Weber Genesis Smart Grill Review: tech to help you BBQ better?

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Erin Lawrence

Smart technology has made it possible for any home cook to make chef-level meals with almost no training required. When it comes to BBQing, there’s a whole world of grill gurus, pit masters and experts out there and a competition circuit to boot. For those of us who just want to cook over fire at home or for the family, you’ll want to know there’s a bunch of new technology and devices out there that can make grilling more precise—and mean you don’t need to sweat it out standing next to the heat either. One of those devices is a smart BBQ.

Weber Genesis Smart Grill Review
4

Summary

There is so much to love about this grill. It can definitely help you cook better food and keep tabs on long cooks. Plus, it’s a great design and features lots of storage. It does have a learning curve though…

Pros

  • Great design
  • Plenty of storage, shelving
  • Grill grates are high quality
  • Ambient thermometer
  • Smart grilling module built in, probe included
  • Versatile
  • Works well to monitor a cook
  • Weber app has plenty of recipes

Cons

  • Learning Curve
  • Requires extensive assembly
  • Weber app takes some getting used to
  • You still need to take part/oversee

Weber Genesis Smart Grill Review

Weber Genesis Smart Grill, model 335 is one of these new high tech options. Weber sent me one of the grills for a few weeks of testing and trail but didn’t tell me anything about what I have to say or what I can’t say about it. In this review I’ll look at what this grill is capable of and what it’s not, as well as how well it cooks, how easy it is to use and if I can recommend it for you.

Getting started: Set Up & assembly

 

Weber genesis smart grill, review

Removing individual boxes from the giant delivery box.

Unpack and build

Before you get to the fun stuff you’ve got to move this grill and then unpack it to get it built. The giant box it arrives in weighs literally a couple hundred pounds and mine arrived on a pallet. I found the easiest thing to do was unpack the individual boxes inside and move them one by one to the backyard for assembly.

Weber genesis smart bbq review assembly.There’s a tonne of parts and pieces to this BBQ, like most others. The instructions are pretty clear but even with two of us working on it it took about two hours to build, so make sure to allow enough time.

With this baby built, its time to get a look around at some of the cool features and then we’ll get to the tech.

Wheeled cart, plenty of storage

This particular model comes with a wheeled cart, and a good amount of storage underneath; in addition to the under bbq cupboard with double doors, there’s an optional side compartment too for grills, sheet pans and other taller, narrower accessories like the Weber Crafted line (more on that in a sec). Integrated hooks in the side give you a place to hang tools. On one side there’s a countertop prep area and on the other a single burner for cooking with pots and pans.

Weber genesis smart bbq review,Slide-out drip tray with liner

Under the grill is a very smart drip tray, and Weber included a foil liner with it to kick things off. The tray catches all the drippings from the BBQ so there’s no mess. The size is generous and should last you though several cooks at the very least.

The BBQ itself is heavy, solid and feels well made, with a lid that’s anything but flimsy. The grates are heavy and solid too.

Weber Crafted cooking options

It’s here I’ll point out Weber includes a special grate to integrate Weber Crafted cookware on the grill if you want to purchase additional cookware. There’s a pizza stone, grill basket, griddle, wok and more that will lay across the grill bed .

Weber Genesis grill with Crafted insert

Weber Genesis grill with Crafted insert for other cooking accessories.

I didn’t have any of these extra pieces (but I’m considering the pizza stone) so I’ll stick with the basics for now.

Interior temperature sensor

Under the lid towards the back is an ambient temperature sensor, which will display the temperature on the digital readout module…

Weber Genesis Smart Module

Let’s stop here for a minute and go deeper, because this module is the nerve centre for your BBQ and it’s key to all of its smarts.

Weber genesis smart bbq review,

The display can be powered either using the included AC power connection or if you don’t have power where your BBQ lives, as I don’t, you can conveniently hook up a power bank through the USB-C connection underneath. I will say it’s pretty awkward to get a cable plugged I here, but I think it’s under the counter to keep it protected from the weather. Smartly Weber did design a small shelf here that perfectly fits a power bank.

With the module powered up you’ll see a few things on the screen; there’s that ambient or inside the hood temperature. It will also show your food temperature and display a countdown timer too… and we’ll get to that in a sec. There’s also a way to set an audible timer alert here if you want.

There are two holes here (ringed in red) where you’ll be inserting your cooking probes.

Wired cooking probe included

The BBQ comes with one wired cooking probe or an internal meat thermometer, but you can buy an extra one if you like. The probe end goes into the meat, while the other end connects to your BBQ module. These are by the way, the same probes that work with the Weber iGrill3 portable smart module.

Weber genesis smart bbq review,

The wired cooking probe (wrapped up on a holder).

The Genesis BBQ can handle two probes for cooking two different meats at the same time—each to its optimal temperature, and again, you’ll see these in action shortly.

Weber Connect app

To truly make the most of your grill you need the Weber Connect app. Some folks ask if you really need the app and if you can use the BBQ without it, but as I always reply, if you’re paying for all this tech you might as well use it—or opt for a lower tech grill.

Weber genesis smart bbq review,The app will allow you to:

  • View the ambient temperature of the BBQ; great for seeing when it’s preheated
  • Monitor a specific temperature when you want to maintain a low-and-slow temp for a longer barbecue or smoker session.
  • You can check the status of your food, and the internal temperature of your meat, or
  • Try using Weber’s recipes or preset cooking programs divvied up by different types of food.

So now that you’ve had a tour, let’s get cooking!

Learning my way around the Weber Genesis 335

I’m going to tell you there is definitely a bit of a learning curve with the technology on this BBQ. I’d say it took me a few meals to really get the hang of things.

Grilling: How does Weber Genesis cook?

I started with a piece of salmon and opted to use Weber’s guided program for this, choosing medium well as the outcome. The cook was quick and when I sliced into it, it was definitely cooked well.

Weber genesis smart bbq review,

Cooking salmon, grilling limes. The secondary grill rack is also visible.

I much prefer my salmon medium or even rare but in the Weber Connect app with the recipe program I chose, that wasn’t an option. I vowed to take another look at the options for fish in the future.

Next it was a steak, medium rare.

I placed the probe into the beef, and put it on the grill. The app sent a push notification when it was time to flip it over. When the app told us it was time to take it off and let it rest, we did, but when we cut into it it was more rare than medium rare, in my opinion.

How to use Weber Connect app for smart grilling

Let me walk you through how you get your food connected and cooked here… following along with the chicken we cooked the following night.

First, turn the grill on and heat it up. While you’re out there, connect your power bank or turn on the smart module.

Next, grab the Weber Connect app and decide what cooking program to use.

The app will walk you through how to prep the food, and give you an idea of how it might need to be cooked; over direct or indirect heat, for example. You’ll step through the app screens, and then when it’s time, you’ll slide in the probe, then take your meal out to the grill and connect the probe to the module. When you’re ready to close the lid, hit start on your cook.

Weber genesis smart bbq review,The thermometer probe, combined with the parameters of the recipe plus the inside temperature of the grill all factor into your cook time, which it will show you right on the app.

The time is also displayed on the digital readout on the BBQ, but it rounds everything to minutes and is a bit less precise.

The Weber Genesis said my whole chicken would be done in 50 minutes. I was skeptical that would be enough time but thought I’d see what happens.

Now is a good time to talk about the alerts… for the most part, these alerts aren’t loud or even audible; they’re push notifications to the phone, and sometimes, they’re not immediate.

Alerts aren’t audible

Over the course of a few cooks I experimented with how to get the app to play a loud tone or a ring when it was time for something to come off the grill, but I wasn’t able to find anything that was effective.

I found it was necessary to keep my phone in front of me and to watch for the pop ups. If I got distracted, which happens all the time, I’d miss them, and risk overcooking my food.

Weber genesis smart grill, reviewIn this case with the chicken I was waiting for the alert and watching closely, and when it came I went outside to check, using another thermometer to probe doneness in a few places on the chicken. It didn’t seem like the bird was fully cooked; at least not in places where the probe wasn’t seated. We took it inside and cracked it open, testing for doneness again with another thermometer. It did show that at least half the bid was probably a touch underdone, so we put that half back on the grill for a few minutes to finish it off.

Tech smarts doesn’t equal hands-off: You still need to play a role

It’s here I’m going to talk about what I think it an important point with this grill and that’s that just because it has smart technology, don’t think that means you’re completely hands-off.

While the smart module and probe will give you a reading to where the probe is seated, it’s up to you to check for doneness elsewhere… same as you would when cooking any other food at home.

Weber genesis smart bbq review,And I will point out that the probe isn’t really suited for being pulled out and pushed in again to check various areas, because it’s quite hot after staying inside the grill for an hour. A wireless instant read thermometer is still going to be your friend.

Also, while the app will tell you when it thinks your food is ready, you’ve got to be paying attention too, lest you miss your notifications.

You could say this BBQ will get you 90 percent of the way to success with its design, heat and smarts, but you still need to be present and to double check, to ensure food is cooked to proper temperature everywhere.

Take it from me; it’s going to take you a handful of recipes to get the feel for not just the tech, but how this particular grill cooks. Try not to judge or get frustrated.

A few tweaks could be made to the Weber Connect app

The Weber Connect app, while it seems robust, could use a few tweaks to make it easier to navigate, and it definitely takes a few recipes to figure out how to use the interface. I accidentally abandoned a couple of recipes and needed to start over, before I figured out how to properly view the recipe instructions, then begin a cook.

Weber genesis smart bbq review,

I also wish the ambient temperature bubble, which is small beneath the main food temperature window, was a bit bigger.

Getting the hang of it

By the time we cooked out fourth meal, a whole pork tenderloin, I was feeling much more confident in both the grill and the tech.

With pork prepped and probe in it was onto the grill. A few minutes later the push notification to turn the meat came in. Again, this is not a ring or an audible alarm—even though I had turned my sound on; it’s instructions displayed on the screen or via that push notification.

The pork was flipped then finished, rested and then we sliced into a perfectly medium pork tenderloin that was moist and delicious.

Weber genesis smart grill, review

Pretty much perfect port tenderloin.

How to cook hamburgers on a smart grill

For the final cook before my review was due I opted for burgers.

Before I started this one I checked my notifications settings and opted to enable Siri to read out notifications from the app, hoping that would give me a bit more of a hands-off option. That Siri-voiced alert never came.

I also didn’t like that with some of Weber’s pre-set recipes you don’t get to choose the doneness level; the recipe recommends how it should be cooked and that’s it.
Weber genesis smart grill, review

Do you need a smart grill?

One of the key questions about this grill is, do you need it? After all, there’s other ways to get a grilling smarts, without having to pay for a pricey grill. That’s true and I’ll say this; if you’re shopping for a higher end Weber grill it’s about a couple hundred dollars more to add in the smart module. You could of course just pay the $120 or so for the add-on, freestanding Weber iGrill gadget too, but it is nice to have the tech integrated into the grill.

Weber genesis smart bbq review,

Use the side burner for sauteing or sauces.

Pricing: Weber Genesis

The pricing on Weber grills varies wildly depending on the size, number of burners, if you get the smart module as part of it, and how much storage your model has. Plus there’s options for both gas or propane. My version, the Weber Genesis Smart Grill, model 335 gas grill with three burners, extra storage and smart module sells for about $1479US/$1899CAD. You can get it from Weber or from Amazon.

Overall review: Weber Genesis Smart Grill

There is so much to love about this grill. While the assembly wasn’t what I’d call fun, it’s doable for anyone with basic tool smarts, and of course lots of stores will also assemble it for you if you want to pay for that. I love the design and all the storage that comes with it; something I did not have with my old grill. The Weber Genesis seems durable and well made, and the grill grates don’t feel cheap either. I like the option of plugging in the smart module to AC power or using a power bank. The Weber Connect app seems like it has lots of recipes and options for almost every cut of meat, plus vegetables and even fruit too.

When it comes to downsides, for me the app alerts are not audible and not immediate to my phone. You really have to be paying attention when you cook… as you would be if cooking without technology. I also didn’t like that some recipes don’t let you choose doneness.

There is also a learning curve and I’d say it took me about 4-5 meals before I stated feeling confident cooking with this grill. But now that I am, I’m pretty happy with it.

Overall I can recommend the Weber Genesis smart grill for you. You can get it from many home improvement stores, but since the box is so massive, take my advice and get it delivered; Amazon will do it too!

Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub Giveaway**Now Closed**

** Congratulations to J. Vetro of Vaughan Ontario who was the winner of our contest!**

**This giveaway is closed**To enter our giveaway of 1 Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub, simply post a comment in the comments section BELOW. You will be required to register in order to post a comment. The Weber Smart Grilling Hub:

  • Is Compatible with any grill, smoker, oven,
  • Flip and serve notifications
  • Select doneness (medium-rare steak) and receive alerts when ready
  • Food readiness countdown and estimated cook time
  • Step-by-step assistance from setup to when it’s time to eat
  • Bluetooth & Wifi Enabled Smart Thermometer for Grilling, Smoking, Cooking

The Fine Print:

There is one (1) Weber Connect device available to be won. We’ll pick one winner at random from among all website entries/comments. The contest is open to residents of Canada until 11:59pm MT Wednesday October 26, 2022.

Only 1 entry per person, per day please; excess entries will be discarded. Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received. Not valid in Quebec.

The winner will receive 1 prize. Prize will be shipped direct to the winner by Weber so winner is required to provide a mailing address. TechGadgetsCanada.com bears no responsibility for prizes not delivered, delayed or misdirected, or not claimed after 30 days, or misdirected due to incorrect address being provided. This prize has no cash value.

We’ll get in touch with the winner via the email address supplied on entry or via website comment registration. Winner must respond to an email naming them as the winner within 48 hours. Non-response within 48 hours means we’ll redraw under same  48 hour timeframe until we get a winner’s response.

Winner’s name(s) will be posted to this web page after the draw.

If for any reason the internet portion of the Contest is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures or any other causes beyond the control of this website which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this Contest, TechGadgetsCanada.com reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process, and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest. Prize may not be exactly as show in accompanying photographs.

By entering this contest you agree you have read and accept the rules and are to abide by them.

**A note about Affiliate Links: TechGadgetsCanada is supported by our readers. Occasionally I will include affiliate links in my reviews. I do this partly for convenience of the reader (since I’ll almost always include a link to the company website or similar anyway) in case you want to read more or purchase, but I also may get a small commission from the click, which helps me keep the blog running. If you choose to use this link I thank you greatly for supporting the blog. There’s no obligation or cost to you for using these links.

10 Comments

  1. Pauline on October 26, 2022 at 5:58 am

     it’s amazing to see how technology has advanced

  2. Lee on October 25, 2022 at 1:08 pm

    Our current grill was purchased at Costco several years ago. Seemed like a good deal at the time however when the burner rusted out we could source a replacement. I’ve been looking around at other units. We have a baby Weber for camping and like the quality. Thanks for the review.

  3. Paul on October 24, 2022 at 5:06 pm

    Love the review. My old Genesis is needing replacement and I have been thinking it’s time. I may have just found it!

  4. Joseph on October 24, 2022 at 11:28 am

    This grill looks great! I have a 20 year old Weber Genesis Silver B. This would be a great upgrade to go with the rest of my smart home!

  5. Danny M on October 24, 2022 at 10:26 am

    Thanks for the review. Very helpful. Nice prize as well. Thanks for the opportunity.

  6. Ryan Y on October 24, 2022 at 10:10 am

    I keep looking at the portable wireless ones for my own bbqing. I have a cheap amazon special that does the job, but isn’t holding up well. The smart hub would work well.

  7. Marc Nobert on October 24, 2022 at 9:44 am

    Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub looks like a great addition to any existing BBQ. Easy way to add Wi-FI capability to monitor cooking, especially in the cold winter months when standing outside is not always pleasant.

  8. Sean Castonguay on October 24, 2022 at 9:28 am

    I would love a new wireless thermometer for the grill to make my charcoal guy a smart grill!

  9. Michael T Lerner on October 24, 2022 at 9:25 am

    Great review! Surprised Weber has not dropped the side burner and have an infared sear burner instead, which more people enjoy using

  10. Erica on October 24, 2022 at 9:13 am

    Such a fancy BBQ, it’s amazing to see how technology has advanced tools!

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