If you’re spending a lot of time in an RV, you will probably agree that a great barbecue is essential. But the big, beautiful barbecue that did so well on your deck back home is just not going to work. You need something small but effective – and that is where the Weber Q1200 comes in. I have found it to be an excellent all-round barbecue. I notice a lot of fellow RV travelers use this barbecue, especially those who are well equipped for all kinds of RV experiences. For example, many of the people on our RV caravan through Baja California had this barbecue.
Update note: I have now been using this barbecue almost every day for two years, and it is still barbecuing perfectly. I have had to change the batteries on the electric ignition a few times. They are housed just inside the igniter.
First, here is a video in which I do some barbecuing on my Weber Q1200, and highlight some of the key points about this barbecue:
Why I Chose the Weber Q1200
I have always preferred quality barbecues over cheap barbecues, because I really hate to ruin a good steak just because the barbecue had uneven heat, or could not achieve a good sear. I think it’s a false economy, because of the amount of food you can waste. As always when I buy something important, I did a ton of research. In this case, I ended up back where my instincts went in the first place: Weber. People love these grills, and they get rave reviews everywhere.
But which Weber to get? Well, as I am only barbecuing for two people usually, and as I wanted it to take up as little space as possible in the RV, the smallest possible Weber was a no-brainer. However, the bottom-of-the-range Q1000 did not have side tables and lacked a temperature gauge, so I decided to go up to the Weber Q1200, which has both of those.
I am very glad I chose this one. I could probably manage without the temperature gauge. Over time, you get used to how your barbecue performs, and you don’t need a temperature gauge to guide you. So that is a nice-to-have, not a must-have. However, the side tables (which tuck in for storage) are invaluable. They are just so handy when barbecuing, providing a place to keep your tongs, seasonings, and a plate.
These side tables are especially handy when I am using the barbecue on the Weber cart, rather than on a picnic table. As in the photo above.
Performance of the Weber Q1200
This is the best part. The Weber does a great job with all kinds of meat, including steak, chicken, burgers and hot dogs. It takes about 15 minutes to get really hot, but after that, the heat is steady, even, and totally reliable. After initial searing, I do most of my barbecuing with the lid down and the gas level set at minimum. This maintains a steady 300-degree heat, which finishes steaks in a few minutes.
Chicken takes longer – around 25 minutes for a thigh – but it is crisp outside and tender inside. Absolutely delicious. I have always found chicken a bit tricky on the barbecue, but it is easy to do on this barbecue. I have had nothing but approval from Maggie for everything I barbecue on this Weber. The dogs approve too, but their standards are a lot lower!
What I really like is that the heat is reliable and consistent, all the time. So I can go off and do something else, confident that the barbecue will take the same amount of time to do the job, every time. As long as I have my phone timer on, so I don’t forget to come back! Also, there are minimal flares with this barbecue, so I don’t worry about flare-ups causing burned meat.
For the first few months I used the Weber grill spray with this barbecue, to prevent sticking. But then I ran out of the spray, and discovered that I really didn’t need it. The porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates are remarkably non-sticky, so meat just does not stick to it.
I love the fact that you can choose from seven different colors. I spend a lot of time in a rainy climate, and I find it depressing that when the weather gets dark and rainy, everyone puts on black coats! I am kind of sick of black, and try to bring color in wherever I can. It just cheers me up. So, I chose a blue barbecue. However, if you are a traditionalist, it does come in a basic black as well.
Size of the Weber Q1200
This barbecue is pretty small, so it takes up very little space. However, it can barbecue quite a lot of meat at one time. The maximum I have done at one time was a half chicken and nine chicken thighs. All of that just fitted, with no space to spare. (Are you detecting a chicken theme here?)
Although it is small, it is fairly heavy. This reflects the quality of the construction materials.
Accessories for the Weber Q1200
The Weber Cart
As mentioned, the Weber grill spray is not required. However, an essential accessory is the matching cart, which the barbecue clips into neatly. When not in use, the cart can be folded up and stored under the RV.
I find this grill cart invaluable because there is not always a picnic table handy. And even when there is, if I am working on something inside while barbecuing, I like to have the barbecue right outside the door. The cart enables you to position the barbecue wherever you need it, including under the awning if it happens to be raining. This cart is lightweight, but sturdy enough to support the barbecue. The wheels make it easy to reposition if you need to, such as if it starts raining
Griddles and Grill Mats
I also got the matching griddle for this barbecue, thinking I would use it for foods like bacon. However, I did not like it. It is very solid and heavy, and heats slowly, so you burn through a lot of gas to get your bacon done. I have ditched that, and am now using barbecue grill mats, which are much lighter and thinner. And cheaper!
I bought a set of two of these, and then just cut one of them down to fit half of my cooking grates. This is working really well for me.
Weber Barbecue Cover
The biggest mistake I made with this barbecue was not ordering the barbecue cover right from the get-go. And then going camping in rainy Vancouver and Oregon. Dumb, dumb, dumb. It’s a small barbecue and not intended to be left standing in the freezing cold and icy rain. So I ended up having to pack it away every night, which was a hassle.
Finally I got around to trying to get a barbecue cover. Unfortunately, I could not find the genuine Weber cover in stock anywhere. However, I found a generic third-party cover that is designed to fit the Weber Q1200 on Amazon, and ordered that. It fits just fine and will do the job just fine – and even better, it was a lot cheaper than a genuine Weber product!
A grill basket is a great accessory for anything from veggies to fries to fish. I am happy with the one I bought, because it is strong and rust-resistant. Best of all, you can flip it right over, so you don’t have to turn 50 potatoes individually! I often use it to make grilled potato wedges. Before barbecuing, I coat them with olive oil and then season them with salt and pepper (and sometimes rosemary).
Gas Supply for the Weber Q1200 Barbecue
Initially, I always used the little one-pound gas canisters with this barbecue. But finally, I got tired of frequently having to change the canisters. Especially because the angle of the connector makes it a bit awkward to connect. So I bought a 5-gallon canister, plus a cheap but effective connector from Amazon. I like this much better, as I can go all month or more without having to connect a new canister. Plus it is a lot cheaper and more environmentally friendly to use the refillable 5-gallon canister.
Note that the automatic starter on this grill is powered by a AAA battery. If it stops lighting, that will be the most likely cause. The battery is located inside the starter button. Just pull out the whole starter, gently, and replace the battery.
Construction of the Weber Q1200 Barbecue
As mentioned, the grill is porcelain-enameled cast-iron, and meat just does not stick to it. The burner is stainless steel, and is in the shape of a rounded rectangle, which I assume contributes to the even heat distribution. The rest of the structure is just solid good quality, including a cast aluminum lid and body.
Bottom Line on the Weber Q1200 Barbecue
I am very happy with this barbecue, and believe it is ideal for RV living. It can cook enough meat for a family of up to three people, takes up minimal space, and does a great job. Plus, it comes with a five-year warranty against rust (most grills of this size come with a one to three-year warranty). If I had known about this barbecue before, I would have got it when we were still in our condo! It would also be ideal for taking to the beach or the lake.
Technical Specifications of the Weber Q1200 Barbecue
- Stainless steel burner producing 8500 BTU-per-hour to heat 189 square-inch total cooking area
- Porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates
- Cast aluminum lid and body
- Dimensions – lid closed and tables out (inches): 15.5H x 40.9W x 16.5D inches. Fully assembled out of box. Uses disposable 14.1 or 16.4 oz. LP cylinder (sold separately)
- Cook box: 5 years, no rust through/burn through (2 years paint excluding fading or discoloration)
- Lid assembly: 5 years, no rust through/burn through (2 years paint excluding fading or discoloration)
- Stainless steel burner tubes: 5 years, no rust through/burn through
- Porcelain-enameled cast iron cooking grates: 5 years, no rust through/burn through
- Plastic components: 5 years, excluding fading or discoloration
- All remaining parts: 2 years
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