If you’ve been looking for a charcoal kettle grill to add a little sizzle to your summer, Weber is definitely the brand to prioritize.
Weber is widely considered to be one of the best grill manufacturers, if not the best, in the United States.
The company is known for constructing high-quality, high-functioning grills that also happen to be relatively affordable. Considering the great value of Weber’s grills, it makes total sense to rely on this brand for your next big culinary purchase.
However, Weber manufactures a wide range of grills, some of which are vastly different from one another and some of which are more difficult to distinguish.
Two of Weber’s most often confused grills are the Weber Master-Touch and the Weber Original Premium. These grills look very similar, so it’s no wonder buyers get them mixed up from time to time.
With that being said, both units feature their own unique set of features, making each of them a valuable choice in their own right.
Today, we will be reviewing the Weber Master-Touch and the Weber Original Kettle Premium side by side to help you decide which grill to pick!
- Brand: Weber
- Material: Steel
- Dimensions: 42 x 29.5 x 24 inches
- Weight: 37.25 lbs
Large Cooking Surface
When you invest in the Weber Master-Touch Charcoal Grill, you’ll be buying yourself a significant amount of cooking space.
The cooking surface area of the grill is sizeable enough to accommodate up to 13 burgers at any one time, so you’ll never find yourself short of space during a cookout, even if you’re catering to large numbers of people.
The centerpiece of the grill is removable and re-attachable, which is convenient for cleaning, but it does have a tendency to fall through into the grill when pressure is applied.
Tuck-Away Lid Holder
We really appreciate the tuck-away lid holder that comes built into the Weber Master-Touch.
Removing the lid from a grill can be a tricky process because, ideally, you want to avoid dropping the lid on the ground, both for structural protection and hygiene reasons.
The tuck-away lid holder featured in the Weber Master-Touch allows the user to simply slide the lid back underneath the kettle grill for easy access and ergonomic lid handling.
The Char-Basket included with the Weber Master-Touch grill ensures that you’ll always be able to fuel your grill in the best way for your cooking endeavors.
The Weber Master-Touch’s Char-Basket allows the user to organize and compartmentalize the coal underneath the grill so that ingredients can be cooked either directly or indirectly.
This is a really beneficial feature for a charcoal grill, especially if you like to have variety and flexibility in your outdoor cooking. You can experiment with cooking meat and vegetables using high, intense heat or a slow, low-heat cooking process.
The ability to cook with indirect heat is especially useful if you enjoy the rich flavors of smoked meat.
Similarly to removing the lid from your kettle grill, the process of lifting up the grate to add more fuel can be far from simple. This is especially true if the grill is hot, which it often is if you’re in the process of refueling.
Unhinged grill grates can present a maneuvering problem because you essentially have to hold onto a potentially hot grill for as long as it takes to add the requisite amount of fuel, or set it down somewhere, which could create a fire hazard depending on the heat of the grill and the surrounding surfaces.
The hinged grate featured on the Weber Master-Touch, however, allows you to ergonomically lift the lid with minimal contact. This is much more practical and also a safer option.
The Weber Master-Touch Charcoal Grill comes with an inbuilt lid thermometer so that you can monitor the temperature inside your grill without having to physically gauge it yourself.
Working out the temperature of your grill without a thermometer is both time-consuming and inefficient in terms of cooking because heat escapes the grill every time it is opened.
With a lid thermometer, you can monitor your cooking easily from the outside.
Built-In Tool Hooks
Finally, the tool hooks built into the structure of the Master-Touch grill allow the user to keep their tools in close proximity and away from any contaminated surfaces for the duration of the cooking process.
Finding somewhere clean to rest your tools when you’re in the process of grilling can be tricky, but with these tool hooks, none of that is necessary. Just hang up your tools when they’re not in use and come back to them when you’re ready!
- Spacious grill surface – Cook 13 burgers at once
- Hinged grate – Ergonomic refueling process
- Lid holder – Easy opening and closing
- Char-Basket – Enables direct and indirect heat
- Built-in thermometer – Easy monitoring
- Tool hooks – Convenient storage
- Removable center grill piece – May fall through upon application of pressure
- Brand: Weber
- Material: Porcelain
- Dimensions: 27 x 22.5 x 39.5
- Weight: 32.3 lbs
Large Cooking Surface
Just like the Weber Master-Touch grill, the Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill features an extensive cooking surface, suitable for cooking up to 13 burgers at once.
If you like to host large cookout parties for friends and family, the Original Kettle Premium will be equally as good as the Master-Touch for the purpose of whipping up huge quantities of food in no time!
We were very impressed by the one-touch cleaning system that Weber has designed to facilitate the clean-up process after cooking with the Original Kettle Premium grill.
The ash catcher included with the grill has a high capacity that allows it to collect every last crumb of ash, even during long cooking sessions.
This means that you’ll never need to worry about cleaning stray ash out of the bottom of your grill after cooking.
One significant area in which the Original Premium differs from the Master-Touch is that it features a porcelain enamel layer over the steel construction.
The porcelain-enameled lid and bowl work together to trap as much heat inside the grill as possible, so your cooking will always be as efficient as possible.
Heat loss during cooking is one of the main reasons behind slow cooking times and poor efficiency, and the Weber Original Kettle Premium corrects this issue.
Where the Master-Touch grill features a tuck-away lid holding system, the Original Kettle Premium has a lid hook that can be used to keep the lid held securely off the ground while you’re checking on your food.
Admittedly, this system isn’t quite as advanced or ergonomic as the tuck-away function on the Master-Touch, but it’s still much better than leaving your lid lying on the ground.
A clear similarity between the two grills we’re looking at today is that they both feature a hinged grate.
As we discussed in our review of the Master-Touch grill, a hinged grate is far more ergonomic to work with than a grill without hinges because you don’t need to hold it or find somewhere to rest it while you’re refueling.
Another feature that these two grills have in common is the inclusion of a built-in lid thermometer for effortless external temperature monitoring.
If you want to be able to check on the temperature of your grill without opening it and wasting heat, either the Master-Touch or Premium grill will work well for you.
Built-In Tool Hooks
Like the Master-Touch grill, the Original Kettle Premium features built-in hooks for tools, so you can always keep your utensils clean, safe, and close at hand.
With both the Original Kettle Premium grill and the Master-Touch unit, there’s no need to waste time searching for your tools because you can store them in one convenient, easily accessible place.
- Large grill surface – Space for up to 13 burgers
- High-capacity ash catcher – Minimal clean-up
- Hinged grate – Practical for refueling
- Lid hook – Convenient lid storage
- Porcelain enameling – Retains heat well
- Thermometer – External monitoring
- Tool hooks – Built-in storage space
- No capacity for coal organization – Not the best choice for indirect heating
It’s clear to us from researching the Weber Master-Touch and Original Kettle Premium grills that either of these units is well-constructed and high-performing enough to satisfy outdoor cooks of all levels of experience.
As we mentioned earlier, these grills are similar in a lot of ways. With that being said, there are a couple of unique features that make each model stand out for different reasons.
If you like to use indirect heat for cooking methods such as smoking, we would recommend the Master-Touch model because the included Char-Basket allows for fuel organization, enabling both direct and indirect heating.
The Original Kettle Premium does not feature the same organizational fuel basket, so indirect heating is more difficult to achieve.
The lid holding system built into the Master-Touch is also more advanced and ergonomic than the Original Premium’s lid hook.
On the other hand, the Original Kettle Premium grill makes for an easier cleaning process because of its high-capacity ashtray.
If you want to cook at very high temperatures, the Premium model will probably be your best bet as well because the porcelain enameling enables superior heat retention.
Overall, however, both the Master-Touch and Original Kettle Premium grills by Weber are made to such a high standard that any outdoor cook will likely be totally satisfied.