Weber is a name that is synonymous to BBQ. Their grills can be found in numerous backyards across the country and around the globe. And it’s not hard to see why. The Weber brand has certainly proven its worth over the years. The company’s grills cook beautifully and literally last for decades, often getting passed down from one generation to another. It also doesn’t hurt that they’re very easy to use. And the icing to the cake? Weber provides excellent customer service and support. Whether it’s charcoal, gas, or electric, BBQ fanatics and beginners alike almost always choose a Weber as their grill of choice.
Now, as a global leader in the barbecue industry, Weber definitely has a lot of grills in its line-up for the average Joe or Jane to choose from. While everyone will tell you to just get a Weber (because they certainly are worth it), the question still remains: which Weber grill is the one for you? That’s a tough one to answer so we’ll try to help you out. Below are five Weber grills that are our top picks for your next backyard BBQ.
Weber Original Kettle Premium 22″ Charcoal Grill – Review
This is probably the most popular outdoor grill ever. The design is still the same one that we’ve all grown familiar with while we were growing up – the iconic kettle. It just has a few added features to make it extra nice. Originally introduced in 1952, the Weber Kettle is well-loved by many a griller simply because of its excellent grilling performance (on anything, from meat to fish and veggies), simplistic design, and its ability to last forever, creating memories that are passed on from one generation to another. In fact, the start of outdoor grilling as an American pastime is often associated with the invention of this particular grill. Decades later, it’s still the number one choice for people who love to hold backyard barbecues.
So, let’s get to the specifics on what makes this particular grill an amazing choice whether you’re a grill master or a newbie. Well, we all know that charcoal is messy and it’s a pain to clean the grill afterwards. One of the latest innovations done to the Weber Kettle is to add an enclosed ash catcher at the bottom which, as the name suggests, catches the ash and makes sure they don’t get blown away by wind. You also have an ash sweeper equipped with a handle. By moving the handle side to side, any ash at the bottom of the grill will be swept into the ash catcher which can easily be removed for a quick and painless disposal of ash. To make things even more convenient, the grate is equipped with a hinge on both sides so you can put in more coal when necessary without having to move the food. Another feature added for convenience are the tool hooks placed on the side handles. For added safety, the lid handle is made of nylon and there’s even a heat shield to prevent the handle from getting hot. What about capacity? The Weber Kettle Premium can cook as many as 16 burgers at a time, perfect for those who have a large family or wish to hold barbecue parties for their friends and neighbors.
Now, to the best part. We’ve already mentioned that the grill can cook anything beautifully. And it’s certainly true. With the Weber Kettle, you can use the entire grill for hot dogs and burgers or set up 2-zone cooking for grilling and searing steaks, etc. You can also perform some delicate grilling with fish. With some practice, this particular grill is able produce delicious smoked meat.
The verdict: It’s safe to say that there is a lot of truth to the reputation of the Weber Kettle. It certainly revolutionized backyard grilling. If you’re in the market for a top quality charcoal grill for under $200, this is definitely the grill for you.
Weber Summit Charcoal Review
If the Weber Original Kettle Grill is for the average Joe or Jane, then the Summit Charcoal Grill is for the serious griller. It’s the big brother of the kettle charcoal grills – the badass big brother. So, what does this big, bad grill do? Let’s list the features:
- Double walled and air insulated. What does this mean? Double walls mean that you get the heat retention of a ceramic kamado-style grill, enabling your Weber to hold a target temp steady for a long period of time without the heavy weight. Air insulated means that it is more agile in switching between temperatures whenever necessary (such as when you overshoot your target temp) – something that is quite difficult to do with a kamado-style grill.
- The cooking surface is 24” in diameter which means that you get 25% more cooking space than the original Kettle grill.
- The movable charcoal grate enables you to place your coal nearer or farther from the food so you can enjoy medium temperature grilling, scorching hot grilling, and even improved searing.
- The hinged cooking grate plus the movable charcoal grate makes it easy to replenish coal. The cooking grate also features Weber’s Gourmet Barbecue System which is a removable insert that can be replaced with various accessories such as a pizza stone, griddle, sear grate, and wok.
- Features a “Rapidfire” lid damper found on top of the lid works similar to other disc-shaped dampers found in Weber grills. The innovation here is the hinge that allows the damper to be flipped open for maximum exhaust. This means that you spend less time lighting up the coals and bringing it up to the target temp.
- The Snap Jet Gas Grill Ignition System enables you to light up your charcoal within 15 minutes (less if you place the grate in the lower position).
- Comes with a hinged diffuser plate that blocks radiant heat and ensures even temperatures for slow cooking (such as smoking). The hinged sides enables you to easily add more charcoal and stoke the fire.
With the Summit Charcoal Grill, you get an excellent griller and smoker in one. The only thing that anyone can complain about this grill is the price. That’s a lot of money to dole out for a grill. But if you shop around, the cost is about as much as a 24-inch Big Green Egg XL or a Kamado Joe BigJoe. Though it’s definitely a great grill, it’s not for the bargain hunter or the price conscious. With this kind of purchase, you’ll definitely be fulfilling a “want” and not a “need.”
Weber Genesis E-310 Review
Like their charcoal grills, Weber’s gas grills are simply the best. They cook beautifully, look good, and are built to last a long time. One of the most popular gas grills in the US is Weber’s Genesis series. The most basic one in this mid-line series is the Genesis E-310.
- Propane Gas and Natural Gas Capable
- The primary cooking surface can hold up around 24 uncooked burgers
- The warming rack (placed 6 inches above the primary cooking surface) holds around 5 uncooked burgers
- 3 stainless steel main burners that are lined up from left to right with a total of 38,000 BTU.
- Porcelain coated cast iron grates
- Front-mounted control panel
What we like:
- excellent heat retention
- even heat distribution
- easy cleanup
- a wide grilling area
- very durable (like all other Weber grills)
- excellent customer service
- 10-year warranty on almost everything found in the grill
What we don’t like:
- lack of side or sear burners
- takes long to reach a good, high temp
If you’re looking for a gas grill that’s well-built, efficient, and will provide you with a superior grilling experience, the Genesis E-310 is the one you should invest in.
Weber Summit S-470 Gas Grill Review
The Summit Gas Grill series is Weber’s top-of-the-line in gas grills. The S-470 is the lowest model featuring 468 square inches of primary cooking space + 112 square inch warming rack, four main burners, a side burner, a dedicated sear burner, a smoker burner, and an infrared rotisserie burner. Along with these features, the grill also has 8 lighted control knobs, a built-in fuel gauge, and a built-in thermometer located on the hood. So what’s so great and not-so-great about this particular grill?
- highly versatile (cook a variety of foods using various cooking methods)
- plenty of cooking space
- easy to light
- no fuss, no muss cleaning and maintenance
- tool hooks
- solid construction (high quality stainless steel)
- 5-year limited warranty & excellent customer service + support
- even, high heat
- mounted grill light seems more like a gimmick than a useful feature
- can be difficult to assemble
- price is a bit much for some people
Overall, the Weber Summit S-470 is an excellent gas grill. You get even, high heat, efficient fuel consumption, versatility, large capacity cooking, and durability – all factors that contribute to an amazing grilling experience. While the cost may seem too much for some, there’s still no question that you get a lot of bang for your buck with this one. If you’re still undecided, here’s a thought: the cost is merely an investment that will pay off through the hundreds of memorable cookouts you will be enjoying in the years to come.
Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 18.5″ Review
If you’re looking for a dedicated smoker for your backyard barbecues, you can never go wrong with the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker. This bullet-shaped charcoal fueled smoker is the best in its category and comes in two sizes: 18.5 inches and 22.5 inches. These two are extremely popular and have been known to win Grand Championships around the world against large commercial smokers. So, what is it about this smoker that there are fan sites and groups dedicated to the awesomeness of the WSM? Let’s go check out the good points.
- solid construction (what else can you expect from a Weber?!)
- easy to use (no need to spend hours and hours mastering your smoker)
- quick to heat up and easy to maintain slow, steady temperature for long durations
- raising and lowering temperature is fairly painless
- water pan and charcoal grate is very accessible
- large grill space (2-level grill)
- water pan has a capacity of one gallon (around 3 hours of smoking)
- aluminum heat shield at the bottom
- built-in temperature gauge isn’t accurate
- a full slab of ribs may not fit (requires a bit of creative thinking)
- the side access door is a bit flimsy, leaking smoke and letting in oxygen. Requires a bit of “customizing” in order to fit better.
The Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker certainly isn’t perfect. But there’s no question that the flaws are negligible compared to the mouthwatering, fall-off-the-bone ribs you’ll be cooking with minimum effort.
Weber definitely IS the golden standard of grills all over. The durability of their grills coupled with their ease of use and excellent customer service enable Weber to truly be the “world’s premier manufacturer of charcoal, gas, and electric grills.”