Full Review – Weber Genesis II SE-335 Gas Grill
The Weber Genesis II SE-335 Gas Grill has been discontinued. Models of this version will remain in stores for a few months, but once they are gone, this grill will not be available. For the latest versions of this grill see my article on the Weber Genesis Gas Grill for 2022.
There are currently 15 models of the Weber Genesis Gas Grill on the market. That number will change. It will change several times. That is the way Weber works. The truth is, however, that there is only one Genesis worth buying, Weber Genesis II SE-335. The “SE” in the name means “Special Edition”. You generally can’t find this model from most major retailers, so don’t bother looking. Either check with a local grill retailer or buy it online.
What makes this model special? It has the right combination of features. It doesn’t have the stainless steel body parts, which do nothing but make the grill shiny and expensive, but it does have the stainless steel cooking grates. These grates are heavy and very smooth. You get excellent heat transfer on a surface that is more nonstick than the typical porcelain-coated cast-iron cooking grates. You also get a nice little grill light mounted on the handle. It isn’t terribly bright, but it helps in the dark.
You also get Weber’s internal sear burner. This sits between the right and middle main burners to give you a boost in power for better grilling. This is a great feature on the Weber Genesis, which tends to be a bit underpowered. There is a nice side burner, which is actually powerful enough to heat a large pot. A feature I recommend for more than just occasional warming. It’s great if, for some reason, you find yourself unable to cook indoors.
What you are not wasting your money on is Weber’s ‘smart’ grill technology. All this really is, is a WiFi-enabled temperature monitoring system that at best tells you to flip your meat, or when it should be done. At worst, it simply takes all the fun out of outdoor cooking.
What the Weber Genesis II SE-335 Special Edition Offers
Everything else on this grill is common to all Genesis Grills. The cast aluminum body lasts for decades, is lightweight, and holds the whole grill together. The lid is a combination of cast aluminum and sheet metal. There are two layers of metal in the lid, but that is there to protect the finish, not retain heat. Those rivets are just decorations. The rest of the grill is largely unremarkable. Sheet metal with a good paint job, but it holds together well. The real standout features come in the small innovations to the cooking system.
The burners are actually very good. You could get better, but you would be paying thousands more for such a grill. The burners are similar to what you would find in a modern furnace. The ports are on the top, but they are reinforced so they don’t experience burn-through over time. This can be a problem on non-cast burners where the ports expand over time, causing an uneven flow of gas. These burners are tapered to maintain an even flow front to back and therefore and even heat inside the grill.
Similarly, Weber redesigned the ignitors in the grill so they are shielded from drippings and corrosion. This keeps them lighting the grill year after year. When Weber introduced this design, it became one of the first grills to offer a ten-year warranty on the ignition system, the most common point of failure in a grill. These ignitors are powered by a AA battery that fits behind the ignition button.
Why The Weber Genesis II SE-335 Gas Grill?
This is a Weber. Many people will buy it for that reason only. This grill has a great warranty and excellent support. It is dependable. It grills well and has some very nice features. This model in particular, when stacked against the other 14 models is that it is simply the best combination of what the others have to offer at the best possible price. Yes, it does cost more than a thousand dollars, but you are getting what you pay for.
The biggest problem with this grill is that it is a limited edition and can be hard to find. I will do my best to make sure that the purchase link above is up to date with a location that most people can purchase from.
- Three 13,000 BTU top ported stainless steel burners
- 513 square inches of primary cooking space with a total of 669 square inches
- 39,000 BTU maximum output from the main burners
- 9,000 BTU internal standard sear burner
- 12,000 BTU standard side burner under a flush mounted cover
- Stainless Steel cooking grates
- Weber iGrill compatible
- Handle mounted grill light
- Electronic Ignition (one AA battery)
- Cast aluminum and porcelain-coated steel construction
- Cover and propane tank sold separately
- Sold as Propane or Natural Gas – not convertible
- Made in China by Weber-Stephen Products Company
- Stainless Steel Cooking Grates
- Very Good Burner Design
- Strong Warranty
- Good Construction Quality
- Lower Heat Output
- Limited Distribution
Weber Genesis II SE-335 Gas Grill
Weber offers too many versions of their popular Genesis Grills. I guess they like to cover every possible price point with a thick blanket. The problem is that what they have created is an odd list of features that are mixed and matched in ways that frequently offer nothing. The Weber Genesis II Special Edition SE-335 Gas Grill is the right combination of the available features.
Now let me say that the Weber Genesis is a good grill. It isn’t great. It lacks the power of many comparable models. Truth is, today’s Weber Genesis isn’t what it once was. That is not to say that it isn’t a good option. It is a Weber after all that does still say something. The SE-335 is really the only choice though. Unfortunately, it isn’t widely available. Guess that’s why it is a ‘Special Edition’.
Napoleon Rogue XT 525
For a little more money, the Napoleon Rogue XT 525 offers a lot more space than this Weber Genesis. It also has an extra burner. Best of all, this gas grill has an infrared side-mounted searing burner. It will heat a pot or can be used to sear a restaurant-quality steak.
The Napoleon Rogue, like the Weber above, is made in China but is a much more powerful grill with a better warranty.
MHP or Modern Home Products have been making gas grills longer than anyone. Yes, they are old school, but this gas grill is built like a tank. The heavy and solid cast aluminum body will last for decades and if cared for, this could be the last gas grill you buy.
The MHP WNK is a simple grill without any bells or whistles, but this is a powerful gas grill built to do one thing, grill better than any other.
Broil King Regal 590
For less money, the Broil King Regal 590 is loaded with features. This model comes with a full rotisserie system, a side burner, and five main burners. This grill is also very powerful. If you want a grill that can do it all, then this is the one to look at.