Between this 2008 Weber One Touch Gold and the Smokey Joe Silver I cooked at least 6 times a week all spring/summer/fall of 2015. They were both long overdue for a thorough cleaning and restoration. The good thing about Weber kettles is that their finish is so durable, even the worst crud build up and nastiest looking grills can be restored with a little elbow grease and a few inexpensive supplies.
Following the guides from The Weber Kettle Club I picked up a cheap razor scraper that came with 10 extra razor blades and some extra fine #0000 steel wool. A small flathead screwdriver helped get bits of gunk out of some tiny tough spots.
Grill Restoration Guides
She went from the picture on the left to the picture on the right in a couple hours time with the right tools.
There were several problem spots that needed addressing. One it was dirty from a year of use, with lots of built up crud including spent charcoal ash combined with fat and sauce drippings. The legs of the kettle were cloudy and were just starting to show signs of getting pitted. The vents were covered with smoke residue and pretty gunked up. Lastly one of the wheels was missing a pushnut so every time I moved it outside I’d have to pick up the entire unit and put it down where I was going to cook for fear of a wheel falling off in the middle of a BBQ session.
Now to get started. First scraping the entire inside of the bowl with the razor scraper to take off the large hunks of cooked on debris. It helped to change out the razor blade every third section that I had complete. You will be able to tell when it’s time to change the blade when it becomes more difficult to remove the crap. Working the bowl in quarters you’d be amazed at how much you can get down to that beautiful original porcelain finish.
After razor scraping 3/4
Once you get all the way around the bowl with the razor scraper, drizzle some dish soap like Joy around the bowl and take the steel wool to it. This is where it gets pretty exciting, realizing how sweet it’s gonna come out-
Using some elbow grease and steel wool gets the One touch cleaning system arms polished up nice too-
Do the same thing to the inside of the lid and then work the outside using the same steps.
After scraping half of the lid with the razor scraper and before hitting it with the steel wool-
Next the lid gets the soapy fine steel wool treatment-
Next up the legs and the triangle. The legs were dull and just starting to show the signs of pitting. For the legs I simply used the soapy fine steel wool and they came out great. The triangle was pretty rusted though (not so conducive to the saltwater atmosphere at our lobster dock). I scraped the wires on the triangle with the razor scraper to remove as much of the heavy rust as possible and then it was just a matter of going over them with the soapy steel wool. This requires a little effort but the results are worth it. I probably spent 20 minutes on the triangle. There is still a little rust in the corners but a huge improvement over what I had to begin with.
The ash pan had a good amount of solidified ash/gunk so I filled it half way with war water and gave it a good drizzle of dish soap and let it sit for a couple hours.
After a couple hours it loosened everything up and I scraped the inside of the ash catcher with the razor scraper and then hit it with (you guessed it- the soapy steel wool). Then hit the outside of the ash pan with the steel wool.
Next put a little soap on the wheels and clean them lightly with the steel wool.
Before the wheel with the missing pushnut-
Cleaned and with new pushnut from True Value
I’ve looked them up online and seen the Weber three packs for sale for around $5 and $4-$5 shipping which seems ridiculous. I had been debating doing the restore and spending any money on it but after such a great season and falling in love with it I figure it’s worth the small investment considering how easy they can get to looking great. It’s strange how attached I’ve become to this grill that was given to me and not in particularly good shape (melted handle, missing hubcap, pitted legs). But after countless cooks and seeing the results other WCK members have doing restores and also considering the salty environment of our lobster dock I planned to see just how pretty I can get my dock grill with a little elbow grease.
Anyway for other “Restore” noobs like me that are searching for a replacement for a missing hubcap, know that white 3/8 Pushnuts are available at Ace hardware and I’m betting at most local hardware stores.
It cost me $1.49 for the replacement pushnut.
Hope it helps someone in the future. They aren’t standard color Weber black but I think they look great anyway.
Next up is a Mastertouch/Performer style top vent. I ordered three of them from www.grillparts.com The part is 63070 Charcoal Grill Lid/Bowl Damper Kit for $9.25 each. It isn’t completely necessary but I really like the way they look. A nice touch was the Weber Grills Koozie they tossed into my package for free. I plan to put one one my Lime Green Smokey Joe and Crimson Original Kettle Premium which are still in the boxes in the basement waiting for late spring. The Lime Green Smokey Joe will get the Lower Vent Knob Mod treatment as well.
Thanks to Weber kettle Club forum member @dwnthehatch for the advice that the entire vent doesn’t need to be replaced, the black plastic vent handle can be pried off carefully and popped onto your existing vent tab.
Lastly the kettle was missing it’s front leg cap. I found them in packs of 4 at our local hardware store. The brand is Shepherd and they cost $1.79 for a pack of either white of black. I opted for the black. They are officially called Plastic Leg Tips and you want the 1 inch version.
So that was it. Again I don’t have to remind you how mechanically challenged I am. If I can do all this stuff, believe me you can too and the results are well worth it!
Finito and back at the dock ready for the season!