weber spirit vs. genesis, weber genesis II LX upgrades features
Grill Research

Weber Spirit vs. Genesis: What’s the Difference?


Why, hello there! If you came here from a Google search and were expecting to land at buydontbuy.net, you’re in the right place! This article used to be over there, but I moved it over here. Growing pains, you see. Thanks for your understanding!

Weber Spirit vs. Genesis, Part I: The E-210

First up in our Weber Spirit vs. Genesis battles: the E-210 model gas grills! Oh, and btw, we’re really talking about Spirit II vs. Genesis II. Skip to the summary if you ain’t got time for the full analysis.

In this article, we will look at both models of each grill series side-by-side. We’ll start with the 2-burner models, and then we’ll move on to the 3-burner models. After that, we’ll see what the big deal is with Weber’s “luxury edition” grill, the Weber Genesis II LX.

weber spirit vs. genesis grill comparison e-210
[click to enlarge] Apart from some cosmetic differences and a slightly different cart design, these two grills are more or less twinsies.
As you can see from the photo above, the Weber Spirit II E-210 is different from the Weber Genesis II E-210 in a few ways. The Weber Genesis II has a shinier, fancier lid. Even the handle is shinier and fancier. Both grills feature an “open cart” design, but that is also slightly different between the Spirit and the Genesis. The Weber Spirit II has a two-wheeled cart, so if you want to move the grill, you’ll need to tilt one side of it up off the ground. This may require two people, depending on how far you’re moving the grill and whether or not you have any obstacles to contend with. The Genesis II has two locking casters to go along with the big “all-weather” wheels, so rolling it to a new location should be an easy one-person job. The drip pan, which is located in basically the same place on both grills, is a bit more accessible on the Genesis II. On the Weber Spirit II, the drip pan slides out from under the grill. The Genesis II provides enough clearance that you can simply lift the drip pan off of the wire rack that it sits on.

You’ll notice that the Genesis II also has two metal curtain-like things hanging under the side table on the right. The Weber Spirit II doesn’t have these! The purpose of having those metal thingies is really just cosmetic. On both grills, you mount the propane tank under the right side table. The reason for mounting the propane tank is so that you can take advantage of the weight-based fuel gauge—the fuel gauge, you see, works like a scale. It uses the weight of your propane tank to tell you roughly how much gas is left. On the Spirit II grill, your propane tank is completely visible. The Genesis II, however, with its metal curtains, kind of hides the propane tank from view. Cuz, you know, it’s classy like that. Below is a picture of what both of these grills look like with the propane tank mounted.

weber spirit vs. genesis with propane tanks
[click to enlarge] Gotta admit, the mostly-hidden propane tank on the Weber Genesis II E-210 does look nicer! Unless, of course, your name is Hank Hill and the sight of propane tanks makes your heart skip a beat.
So now that we’ve looked at the obvious differences in this Weber Spirit vs. Genesis comparison, let’s check out my handy side-by-side comparison table:

(If you’re viewing this chart on your phone, I highly recommend turning your phone sideways to landscape view.)

Weber Spirit II E-210 Weber Genesis II E-210
Current Price
Amazon Expert Assembly FREE FREE
Primary cooking area (sq. in.) 360 380
Warming rack area (sq. in.) 90 114
Total BTUs 26,500 26,000
BTUs per sq. in.* 73.6 68.4
Stainless steel burners 2 2
Fuel type Liquid propane (aka “LP”)
(sold separately)
Liquid propane (aka “LP”)
(sold separately)
Natural gas model available? Available! Click here Available! Click here
Fuel gauge Yes (LP model only) Yes (LP model only)
Cooking grate material porcelain-enameled cast iron porcelain-enameled cast iron
Fold-down side tables left side only left side only
Grilling tool hooks 6 6
iGrill 3 compatible** Yes Yes
All-weather wheels 2 2
Swivel locking casters N/A 2
Dimensions – lid closed (in.) 44.5″H X 48″W X 27″D 45″H X 47″W X 29″D
Dimensions – lid open (in.) 57″H X 48″W X 26″D 61″H X 47″W X 31″D
Left-table-down width 38 in 38 in
Warranty 10 years, all parts 10 years, all parts
* BTUs per sq. in. calculation is based on primary cooking area only.
** iGrill 3 (smartphone-compatible temperature probe) is sold separately.

What all of this data tells us is that the Weber Spirit II and the Weber Genesis II are more or less the same in terms of features, but there are a few notable exceptions.

First, the Genesis II has a slightly larger cooking area as well as a larger warming rack. The bigger size is also reflected in the extra few inches you see in the Genesis II’s dimensions. It should be noted that the warming rack on the Genesis II is a “tuck-away” version that can be folded down when not in use. The Spirit II’s smaller warming rack doesn’t tuck, but it can be removed if space becomes an issue.

BTUs are also a bit different, but not in the way you might think! I double-checked the BTU numbers on both Amazon and Weber’s own website, and the more expensive Genesis II E-210 does have a slightly lower BTU rating than the Spirit II E-210. Why? I have no idea. But don’t fret! You’re not going to miss 500 BTUs, even if they do drag down the BTUs per sq. in. figure. I included those numbers just for those who are curious, but BTU ratings are really overrated. The Genesis II will cook your food just as well as the Spirit II. You won’t notice the difference, so don’t sweat it.

One thing that I did not include in the comparison chart is that both grills have Weber’s “GS4 High Performance Grilling System.” The GS4 Grilling System is touted as a major feature in all of the marketing materials for Weber Spirit II and Weber Genesis II grills. According to Weber, the GS4 Grilling System includes Infinity Ignition, Flavorizer Bars, High Performance Burners, and a Grease Management System. Infinity Ignition, which Weber says is “guaranteed to ignite every time,” is new to the Spirit II and Genesis II grills. Ignition that’s guaranteed to start! That’s a really good thing.

weber spirit vs. genesis what's the difference
GS4 Grilling System! Sounds so fancy. The guaranteed-to-ignite Infinity Ignition is a great feature.

The other GS4 Grilling System stuff may have been redesigned for Weber’s newest grills, but the features themselves are pretty standard on most gas grills of this type. Weber’s Flavorizer Bars are the tent-shaped metal shields that sit beneath the grilling area. They (a) protect the burners from drippings and things that might clog them, and (b) vaporize food drippings that hit the bars during cooking, creating that wonderful-smelling smoke that comes with the grilling experience. Just about every gas grill has something similar, but only Weber calls them Flavorizer Bars. As for the High Performance Burners and the Grease Management System, well, older Weber grills have burners and some way of draining grease, too. I guess the point is that the GS4 Grilling System is Weber’s way of highlighting the inner workings of the Spirit II and Genesis II.

Summary: Weber Spirit vs. Genesis differences

The Weber Spirit II E-210 is a fine grill, but paying more for the Weber Genesis II E-210 will get you the following:

  • fancier styling, such as the cooler-looking lid
  • four wheels instead of two, for easier mobility
  • metal curtain things that hide the propane tank
  • a bigger cooking area and bigger warming rack
  • a warming rack that folds down
  • a more accessible drip pan

Both grills have the tank-scale fuel gauge, which the original Spirit grills do not have. It’s a cool feature, and a clever one at that. I’ve always hated having to guess at how much gas is left in my propane tank.


Weber Spirit vs. Genesis, Part II: The E-310

This part of our Weber Spirit vs. Genesis comparison will focus on size and price changes when you pay for a bigger grill with more burners. If you want to read my wonderful prose that describes the basic differences between the Spirit II series and the Genesis II series in detail, go to the top of this page and start there!

The Weber Spirit II E-310 is the same grill as the E-210 above, but the E-310 is bigger and has 3 burners. That’s why it’s called the E-310! Likewise for the Weber Genesis II E-310. Bigger grill. Three burners, not two. Still, we’ll give them a good side-by-side look. But first, let’s talk about colors!

The Weber Spirit II series, whether you want the E-210 or E-310, is available in black, red, sapphire (blue), and ivory (see photo below).

weber spirit vs. genesis comparison
[click to enlarge] WEBER SPIRIT II: It seems like most grills are black, but they don’t have to be!
Meanwhile, the Weber Genesis II E-410 is available in copper (tan), crimson (red), smoke (kind of an olive-like color), and black.

weber spirit vs. genesis II e-410 colors
[click to enlarge] The Weber Genesis II E-410 series is the only Genesis grill series that is available in these colors.
All other Weber Genesis II grills are limited to black or a nice stainless steel finish which costs more. In the photo below, the “regular” Weber Genesis II E-310 is on the left, and the handsome stainless steel model on the right is called the S-310. S is for SASSY! I kid. S is for Stainless, or Steel, or possibly even Shiny.

weber spirit vs. genesis grill comparison
[click to enlarge] WEBER GENESIS II: The Weber Genesis II E-210 and E-310 are only available in black. The S-310 (on the right) is the stainless steel model, and it costs mo’ money. But look how sleek it is!
And here’s what the Spirit II E-310 and Genesis II E-310 look like side-by-side:

weber spirit vs. genesis grill comparison differences
[click to enlarge] Bigger grills! WEBER SPIRIT II E-310 on the left, WEBER GENESIS II E-310 on the right. All the same observations regarding the E-210 differences apply. Different lids, different cart designs, yada yada yada. But bigger grills.
Now let’s look at the comparison chart. For your convenience, and because I’m just such a sweetie pie, I have highlighted certain things in red. The red items are those that apply only to the E-310 models. Everything else, meaning the non-size-related features, is the same as the E-210 grill models up above.

Weber Spirit II E-310 Weber Genesis II E-310
Current Price
Amazon Expert Assembly FREE FREE
Primary cooking area (sq. in.) 424
(E-210: 360)
513
(E-210: 380)
Warming rack area (sq. in.) 105
(E-210: 90)
156
(E-210: 114)
Total BTUs 30,000
(E-210: 26,500)
37,500
(E-210: 26,000)
BTUs per sq. in.* 70.7
(E-210: 73.6)
73.1
(E-210: 68.4)
Stainless steel burners 3
(E-210: 2)
3
(E-210: 2)
Fuel type Liquid propane (aka “LP”)
(sold separately)
Liquid propane (aka “LP”)
(sold separately)
Natural gas model available? Available! Click here Available! Click here
Fuel gauge Yes (LP model only) Yes (LP model only)
Cooking grate material porcelain-enameled cast iron porcelain-enameled cast iron
Fold-down side tables left side only left side only
Grilling tool hooks 6 6
iGrill 3 compatible** Yes Yes
All-weather wheels 2 2
Swivel locking casters N/A 2
Dimensions – lid closed (in.) 44.5″H X 52″W X 27″D 45″H X 54″W X 29″D
Dimensions – lid open (in.) 57″H X 52″W X 26″D 61″H X 54″W X 31″D
Left-table-down width 42 in 45 in
Warranty 10 years, all parts 10 years, all parts
* BTUs per sq. in. calculation is based on primary cooking area only.
** iGrill 3 (smartphone-compatible temperature probe) is sold separately.

Now let’s look at the important stuff here: (a) price, and (b) what you get for that price.

If you look at the price of the Weber Spirit II E-210 and compare it to the price of the E-310, it looks pretty fair. You pay a little more, and you get an extra burner with a primary cooking area that grows from 360 sq. in. to 424 sq. in. That’s about 18% larger. The warming rack is larger, too, but pffft who cares.

And then there’s the Weber Genesis II E-210 price. Compare that to the E-310 price, and I can already hear you quietly screaming:

CHEESE ‘N CRACKERS! WHY IS THE 3-BURNER GENESIS II SO MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE??!!

Weber Genesis II price comparison: 2 burners (E-210) vs. 3 burners (E-310)
Genesis II E-210 Genesis II E-310

Genesis II E-210

Genesis II E-310

Well if you’d shut up for two nanoseconds, I’ll tell you why! Check out those cooking area numbers. The Weber Spirit II E-310 gets an extra burner and an 18% increase in the primary cooking area. The square inches go from 360 to 424. The Genesis II, however, gets an extra burner and grows from 380 sq. in. to 513 sq. in. That’s a gigantic 35% increase in the primary cooking area. That means the Genesis II E-310 has over one-third more primary cooking area than its smaller cousin, the E-210.

Yes, the price of the Weber Genesis II E-310 is about 40% higher than the E-210, but it’s not for nothing! Much bigger price = much bigger grill. Not only that, but you’re also getting a nice bump in the BTU department, if that matters to you. Remember, the Weber Genesis II E-210 actually has a lower BTU rating than its cheaper counterpart, the Weber Spirit II E-210. That injustice gets fixed with the E-310 models, and now all is right in the world of grilling.

Wait, do you need more than three burners? If so, the Weber Spirit II series is off the table. The Weber Genesis II series, however, has a lot more to offer. Below is yet another handy comparison chart that shows price increases from model to model, along with size increases. If you need a big grill, which Weber Genesis will give you the most bang for the buck? Remember, prices do change, so I’m basing this chart on Weber’s list prices. Please don’t yell at me if my figures are a bit off due to a price change or something.

What do you get when you upgrade from one Genesis II model to the next one up the line?
 Genesis II Model Burners Primary Cooking
Area Increase
(sq. in.)
Approx. Price
Increase*
E-210 → E-310 2 → 3 380 → 513 (+35%) +40%
E-310 → E-410 3 → 4 513 → 646 (+26%) +28%
E-410 → E-610 4 → 6 646 → 770 (+19%) +43%
———- ———- ———- ———-
LX E-240 → LX E-340 2 → 3 380 → 513 (+35%) +33%
LX E-340 → LX E-440 3 → 4 513 → 646 (+26%) +21%
LX E-440 → LX E-640 4 → 6 646 → 770 (+19%) +26%
———- ———- ———- ———-
LX S-240 → LX S-340 2 → 3 380 → 513 (+35%) +30%
LX S-340 → LX S-440 3 → 4 513 → 646 (+26%) +23%
LX S-440 → LX S-640 4 → 6 646 → 770 (+19%) +21%
* Price increase percentages are based on Weber’s “MSRP” (list price) figures as a reference point. Actual retail prices may, and probably will, vary.

So it looks like the biggest price increases for the “regular” Genesis II E grills come in two places. The first big jump is when you go from two to three burners, and we already know that that’s because you’re getting a much bigger grill. The next big jump is when you go from four burners to six, and I suppose that’s because of the two extra burners.

The price increases in the very shiny LX stainless steel models are more modest. The cooking area sizes don’t change, but the increase in price from one model to the next isn’t quite as big. Maybe that’s just Weber’s way of tempting you to buy one of their luxury models!


Weber Spirit vs. Genesis, Part III: The Genesis II LX

First of all, the Weber Spirit II series isn’t actually a part of this conversation! I just put that in the title of this section because I’m anal retentive and like uniformity.

Deep down inside, the Weber Genesis II series of grills is the same as the Weber Genesis II LX series. In other words, whatever basic features you would find in a Genesis II grill are also built into the LX grills. But the “LX” grills come with a pretty cool set of options, much like a fancier and more expensive trim level you might see when shopping for cars. Weber’s LX series grills are considerably more expensive than the non-LX grills, and here’s what that higher price tag gets you:

  • a side burner on the right side of the grill
  • “High+” temperature setting (like turning your gas grill up to 11)
  • LED fuel gauge (the standard fuel gauge is not LED)
  • stainless steel cooking grates and Flavorizer Bars
  • lighted temperature control knobs
  • handle-mounted LED light that illuminates the cooking area
  • storage cabinet instead of “open cart” design

The Weber Genesis II LX series is only available in black or, at an extra cost, a stainless steel finish. And, like all Genesis II grills, LX grills are available with 2, 3, 4, or 6 burners.

weber spirit vs. genesis II LX features
[click to enlarge] These are some of the fancier features you get with the Weber Genesis II LX series: lighted control knobs, side burner, LED fuel gauge, and LED handle light that lights up the cooking area.
So back to the feature list … that’s pretty good! There’s a lot of cool stuff included with the LX series, but whether or not they justify the higher price tags on Weber Genesis II LX grills is for you to decide. Most of these extra features are pretty self-explanatory. A lot of people prefer having a cabinet rather than Weber’s “new” open-cart design because it provides a way to conceal the propane tank. The lighted control knobs and LED light are obviously great if you’re grilling at night. About those stainless steel grill grates, they could be seen as a plus or a minus, depending on your perspective. The good news is that stainless steel cooking grates are durable and just might last forever. You can scrape the heck out of them with whatever scraper you please, and you will have no regrets. Stainless steel grates also absorb heat quickly. The downside is that they don’t hold heat very well, like cast iron grates do. Porcelain-enameled cast iron grates are, of course, thicker and heavier than stainless steel. That means they hold heat better, but the porcelain coating can also chip and expose the metal underneath to rust.

Anyway, chances are you’ll be quite happy with stainless steel cooking grates and all of the other features that Weber Genesis II LX grills come with. And, as you can see in the LX portion of the chart above, Weber keeps the cost-benefit relationship fairly proportional if you decide to go for a bigger, more expensive grill.

weber spirit vs. genesis features
[click to enlarge] The Weber Genesis II LX E-440 will cook all the food. ALL of it! Nobody leaves your party hungry!
weber spirit vs. genesis II lx grill features
[click to enlarge] The Weber Genesis II LX E-240 (left) and the Weber Genesis II LX S-240 (right)
weber spirit vs. genesis II lx grill features
[click to enlarge] The Weber Genesis II LX E-340 (left) and the Weber Genesis II LX S-340 (right)
weber spirit vs. genesis II lx grill features
[click to enlarge] The Weber Genesis II LX E-440 (left) and the Weber Genesis II LX S-440 (right)
weber spirit vs. genesis II lx grill features
[click to enlarge] The Weber Genesis II LX E-640 (left) and the Weber Genesis II LX S-640 (right)


Conclusion

For smart grillers, the choice between the Weber Spirit vs. Genesis series of grills is going to be based on value and needs. The Weber Spirit II series is the “entry level” Weber gas grill, and if you’re just an occasional BBQer who doesn’t want or need all the frills, then that’s probably enough grill for you. Where small, two-burner grills are concerned, the Weber Genesis II line is great for those who don’t mind paying for aesthetics. When your needs go beyond the size limitations of having only two burners, the Genesis II series kind of becomes a must-have. Spirit II grills are pretty limited in cooking area, and they aren’t offered in larger sizes. The Weber Genesis II E-310, that grill with the way-bigger cooking area than its smaller E-210 counterpart, is where you start to gain the ability to cook for bigger crowds.

No matter which grill you choose, be sure to take care of it! Keep it covered and keep it clean, especially if you live in an area with high humidity, nearby salt water, or even near a swimming pool. Weber’s 10 year warranty is great, but home appliances still need to be cared for. As my pappy used to say, “Son you’re gonna drive me to drinkin’ if you don’t stop drivin’ that hot rod Lincoln.” He also used to say, “Take care of your grill, and it will take care of you!” Or maybe I got that off of a bumper sticker. Who cares! Just take it to heart. Stitch it into a throw pillow or something.

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