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Well, the darn thing was on sale . . .and they took the old one

As a cook, I think Weber makes the best barbecue grills on the planet. (There are a lot of grills out there made by folks who know more about bending metal than about grilling.) Over the last 40 years or so, I've gone through two Weber kettles and three Weber Genesis, not to mention a half dozen huge Weber kettles bought with welfare and recreation funds for "steel beach cookouts" on the three Navy ships I commanded in the far reaches of the Pacific Ocean.

This is a Weber Summit. Its seven burners run front to back rather than left to right, as in the Genesis model. I'm not too keen on that since it makes it more difficult to indirect grill full length racks of pork.

But it has its virtues: •The center three burners are arranged close together to provide the best high direct heat grill I've used. Called "The Sear Center," it does a beautiful job grill-marking steaks and oily fish and cooking them through quickly. The trick it to preheat it for 15 minutes to get it really hot and to get some radiation going. •The shelf on the left hides a built in fold down rotisserie motor--quiet clever--which I haven't tried yet, but it's essentially no different than what I had on the earlier models, save for the convenience. The rotisserie skewer for the Summit is long enough to hold and spin two chickens or four game hens. •The shelf on the right has a covered 12K Btu side burner. •It also has an infrared burner installed inside the lid to top brown product on the skewer or on the Sear Center. •It has a stainless steel woodchip container on the far right side of the cookbox wherein wetted wood can be fired to create wood smoke and vapors. Haven't tried that either and probably won't since my Weber Bullet is parked next to the Summit.•The old Genesis was fueled though a 3/8" gas connection. This one is 1/2" (more power), so I had to have a gas certified plumber come over, at great expense, to change out the fittings on the already installed 1/2" gas line. (Nothing to it, but "don't mess with gas".) •Finally, it has a nice cabinet, good locking castors, battery powered lighted knobs, as well as a cookbox light.

Intrigued with the infrared burner, I went out and bought a six pound duck and spun it last weekend. The flavor bars handled the duck fat well and the IR burner crisped the skin and, I think, would have done better if I'd given it more time. Over all, the duck was done too quickly. Less heat next time and more attention to the skin, which what duck is all about.


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