Seriously consider this kettle
Note: I wish I could have given 4.5 stars...1/2 star off for cheap hardware (see details below).
I've only used this grill twice. I normally wouldn't write a review this soon since there's still a lot I haven't had time to evaluate yet but because there are very few reviews online that I could find that weren't written by someone sponsored by Char-Broil, I thought I would go ahead. I am comparing my experience with the Kettleman to a similar-sized kettle grill made by the other company that dominates the kettle grill space that I used for 8 years. Bottom line: I had a very good experience with the other brand kettle BUT I am happy that I chose the Kettleman this time.
Pros: For starters, it's $30 cheaper than the comparable competitor model (with the thermometer and enclosed ash catcher) at the Lowe's in my town. Second, I like the hinged lid a lot. Third, I really like the design of the grill grate and how the charcoal sits close underneath. Grill marks are impressive and I've grilled burgers and steaks with absolutely zero hint of flareups (with the lid open or closed). Fourth, I like the storage rack thing underneath...it's a nice place to lay the grate while I'm getting the charcoal ready.
Grilling: So far, I love it. It will take a little getting used to. Temperature control is different than my prior grill but following the included cooking instructions is a great place to start. I'm skeptical that I'll use much less charcoal in this one than my old grill like they advertise but that wasn't a big selling point for me. Temperature seems to be more consistent across all areas of the grate than the old grill. As mentioned above, great sear marks and zero flareups.
Quality: I can't say much definitively about quality at this point because I've only owned it a couple of days but I'll share what I think so far. The body of the kettle and all of the grates, etc. seem to be well-made and sturdy (it seems about equivalent quality to my prior grill). The legs are sturdy and the lid is well-designed. Overall, I expect it to last quite awhile.
Complaints: My only complaint is that some of the hardware included with the grill is cheap. When I was attaching the legs to the kettle body, I easily stripped one of the screws (I was using a small ratchet and hand tightening only). After that I was extremely careful but later on I still stripped one of the bolts/nuts that secures the wind guard to the back of the kettle (again, hand tightening only with a small ratchet). It stayed in place but was a little lose so I ended up spending $3 to get replacement stainless steel bolts, washers, and nuts to use to attach the wind guard. I recommend doing this...the lid attaches to the wind guard so I think in the long run I'll be happy I have higher quality bolts securing this to the kettle. I didn't replace the bolts for the legs and they are sturdy right now (the rack helps stabilize them as well) but I will keep an eye on these as I go.
Packaging/setup: the grill was well-packaged. I bought mine in-store but wouldn't hesitate to order one shipped. Setup was relatively easy (other than the stripped screws). I'd recommend allowing around 30 to 45 minutes to be safe. It helps a lot to have a second pair of hands in a couple of spots. Also, when you're installing the legs, I suggest only tightening the front leg initially. Then, loosely attach one of the back legs and go ahead and put on the storage rack before attaching the third leg. There are no words in the assembly instructions, only pictures, but they were relatively easy to follow.