I put as much effort into picking my tailgate lineup as I do my fantasy football team, and when it comes to parking lot grilling, I have a clear-cut No. 1 pick.
Weber’s Smokey Joe charcoal grill is the undrafted rookie who makes the team out of training camp, the undersize special teams player who lays down a crucial block on a game-winning kick return, the player whose name rarely shows up in the box score but who, as scouts like to say, has all of the intangibles. A football team can’t run a play without a center, and you can’t run a tailgate without Smokey Joe.
Smokey Joe is compact: A foot and a half tall and 9.8 pounds, soaking wet. He runs the 40 in, well, he doesn’t. But he’s great on the road. He’s durable. He plays with fire. Occasionally, he’s a bit of a hot dog (or whatever else you’re cooking), but he comes cheap — between $30 and $40 at most hardware stores — and he’s built for longevity.