Weber grills are built for performance and meant to last. Choosing the right one is an important decision. Here are some key points to consider before making your purchase.
1. What will you be using the grill for?
This will determine a lot when planning your Weber grill purchase. If you just want to make burgers and hotdogs for dinner a couple times a week, a gas grill might be best because it’s quick to cook on and easy to clean. If you’re doing more sophisticated recipes or having weekend barbecues, you might want to go with a charcoal grill. Charcoal grills are a little smaller and more difficult to clean, but the taste you get from them is unbeatable. Actually, I may get in trouble for saying that; some folks live and die by their BBQ smoker. If you think there is no other BBQ than smoked meat, skip to step 6.
The other thing important here is whether or not you will need a portable grill. Weber offers portable grills in their Q series. The Q’s are great for cookouts, camping, and tailgates.
2. How many people do you host?
You don’t need to get a bigger grill than you’ll be using. In fact, it’s better to have a smaller grill if you can get away with it since it will heat up faster. On the other hand, I know people who have huge pool parties every summer and have to cook for 30 people at a time.
Thankfully, Weber generally offers 3 sizes in their grills. They go from 2 burners (1 if you count the Q’s) to 6 burners for gas grills and 18 – 38 inches for charcoal grills. You can definitely find one to feed the right amount of people.
3. How much space do you have?
Small apartment in the Bronx? Ranch house in the suburbs? Mansion in the countryside? Ok, grills don’t take up that much room. But it’s important to think about where the grill will go before you buy it.
For small apartments with a porch or patio, I say go with a charcoal kettle or Q. If you have plenty of space and want an outdoor cooking powerhouse, go with the Summit 650, a beast with 6 burners, it will be like having a second kitchen out in your yard.
4. What is your price range?
Weber is not the cheapest choice for grills for up-front costs. However, they make up for it in reliability. Buying a cheaper brand means getting a new grill every 2-3 years.
Once you’ve determined what your basic grill needs are, price will narrow down the search. The difference comes down to materials used and some extra features.
For example, if you’ve got a family and grill about once a week, but don’t have much time to cook, and occasionally have a party on the weekend, you’re probably going to want something from the E-310 series. The major differences between the starter Spirit E-310 and premium Genesis E-310 (besides about $ 200) are 20% more cooking area, and stainless steel rather than plastic parts. While these extras are great for those who can afford them, they don’t affect the cooking quality.
5. Do you need extra tools?
You won’t need spare parts very often, but it’s good to know that Weber has excellent customer service. Call them up and you can get any parts you need for whichever grill you choose. Also, there are plenty of accessories that are compatible with Weber grill models.
6. Bonus: Do you want a BBQ smoker?
If you like to smoke meats, the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker is for you. Commonly known as the Weber Bullet Smoker or WSM, this is a great machine. It’s a vertical smoker that uses charcoal and water to smoke your meat to perfection. You won’t be disappointed.