Camping and grilling go together like juicy hamburgers and freshly cut French fries. Yet most campground grills (when available) leave much to be desired. Either they are falling apart from neglect, or they are gargantuan devices apparently designed by Cro-Magnons for the roasting of freshly slain woolly rhinoceros.
Enter the Weber Q100 “Baby Q” Grill. This is an excellent travel-sized, propane-powered grill. It works so well, you may find yourself using it at home as your primary barbecue grill of choice.
The Weber is built of solid cast aluminum, so it won’t rust. It’s thick and sturdy, so it won’t fall apart. It has a substantial 189 square inch cooking surface, so when cooking for 2-4 people you won’t run out of room.
It not only gets hot fast, it gets hot evenly (which is more than I can say for the relatively expensive Hyundai-sized grill at our home). The Baby Q imparts superb sear marks on steaks and other meat.
The Baby Q is an ideal size for camping and tailgating. There’s an optional canvas carrying case that fits the grill like custom luggage. We usually haul our grill in the bed of our pickup truck SEEMORE, though it also easily fits in the back seat.
Build quality is high. In an era of cheaply made plastic products, the Weber seems to be built like a cast aluminum tank. Properly maintained, one suspects it will last many seasons of grilling.
The design is downright curvaceous and attractive. It’s also functional, with a built-in removable drip pan that collects most of the mess. This makes clean up a cinch.
There’s one major problem with the Weber, and that’s the required propane tank. For some strange reason, Weber opted to use 14.1-ounce propane tanks instead of the standard 16-ounce tanks you find in most camping supply stores.
One can imagine the scene in a Weber corporate conference room, as the design team meets with the engineers…
“We’ve designed our grill to use this skinny, little, blue 14.1-ounce propane tank,” says the perky, youthful Design Team Leader. “Isn’t it cute?”
“But…” says the grizzled, grumpy old Product Engineer, a frown scrawled across his face. “That there’s a weldin’ tank. The campin’ propane tanks are 16-ounce canisters.”
“Those camping ones are FAT,” replies the Design Team Leader. “And they’re an UGLY shade of green.”
“But that one is for WELDIN’,” says the Engineer. “And it’s found in the PLUMBIN’ section of most stores.”
“But this one is BLUE!” exclaims the Design Team Leader. “And it’s CUTE!”
Cute won the day. This fateful decision, no doubt, has resulted in thousands of Baby Q owners buying those standard fat, green propane tanks, and cursing shortly thereafter. The standard tanks won’t fit, at least not without taking apart certain sections of your grill.
Have no fear. The 14.1-ounce tanks are readily available if you know where to look. They are generally located in the plumbing and welding area of your local hardware or home supply store. We’ve bought our tanks at Ace Hardware, but I’m told they exist in Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and the rest.
Weber makes a number of optional accessories for these grills, including a propane hose adapter kit. The kit will allow you to use any propane tank, not just cute blue ones.
Despite the 14.1-ounce chink in its armor, the Weber Baby Q is a fantastic little grill. Highly recommended.