The Smart Series gas grills from Weber come with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity for remote monitoring of your grill. These grills are pretty awesome and I would absolutely never consider buying one.
I love Weber products but am not on board with the Smart Series. Stick with me and I will try to talk you out of buying one.
What Are the Smart Series Grills?
The Weber Smart Series gas grills are standard Spirit and Genesis models that have built in WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity along with a digital display. The Smart Series grills come with a single meat probe and a second probe can be added later.
The Smart Series have basically taken the Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub that was introduced in 2020 and integrated it into their grills. The Weber Connect app has some pretty cool features such as remote monitoring of the internal temperature of your meat, alarms to let you know when the meat is ready, recipes, etc.
The only thing that appears new from a technology front is that the Smart Grills will also monitor the propane level in your tank and alert you when the tank is running low.
The Smart functionality has been built into the following grills:
- Genesis II SX 335 (propane or natural gas)
- Genesis II EX 335 (propane or natural gas)
- Genesis II EX 315 (propane)
- Spirit SX 315 (propane or natural gas)
The nomenclature for these grills follows the standard Weber formula where “S” represents Stainless Steel models and “E” represents Porcelain Enameled models. The “X” indicates the “Smart” capabilities.
The non-Smart versions of these grills are absolutely wonderful so you should expect the Smart grills to perform just as well. For more information about the base models please see the following articles:
Weber Genesis II 335 Review: Better Than a Summit
Two Reasons I Would Not Buy One
There are many reasons you will love a Weber gas grill. These grills have great heat distribution, rarely have flareups and will easily last a decade. Weber grills seem expensive at first but after you have used one for years on end you will appreciate the value proposition that they bring to the table.
That being said, I am not tempted by the Smart Series grills and, if I were shopping for a new grill then I would buy the base models instead.
Here is why.
The Price Does Not Make Sense
These grills are the base models that have a built in Smart Grilling Hub and the price structure does not make sense. For example:
- The base model Genesis II E 335 costs $799.
- The Smart Grilling Hub costs $129.
- The combined cost of these two parts is $928.
- The Smart version of this grill costs $999.
Usually when you bundle two purchases from the same company the price goes down. With the Weber Smart grills you pay a $71 premium for the convivence of integration.
Maybe that extra $71 covers the cost of the propane tank monitoring mechanism? I am not sure…but I do know that you are not catching any breaks.
The Grill Will Outlast the Technology
The price issue issue is actually minor in comparison to the problem of the technology itself.
Weber understands the importance remote connectivity as the next evolution in grilling. In 2016 Weber acquired iGrill based on their remote connectivity and in 2020 acquired June Ovens who was essential in developing the technology behind the Smart Series grills and Weber’sWiFi enabled Smokefire pellet grills.
The fundamental problem is that, like all high tech electronics, the technology is constantly evolving.
- Do you remember what your phone looked like 10 years ago?
- How much has the design and functionality of your phone changed in the past decade?
- How about your watch/FitBit/Garmin…been any changes in the last 10 years?
I mention 10 years in those questions because that is at LEAST how long these grills are going to last. If you buy a cover, do regular maintenance and replace a few minor parts then there is no reason these grills will not last 20 years.
How absurd are these grills going to look five years from now when the built in Smart technology is obsolete?
Can you imagine that any technology that is marketed as “Smart” today will be even remotely relevant in 10 years?
What to Buy?
I would suggest buying a Weber gas grill and any of the multiple stand alone WiFi enabled thermometers that are on the market. If you buy a stand alone WiFi thermometer then you can use it for multiple grills or even for your oven.
For more information on all of the different Weber grills available along with their pros and cons check out my database of Weber grill reviews.
The most technology I have on my grill is the battery powered igniter on the Weber Performer. Have no need for more.
Smoke on, Chris!