My husband and I decided to test one of the most coveted gas grills: the Weber Genesis S-330. This grill is one of the most expensive free-standing (not built-in) propane gas grills on the market today. Is the Weber Genesis S-330 worthy of the expensive price tag, or are you paying extra for the Weber name? My husband and I purchased one and used it for a month, so that I could write a detailed review to help anyone considering buying this model. We made a point to grill often during the review period, so that we would get a clear idea of how this unit performs with regular usage. Here is my review.
First, the S-330 is identical to the E-330 in everything but the body. All the internal parts and options are the same. The difference is the S-330 has a stainless steel body, while the E-330 (which costs considerably less) comes in your choice of three colors: back, copper or green. So you can also consider this a review of the E-330 for the most part. Click HERE to see a chart that outlines the differences between all 6 Weber Genesis gas grill models.
I ordered my Weber Genesis stainless steel S-330 gas grill online and had it shipped directly to my front door. Not only is this unit quite large, but it also weighs a hefty 190 pounds. I didn’t want to deal with the hassle involved in getting the gas grill safely home from a local store. This way, the responsibility for it to arrive undamaged lies with the shipper, not me. The Weber Genesis S-330 gas grill arrived in perfect condition but in need of some assembly. The instructions included were very clear and set-up was easy. However, some of the parts are pretty heavy, so I would not recommend anyone set this gas grill up alone. The entire assembly process start to finish took the two of us about 45 minutes.
This Weber Genesis S-330 gas grill is incredibly solid once assembled and all the parts are sturdy and heavy-duty. It is built like a tank. There is nothing cheap on this model. The overall look of this gas grill is quite impressive. It is not just large, but the quality workmanship is evident both from afar and close-up. The difference in quality between this and a $300 to $400 dollar grill is amazing. The metal used for the main body is thick stainless steel, the cooking grates are heavy-duty stainless steel and the burners are hefty and solid. The stainless steel cooking grates aren’t as heavy-duty as cast iron, but they also don’t require the same level of maintenance. This gas grill comes with flavorizer bars, just like all the Genesis models do. These bars go under the cooking grates, just above the heat source. This does two things. First, the bars protect from flare-ups by stopping drippings from getting into the fire. Second, those drippings are super-heated and then vaporized, adding flavor to the foods above them. The 330 series has both a sear station and a side burner.
We heated up our grill for the first time and it actually reached 600 degrees F in less than ten minutes! This is a very powerful gas grill. We lowered the temperature and put two bone-in rib eye steaks on the grill, along with some asparagus coated in olive oil. We figured such a high-end gas grill deserved a high-end meal for its first cooking task. Rib-eye steaks have quite a bit of fat on them (which is why they are so incredibly tasty) and they tend to cause flare-ups on gas grills. The flavorizer bars prevented this from happening. The drippings from the steak hit the bars and vaporized, perfuming the air with a divine aroma that you must smell to believe. The steaks were cooked beautifully, with picture-perfect grill marks and a smoky flavor you normally don’t get from a gas grill. The asparagus did have a “beefy” taste to it, I suppose from the flavorizer bars vaporizing rib-eye drippings. My husband and I found this to be very tasty, but this is something to keep in mind if mingled flavors are a problem. I can’t see a vegetarian enjoying a “beefy” grilled Portobello mushroom so this could be a problem in households with both carnivores and herbivores sharing a gas grill. Also, you may just need to segregate foods that have flavors that don’t combine well.
We cooked the steaks without the sear station, to see if that option was really needed. We thought the steaks were divine without the sear station. Later that month, we cooked two more bone-in rib eyes steaks, but this time we utilized the sear station. Wow! They were even better! The sear station really did an amazing job of browning the steaks and adding flavor before we moved them to the normal part of the cooking surface. We would definitely recommend the sear station to anyone who is getting a Genesis model. Unfortunately, that is only found on the E-330 or S-330, which are both quite pricey. Be assured that your Genesis grill will still get hot enough to sear foods even if you don’t opt for the 330 series; the sear station just takes your grilling to the next level of greatness.
The side burner on this unit works very well and is not prone to have the flame blown out on windy days. That is a real plus for us, since we live in the windy Midwest. The huge grilling surface with the side burner make this unit a great option for people who like to do all their summer cooking outdoors, like my husband and I do. I love homemade French fries with burgers, but I hate the mess the oil leaves in my kitchen. The side burner gets hot enough to keep oil in a heavy-duty stockpot at 375 degrees F, which lets me do all my deep frying outside. A little bit of degreaser along with the garden hose takes care of the mess much more thoroughly and quickly than I could ever accomplish in my kitchen.
This gas grill works very well as an outside oven. The cook box is incredibly heavy and solid and does a great job of keeping the heat inside, where it ought to be. It does take a bit of muscle to lift the lid on this unit compared to other gas grills, especially if you are 5′ 2″ and on the thin side, like I am. It is definitely worth the extra muscle though, since it adds tremendously to the fuel efficiency and overall cooking ability of this gas grill.
The Weber Genesis S-330 did a great job with everything we cooked on it throughout the review period. It does a fantastic job of maintaining temperature and cooking evenly at both high temperatures and low temperatures. The results are equally impressive when char-broiling burgers at high heat as they are when slow-cooking a brisket at low heat. The flavorizer bars really do add flavor, especially at the higher temperatures.
I normally try to list a few negative things when reviewing any gas grill, but there is really not much to say in this area when it comes to the Weber Genesis S-330 gas grill. There is the slight problem of mingling flavors, but my husband and I really like the fact that this gas grill really does add flavor, unlike most models out there. So that is actually more of a pro than a con. My husband and I both prefer cast iron cooking grates, but that is our personal preference. We both felt that these cooking grates were the best ones we have used that were made out of stainless steel. The cooking grates still leave great grill marks on food. The biggest con of the Weber Genesis S-330 gas grill is that the high price tag makes this model out of reach for most grilling enthusiasts. Neither my husband nor I could imagine anyone being disappointed with this gas grill; in fact, after testing many brands and models, this is the one we are keeping in our backyard.