Which Weber grill is best?
Summertime is grilling season, which means it’s time to upgrade your outdoor grill. However, not all grills are equal. For more than 100 years, Weber has been the standard-bearer for charcoal grills, but its selection of backyard barbecues goes beyond the classic kettle. Depending upon your space, crowd size and desired flavor, there is bound to be a Weber grill to meet your needs.
Whether you prefer the smoky aroma and taste of a charcoal grill, the clean cooking of gas or the fat-reducing properties of an electric model, Weber has a model to match.
Types of Weber grills
The most recognizable grills in Weber’s arsenal are its line of charcoal kettles. The aroma and flavors produced are synonymous with backyard BBQs and summertime cookouts. The open flame uses either charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal as fuel, arranged to produce direct or indirect heat. Many grilling traditionalists swear by charcoal grills, citing the smokiness that permeates the food and the aroma that fills the air. Charcoal grills can be a bit more time-consuming when it comes to preparation, cooking time and cleaning, and the cost of charcoal can add up over time, considerations that could drive grill newbies to think twice.
Weber’s gas grills are an excellent option for backyard chefs who don’t necessarily want or need the smoke factor. Powered by either natural gas or propane, Weber gas grills are known for the clean flavors they produce, making the chef as necessary as the machine. Typically, gas grills are larger in both cooking capacity and footprint, so it’s essential to make sure a Weber gas grill fits your backyard or patio. In addition to a clean flavor, gas grills usually provide more even heat, ensuring perfectly cooked food every time. They are also easier to use for new grillers due to the push-button start and temperature-control dials.
Pellet grills are a hybrid of charcoal, gas-powered and smoker-style grills, plus a bit of oven technology. Weber’s SmokeFire model uses 100% all-natural hardwood pellets as the fuel source, giving the food a unique woody-smokiness. It boasts some of the advantages of gas grills, especially temperature control, but unlike standard grills, a wood pellet grill like the SmokeFire can slow cook large cuts of meat as it is great for searing steaks.
Electric grills fill a unique need in the grilling world. When an open flame isn’t feasible, just plug one of these in and cook food in minutes. For many apartment and condo dwellers, gas and charcoal grills are a fire hazard, so a Weber electric grill is a safe option for indoors and outdoors. What it lacks in flavor, it makes up with ease of use, making it an ideal choice for students and other amateur grillmasters.
Weber offers a few portable grilling options in both charcoal and gas. These smaller grills are easy to bring along on picnics, road trips, camping or neighborhood block parties. The convenience is great, but they are limited in the amount of food they can cook at one time.
If it seems like every company is rolling out “smart” versions of their products, it’s true — even when it comes to Weber grills. The recent additions to its lineup are modified versions of the popular Spirit models, with “smart grills” available in natural gas and propane. If you love to control your large appliances with your smaller devices, these extras will just add to the final price, making Weber smart grills kind of a luxury.
What to consider when choosing a Weber grill
Size and cooking capacity
Make sure to find a Weber grill with the right capacity to feed your family and friends, as well as the correct size for your space. Small yards and patios might be better suited with a smaller charcoal kettle or portable grill, while larger yards look great with a full-size gas grill.
Cooking time and convenience
Generally speaking, charcoal grills are a bit less convenient than gas or propane-fueled grill and usually take longer to heat up and properly cook meats and veggies. If you want the fastest and most convenient option, the electric grill is easy to use by anyone regardless of their experience.
Weber grills range in price from $60-$3,000, with smaller charcoal options on the low end and the larger gas grills, stocked with options, on the higher end. Luckily, there are plenty of moderately-priced options of all types between $100-$600.
Traditional grilling aficionados stick with charcoal-fueled grills for their smoky flavor and sense-arousing aroma. In contrast, many backyard BBQ pros prefer the clean burn of gas that leaves the food flavored primarily by its seasoning. However, there are ways to add custom smoky flavors to gas grills using soaked wood chips and a smoker box.
Many Weber grills come with features that make them stand out from the competition, like a built-in thermometer, extra workspace or a fully-functioning rotisserie. Of course, the more notable features that a Weber grill offers, the higher the price tag.
Which Weber grill should you get?
You can’t go wrong with most Weber grills, so your choice should best fit your needs. Unless you are cooking for a large crowd, the classic Weber Original Kettle charcoal grill is the best of the best. It can easily cook a wide array of delicious meats and vegetables, all of which will be generously smoky. If you want your food and backyard to remind you of summer, the Weber charcoal kettle is the best bet.
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Matt Fleming writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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