You have found so many Weber Models and series and want to figure out the actual difference between Weber Spirit vs Genesis?
Weber Spirit, Weber Spirit II, and Weber Genesis II are three high-end gas grill lineups from Weber, the household grilling manufacturers that began with their kettle grill.
All of the three product lines are excellent, no question about it. However, sometimes it becomes difficult to strike the right balance between what features you value the most and how much you’re ready to spend. And besides, due to continuous upgrades from Weber, it’s also hard to know how the three Weber grill lines compare and which model to buy.
If you’re stuck between which grill to choose and which model to let go of, this article may be worth reading for you.
To call a spade a spade, most articles on the topic are outdated or a mere reproduction of the other articles. The rest contain misinformation and poor research. This article aims at delineating the actual points of differences between the three grill series from Weber.
Weber Genesis vs Spirit, What is the Difference?
Here we begin with our complete analysis of both lines: Weber spirit vs Genesis.
Weber’s Naming Taxonomy
Before we get onto the difference between the Weber Spirit vs. Genesis series, let’s look through Weber’s naming system. It will help you understand more about the difference between the mainstream Weber grills.
In Weber’s terminology, the leading number on the individual model name indicates the number of burners on the grill. For example, the Spirit E-210 is a 2-burner grill vs. the Spirit E-310, a 3-burner grill.
The letter preceding the model number shows if the cooking grates are cast-iron porcelain-enameled or stainless steel. All Weber models containing ‘S’ in their names have stainless steel cooking grates and bodies. On the other hand, all Weber gas grills containing the ‘E’ letter have porcelain-enameled cast-iron grates.
For example, the Genesis II S-435 has 4 burners and sports heavy-duty stainless steel cooking grates compared to the Genesis II E-310, which has porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates and three stainless steel burners on it.
In the same way, you can come across some Weber grills with “X” in their model. These grills are special for their smart control system. That allows you keep an eye on your grill, and control it via a mobile phone app.
This taxonomy system holds true for all the Spirit, Spirit II, and Genesis II models.
Please note that when we’re comparing Weber Spirit vs. Genesis, we’re actually comparing the three lineups, which are:
Weber Spirit II
And Weber Genesis II.
Before we move on to the real comparison between the three lineups, we should look at what the iGrill3 and GS4 systems mean. It’s extremely important because the Weber Spirit lineup has neither of the two features, and the remaining two lineups have these systems built-in.
iGrill3 is a Bluetooth food thermometer that mounts directly into your Spirit II or Genesis II gas grill. Weber calls its Genesis II, and Spirit II grills “iGrill3 ready”, which indeed means that they have cut a hole in one of the grill’s side tables to place the iGrill3 base unit.
This base unit connects wirelessly to your smartphone app to let you monitor the doneness of your food and notifies you once your food has reached the perfect temperature to prevent overcooking. On the other end, it can be connected to up to four-wire probes that go into the meat to record the temperature.
The Weber Spirit lineup doesn’t come with the iGrill3. What it actually means is that there’s not any small cutout in the Weber Spirit models for the iGrill3 base unit to fit in. The accessory is sold separately, and you don’t need one.
Even if you think at some point that you need the iGrill3 Bluetooth thermometer, you can still use it on your Weber Spirit grill, except that you have to place the base unit right upon the side table or attach it to another surface as there’s no cutout in one of your Spirit grill’s side tables for the base unit to fit in.
We don’t understand the point of making a cutout in a grill’s side table and advertising the grill as “iGrill3 ready”.
GS4 Grilling System and how the Three Lineups Compare
It’s Weber’s Grilling System that complicates things. The GS4 stands for Grilling System 4 and combines different parts and systems, i.e., Infinity ignition system, stainless steel burners, porcelain-enameled Flavorizer bars, and grease management system.
The Weber Spirit models don’t come with the GS4. However, the Weber Spirit II and Genesis II grills include the GS4. (As the Genesis II series is more advanced, it has a slightly different and more sophisticated GS4 than the Spirit II lineup.)
Let’s compare the grilling systems of the Weber Spirit, Spirit II, and Genesis II.
Cooking grates, flavorizer bars, and grease management system on the Weber Spirit S-315 Gas Grill look like this:
There are no heat deflectors in the Weber Spirit grills. As for the Weber Spirit II and Genesis II, they both have different types of heat deflectors.
Main Difference Between the Stainless Steel Burners
The real difference between the Weber Spirit, Spirit II, and Genesis II is the design of burners and grease management systems. The burners in the Spirit and Spirit II models are tubular and have a tendency to produce sputtering flames at the end of the tube where the gas pressure is lowest.
On the other hand, the Genesis II burners are tapered rectangular and heat up evenly. The Weber Genesis II burners are designed to run smoothly and provide even heat distribution across the entire grilling surface.
The Grease Management System
The grease management system in the Weber Spirit models includes a black, angled slide-out grease tray with a square-shaped cutout in the side. The grease tray is located just under the burners and can be taken out from the front. Underneath the cutout sits a disposable drip tray.
There’s no grease tray or catch pan in the Weber Spirit II models. However, the Spirit II grills feature a slide-out, disposable drip tray which lies just under the cook box. The lower side of the cook box is angled and funnel-shaped.
It has a square hole in the center to channel the drippings into the drip tray lying beneath. You can see that the grease management system has been redesigned in the Spirit II grills and has been moved to the center of the grills. The outcome is that the grease has to travel less distance, there’s no fumbling, and the grease management system is more efficient.
The grease management system in the Genesis II models consists of a black, slide-out catch pan that funnels gunk into a disposable drip tray for easy cleanup.
Grease management system in the Spirit grills
Grease management system in the Spirit II grills
Grease management system in the Spirit II grills
Grease management system in the Genesis II grills
The Infinity Ignition System
While the Weber Spirit II and Genesis II include Weber’s Infinity Ignition System, the Weber Spirit models don’t. This system is protected under a 10-year worry-free warranty and promises to work and never fail in all weather conditions, especially rain. The key features of the Infinity Ignition System are the following:
- The ignition module is located away from the heat and protected from the elements. The battery compartment has been relocated for easier access and is powered by standard AA batteries instead of the most dreaded disc batteries.
- Similarly, wiring is even more heat resistant, thanks to the added and improved heavy-duty coating.
- Each control knob has a dedicated electrode. The electrodes are weather and heat resistant and topped by a ceramic hood that captures the correct amount of gas for easy ignition.
Weber Genesis vs Spirit: Other Similarities and Differences
All Weber Spirit models have a set of 4 casters (2 stationary or swivel locking casters and two swivel casters, which allow you to move the grill both back and forth and side to side. You can lock the swivel locking casters to secure the grill in place while cooking. On the other side, the Weber Spirit II grills have a set of 2 big all-weather wheels on the right side.
The improved design means the grill stands firmly in place while cooking. But since there are no handles, the left side shelf can be used to lift the grill from the side and move around.
As for the Weber Genesis II grills, they have a set of 4 wheels, that is 2 swivel locking casters on the front and 2 swivel casters on the rear. The front swivel locking casters can be locked while grilling to avoid sliding.
All Weber Spirit models come in an enclosed cart style. What it means is that the propane cylinder, as well as cooking tools, go inside the enclosed storage area. However, because of the propane cylinder inside, there’s not much room left to place other things.
On the other side, the Weber Spirit II models sport an open-cart design. Since the propane tank goes to the side, there’s much spare room for placing food and cooking tools and utensils under the grill.
As for the Weber Genesis II grills, all models except the Weber Genesis E-310 feature an enclosed cart design.
Stainless Steel or Cast Iron Cooking Grates?
Weber genesis series has stainless steel cooking grates. In contrast, both Weber Spirit, and Weber Spirit II have porcelain enameled cast iron cooking grates.
In different Weber grills, side tables come with varying functions. They may be folded or not, may contain tool hooks or not, and may or may not have a cutout for the Weber iGrill3 thermometer.
All Weber Spirit II grills have a folding or drop-down side table on the left. The right side shelf on these grills is “iGrill3 ready” and, perhaps for that reason, can’t be folded down.
On the other hand, all Weber Spirit grills except the Weber Spirit E-210 model have non-foldable side shelves.
It would be interesting to note that both side tables of the Weber Spirit E-210 are drop-down.
All Weber Genesis II grills have fixed, non-folding side shelves.
Number of Stainless Steel Burners and Heat Output
For the E-210 models of both the Spirit and Spirit II grills, the main burners have an equal heat output of 26,000 BTUs per hour. However, with the E-210 models, the main burners on the Spirit series output 32,000 BTUs of heat per hour as compared to the Spirit II models which output 30,000 BTUs of heat per hour.
Weber Spirit E-330 is the only grill in the Spirit lineup with a sear and side burner. Its sear burner has a heat output of 7,500 BTUs per hour. The side burner of this grill, however, outputs a whopping heat output of 12,000 BTUs per hour. There’s no grill with a side burner and sear station in the Weber Spirit II lineup.
Weber Genesis II models, on the other hand, have main burners, side burners, and sear burners with significantly higher heat output than the Spirit and Spirit II models.
For example, in the GENESIS S-435 Gas Grill, each individual main burner outputs a whopping 48,000 BTUs of heat per hour. The grill also sports a sear zone burner with a heat output of 13,000 BTUs per hour. It also has a side burner embedded into one of the side tables providing 12,000 BTUs of additional heat.
Cooking Space in Weber and Genesis Grills
How much cooking space a Weber grill has depends largely upon the number of burners, grill model, and additional features such as a warming rack and side burner.
Let’s compare the E-310 models of all the three Weber gas grill series and see the difference between the three models that have the same number of burners, i.e., 3.
The Weber Spirit E-310 has a primary cooking surface of 529 square inches and doesn’t include a side burner, sear burner, and warming rack.
The Weber Spirit II E-210 also has the same primary grilling space of 529 sq. in. and has no additional cooking surface.
As for the Weber Genesis II E-310 grill, it has a total cooking space of 669 sq. in., including the tuck-away warming rack.
Weber Spirit models cost more than their respective Spirit II models, but not always. Since the Spirit II grills don’t have a tradeoff or compromise on the quality, it’s wiser to buy a more advanced and yet less expensive Spirit II grill than its Spirit, older counterpart.
Weber Genesis II grills, on the other side, are more expensive than the Spirit and Spirit II grills. It’s because they’re feature-rich, most advanced, and offer more heat output as well as cooking space.
All Weber Spirit models include a 10-year warranty on the cook box, lid assembly, and stainless steel burner tubes. These grills come with a 5-year warranty on stainless steel cooking grates, stainless steel flavorizer bars, and porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates. All remaining parts of the Weber Spirit models are protected under a 2-year warranty.
As for the Spirit II grills, Weber provides a whopping, comprehensive 10-year warranty on all parts.
The same comprehensive 10-year warranty is also provided for the Weber Genesis II gas grill lineup.
Weber Spirit vs. Spirit II vs. Genesis II – Comparison of Selected Models
The following comparison consists of a review of the Weber Spirit E-310, Weber Spirit II E-310, and Weber Genesis II E-335 grills. All these grills are propane-operated, have porcelain-enameled cast-iron grates, and sport only three stainless steel burners. Let’s dive into a head-to-head comparison between the three grills each from a different Weber gas grill lineup.
The Weber Spirit E-310 3-Burner Liquid Propane Grill is a reliable and durable grill. There’s no question about that.
The grill sports three stainless steel burners, complete stainless steel construction, and an enclosed cart design, meaning that the propane cylinder goes inside the cabinet storage. Each burner on this grill outputs 32,000 BTUs of heat per hour.
The primary cooking area of 424 square inches and a warming rack of 05 square inches bring about almost professional results. Among other noticeable things are the porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates, porcelain-enameled flavorizer bars, porcelain-enameled cart doors, and porcelain-enameled grill lid with a center-mounted thermometer gauge.
Impressive! Isn’t it?
The Weber Spirit E-310 gas grill is meant for entertaining a large circle of family and friends and feeding a small crowd. The spacious side tables serve as prep areas and feature built-in tool hooks for easy grilling. The cook box doesn’t rust or peel over time. This grill has matchless longevity.
The grease management system is also efficient, making cleanup a snap.
Most of the Weber Spirit E-310’s performance comes from the fact that it gives you full control over the heat, thanks to the independently controlled burners. It also includes flavorizer bars which trap sizzling drippings and vaporize them, infusing your food with the smoke and flavor.
Flavorizer bars also protect the burners from oils and drippings. But the flavorizer bars don’t have a half-moon or square cutout to allow you to see the flame, a little improvement is seen in the flavorizer bars of the Spirit II and Genesis II models.
Also, the Weber Spirit E-310 doesn’t include a heat deflector, a special metallic surface to deflect the heat and ensure even and consistent cooking across the entire grilling surface.
The stainless steel burners are tubular and tapering at the ends, a design flaw that impairs even cooking. The tubular burners have been replaced with the new, rectangular burners in the Spirit II and Genesis II models.
The burners are individually controlled and can be ignited with the touch of a button, thanks to the Electronic Crossover ignition system.
Grease Management System
The grease management system of this grill is also excellent. Juices and drippings that are not only sizzled and vaporized by the flavorizer bars, but they’re channeled into a rectangular, slide-out grease tray with a square cutout on the left side.
Underneath the cutout resides a disposable drip tray that can store drippings and juices from several cooking sessions. You can conveniently remove the slide-out grease tray and clean it whenever necessary. Similarly, you can dispose of the drip tray and replace it anytime.
This grill is barely portable because of its sheer weight (124.8 lbs.) and dimensions (32 x 52 x 63 inches). So, before you buy this grill, make sure you have enough space to place it. It’s better if you place it somewhere outdoors.
The presence of two swivel casters and two swivel locking casters makes this grill easy to move. Also, note that the casters are not meant for rough terrains.
This grill uses a 20 lb. liquid propane tank as a fuel source. The tank goes inside the storage area and mounts to a fuel gauge. The fuel gauge makes it easy to check how much fuel is left.
- Two side tables with integrated tool hooks serve as storage space as well as a prep area.
- Efficient grease management system, thanks to the slide-out grease tray and disposable drip tray which sit at a safe distance away from the burners.
- Burners can be operated independently, allowing you to experiment with indirect cooking or 2-zone grilling.
- Reliable, sturdy, and durable build.
- Difficult to assemble.
- Heavy and, for this reason, barely portable.
The Weber Spirit II E-310 3-Burner Liquid Propane Grill weighs only 114 pounds, significantly more portable than the previous model we’ve just discussed. This grill, as its name indicates, is a 3-burner grill with a heat output of 30,000 BTU per hour against each individual burner. Above all, like other Weber Spirit II grills but unlike any Weber Spirit grill, it’s “iGrill3 ready” and includes the GS4.
Design and Performance
The grill features a sleek, modern, and open cart design. It features a porcelain-enameled hood with a thermometer gauge built-in and 3 porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates.
While cooking, there are no flare-ups to be seen, thanks to advanced, rectangular stainless steel burners and flavorizer bars. The flavorizer bars, in the Weber Spirit II models, have square cutouts along the edges to let you check the flame. Just above the catch pan, there’s a heat deflector in the cook box. All these parts ensure even and more consistent cooking across the entire grilling surface.
The grease and food drippings are collected in the lower part of the cook box. There is a cutout in the center of the cook box which funnels the grease into the disposable drip tray.
There are two side tables, one fold-down and another fixed and with a cutout for the iGrill3 thermometer. There’s a warming rack as well to keep your food warm while you prepare other dishes.
The grill is lightweight and portable, thanks to two big, all-weather casters on the right.
It can even fit in tight places like decks, however, simultaneously, it outperforms many grills of the same size.
For example, consider the fact that it has the same primary cooking surface of 424 square inches and a warming rack of 105 square inches just like the previous E-310 model we’ve discussed. However, it’s still lightweight, portable, and offers a more versatile and improved cooking experience.
This grill, just like the older Spirit model, is fueled by a 20 lb. liquid propane cylinder. However, a big change in this grill is that the LP cylinder mounts to the outside of the grill just beneath the sidearm. It’s mounted to the fuel gauge, which lets you keep an eye on how much fuel is left in the tank.
- Even heating without sputtering or flare-ups.
- Sleek, modern, and compact design without any tradeoffs in terms of quality and construction.
- Includes the GS4 grilling system.
- iGrill3 ready.
- More advanced and efficient grease management system.
- The Hood is not deep enough, which may be considered a design flaw.
Weber has put all the bells and whistles in the Genesis II E-335 Liquid Propane Grill. Its meticulous and attractive yet rugged build makes this grill worthy of a purchase. The performance is also impressive. Since the parts are detachable, it’s also easy to clean. Even more, it sports a sear station, a side burner, and the GS4 grilling system.
The sear burner is a nice feature as many grills can’t produce intense searing temperatures and need a sear station to sizzle the steaks effectively and efficiently.
GS4 Grilling System
The GS4 grilling system consists of Infinity Ignition, the flavorizer bars, tapered, rectangular stainless steel burners, and a redesigned and improved grease management system.
The Infinity Ignition in the Weber Genesis II presents a single, battery-powered ignitor without a crossover. This system is more robust and consistent than the previous Weber’s ignition systems, such as those found in the Spirit grills.
A crossover ignition system, such as the one found in the Spirit line, enables one lit burner to ignite other burners. With no crossover, the ignitor needs to be pressed to ignite each burner.
The Weber Genesis II E-335 houses the newly designed stainless steel burners in the cast aluminum cook box or firebox.
The cast aluminum housing offers great heat retention as well as efficient heat distribution.
Under the aluminum firebox, there’s an angled, funnel-like, slide-out catch pan to collect the grease and drippings.
Underneath the catch pan, there’s a removable and disposable drip tray which is set on a shelf in the cart.
Another improvement in the Genesis II E-335 is stainless steel flavorizer bars. In the Spirit and Spirit models, on the other hand, standard, less durable, porcelain-enameled flavorizer bars are included.
The flavorizer bars sizzle the drippings and smoke them to infuse your food with burnt, smoky flavors. They also protect the burners from juices and drippings. There’s a half moon-like notch near the edges of the bars to allow you to check that a particular burner is lit.
The Weber E-335 gas grill has a tuck-away warming rack, which is pretty sturdy and well-designed. The grill includes two 7mm thick stainless steel cooking grates, one for producing thick sear marks and another with a thin side (ideal for fish and shrimp).
This grill is “iGrill ready”, which means that it comes with a mounting place for the iGrill3 thermometer on the right side shelf. The accessory is sold separately but is a highly accurate one, so it’s well worth the additional price. Download Weber’s free app and set timers and alarms to grill your food to perfection.
The grill has a total cooking area of 669 square inches, meaning that it can cook approximately 20 burgers in one go. The lid and cart doors are porcelain-enameled and feature aesthetic but solid handles. There are two side shelves with integrated tool hooks. The lid has a thermometer gauge built-in.
This Genesis II model sports two swivel locking casters on the left side and two big, all-weather wheels on the right.
This is a grill for connoisseurs and other professional grillers.
- Features a side-mounted burner and a sear station.
- Offers ample storage space in the cabinet area.
- Two stainless steel cooking grates.
- Advanced grease management system.
- Solid and durable build.
- GS4 grilling system.
- Difficult to assemble.
All three grill lines from Weber Genesis vs Spirit specialize to meet the user’s needs. The spirit series is more for beginners and the Genesis is for pros. If you think you’ll enjoy advanced grilling, you can have Genesis. Don’t forget, they all are exceptional.
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