If you need a new grill, there’s one manufacturer that will come up frequently, and that’s Weber. This company is one of the most prominent grilling brands in the world, and they’ve been in business since 1952. This was the year when Weber founder George Stephen invented the first Kettle Grill taking inspiration from a marine buoy. As the years went by, Weber introduced and developed new grills lineups making this Weber Genesis vs. Spirt comparison necessary for those choosing a new grill.
Back in 1985, Weber introduced their first ever Genesis grill, and this was followed in the early 90’s by the Spirit. These two lines have continued to evolve in the intervening years, and the current 2nd generation gas powered grills are some of the best products on sale today. But, this creates a problem, if you want a Weber grill which line do you choose your grill from? This is further exacerbated by the multiple models in each lineup, and each brings something unique to the grilling experience.
This is the purpose of this article; we will look at the Genesis vs. Spirit lineups, explain how they are different, and compare three popular models to help you make an informed purchasing decision.
Weber is one of the leading manufacturers of grills in the world today, and some products are backed with an impressive 10-year guarantee. One of the most exciting aspects of Weber products is the innovations that make your grilling experience better. The Genesis II and Spirit series share a few things in common, such as the G4S Grilling System. This is included on many newer models, and there are four upgrades available, they are:
Infinity Ignition: This ignitor features heavy duty wire coating to improve heat resistance. The ignition module is protected, the electrodes improved, and it’s easier than ever to replace batteries. All of these features ensure that you won’t get frustrated because your ignition is dead when you need it most.
Triangular Flavorizer Bars: These are now added to the underside of the cooking surface, and they direct falling grease away for the burner to prevent flare ups. The flavorized bars also catch drips and use the sizzle and smoke to add more flavor back into your food as it cooks.
Upgraded Burner Tubes: The burner tubes have been upgraded after customer feedback regarding uneven cooking times. The heat is now more consistent at each end with tapered reversible cooking grates in place.
Grease Management: Everyone likes grilling, and nobody likes the cleanup. But, any grease that isn’t dealt with by the flavorizer bars is now collected in a centrally located pan. This makes the cooking process safer, and the cleanup is easy.
The Spirit Series
These are more compact and affordable grills that are well suited to camping or other outdoor activities. When you look at the E-330 and E-310 series you will see that with our three selected products that the Spirit grills are lighter and more portable. The notable exception is the E-210 series, where the Spirit is quite a bit heavier than the Genesis II model. The Spirit grills tend to be no-frills, fully functioning models that don’t have some of the fancier bells and whistles that you find on the Genesis series. The Spirit series also has a grease management mechanism the makes the cleaning even easier.
The Genesis II Series
The Genesis II and LX variants have a new burner design that’s a radical departure from the earlier grills. The older burners were tubular shaped with flush portholes, and certain models had crossover ignition technology to “tie” the two burners together. The new burners have a rectangular and tapered profile for a more even flame. The portholes are now raised along the upper length of each burner to reduce clogging problems.
This is an aftermarket accessory that you can use with the Spirit and Genesis II series. This is a thermometer that you can mount on the side of your grill, and it connects to an accompanying app on your smartphone. Now you can monitor the internal cooking temperatures of up to four pieces of meat, and when they are ready, you get a notification.
Weber Genesis vs Spirit: Comparing popular models
Although there are some similarities between the Genesis II and the Spirit, there are still some important differences. So, let’s take a closer look at these two models.
This is a compact gas grill with three burners and a full stainless steel body. This grill can provide ample quantities of heat to cook all of your favorite foods outdoors, and the price is very affordable. The design is very compact, making this product ideal for casual grillers that like to store between cookouts and those that want to move the grill around. The porcelain enameled cooking grates are very easy to clean, and the general robust nature of this grill means that it will stand the test of time.
Considering its compact nature, the Spirit has a good amount of available cooking space. However, this is not a grill for larger families because you would have considerable waiting times for everyone to get their food. The Weber Spirit E-330 has multi-colored controls that are both aesthetically pleasing and practical to use. Each of the three heavy duty controls is clearly labeled and easy to navigate.
The grilling area is stainless steel, and it’s protected by a lid made of heavy gauge metal. There is a large easy to grip handle for easier movement and an easy to read thermostat to monitor the temperature. The underside of the cooking area provides a large storage area for your propane gas tank and grilling tools. The caster wheels are sturdy and suitable for use on virtually any surface. So if you need a compact gas grill that’s easy to move into position, the Spirit E-330 should meet your needs.
Weber Genesis II E-330
This is a fantastic grill that has three burners, a side burner, and a sear station. This is a really beautiful grill that is a significant upgrade over the Spirit E-330. The steel rod cooking grate is made from 9mm thick stainless steel, the grill can be purchased in four different colors, and you get 20% more grilling space. This is not a cheap grill, but it’s aesthetically pleasing with a generous 10-year warranty on the cooking grate, ignition and flavorizer bars.
The even heat distribution and retention are provided by the porcelain enameled cast iron cooking grate. The infinity ignition has a guaranteed ignition to get you grilling in next to no time, and the side tables keep everything within easy reach. The sear station can create intense heat to get those sear burn marks onto the surface of your meat. The fuel gauges are easy to read and located near the LP gas tank. Bear in mind this is a liquid propane gas grill, and it cannot be converted to other fuels. A “Tuck Away” warming rack can toast your buns and keep your food warm until your ready to serve.
The Genesis II E-330 may not be the cheapest liquid propane gas grill on the market, but it still offers a great deal of grill for the investment. The three main burner tubes can handle up to 20 burgers at the same time, and integrated tool hooks can keep your seasonings and tools close to hand. The Weber warrant alone is well worth the extra investment; if you have found a manufacturing defect within 10 years, the part will be replaced.
The Weber Spirit II E-310 has three burners with a combined output of 30,000 BTUs. This combined output combined with 529 sq. inches of cooking space that includes the main cooking area and the warming rack you can cook a meal for 5-7 people. The Spirit II E-310 features porcelain-enameled cast iron cooking grates that transfer the heat very well, and they stay rigid and sturdy even after multiple cookouts. The grates have a clever design; they are reversible, and you have a wide or thin side to use when cooking. The wider grate is better for cooking steaks and more substantial cuts of meat. The thinner grate is better for more delicate meats or fish or fruit.
The Weber Spirit II E-310 has an open cart design, and you can find plenty of storage located under the main cooking area. There are a pair of all-weather wheels to move the grill around, and storage is simple. The fuel gauge is easy to read, so you will not be caught off guard and run out of fuel when cooking. The fuel tank is positioned at the side of the grill, and replacing it will only take a few seconds allowing the user to continue their cooking with minimal disruption.
There are a pair of side tables, giving the user plenty of space to cut their meat and season it to perfection. The left side table can be folded flat if you don’t need the extra cooking area, and you need more space around the grill. The Spirit II E-310 has six hooks to store your grilling tools, and the entire grilling process feels organized.
Weber Genesis II E-310
The Weber Genesis II E-310 is the entry level grill in the Genesis lineup, and yet it still provides an ample 513 sq. inches of cooking space. The cooking grates are made from cast iron, and they are porcelain enameled for better heat diffusion and durability. These cooking grates are reversible like those on the Spirit II E-310 above with a thin and thick side. The combined heat output for the three large burners is 37,500 BTUs. The warming rack can be extended or folded away as needed, which adds some versatility to the cooking process.
This grill also has an open cart design allowing the user to store their equipment under the main cooking area. The fuel tank is positioned on the right of the grill, and it is covered for safety. However, it’s easy to monitor the fuel level with a hand gauge located directly at the front of the Genesis II E-310. There are six handy hooks to store the grilling tools and a pair of side tables that offer more working space. But, on this grill, the left side table cannot fold down like the Spirit version shown above.
The Weber Genesis II E-310 has a pair of all terrain wheels to make movement and storage easier. The casters are lockable, so when you’re ready to cook, you have a stable and immobile cooking surface. Considering that the Genesis II E-310 is the least expensive grill in the Genesis lineup, it still offers a great deal of functionality for a relatively modest price.
The Weber Spirit II E-210 is the least expensive grill in the entire Spirit II and Genesis II lineup. This is a simple no-frills two burner grill that delivers high quality cooking for those on a budget. The Spirit E-210 has been designed to reduce flare ups and provide the even heat distribution that every grilling enthusiast needs. This grill is large enough to cook a meal for up to four people, and it’s a perfect unit for smaller families that like the occasional cookout.
The two burners have a combined heat output of 26,500 BTUs for the cooking and warming area. There are 450 sq. inches of cooking space when you include the warming rack. Like all of the models on our list, this grill uses the aforementioned G4S system upgrades for an even better grilling experience. This is another open cart design that offers plenty of storage space under the main cooking area. There are two side tables for extra preparation space, and the left table can be folded down if you don’t need it.
Weber has added six integrated hooks to store all of your grilling tools easily. The two wheels are equipped to handle most level terrain, and they make the grill easy to move and store. Despite the relatively small size of this grill, it can still accommodate the aforementioned iGrill 3 mount for smartphone monitoring. This is an excellent entry level grill for those that appreciate good outdoor cooking without breaking the bank.
Weber Genesis II E-210
This is a wonderful small format grill with a pair of burners for high quality cookouts on smaller decks and patios. This grill is around half the size of the larger four burner Genesis grills, and yet it still features the ergonomic design and high build quality that epitomizes the lineup. The controls are easy to recognize and simple to use, turn the round knob to the lightning bolt, press ignite, and you’re up and running. The ignition system is well designed, and it will start when you’re ready to get cooking.
There are 380 sq. inches of cooking space and another 114 sq. inches available on the warming rack. This is a combined cooking area that’s 133 sq. inches less than a Genesis II three burner unit for comparison. Despite the lack of space, the user can still use indirect heat by turning off a single burner and moving meat onto the cooler side after it’s been seared. This reduces the cooking area by 50%, but it’s a handy way to make the most of the limited space and cook for up to 4 hungry people. The combined heat output for the two burners is 26,000 BTUs, and this grill can reach 500º in less than ten minutes.
The Weber Genesis II E-210 has a black enameled body with chrome accents, and it feels solid. The lid has a built-in thermometer, and the fuel tank is mounted at the side for easy access. A pair of stainless steel side tables provide some extra space for food prep, and the left table can fold down if you don’t need it. There are three integrated tool hooks to store tools and some extra storage under the main cooking area. This is an excellent grill for those that want the Genesis II cooking experience on a limited budget.
The Spirit II grills are more affordable, but they are typically smaller with a reduced cooking area. But, this makes them easier to use in tighter areas, and they take up less storage space when you’re done. A Spirit II grill offers a high-quality cooking experience, but you don’t get some of the little extras that many people enjoy. For those on a tighter budget, we recommend the Weber Spirit II E-210 because it offers a fantastic value proposition. This grill is easy to use, it cleans up nicely, and it can feed four people.
The Genesis II grills are more expensive than their Spirit II siblings, but they offer a more luxurious cooking experience. These are fantastic grills for those that like to cook outdoors more often, and they are very versatile. We liked the Weber Genesis II E-310 because it’s the best way to get the features without breaking the bank. The flavorizer bars add a great deal to the cooking process, and the reversible grates offer more options to cook different meats and fish. The stainless steel surfaces are easy to clean when you’re done, and the grill is easy to move around and lock into position.
Choosing the ideal Spirit II or Genesis II grill will vary depending on your needs. The factors that determine your final choice include budget, space, and the number of people you need to feed at once. Weber makes excellent grilling products, and they are backed with a generous warranty to give you extra peace of mind. Whether you choose a Spirit II or Genesis II grill, you can be assured of great cookouts with your friends and family.