I spent last weekend working with a Weber Genesis S 330 and enjoyed getting reacquainted with this awesome grill. I thought folks might be interested in learning about this grill and how it compares against the other Genesis grills so I wrote this article.
This article has quite a few sections so bear with me. I have included a Table of Content so you can just jump to the section that interests you if you don’t want to read the whole thing.
Weber Genesis s 330 Review
Introduction and Assembly
My father-in-law bought this grill despite me trying to talk him out of it. When he wanted a new grill I tried to convince him that the Weber Genesis E 310 would be perfect. He would have none of it..he wanted stainless steel and he had to have a side burner. I told him he was spending about $300 extra for stuff that he didn’t really need and he told me to piss off. And with that we loaded up the Weber Genesis S 330 and came on home!
Here is a quick video (one and a half minutes) from Home Depot that lets you get a good look at this grill. This video gives a great look at the cabinet and grates.
This is a beautiful grill. The knobs are gorgeous and there are three built in tool holders on each side.
The assembly process was fairly straight forward but detailed. The assembly instructions that come with the grill were easy to follow. The only real problem I had was that one of the bolts that connect the side burner assembly to the body did not fit very well. Since there was a second bolt that fit great I didn’t worry about getting them both to fit. The only way you can tell that I skipped a bolt is there is a little wobble in the side burner assembly if you grab it and pull. All told it took me about two hours to put the grill together.
Here is an excellent video that shows the assembly of the Weber Genesis S 330 in detail. The video is 27 minutes long and walks you through everything you need to know to put this grill together.
Please note: This video shows a Weber Genesis S 330 that came with Gourmet BBQ grates. These grates are NOT standard equipment for this grill. I do NOT recommend buying this grate. The Gourmet BBQ grates will cost you an extra $80. Once you spend $80 for the grates you will need to spend more money for the wok, griddle and pizza stone that fit in the hole. In my opinion the Gourmet BBQ system is not worth the investment.
When I assembled this grill I made a mistake that was easily preventable. I assembled this together on a hot day and by the time I was done I was too tired to mess with getting the blue protective film off the edges of the front cabinet. It has now been three years and this film is very annoying. It is starting to flake away and looks shabby. It has also partially baked onto the cabinet so it is very hard to remove. Again, this is entirely my fault. If I had finished the job properly during assembly I wouldn’t have the problem now.
Differences between the Weber Genesis grills explained.
Let’s take a look at the differences between the current Weber Genesis grills. As of 2014 Weber makes four Genesis models; E310, S310, E330, S330. All four of these grills have identical grilling areas (25 hamburgers according to Weber).
Weber Genesis S versus Weber Genesis E
There are four differences between the E and S series Weber Genesis grills; cost, color, Flavorizer bars and cooking grates.
Cost: The Weber Genesis S series grills cost about $200 more than the E series grills. The driver for the cost difference is the amount of stainless steel utilized in the S series grills.
Color: The shroud on a Weber Genesis S series grill is stainless steel. The shroud on a Weber Genesis E series grill is porcelain enameled steel that can come in black, copper or green. Either material, stainless or enameled steel, will last forever and come with a 25 year warranty. The choice really comes down to what you like. I think the copper colored E series grills are beautiful.
Flavorizer Bars: The Flavorizer bars on Weber Genesis E series are enameled steel while those on the Weber Genesis S series are stainless steel. There is absolutely zero difference in performance. The stainless steel Flavorizer bars will last longer (5 year warranty) than the enameled Flavorizer bars (2 year warranty) by about a year or two. If you clean your grill on a regular basis and keep it covered when not in use then either type of Flavorizer bar will easily last five years before you need to replace them.
Cooking Grate: There are very real differences between the cooking grates between the Weber Genesis E series and S series. The Weber Genesis E series grills have a heavy duty enameled cast iron grate. The Weber Genesis S series grills have a heavy duty grate made of 7 mm stainless steel rods. Both grates come with a 5 year warranty.
There is no wrong choice when it comes to these grates. I have personally cooked on both surfaces and they are both awesome. I intentionally used the words “heavy duty” to describe these grates because they are both extremely heavy. Seriously, they come in two sections and are a load to lift. These grates are about five times heavier than the enameled steel grates that came with the older Weber Genesis 1000 grills.
My personal preference between the two grates is the one that comes with the Weber Genesis S 330 and S 310. I think the stainless rods are a little easier to clean and give better grill marks.
Weber Genesis 310 versus Weber Genesis 330
The Weber Genesis S 330 and E 330 both have a side burner and a Sear Station. The Weber Genesis S 310 and E 310 do not have these features. The extra features on the Weber Genesis 330 grills increase the cost by about $200 over the 310 series.
Side burner and Sear Station
I have never been a fan of side burners. My father-in-law insisted on having one as he likes to cook bacon on the grill instead of in the kitchen. He hates cleaning up splattered grease on his stovetop and doesn’t care about what happens outside. Either you want a side burner or you don’t; it all comes down to your grilling style.
The Sear Station is simply an extra burner located in the main grilling chamber (between the Left and Middle burners). You use the Sear Station to pre-heat a section of the massive stainless steel grate to a ridiculously high heat so you can put down some killer grill marks. There is a video in the section on Using a Weber Genesis 330 that gives an excellent up-close look at the Sear Station in action.
The big question is whether the Sear Station is worth the extra money. I have flipped back and forth on my answer. I really enjoy using the Sear Station on my father-in-law’s Weber Genesis S 330 but don’t think I would get one for my next grill. You do not need a Sear Station but that doesn’t make it wrong to want one. Think of it like Spinal Tap…having a Sear Station lets you turn your Weber Genesis up to “11”.
Using a Weber Genesis S 330
The two extremes of using this grill are searing steaks and slow cooking ribs. I have lifted another YouTube video for the steak portion and will share some pictures for how I cook ribs.
Steak: Here is a short video that gives you a close up look at the Weber Sear Station and how to use it to grill steaks. These are not the prettiest steaks I have seen but this is the best video that shows what the Sear Station is and how it was intended to be used.
Ribs: You can easily cook two or three slabs of baby backs “low and slow” on this grill. If you go for three slabs you will want to rotate their position on an hourly basis.
Start by removing the membrane from the back of the ribs, applying a thin coating of yellow mustard or oil and seasoning liberally with rub. My favorite commercial rib rub is Bone Sucking Sauce. If you want to make your own rib rub then this one is my favorite:
Rib Rub Recipe
- 8 Tbls brown sugar
- 3 Tbls kosher salt
- 1 Tbls chili powder
- 1 Tbls Lemon Pepper Seasoning
Let the ribs sit on the counter for about an hour (or overnight in the refrigerator) so the rub can dissolve into the meat.
Place the ribs on the right side of the grill.
Lift the grate on the left side of the grill and wedge a few large chunks of hickory onto the top of the Flavorizer bar that covers the left side burner.
Light the left side burner and set it to Medium-Low. Leave all the other burners off.
The built-in thermometer on the Genesis will stabilize around 315F. I know this sounds too hot for ribs but that is the temperature reading at the shroud. The temperature over where the ribs are cooking is significantly lower, probably about 250-275F.
Let the ribs smoke for one hour. There is absolutely no reason to raise the lid for the first hour. Every now and then when I am doing this I notice a sudden upward spike in the temperature at the shroud. When this happens it’s because my wood chunks have caught on fire. This isn’t a big deal, don’t worry if it happens to you.
After an hour I spray the ribs with some apple juice to add a little flavor and moisture. If you don’t have a spray bottle you can brush it on. I repeat this step after another 30 minutes. Here is what they look like at this point.
After the ribs have cooked for two hours I place them onto a sheet of aluminum foil with the meat side up. I dust the meat side of the ribs with a little more rub and then coat them with Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce. I fold up the side of the foil, add a quarter cup of apple juice, then close up the foil and wrap in a second sheet. The foiled ribs go back on the grill for about 90 minutes.
After 90 minutes VERY CAREFULLY remove the ribs from the foil and place them back on the grill. The foil pouch will be very full of HOT LIQUID. If you are not careful the hot liquid will spill and make a huge mess and might even burn you.
I like to add just a little more barbecue sauce to the ribs at this point and let them cook for about 15-30 minutes. The ribs are done (and delicious) when the meat pulls back from the bone by about half an inch and a toothpick slides through the meat like butter.
Maintenance on a Weber Genesis S 330
Maintenance on a new Genesis grill is super simple.
1. After you grill take a few minutes to scrape the grate with a wire brush while the grill is still warm.
2. About once a month open up the cabinet and take care of the small disposable aluminum drip pan. You can rinse it out with soap and water and reuse or simply pitch it and add a replacement. You can also choose to ignore this step completely but the drip pan full of grease will attract critters and you run the chance of getting a grill full of rat poop.
3. Once a year do the following:
- Put on a pair of latex gloves and get a grill brush.
- Lift off the cooking grate, take out the five Flavorizer bars and scrape the crud off the Flavorizer bars with the brush.
- Remove the two Heat Deflectors that are under the burner tubes and scrape them off.
- Use the brush to scrape down the inside body of the grill. You might also want to use some paper towels.
- Open up the cart and slide out the large metal collection tray. Empty the contents of this tray into the trash.
- Replace the metal collection tray, Heat Deflectors, Flavorizer bars and cooking grate.
The whole process will take about 15 minutes.
If you want to do a serious deep clean on the inside of the grill then you will want to get a can of Degreaser. I like to use Simple Green Heavy Duty BBQ and Grill Cleaner. This product helps bust loose the grease and is completely non-toxic. There are other degreasers out there that will do a much better job of removing grease but they leave behind some chemical residues that I do not want in my grill.
Replacement Parts and Cover
Keeping your grill covered will prolong the life of the Flavorizer bars and burner tubes by several years. Here is the cover for this grill.
If you decide to not get a cover then here are the correct replacement Flavorizer bars you will need.
Here are the snapshots of the overall Amazon reviews for the 330 grills.
You can see that twice as many people buy the E series grill than the S Series which isn’t surprising considering the cost difference. You can also see that 94% of all of the ratings for both grills are either 5 or 4 stars. People love their 330 grills.
Here is a more detailed review that you might find useful.
The prices for these grills bounce around every now and then so I hate putting down exact numbers. This is especially true at the big box stores if yours happens to carry these higher end grills. At the time of this writing:
The Genesis S 330 costs $950. Click here for the current price on the Weber Genesis S 330.
The Genesis S 330 is the top of the line Weber Genesis. If you have been saving up for something truly special then this is the grill for you. If the price tag has you a little scared then jump down to the Genesis E 310.
The Genesis E 330 costs $800. Click here for the current price for the Weber Genesis E 330.
If I was going to spend the money on a 330 series grill I would probably get an E series instead of the S. I like the grates better on the S but the colors available for the E are incredible.
If you are not interested in the Sear Station and Side Burner features then grab a Genesis 310. I promise, the 310 series grills are absolutely awesome.
The Genesis S 310 costs $850. Click here for the current price for the Weber Genesis S-310.
Personally I would not buy the S 310. The S 310 has fewer features than the E 330 and costs more money. Stainless steel is not that important to me. If stainless steel is important to you then you will love this grill.
The Genesis E 310 costs $700. Click here for the current price for the Weber Genesis E-310.
The Genesis E 310 will be the grill I buy when my Genesis 1000 bites the dust. It has all of the performance I need, comes in gorgeous colors, will last forever and is the most affordable grill in the Genesis line.
That’s everything I could think of to share with you about the Weber Genesis S 330! If there is anything else you would like to know leave a comment below and I will try to track down the information