Weber is a name that is synonymous with outdoor grilling. When most people picture a classic grill, they think of the original kettle design Weber barbecues. For decades Weber has been known for reliability and value, and the brand is as strong today, if not stronger, than it ever was in the past. In addition to the classic charcoal Weber barbecues, it’s now possible to buy propane, Weber natural grills, and even electric grills.
If you’re thinking about a Weber for your next purchase, then this guide will help you to learn more about the brand, as well as what the different models have to offer you.
Weber Barbecues – is Charcoal Suitable for a Modern Grill?
The most popular grills today are natural gas and propane fueled. Charcoal is still used by enthusiasts, and people who swear by the traditional barbecue flavor. If you’re looking for a classic grill that is easy to use, that offers charcoal cooking, and that is of high quality, then you absolutely have to take a look at the Weber 741001 Original Kettle Grill.
The kettle grill is an American classic that is now famous around the world. It uses a combination of aluminum and steel parts, with an enameled finish to ensure long lifetime. The original kettle grill is simple to use, although you will need to spend more time tending coals (when compared to a gas grill). The circular cooking surface offers plenty of space, and the domed lid creates some options with what you can cook inside. With a Weber barbecue that uses charcoal, you could also use it as a smoker, making it perfect for slow cooked meats like brisket, or even smoked fish. The Original Kettle Grill is also available in a premium version, the Weber 14401001 Premium Charcoal Grill, which incorporates an easy cleaning ash catcher that will make owning a charcoal grill even more convenient.
Charcoal grills can be great for use at home, and many people prefer them to gas varieties. However, if you’re one of the people who wants something that’s even easier than charcoal, and that will potentially last a lot longer, then you could make the step up to a Weber Spirit or Genesis model. Both Weber natural gas and propane versions are available, so you’ll be able to find something that suits your needs at home.
Weber Natural Gas and Propane Grills in the Spirit Series
The Spirit series is sometimes known as the ‘entry’ level when it comes to gas powered Weber barbecues. While it’s true that they’re more affordable than most models in the Genesis series, they should not be confused for low end models by other manufacturers, Weber deserves a lot of credit for keeping prices down on the Spirit range, without making too many compromises on the quality of their products.
If you want to get an idea of just what will be available to you with a Spirit Weber natural gas or propane grill, then just take a look at a few of the models.
The Weber Spirit S210 is great if you want a small grill that still includes side shelves and a storage cabinet. This model offers 360 square inches of cooking area, and even has a 90 square inch warming rack inside. It’s perfect for small families, or for couples who don’t need to cook large meals on a grill. This grill would still be suitable for entertaining; it just might take slightly longer to get all of your food cooked.
Even though the 210 model is a smaller grill, it still incorporates some of the best features from the Spirit range. Construction quality is excellent, and the cast iron cooking grate and steel flavorizer bars are coated in porcelain enamel. Even though these won’t last quite as long as stainless steel parts, they’ll still live up to heavy use for 2 – 5 years, and they’re easily replaceable after that period. Other parts of the grill, including the fire box, the side shelves, and the body, are made from high grade stainless steel. This material will resist corrosion, and ensures long lifetime. Even if you end up replacing parts of the grill like the cooking grate, the main bodywork will last for many years, making this grill a true investment. The lid and firebox are double insulated and there’s even a built in temperature gauge.
One of the best features of this grill and of other Spirit grills, is the inclusion of mounting points for a Weber rotisserie accessory. This will allow for cooking all kinds of meat and poultry inside a Spirit grill.
Maybe you like the look of the Spirit S210, but you want a larger Weber natural gas or propane grill. There are other models in the Spirit range that offer larger cooking areas and some more features, and the Weber Spirit E330 could be one that’s perfect for your scenario.
The E330 is similar in design to the smaller S210, but it has a larger cooking area, three burners inside, a sear zone, and even a side burner integrated into one of the side shelves. The design and the materials used are identical to the smaller model. The benefit of having this larger model is that it will be more suitable for cooking for a large family, or for using during parties and cookouts. The sear zone is a special feature that can temporarily increase the temperature inside of the grill, which is perfect for achieving a crisp sear around meat like steak, or even a rotisserie chicken or turkey. The side burner is also a great feature, because it makes the grill more versatile, and is useful for cooking meat or vegetables in a pan, or simply for cooking a sauce, or even blanching meat or vegetables in a pot. Whatever you usually put on a stovetop, you’ll be able to put on the E330 side burner.
Weber natural gas and propane grills in the Spirit series are perfect for most homes. However, if you’re looking for something bigger, then you’ll need to take a look at what’s on offer in the Genesis range.
Weber Barbecues in the Genesis Range
The Genesis series is where you should look if you want traditional Weber natural gas and propane grill quality in a premium package. Just as capable as the Spirit series, the Genesis range uses more premium materials, has larger grill options, and includes some differences in overall design.
One of the smaller models is the Genesis II LX S-340. This grill includes three high performance stainless steel burners, as well as stainless steel flavorizer bars. These are of higher quality than the porcelain enamel bars found in the Spirit series, and they’ll be able to provide longer lifetime. Flavorizer bars run along the bottom of both Spirit and Genesis grills, and they are heated directly from the burners and from radiant heat inside the fire box. Their purpose is to quickly vaporize juices and oils that drip from food, adding even more flavor to whatever it is that you’re cooking. These vaporizers also help to ensure that there are adequate moisture levels when cooking with the hood down, and they will help to prevent food from drying out. As another bonus, flavorizer bars also reduce the amount of cleanup that is necessary for a grill. Having stainless steel versions of these bars, is one of the benefits of stepping up to the Genesis range.
The LX S-340 uses all stainless steel cooking grates, as opposed to the porcelain enamel iron grates found on the Spirit models. Again, stainless steel will last much longer than porcelain enamel, so it helps to ensure that any Genesis model will last for years, or potentially decades with the right care and storage.
The firebox design on the Genesis series is slightly different to what is found on the Spirit series. All Genesis II and Genesis II LX models use the Weber GS4 high performance system. The system includes the electronic ignition, the high performance burners, the flavorizer bars, and a grease management system. The biggest change is in the underside of the grill, and most owners will find that the Weber Genesis series allows for easier cleaning when compared to the Spirit series. Of course, this has nothing to do with how good the cooking will be, but it’s nice to have a system like GS4 on a premium grill.
Some other features continue to differentiate the Genesis series, such as the integrated hooks on the side shelves. These are made from high quality steel, ensuring they won’t break off after prolonged use. There’s a handle light on the Genesis models, the control knobs have integrated lighting, and the left side table is able to fold down for easier storage. If you choose the LP model instead of the Weber natural gas model, there’s even an LED fuel gauge for your gas tank.
Looking for something even larger and more capable? Just take a look at the Weber 62014001 Genesis II LX E-440. This Weber barbecue offers an impressive 646 square inches of total cooking area, with a 198 square inch warming tray that can easily be folded away. It also features a fully enclosed cabinet for your storage needs. You’ll find the same high quality stainless steel construction, stainless steel grates, and efficient side burner that you would get on the smaller Genesis model. The E-440 model has four main burners for a total thermal rating of 52,000, plus 12,000 from the side burner.
IF four burners are not quite enough for you, then you could even consider the Weber natural gas and LP gas Genesis 640 Series. The Weber Genesis II LX S-640 is a seriously impressive appliance, and it could easily become the main attraction of your outdoor entertainment area. It has six burners and 770 square inches of total cooking surface. This would be more than most people need for family cooking and even the largest cookouts.
Weber Q Series Grills
Growing in popularity are the Weber Q models. These are small, portable, feature a unique clamshell design, and they’re suitable for people on a smaller budget. The Weber barbecue model Q1000 is a great starting point, and it can be used on a tabletop or heat resistant counter, or with an optional stand.
If you want something larger that comes with an integrated stand, then take a look at the Weber Q3200 Grill. This model offers 393 square inches of cooking area, uses porcelain enamel hardware, and is well known for providing consistent heat across the entire grilling surface. If basic home grilling is all you need, and models in the Spirit and Genesis ranges are too big for you, then a Weber Q might be the ideal solution.
For anyone who is not interested in charcoal, Weber natural gas, or propane, there are even electric Weber barbecues available. Still in the Q series, the Weber Q2400 features the exact same design as other models in the series, with the difference being that it is fully electric powered. The electric power gives you full control over the heat of the grill, and the 1560-watt electric element is enough for anything from chicken tenders, to juicy steaks and pork chops. This would also be the perfect burger grill, and it can be used indoors with a heat resistant countertop and adequate ventilation.
Plenty to Choose from When You Buy a Weber Natural Gas, Propane, Charcoal, or Electric Grill
We’ve touched on some of the most popular models from Weber, but there’s more to choose from, and there’s even a full range of Weber accessories, including rotisserie kits and smoker boxes. Weber not only excels in quality, but they also provide great choices at almost every price point, making them one of the best manufacturers to choose for your new grill.