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Weber Grills -- Has Quality Declined?

So as I mentioned before, we recently moved into a house and we're ready to buy a gas grill. All excited, we went out this past Saturday with every intention of buying the Weber Genesis E310. We went to a smallish local store that was highly recommended on this board, as opposed to Home Depot.

Well, we were dissapointed to find out that the store has stopped carrying Webers. They feel that since Webers are now apparently manufactured in China rather than in the U.S. (Indiana, maybe?), the quality is no longer something that they (the store) can stand by. They will special order the Weber for us, but the guy was adamant that they are not the Webers of the past. They feel that they now use cheap parts and they're not really all stainless steel when they claim to be.

In lieu of the Weber, he recommended the Napoleon (which I've rarely, if ever, seen mentioned on CH). The store also carries brands like Viking and Jenn-Air. I can't say that he was just trying to upsell us. In fact, he suggested that we even call Home Depot to see if they still have the Weber Genesis this late in the season, and if we still want it, buy it there. I also mentioned Vermont Castings and according to this guy, that's worse than the China-produced Webers.

Of course, this is only one guys opinion, but now I'm not sure what to do. We were planning to spend $600-$700 on the Weber and we'll go up to $1,000 if necessary.

Obviously everyone here loves their Webers, and I certainly trust Chowhounds. But does anyone have any experience with a newly-manufactured one? Are they still good? Should we get something else?

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  1. I think something smells...

    The Ducane's are definitely made overseas. The lower priced "Spirit" line made off-shore too.

    I am pretty sure that the "charcoal line", Genesis, Summit are still made in the same places that they have been, partly in the USA and partly in Mexico.

    The important thing is that Weber has not changed the fundamental design, nor have they changed the warranty -- their grills are known to work well and last a long time, but like anything made by mankind, it will eventually wear out. There is always the possibility that that the "new" Genesis won't last as long as the old, but there is no evidence for that...
    The Genesis line includes the "partly SS" model S-310 & S-320. They are not hiding the fact it is NOT all SS. You don't get all SS for $700 unless you go with something with a lot different business model. You save about $100 going for the "painted" Genesis, which might be worth it depending on the conditions around your home. A neighbor has one and it is an upgrade in every way from the older Genesis.

    The Summit Series starts around $1000, and it too is MOSTLY SS, nothing "hidden" there either. I think it is a nice upgrade, and a better overall grill than the $1000 JennAir , plus once you get to that price point there are a lot more brands to look at.

    The Viking grills will cost A WHOLE LOT MORE than that, as the CARTS ALONE (with no actual cooking unit) start over $1000!

    The JennAir grills I have seen do not strike me as being any better built that the Webers -- they just cost more. Several friends have the Vermont Castings units from Home Depot. They strike me as just wee bit less nice than the Weber's, but still much better than the low end Coleman, Kenmore, Perfect Flame, CharBroils that sell for under $500

    1 Reply
    1. re: renov8r

      I just replaced an 11 year old Weber Spirit with a brand new Genesis E-310 ( the painted as opposed to SS model ) . While I live in New England, my grill is in the garage when it's not in use, so I don't worry about the SS being more durable. Plus, the S Series were fitted with SS cooking grates, while I prefer the cast iron coated grates on the E Series.

      As others have stated, I did a lot of research and for the price range, I think the Weber is an excellent value . The Ducanes are comparably priced for given size and number of burners , but multiple people I know have expressed that they feel the grills are a wee bit underpowered in the BTU category .

      Weber has an excellent guarantee and parts are very easy to come by .

    2. Valarie,

      He was correct. They are made in China. Weber justifies it with saying "they are
      assembled here in the United States." Whatever. Yep, the gool ole American grill is
      now made in China.

      I'll never buy another Weber.

      2 Replies
      1. re: kkak

        So what will you but?

        I have seen no other grill in that price range of superior quality. The Weber may have some component made in China, but their quality control, at least in my experience, is still very very good.

        The current units perform as Webers have been known too -- the temperature control is top notch, the flexibility is being able to use 3, 2 or 1 burner is superior. You can do high temp grilling. Roasting with direct or indirect heat and some limited smoke flavored cooking with good results.

        I don't want to get in the "geo politics" of it, just get something that makes great tasting chow...

        1. re: renov8r

          "I have seen no other grill in that price range of superior quality. "

          That's the thing. When I asked the guy what he would recommend in that price range, he said "there really is nothing -- Weber owns the category".

          And like you, it's not a political thing for me. I just don't want to spend $700-$1000 on a piece of crap, no matter where it's made!

      2. Chances are that if a brand sells in Wal-Mart, the product is made in China. Wal-Mart sells Weber, Brinkmann, Uniflame, and Char-Broil gas grills in the $300 plus price range.

        Brinkmann had to recall 130,000 gas grills in 2005 as the he regulators on the grills could leak gas when attached to certain liquid propane tanks. The regulators were made in China by Zhonghshan GDA Gas Valve Co. Ltd. Brinkmann and Charmglow were the brands on the lids.

        3 Replies
        1. re: b777

          I just got a charbroil from Lowes with a TEC burner. So far so good. Great sear & I got 30% off. I live within .25 mile of the atlantic & do not expect any grill to last. Weber & Vt Castings each bit it after 4-5 years & cheapo sears would last 18 months. Lovely salty breezes.

          1. re: beteez

            beteez, how'd you manage to get 30% off your TEC grill?

            1. re: foodstorm

              4th of July sale all grills were 20% off & had a coupon for additional 10% off for grand opening & no interest for 12 months.

        2. I looked and looked for a Weber Genesis Silver B and finally a woman at Ace Hardware found one for me in the basement of one of their stores. One of the guys who delivered it is a long-time manager of an Ace and said the quality has indeed declined and that he was glad I got one of the older ones. Just fyi, you may find one online. I did a quick look and found some on ebay.

          http://search.ebay.com/weber-genesis-...

          Good luck!

          1. I just bought my parents the Genesis 320E in beautiful dark green to replace their 15 year old Weber gas grill. I can safely say that the quality has not declined and in fact the design of the Weber - at least at this pricepoint - is better than ever. It is true that the Spirit line of grills is made in China. That is because this is the entry-level for Weber ~$300. The Genesis and Summit are still made in Indiana. Of course, the non-important things like the plastic gas knobs are sourced from overseas, but the things that count - and which carry the warranties - up to lifetime for the castings - are made in America - the body, the burners, the grates (excellent porcelin covered cast iron - IMO the best for grilling). I fully expect this Weber to be in the Will!

            1. Can't recommend a specific grill ( as I still use an Eaton's Special that was a wedding present) BUT!
              I do recommend Sobey's http://www.sobies.com/map_directions.htm here in North York as a source of information. Over the years they have continued to supply me with parts for my piece of junk BBQ while quitely trying to convince me to buy a REAL BBQ. No attitude, just solid advice. Once my Eaton's special finally goes AWOL I will buy what ever they tell me to.

              1. If you can get a hold of the June 2007 issue of Consumer Reports, they reviewed gas grills, by performance, features and convenience. Of mid-sized grills, they liked the Weber Genesis E-320 the best, but rated a few cheaper Lowe's and Home Depot only models as Best Buys.. Ducane was near the bottom. We have a Weber that we have had for about 5 or 6 years. It is on the way out now- only two elements work, we have to light it with a match and the wood- ( which they now use plastic for) is rotting away. It did last longer than the previous grills. We are looking to replace it. What I like about the Weber models is that they are are not a huge monstrosity like the stainless steel models, that will take up a lot of room on my small patio.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Leslie

                  Yes, I saw the Consumer Reports article, but I trust Chowhounds more!

                  In the end, we ordered the Weber Genesis E-310 (didn't want the side burner on the E-320), and it is being delivered on Monday.

                  We are looking forward to using it!

                  1. re: Leslie

                    sounds like all of the pieces you describe as broken can be replaced. go to the website and replace the pieces that have worn out versus the whole thing. jfood replaces the guts every 3-5 years and has replaced the ignitor as well. much better than spendingon a new one. first weber was 15years old but we had to leave behind when we moved. current is 8 years old and will replace whatever wears out.

                  2. Been cooking on my Weber Kettle for 10 years and it might make another 10 years. Every year I spluge and get a new grill for it, costs about $15 or so. I use a brush burner to start my charcoal and clean the grill so I am hard on grills. I do get to cooking steaks in 3-4 minutes though, no reason for me to have a gasser.

                    Doing a couple of nice Costco rib-eyes tonight for dinner, that with some fresh vegi's from the local Farmers Market and a bottle of a big Oregon Pinot Noir and it should be a good meal.

                    Had gassers in the past, I find they are good storage places for bbq tools for a BGE, my kettle or my other cooking toys.

                    1. I am looking for a new gas grill and have been on the internet for days now. I found a consumer report about the top 5 gas grills under $500 (which is our limit) and the top 5 are the Fiesta Blue Ember, 3 Chair Broils and 1 Kenmore. But then this weekend I saw a Sears Flyer with a new Kenmore Infrared gas grill, stainless steel for $399. But it is not on the website, because it is a new offering. My concern is the grade of SS, because I don't want to deal with rust - lots of moisture here in Houston. I have looked at Weber, too, but just haven't found anything that either 1) has really great reviews and the features we want, or 2) does have great reviews but is in our price range. I am really leaning toward the infrared technology though.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: danhole

                        Infrared is great and I would not want a grill without it. However:

                        - There is absolutely nothing better for searing, but I don't recommend an ALL infrared grill. Infrared requires you to learn a new cooking style and limits your flexibility. Get one with both an infrared burner and standard burners.

                        - Be sure it is truly infrared. Genuine infrared has a block that contains thousands of gas ports and will glow vividly red. It typically heats to 1500-1800 F at the block surface, though the heat output declines rapidly with increasing distance.

                        Some grills claiming to be infrared use a standard burner under a solid surface. Without quibbling about whether these are technically generating infrared radiation, they do not provide any of the benefits of infrared grilling. No visible red means no searing power.

                        As of two years ago, the only brands that offered a true infrared grilling surface were Tec, Solaire, and Napoleon. (Many brands include an infrared rotisserie, but not an infrared grill.)

                        Note that infrared is about more than just heat output. Some grills have a "sear zone" that generates higher than typical heat, but infrared used at close range sears almost instantly.

                        To the best of my knowledge, Weber does not make an infrared grill.

                        1. re: embee

                          When I researched I also found that Weber did not have infrared. The Char Broil site has a demo about the infrared and it shows the technology behind it as you describe. I'll have to check if the ones I am looking at also have a standard burners. Maybe the side burner is? I did hear that infrared take a bit more maintenance. Is that so?

                          1. re: danhole

                            I am not convinced that the Char Broil grills provide the real infrared experience, so see if you can get a hands on demo.

                            Find out what temperature registers at the grilling surface, ideally by testing it yourself. They never tell you how hot this is supposed to get get. The Tec grills (another Char Broil brand) are infrared.

                            A normal infrared burner requires little maintenance, but slightly more care. Most drippings vapourize, and running it on maximum for a few minutes turns everything else to ash. I use compressed air (sold in computer stores) to remove any ash buildup from the COLD burner. Ceramic burners can crack if the hot ceramic is subjected to thermal shock (e.g., splashed with a large amount of water or hit by heavy rain). Normal dripping from food is not a problem.

                            1. re: embee

                              Well, I am not as experienced as you are embee, but from what I have read and what you have told me I do believe that the Char Broil is truly an infrared gas grill with a high sear. I know they have the Tec line but this is the Quantum commercial series. Don't know if I can get a hands on test of it, but I will give it a go. Thanks for your help.

                              1. re: danhole

                                Good luck! Please post a review once you've used it for a while. I'm especially curious about the grilling surface temperature, since they state it directly in the Tec grill specs but not in the Char Broil grill specs.

                        2. re: danhole

                          I'll vote in favor of Weber for Houston based on my recent customer service experience. I've had my little Genesis E310 on my covered patio for about a year. The grates and flavor bars were rusting because of our humidity. I knew they were under warranty, so I called Weber's 800 number, fully expecting a long ordeal. I was so pleased when the nice lady with a Minnesota accent spent about 3 minutes taking my address and serial number (not necessary, but I had the sticker from Lowe's), and promptly FedEx'd replacement parts to me at no charge whatsoever! Best customer service I've had in ages. 5 minutes to drop in new parts, and I've got a mostly new grill. Don't need new burners yet, but if I do, I'll call them again.

                        3. On a web site recommendation a few years ago, I bought a three burner Vermont Castings grill, which, then, were carried by Home Depot. I believe they no longer carry the line. Paid about $400 for it. It's a tank, solid as a rock, shows no signs of deterioration, heats up quickly, and looks as if it is good for another ten years or so. Very happy with it. Porcelain grates, two side tables (no side burners). Easy to clean drip pan, and a very attractive blue color on the grill hood. Google Vermont Castings, and you can probably find somewhere close to you to check it out. I would recommend it highly

                          1. Very interesting read. I owned a barbecue shop for 15 years and now I'm an employee of the same store.

                            The Webers that are made in China are only the Spirits.

                            Weber owns Ducane which is made in China.

                            The black paint on the inside of your hood is indeed a build up of the vaporing process of grilling. It is NOT paint. Do some maintanence on your grill and you won't have the problem.. It doesn't take care of itself.

                            When you buy a new grill find out about parts availability. If you can't get parts, your new grill is disposable rather than fixable. In otherwords you might as well trash it because it can't be repaired without parts.

                            Weber has always stocked parts and you will never have a problem there.

                            Jennaire? The name was sold and the current manufacturer is not the old company. Same with Charmglow. Home Depot happens to own that name.

                            Vermont Castings? The Home Depot VC is not the same as that sold at barbecue stores. We can repair those that we sell. We can not repair the HD VCs unless you get us the parts. They are specially made for the Home Depot.

                            Another thing, do you really think that all of your made in the USA grills are made here? Well they are, but you have no idea where the parts come from.

                            To answer the first question... Weber is still a fine barbecue. Even the
                            Chinese made Spirits are good quality. If they weren't, Weber wouldn't be putting their name on it.

                            1. Been reading and finally had to weigh in. Like mar52, been in the business a long time and currently spend my time designing and building outdoor kitchens and fireplaces.

                              Weber Spirit models: China from start to finish.

                              Weber Genesis parts are made in China, assembled in the U.S. Same for the Summit line. Parts and assembly for the kettles is all done in the States. FYI, there is a unique version of the Genesis line referred to as the "premium" that is sold predominantly through Canadian specialty retailers with the product code CEP310/320 that has heavier grills and substitutes the stainless cabinet doors from the stainless line. It might be sourced through an American dealer, notably northern ones with access to the Canadian distributor: Onward Manufacturing (makers of the Broil King, in Canada by the way).

                              Weber doesn't actually own Ducane: they own the name and legal rights to use it how they see fit. The units are designed and manufactured in an independent Chinese factory which also makes them available to anyone who wants them. Don't be surprised to see them offered under another label by someone who went over there and bought one or two container loads and stuck their own brand on them. Nexgrill, Permasteel and other Chinese manufacturers are just the tip of the ice berg...

                              Vermont Castings, by the way, was all Chinese for a few years before going under last year. They've now been bought by Monessen Hearth products and the same grills are now being sold through smaller specialty retailers. They are the same grills as everywhere else, but have different part numbers. Go online, search the VC web site for a model that looks like yours from the same year and order that part number from a proper dealer and you will be up and running again.

                              Napoleon is currently one of only three north American mass market grill manufacturers actually making their products on this side of the ocean, mostly in Canada at their Barrie, ON plant. Besides Weber, above, Broil King is the other with most of their line-up made in Waterloo, ON. The notable exception there is their Imperial models and everything labelled Broil Mate.

                              As far as quality goes, where it comes from is not as important as the engineering and design. A thin, tack-welded single layer of stainless steel isn't going to last long whether it comes from Cleveland or Quang Jiao. Heli-arc welded, four layer construction should last 25 - 30 years (Lynx, Viking, Luxor etc.) and will cost accordingly.

                              If you pay very little for an appliance then beat the living daylights out of it the likelihood is that it will be dead within a year or three. Buy something substantial and clean it occasionally and you'll be passing it on to your kids. Remember that the old tanks like Charmglow and Broilmaster also cost the same as a small car back in the sixties and early seventies...

                              Simply stick with recognized brand names (Weber, Napoleon, Broil King, Fiesta Blue Ember) that are available through more than one dealer as you will generally find the products supported. If a unit is "exclusive" it means they bought a pile of them in China, slapped their label on them and brought them over in one big shipment without any extra parts for warranty.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: grillbuilder

                                So, what you are saying is that Broil king and the others you mentioned have a single layer of stainless steel? What about Char Broil? What do you think of that?

                                1. re: grillbuilder

                                  You left out MHP which is made here in the good ol' USofA.

                                  1. re: grillbuilder

                                    Napolean is no longer made in Canada, it like some of the Webers are made in China and assembled at the barrie plant in Ontario, Canada, shame even a great canadian company has stooped to the levels of the rest of its competetors.

                                  2. this thread makes me question if everything that i own that is made in china should be suspect. that would be an awful lot, and an awful lot of much more complicated devices than a grill.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: tommy

                                      It's very much a management issue. Napoleon claims (I certainly haven't verified this) that they manufacture in China in their own plant, run by their own management, with good working conditions and QA.

                                      In effect, the only distinctive differences are in the dramatically lower wages vs Canadian wages, and in the much lower cost of stainless steel. While I can't know whether they are telling the truth, their Chinese product seems of better build quality than some of their more expensive Canadian lines and, according to Consumer Reports, the Chinese Mirage cooks marginally better than the Canadian Prestige.

                                      Sweatshops run with little concern for safety, working conditions, impoverishment, and even child labour, are something else entirely.

                                      1. re: embee

                                        Has anyone seen the report of high-end homes that were built with Chinese mfg. plywood, or wallboard. These houses are leaching a phosphorous substance that rots all piping and copper wiring. This just one of the reasons why I try to go out of my way to avoid anything made in China. Remember the problems with children's toys, pet food, baby's flame retardent clothing; dishware, frozen food producs, etc. A Chinese origin grill may be heavy weight and work great, but who the hell knows what mystery substance they used during the parts and material manufacturing.

                                    2. Does anyone here own or have good intel on the Fiesta Blue Ember iQue? Consumer Reports gives it top marks in the large model category, over Weber Summit and others, and it sure does come with a lot of features built in for the price. I'd love to know if anyone has had a good experience.

                                      I've owned a Weber Genesis for over 10 years it's finally about ready for replacement. Love my Weber, but the good CR review and price/features combo is hard not to consider...

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: MattC02

                                        Pros
                                        First computer controlled grill
                                        Full function gas grill
                                        High BTU output
                                        Large number of extra features
                                        Completely isolated dual cooking zone design
                                        Cons
                                        Must be plugged in for computer controls to work
                                        Lower quality materials used in it's construction
                                        Durability of computer controls is unknown
                                        Rotisserie burner included, but the rod and forks are sold separately
                                        Limited indirect cooking capacity

                                        From what I've read, they are experiencing some durability issues with the electronic components for this grill. And service and repair has been very difficult.

                                        1. re: jacobp

                                          When I was researching grill it seemed like I saw a lot of past recall notices for that model. I looked at it but didn't want a grill I had to plug in.

                                      2. I got a Q300 three years ago - it has worked like a champ ever since. THe only problem is that the grill cover blew away in a windstorm last fall - I forgot to put it on and it blew off the balcony. Just got back from a visit to my folks back east, and grilled for them on their Genesis Silver - it worked great once I got rid of the hornet's nest under the cover. The big difference between the webers and everything else in the price range I have tried is how even the heat is over the cooking area. You don't have to "stage" burgers and chicken breasts - even cooking all the way across. That's worth the extra to me. I don't care where the parts are made, as long as the QC is there.

                                        1. I had a Weber Silver B for over ten years that served me well. Before the Weber, I had a series of cheap gas grills that were notable only for their short life-span. The worst o the bunch was Char-broil. I think it barely lasted a year.

                                          I did not take much special care of the Silver B, and it only was covered for the last few years of it's life. It sat through rain and winters in Philadelphia and Washington DC and worked reliably without complaint. I cleaned out the firebox and brushed down the burners a few times a season, and did replace my share of igniters, thermometers, and grates along the way but was always happy that I *could* replace them, and never felt that they wore out prematurely.

                                          Well, the old girl passed away the middle of this summer. The rails that hold the drip pan to the bottom of the firebox rusted clear away. The bolts that hold the rails, because they are steel that have been 10 years in aluminum, were frozen solid. After grinding them down and trying to drill them out and then pursuing a few other strategies to try and re-attach the drip pan I finally resigned myself to a new grill. I settled on a Spirit 310. We don't need anything bigger and don't need a side burner, so the choice was pretty simple.

                                          The current Weber Spirit 310 is, for all intents and purposes, the old Silver B in terms of features and design. I paid very close attention to the quality of the parts as I was assembling it and they all seem to be first rate, from the quality of the welds to the enamel and the fit and finish of burner assemblies and other already assembled parts. Even the packaging was impressive, with honeycombed cardboard forms that are obviously fabricated around the parts as they are packed to ensure that they are not damaged. It was clearly well thought out. If anything, the grill is actually more robust than it's predecessor. Yes, the new igniter with the battery and little rubber boot does not inspire confidence but I'll reserve judgment for the time being and see how it fares.

                                          One irksome point is that the design flaw that let to the demise of my old grill is still there while other changes, for convenience or cosmetics, are on display. Oh well. Clearly I'm going to have to clean those rails periodically so that grease does not build up on them and trap moisture. That has been made harder by the fact that the new grills have an enclosed undercarriage. So it goes.

                                          All this is to say that the quality appears on close examination to be unchanged. Time will obviously tell when it comes to the durability of the enamel and the quality of the steel.

                                          9 Replies
                                          1. re: Hot Henry

                                            My Genesis met the same death with the screws, I live in a coastal area with salt breeze & mine only lasted 4 years, before rails gave out & I ordered the rails, then found the screws were toast.

                                            1. re: beteez

                                              Sad to hear Weber is now being made in China. I have had my US grill for 10 years and still going strong.

                                              Just about everything is being made there nowadays on cost/profit considerations. We have seen this with Kitchen Aid mixers etc.... I prefer to buy non-Chinese. Recently managed to find a totally French made Magimix food processor which I am sure will last my lifetime. Not prepared to gamble on Chinese products.

                                              Of course when it comes to Weber one really doesn't have a choice - their design is so good.

                                              1. re: Mistral

                                                Genesis and Summit are still made in the USA.

                                            2. re: Hot Henry

                                              I've had my Weber Silver B for at least 10 yrs and most of the time it's been under a covered patio. My bracket that holds the little drip pan just rotted way. I assumed I would be able to buy a replacement since the slide out drip pan that channels the drippings to the suspened drip pan is still in fine shape. If I can't find one then a disposable foil pan under the grill body will do fine to catch any drippings.

                                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                                jfood has his current version for >10 years and the one before that for >15 years and never had this issue.

                                                1. re: jfood

                                                  I live 1.5 miles from the Gulf of Mexico which might make the difference in longevity of small metal reactive parts.

                                                  1. re: scubadoo97

                                                    yup...important to understand the difference between salt-water locations and not.

                                                    1. re: scubadoo97

                                                      1 mile from the Pacific. Is the Gulf more salty? The humidity definitely is worse out there.

                                                      After four years you should have called Weber. If you didn't. There's a good chance th'll take care of you.

                                                      1. re: deeznuts

                                                        Oh, I've had my grill for around 14 yrs. I'm way past any warrenty. I have to check to see if they make that part as a replacement. If not a cheap foil pan which is sitting under the body of the grill has been working well.

                                              2. I went through all this searching and researching early this year and finally bought a Weber EP-320 from the local ACE hardware store. The reasons I chose it were related to the reasons all of my previous grills had failed and to recommendations from CHers and from commenters on Consumer Reports.com.

                                                The EP version has stainless steel cooking grids and flavorizer bars (both of which had rusted out on my previous grills and which I was eventually unable to replace). I subscribe both to CR and CR.com, and while they rated some much lower priced grills only slicghtly lower than the Weber, the users had the same complaints, that parts rusted out within a year or two and could not be replaced. It also has a porcelein top which holds the heat better than the stainless top. (Also, any color top besides black has double porcelein since they all start out black and the colors are sprayed over the black then baked).

                                                People who owned the Webers said not only had they stood up well, but that the company support was good and that parts, when needed were readily available.

                                                I got it from my local ACE store because they sell a lot of them, put them together and deliver them for no extra charge, and will be there if there are nay problems.

                                                1. Dunno that my experiences can help because they're on the extremes of the timeline. But we had a Genesis gas grill for 10 or more years that was sensational. I suppose that's before the time you reference.

                                                  We just moved up to the Summit line this summer. Also fantastic with double insulated housing that will be safer around the grandkids and an infrared unit for the built-in rotisserie. I don't see any difference in the quality or construction. I am, of course, not comparing apples to apples and I can't say what the long-term prognosis will be but I have no reason to suspect less than excellent reliable service.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: rainey

                                                    I have a question for anyone buying Weber grills now. I have a 10 year old Genesis that is still going strong (replaced grates once) and now want a second Weber for a summer home. The local Ace hardware folks claim that their Weber's are made better ( better, higher quality materials and construction) than the exact same model #'s at Home Depot/ Lowe's. Does anyone know if this is true? I mean exact same model #'s for a Weber EP-320 and a $100-$150 dollar difference in price. I like supporting our local hardware but feel they are misleading me on this.

                                                    Thanks for any and all help.

                                                    1. re: drymocke

                                                      A contractor once told jfood that the power tools that he bought at HD with the exact same model number were different than those bought at the local store. He told jfood that the outsides looked exactly alike but the insides were different, plastic pieces instead of metal in some cases. Whether true or not, this is either a very good set of rumors that local stores are using or it could be the truth. just another data point.

                                                      1. re: drymocke

                                                        If the local guys's grills are EP series rather that E series, then yes they are better. They have legit SS innards.

                                                        1. re: drymocke

                                                          No it is NOT true. Many big chain stores, be they home improvement centers, or consumer electronics, or mattresses, do indeed make deals with manufacturers to conjure one off items with unique model numbers, this is so you can't cross-shop the exact same merchandise. If an item has the exact same model number, it's the same whether it's sold at the orange box, the blue box or amazon. Make sure the warranty is the same. The ace guy was instilling FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) to persuade you to buy his merch. I will always try to support a small local guy as well, and he may even be able to provide you with a little better customer service, assembly, etc. Just depends how much you're willing to pay

                                                      2. so.. a few years have passed, I was wondering how'd the weber grill hold up?

                                                        I'm looking at buying the genesis 320 or 310 for my husband's birthday gift.

                                                        1. Does anyone know if the 330 "searing" is worth it? I don't care about an exterior side burner but adding another interior burner for.searing food intrigues me. Also might be nice for indirect heat.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: eaadams

                                                            I bought the 310 last season, and love it except that it lacks enough heat to truly sear a steak. If I preheat it on full-blast for 15 minutes I'll get some good grill marks and it's fine, but my old grill had a nuclear hot spot that could really sear a steak and I miss that. (It's actually part of why I replaced it - uneven heating - but that one spot was great for searing.) So, personally, I'd love to have the infrared "searing" burner available to give it a quick sear and then finish cooking on the normal burners. But I haven't actually used one, so I don't know if it's as good as I would hope.

                                                            1. re: monopod

                                                              yea but the 330 isn't IR. It is just another burner / flavorizor bar on the left hand side of the machine.

                                                              1. re: eaadams

                                                                FYI all we just got a Gennesis SP-330. It is a big improvement for us from an older (father's) Genesis. I had no idea they now get so hot. The searing station is to be recommended for steaks. A big improvement.

                                                          2. If I had to mention old Weber products, I'd have to bring up our outdoor fireplace. We bought that back in the early 80's (!!!) when they first came out - that thing is STILL in our backyard. Well, "original house-upgraded house-downsized house now" yard. It still looks good! No problem with the paint, one leg is a bit wobbly. We still use it.

                                                            When we first got it, our neighbors use to call it the flying saucer.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: breadchick

                                                              Hi All. First post - be gentle. So I just bought an old - 1994 - Weber Genesis 1000XL for $65 and I'm hoping I did the right thing. It's fire engine red, solid as a brick house and seems like a good grill. I know international trade as a professional matter. The manual for the grill was printed in1994. If the grill was made then, it's probably pre-NAFTA and definitely pre-China explosion, so I'm thinking assembly and most parts manufacturing happened in Indiana.

                                                              Here's the history of my grill ownership so far. CharBroil from Lowes - pretty much junk. Brinkmann from Home Depot - definitely junk. The Weber, although I haven't fired it up yet, seems much better. Like a tank in fact. It did not mind being dismantled in Staten Island, loaded into a Prius, and re-assembled in Jersey City. Not one bit.

                                                              Question for the group. This is an old grill. What should I do to inspect/recondition it to get it up to the upcoming summer? The flavorizer bars are pretty rusty but other than that everything seems like it's in good shape. Should I replace burners, flavor bars and tank connections right away or am I better off seeing how she fires up?

                                                              1. re: JerseyGriller

                                                                Good find if it's in that good of shape. We just got rid of one that was about that vintage, but it was, as the saying goes, riden hard and put away wet. The first thing I would do is pull out the grates and flavorizer bars and start it up so you can see the burners and how even the flame is coming out of them. They are SS, but not really all that thick, but if the grill is in that good of shape, they may still be ok. If the flavorizer bars aren't rusted into oblivion, I would clean everything up and start grilling. If the burners don't look even or some ports are cloged, you can take them out and clean them and check the manifold to make sure it's not cloged with a spider nest or such. Or you may want to check that first. Make sure the tank and regulator are working properly and the hose is in good condition, before you start. I kind of assumed you have already done that, but felt compelled to mention it. It's a great grill and you can still get most of the parts you need to keep it going. My frame rusted out and those parts are no longer available, so replacement was the only way for me. I had already replaced burners and grates and flavorizer bars, so it's easy to keep it going for a long time.

                                                                1. re: mikie

                                                                  Thanks Mikie. The cooking box, lid and cart are all in pretty good shape. I'll run through the tune-up you suggested. Glad to know parts are basically all available.

                                                            2. Been reading the various posts. I have owned Weber for over 20 years. My original is still in use (gave it to step son and he loves it), and no I didn;t take special care of it. It survived the cold wet Canadian winters, often without any cover. They just are well built. Having said that, I beleive quality is not what it used to be (but what is?). Webers are still among the best bbq's out there. I am currently looking for a new one (but will keep my current Genesis and kettle as back ups). My research to date suggest the new Webers will not be as good as my prior ones but still among the best out there. One concern is the quality of steels and the new lid with the screw tops in the open (previously Weber had enclosed the lid sides so water would not gather there). Still to be seen if this will become a problem but for someone like me who tends to leave the bbq out in the rain and the snow, any chance that water will gather and rust the screws or lid is a concern. I am leaning toward the Napoleon, either the Prestige or Mirage series. Similar in price to the Weber S-330 or Sumit 400 series but with more features and seemingly better quality materials and construction. Napoloeon is Canadian made, with much better warranties than any other major bbq manufacturer. That tells me they beleive enough in their product to support it. You should have no problems going with either the Weber or Napoleon.

                                                              1. Well I have to tell my experience about Weber quality.

                                                                After having owned and really used a cheaper Barbecook for 10 years without an issue I thought of buying a nice 57cm one touch premium 2 years ago.

                                                                And ofcourse I had to buy all the nice 'inox' extras that cost an arm and a leg over here in Belgium.

                                                                After 1 year all the inox parts have rusted while I am about 60 miles away from the coast. It was a hassle to get them replaced.

                                                                Now today I took the BBQ out of the graden shed that is actually insulated and dry. What do I see, remember I bought this one 2 years ago, the top and bottom part of the kettle is rusted. The porcelain has come off at the borders (placed on grass when cleaning) and probably pushed away by the rust. The same rust where the handles are attached to the kettle.

                                                                I wrote them an email with photos about this. Now lets see what kind of a response I get from Weber Belgium and Weber US and if I get a replacement that will last longer than 2 years.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: Lukesan

                                                                  Hi All,

                                                                  After much cosideration, I think I'm ready to plunk down the money on a Weber gas grill. Having never owned one before, I'm torn about what features I want (or need) in my next grill.

                                                                  I have pretty much narrowed the choices down to the Summit E470 or the E620, which cost the same. I really like the extra real estate of the 6-series vs. the four, but I'm concerned about the lack of a searing burner on the 620 (I am used to the infrared searing burner on my current Nexgrill). I would seldom (if ever) use the side burner or rotisserie, but the little smoker box/burner on the 470 is kind of intriguing.

                                                                  I cannot realistically justify going another $500 for the 670 model.

                                                                  So, my questions are, will the 620 get hot enough to properly sear steaks or is it really necessary to have the "sear station" set up? Has anyone tried the smoking burner/box setup on the x70 series?

                                                                  Thanks in advance.....

                                                                  Gusman

                                                                  1. re: gusman2424

                                                                    Well I got an email from Weber Belgium yesterday.
                                                                    Seems I can pickup a brandnew one next week at a store nearby.
                                                                    This is what warranty is about,,,, but lets see again in 2 years time.

                                                                    I also got an answer from Weber US.
                                                                    Seems they were not so interested in this and they refered me to the local Weber importer. Not really what I thought. As a manufacturer I would want to know where it went wrong to avoid it in the future. At least a sorry .... email would have been polite.

                                                                2. On November 2, 2009 I purchased the Weber Summit series grill. It was beautiful. It had a Rotisserie Burner, Rotisserie motor, side burner, smoker, and etc. It was the top of the line. I was thrilled. Approximately 1.5 years later the grill started to fail, rust, and turn to a complete piece of trash. It is always under a roof. It is always covered with a Weber Grill Cover and under a patio. First thing to fail was the Rotisserie Burner. Then all the main burners were replaced. The parts that hold the main burners secure to the grill front and back had to be replaced because they had totally rusted through. The Flavorizer Bars rusted through. The main manifold had to be replaced due to improper operation. The main burner igniters quit. The top stainless steel cover has warped in the front center causing black soot to cover the face of the grill. The area behind the control knob cover has almost completely rusted out. The front and top of the cook box has totally rusted through. The Rotisserie Thermocouple has been replaced due to failure. The Rotisserie ignition wire has been replaced. The handle lights melted off the handle. This all happened is just 3.5 years.
                                                                  The VP of Consumer Services at Weber says this was all caused by the chemicals from my swimming pool which is 18’ away. Line in warranty he quoted is:
                                                                  Deterioration or damage due to severe weather conditions such as hail, hurricanes, earthquakes or tornadoes, discoloration due to exposure to chemicals either directly or in the atmosphere, is not covered by this Limited Warranty.
                                                                  This warranty line clearly states discoloration due to chemical exposure not damage due to chemical exposure.

                                                                  The same VP also told me I needed to leave my grill uncovered and out in the rain so all those chemicals would wash off with the rain. He said by covering it and keeping it under a roof, I was making the situation worse.

                                                                  Weber-Stephen Grills are no longer the great product we all grew up with and having a pool voids your warranty according to Weber.

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: dpalko

                                                                    dpalko: I'd be distressed at the deterioration of such a pricey grill.

                                                                    But doesn't it remain possible that they're right, and that covering it was causing some of the problems? I ask having owned and used two (more basic) Weber grills for about 6 years now (a charcoal kettle and a basic Genesis gas grill circa 2006). While I do have and use their branded deluxe covers (which have vents, by the way), I've only had them replace one item in all that time: a stainless door to the gas grill, which became stained a bit from corrosion of a screw used to hold the door in place. Some Chinese screw, no doubt, or at least not stainless like the door itself.

                                                                    For the new door, I went out and bought a stainless steel screw to use (which Weber should use, too, but obviously doesn't).

                                                                    Anyway, not to diminish how pissed off you must feel, but your experience is nothing like my own.

                                                                    Edit: p.s., that having a pool nearby voids your warranty sounds like something they should make LOUDLY apparent at the retail level. That sucks. The language that you offer here doesn't even make clear to me that a pool is relevant, and pool owners deserve to be warned.

                                                                    1. re: Bada Bing

                                                                      I think not, I have a Weber Smoky Mt., that I've been smoking meats on for a while (& I was lucky enough to purchase it at a decent price)-I've amortized this smoker many times over.

                                                                      I've also purchased a second hand Weber grill off Craigslist, & grilled items on it, also has earned back everything I spent on it- purchased good items, use them for awhile, & you've made back your investment....my other grill/ smokers are Campchefs, quality products that I've used for several years.. & that I can recommend w/out reservations....
                                                                      Vbv

                                                                      1. re: thistle5

                                                                        Sorry thistle5. Their quality has definitely declined. I've owned numerous other Weber grills prior to this one and never had an ounce of problem. Weber says they will no longer warranty my grill due to pool location. I informed them all my Weber grills were beside pools and I have another non-weber stainless steel grill not 2 feet away from the Summit and it is not rusting out. I have read great reviews about your Smoky Mt.; however, if you have a pool and it starts to deteriorate then beware of the NO Warranty Situation!

                                                                    2. re: dpalko

                                                                      To bad their quality has declined. My experience has been good. My Silver B is still going strong at 13 yrs. original burners still working flawlessly. Had to lube a sticky control knob recently. Body shows age but is structurally sound. Flavor bars are rusting out and will need to be replaced in the future. Done it a couple of times before. Replaced an igniter maybe twice. I'm glad I bought when I did. Hope they get back to where they were

                                                                    3. you move to China I move to Char-broil

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: mikecarey

                                                                        Excellent point! A good US made gass grill is going to cost you a bundle, but, they are worth the extra cost as they are built to last with high quality raw materials and construction. My newest grill used to be made in the US, but briefly moved to China (about a year) and was then discontinued by the company. I believe I was fortunate to get it for the price I did, 2/3 off list. Still expensive, but a fraction of what a similar grill would cost. It's all stainless, where as many of the Stainless Webers are only stainless where it's visible, the lid and the doors, while the sides and the backs are likely powder coated steel which is eventually going to rust. I've had this new grill about 3 years now and it's still in like new condition with the exception of normal use.

                                                                      2. I have had a Vermont Casting grill for about the last six years. They are built like a tank. Home Depot used to carry them, but seems to no longer do that. Given the quality that is built into that grill, I expect it to last longer than I will. Can't recommend it too highly.

                                                                        1. Valerie, I hope you went for the Napoleon. Way better product than the current batch of Weber products. I agree with the guy at the store. I owned a Weber Genisis Silver (bought new in 2007) and it's 2014 and finally the flavorizer bars are rusting so thought it's time for a new one.
                                                                          When I went to look at the new Weber models...wow, what a change. So cheap. Made in China you can tell just by looking...the nerve of Weber still charging $800 (and more) for these BBQs. It's crazy.

                                                                          The Napoleon that you can get for $800 totally blows the Weber away. Best of all....made here.

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Karen11

                                                                            We bought a Weber Genesis in 2007 (that's when this thread was started!). It has been fine thus far. We had to replace the starter about 2 years ago but it was an easy fix. Haven't used it much since the Fall since we had a brutal winter but looking forward to getting out there and grilling now that we finally have some decent weather.

                                                                            1. re: valerie

                                                                              oh goodness, you know i didn't even notice the year of the post. forgive me for that. back in 2007 the weber grills were still made in USA (that's when I bought mine) but now in 2014 if you compare (as I'm doing now) they are not even close to the same quality they once were.
                                                                              Get out there and enjoy the older good model Weber you have....makes cooking outside so much better.

                                                                            2. re: Karen11

                                                                              Karen, if all that is wrong with your Weber is the flavorizer bars are rusting, you still have many, many years of satisfaction left in your Weber. Just replace the bars ($100 tops). I have 2 Geneis which are approaching 20 years old. Have replaced the bars and the grills a couple of time but everything else (including the starters) are still working fine.

                                                                              But if you are going to replace, I agree the Napoleon at every price point is a better BBQ (and Made in Canada).

                                                                              And if you are going to replace, let me know, I'll take your old Weber.

                                                                            3. Are Weber kettle charcoal grills Chinese crap too?

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: emu48

                                                                                Not sure they are made in China but this was from a business week article a while back
                                                                                "Weber has contracted to have grills built in China to go with production in Huntley and Palatine Illinos. It agreed to stop labeling products “Made in USA” to settle a class-action lawsuit that accused it of buying components from China and Taiwan suppliers. (The company denied wrongdoing.) It also introduced a line of compact grills designed for dense urban areas such as those sprouting up across Southeast Asia."

                                                                                Research it as best you can.

                                                                              2. There are 4 Weber grills on my patio right now. At least two of them are newer than this thread ;-) (There's also one in the garage, and parts for a couple more, but those are a different project).
                                                                                They are all in great shape. the smaller ones never get covered, even through Ohio winters. They should, but that's my mistake, not theirs. They show little sign of succumbing to the effects of the outdoor life, and all continue to put out great food when called upon.
                                                                                emu 48, while I hope that the Kettles will continue to be made in Illinois, I'd say that no matter where they are produced, you can't come close with any other grill in the price range. Or NEAR the price range, for that matter!

                                                                                1. I actually have a bbq store and have cooked on a whole lot of barbecues. Three brands stand out. Weber, Napoleon and Broil King. As to the Weber brand cheapening up....yep...I agree. It is not that they are not a great grill. It is questionable if they are good value for the money anymore. Since the majority share of Weber has been sold to a merchant bank. they have upped there advertising budget and cheapened the product. Weber enjoys a cult like following so it is often hard to get real information on them. They actually had to be taken to court before they would take "made in USA" off their product. Nonetheless, in the barbecue world where junk and poor cooking attributes are the norm. Weber holds its own. But on every price level, I would take a very close look at Napoleon and Broil King.

                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: watanaquat

                                                                                    The tremendous sales volume of the big box stores is often extremely enticing to top management of manufacturing companies or their holding companies.

                                                                                    Unfortunately, extensive research by the big box stores establishes a price point that is necessary to achieve that volume. To accommodate that price point many manufactures build a special cheapened up product line for the big box stores and maintain an original quality line for the independents. Others just cheapen their entire line which it appears Weber did.

                                                                                    1. re: watanaquat

                                                                                      Ah, an insider! Tell me about the margin on a Big Green Egg...Seems everyone in my area sells them for about the same (dear) price, give or take $20

                                                                                      1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                                                        I can't speak to the profit margins of the Big Green Egg but after owning one for about 11 years and using the living sh*t out of it I can honesty say I have spent about $50.00 in parts replacement. The cooking experience has been spectacular. I fully expect another 10 to 20 years out of it. Take my wife but don't touch my BGE. My kids would agree :-)

                                                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                                                          Pretty much all the Kamados produce great results. Big Green Egg was the first mass produced Kamado and so has a head start on everyone else in terms of brand recognition and are known for their quality. I use a Primo Oval (made in the USA) myself and think they have a bit more versatility than round Kamados. As to the margins on a BGE...fairly large but you are paying for good product, good service and in the greater scheme of things...a seasonal product. They always require a bit more margin to carry through the off season.

                                                                                          1. re: watanaquat

                                                                                            I do a lot of extreme steak searing in the dead of winter and did crack a firebox. My local dealer told me to leave it in place as it still worked and he would have a new firebox brought in under warranty with a regular shipment of BGE's so there would be no shipping cost. Couple weeks later he called me to come and pick it up. Can't beat that!

                                                                                            I have replaced the charcoal grate with a SS version & upgraded to a Nomex gasket for about $50. Thats about it after 11 yrs of year round cooking. Meanwhile, I know people who have spent $250 (3) times during the same time period on cheap big box store junk that rusted out in 3 or 4 years, not to mention experienced marginal cooking results when the things actually worked.

                                                                                            1. re: Tom34

                                                                                              Tom, this is something I think a lot of people miss. It is only partly about how well made and durable the grill is. If you have a grill that lasts forever but has uneven heat, flare ups and bad results then forever is torture :-) When I was younger (I am getting on now) I would buy something shiny from the box stores. They all looked good and the price was right, but cooking on them was a pain. Flare ups and uneven heat were the norm. I got a Broil King for a house warming gift one year and everything changed. It was great. I maintain that the three best mass produced gas grills that most folks can afford are Broil King, Weber and Napoleon. What a person buys depends on what they like about each. The other thing that should be taken into account is local service. If you can, buy from a specialty shop. They are usually about the same price and the service normally will be much better. And Tom, when your BGE finally gives out take a look at the Broil King Keg. Most accessories of the Large |BGE even fit it :-)

                                                                                              1. re: watanaquat

                                                                                                I inherited a Broil-King charcoal and I hate that damn hinged lid, I have to tighten the nuts every few weeks (which fall apart anyway) and it doesn't seal as good as my 2001 Weber did for smoking. otherwise it's not bad, but I miss my old Weber kettle and its round grill.

                                                                                    2. I know this thread has been going on for years, however, I just recently bought a Weber Spirit E-310 to replace the 4 1/2 YO Nexgrill (Lowes) which is literally falling apart piece by piece. I am very impressed with the Weber. Even the plastic door works for me, although I don't have a propane tank as it is hose connected to the house propane supply. But I do use the space for storage of a few grill accessories. The one feature I really liked in the old Nexgrill was the seer burner, however, that too broke. The ignition system broke during the warranty period and they charged me for $15 S/H for the new part. I could have bought a universal unit for that! Back to the Spirit, you don't need the seer burner. I grilled some flank steaks, which are pretty thin and was able to get a real nice seer and nicely pink inside. Wow, no more overcooked steaks as it was from the old grill. I've had gas Webers years ago, however I guess forgot just how good they are. Everything I've grill has been perfect ... even though they are MIC (made in China).