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A Chef's Take: Are Weber Smart Grills Worth the Money?

Saba Wahid  |  April 14, 2021  |  7 Min. Read

Weber  |  BBQ Grills  |  Smart Appliances

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If you're considering purchasing a grill this season, there are hundreds of options out there.

However, only two, Weber and Lynx, have built-in smart functionality.

Although Weber's iGrill technology has been around for several years as an add-on accessory, Weber's smart series features Spirit and Genesis II grills with built-in Smart Grill devices.

In this article, you will learn what the Weber Smart system is and how it works. I'll also share my cooking results with you to see if a Weber smart grill is right for you.

What is the Weber Smart Grill?

Weber-Genesis-Smart-Grill-with-phoneWeber Smart Grill with Probe and App

 

The Weber Smart grill is an extension of their iGrill Bluetooth probe technology, meaning they use probes to sense the meat and relay a signal to your phone through an app.

This monitoring device has two probe outlets as well as a temperature display for the grill.

If you typically use your grill for a simple, quickly prepared food like burgers and hotdogs, you may not want to utilize the Smart functionality.

However, it does give you the ability to cook a variety of foods simultaneously without any hassle or worrying if things are going to overcook or burn.

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Weber Smart Grill Models

They have taken the grilling experience one step further by incorporating a digital monitoring device attached to the outside of their Spirit and Genesis Smart grills.

Let's take a look at Weber's Smart Grill models.

Spirit SX-315 Smart Grill 46502401 - $799

Spirit-SX-315-Smart-Grill-46502401


Genesis II EX-315 Smart Grill 61015601 - $999

Genesis-II-EX-315-Smart-Grill-61015601


Genesis II EX-335 Smart Grill 61016601 - $1,199

Genesis-II-EX-335-Smart-Grill-61016601


Genesis II SX-335 Smart Grill 61006601 - $1,299

Genesis-II-SX-335-Smart-Grill-61006601


What's the Difference Between Weber Smart Grill Models?

We cover Spirit vs. Genesis in other articles. Below are the basic differences between the two.

First, the Genesis has the improved operating system dubbed the "GS4" of faster ignition, fewer flare-ups, and better grease management.

Genesis is larger than the Spirit with greater BTU output at 39,000 versus 32,000 for the Spirit.

The Spirit Smart grill is their best, with a 7,500 BTU Sear Station and 12,000 BTU side burners in a stainless body with more durable stainless instead of porcelain grates.

As for Weber's smart grills, the EX-315 is Weber's basic with a closed cart and porcelain grates

The EX-335 adds the 9500 BTU Sear Station and 12,000 BTU side burner.

Lastly, the SX-335 adds a stainless body instead of enamel, along with more durable stainless grates.

How Does Weber's Smart Grills Work?

Weber-Genesis-Smart-Grill-Temperature-Probe-and-display

The Weber Connect App is an important aspect when using the Smart Grill features. Still, you can also program the Smart Grill device itself with desired internal protein temperature and monitor the oven temperature.

If using the app, there are several categories to choose from depending on your grilling/cooking.

Once the protein is selected, there are step-by-step instructions on preparing your food, heat your grill, and then cooking the meat.

Once you select what you would like the meat's internal temperature to be, and the grill has been preheated, follow the guided instructions.

Weber Smart Grill Feature Highlights

Food Internal Temperature Monitoring

The Weber Connect App/Smart Grill allows you to select your desired internal temperature for your food.

Temperature-Monitoring-and-Time-Remaining-Weber-Smart-Grill-App

The grill then notifies you when the food has achieved this temperature.

You also can check the progress and see how far along or how much time might be left with a countdown clock.

Guided Cooking

The Weber Connect App gives you a step-by-step guided cooking experience, from setting up the grill to flipping your food to serving and enjoying!

Guided-Cooking-Weber-Smart-Grill-App.jpg

There are plenty of proteins and recipes to choose from, which will ensure excellent results every time.

Fuel Level Monitoring

The Smart Grill device also offers fuel level monitoring plus alerts. A handy feature, so you never run out of fuel mid-cook.

If you want to make sure your burgers and hot dogs aren't scorching or burning at high temperatures due to flare-ups, you can also do that through Smart Grill.

If you want to use the grill as an oven, you can monitor the app's internal temperature to ensure your food doesn't burn or undercook.

However, the app can't change the grill's temperature, but at least you will know how hot the inside temperature is and the internal temperature of the proteins you may be cooking with the probe.

Cooking with a Weber Smart Grill

Weber-Genesis-Smart-Grill-in-blackWeber Genesis Smart Grill 

 

From my experience cooking the roast, I recommend first searing the meat at a high temperature anywhere on the grill or the sear station.

Then you should shut down the sear station (if using) and the middle burner, keeping the outer burners at high to medium-high temperatures. This will create a convection-like system in the grill.

roasting-and-cooking-on-the-weber-genesis-smart-grill-yale-applianceProbe Inserted Into Roast

 

Next, I inserted the probe into the meat (off the heat/grill) and used the indirect heat in the middle of the grill to finish cooking the protein to the desired internal temperature.

I was also able to use the outer burners for cooking vegetables and burgers while the roast was cooking in the middle of the grill.

The key here is to work quickly and do not leave the grill top open for too long. Otherwise, you lose the heat for the roast.

Trial and Error

The first time I tried to use the probe, I did manage to burn it.

I was trying to roast a boneless leg of lamb, a fattier cut of meat, which would naturally cause more flare-ups.

I also neglected to use the indirect heat method, so the roast was sitting on top of a direct flame.

I seared it on all sides for a couple of minutes and then left the meat to achieve a little more of a crust over the direct heat.

I noticed I was not getting notifications on the app, so I went out to check on the meat.

When I returned to the grill, the flare-ups from the lamb had completely charred and burned the probe.

I learned a valuable lesson here and will only use the probe over direct heat for smaller, less fatty cuts of meat that won't flare up.

Pros and Cons of Cooking with a Weber Smart Grill

Pros

You can monitor your food as it cooks as well as the grill temperature. The step-by-step guide is helpful if you've ever been intimidated by cooking different cuts of meat on the grill.

Internal-temperature-and-time-remaining-display-weber-smart-grillsMonitoring Temperature With Weber Smart Grill Probe

 

The probe will allow you to check on the proteins as they are cooking and give you a countdown of when your food might be done.

Cons

I don't see too many cons about having a device like this on your grill. You will have some trial and error like anything new.

I would still monitor the grill as you normally would until you are comfortable with the technology.

You may also not want to buy a grill just for the Smart feature.

If that is the case, an external accessory called the iGrill can be purchased along with a regular grill for the same functionality.

I also recommend investing in a couple of extra probes, just if it gets damaged during the grilling process.

Are Weber Smart Grills Worth the Money?

It depends.

If you are cooking the basics like hot dogs and burgers, it's not worth the investment.

However, Weber's Smart grills can add recipes to your repertoire from their app.

Once you are comfortable, you can let the grill do the work and be present to flip or remove the food.

In that case, if you like to try the newest technology, Weber's Smart grills are certainly a good investment.

Additional Resources

Get the Yale BBQ Grill Buying Guide with features, specs, and tips to all the brands. Over 900,000 people have already found answers in a Yale Guide.

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Saba Wahid

Saba is the Resident Chef for Yale Appliance. Using her culinary expertise, Saba teaches Yale's sales team and clients how to use the latest appliances from steam ovens to induction cooktops. She has been in the culinary industry for many years working in various aspects of the business. She began her career in New York City and then made strides in the Dubai culinary media market while doing a live TV show and hosting food-based events all over the Emirates. From recipe development with several international brands to teaching cooking classes here at Yale, Saba's experience has evolved incredibly over the years.

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