Problem with Weber Performer grill with propane ignition problem

elyashAugust 5, 2012

Does anyone have a problem with the Weber Performer Grill with propane ignition temperature? We cannot get the grill about 200-250. I am wondering if the ignition does not light the coals well.

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Are the vents open? Does the charcoal look like it is burning properly - a gray ash over it?

I've found Weber support to be great. Why not give them a call. 800-446-1071

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 7:12AM
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avidchef - I think you have found the problem. Your ignition isn't heating the coals to the point where they radiate a lot of heat. They should be ashy all over and glow when some air blows on them. When the coals are ready, you can't put a hand within a foot of them, it's that hot.

You could try a chimney starter. They're cheap and work efficiently. That way you could use your grill while you and Weber sort out the ignition problem. Mike's suggestion to call Weber is a good one.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 11:20AM
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That looks like a really nice kettle type grill.
BUT if the ignition starter does not work then you paid an extra $200 for nothing.
I would get that fixed asap and if it isn't fixable then return it while you still can.

It is a very good idea to have a gas burner start your coals like that.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 11:44AM
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The Weber Performer is a very nice grill. I have a couple friends who've had 'em for years. avidchef you're post os not very cleare regarding what 200-250 is. Assuming you mean the thermometer won't read above 200? a couple questions, did you read the manual? As others have said are all of charcoals ashed over completely. i.e., lit? How long are you firing the starter? Having the propane starter obviates the need for a chimney. and as someone else posted, call the Weber hotline.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 12:09PM
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I have the Weber Performer. It's an awesome grill. I used a Weber kettle for years with great success, but in a moment of weakness I retired it for a Weber Genesis gas grill. Gas grilling is convenient, but it's not the same. Last year I purchased the Weber Performer to get the convenience of gas starting, but the cooking flavor/performance of charcoal.

First, the propane assist is just a charcoal starter. I stack the charcoal in a compact pile over the starter and ignite it. Of course the bottom vents are wide open and the lid is off at this point. After about 3 or 4 minutes, I can hear the charcoal snapping, popping, and smoking to indicate it's "lit." I turn off the propane and let the charcoal burn down until nearly all sides are covered with fine layer of ash. Then, I knock the pile down and spread it evenly across the bottom grate for cooking.

Now, I put the top grate and the lid on and open the top vent wide open. I watch the temperature climb to >400 degrees, then open the lid and brush the top grate to clean it. Close the lid and use the upper and lower vents to control the airflow and thus the temperature. After some experience, I know just about how much to close them down to hit a temperature range I'm after.

This assumes you're using good quality charcoal and not using too much of it. I prefer the hardwood "lump" charcoal. The old standard Kingston briquets don't seem as high quality as they once were. If, for instance, I'm cooking hamburgers, I'll have just enough charcoal to cover the bottom grate with the chunks spaced 1/2" to 1" apart. Hamburgers cook pretty quickly.

Don't use the little half-round trays Weber includes to hold the charcoal for normal grilling. Those are for special circumstances when you want indirect heat.

When I'm done cooking, I close all the upper and lower vent to extinguish the charcoal. I use the leftover charcoal from the previous grilling as the base of for the next cooking and add a little more from the bag to make the pile I want.

If you aren't getting to the temperature you want, you may have crappy charcoal, inadequate airflow, or impatience.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 2:27PM
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My previous message should have said Kingsford charcoal, not Kingston.

One more tip, use the lower vent control lever in a back-and-forth motion BEFORE you begin to sweep the ashes into the built-in collection can. Clearing out any build up debris in the bottom of the kettle helps the airflow.

Return the lower vent to full open position before lighting the new charcoal.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 2:49PM
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