internal temperature. Total cooking area - 443 square inches
Although the original company of Weber has been around since 1893, the first charcoal grill made by Weber was during the early 50s. So, similar to PK Grills, they also have over 70 years of experience in making grills.
However, in 2010, BDT Capital Partners bought majority stakes in the company.
Weber also managed to expand its scope beyond charcoal grills, as they also make gas, wood, and electric grills.
In addition to the original Weber Kettle, the company also makes large grills like the Genesis and the Summit as well as mini charcoal grills like the Weber Smokey Joe grill.
To this day, Weber still makes their grills right here in the USA.
Comparison Between the Original PK Grill and Weber Kettle
Now that you know more about PK Grills and Weber as a brand, it’s time to look at the two specific models in question today.
The ideal way to pick a better grill is by comparing the two items in terms of the aspects you should consider while buying a charcoal grill, so let’s how the Original PK Grill and Weber Kettle Perform in each of them:
Let’s start with one of the major distinctions between the Original PK Grill and the Weber Kettle. The PK grill is made of cast aluminum, which is one of the most durable materials used for grills.
For starters, aluminum is naturally resistant to rust and corrosion, which allows you to keep it outside without worrying about the elements of weather taking its toll.
Not only that, aluminum is also relatively lightweight, which also improves the portability of the grill, but more on this later.
On the other hand, the original Weber Kettle is made of porcelain along with stainless- steel handles and legs. While porcelain can overcome rust and corrosion, it’s not as durable and lightweight as aluminum.
Moreover, the handles and legs are prone to rust due to weather, which makes the PK grill a better option for those who prioritize durability.
Heat Retention and Distribution
Another property of aluminum that makes it a superior material for grills is its distribution and conductivity.
As a material that is about 4 times more conductive than porcelain-lined steel, the Original PK Grill allows you to cook more efficiently and evenly with excellent heat retention and distribution.
The unique design of direct heat transfer in the Original PK Grill helps it to create different heat zones across the cooking surface.
This allows you to cook different types of meat or in different stages and techniques at the same time, which is excellent for cookouts where you’re going to grill different kinds of items at the same time.
Size and Design
The design of a grill is not only an aesthetic element, but it also serves as a purpose when it comes to airflow and heat retention.
For example, although I find the Weber Kettle a better looking grill, the design of the original PK grill gives it a little advantage for what matters the most, cooking!
The internal design of the PK vent system creates a sealed medium whenever necessary to stabilize the temperature inside the grill whenever necessary.
When it comes to the size of the cooking surface, the Weber has a diameter of about 22 inches, providing it with a cooking surface area of about 363 sq in while the Original PK grill is around 310 sq in, giving a very slight advantage to Weber Kettle.
BUT, because the PK has a rectangle design when compared to the Webers round design, I find you can pack more on the Kettle then the PK.
Try putting a full packer brisket on a PK when compared to a Weber Kettle, just sayin!
When it comes to temperature control, the weber is a generally easier option to work with.
This is because the Weber Kettle comes with a built-in thermometer in the lid that gives you a good idea about the temperature while cooking.
The kettle grill also has vents that allows you to control the amount of air coming inside the grill from the bottom, and exhaust vent at the top making controlling its temperature easily.
While the PK grill doesn’t have a similar thermometer, it’s still easy to detect its temperature using a probe thermometer or a PK thermometer (here’s a video on how to install it).
You can also use its really good 4-vent system (two on top and two on bottom) to adjust the amount of air flowing into the charcoal.
Ease of Assembly and Intuitiveness
When it comes to putting these grills together, both of them do a very good job of making the process remarkably easy.
On one hand, the Original PK Grill has an official instructions guide to help you put the grill together.
However, due to the popularity of the grill and how easy it is to use one, you can find tons of video tutorials out there that can walk you through every step to fire it up the right way, such as this one from PK.
Another feature that I like about the Original PK Grill is that it comes with a small side table to make it easier to apply rubs and transfer steaks to plates with ease, which is lacking in the Weber Kettle.
On the other hand, the Weber grill is slightly more intricate while installing, but the company makes it much easier to put it together thanks to the free 3D interactive installation app “BILT”.
Maintenance and Cleaning
Both the Weber and the PK grills are very easy to clean, although the Weber grill takes it a step further by a smart bottom ash collection tray that is easy to empty when compared to the conventional method of PK grill.
Even though its easy to clean a PK, its definitely messier when compared to cleaning the Weber Kettle with the 1-touch ash system.
As for portability, the Original PK grill is 16 x 35 x 35.5 inches and comes with a double wheel assembly, and weighs around 45 lbs.
Similarly, the Weber Kettle also features a dual set of wheels at the back but the grill is slightly lighter at about 32.3 lbs and dimensions of 39.5 x 22.5 x 27 inches.
All in all, both of them are pretty easy to move around without any problems.
Final Verdict: Which One to Go for?
This wraps it up for today’s guide that puts the Original PK Grill vs Weber Kettle in a direct comparison between the two charcoal grills.
As you can see, both of them are pretty good and provide quality and reliability in all of their essential aspects, which earns them their vast popularity.
However, if I have to go with one of them, I’ll have to pick the Weber Kettle over the PK Grill due to price and Weber still manufacturing their grills right here in the US and PK sent manufacturing over to China. You can get the Weber Kettle Master-Touch for around $250 new where a PK Original new is $500.
While both of them are excellent grills that do a very good job at cooking your steaks and grilling meat, it’s the build country of the PK Grill coupled with the high price that did it for me.
This grill is made of cast aluminum with a brilliant design that doesn’t only help the grill resist corrosion and rust, but also provides a much better heat retention and distribution, which ensures an evenly cooked steak!