Are Weber Grills Still Worth the Premium?

Weber is perhaps one of the most well-known grill brands. In fact, for many people, the brand name Weber is synonymous with grilling.

Their charcoal grills — while not strikingly unique in their design — are very recognizable. I mean, they were born from a buoy. They have garnered a great deal of brand loyalty throughout the years, to the point that some customers refuse to buy any other brand.

Their high-quality grills can be found on patios and in backyards all across the United States, regardless of income level. Admittedly, that’s part of Weber’s appeal: no matter what your budget is or what type of fuel you want to use to cook your food, you can find a high-quality grill that suits your needs.

But now that Weber is making their products overseas — at least in part — some people have started asking us if the quality is still up to par. They often ask if we still think that Weber grills are worth the price you pay for them, particularly the higher end models.

Like many other questions, this one doesn’t have a cut-and-dry, black-or-white answer. It’s largely about your own personal preferences and budgetary considerations. 

Where are Weber Grills Made?

First and foremost, there’s the discussion of whether or not Weber grills are still made in the U.S. — and of course, the answer there isn’t cut-and-dry either.

A simple Google search inquiring about where Weber grills are made will show you multiple sites insisting that Weber grills are made in America, as they always have been. You’ll read about the rich history of the company, their dedication to American workers, and the pride they take in quality assurance.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with any of these statements. The Weber brand does have a rich history — their infamous kettle grill came out in 1952. The company is very proud of their Illinois roots, and has a significant positive impact on the local community.

The confusion stems from more recent strategic decisions that have shifted some of Weber’s production line overseas. While a large portion of their manufacturing is done in the United States, some parts are sourced globally. Weber says as much on their own website, the language reading Made in the Heart of America with U.S. and globally sourced products.

While it’s difficult to say exactly what percentage of their grill pieces are manufactured in the U.S. versus globally, we know that many of the metal components including hoods are manufactured in Illinois.

Parts and components like valves, knobs and ignition are manufactured from third party suppliers and then imported back to the U.S., where they’re assembled into the final product. The assembly would take place at the main headquarters in Illinois.

Running production in this way would allow Weber to save money by utilizing foreign labor, but would also allow them to keep the Made in America label.

However, this tactic has gotten them into a bit of legal trouble. A class action lawsuit was filed at one point because consumers claimed that the Made in America label could not be applied if their products were not, in fact, Made in America.

The lawsuit alleged that components of the charcoal grate and separator were made in China and Taiwan. The results of this lawsuit meant that Weber had to use language specifying that components of their grills may be made overseas.

There isn’t a grill manufacturer on planet earth that makes 100% of the components of their grills. Many components like valves, ignition, spark generators, wires, etc are most likely be globally sourced. We feel Weber got called out because they are known world-wide.

Was My Weber Made in the United States?

To be safe, the Weber website states that parts can be sourced globally on their homepage. This statement covers all products they manufacture, as opposed to pinpointing which products exactly are being partially manufactured overseas.

Furthermore, websites may not always be up to date, so a blanket statement like this is simply easier. Really, doing anything less opens them up to the possibility of further legal action.

The lawsuit covers a period of time dating back to grills sold as early as 2007. While we don’t know exactly when Weber began manufacturing overseas, it may be best to assume that any grill sold after 2007 has at least been partially made outside the U.S.

For many years, the Spirit Grill was the only product completely manufactured overseas. Now, since Weber was sold, the Summit Grill, Genesis II with a closed cabinet and some of the Charcoal Grills are manufactured in the US with globally sourced parts … of course.

Is it Difficult to Get Weber Replacement Parts?

No, it is not difficult getting replacement parts. That the beauty of purchasing a Weber! We’ve discussed that one of the benefits of purchasing an American-made grill is that it’s much easier to find replacement parts when you need them. But, at least with Weber, you are purchasing a product from a company with a long-standing US presence, not just a private label branded grill. You will get product support since they are a real manufacturer.

This manufacturing of parts overseas has led to major delays in getting some Weber products like Flavorizer bars and burners from Weber headquarters in Illinois. Our changing environment over the past year has led to increased demand, shortages in raw materials and parts as well as logistical delays.

The hugest drawback, we see, is the minimum order quantities Weber faces especially when purchasing parts for older grills. If the MOQ is too high, they have begun to discontinue parts, especially on old grills.

The good news with Weber replacement parts is that they are shipped from the headquarters in Illinois. Even if they’re made overseas, they’re still going to be sent to the assembly plant, where they’ll be stored for regular production and dispersed as needed to retailers and customers across the country.

If you need help finding the right replacement parts for your Weber grill, we can help you do so.

If you’re not even sure which kind of Weber grill you have (and therefore don’t know what replacement parts to order), we can help you with that, too.

Are Weber Grills Worth It?

The short answer to whether or not Weber grills are worth the money is an absolute yes. Especially if you are shopping for your grill in a big box store. 

Like any other kind of significant purchase, it’s normal to ask yourself if Weber grills are worth the cost. We believe they are simply because of the company's history, quality, warranty and availability of parts. 

For example, you buy a $200 private label grill at a big box store and after 2 years, it’s falling apart, there is no warranty and you cannot find parts. If you purchase a Spirit II series grill with a 10 year top to bottom warranty for just over $500, you would have to spend $1000 and purchase 5 of the same $200 grill to equal the 10 year top to bottom warranty. So, in the long run it’s a better buy. “Spend it now, or spend more later.”

Buying a grill is no different than buying an appliance for your home. It’s an investment just like your dishwasher — something that you recognize has a finite lifespan, but one you hope will last for a long time.

In short: you’re trying to get as much bang for your buck as possible. Aren’t we all?

NOTE : The most important bit of information we can provide before purchasing a Weber Grill is be 100% sure of your gas type. They DO NOT allow converting of their grills. There is no Genuine Weber conversion kit . This is a liability arena many grill brands are looking to not engage in. If you are not sure, the safest bet is always LP as you can always buy a bottle of gas. You may not be able to have natural gas pipe to your home.

We believe no matter which Weber series you purchase; they are worth every bit of their price tag in Warranty and Parts!

Weber has a variety of grills available in their product line. They essentially have 3 main gas grill lines : Summit (which is the top of the line), Genesis (the most popular) and Spirit.

Weber gas grills come in both natural gas and propane varieties. Their price range is higher than Weber charcoal grills, but given the complexity of gas grills and the physical size of them, one should expect them to be more expensive.

The least expensive Weber gas grill we sell at BBQ Depot is about $1,650.00 — the Weber S-420 Summit Propane Grill with a Sear Burner (it also comes in a natural gas variety). The S-420 is a freestanding grill that packs plenty of features to make it worth the price:

  • 4 Stainless steel burners (538 square inches of cooking space, 112 square inches of warming rack space)
  • 48,800 BTU-per-hour input
  • 12,000 BTU-per-hour input flush-mounted side burner
  • Snap-Jet™ Individual burner ignition system
  • Stainless Steel cooking grates
  • Stainless steel Flavorizer bars
  • 3/8 inch or 9.5mm diameter stainless steel rod cooking grates
  • 6 Tool Holders
  • Center-mounted internal thermometer
  • Enclosed cart with stainless steel doors and chrome plated cast-aluminum handles and accent-colored painted side and rear panels
  • Accent-colored painted steel frame
  • Lighted control knobs
  • 2 Stainless steel work surfaces (one on either side of the grilling surface)
  • Enclosed tank storage area and precision fuel gauge
  • 2 Heavy-duty front locking casters
  • 2 Heavy-duty back swivel casters

The top of the line Weber grill comes in both propane and natural gas varieties and costs about $2,999.00. It’s the S-670 Summit with a Sear Burner, Rotisserie, and Side Burner. The S-670 comes with all of the above features, with the addition of the following:

  • 6 Stainless steel burners (624 square inches of cooking space, 145 square inches of warming rack space)
  • 60,000 BTU-per-hour input
  • 12,000 BTU-per-hour input flush-mounted side burner
  • 8,000 BTU-per-hour smoker burner and stainless-steel smoker box
  • 10,600 BTU-per-hour infrared rear-mounted rotisserie burner
  • Tuck-Away rotisserie system with flip-up motor and separate spit and fork storage in the enclosed cart
  • 10,600 BTU-per-hour input sear burner
  • 2 Grill Out handle light

If a gas grill is not your thing, you may want to consider one of Weber’s Charcoal Grills. Weber charcoal grills start at about $120.00, but can cost as much as $500.00 if you’re getting special finishes or accessories. For example, if you want their infamous kettle grill (typically a freestanding grill with no frills) but need some sort of working surface, you can purchase your Weber grill in a cart.

In the end, you’re the one who will be using the grill. Therefore, you must weigh your budgetary restrictions with the features each model will provide. But remember… you can get pretty much any part you need for your Weber Grill and that is a huge plus especially with Charcoal Grills.

Regardless of the fact that Weber is having some of their components overseas, Weber is still an American company (that you can call and get great customer service) with quality checks in place. Quality is a critical aspect of their business, so they’re incentivized to make sure their grills maintain the high standards they’ve set for themselves, and that their customers have come to expect.

We wouldn’t steer anyone away from Weber simply because some of their components are being made in China and Taiwan. Weber is still a reputable company and that is a big plus especially when purchasing a grill at a big box store.

If you are considering Weber, but not 100 percent sure yet, you also may want to look at Napoleon. They are essentially the Weber of Canada. They are family owned and have incredible warranties on their gas grills. The Rogue line of Napoleon Grills is manufactured overseas but the Prestige and Prestige Pro is manufactured in Canada with some imported parts including valves. The Prestige and Prestige Pro offer lifetime warranties on burners, cooking grates, hood and firebox. You definitely get more bang for your buck with Napoleon. For example, if you compare the Genesis II 435 to the Prestige 500 RSIB, both grills have 4 main burners. The Prestige has a rotisserie backburner which can only be found on the Summit Grills. Both grills have a “sear” station but with that, the prestige has a true infrared sear burner which doubles as a side burner. The Genesis sear burner is actually a 9,000 BTU tube burner. If you are looking at the Summit be sure to compare it to the Prestige Pro. The biggest difference between these brands is the warranty. Again, we want to re-iterate, be sure of your gas type before purchasing. Both of these brands do not permit gas conversions.

If you are looking for a workhorse grill, then checkout MHP. It does not have all the bells and whistles but boy can it grill a steak!

Are You Ready to Buy a New Grill?

Choosing a grill can be an overwhelming prospect, but with the right people guiding you, making a decision can feel less daunting. We’ve helped countless customers find solutions that fit their needs over the years, and we’re confident we can help you, too.

BBQ Depot initially began as a propane seller decades ago, and we’ve since expanded the business to include grills, replacement parts, and outdoor kitchens. At this point, we consider ourselves barbecue experts.

No matter what type of grill you’re looking for, we’re sure we can help you.

If you’re ready to place an order, or if you have questions, we’d love to hear from you. If you live near our showroom, you can stop in — we’re open six days a week. Alternatively, you can call us at (877)-983-0451 or email us. We look forward to speaking with you soon!

by Tracy Hollander on 10th Aug 2021
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