You may have recently seen this Wellbas water-cooled grill that’s been making the internet rounds. It’s won some design awards (fine, I can live with that) and other outlets are just fascinated with the product. Hey, I think the design is really cool. What a novel little idea, and as long as your food cooks it shouldn’t matter. The problem is that it does matter because the entire basis for the water-cooled grill is flawed.

Wellbas claims that your food will come out char free when cooked on their grill. Yeah, well mine comes out char free when I cook on my Weber charcoal too. You know why? I know how to cook, and I’m fairly certain the majority of American males know their way around a grill as well. The harmful carcinogens that occur with char-grilled food (and this is why you should avoid any restaurant that promises char-grilling) is due to flame ups. The blackened lines on your burger are the result of the high heat that is a barbecue. Not only is it not carcinogenic char, but it’s also full of flavor.

There’s a long line of completely worthless cooking tools, and this is a top contender for a waste of your time. The talking point Wellbas wants you to walk away with is that a burger will be even lower in fat because it can render off fat better without the “char” marks. OK, let’s just ignore the incorrect use of “char” here. If you need a lower fat burger, then make it yourself. You do have control over the food that hits your grill. Chop up some nice juicy onions and mix it with a 95/5 mix of ground meat. Perhaps you could put some cubes of cheddar in the middle to keep it juicy. Whatever the case may be, the power is yours…and Captain Planet’s.

The problems with this grill extend even further. It works by pumping water through a reservoir and then through the grill grates, which are actually pipes. The water comes through on the other side all hot and ready to be cooled down. This means that there is going to be uneven heat distribution. How could you possibly cook a leg of lamb to perfection if you have a constant flowing of heat? It would take a miracle for it to cook just the way you always enjoy it.

I made over 100 steaks last night, and each one came off the grill perfect and delicious. Wellbas needs to make a much more compelling argument for their grill if I’m to support it.

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