Weber Genesis II Gas Grill
Last updated date: October 16, 2019
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Although a bit on the pricy side, the Genesis II grill is iGrill3 ready, with a thermometer that connects to an app alerting you when your food is ready. You'll get even cooking and those coveted sear marks on your meat. However, having only two grills can make it less than ideal if you're cooking for large groups. One thing that sets the Genesis II apart from others is its durable welded-beam frame, promising many years of reliable use. In our analysis of 55 expert reviews, the Weber Weber Genesis II Gas Grill placed 2nd when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
Editor's Note October 21, 2019:
Checkout The Best Gas Grill for a detailed review of all the top gas grills.
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From The Manufacturer
The GS4 High Performance Grilling System sets a new standard in the world of backyard cuisine, and lands the Genesis II LX in a class of its own. This innovative grilling system is based on over 30 years of grilling experience, culinary expertise, and most importantly, avidly considering the wants and needs of the people who matter most – the grilling community. Each component of GS4 was uniquely designed for ease-of-use and to provide an unequaled satisfaction to your backyard grilling experience. Promising burners that are ensured to ignite every time, smoke infused food that grills evenly and consistently regardless of where it’s placed on the cooking grate, and hassle free cleanup; you are able to focus on what it’s is all about – bringing people together around the grill. The GS4 grilling system is composed of four key components: The Infinity Ignition, High Performance Burners, Flavorizer Bars, and Grease Management System. These components ensure that every aspect of your grilling experience is easy and reliable; from the moment the burners are lit to the general maintenance of your grill. And together, create the strongest grilling engine within this Genesis II LX grill.
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An Overview On Gas Grills
There’s no better way to enjoy warm weather than with a great backyard barbecue. Whether you’re cooking for your immediate family or a large group of friends, meat and vegetables taste a little better when cooked over a grill. Gas grills are the quickest and easiest way to cook outdoors since they fire right up in a couple of steps. However, great-tasting meals start with the grill you choose.
When shopping for grills, it can be easy to get caught up in the quality of the construction: make sure the grill’s cook box has thick and solid walls to keep the heat inside, especially if you prefer to grill year-round. Generally, heavy stainless steel is a good option because it doesn’t rust.
But while it is important to choose a sturdy, durable grill — since it will be exposed to the elements 24 hours a day,— you should put far more effort into weighing the grill’s cooking ability. Weber’s Genesis II model has burners that put the perfect sear marks on your meat, if that’s important.
Primarily, you’ll need to look for a grill that offers even heat from front to back, which provides consistency. This will let you use every square inch of burner space while cooking rather than confining all your items to the area of the grill that gets hottest.
Also, look for heavy cooking grids and full coverage from cooking elements. You don’t want hot or cold spots on your grilling surface!
The need for rapid, even heating means that you should consider size.
“With gas grills, size does matter,” says our resident kitchen expert Julie Chernoff, member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, dining editor of Better magazine and food journalist. “You shouldn’t buy more grill than you need, although it’s always tempting to buy the sexy unit with all the bells and whistles.”
She advises taking into account how much room you have for your grill and how many people you’re feeding.
“If you regularly host barbecues or friends and family, a larger-capacity grill is in order,” she says.
Ease of use may also be something you want to take note of before you buy.
“Make sure that the ignition works well — and if it is a propane system versus a dedicated natural gas line, make sure there is some sort of gauge to tell when the gas is running low,” Chernoff says. “No one wants to run out of propane halfway through a barbecue!”
One of the biggest challenges you’ll face is in knowing when your meat is cooked to the perfect temperature. Although many grills come with thermometers, these are built into the hood, which makes them inadequate for accurately measuring the internal temperature of your steaks and burgers. For that reason, you’ll probably need to stand close by with a meat thermometer in hand.
However, you don’t have to completely make cooking a guessing game. Newer models from Weber connect to an app that monitors the grill’s temperature and alerts you when your meat is done. You’ll still need to keep an eye on your grill, but this can at least let you wander away for a few minutes here and there without worrying about forgetting about your food.
As you’re shopping for a grill, also keep portability in mind. The Smoke Hollow 205 is designed for a tabletop, making it perfect for taking on camping trips. Even having a grill with wheels for moving it around can make a difference if you’re concerned about an approaching hail storm or a winter filled with ice and snow.
You’ll likely be able to choose from some exciting extras, including side burners, tool hooks, a rotisserie or a smoker box. When deciding on these, consider how likely you are to use them and for what purpose.
“I find the side burner useful for reducing marinades and melting butter to brush on corn, and tool hooks keep utensils handy,” Chernoff says.
Fortunately, there are a few grills on the market that will provide all of the extras you want while also helping you cook delicious meals. Simply outline the feature set you want and your budget, and you’ll quickly find the right grill for you.
DYWM Fun Fact
It’s likely no surprise that summertime is the most popular season for grilling, but one holiday beats all others for grilling out: Independence Day. Memorial Day and Labor Day are also popular for outdoor barbecues. But the good news is that thanks to outdoor fire pits and heaters, it’s becoming easier to cook outdoors year-round. You can grill anything from steaks to asparagus. However, hamburgers rank as the most popular, although children rank hot dogs at the top of the list. When cooking for a large group, hot dogs and hamburgers are an inexpensive option, especially if you have everyone bring side items like potato salad and baked beans.
The Gas Grill Buying Guide
- There’s nothing more frustrating than marinating your steaks or patting out your burgers, only to get to the grill and learn you’re out of propane. The Weber Spirit II helps you out with a gauge that tells you approximately how much gas is left.
- One ongoing issue with grills is cooking consistency. You’ll likely find no matter what grill you choose, some areas burn warmer than others. The Weber Spirit II runs hotter on the back than on the front, while the Weber Genesis II impresses with the evenness of its heat. The Napoleon Prestige 500 includes high-quality stainless-steel burners that provide an even temperature throughout.
- Pay close attention to the location of the thermometer. The vast majority of grills place it on the hood, where it can’t accurately gauge the temperature of the meat cooking inside. You’ll likely still need to use a meat thermometer even with this to make sure the internal temperature of your meat is within a safe range.
- If you plan to cook for large groups, capacity is a must. The Weber Spirit II has three burners, making it ideal for cooking for five to seven people. The tabletop Smoke Hollow model can fit up to eight burgers. The two-burner grill on the Weber Genesis II can seem cramped at times, especially if you have people over for a summertime party.
- A side burner can make a big difference if you’re trying to cook multiple items. The Napoleon Prestige 500 includes four main burners, one infrared rear burner and one infrared side burner, giving you extra space if you’re cooking for groups or simply want to separate out what you’re cooking.
- The Weber Genesis II features an externally-mounted propane tank, which is easier to maneuver than the traditional under grill storage setup you’ll usually get with a propane tank. Best of all, the area under your grill stays free for storing tools, platters and whatever else you need to set aside while you’re cooking.
- When you’re grilling, it can be tough to keep up with all the tools you’ll need. The Weber Spirit II comes with six hooks to make it easy to store your tools where they’re always handy.
- The Weber Spirit II and Genesis II have a unique Infinity ignition system that helps you fire up the grill quickly every time.
- If you cook small items like shrimp, you’ll spend most of your time trying to keep them from falling into the fire. To prevent that, choose a grill like the Weber Spirit II that has tightly-spaced grates.
- One major benefit to the Weber grills is that they’re iGrill3 ready. They feature a thermometer that connects to an app, notifying you on your device when your items are ready. This functionality currently works on their Spirit II, Genesis II and Genesis II LX grills.
- The shape of Weber Genesis II’s burners sets it apart from others. Instead of the tube burners traditionally seen with grills, this model has tapered quadrangle-shaped burners.
- The makeup of the Genesis II’s grates promotes sear marks on meats.
- Occasionally, you may need to move the grill around, especially if your area gets rough weather and you need to roll your grill to a sheltered area. One disadvantage to the Weber Spirit II is that it only has two wheels, making it a little tougher to maneuver around. Both the Weber Genesis II and Napoleon Prestige 500 have four wheels.
- If you’re interested in a fully portable model, consider the Smoke Hollow 205, which is designed to be set up on a table. This means you can take it along on camping trips.
- Unlike other grills, which operate on a propane tank, the Smoke Hollow 205 uses small, disposable propane cylinders. Although this is convenient for transport and storage, it’s important to note that you may have a slightly harder time finding them. They’re sold as a camping accessory. It’s also important to note that they don’t ship with the grill, so you may want to purchase them so you’ll have them on hand when your grill arrives.
- Although it’s probably going to be easier to find than the Smoke Hollow’s canisters, any grill you buy will need a propane tank. You can find them at home improvement retailers and gas stations. Best of all, once you’ve purchased a tank or canister, you should be able to get them refilled at a variety of locations for a fraction of the price you spent originally.
- If you’re looking for a grill that’s built to withstand years of outdoor rigors, consider the Weber Genesis II. It has a frame made from welded beams, rather than sheet metal. The Smoke Hollow is also durable, with sturdy stainless-steel construction.
- If something does go wrong with your grill, it’s important to know that you can get help. Weber offers the longest and most complete warranty in the industry at 10 years.
- Although appearance isn’t always the top priority in finding a grill, it will become a part of your backyard aesthetics. The Weber Spirit II offers the most options, giving you a choice of black, ivory, red or sapphire. The Napoleon Prestige 500 is available in black, blue or stainless steel.
- Once the grilling is done, you’ll have to clean things up. The Weber Genesis II is easy to clean. In addition to its unique tapered grill bars, it also has a grease management system under the firebox. To make cleanup even easier, you can insert a disposable aluminum pan in the slide-out tray and simply toss the tray when you’re finished.
- If you don’t already have a grill, don’t forget the tools you’ll need to get started. You can buy stainless-steel grilling sets that usually include a storage case. At the very least, you’ll need a spatula and tongs. But you may also want to invest in a grill-specific cleaning brush, basting brush and corn holders.
- If your grill is going to be exposed to the elements, you may also want to invest in a heavy-duty, weatherproof cover to help it last longer.