If you are a grilling enthusiast and have been looking for the right new gas grill, you have most likely already heard of the Weber brand. While Weber is a household name internationally when it comes to grilling, you must have thought about the Weber Genesis vs Spirit debate and wondered which model would be the right one for your needs.
In this guide, we take a closer look at the Weber Spirit and Genesis lines of gas grills and analyze their pros and cons and unique features to help make your decision easier.
|Weber Spirit E310||CHECK PRICE|
|Weber Genesis II E310||CHECK PRICE|
|Weber Spirit E330||CHECK PRICE|
|Weber Genesis II E330||CHECK PRICE|
|Weber Genesis II E435||CHECK PRICE|
Weber Spirit vs Genesis Overview
Weber has been in business for a very long time since its inception in 1952 when founder George Stephen created the kettle grill. The Genesis line of gas grills started in 1985 while the early ’90s brought about the start of the Spirit line. Since then, both of these product lines have seen several advancements which we will cover.
Design and Manufacturing
While Weber products for a long time, carried the moniker “Made in the USA”, there has been some controversy about the way they have handled their product manufacturing and assembly in the past. A discovery that many Weber grills used components and parts manufactured in Taiwan and China led to a class-action lawsuit in 2011 about the use of the “Made in the USA” label.
Weber settled the case and changed the product label to “Made in the USA, incorporating globally sourced component parts”. Indeed, the products have always been designed and developed in the USA and continue to be that way, incorporating rigorous testing and a generous warranty to substantiate their belief in the quality of their products.
However, except for the Weber Smokefire, all other Weber models are no longer made in the USA entirely. While several models are assembled locally, both the Spirit and Genesis lines are now made and assembled entirely in Taiwan or China.
Important Similarities and Differences
While the Spirit and Genesis series of grills are some of the most popular Weber products, there are certain similarities and differences that you need to be aware of. The Spirit series of grills are the more simple, and value-oriented line that can be a great choice for beginner grillers. The Genesis line, on the other hand, has more premium offerings that bundle in extra features with greater quality and durability. If you are looking to use your grill more often or consider yourself a lifestyle griller, a Genesis model might be for you.
The Spirit and Genesis series of grills now feature modern updates with new features being added every couple years. Both lines now feature compatibility with Weber’s iGrill technology and feature the much-improved GS4 grilling system. Both lines also come with the same extensive 10-year guarantee that covers every component part of the grill.
The Genesis models also have higher BTU output owing to more burners. Some Genesis models also come with optional extras like an enclosed cart or a sear station.
The GS4 Grilling System
The updated GS4 grilling system is one of the main features of both the Spirit and Genesis lines. This upgrade aims to improve grilling performance, allow for better management of grease and flare-ups, and promise better-tasting food overall.
The upgrades include:
- A better, more reliable ignition process that incorporates improved electrodes, a protected ignition module, stronger wire coatings, and easily replaceable batteries.
- Upgraded burner tubes that allow even dispersal of heat across the cooking surface. This is courtesy of the reversible and tapered nature of the tubes, which correct issues with uneven heating that Weber grills have sometimes suffered from previously.
- The use of triangular bars below the cooking surface that deflect grease off the burner, thereby reducing flare-ups. At the same time, the grease drips can sizzle and create smoke that can impart additional flavor to the food.
- A dedicated collection pan for catching grease droplets that can be easy to clean after cooking.
A much-needed feature that can be found in both the Spirit and Genesis lines is the iGrill technology – a Bluetooth meat thermometer that can be used to remotely monitor the temperature of the meat while cooking. The thermometer mounts on the side of the grill and can send temperature data to your smartphone via an app. It can be used to monitor the internal temperatures of four different pieces of meat while cooking and makes it easy for users to be able to step away from the grill once the cooking process starts. The iGrill is sold separately.
Introductory Models : Weber Spirit E-310 vs Genesis II E-310
Weber Spirit E-310
- Reversible grates allow for versatile cooking options
- Offers large cooking space for a small grill
- Grates can be handled and cleaned easily
- Fold-down side table
- Wheels are not lockable
- Difficult to reach high temperatures
- Heat deflector has sharp edges
- Difficult to move due to collapsible tray
One of the smaller models, the Spirit E-310 can still be enough to serve up to seven people. Using three stainless steel burners, this workhorse can provide an output of 30,000 BTU over 529 square inches of total cooking area, separated between the main cooking area and an additional warming rack. The fuel tank is mounted outside with a large, easy-to-read fuel gauge.
The sturdy construction makes use of an open cart design that provides a lot of storage space under the unit. Mobility is provided thanks to a couple of all-weather wheels. The grill also has six hooks integrated into the main unit that can make it easy to organize your tools. A workspace to prepare your meats is provided in the form of two side tables of which the left one can be folded down.
The cast-iron grates are porcelain-enameled for better heat transfer and service life. Some of them are also reversible, providing you a thin side and a wide side. Large cuts and steaks can cook well on the wide side while the thin side can be used for more delicate cuts and fish.
The units come with the standard 10-year warranty.
Weber Genesis II E-310
- Sturdier construction with locking wheels
- High heat generation for a small grill
- iGrill 3 technology
- Covered fuel tank
- Slightly expensive for its size
- Provides less cooking area than most three-burner grills
- Side tables do not fold down
- Works best with the lid closed, making visual monitoring difficult
The Genesis II E-310 can serve up to ten people despite its small size. The three stainless steel burners can produce a lot of heat, delivering 37,500 BTU and 513 square inches of cooking area. While the cooking area is less than Spirit, the heat output is significantly more. You have the option of tucking away or extending the warming rack. The fuel tank is mounted on the right side with the same large fuel gauge. The tank is also covered and protected from exposure to the elements.
The Genesis model uses the same cast-iron, porcelain-enameled grates that are reversible and provide wide and thin sides. The open cart design is also retained, as are the six hooks for easy organization. The two work tables on either side cannot be folded down and the two all-weather wheels now come with locking casters.
The model supports the iGrill 3 Bluetooth thermometer which can be side-mounted for easy remote temperature monitoring.
Mid-Range Models: Weber Spirit E-330 vs Genesis II E-330
Weber Spirit E-330
- Sear burner allows for focused heat for quick searing
- Side burner provides cooking versatility and warming
- Easy temperature control with a lid thermometer
- Locking casters for stability
- Expensive for its size, heat output, and feature set
- Material quality can be slightly inferior to competing models
- Low heat output for a three-burner grill
The Spirit E-330 brings to the table some interesting features. It is a three-burner unit that puts out 32,000 BTU and offers a total of 529 square inches of cooking area. A special feature is an internal sear burner putting out 7,500 BTU that allows for intense, focused heat that can be great for getting a quick and hard sear. There is also a side unit with a flush cover that includes a 12,000 BTU burner that can be used as a separate cooking area or a warming rack. The fuel tank is mounted outside with a standard fuel gauge making monitoring easy.
This model also makes use of the porcelain-enameled, cast-iron grates and triangular flavor-enhancing bars that also help with grease management and prevent flare-ups. There is a thermometer built into the lid that allows for easy temperature monitoring. The usual assortment of extras, including two side tables, six hooks for organization, and two all-weather wheels with locking casters are also included.
Weber Genesis II E-330
- High heat sear station for quality sear
- Excellent quality of materials and sturdy construction
- Side cooking station for sauces and sides
- Lid-mounted thermometer and iGrill 3 Bluetooth Thermometer
- Lower maximum BTU output than competing models in the same price range
- Takes time to achieve maximum heat
The Genesis II E-330 is a versatile three-burner gas grill with several added features. The main burner area provides a total of 39,000 BTU of heat providing a total cooking area of 669 square inches, with the main area covering 513 square inches and a further 156 square inches coming from the warming rack which you can choose to tuck away or extend.
There is an internal sear station that puts out 9,000 BTU of heat and is perfect if you are looking to create a hard sear with prominent grill marks. The 12,000 BTU side burner can be used as a cooking station for sides and sauces or as an additional warming area. The fuel tank is mounted to the side and the unit comes with a fuel gauge.
The model comes with a thermometer built into the lid while also having support for the iGrill 3 Bluetooth Thermometer which can be mounted on the side. The cast-iron, porcelain-enameled grates are accompanied by a porcelain-enameled lid that makes handling easier and safer.
The open cart design gives you ample storage and the standard side tables and six hooks can make the organization easier. There is an option to upgrade to an enclosed cabinet that also contains two steel shelves. The wheels come with locking casters. This model also comes in a variety of color options giving you more choices if you are going for a certain aesthetic.
Weber Genesis II E-435
- Sleek styling with excellent quality of materials
- Large grilling surface
- The sear station that comes up to temp quickly
- Large size makes assembly and moving difficult
- The price tag is steeper than competing grills with similar features
As you move into a more premium price point, the Weber Genesis II E-435 is a popular premium option. The Spirit line of grills does not have representative products in the same size category. This model is a larger grill with four stainless steel burners that can deliver a total of 69,000 BTU and 844 square inches of cooking area, divided into various segments.
The main cooking area provides 48,000 BTU of heat while featuring a generous cooking area of 646 square inches. An additional 198 square inches come in the form of a warming rack that you can tuck away or expand. The side shelf contains another burner that delivers an additional 12,000 BTU of heat.
The 9,000 BTU internal sear station gets up to temperature quickly and can help achieve that hard, restaurant-style sear. Both the cast-iron cooking grates and the lid are porcelain-enameled. The integrated grease management system makes cleaning up a lot easier.
The side-mounted fuel tank is covered and comes with a fuel gauge. Like the previous Genesis model, you have the option of using a lid-mounted thermometer or the excellent iGrill 3 Bluetooth Thermometer system which can be purchased as an optional extra.
The model employs a closed cart design that can make storing your pots, pans, and utensils easier. The two side-mounted tables provide much-needed prepping space and the two wheels come with locking casters for easy mobility and stable operation.
The Final Verdict
Keeping in mind all the features and pros and cons for the models we discussed until now, it is our opinion that for most use cases, the Weber Spirit E-310 emerges as an excellent choice that can provide great cooking versatility and consistency and sensible extra features at a very attractive price point. It is large enough to cook a family meal and the reversible grates make it ideal for a variety of proteins.
The sturdy construction and the 10-year Weber warranty can mean long years of fun backyard cooking. The external fuel tank and the considerable storage offered by the open cart design make this grill a practical choice for beginner grillers and seasoned BBQ veterans alike.
The folding side table provides additional convenience and the immensely attractive price tag can be the real clincher. This is a golden all-rounder if you are looking for a great value option. If you are looking for something with more features and cooking area and are prepared to spend a little extra, you can go for the Weber Genesis II E-310.