Weber is expanding its line of internet-connected grills to encompass its popular gas models, including the company’s entry-level Spirt lineup, offering Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity for tracking temperature and an integrated digital display.
Connected grilling isn’t a new concept for Weber: the company has offered a line of iGrill meat thermometers for years as add-ons for its existing grills, and last year, it debuted its second-generation Weber Connect smart grilling hub accessory, which offers a newer and more advanced Weber Connect app. It has also offered Weber Connect smart grilling features on its SmokeFire pellet smoker (in a similar manner to Trager’s WiFIRE smokers).
Including smart technology to control things like temperature or monitor doneness makes a bit more sense for a pellet smoker, though — which, by the very nature of its cooking technique, demands longer cook times at lower temperatures. The ability to keep an eye on how a brisket is doing or tweak temperature from inside the house are useful additions for a pellet smoker. A gas grill, with its far less finicky burners, seems like a less natural fit.
All that said, the Weber Connect additions do seem fun. Wi-Fi-connected temperature probes are a helpful tool for grilling, especially for newer chefs or when working with larger steaks or roasts. The app also promises step-by-step grilling guides and recipes, complete with countdown timers, instructions on setting the grill’s temperature for each stage of cooking, and even notifications for things like flipping burgers.
Perhaps most usefully, the propane models of the smart grills can monitor how much gas is left in the tank and notify you through the app when it’s getting low.
You’ll still have to do the actual grilling, though: despite Weber’s boasts about how its new Smart Series grills bring “70 years of Weber know-how, technique, and expertise right to a griller’s fingertips through the Weber Connect cook programs and artificial intelligence,” the algorithms aren’t cooking a steak for you.
The new Weber Connect grills are split across the company’s Genesis lineup with the Genesis EX-315 ($1,029), EX-335 ($1,239), and SX-335 ($1,349) models, which offer more premium features like a warming rack and integrated LED lights for grilling at night. The company is also offering a smaller smart grill with the $849 Spirit SX-315, at the high end of its entry-level Spirit line, which cuts down on the grilling space (but at a lower price). You are paying a premium for those integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth smarts, though: the “regular” version of the Spirit SX-315, for example, costs $599.
The new Weber Connect smart grill lineup is set to launch later this spring.