Weber Go Anywhere Charcoal Grill Review: A Great Travel BBQ

A black portable charcoal grill from Weber with the name Go Anywhere

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Hi. Welcome to my Weber Go Anywhere charcoal grill review.

This is a versatile little BBQ, backed by some smart designs and sturdy construction. Weber really found a sweet spot between form and function on this one. 

It’s lightweight and compact enough that you can easily bring the grill on the go. In addition to that, you can also do a lot with it, from direct grilling to two zone fire to slow smoking. And with a little bit tinkering, you can do even more.

That’s just an overview of the Weber Go Anywhere. Read on to learn more about this solid portable grill.

Unboxing

First Impression of the Weber Go Anywhere

The Weber Go-Anywhere (GA) charcoal grill comes in a typical Weber box, featuring the logo and that classic black, white, red color combo on the outside. Inside, everything is neatly packed, with all the screws and washers in a proper plastic bag.

Once you put everything together, the grill is ready to rock n roll.

Unlike the common rounded Weber charcoal grills, the Go Anywhere has a rectangular shape and a different vents system. For starters, the grill has four vents in total instead of two: two on the top and two at the bottom. 

The top ones are the same daisy wheel with holes for air and smoke to escape. Whereas the bottom vents are these long tabs that run along both sides of the grill. To adjust, you have to slide them up and down.

Aside from that, the GA still sports that beautiful black glossy finish. It includes three handles: one for the lid and two for the body. It also features a thin pair of steel legs. The legs can rotate up to lock the lid in place or rotate down to act as a stand.

Overall, the first impression of this grill is similar to other Weber charcoal grills — quality, durable, and well-made. All of its designs are there for a reason. They’re simple yet effective.

So far so good.

What’s Included?

  • Grill lid 
  • Grill body
  • Three handles
  • Two bottom dampers
  • A pair of legs
  • Plated-steel cooking grate
  • Heavy-gauge steel charcoal grate
  • Hardware bag
  • Owner’s instruction manual

Specs

Overall Dimensions21” W x 14.5” H x 12.2” D
Materialporcelain-coated steel
Colorblack
Cooking Grate Materialplated steel
Total Cooking Space160 square inches
Charcoal Grate Materialheavy gauge steel
Weight15lbs
Fuel Typecharcoal
Handlesglass-reinforced nylon
Dampersrust-resistant aluminum
Legsplated steel + Tuck n Carry lid lock
Lid Hooks Inside Lidyes
Hinged Openingno
Warrantycookbox – 10 years (no rust or burn through)
lid – 10 years (no rust or burn through)
plastic parts – 5 years (no fading or discoloration)
the rest – 2 years

Who Is It For?

If you want a portable charcoal BBQ on the go, the Weber GA definitely fits the bill.

You can bring it pretty much anywhere, from picnics at the beach to tailgating parties to camping in the forest. This grill is a great choice for two people, a small family, RVers or even truckers. Grilling on it surely beats truck stop cooking without a doubt.

Additionally, the Go Anywhere can act as a secondary grill if you don’t want to fire up the big one(s) during the week. Given its small size, you can also use it in your apartment’s balcony or limited backyard space. Or any random occasion where you just need a compact and portable grill.

Sounds good to you? Take a look at the GA today.

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Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill Review

Material & Construction

Similar to other Weber charcoal grills, the Go Anywhere features the same porcelain-coated steel for the lid and body. This material is durable and won’t peel or rust if properly cared for. Better yet, it also retains heat well, allowing you to control the temperature of the grill better.

All three handles are made from glass-reinforced nylon. They’re lightweight which reduces the total weight of the grill down, making it nice and light to carry around. One minor complaint is that they can get hot during cooking. Therefore, please wear gloves if you want to use the handles (please bring back the wooden handles, Weber!!!). Keep in mind that the European version of the GA doesn’t have the two side handles.

Moving on to the food grate. It’s made of lightweight plated steel. It doesn’t cook food as well as a cast iron grate, but still gets the job done. Then again, this grill is built with portability in mind. Anything that can shave off a few pounds will do.

The charcoal or fire grate is a little heavier than the cooking grate. That’s due to its denser steel. This makes sense because it needs to be able to withstand the hot burning charcoal. Now, the European version of the GA actually includes an extra flat metal pan to catch the ash whereas our version (North America) doesn’t have any.

All in all, compared to many portable charcoal grills from other brands, the Weber Go-Anywhere just stands out. The whole grill feels more solid and “hefty”. Its material doesn’t feel flimsy or cheap. Because of that, you will certainly get years of use out of this grill.

Design

The first design that really makes the GA unique is the legs. 

They have two positions. When you rotate them down, they do what they’re supposed to do — providing a stable foundation for the grill. There is also a latch that locks the two legs together, preventing the grill from collapsing mid-cook.

In this position, the legs also create high enough clearance that you don’t have to worry about the heat burning up the surface below. In fact, the GA is a-OK to use on a wooden table. That said, I wouldn’t take a chance on a plastic one. If you really want to, I’d recommend putting some fire bricks underneath. Just in case!

The second position is when you rotate the legs up. They then lock the lid in place, turning the grill into a small toolbox. From here, you just grab the whole shebang by the lid handle and carry it around. That’s really a simple yet practical design.

Another smart design that the Go Anywhere has is the two hooks inside the grill lid. They allow you to hang the lid on one side of the grill. As a result, you don’t have to think about where to put the lid when checking on the food.

And by hanging the lid, you also create a wind shield when needed. It’s useful if you grill at the beach where it can often get windy.

Ease of Use

Assembly

The GA requires some minor assembly before you can use it. There is no giant bag of nuts and bolts to lose. Only a minimal amount of hardware.

It takes 10 minutes to put everything together and all you need is a Phillips screwdriver. If you get stuck at any point, Weber provides 3D interactive instructions via the BILT app.

Temperature Control

As mentioned above, the GA’s vents system works a little different than the traditional rounded Weber kettle. It has two sets of top exhaust vents and bottom intake dampers.

The top vents are similar to other Weber charcoal grills. They’re the round daisy wheels with holes. If you’re a fan of Weber, you already know how they work.

The bottom dampers are where I want to go into details. They’re two long tabs that run along the length sides of the GA. When you slide them up or down, they expose or cover the vent holes on the grill body. This is where you can control the air intake to fuel the burning charcoal inside.

The two bottom dampers are held in place under tension by the spring-loaded legs. And because of the tension, the dampers sometimes get stuck and won’t move easily unless you force them to. During cooking, they can get extremely hot therefore you might need to use gloves in order to adjust them.

That being said, once you get a hang of it, this vents setup gives you more options for adjustments with higher accuracy. You can open everything up for a hot roaring fire or open one bottom damper while closing one down for a medium fire or close both bottom dampers to a sliver for a low and slow fire.

And thanks to its porcelain-coated steel construction, the GA retains heat very well, allowing you to maintain your temperature for a while.

But keep in mind that the cooking grate doesn’t have any hinged opening so you might find it a hassle to add coals mid-cook. So, you should plan ahead how much charcoal needed to avoid too much or too little heat.

Cooking Area & Versatility

Being a rectangular grill, the GA offers more usable cooking space than the traditional rounded grill of the same caliber (say, the Weber Smokey Joe).

At 160 square inches of grilling area, you can fit four medium-sized steaks plus some small veggies. In terms of burger patties, you can cook six of them altogether on a Go Anywhere. It might be hard to fit a whole chicken or a small pork butt. But there are certain mods that allow you to do so. More on it soon.

Thanks to the GA’s rectangular shape, it’s actually easier to create a clear direct and indirect heat zone compared to the rounded grill. You can also have a hot zone, medium zone, and a low zone to cook different foods if you want to.

That said, the GA tends to cook hot since the gap between the food grate and the charcoal grate is only a few inches. If you put a layer of coal across the charcoal grate and cook on it, you’d better keep a close eye on your food or it will burn quickly. Great for searing though.

Now, if you cut the cooking grate in half, the GA becomes even more versatile. 

  • First, the cut off grate allows you to add more charcoal during the cook without removing the entire grate. This eliminates one of the GA’s weaknesses.
  • Second, you can remove one side of the cooking grate and replace it with a bread pan. That bread pan becomes your new fire box, turning the GA into a mighty little smoker. On the remaining side of the cooking grate, you can fit a small pork butt in there. And low n slow we go.
  • Finally, if you want to create room for a whole chicken. Remove the cooking grate completely. Get a small toaster oven with a grate on it and put that on one side. This is where you place your chicken. The other side will be for your charcoal. By removing the original cooking grate, you end up having enough head room for the chicken.

Next With Dave has a great video outlining everything I’ve just mentioned here. If you want to take a break from reading and watch a video instead, here you go.

Portability

Weighing around 15lbs, the GA is lightweight to travel with. Due to its lid lock system and the rectangular shape, the grill becomes a compact package where you can fit it in any car trunk or even rear footwell. The small profile also makes it easy for storage if you don’t plan on bringing the grill anywhere soon.

And taken from the Next With Dave’s video above, cutting the cooking grate in half also creates more room for you to fit other accessories inside the GA (e.g. charcoal chimney, tongs, lighter, etc.). That way, you have everything you need for your on-the-go grilling session.

There is no complaint on the portability of this grill. Weber really nailed this one.

Cleaning & Maintenance

You can clean the exterior of the Go Anywhere with a damp cloth. That should keep the glossy finish looking good for many years to come. The cooking grate can be taken out and cleaned in a small sink. Hot soapy water will certainly do the trick.

Keep in mind that there is no ash removal system for the GA. Because of that, the only way to get rid of the ash is to flip the grill to one side and dump it into a steel container.

One tip to keep the grill clean and protected from ash and grease is to line the bottom with aluminum foil. If you do that, remember not to block the vent holes on both sides of the grill.

Available Accessories & Mods

There aren’t many accessories available for the GA, except for a carrying bag from Weber and a few cooking grate replacements from third-party companies. Craycort makes a set of cast iron grates and a separate cast iron griddle. For those that prefer aluminum grates instead, GrillGrate does have a version for the GA.

That being said, the thing that makes many folks interested in the GA is the mods. 

There is a Facebook group, called Weber GA Life, that is dedicated to the Go Anywhere. Everything from tips and tricks to hacks and mods. Here, you’ll learn how to add a riser, make a charcoal basket, or install a thermometer to the GA. So on and so forth.

It’s a great community with so much to learn.

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Conclusion

What We Like

  • Quick and simple assembly
  • Durable porcelain-coated steel retains heat well
  • Affordable
  • Legs design serves two purposes: lid lock and stable base
  • Lid hooks to hang it or create wind shield
  • Lightweight and compact for maximum portability and storage
  • Rectangular shape offers more usable cooking space
  • Versatile for different cooking setups
  • The ability to control temperature with more accuracy via the vents system
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Ability to do different mods
  • Great warranty and support from Weber

What We Don’t Like

  • Handles get hot during cooking
  • Bottom dampers can get stuck due to the tension from the spring-loaded legs
  • Limited headroom
  • Tend to cook hot due the small gap between the food and charcoal grate
  • Lack of built-in thermometer

The Alternatives

Weber Smokey Joe

If you prefer the traditional rounded shape over the rectangular one, definitely consider the Weber Smokey Joe.

It features the same quality parts as the Weber Go Anywhere. It’s also lighter, at around 9.5 lbs in total weight. Furthermore, the gap between the cooking and fire grate on the Smokey Joe is larger, preventing food from burning quickly.

That said, it offers less usable cooking space due to the circular grate. You might have trouble fitting the Smokey Joe in your car’s trunk because of its fixed legs. There are also no handles attached to the grill so picking it up when the coals are still hot can be a problem.

If you’re interested, I do have an article that compares the two grills. For more information on the Weber Smokey Joe, follow the link here.

Weber Jumbo Joe

The Weber Jumbo Joe is a better version of the Smokey Joe. It provides the same cooking space as the regular 18” Weber kettle (240 square inches). You can place the Weber Char-Basket in there to create different heat zones with ease.

Furthermore, the Jumbo Joe has a removable ash catcher at the bottom, which makes cleaning out the ash easier than the Weber GA. Even though it only has one handle attached to the lid, it comes with a heat shield so no worry about the handle getting hot there. There is also a Tuck n Carry lid lock that locks the lid in place. It can also act as a lid hanger when needed.

Compared to the GA, the only downside of the Jumbo Joe is its size. It’s way bigger so portability might be compromised a little.

I have an in-depth review on the Weber Jumbo Joe here. For the current information of this grill, please click this link.

Should You Buy the Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill?

A black Weber charcoal grill Go-Anywhere on a white background

The Weber Go Anywhere charcoal grill is a great travel BBQ. It’s small and compact enough that you can bring it anywhere you go. At the same time, the grill is still capable of producing deliciously grilled food thanks to Weber’s quality construction and thoughtful designs.

It’s also affordable and easy to use once you get a hang of it. With proper maintenance and care, the GA will definitely outlast other cheaper portable charcoal grills on the market. 

You should definitely consider it. You won’t be disappointed at all.

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I hope you find my Weber Go Anywhere grill review valuable. If you have the time, please consider sharing it to your friends and family. That’ll certainly help out a lot.

Thank you and take care.

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Author

Thinh Phan

Thinh Phan

Thinh Phan is a barbecue enthusiast who fires up his grill regularly, at least 3 times a week. Combining the experience and his passion for outdoor cooking, he put together BBQInProgress.com where he shares recipe ideas along with his knowledge of grilling and barbecuing techniques.

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