Pros / It is solidly constructed, has plenty of grilling space and outstanding heating capacity.
Cons / At just under $500, it’s the most expensive grill in our lineup.
Verdict / This grill is exceptionally well designed, cooks great and will stand the test of time.
There’s a certain expectation that comes with the Weber brand name. Everyone we spoke to in our most recent evaluation of the best gas grills had nothing but positive things to say about Weber grills. That kind of reputation is one that communicates high-quality, durability and longevity. And from our experience with the Weber Spirit II, it is a well-earned one. This grill excelled at every test we put to it, was the most stable unit we tested, had the most consistent and even cooking temperatures and was the most well-constructed of all the models we chose for this evaluation. Which is why it easily earned our top-pick for this category.
We subjected each grill we reviewed to a variety of tests. Most of which had to do with heat and consistency. We measured things such as heat consistency by measuring the cooking temperature over the course of seven, 14 and 21 minutes. We timed how long it took each grill to preheat to 350 degrees, and how long it took for a grill to return to its previous temperature after the lid had been open for one minute. Overall, the Weber Spirit outperformed every other grill we tested, and the only one to receive a 100% heat consistency score.
The experience we had cooking on this grill far surpassed that of any other model we worked with. It has a 529 square-inch cooking area, which was only surpassed by 638 square-inch space provided by Nexgrill that we tested. That’s a lot to work with. If you’re cooking only burger patties, you can expect to be able to fit 12 on the porcelain-coated, iron-cast grill grates.
During our testing phase, we had all the grills featured in this category lined up side-by-side for days-long grilling. And because we did so in a semi-public place, we had various co-workers, members of the public and other onlookers stop by to watch and comment. When asked which grill they would purchase for themselves, the universal choice was the Weber Spirit.
Much of the disparity in performance and construction between this model and the other gas grills we tested is a matter of price. At the time of this writing, the Weber Spirit II was priced just under $500. That is double the price of the next most expensive model. The reason we included it is because it is an entry-level Weber grill. They progressively get better with more features the more expensive they get. For example, this model does not have a side burner, nor does it have the capacity to hook up to a natural gas source – something found in higher priced models. But it is the best Weber grill you can get for the price.
You’ll have to decide if it’s worth shelling out the extra cash. You can surely get similar cooking results from our best value pick, the Char-Broil Performance, at less than half the price. But you won’t get the surety of the quality of the product, nor the confidence that you won’t have to pay more to repair or replace your grill after a just a few seasons.
The construction of the grill didn’t take long. We didn’t have many problems assembling this grill. However, we noted that almost all the instructions are pictorial with very little text to guide you. On occasions during assembly, some text would have helped. If you’re unexperienced putting things like this together, you’d be well served to block out at least three hours to assemble this grill.
Once fully assembled, this grill is a rock. It’s stable, balanced, moves easily from place to place even when moving up and down inclines. The only time we had a problem with the balance of this grill is when we were moving it down a curved ramp. One of our testing crew members lost the grip and it tipped over onto one of its side trays. When it was placed upright again, we were impressed at how well the grill had taken the minor tumble. No parts were damaged, and there was no indication the side table hit the pavement. Very resilient.
The best indicator of this grill’s longevity is its warranty period – 10 years for both burners and parts. This doubles the length of its next closest competitor: the Char-Griller Grillin’ Pro, with a five-year burner and parts warranty. More typically we see warranty periods only lasting one to three years. The fact that Weber stands behind its reputation and product with a decade long warranty is a powerful statement of quality.
Performance, reliability and durability are the three words that best describe the Weber Spirit II. It’s simple enough to assemble, made of strong components, can withstand reasonable punishment, cooks consistently and evenly and delivers an overall enjoyable experience. It’s quite expensive, but that’s the nature of the brand. That, also by its nature, is worth every penny you spend on it.