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Weber Grills: Reviews and recommendations

Lin asks:

Do you still like your Weber grill and if so which one do you recommend?

Joshua responds:

The answer to this question is pretty simple. No, I don't like my Weber grill... I LOVE my Weber grill! The thing is 5 years old and still works exceptionally well. For about $200 it has proven to be an exceptional investment. (Maybe too good because it hasn't allowed me to upgrade to a newer model.)

From my previous posts about the grill you can see a lot of the perks. The single element allows for simple grilling that eliminates hot and cold spots. The low profile dome and cooking guide turn out consistent dishes cooked to desired doneness. The cast iron grate sears the meat nicely with restaurant style grill marks. Flare ups are rare and yet the way juices are run down the grate and come in contact with the flame creates a nice smokey effect which, in conjunction with the grill dome ventings gives the food nice smokey flavor uncharacteristic of most gas grills in my experience.

In short, the Weber Q grill is a durable product that has constantly turned out reliable and tasty results for our family. We have enjoyed it for cooking for two and we have fed 10 adults steak dinners and it has performed admirably in each scenario!

The Weber Q grill is one of the better purchases I have made and I am glad I did my research before I bought a gas grill! The best part is we use it a lot. For example, it was well over 90 degrees here today so we grilled pizza and asparagus.

I always fret when people ask me to grill on their grills expecting the same results that they have experienced at our house. While every grill is different, most gas grills have horrible hot/cold spots, have too much volume to retain heat to "bake" the food (hence you get burned outside and raw insides), flare up, have far too many knobs to get a good feel, etc.

Unfortunately you can spend $400, $500, or more on a grill and get a pretty poor product. Yes, it may be stainless steel and chrome and have 4 knobs, two side burners, a mini-fridge, bread rack and fancy smoke tray... but does it turn out consistently good grilled meats and veggies? Is it durable? Does it cook well for 2 people or for 10?

Another neat aspect of the Weber Q grill is that for such a large grilling surface it is small. It doesn't take up much room and better yet -- it is portable. We have taken our grill to parks and to the homes of our friends and family -- all with our little car. If I thought about it longer I am sure I could come up with some other things I like about the grill, but in short I really like the grill! The best thing I can say about any product is this:

Not only would I repeat the purchase if given a second chance, but when this current grill dies I am going to promptly purchase another one if possible.

Reflecting on the grill, I will point out some of the negatives.

One thing is that last year the ignitor went out. I could probably fix it but I find using a match just as easy so I haven't bothered with it (it worked for 4 years, so I won't complain too much).

For beginners a thermometer would a big perk, especially since the grill heats up slower in 20 degree snowy conditions than in sweltering 90 degree heat waves.

The lack of a warming rack or "cooler" section of the grill can make some styles of preparation more difficult and requires practice. I love the cast iron, but don't like how it sticks at times. The "flame ring" part of the grate molding can be difficult to get really clean and is tough on brush bristles and pumice stones.

Like any grill cleaning out all the drippings and char can be a chore--not as bad as charcoal, but still some greasy work.

The flame element holes sometimes plug over with residue. You can buy a new one but I just use 1/32" drill bits to clean them out. Although Weber does sell a replacement, unlike the poor-quality flame elements/guards on most grills it isn't necessary if you take the time to clean out the holes.

I would also say a tank adapter (which allows us to hook up a larger propane tank to the grill) is a necessity due to the smaller tanks not providing as consistent cooking temperatures--not to mention they empty fast and your tank going dead in the middle of grilling a meal is not fun!

The good news is that Weber has addressed a lot of these issues with their new versions. They have all sorts of models now (some bigger, some smaller). Many of the models come with porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates so this should make cleaning even easier. Most now include a thermometer.

Grilled NY Strip Steak

 
Weber Q grill models:
 

Weber 386002 Q-100 Portable Gas Grill (Tammy's brother Richard recently received this model as a gift. This model is smaller than ours; read the reviews at Amazon.com for more info on it!)

Weber 396002 Q 200 Gas Grill (This current model is closest to the one we have. While this grill may look small for larger families, we have found that it will grill plenty of food for larger groups. We've grilled chicken breasts and 5 pounds of chicken seems to be the max; for burgers, you can easily grill 12-15 quarter-pound burgers or 10-12 third-pound burgers at one time.)

Weber 566002 Q 220 Gas Grill (For an additional $20, this model is comparable to our with a few extra features.)

Weber 586002 Q 320 Portable Outdoor Gas Grill (I find the Q320 interesting because it has 2 burners, which may sound neat but could make cooking a little more complicated. It is bigger as well so opening the lid too often could be extra detrimental. On the other hand, the extra size means you can cook for more people and it has a warming rack.)

Here is a complete list of Weber Q grills and accessories on Amazon.com. (A small note: Tammy is an Amazon affiliate so clicking a link to Amazon.com from Tammy's website or using the Amazon search on the sidebar is a nice way to support her website.)

We also love the little recipe booklet that came with our grill! Along with the recipes, it includes a chart with detailed temperature settings and times for various thicknesses and sizes of various foods... very handy, and has worked well (accurately).

From everything I know Weber is a quality company with a long, storied history that stands behind their products. The fact they back their products with a 5 year warranty is encouraging--especially at the price. I know a lot of people who paid twice as much for a gas grill and got an inferior product.

If you are in the market for a gas grill and your needs fall within criteria suitable for a Weber Q model I would encourage you to give the Weber Q grill a look. My experience with the grill has been very, very positive and I think it would make an excellent gift for a Father's Day gift for dads who enjoy grilling.

Comments

We love our weber too

After we bought our house we invested in a full-sized grill (kind of like an appliance purchase). We have a gas line out to our back deck, so we wanted a grill that we could just hook up to that. We ended up going with the Weber Genesis gas grill and LOVE it. It's bigger, and way more expensive than the Q, but if you're in a permanent location and have room for a bigger grill it is fabulous. My only regret is not getting one with a side burner, which would be really nice to have on hot days when I don't want to cook inside. My husband and I shopped around and found the best price online at an end of summer type sale. We've had it for nearly 5 years and it still works fabulously and we have no complaints!

Tammy's picture

Weber grills

A comment that was lost in transition:

"I can't wait until we're in a space where we're allowed to have a grill! We have a little electric one that we use occasionally (shh, don't tell!) but it takes a hundred years to cook and and I can get similar results by using my turbo oven.

"I do think my parents were considering a new grill, so I'm going to forward this link to them, thanks for the review!"

weber baby q

looking for a cook book for it?

Thank you....

Hi Tammy,

About a year ago my husband and I needed a grill and I remembered all of your comments about the Weber grill. So, we went out and bought one. We love it! We bought it with the little cart too so it is easy to move around if needed. We take it with us camping and have even taken it with us for an afternoon in the park. The food always turns out perfect. I've never had a problem with it and it is really handy. The most we have ever cooked for is 4 and I think it would be hard to cook for more than that, but we don't need to worry about that right now.

Thank you for your review and steering us toward this wonderful grill!!

Jayde
http://therileys.blogspot.com

Tammy's picture

Weber Q grill review

Thanks for the feedback, Jayde!

I'm so happy to hear that you were able to get a Weber (did you get the Q model?) and that you love it!

It really is an amazing and fun grill to work with... people are always amazed by the food Joshua cooks on ours because it leaves the food perfectly cooked (it's pretty consistent!) and with beautiful grill marks! :) Even *I* can use his grill... and enjoy using it... so I think that says a lot! ;)

P.S. I wonder... are you leaving this comment because you just finished a delicious grilled meal in the middle of winter? ;) (We've grilled twice this week!)

Weber Grill

Hi Tammy,

Thanks for the post on my site. Yes, we bought a Weber Q model. This one actually...

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000WOTUCI/ref=wms_ohs_product

Everything I've made has been awesome! No complaints. One of our favorite things to make is yours (or Joshua's) Salmon recipe. We have grilled out in the last week on our Weber Grill. We live part-time in Florida and part-time in Tennessee. We are in FL now so it is very nice grilling weather. :o)

Thanks again for pointing us to a great grill.

Jayde
http://therileys.blogspot.com

Weber Q200

Thanks Tammy for your detailed review!!!! I too love my Weber Grill. The first one I bought had a faulty regulator which is a common problem amongst these grills. I got it replaced and it works wonderfully now and we use it 2 or 3 times a week!! I also use the 20 pound propane tank so I had to buy the hose separately.

After using it several times, my ignitor failed to work consistently also :o( Do you actually use a match??? I use a slim long lighter (the ones used for fireplaces) and I can actually slide it in the side of the grill grate in the hole where you use a finger to lift it up.

Anyways thanks again for your recipes and great reviews!!

Lucy C

Tammy's picture

Weber Q grill - lighting

Hi Lucy!

Yes, we do usually just use a wooden match to light the grill since the ignitor stopped working, although we want to get some of the long, handled lighters since that's much easier! (I'm hoping Costco gets some in soon!) :)

Weber q accessories

Do you also have the stand? If not, where do you rest the grill? Thanks for the thorough review!

Tammy's picture

Weber Q grill stand

We did not purchase the grill stand; we have used either a metal cart (on wheels, with a metal top) for the grill or else an old desk/table top (currently). The wheeled cart is handy for storing the grill in the garage and taking it outside to use! :)

Weber Q

Just wanted to say thanks like everyone else for the review on the grill. I was able to find one at a reasonable price on craigslist and I'm off to go purchase. After your reviews I know it will be a good by for my family.

Oh, and if you have a dollar tree in your area, they have the long lighters for only $1. :)

Cherie

(and thanks for all of your info on the website, I first started reading a couple of years ago when I started line drying :) )

Weber Q 200

We have had our Weber Q 200 for about a year now and absolutely LOVE it! I do all the grilling so I can speak on this! I got it, cart, cover, and accessories for under $200 at the end of the season (which is funny because we live in north Texas and grilling season is year-round). The cast iron grate was the No.1 reason I wanted this grill. No rusting out and easy cleanup! I just spray the whole grill down with grease cutting cleaner then spray it off with the water hose. I also love the convenience and portability of this grill. We took it camping and never had to touch charcoal and used the camping friendly propane bottles.

Weber Grill

Tammy, I was curious by something your husband said about the grill. He made the comment that it is lasting so long he doesn't feel he can upgrade. Would you mind asking him (when he is up and about) what "upgrades" he would look at? I notice that all of the websites have the same great reviews you folks gave.

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