Weber comparision and a Temperature values.

CiscomanJune 23, 2002

After reading many of the post I was very tempted to purchase a Virco at Costco for $799 or the Member Mark Grill at Sams Club for $599. However on, June 1, 2002 I purchased my new Weber Silver Genesis C at a one time special price of $399 that is $100 below most normal sale prices that I found at other retail outlets. I understand that my decision to buy may have been different if I had paid $499. Now that I own a Weber and after reading many of the posts and visiting my local Sams, Costco, Sears and others, I believe I would have paid the $499 to own the Weber in this $200-800 price range even though some of the competition may seems to have more features/price for the following reasons:

1) Some Member Mark posts indicate that the temperature of their gas grill get to between 525 in 15 minutes to 550 in 18 minutes. The Virco temperature posts seem to be in the 450- 520-degree in about 12 minutes for preheating , with some temperature gauge problems. Upon testing my Weber near the beach in Southern California during an average cool day it achieved 400 degrees in 3.5 minutes, 500 degrees in 4.5 minutes and 550 degrees in less than 6 minutes, in just over 10 minutes the temperature needle pointed all the way to the bottom and off the degree scale, the temperature was probably over 700 degrees. However when I opened the lid the temperature drops and maintains between 500-550 degrees. Regardless I am usually ready to cook within five minutes and I have great heat control.

2) Many posts indicate that they are using a lot of propane, and many attempt to solve the problem by converting to natural gas. Weber claims that this grill is energy efficient and I can testify that it does seem to be energy efficient.

3) It was simply unbelievable how easy Weber has made the grill to assemble with a pre-assembled main grill section, snap in cart and side burner, quick connect gas connections and only 8 nuts and bolts. Weber claims you can assemble it in ten minutes, I believe that I could do it in less than 5 minutes now that I donÂt need to review the manual or take the extra care associated with a first time use.

4) Some posts claim that their rotisserie works well, but is not well designed, the Weber rotisserie is well designed to fit perfectly and cooks very well over the entire middle section for great indirect heat, since the long lasting stainless burners are running horizontally. So far I have only cooked two chickens at one time on the rotisserie and they both came out great. The only negative here was that this well built rotisserie was relatively expensive and the Weber cooks very well even without one. Still I a going to enjoy trying other foods on the rotisserie.

5) If you want to be able to move the grill to go on a picnic, the Weber grill is solid and transports very easily. We tested this by taking the grill to the beach in our small trailer. This task was very easy to safely accomplish. I also like the way Weber have provided an extra flip out food preparation area.

6) The porcelain grates and other parts of the grill clean up very easily.

7) Especially since I live very close to the beach where rust can be a problem as noted in some posts, the good warranty and availability of parts is a positive feature to me.

8) It is difficult to find post or testimonials from Weber buyers in this price range that have complaints or that are not positive.

Finally, as a not so good cook who used to either burn and or dry out many dishes, the foods I have tried to cook have come out the best I have ever been able to cook and I confident I will be able to consistently cook well and easily (keyword ÂeasyÂ) on my new Weber. To be fair I do not need an extra grilling surface for just my wife and myself and I do not have a need for a shiny stainless steel grill for an extra large porch.. For me, the Weber is plenty large enough for my medium sized gatherings, it is very attractive, and cooks great. As you can probably tell I am very happy.

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Glad to hear you are happy. The Webers get good ratings from Consumer Reports, as well. However, it's not quite the same type of grille as the Members Mark or the Virco, which have a more "professional" or restaurant quality appearance. I admit that looks were a large part of my decision to purchase the Virco. That it works well is of course very nice. I see no problems with the rotisserie other than the left hand warming shelf support interfering with the thumbscrew. Apparently this is a problem on one run of the Vircos. I fixed in in about 10 minutes with a dremel tool. For me, no biggie. The spit on the Virco is very strong and thick and looks like it could easily hold a 20 lb turkey.

However, the Virco is not easily transported. It has high quality wheels, but the whole thing weighs about 200 lbs so I'm not planning on loading it into the truck and taking it to picnics. That's just not what it's designed for.

Another good grill in the sub-$500 price range is the Great Outdoors grill series. These have 25 year burner warranties, and sound like they are excellent as well. Again, not a restaurant quality look, but like your Weber a well built functioning unit.

In terms of temperatures... I frankly don't understand the preoccupation with temps over 500F. I don't think these extremely high temps are necessary or desirable for good cooking results. Searing can be done at 450F, indirect, or on the grill for direct heat. Roasting or smoke-roasting (which is what happens when you lower the lid) is best done at temps at or below 325. The rotisserie gives great results - the chamber only heats to about 150F - but who cares about that as long as the food is cooked properly?

    Bookmark   June 25, 2002 at 11:22PM
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