The Best Charcoal Grill: Weber Kettle or Big Green Egg?

I think most of you would agree with me when I say grilling means charcoal. Yes, I also own a gas grill that I use from time to time when I just want to cook a venison burger or brat quickly, but then majority of the time, when I really care about flavor and preparation, I use my charcoal grill--a 22-inch Weber Kettle.

I bought mine for just $10 when I worked at Target back in college, many years ago. (Note to retail managers: Don't hand your employee a price gun and tell him, "I don't care what price you put on it, just get rid of the thing," unless you really mean it.) Considering the grill is 15 years old and still serving up great-tasting meals, I think it's the best $10 I ever spent.

Once I discovered indirect cooking, I haven't looked back and now my Weber Kettle serves as both a grill and smoker. It cooks the best elk loin you've ever eaten and makes a pretty good wood-fire pizza. I admit I still use Kingsford, rather than the master grill man's preferred lump charcoal, but I can get the coals ready to cook in 30 minutes or less with a charcoal chimney (bought the same time I picked up the Weber, probably for another $10).

Yes, when it comes to charcoals grills, I stand firmly in the Weber camp. This can get you into a serious argument, particularly around those in the Big Green Egg camp. I maintain, for the price, you can't beat a Weber Kettle, but Big Green Egg owners are the evangelicals of the coal-cooking world. They all but knock on your door unannounced to preach the BGE gospel and I have to admit, they've got me thinking.

Should I spring for the funny-looking ceramic cooker, or stay loyal to my true love--the Weber Kettle?