It is easy to get sticker shock when you are looking at buying a Weber grill. Weber’s are not cheap and are often priced at several hundred dollars more than the other grills at the store.
Two very natural questions to ask when grill shopping are, “Why are Weber grills so expensive and are they worth it?”
Let’s take a look at these two questions and see if a Weber is right for you.
Why Are Weber Grills So Expensive?
The truth is that while Weber grills cost more than many brands they are not that expensive.
To get a better feel for the value of Weber pricing let’s take a look at some cost comparisons to other grills.
After that we will take a look at some of the factors that drive Weber’s pricing.
Weber Pricing Compared to Inferior Cheap Grills
You have the impression that Weber’s are expensive because you are doing a side by side comparison with something like a Nexgrill, DynaGlo or Char Broil grill.
For example, a quick look at the Home Depot website shows that they are offering a three burner DynaGlo gas grill for $149 while the least expensive three burner Weber grill is the Spirit II E 310 which costs $639.
Instead of asking, “Why is the Weber grill so expensive?” I think the better question is, “How is the DynaGlo grill so cheap?”
DynaGlo grills are cheap because they are made of thin painted metal that is going to rust out in one to three years. More specifically, the $149 DynaGlo weighs 47 pounds in comparison to 114 pounds for the Weber Spirit.
I know that “weight” is a crude measurement for quality but when you realize that a Weber grill has 2.5X as much steel as a cheap grill you can start to understand the pricing difference.
Weber’s are built to last with almost all of them carrying a ten year warranty (5 years for Weber Qs and some parts on Spirit grills).
Weber Pricing Compared to Comparable High Quality Grills
A high end Weber Performer charcoal grill will cost you around $500 while a simple Weber kettle costs about $225.
In contrast, a charcoal grill from PK Grills will cost you between $560 and $900.
Similarly, the equivalent charcoal grills from Napoleon currently cost between $400 and $600.
When you compare the cost of a Weber against other grills that will last a decade or more you will find that Weber’s are very competitively priced.
Factors that Go Into the Cost of a Weber Grill
The factors that go into the price of a Weber include:
- Materials of Construction: Either porcelain coated steel, cast iron or stainless steel for most components.
- Engineering and Design: These grills are not randomly slapped together. There is some serious engineering that goes into them.
- Customer Support: If you ever need help with your grill then Weber has a team of experts waiting to give you a hand. Their customer support is legendary.
- Made in the USA: Many models of Weber grills are still made in the USA which raises assembly costs compared to grills made in China.
The Weber grill models that are currently made in the USA are:
- Weber Charcoal Grills
- Weber Genesis Series Gas Grills
- Weber Summit Gas Grills
- Weber Smokefire Pellet Grills
If you are still on the fence about the value proposition about a Weber then head over to your local Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Chances are that you can pick up a used Weber for a bargain, spend a few bucks on replacement parts and see what you think.
Most people who are selling their old Weber’s are just looking for an excuse to buy a new one!
Are Weber Grills Worth It?
A Weber grill CAN be worth it if you buy the right one. Before we dive into the right and wrong Weber grill to buy though, let’s talk about the core issues.
If you are asking the question about are they worth it then chances are that you have not used a Weber before. Does this sound like you:
- You bought an inexpensive grill at a Big Box store.
- You never really learned to master your grill skills.
- Grilling was more of a troubling adventure that a pure joy.
- You got disgusted with your grill, threw the rust bucket away and now need a new one.
Man, that was me for over a decade.
And then I bought my first Weber grill. Grilling became easy. I finally figured out how to grill chicken wings, burgers and steaks. I looked forward to firing up the grill every single night.
So yeah, to me they are worth it.
From a performance perspective what you get with a Weber that you don’t get from a cheap grill is “Control”. It is easy to control temperatures, it is easy to control flare ups. You literally spend less time “Fire Fighting” and more time enjoying the flames.
From a value standpoint what you get with a Weber is long term savings. The Weber grill that you are about to buy is going to last you at least ten years. So, take a look at that price tag, divide it by ten, and that is your yearly cost to enjoy a great grilling machine. Compare that to the cost of buying and throwing away a cheap grill every year.
The trick to these grills being “worth it” is to buy one that is in the sweet spot that meets all of your needs and doesn’t make you spend money on features that you do not want.
A perfect example is the eleven different models of Weber’s three burner gas grills. All eleven models are wonderful grills but not all of them are worth the money.
If what you want is a simple three burner gas grill then the least expensive of all of the three burner grills, the Weber Spirit E310, is perfect. This grill is worth the money.
You could “upgrade” to the Weber Genesis II E 310 but that grill is only 20% larger and costs 50% more. From a pure grilling value perspective I don’t think this grill is worth it. You do get a prettier grill, slightly better warranty, etc. but the grill itself is not 50% better.
If what you want is a three burner grill with some bells and whistles then you will love the Weber Spirit E 330 that comes with a Sear Station and side burners. This grill is absolutely worth the money.
The equivalent grill in the Genesis series, Genesis II SE 330, is 20% larger and 50% more expensive. Again, this is a great and beautiful grill but it is not inherently 50% better than the Spirit.
Please note that there is NOTHING wrong with the Genesis grills. I am working from the assumption that if you are wondering “if they are worth it” then you are looking for value as opposed to styling.
I would be DELIGHTED if someone gave me a Genesis but if I am spending my own money then I am buying a Spirit. For more details please see this post on Weber Spirit vs Genesis.
Without boring you to death with details let me point out the other value based sweet spots in the Weber lineup.
- Best Value Portable Charcoal Grill: 18.5 inch Weber Jumbo Joe.
- Best Value Tabletop Gas Grill: Weber Q 2200
- Best Value Charcoal Grill: 22.5 inch Weber Performer
- Best Value Smoker: 22.5 inch Weber Smokey Mountain