For grilling enthusiasts, finding the right grill at the right price point can be that next step in the BBQ journey. The market is full of exciting products and brands. What will be the perfect choice for your needs and budget?
Here, we try to settle a popular debate involving Char Broil vs Weber grills. Both have been established names in the industry for decades and offer a lot of value to BBQ enthusiasts. We put their offerings in three different price points head-to-head in the hope of answering some key questions and helping you come to a decision.
Char Broil vs Weber – A Showdown of Old Favorites
Gas grills have a lot to offer to home BBQ enthusiasts. They are easy to use, do not involve some of the challenges and learning curve of charcoal grills, and make it possible to get started immediately without the need for additional equipment or experience.
Both Char Broil and Weber have been industry favorites when it comes to gas grills for a long time. If you are looking to purchase a gas grill, choosing a product from either brand can be a poignant way to get started. Both companies offer a wide range of products, features, and functionalities across various price points. By and large, however, Weber is more well-known for creating products that are high-quality, efficient, and durable while being a little more expensive. Char Broil, on the other hand, generally provides more budget offerings that come with a few compromises where they cut corners to keep the prices down. The information below will help end the debate of Weber vs Char Broil.
Char Broil has definitely been in the BBQ business for a while longer than Weber with their first cast iron grill having come out in 1949. Their BBQ credentials stem from their inception as a privately owned, subsidiary of Bradley – a well-known name in the world of kitchen appliances and BBQ. Their products are considered easy to use, affordable, and convenient.
The Char Broil name came to the brand in 1973 when operations moved to a new location. Since then, Char Broil has come up with innovations like the TRU Infrared cooking system, the first oil-free turkey fryer, and the CB940 grill – a consensus standout performer in 1984.
With time, however, the focus of the brand has moved to creating budget offerings that provide simple functionality with no bells and whistles at a price where it can be easy for enthusiasts to gain entry into the gas grill realm.
There is a definite focus on zonal cooking with many Char Broil grills, providing users with multiple cooking zones that can be used for different cooking functions. These grills are also known for heating up quickly.
Currently all Char Broil grills are now manufactured and assembled in China. While Char Broil grills have a long history of being made in the US, they did join the outsourcing bandwagon some time ago and now their entire manufacturing operation takes place in China.
Weber, too, has a rich history of creating excellent products since the time of its inception. After coming up with the kettle grill, Weber has created a range of different grills and smokers over the years with a focus on great quality and premium features. From simple, basic products that can enable beginners to get into the grilling game to feature-rich offerings that are preferred by professional chefs, you can find it all in the Weber catalog.
The Spirit and Genesis line of grills are both extremely popular, owing to the sturdy construction, great features, and excellent customer service for which Weber is well-known. There is a definite focus on providing customers with a larger cooking area and more heat output than competing models. Weber grills are also known for making use of metallic flavor bars which help in heat transfer, enhance the flavor of food by catching drippings, and eliminate flare-ups.
Weber, too, has outsourced a majority of its manufacturing to China. The Spirit and Genesis lines of grills are now entirely made in China. While they are headquartered in the USA and some products are still assembled here, the components, manufacturing, and assembly of most Weber grills now happen in China. However, in spite of switching their production to China, Weber has managed to adhere to the same standards of quality that they have always been known for.
Let us now move towards a head-to-head comparison of grills from both brands at three different price points.
Char Broil vs Weber – Comparison Review
In this comparison, we have tried to pit competing products at the same price point against each other, discussed their features and characteristics, and disseminated their pros and cons. This comparison cannot tell you for certain which product to buy. Rather, it aims to provide information and answer questions so that you can make your choice with some insight.
Weber Spirit II E-210 vs Char Broil Performance 2 Burner
Weber Spirit II E-210
Coming in at a conveniently small size, the Spirit II E-210 is the entry-level model of the new and improved Spirit line which has brought many fresh features and functionalities to the market. This can be the perfect choice for those who do not need to cook large amounts of food at one time but would still prefer a solution that is high-quality, durable, and full of awesome features.
The Spirit II E-210 boasts of a large cooking area, especially if you consider its diminutive size. A total of 450 square inches of cooking area is on offer, separated into 360 square inches of primary cooking area and a warming rack worth 90 square inches. The grill has a two-burner design with each burner putting out a maximum of 13,250 BTU of heat for a combined total heat output of 26,500 BTU – more than enough to heat the large cooking area. However, the BTU per square inch value is at 73.6. This figure matters a lot to seasoned grill experts.
The open cart design is made for quick accessibility of all your tools and utensils as the storage space can be accessed from both sides. The grill also has six hooks where you can hang your implements and foldable side tables that can be easily used for prepping and storing food.
Important features include the GS4 grilling system which incorporates porcelain-enameled Flavorizer bars, grease management, the specialized Infinity ignition system, and porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates that prevent food from sticking. The unit also comes with two all-weather wheels.
- Excellent quality of materials and construction
- Sleek design
- Comes in four different color options
- Large cooking area for its size
- Can be a little difficult to assemble
- Less BTUs per square inch than the competition
- A little expensive for a two-burner grill
Char Broil Performance 2 Burner
The two-burner unit from Char Broil comes with an attractive design and an extremely affordable price, making this an integral choice for people who are just looking to enter the world of BBQ with a limited budget.
The Performance 2 Burner provides a total cooking area of 400 square inches with 300 square inches of primary cooking area and a warming rack that measures 100 square inches. Each burner puts out a maximum heat of 12,000 BTU for a combined total heat output of 24,000 BTU for the unit. With its smaller size, this lets you take advantage of excellent BTU per square inch value of 80 which can be significant if you want to cook your food fast and quickly develop those grill marks.
Char Broil gives customers the option to choose between an open cart design like the Weber and a closed cabinet design. If you like the accessibility of the open space in the cart, this can be an ideal choice. However, if you are looking for better organization and more secure storage, the closed cabinet style might be a better option.
The unit also has foldable shelves that can be used for prepping or holding food. A temperature gauge is mounted on the lid and four lockable casters that allow for a supreme range of motion.
- Really affordable beginner grill
- Heats up fast and evenly
- Easy to assemble and clean
- Lacks premium build quality
- Prone to rust
- Food tends to stick to grates
- Smaller cooking area than competing products
Weber Spirit E-310 vs Char Broil Performance 3 Burner Infrared
Weber Spirit E-310
This three-burner workhorse can be a perfect middle ground between small size and adequate cooking area to make larger meals. With the high standard of quality Weber is known for, this can be quite a capable grill if you are looking for something convenient for the long term.
The three burners put out 10,000 BTU of heat each, creating a total heat output of 30,000 BTU which is spread over a total cooking area of 529 square inches. This is divided into the main cooking area and a sizable warming rack. The fuel tank is externally mounted and the unit features a fuel gauge that is large and easy to read.
The open cart design, coupled with the sturdy construction, means that there is a lot of usable space for storage and organization. Two side tables (the left one can be folded down) create a sterling workspace where you can prep your food before cooking and six integrated hooks let you hang your cooking tools conveniently. The unit also includes two all-weather casters.
The porcelain-enameled cast-iron grates provide good heat transfer and longevity of performance. These can also be reversed to offer a choice between a thin side and a wide side. The thin side can be perfect for delicate cuts while the wide side is a solid choice for heartier, larger pieces of meat.
- Large cooking area for a small grill
- Ignition and heat control are reliable
- Reversible grates allow more options while cooking
- Relatively easy to assemble
- Difficult to move around once assembled
- Difficult to reach high temperatures for quick grilling
- Sharp edges on heat deflectors
- Expensive in its range
Char Broil Performance 3 Burner Infrared
This innovative grill from Char Broil implements the unique TRU-Infrared system that evenly radiates the heat across the grill instead of implementing an open flame. This results in greater control over the temperature and less use of fuel. This can also help reduce flare-ups and limit the circulation of dry heat in the grill, creating juicier, more flavorful cooking.
The main cooking area encompasses 450 square inches of space and the three burners can output a maximum heat of 24,000 BTU. There is also a very capable side shelf burner that can be heated up to 10,000 BTU and offers 150 square inches of space. This can be great for quickly searing steak or making sauces and sides.
The unit comes in different versions and buyers can choose between an open cart design and a closed cabinet design. There are four lockable wheels for easy maneuverability.
- Excellent cooking versatility and flavorful food courtesy the TRU-Infrared system
- Has many features for its affordable price
- Easy to assemble
- Grates clog easily and require regular cleaning
- 430-grade steel construction is prone to rust
- Limited warranty options
Weber Genesis E-335 vs Char Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 5 Burner
Weber Genesis E-335
This gem from the premium Genesis line of Weber grills provides a primary cooking area of 513 square inches with a 156 square inches warming rack. The unit packs a lot of firepower with the three burners putting out a total of 39,000 BTU of heat along with a 12,000 BTU side burners and a 9,000 BTU sear station.
The closed cabinet design can be great for secure storage and organization and the unit is available in different models you can choose from. One variant employs cast-iron cooking grates while a higher variant gives you grates made from stainless steel rods.
The unit gets the GS4 grilling system, excellent grease management, and convenient temperature control.
- Comes in a variety of model options
- Versatile cooking with side warmer and sear station
- Easy zonal cooking and precise temperature control
Priced on the High End vs the competition
Char Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 4 Burner
This family-sized grill from Char Broil incorporates four burners that use the TRU-Infrared system for even, consistent cooking. The main burners put out a maximum of 32,000 BTU of heat for a large cooking area of 525 square inches. The unit uses porcelain-coated cast-iron grates for efficient heat transfer and ease of use.
There is also a 13,000 BTU covered side burner that is excellent for sides and sauces, along with a large 200 square inches warming rack. The lid-mounted temperature gauge lets you keep track of your cooking and the enclosed storage cabinet provides ample space for all your grilling tools. The unit sits on four sturdy casters, two of which can be locked for stability during use.
- Large side burner for versatile cooking
- Natural gas conversion kit available
- Consistent cooking results with TRU-Infrared system
- Construction is not built to the same levels as the Genesis
- Relatively low heat output for a four-burner grill
Warranty can be a very important factor in your decision-making when you are looking to purchase a grill. This is one area where Weber has a clear advantage. All Weber grills discussed above come with a comprehensive 10-year warranty. Char Broil offers a 1-year warranty for most products and parts. Some specific parts can carry an extended warranty of two or five years. However, this can get confusing quickly and does not compare with the comprehensive, no-nonsense Weber warranty.
Quality and reliability of construction is another area where Weber can emerge the clear favorite. Weber grills are known for their sturdy construction and the use of high-quality materials. Char Broil mostly uses 430-grade steel for its grills, which can be prone to rust over time. In short, if you are looking for a grill that you plan to use for more than a few years, opting for a Weber product can be a better choice.
One additional feature that can swing you towards a Weber grill is their iGrill technology. This is a Bluetooth-enabled meat thermometer that can be used to conveniently monitor the temperature of your meat remotely. It mounts to the side of the grill and you can monitor up to four different pieces of meat at the same time. This allows you to move away from the grill once the cooking starts and still maintain a handle on the temperature.
It’s Your Decision!
Both brands bring a lot to the table in terms of value across different price points. If you are looking for something inexpensive to get your foot in the door, Char Broil can be an attractive option. However, the Weber Spirit E-310 remains, in our opinion, the clear winner of this comparison. It brings incredible value, remarkable build quality, and a chosen selection of popular Weber features to the table while coming in at an attractive price point. Of course, you also get to enjoy the excellent Weber warranty that comes with peace of mind.
Check out how Weber competes against Broil King.