Weber Grills

June 7th, 2010

There is nothing that smells as good as food sizzling on a red-hot grill (with the possible exception of onion and garlic sauteing in hot butter.)  With summer fast approaching, you may be in the market for a new gas or charcoal grill.  I’ve been using a Weber Genesis for about one year.  Before that, I had a Weber Baby Q (due to a small living space and a small budget).  Both grills have been absolutely outstanding, but what I have also discovered is that Weber is also quite possibly the most helpful and responsible company I have ever dealt with.

Weber Grills

In general, I noticed right away that the products were of wonderful quality; easy to assemble and very solid.  I haven’t had any issues with the grills.  My first experience with Weber’s customer support came when a Weber-branded cookbook I purchased began to have issues with the binding (pages were coming loose).  I sent an e-mail to Weber’s general customer support address, expecting absolutely nothing in return.  Most companies don’t respond to e-mail with anything more than a canned “thank you for your e-mail, we will look into it,” and I assumed I had basically wasted my time.  I was surprised to receive this promptly in return:

“Dear Jon,

Thank you for your email. I apologize for the disappointment with the pages falling out of the cook book. We will send a replacement at no charge. Please provide me with your shipping address and phone number. If you need further assistance, please let me know.”

I had heard that the customer service was good, but I guess I was still surprised that they were willing to take responsibility so quickly and correct the issue without suspicion or complaint.  That’s the way it should be, but many companies are not doing things that way.

I’m not the only one with this Weber customer support experience.  Now that I know the company better and have been talking with other Weber grillers, similar stories from others are everywhere.  One man recently posted that he had somehow managed to bend part of the cookbox (a heavy tray under the grill to catch ashes and drips).  He contacted customer service.  Weber immediately offered to send out a new one free of charge.  No questions asked.

Weber’s grills appear to be expensive for what you get when they are lined up against the gigantic, shiny cheap grills at Lowe’s and Home Depot.  Other grill brands seem to offer more features and more space at a much lower cost, and they appear to be well-made at a glance.  Don’t be fooled.  Most grills that are half the price of Weber really aren’t built to last.  They are usually made overseas.  They often have terrible customer service and are difficult to assemble or maintain.  Sometimes, the parts themselves are just plain crappy quality.

My parents used to buy a new brand-X grill for $200 every 4 years.  Each time, it rusted and fell apart.  As I feel about cookware and many other things in life, buy once and buy right.  A Weber Genesis or Summit grill will last 15 years and longer if it is even minimally cared for.  If you do have a problem, Weber will make it right.  It’s worth the cost.

As for my Genesis gas grill, it’s just about perfect.  The electronic igniter lights immediately, every time.  Food is cooked evenly and it’s simple to get a very hot sear.  The stainless steel grates are very thick and very durable.  The temperature gauge is accurate.  And the whole thing looks nice in stainless steel.  It’s been a dream.  A few times the burners did snuff out while heating the grill, but that is probably my fault for trying to grill in very windy 40 degree weather over the winter.

Weber Grills Weber Grills

Buying a Weber grill was the right choice.  It’s one of the rare times I feel that I got more than I paid for.  So, if you are looking for a new grill this summer, forget all of those shiny, tempting “bargains” at the store.  Weber gets my whole-hearted recommendation – both the product and the customer service are top notch.

Weber Grills
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“Nothing is too much trouble if it turns out the way it should.”
~ Julia Child