At a Glance
Weber Genesis II vs. Spirit is a good comparison if you are looking for a solid mid-priced grill.
Both the Spirit and Genesis II are series of Weber grills with several models and dozens of options.
While Weber's Spirit series is their more basic line, the Genesis II series is more advanced.
In this article, you will learn the similarities and differences between both series plus a few problems so you can make the right buying decision.
We'll be looking at the most popular Weber Spirit series and Genesis II series BBQ Grills. The Weber Spirit series includes the Spirit II series grills.
The Spirit II series is Weber's second-generation Spirit line with a compact open cart design and Weber's GS4 grilling system.
You will also learn about Weber's new SX Smart Grills.
The Most Popular Spirit and Genesis II Grills for 2021 are:
- Most Affordable Weber Grill: Spirit II E-210 - $379
- Most Advanced Spirit Series Grill: Spirit SP-335 - $699
- Most Affordable Genesis II Series Grill: Genesis II E-310 - $749
- Largest Weber Grill: Genesis II S-435 - $1,249
- Best Smart Grill: Genesis II SX-335 - $1,299
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Weber Spirit Series Grill
First, both the Spirit and the Genesis II series grill are designed to withstand the harshest weather, even in New England. Other competitively priced grills are not.
Even on Weber's basic models, their units are constructed of hard plastic and stainless steel with a painted bottom.
Weber GS4 Grilling System
Weber GS4 Grilling System With High Performance Ignition
Three years ago, Weber changed their internal components with their new "GS4" grilling system.
Weber's GS4 grilling system includes improvements to the ignition system, burners, grease management system, and their Flavorizer bars, along with the additional accessory, the iGrill app.
However, Weber only added the GS4 grilling system to the Genesis II series and the Spirit II series. Oddly enough, Weber did not include the new GS4 system for their best models like their brand-new Smart grill.
Besides the ignition system, Weber added a second row of bars on the Spirit II series models to decrease flare-ups. Weber also centered the grease collection so it flows more evenly.
The older series has only one row of bars with the grease collection on the side. It uses an older but still effective crossover ignition design.
Weber Grill Reliability
Both are reliable. According to our internal service figures, Weber only requires service less than 2% of the time within the first year, but any model with the GS4 system is a bit better.
Let's talk about how to buy a grill in either series. It's a bit confusing at first because the codes are so similar. They are the same for different grills.
How to Read Weber Grill Codes
Weber codes can be baffling at first, but they notate color, burners, and whether the grates and Flavorizer Bars are stainless or porcelain.
Stainless is better than porcelain because it lasts longer and weatherizes better over time.
I have reviewed the most popular grill from each category, but there are three Spirit models and four Genesis II models with tons of variations.
Each variation is its own code.
For example, let's look at the Weber Genesis E-310. "E" stands for having an enameled porcelain lid and grates, the "3" is for three burners, and the "0" is for an open cart design. Five means closed cart.
We broke down all of Weber's grill codes for each series below.
Weber Spirit Series
- E-210 - Enameled lid and grates, two burners, closed cart
- E-310 - Enameled lid and grates, three burners, closed cart
- S-315 - Enameled lid, stainless grates, three burners, closed cart
- E-330 - Enameled lid and grates, three burners, a sear station, and side burner, closed cart
- SP-335 - Stainless lid and grates, three burners, a sear station, and side burner, closed cart
- SX-315 - Smart Grill With a Stainless lid and grates, three burners, sear station, and side burner, closed cart
Weber Spirit II Series
The Weber Spirit II series adds the GS4 grilling system.
- E-210 - Enameled lid and grates, two burners, open cart
- E-310 - Enameled lid and grates, three burners, open cart
Weber Genesis II Series
The Weber Genesis II series also has a GS4 grilling system.
- E-310 - Enameled lid and grates, three burners, open cart
- E-315 - Enameled lid and grates, three burners, closed cart
- SE-310 - Enameled lid, three burners, stainless grates, open cart
- E-330 - Enameled lid and grates, three burners, side burner and sear station, open cart
- S-310 - Stainless lid and grates, three burners, open cart
- E-335 - Enameled lid and grates, three burners, side burner and sear station, closed cart
- SE-330 - Enameled lid, stainless grates, three burners, side burner and sear station, open cart
- E-410 - Enameled lid and grates, four burners, open cart
- SE-335 - Enameled lid, stainless grates, three burners, side burner and sear station, closed cart
- S-335 - Stainless lid and grates, three burners, side burner and sear station, closed cart
- E-435 - Enameled lid and grates, four burners, side burner and sear station, closed cart
- S-435 - Stainless lid and grates, four burners, side burner and sear station, closed cart
- SX-435 - Smart Grill: Stainless lid and grates, four burners, side burner, and sear station, closed cart
Weber Spirit vs. Genesis II Series BBQ Grills
What They Have in Common:
The Spirit and Spirit II series offers two and three-burner grills.
The Genesis II series offers three and four-burner grills.
They both follow similar steps.
You start with the basic uncarted grill in the Spirit II. It is an E-210. In Genesis, it's an E-310 for three burners.
Small note here: They both have similar and sometimes the same numbers.
From the basic, you have the finished cabinet below as your next better model. Of course, that is the regular Spirit and not the Spirit II.
The Spirit has the same upgrades but with the older ignition and grease management system.
To reiterate, the Spirit II has the GS4. The regular Spirit, which is the rest of the line, does not.
You add a sear station, another row of burners, and a 12,000 BTU side burner.
Weber Grill Side Burner
The side burners are the same BTU at 12,000 for both series, Genesis and the regular Spirit.
Both have stainless steel options at a higher price, with a few natural gas grills in both series.
They both have Smart Grills.
How They Differ:
Now let's look at where they are different. (Besides the GS4 available on all the Genesis and only II less expensive Spirit models).
Weber Grill Burners
The two burner Spirit is 26,500 BTU and tops out at 32,000 for the three burners plus the sear and side burner on the better models.
The three burners Genesis is 39,000 BTU, while the four burners are 48,000.
Genesis is a larger grill at 513 square inches for the three burners and 646 square inches for the four burners versus 424 square inches for the Spirit series.
Stainless Flavorizer Bars
Weber Stainless Steel Flavorizer Bars
Stainless is better for wear and is less resistant to chipping. It's standard to the Genesis and only available on the more expensive S series or stainless Spirits.
The sear zone on the Spirit is 7500 versus 9000 for the Genesis.
Spirit is now Black or stainless only, whereas Genesis is available in Crimson, Copper, and Smoke, as well as black and stainless.
iGrill 3 Compatibility
Weber iGrill 3 Accessory
Any grill is compatible with their wireless iGrill, but Genesis has it built into the grill.
Weber uses wireless meat probes to measure internal temperature like their accessory. The grill will text you when your food needs to be turned or done through an app on your phone.
Speaking of Weber's Smart Grills, the Smart grill will show the digital temperature right on the grill.
Problems With Both Weber Genesis and Spirit BBQ Grills
Searing is a relative term. An additional row of burners does not sear your food. That's only available with an infrared burner found in more expensive grills like Lynx and Hestan.
Both series cannot add flavor through a smoker box. The rotisserie is not standard either, plus there is no rotisserie burner behind the grill to cook anyway evenly.
The Most Popular Spirit and Genesis II Grills for 2021
You would think the least expensive Weber is the smallest. However, the $379 grill is the newer Spirit II with their GS4 improvements rather than the older Spirit model.
The SP-335 is a good grill to consider if you do not need the larger size but want features like a side burner, the sear, and the stainless Flavorizer upgrades.
The EP-310 is just a good size, no-frills Genesis grill.
The S-435 has good features and size. It even compares favorably to their better Weber Summit grills.
Best Smart Grill: Genesis II SX-335 - $1,299
In some ways, all Weber grills are smart by adding the iGrill accessory. The SX-335 has it built into the grill plus the temperature reading on the outside of the grill.
I eliminated the best three-burner Weber Genesis grill.
Weber Spirit vs. Genesis II BBQ Grills: Which is Right for You?
Weber Genesis II BBQ Grill
For the upgrade of size, BTU, and Flavorizer bars, the cost difference is about $200-400 depending on the grill.
The real question is, how do you grill? The basic Spirit II is a solid grill and has the better GS4 refinements. It's great for individuals and small families and is the most affordable at $379-$479.
If you have a big family or like to entertain, Genesis might be better.
In a choice of a larger, more basic Genesis and a more featured Spirit at around the same price, it depends on how you use those added features like side burners or the added sear burners.
The GS4 system on the Spirit II and Genesis II is a bit better than the regular Spirit, but the designs on both grills are both reliable and durable for a New England winter.
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A Note About Pricing