Around $600 budget - anything better than Weber Genesis?

herusMay 31, 2007

We actually purchased this grill last weekend at HD, but it is yet to be delivered along with a lot of larger items (new old house).

An article about infrared caught my eye this week and I got to wondering if I could do better. The Genesis looks really nice, has a great brand name, and is Consumer Reports' #1 rating this year. Still, human nature and all, I am thinking of maybe canceling and getting one with infrared.

We cook out perhaps once a week, family of four, around 500-550 sq in is enough. We rotate between chicken and beef, although I'd like to add fish and more veggies to the lineup. We do enjoy a nice seared steak now and then (buy from Sears?) but our old grill, while ok in its day, just couldn't do it lately. I am sure the Weber will be hotter, but of course not IR hot.

So... worth the possible extra to get the IR? We both love the Weber's look, and not crazy about the all-stainless look, that's just pref I know. Which grills around the $600 mark (if any) would be competitive with the Weber AND provide IR? Brand rep and quality are important of course.


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First, you purchased an excellent grill in the Weber. Some of the Sears models, built by Charm-glo I believe, have infrared cooking.

But there are two types of infrared cooking options available. The most common is the infrared on the back of the grill. Definitely a plus for rotissere cooking. This is what is in a Sears. However, the reliability factor comes into question.

The other is a ceramic infrared cooking element placed were you would expect a normal propane burner. Napoleon, the Weber of Canada, has the ceramic infrared. However, cost is over your $600.00 figure.

I am seriously looking at the Napoleon Prestige II 450 RBI. I believe the price is around $1,000.00.

Enjoy the journey.

eal51 in western CT

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 7:28PM
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You can grill very nicely without infrared. The Weber quality and customer service by far outweigh the trendiness of the infrared. I have had the Genesis Gold C S/S grates and a sideburner for about 6 years now. It had a defective regulator after about a year and a half. Weber promptly replaced it at no charge. It has been bulletproof since then. If you need to cook steaks or chops as fast as possible, the infrared is the nuts.
I grill outdoors to relax and enjoy the outdoor cooking experience. Don't worry, your new Genesis will be able to sear your steaks just fine. You have purchased a fine product that will out last the others by a long long time.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 2:07PM
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Thanks again (TIA = Thanks in Advance). :-)

Viewed the E310 at HD Expo today. This lacks the side burner, nice to have but not essential. However, and this seems to be a difference even from Weber's own website, the grill has stainless steel grates.

The 320 from 'regular' HD has coated cast iron grates, which I think I prefer as they look more 'real'. The stainless grates look sort of gimmicky to me, but upon looking around all the high end grills, including a $9K Viking, have stainless grates.

So... maybe a different question this time. I'm sure the cleanup on stainless is easier, but which provides the best cooking results, SS or coated iron?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 9:42PM
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Cooks' Illustrated did a gas grill comparison and included a TEC which had infrared burners. It was a few years ago so maybe things have changed but they did not like the infrareds. Very hot, good for searing and flame ups since anything that drips from the food hits the burners. I saw some models just the other day that had a small searing infrared burner and regular burners for the main cooking box. That sounds like a good idea.

Now if you were talking infrared rotisserie burner which is to the side and not below the food, well then I can attest that mine works well. I have done rotisserie chickens on my Weber Summit with it (it is the only burner on) or without (using main burners) and only slightly prefer the rotisserie method. It is a desired feature in my book but not a must.

As for grates, both iron and SS will sear your food given your grill is nice and hot.

Here is what Weber's FAQs have to say about it.

"Q. Which are better, stainless steel, porcelain-coated cast iron or porcelain enamel cooking grates?

All have their merits, so it is mostly a matter of personal preference. All require little maintenance and give great sear marks. Porcelain-coated cast iron grates will hold the heat longer so you donÂt have to cook with higher temperatures. Stainless steel grates have a longer warranty, followed by porcelain-coated cast iron, then porcelain enameled. Replacements are readily available for all styles."

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 5:40AM
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Thanks again... E320 (LP) was delivered last week and I have already used it 4 times.

GREAT results. This thing gets hot... if the gauge is to be believed, it gets to 650 degrees, which is plenty enough IMO.

Very nice construction quality, and everyone knows about Weber support. In general I do like the porcelain coated Cast Iron grates, but I would like to learn ways of keeping them clean more efficiently and/or better.

At this time, after the cooking is done, I turn all burners to high and let it sit for 10-15 minutes to burn off the crispies. OK results.

Also, chicken sticks a bit (thin layer of flesh peels away and stays on the grate when picking up for the first turn- using either tongs or spatula). Will oiling the grates before the session help? Will try this soon.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 11:57AM
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Glad you like your new grill.

For grate cleanoff, I fit a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil shiny side down so it covers the ENTIRE grill , and then do my 8-10 minute warmup burn. I then give the grate a good brushing and then oil it and cook.

The foil holds almost all the heat right down at the grate level and produces the effect of the cleaning cycle in the electric oven.

I use the warmup for this because I'm too cheap to use another 10 minutes of gas at the end. ;-)

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 3:15PM
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oops- sorry

how can I delete a duplicate?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 3:18PM
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