Weber Spirit vs. Spirit II – What’s the Difference?
Searching for a good grill can be a time-consuming and exhaustive process, and this is more so if you have certain restrictions such as limited space and a small budget.
But you can always trust Weber to have a nice grill for you when looking for something more-space saving that still cooks well and is user-friendly. When it comes to buying one of their grills, you will often need to choose between their Weber Spirit and Spirit II.
While the Spirit II is a sequel of the Weber Spirit and the two are quite similar, they also have their differences and each has something that gives it an edge over the other.
To help make it easier to choose between the two, below we highlight their pros and cons and also explain their main differences.
The Weber Spirit is the older of the two Weber gas grill series, and it came into the market in 2013. Most of the gas grills in this series are designed to be more compact and space-saving, and one like the E-210 is among of the smallest full-size gas grills you can get out there.
With the Spirit Series of gas grills, Weber aimed to address one big issue that many grillers faced which was not being able to grill in confined spaces, and the compact design of these gas grills with foldable side shelves means they can be used almost anywhere.
Also, the gas grills have been built to provide a larger cooking area as there is an option of an extra burner on their E-310 model.
Gas grills in this series will come in an all-black shade with a few stainless steel sections and unlike the Spirit II gas grills, they will have 4 small wheels for simpler multidirectional movement.
Weber Spirit II
Weber Spirit II series of gas grills is a sequel of the Weber Spirit that only came into the market in 2018, and it is meant to give their older but popular models a modern touch while also addressing some of their shortcomings.
Although these gas grills will maintain the same total cooking area as their predecessors, the maximum BTU you can get when using their larger E-310 model reduces from 32,000 to 30,000, and there is also no option for an extra side burner. But the E-210 models in both series have the same BTU (26,500).
These gas grills are also designed to be more lightweight and instead of four small wheels they will come with two larger ones, and this makes them easier to move on rough terrains.
For those that the appearance matters a lot to, the Weber Spirit II grills will also offer more color options for the lid.
Weber Spirit II
Maximum BTU Rating
Folding Side Tables
Yes, both left and right side
Yes, but only the left side one
Weber Spirit vs. Spirit II
While it is true the Spirit II is an upgrade of the Weber Spirit, choosing between the two is not always easy as it does not mean the former works better and is hence the best choice for everyone. To truly make an informed choice between the two, you need to watch out for the following differences when shopping.
1. Maximum BTU
The BTU rating on a gas grill will be an important factor as it determines the amount of heat that you get for maximum cooking efficiency and also how much fuel you burn.
For the E-210 models in both the Spirit and Spirit II series, the BTU per hour rating is the same as both have 26,500 which simply means that given the similar cooking areas size they will burn an equal amount of fuel and produce the same amount of heat per square inch.
But when you get to the E-310 models, Weber reduces the BTUs you get for their newer Spirit II Series from 32,000 to 30,000 which means it will burn less gas. And contrary to what you might assume, the change in the heat supplied to the cooking area per square inch is insignificant meaning it still cooks well enough.
2. IGrill 3
The Spirit II gas grills will also offer the option of IGrill 3 integration which makes grilling easier and more efficient for you. But, it is worth noting that it will be sold separately.
With the IGrill 3 integrated, you can easily monitor your meats as they are cooking as you will only need to insert the thermometer and then check the temperatures from your phone.
This feature eliminates the need to keep uncovering the grill as the food is cooking which often results in temperature loss and more tedious grilling experience.
3. Color Options
For most grillers, how the grill looks might not be as important as how it cooks. But, for some a good grill is one that not only makes some amazing meals but will also look good in their space.
The Weber Spirit II tries to cater to all kinds of grillers because unlike its predecessor, which is only available in all-black and with a few stainless steel sections, it will allow users to choose from several lid colors.
You can get it in red, ivory, mocha, sapphire and the classic black shade if this is still what you prefer, and so it will be much easier to match to your existing decor or theme.
4. Cart Design
The cart design is one of the most distinct and visible differences between the Weber Spirit and Spirit II because one comes with an open cart and the other has a closed cabinet design.
The original Weber Spirit came with a closed cart design that besides keeping your propane tank out of sight also provides more secure storage space for storing your grilling essentials even when not grilling.
With the Weber Spirit II, you get an open cart design which means your propane tank will be out in the open. And while some grillers might not like this design, it still comes with its advantages such as easier access to your gas tank.
When it comes to the cart design there is no clear winner here as both styles have their fanatics, and so it is all up to personal preferences.
5. Folding Side Tables
Folding side shelves are a crucial factor that you should look for when buying a grill for use in confined space or want something that will be easier to store.
Weber gives their original Spirit gas grill some folding side tables. You can easily fold both the left and right side tables if you do not have enough space or do not want to use them. And they are both made from a solid stainless steel material for increased durability.
For the Weber Spirit II grills only the left side table is foldable, but it is much easier to fold as you will only need to push a button and flip it down. Like what you get on its predecessor, the side tables are also tough and durable stainless steel.
Despite the Weber gas grills being small and lightweight, you still need when to be able to move them around smoothly. Luckily, both the Weber Spirit and Spirit II will include fantastic wheels.
However, the Weber Spirit will come with 4 small swiveling wheels which will allow you to move the gas grill from both the back and front, you can even move it side to side which is quite convenient. Better yet, the wheels can be locked to ensure the grill will not move.
For the Weber Spirit II, the manufacturer removes the 4 small wheels and replaces them with 2 larger ones and 2 thick stands to keep it more stable and ensure the grill will not move when you do not want to. Also, these larger wheels are designed to make the grill easier to move on rough surfaces making this grill more suitable for the outdoor terrain than its predecessor.
7. Price and Warranty
What you pay for these gas grills will typically depend on the particular model you are buying and also where you are buying it.
However, in most retail stores, the Weber Spirit II model E-210 is around $50 cheaper than the E-210 model of the Weber Spirit. On average, you will pay around $399 for the Weber Spirit Model and $349 if you prefer the Spirit II.
Weber also seems to make some improvements for the warranty as their Spirit II Series gas grills are backed by a generous 10-year warranty which is 5 times longer than the 2-year warranty you get for their original Spirit Series gas grills. And this is a good indication that they are confident that their new model grills are built to last longer.
There is no doubt that Weber makes some of the best quality gas grills out there, and this is more so for anyone looking for something compact and efficient. And regardless of what you choose from their poplar Weber Spirit and Spirit II models, you will have a top-notch grill.
However, for grillers looking for a gas grill with fancier features and extra bells and whistles, the Weber Spirit II is the grill for you.
But, for the traditionalist grillers that prefer to stick with a good old classic Weber grill that is not too fancy but still gets the job done, the original Spirit is a more appropriate option.
In the end, the choice between the two will boil down to your specific preferences or what you are looking for in a grill as both are fantastic.