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To Primo, or...not - a Question

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    To Primo, or...not - a Question

    O.k., I have the opportunity to trade (yes, there is cash involved, but that is entirely beside the point, so let's set that aside): A Weber 18.5" kettle, a Weber 22.5" Performer with Kettle Pizza add-on, and a Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5" bullet for a Primo Oval XL. Should I pull the trigger? The Primo is brand new. I have two concerns: 1) will the low and slow bbq taste as good as it does from the WSM, and 2) can I get a good wood fired pizza from the Primo (yes, I've read multiple posts about adding fire bricks, ceramic oven tops, etc. to the primo - but never saw a post where someone tried to add a stainless plate cover to the Primo "oven-in-an-oven" concept)? I sincerely appreciate your thoughts - and would really love to hear from those folks that have experienced both of these types of cookers.

    Also, I have Signals with Billows, so will carry that over to the Primo, and assume the Primo can outlast the WSM for length of cook. Thank you!
    Last edited by 30acrewoods; May 4, 2020, 09:36 PM.

    #2
    No. Keep the cookers and buy a new Primo. We aren't called enablers because we encourage getting rid of already acquired gear.

    Comment


      #3
      The Primos are really nice but I gotta agree with Numbr, you’re giving up a great array of cookers for just one? I’m in the add not subtract camp

      Comment


        #4
        You all are just great! There is the question of real-estate space and someone else who doesn't like so many grills (there's also the fire pit - which I turned into a kick-ass grill) and the gas grill, and the...! You get my drift. I suppose I could build a "grill pavilion" and make a formal outdoor kitchen...

        Comment


          #5
          Well, I’m in the other camp :-) Take the opportunity to get rid of a bunch of pressed sheet metal.

          To answer question #1: Oh yes! And if you need to do looong cooks, then Primo is your friend.

          As for question #2: I would say yes, I’ve done plenty of pizzas in both kettles and kamado s. But what do you mean by the steel plate and oven in oven? Please elaborate.

          Comment


          • 30acrewoods
            30acrewoods commented
            Editing a comment
            I've seen where people have an issue with the Primo being too hot on the bottom, and too cold on top for pizza, so they make another "oven" with fire bricks inside the Primo. Then, the cover it with the ceramic heat shields to try and radiate heat downward. Seems contrary to me. Why not elevate close to the dome, or place a steel heat shield on top to reflect head back down - as with the kettle pizza concept?

          • Henrik
            Henrik commented
            Editing a comment
            Ah, I see. I use a Fredstone, which is both decently priced and invaluable. It protects the bottom of the pizza from too much heat, so it get's cooked by hot air from above. Dead easy, and gets the job done every time. Think of it as a heat deflector replacement when cooking pizza. Let me know if you need more info.

          • 30acrewoods
            30acrewoods commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks for the tip! If I got the Primo route, I'll pick up a Fredstone.

          #6
          That's too much to give up for one cooker, imho. Save up and just buy a Primo. Sacrifice the gas grill if you need to keep the number of cookers at the current level.

          Comment


            #7
            No, I certainly wouldn't make any such sorta trade off...
            Last edited by Mr. Bones; May 5, 2020, 05:45 PM.

            Comment


            • ComfortablyNumb
              ComfortablyNumb commented
              Editing a comment
              From a man with more Webers than Neil Peart had drums, and more guitars than the entire band of Rush. Maybe even Woodstock, all three days!!

            #8
            I love my kettles. I don’t know anything about trade value. Seems kettles are a dime a dozen though. Easily replaceable. So I’m no good there.

            what I can tell you is that I love my primo XL

            I can cook on it every day for a year straight and still be on the low side of the learning curve. It’s an amazing cooker.

            Some one once said “we ain’t burning cornstarch anymore.”

            love my primo!

            Comment


            • surfdog
              surfdog commented
              Editing a comment
              I’m with HouseHomey on this one. Go for it.
              Any one of those is relatively easy to replace should you find yourself wanting it.
              Kettle: seriously versatile
              WSM: outfreakingstanding

              Primo: different creature... but has the versatility of a kettle and can pull off smoking as well.

              FWIW, I do not have a primo but do have a Weber Summit Charcoal...and no longer have a WSM. Kamados have serious flexibility.

            #9
            I vote fer the pavilion. Ya don’t get less to do more.

            Comment


              #10
              How much cash? That is the determining factor in how much you are getting for the trade in equipment. The primo will have much better heat retention. And you can have dual done heat settings. It can easily replace the kettles and WSM. It is excellent for low and slow, you can’t get a very long burn time with a full fire box even in low ambient temperatures. I do overnight cooks without a worry. You can also reach fairly high temperatures, but flash over is something you need to be aware of (it WILL flash over at higher temperatures if you are not careful)

              You know how much new kettles and WSMs are. You also know that used stuff is worth less than new. And you know what a new primo costs. If the deal is all that stuff and $1000 if just say no. If the deal is $500 and all that stuff that changes things. $300 trade in value VS $800.

              as far as capacity goes, I once crammed 8 racks of baby back ribs in my primo XL using a rack holder and the extended cooking grills. It was FULL. 6 is a more reasonable number of full racks. 4 pork butts would be possible, again eith the extended cooking grills.

              also remember to account for primo accessories (necessities). The heat deflectors are extra, you certainly need those. The firebox divider is not necessary though (I have one but found that it’s easier to just use 1/2 heat deflector and not pull all the lump out of the firebox). You do need an ash tool to scoop out the ash from under the firebox plate, and either a shop vac or metal ash pan. A nice cooking grate lifter is nice to have (primo one sucks), a heat deflector plate lifter is nice to have, and a GOOD set of welding gloves (I can use just the welding gloves to very quickly move heat plates).

              Comment


              • 30acrewoods
                30acrewoods commented
                Editing a comment
                Thank you for the helpful comments! Do you mean to say that rather than the divider, you just rake coals to one side and use 1/2 the heat deflector for the indirect side when doing direct/indirect cooking for steaks, burgers, etc.?

              • SmokeyGator
                SmokeyGator commented
                Editing a comment
                30acrewoods exactly. To use the box divider you have to remove all the coals, put the divider in, then refill the firebox. If the firebox is empty no problem. If it isn’t then it’s easier to just pile the lump to one side and use a half heat plate. As a result, I have used my divider two or three times. I think the kick ash basket is by far more useful (don’t have one yet but it’s on the list). The heat plates are a MUST have though. And you need two.

              #11
              I confess. I am a Kamado guy, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think highly of Webers. You will be giving up cooking real estate, but if you don’t need it who cares. The plus would be you have one cooker that can do everything well no matter how cold the weather. If the cash is okay and there is a warranty I would say go for it. If there is no warranty you might want to evaluate the amount of cash involved.

              Comment


              • 30acrewoods
                30acrewoods commented
                Editing a comment
                Yes, I would like to have less real estate to manage, but have something that can do it all just as well. I rarely have multiple cookers going, so I'm not worried about that - especially if I get the XL. There is a full factory warranty - it is brand new, and would be in my name. Incidentally, any issues since the transfer of Primo from founder to the new company?

              • LA Pork Butt
                LA Pork Butt commented
                Editing a comment
                30acrewoods I cook on a Big Green Egg, and I don’t know anything about the transfer to a new company. You might enjoy this link for accessories as you consider expanding your cooking. https://ceramicgrillstore.com/collec...es-oval-grills

              #12
              How much do you grill/cue? You’re giving up a lot of cooking real estate for a ceramic pot. Is a primo cart part of the deal? I hope so cuz they’re not light. And you won’t be taking it over to the friends house to smoke some ribs or butts like you could with the WSM. You have great equipment, why the fascination with a ceramic smoker?

              Comment


              • 30acrewoods
                30acrewoods commented
                Editing a comment
                Ah, good points. Yes, it has a cart. I'm an engineer and have built houses/renovated kitchens, etc., so no worries about making a robust support and counter. You are right about mobility! I do grill and cue quite a bit. 2-3 times a week. More in summer, of course. I was just looking for something that would do it all. In looking around, it seems the oval ceramic was as close there is to a universal tool to replace those three without suffering in cook quality.

              • TripleB
                TripleB commented
                Editing a comment
                The Weber kettle is just as universal as the Primo. Plus the total grill space of the Weber’s combined is much more than the Primo. Personally, if you really want a Primo then you should get it.

              #13
              Yes. You DO need a cart. Custom built my own table. 4x4 legs, 2x6 dado cut supports with 2x4 braces.

              i am very happy with the result. If you are thinking about it and you think the deal is good I say go for it! I am very happy with my primo XL.

              Comment


              • 30acrewoods
                30acrewoods commented
                Editing a comment
                Excellent! It comes with the heavy duty cart with wheels. I was going to make my own table and braces so that it has proper amount of space, etc.

              #14
              I don't have a primo, but I do cook kamodo (monolith). I wouldn't make the trade. The primary value of kamodos (in my view) is heat retention on long cooks. But you can do long cooks on your current grills just fine.

              Comment


              • 30acrewoods
                30acrewoods commented
                Editing a comment
                Hah! Love it! Is your experience that the same cook would produce the same quality stuff on ceramic vs. Webers (all things being equal). And yes, it would be very nice not to have to get up at 4am when it's zero out and load more coals...

              • sheridan
                sheridan commented
                Editing a comment
                More or less, yes. I'm not nearly the expert many are here, but in my view your cooking results are based on: food/ingredient quality, fuel source, temperature, and time. I don't know that ceramic cooks something necessarily better than anything else so long as the cooking technique is the same.

                My elders' bbq is better than anything I've ever made, and they never used a ceramic. Webers and offsets only.

              • 30acrewoods
                30acrewoods commented
                Editing a comment
                Like the old saying goes: Garbage in...garbage out!

              #15
              Well, I finally did it. Got the Primo XL. It has the new chimney vent (vs. old daisy wheel), gasketed lower vent, and I got almost all the accessories, including the kick ash basket, ash bin and divider. Also made a cedar table to hold it all. It resides on my deck, right off the kitchen. I hate to say it, but I did also sell off the Webers for good money...and having cooked on the Primo 2 out of 3 days for about a month now, I don't miss the Webers. And yet I loved the Webers. But EVERYTHING I've cooked tastes just as good or better, and is so much easier to dial in and cook. The guests love the food, which in the end, is what matters most for me. Living here in NH, and blessed with a property full of sugar maples, I will now embark on making my own maple lump charcoal. That, coupled with our home raised Icelandic chickens, is what I call a home cooked meal! Weber has a place in my heart, and always will - like some of you said, I can always get another if I need one. This Primo seems to do everything I need, with ease and in style!

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