The Weber name is basically synonymous with grilling. The brand has been around forever and is King in the grill world.
When shopping for a new grill, you can’t escape the quality and durability praise that critics and fans heap on all the Weber grills. You’ve also probably heard the words Spirit and Genesis tossed around.
The Spirit and Genesis are Weber’s two main product lines of grills. They offer a few options under each name and distinguishing what grill is the best fit for your grill style can take some research.
This list breaks down all the key features and makes the choice an easy one. Read on for our analysis and buying tips below.
When comparing the two main Weber product groups, Spirit and Genesis, it’s best to think of them in terms of who they’re designed for:
There are some core components that come standard across the Weber product line, like their GS4 grilling system and new iGrill3 technology, which we will dive into so you understand what those mean for you when you’re ready to cook up a rack of ribs and settle in with a beer.
It’s also good to know that the Genesis grills run larger and have a few key upgrades that go above and beyond the more standard features of the Spirit models.
We will take a look at the packages you can expect to find in each so you can understand what will best fit your grilling lifestyle.
There are several grills in each of the Spirit and Genesis line ups but for comparison purposes we will review the E-310 for each since they provide the best direct comparison.
So let’s do a spec by spec comparison on these two to see where the differences lie. Remember, the Genesis grills will have upgraded features/materials and will be larger overall.
Let’s start with size and power:
Both grills offer 3 stainless steel burners, so on this model comparison that remains the same. In terms of power, the Spirit offers 30,000 BTUs overall, which is 10,000 per burner, while the Genesis is slightly more powerful at 39,000 BTUs – 13,000 BTUs per burner.
For overall cooking space, the Spirit has 529 square inch total grilling area, while the Genesis is roomier at 669 square inches. Both include a warming rack – 105 square inches for the Spirit, 156 for the Genesis.
I mentioned that both grills would have the GS4 system, and they do, with one tweak: the Genesis has the higher-end stainless steel Flavorizer bars, which conduct heat better and last longer, while the Spirit sticks with the standard porcelain-enameled bars. Keep in mind, stainless steel will always be considered an upgrade.
Let’s chat cooking grates. This is another place where stainless steel comes into play. The Genesis has 9mm diameter solid stainless steel rod grates. These are pretty much the nicest grates on the market and 9mm is generally the max diameter. The Spirit instead has the standard porcelain-coated cast iron grates – still solid, but they don’t conduct heat like the stainless does and they will wear more over time.
There are two other features that the Genesis offers that the Spirit just doesn’t have: infinite control burner valves and stainless steel heat deflectors. What does that even mean? Infinite control burner valves allow precision temperature tuning so you have increased control over the cook of your meat. The stainless steel heat deflectors redirect drippings and are an extra step in preventing flare ups and keeping the inside of your grill clean.
Neither of these two features are essential, but for the serious griller they are nice perks that you’ll appreciate if you like having a little extra control over your grilling.
In terms of build, there are a few other differences: The Genesis has a partial protective cover concealing the propane tank, on the Spirit, the propane tank sits in the same spot but is fully exposed. The side tables on the Genesis are also all stainless steel. The Spirit also has side tables, but they are not all stainless.
The lower carts are pretty similar, the Genesis is slightly larger and has two smaller swivel locking casters, while the Spirit only has the two larger all-weather wheels.
The final difference is a handle light on the Genesis missing from the Spirit line up. Another small detail, but if you’re an every day griller, this is a nice convenience.
These are both excellent grills, and the best fit for you will really come down to your grilling lifestyle and budget.
There are two main components that now come standard on current grills in both the Spirit and Genesis models: GS4 technology and iGrill3.
We dive into the specs on both below!
The GS4 grilling technology comes on all the grills in both the Spirit and Genesis lines. This is an upgraded system they added a couple years ago that encompasses components central for higher-level grill functionality.
Here’s what’s included:
This is Weber’s newest feature addition and is meant to transition the grilling experience into a more tech-savvy world.
It is a simple way to connect your smartphone to your grill via Weber’s app so you can monitor temperature and cook time remotely. You will receive a notification on your phone when your meat is done and ready for chow time.
I love this feature because it means less babysitting the grill and more time relaxing with family and friends.
A review of some of the other grills in the Genesis and Spirit lines are included below in case you’re looking for a few alternatives to the E-310s.
All of these are badass grilling machines and will serve you well, whether you’re a weekend warrior or dedicated hobbyist.
With the E-210, Weber kept the core features of their larger grills and engineered them to fit in a neat, compact version that still packs a power punch but with one fewer burner than the E-310.
The Spirit delivers 26,500 BTUs with 450 sq inches of cooking space and 90 inches of warming rack. This grill provides solid, even heat to every inch.
Weber added in their new Gs4 grilling system, with two burners, each supported by stainless steel, top quality tubes. These tubes aren’t your typical burner tubes. They won’t rust quickly, or damage easy and leak gas. They are in fact, specifically designed to be durable and they actively limit the effects of rust agents.
Even with just two burners, the E-210 really feels like a portable outdoor kitchen. It comes with reasonably sized drop down tables on both sides (more room to layout food) that fold down for easy storage. Both tables are equipped with 3 sturdy hooks to hang your tools (pans, spatulas, knives, etc.).
You can also expect to enjoy Weber’s signature Flavorizer bar system, porcelain coated cooking grates (designed for quick cleaning), and the infinity electronic ignition system.
Another 4-burner, the E-435 is roomy, offering 646 square inches of primary cooking area with an additional 198 square inch fold-away warming rack. Those solid stainless steel rod cooking grates cover the space and provide a consistent, even cooking surface.
The power on the S-435 is also impressive at 48,000 BTUs for the main burners plus an additional 12,000 on that lidded infrared bonus side burner and 9,000 on the dedicated sear station burner. The sear station burner is a great bonus and designed to provide quick, perfect sear marks on whatever meat you’re working with to finish it off.
Like all of Weber’s grills, this one comes with the GS4 package, including signature Flavorizer bars to vaporize drippings and infuse the aroma back into the meat, stainless steel burner tubes for optimal gas flow from back to front, 7mm stainless steel cooking grates, and their new Infinity Ignition for consistent, quick start ups.
It also includes the new grease management system from the GS4 line-up. Why does this matter? It’s just clean up stuff right? Nope, grease management matters because improper handling can cause flare-ups, which will scorch your meat and provide uneven temps across your cooking surface.
The new system funnels drippings that don’t end up getting vaporized away into the disposable drip tray in the catch pan. To clean, you literally just pull out the pan, remove the tray, pop a new one in and done. It’s so easy to access and disposal couldn’t be more hassle-free.
Overall construction is just what you would expect from a Weber and this price point: high-quality stainless steel designed to last many, many seasons. The overall hood is solid stainless as well as much of the front fascia. The stainless side tables also provide hooks for tools and the cabinet style base offers ample storage down below.
The Genesis E-335 is the sister grill to the E-435and includes nearly all the same impressive features, but for a few small cuts and a lower price tag.
Offering 3 burners instead of 4, the E-335 is still roomy at 335 square inches of primary cooking area and 178 square inches of warming rack. Total cooking power comes in at 39,000 BTUs for the main burners with a 12,000 BTU side burner and a 9,000 BTU sear station burner.
You’ll also find that the cooking grates on the E-335 are porcelain-coated cast iron instead of the stainless steel used on the E-435.
All other features remain the same, including the sweet GS4 grilling system, enclosed storage with tool hooks, iGrill 3 app connected temperature gauge and of course, the Flavorizer system.
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I am a grill freak! It's hard to pick my favorite thing to grill, but if I had to choose... it is still a tie between pork ribs and a juicy beef burger. I am currently grilling on a Weber S210(I live in a small space) but my dream grill is definitely a summit. Those things are bad ass. Anyways I would love to hear from you, leave a comment or question below!