In the battle for backyards across America, Weber and Char-Broil are two of the best-known brands. And this is for good reason since they make grills fit for any occasion, and at affordable prices. If you are a fan of outdoor cooking but want to improve your game, this is the place to start.
Weber vs. Char-Broil Comparison
But which brand should you choose? Both brands have some unique features, and we understand wanting to make a wise investment. After all, who doesn’t enjoy sharing steaks, burgers, and more with family and friends? Check out the side-by-side comparison, or read the detailed reviews below.
Char-Broil or Weber: Which is Better?
There are a few things to consider when deciding whether to buy a Char-Broil or a Weber. Char-Broil grills are often a little more affordable to their credit, though not by much; however, Weber is an industry pioneer and renowned for quality and durability. Char-Broil has a few exciting products, such as the gas/charcoal hybrid grill, that some might consider, but we recommend Weber in most situations. These are our favorite picks:
Weber Grill Review
Here is a fun fact for you: The man that invented the original Weber kettle worked for a metal-working company in Chicago, and was inspired by the shape of a buoy the company was making. The bowl-shaped bottom seemed like it would be perfect for holding hot coals, so he cut a buoy in half before adding legs and a lid.
While it seems obvious now, George Stephen (the creator) knew that cooking with a lid over the fire would retain heat and improve the overall cooking experience, so he added a lid too. Soon after, “covered barbecuing” would be here to stay.
Sometimes it takes someone just crazy enough to try something new to change the way we look at the world around us, and it’s this same spirit of innovation that fuels Weber’s success today. Weber’s grills are still designed and engineered in their Chicago headquarters and manufactured in their Huntley, Illinois plant.
Weber represents pure American ingenuity, and while the brand started the kettle grill craze, they still are an industry leader in innovation and quality.
My Weber grill sits right past our back porch as a proud member of the family. Many memories were ignited with that grill, and it stands ready regardless of the season. There are fancier grills on the market, but Weber sits perfectly in the intersection of quality, innovation, and value. It’s why so many people around the world trust Weber to be a part of family mealtime.
While traditionalists might not like gas grills, it is hard to deny their convenience. And Weber makes a few different types so that you can find the perfect size and feature level for your needs.
The Weber Spirit Series is the entry-level grill that is perfect for smaller crowds and family meals. The Spirit Series features built-in thermometers for convenience, as well as porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates and always-safe-to-touch lid handles.
The Spirit E-210 is the smallest model, with 360 square inches of cooking surface, which is decent by two-burner grill standards. The E-210 is perfect for a small family and perhaps even apartment-living. At the other end of the spectrum, the Spirit SP-335 features stainless steel and 424 square inches of grill space. With three burners on the SP-335, you can grill in a hot zone over two burners while simmering sauce or cooking up veggies over the third burner.
A model like the Weber Spirit II E-310, with three stainless steel burners, is a great option for most families. Users will appreciate that the unit has enough space to cook for the entire family without breaking the bank.
The Weber Genesis Series is one step up from the Spirit Series. The smaller Genesis Series is about the same size as the larger Spirit grills. Still, they have more durable stainless steel components and notably have a sear station and side burner, so these bad boys are more advanced than the Spirit Series. At the top end, the Genesis II E-435 and S-435 are behemoth grills fit for any occasion.
Of course, if you are serious about your grilling, the Weber Summit Series is a top-of-the-line grill that will not only get the job done but impress you and others in the process. The Summit Series ranges from four to six burners, allowing you to use your expertise to cook different foods at different temperatures.
The six-burner, granddaddy of all Weber gas grills, has an impressive 624 square inches of cooking area, a sear station, warming rack, side burner, built-in lid thermometer, and tuck-away rotisserie system with spit and fork storage. With all of the extra features, gas-grilling has never been this good.
If you are ready to invest in your backyard grilling game but prefer the ease of gas, Weber makes the best grills available.
The kettle charcoal grills started it all, and for purists, these might be the best of the bunch. Cooking with charcoal provides an element of flavor and aroma gas grills do not, and the Kettle Premium Series features updates to make the experience a little more enjoyable. Namely, the Kettle Premium Series has an upgraded cleaning system that eases the difficulty some dread of cleaning up charcoal ashes.
Our favorite feature from the Kettle Premium Series is the smoker, low-and-slow setting, allowing you to smoke up your favorite barbecue in an affordable way. Of course, smoking on a kettle grill requires a lot more time and attention than using something more advanced like a Traeger, but there is something raw and pure about grilling up some barbecue in an old-school way.
The Kettle is what got it all started for Weber, and they are still a top seller, even today. Still, they have several other kettle types to consider.
The Master Touch Series, Performer Series, and Summit Charcoal Grill Series offer progressively more advanced features to elevate the charcoal grill experience above its rudimentary past. The Master Touch Series units aren’t too different from the primary line-up of kettle grills. Still, they do come in several different colors, so if you are interested in something other than red or black, these grills are handsome and will add a little pop to your backyard.
The Weber Performer Series comes with a cart to hold the kettle grill higher and provides space to set sauces or dishes. Most gas grills have pull-out shelves, which is an advantage over most of the kettle grills; however, the carts that come with the Performer Series partially solve this problem. Having a little side table makes a huge difference.
The Summit Charcoal Series, for instance, is explicitly designed to merge the best of charcoal grilling with the benefits and low-and-slow barbecuing. And it is versatile enough to be used for smoking, grilling, and more. One unique feature of this series is that a gas ignition switch is available, making firing up your charcoal super easy. There is also a Summit Kamado version with steel-insulated temperature control for maximum heat retention.
The largest charcoal grills have as much as 452 square inches of cooking space, enough to serve six to eight people mouth-watering goodness. Of course, the charcoal grills are generally backed by Weber’s ten-year warranty. For charcoal enthusiasts, the choice is clear that Weber is a cut above the rest.
Wood Pellet Grills
Weber’s new SmokeFire Series offers two wood-fired pellet grills to go head-to-head with newer brands such as Traeger and Pit Boss. Honestly, we recommend Traeger for wood pellet grills, but Weber holds its own at a potentially lower price point.
The second-generation Weber SmokeFire has a temperature range of 200 to 600 degrees, and over 1,000 square inches of dual grilling space. Quite frankly, for the average Joe, that is more grill space than you will ever need, but it is still pretty nice to have.
The porcelain-enamel finish helps prevent rust, and the stainless steel grill grates are a little easier to manage than the cast-iron grills.
Best yet, the Weber Connect smart grilling technology and the high capacity hopper make it much easier to set it and forget it. This is a different grilling style than charcoal, which tends to be a bit more high maintenance. If you want to invest in the future of grilling technology, but want an alternative to Traeger and Pit Boss, then the Weber SmokeFire Series makes a lot of sense.
Other Weber Options
Since Weber is an industry leader when it comes to grilling, it’s no surprise they are taking the wood pellet segment head-on with the SmokeFire Series, but their innovation and product line-up don’t end there. Consider the Smokey Mountain Cooker Series, which is a semi-portable smoker you can take camping and other excursions. It works great in the backyard if you want to throw down some ribs for your friends and family, but it is portable enough you could take it to the lake house to smoke up your fresh catch.
The company also makes portable grills and electric grills. The portable grills are great for a trip to the beach or the mountains, while the electric grill perfectly fits an apartment patio or balcony. Outdoor grilling can be as therapeutic as it is tasty, so regardless of your living situation or cooking preference, Weber has a grill that will work for your lifestyle.
You might want to consider a Weber IGrill too, which enables you to monitor the meat’s internal temperature while stepping away for a period of time while you are grilling low-and-slow. The IGrill Mini has a single probe capacity and is capable of communicating to the Weber Grill app via Bluetooth. The IGrill 2 facilitates as many as four temperature probes. Both have a magnetic base, making them easier to manage near the grill. Whether you just want to be able to step away for a few minutes, or you want to dial in your temperature management perfectly, these are great little tools.
Is a Weber Grill Worth The Money?
The first kettle grills came from Weber, so it should be no surprise that they are an industry leader in the grilling industry. If you are interested in a traditional gas grill or a charcoal grill, you should first review Weber’s products. Weber’s 10-Year Warranty for most of the grills is also worth considering. The brand is known for excellent customer service. If you are more interested in a pellet grill/smoker, you might consider some Weber alternatives such as Traeger, but for any other grill, Weber makes the best products on the market.SUMMARY PROS
- Pioneering Kettle Grill Technology
- Few Wood Pellet Options
- Large Variety of Grills
- Available at Multiple Price Points
- Renowned Quality and Durability
Char-Broil Grill Review
You won’t find many kettle-shaped grills in Char-Broil’s line-up, but most of their grills are worth considering just the same. Even the Char-Broil grills targeted toward those with a limited budget still have reliable performance, so get ready to grab your favorite cooking tools and show all of your family and friends you are a seasoned griller.
In comparison to Char-Broil, it may seem that Weber stays close to their bread-and-butter. Char-Broil, on the other hand, does a little bit of everything. They have cheap entry-level grills and very nice high-end grills, and they have grills with basic technology alongside grills with innovative TRU-Infrared technology. Some of the grills at the bottom end are bargain prices, and these versions may not have standard features such as built-in temperature gauges.
Still, if you want to add flame-broiled quality to your home menu, even the most basic units have all of the features that matter, and the Char-Broil appliances that slide into the high-end category are quite nice. Fancy even. If you are looking for something other than Weber’s tried-and-true approach, then Char-Broil has something for you.
The Char-Broil Classic Series is an entry-level grill designed at a bare minimum to avoid breaking the bank. If money is tight, it is worth considering; however, the build isn’t as sturdy, the materials are plasticky, and there aren’t as many features. The cart design isn’t awe-inspiring, but it will help beginners get started on their grill-life journey. They are big enough for singles and most couples, but you may need something bigger down the road.
For most people, we recommend looking at the Char-Broil Performance Series. Compared to the Classic Series, the Char-Broil Performance Series has a more sturdy and attractive design and larger cooking areas, and more advanced features. There is a reason why they call it the Performance Series.
Among the Performance Series Grills, we recommend the TRU-Infrared 3 Burner Cabinet grill with 450 square inches of primary cooking space and a 150 square inches warming rack. This model is available as a propane gas grill and features the brand’s Surefire electronic ignition system, which provides a reliable spark at every burner. Just make sure you clean your grease tray, so you don’t get more spark than you bargained for 😉. The electric ignition systems make starting up a gas grill much simpler than getting the fire going on a charcoal grill.
And since the grill features TRU-Infrared technology, you can say goodbye to cold spots and flame flare-ups. With the addition of TRU-Infrared, the Performance Series heats up evenly and gives the Weber Spirit Series a run for its money.
The Signature Series Grills sit a level higher than the Performance Series and offer additional features. Char-Broil’s most impressive grill might be the Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 4-Burner Cabinet grill, with a whopping 525 square inches of primary cooking space. The main cooking area includes porcelain-coated cast-iron grates, and the grill is equipped with four stainless steel tube burners to keep your fire going. The grill also has a 200 square inch warming rack and can be purchased with a side burner.
Perhaps the feature most worth mentioning is that the Signature Series grill adapts from liquid propane to natural gas, as long as you purchase and install the correct conversion kit. The Signature TRU-Infrared 4-Burner Grill is exceedingly versatile and big enough to cook dinner for the neighborhood block party.
Char-Broil also has a Commercial Series, with all of the bells and whistles you could dream of, but for most people, the Performance Series or Signature Series should work just fine. In terms of ability, they all fire up plenty of heat for the average user. Of course, if you mean serious business, the Commercial Series should be top of mind as you weigh your options.
As if to admit that charcoal grills are Weber’s thing, Char-Broil only has a few charcoal grills in its portfolio, which is honestly a little surprising given the brand name. The most direct competitor to Weber’s kettle grills is the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman Charcoal Grill. We prefer the authenticity and some of the functionality of Weber’s kettle grills; however, the TRU-Infrared technology is enough to make you think twice.
Char-Broil’s Kettleman has 360 square inches of cooking space, with a slide-out ashtray for easy cleanup. It also features a large air damper, making it easier to control the temperature, and a built-in thermometer. And the TRU-Infrared technology maximizes heat distribution. Like Weber models, it also has wheels for easy portability.
Other charcoal grills, such as the American Gourmet Series have a more cylindrical shape so that it looks a little bit like a smoker. The most significant benefit to the American Gourmet series is that, like wood pellet grills, they have substantially large grilling surfaces. The American Gourmet 800, for instance, sports 568 square inches of primary cooking space and an additional 272 square inches of secondary cooking space. That’s enough for 20 burgers and big enough to host your neighborhood block party.
The most significant difference in performance between the American Gourmet and Kettleman is that the latter includes the TRU-Infrared tech, while the American Gourmet Series is a little more traditional.
Other Char-Broil Options
Of course, if you are looking for grill covers or a grill brush, Char-Broil sells every tool you might need. Beyond that, the brand has pretty much any kind of smoker and fryer you could ever want, including gas, charcoal, and electric smokers. The largest electric smoker includes 1000 square inches of cooking space, but it is a pricier model, so some might prefer to consider wood-pellet grills, which are a little more authentic. The cooking process might be a little easier with the electric smoker, but most enthusiasts aren’t big fans of the electric smokers. The electric smoker has a 1-year warranty on parts.
The Big Easy is an oil-less Turkey fryer, perfect for the holiday season. It will fit a turkey, chicken, or roast of up to 16 pounds.
Is a Char-Broil Grill Worth The Money?
One of our favorite Char-Broil model is the Charcoal and Gas Combo Grill, which allows for the advanced heat control gas provides, or the authenticity and flavoring charcoal offers. Of course, Char-Broil has more options than you might imagine, and you will be pleased with any grill featuring the TRU-Infrared technology. While they are sometimes rated a little lower than Weber models, most of the gas-burning grills are worth the investment.SUMMARY PROS
- Charcoal/Gas Hybrid Available
- No Wood Pellet Options
- Lower Bottom End Price Points
- Few Charcoal Grill Options
- TRU-Infrared Tech reduces flare-ups
Weber & Char-Broil Alternatives
For the most part, if you want to invest in or upgrade your backyard grill, Weber & Char-Broil are great options. Of course, there are brands out there with more expensive models and advanced functionality. For a long time, grilling purists preferred charcoal grills, while those looking for convenience preferred gas grills. In many ways, wood pellet grills offer some combination of the two.
Wood pellet grills allow for that smokey flavor so many love while also offering unparalleled convenience, such as smartphone apps that show you what your grill’s temperature is and how full the pellet hopper is. For advanced wood pellet grills, we recommend you consider Traeger Grills or Pit Boss Grills, but Traeger is the best of the best.
That said, wood pellet grills work great for low-and-slow cooking. While Traeger is an excellent alternative to Weber and Char-Broil for true barbecuing, if you mainly plan to grill up some burgers, steaks, and hot dogs, then Weber and Char-Broil make a perfect choice.
Are Weber Grills Really That Much Better?
If you compare Weber grills to Char-Broil grills any other competitors and wonder if Weber grills are that much better, it probably depends on your perspective. Most gas grills, for instance, have about the same level of performance. Still, the quality of materials used in Weber grills is more consistent and durable, making it a superior grill, particularly when considering affordable models. When considering charcoal grills, Weber products are second-to-none.
Whether you are considering small details like the porcelain-enameled flavorizer bars, or the 10-Year Warranty for many of the grill components, Weber stands tall above the competition. Weber grills are versatile too. Get a good sear with direct heat, dampen the air supply, and cook low-and-slow with indirect heat.
The extended warranty shouldn’t be overlooked either. While Char-Broil might be better for individuals on a tight budget, the price difference isn’t that substantial. With premium features, industry-lauded innovation, a reliable track record, and more options than most of the competition, there is no question that Weber grills are an excellent investment. A Weber will give you years of happy grilling. 🔥
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