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Don’t let anything stop you from a backyard full of grilling burgers, barbecue, and chicken on a top-notch Weber grill. As soon as the weather starts to warm, up I’m eager to start grilling up the first veggies of the season, and perhaps a juicy hot dog or two. The ritual feels like the official beginning of summer. (Though clearing a path through the snow so we can grill in the middle of winter is just as enjoyable!)
There are dozens of solid grill choices, but a Weber is a classic for very good reason. Back in the 1950s, brick fireplace barbecues were very popular. A fellow named George Stephen, who worked as a welder at Weber Brothers Metal Works, decided to make himself one. He took one of the half spheres from his day job, put legs on it, punched holes in the bottom for airflow, and put a lid on top. The iconic Weber kettle grill was born.
Today, Weber continues to manufacture their grills in the USA—in Huntley, Illinois—and is beloved for its durability, quality, and fine workmanship. It still makes the original black kettle charcoal grill, as well as all sorts of other options, from pellet grills to portable grills.
Here’s a guide to the best Weber grills to have in your backyard, whatever your BBQ needs.
Best Overall: Weber 22-Inch Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill
What We Love: Offers precise heat control, easy to clean, 10-year no-rust warranty
What We Don't Love: Assembly takes some time
If you're looking to buy a Weber, it’s hard to beat its quintessential classic grill. The plated steel grate on this 22-inch charcoal grill can hold up to 13 burgers, while the damper allows for ultra-precise temperature control.
The Weber Original Kettle grill’s porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat without rusting or peeling. There is a built-in thermometer on that lid to help you monitor the internal temperature, while a hook and heat shield on the handle make flipping your branzino so much easier. A hinge in the grate lets you move the charcoal around should hot spots develop, and, on that note, many users suggest using a chimney starter to heat up the charcoal quickly.
If you’re dreading complicated cleanup, the lever on the bottom pushes cinders and debris into the ash catcher down below, which makes the whole process painless. Weber offers a 10-year no-rust warranty on the bowl and lid.
"I love the simplicity of the Weber Kettle grill. No frills—just a classic shape that doesn't take up too much space. The porcelain-enameled bowl and lid maintain a consistent temperature, and you can't beat the price." — Taysha Murtaugh, Commerce Editorial Director
Dimensions (DxWxH): 22.5 x 27 x 39.5 inches | Cooking Area: 363 square inches | Weight: 37 pounds
Best Budget: Weber 18-Inch Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill
What We Love: Two aluminum dampers, plated steel cooking grate, convenient for travel
What We Don't Love: Relatively small, handle can get hot
The 18-inch Jumbo Joe portable grill is small and mighty. With a convenient carrying handle, it’s easy to tote along to a tailgate, camping trip, family field day, or give it a permanent spot on your patio.
This affordable charcoal grill cooks up to 8 burgers at once on its nickel-plated steel grates, and like other Weber models, its porcelain-enameled lid and bowl are great at retaining heat, and won’t rust or peel. Dampers on the top and bottom allow you to easily control the temperature inside your grill. The lid lock doubles as a lid holder, so you won’t need to set it down on the ground. While the nylon handle is reinforced with glass, it can get hot during your cookout.
When the party's over, the aluminum ash-catcher is removable for a quick clean-up. And this is small enough to store away in your garage or on your apartment balcony.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 20.5 x 19.7 x 19.7 inches | Cooking Area: 240 square inches | Weight: 18 pounds
Best Gas: Weber Spirit II E-310 3-Burner Propane Gas Grill
What We Love: Reversible porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates, open cart design with side tables and room for tools
What We Don't Love: Assembly can be challenging
Though Weber is famous for its charcoal grills, its propane gas grills are not to be overlooked! The Weber Spirit II E-310 boasts what Weber calls a GS4 Grilling System, made of four components to make grilling as easy and enjoyable as possible. This translates to an Infinity Ignition that starts up the grill every time, powerful burners, Flavorizer Bars, and a grease management system for less mess.
Inside the grill, reversible porcelain-enameled cooking grates give more flexibility—the thin side is ideal for delicate food such as fish and shrimp, while the wider side creates great sear marks on steaks and burgers. Those grates sit above 3 stainless-steel burners that can get up to 30,000 BTUs per hour. The grill comes with 424 square inches of primary cooking space, with a 105-square-inch warming rack. Side tables, with plenty of room for grilling tools, provide space for everything you need at your fingertips.
There's an easy-to-read fuel gauge in case you need to fill up the tank. The grill is also compatible with Weber's proprietary app so you can check your food's temperature from your phone.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 27 x 52 x 44.5 inches | Cooking Area: 529 square inches | BTU/hour: 30,000
Related: The Best Propane Grils
Best Pellet: Weber 23510201 SmokeFire EX6 (2nd Gen) Wood Fired Pellet Grill
What We Love: Can feed a crowd, great temperature range, smartphone compatibility
What We Don't Love: Expensive
Weber’s take on the world of pellet grilling allows for ultimate versatility. With its temperature range of 200-600 degrees, you can smoke, sear, bake, and cook in just about any way you would like on this massive grill, yielding juicy BBQ ribs, seared steaks, or even pies with golden-brown crusts.
Open the lid and you'll find two levels of plated steel cooking grates: a bottom 648-square-inch primary space and a 360-square-inch rack above. The body of the grill is built from porcelain-enameled steel, perfect for easy cleaning and durability. A heat distribution plate gets rid of pesky hot and cold spots, and Weber's Flavorizer bars evenly spread heat. If you’re craving that smoky flavor, a smoke boost feature lets you add a blast of wood-fired goodness.
If you're new to pellet grills, Weber's app can help you get the hang of it with step-by-step directions and even lets you control the grill's temperature from your phone. Lastly, a bottom grease collector drawer helps clean everything up when dinner's been served.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 33 x 55 x 47 inches | Cooking Area: 1,008 square inches | Hopper Capacity: 20 pounds
Related: The Best Pellet Grills
Best for the Serious Entertainer: Weber Genesis II S-435 4-Burner Propane Gas Grill
What We Love: 4 main burners and a side burner, plenty of cooking surface and tuck-away warming rack, 10-year warranty
What We Don't Love: Expensive, needs dedicated space
Get your invitations ready! With the main cooking area of 646 square inches and a warming rack that adds an additional 198 square inches, the Weber Genesis II S-435 has ample space to feed a crowd—think 28 burger patties in one go. When not in use, the warming rack can be easily tucked away.
This model, available for natural gas and liquid propane, features the GS4 high-performance grilling system, with its easy ignition, high-performance burners, stainless steel Flavorizer bars, and a grease management system for stress-free clean up after your well-fed guests have said goodnight. The 4 main burners can heat up to 48,000 BTUs per hour and include a sear zone for finishing off meats, while the side burner gives you 12,000 BTUs, perfect for making sauces or side dishes. The stainless-steel rod cooking grates will not only retain that heat but also are easy to clean afterward.
When the grill arrives at your doorstep, Weber has 3D instructions to help you with assembly. This grill's thermometer connects to Weber's iGrill 3 app for easy remote monitoring, and it comes with a 10-year warranty.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 29 x 65 x 47 inches | Cooking Area: 844 square inches | BTU/hour: 48,000
Related: The Best Charcoal Grills
When in the market for a Weber grill, you can't go wrong with the classic Weber 22-Inch Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill (view at Amazon). If a gas grill is more your style, pick up the Weber Spirit II E-310 3-Burner Propane Gas Grill (view at Amazon) for your BBQ dreams.
What to Look for When Buying a Weber Grill
After deciding on which fuel source to use, one of the biggest determining factors is the size of your grill. Too small and you'll spend a fair amount of time grilling for any backyard party. Too big and you'll spend more time heating it up than you will on actually cooking. The sweet spot for a family of four is around 400 square inches.
"Take a look at the size of your family, since size always matters with grilling," says Danielle Bennett, also known as Diva Q, is the author of Diva Q's Barbecue: 195 Recipes For Cooking With Family, Friends & Fire and host of Travel Channel’s BBQ Crawl. "You might look for 800 or 1000 square inches [of cooking area capacity] if you’re planning to cookouts and host big parties."
Bennett recommends looking for "heavy-duty grates—the heavier the better, which don’t warp with heat and usage." The best cooking surfaces deliver superb heat transfer, keep your food from sticking, and hold up to high temperatures and plenty of use. Bennett likes stainless steel grates for their ability to get roaring hot quickly, although they don’t retain heat as well as cast-iron grill grates, which have excellent heat retention and produce an even cooking temperature. The downside of cast iron is that it takes some time to get up to temperature.
Especially if you’re an avid griller (hi there!), you’ll need to give your grill some TLC. Turn the burners to high for 15 minutes before grilling to burn off any residue. When your grill reaches these high temperatures, food debris turns to ash, which you can brush off with a stainless-steel bristle brush.
Cleaning the cook box is an essential step to keep your grill at its best. When your grill is completely cool, carefully remove its cooking grates. Then, brush any grease and debris from inside the cook box into the bottom tray with a stainless-steel brush to discard. (Weirdly, it’s not as gross as it sounds!)
How do you light a charcoal grill?
There’s no button to press—lighting a charcoal grill takes a little bit of finesse and practice. "The most effective way is with a charcoal chimney," says Bennett. "Take a piece of paper towel or newsprint, crumble it up with some canola oil or olive oil, and you have an all-natural starter, without any chemicals." She advises against using lighter fluid—"the less chemicals the better"—plus it will impart a nasty chemical flavor on anything it touches.
Just add that bunched-up, fill the chimney with charcoal, and light the newspaper. Take the top grate of your grill off, set the chimney down in the grill, and you’ll be ready for steaks, veggie burgers, and whatever else you’re grilling.
How do you clean a Weber grill lid?
Give the grill lid a wipe with a paper towel and cleaner, glass cleaner for porcelain-coated lids and stainless-steel cleaner for stainless steel lids. Pro tip: you’ll get the best results by buffing with the grain, not against, with a microfiber towel if your lid is stainless.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Hannah Howard has been writing about food and beverages for over a decade, including the memoirs Feast and Plenty. Hannah is a city girl, but her favorite part of the suburbs/country is room to grill outside. She and her husband have a new home, and a new grill, in New Jersey, where you can find them cooking most of the summer.
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