If you've got the money and want a more luxurious gas grill than our favorite (the Weber Genesis E-310), the Genesis S-330 is worth a look. Reviewers say you'll get the same ease of use and excellent cooking performance; but the extra $250 will buy you features including a stainless-steel shroud and grates (regarded as longer-lasting than porcelain-coated components), a side burner and a sear burner that draws high praise.
Top grilling performance. Professional reviewers say the Genesis S-330 preheats quickly and grills evenly; Derrick Riches of About.com notes that the sear burner provides "fantastic searing heat." Similarly, consumers say this Weber performs superbly with dishes including steak, chicken, burgers, salmon, or shrimp. One user, a former restaurant manager, says, "This grill is as good or better than what I used in a professional kitchen." Nevertheless, one reviewer calls the grill "so-so" when it comes to indirect cooking (cooking food that is not placed directly on a flame).
"Super easy" to operate. Both professionals and consumers say the Genesis S-330 is extremely easy to use. One consumer says it offers "super easy operation with large knobs," while another says, "This is without a doubt the easiest grill to use that I have ever owned." One user also notes that temperature control is equally intuitive, and several praise the gas level indicator as a handy feature. However, several users find that the instruction manual is sub-par, making assembly more difficult than it otherwise would be. In addition, About.com's Derrick Riches finds preheating relatively slow.
No safety concerns. We found very few reviewer comments about safety. One user says the retail salesperson discussed what to do if the safety mechanism in the regulator were to trip. This user, who gives the grill a perfect rating, adds, "So far with just normal use and turning the tank on and off we haven't tripped anything. Guess the safety mechanism only trips when you forget to do the normal routine."
A good investment. Many Genesis S-330 owners acknowledge that it's expensive, but the vast majority report that their money has been well spent. "Go ahead and spend the extra money," urges one user, while another says the model's "looks and quality" are worth the higher price. Maintenance involves annually cleaning the insect/spider screen and checking the burner flame pattern. The S-330 includes a warranty of 25 years on the shroud, 10 years on the burner tubes, 5 years on the grates and Flavorizer bars, and two years on other components.
In a test of 165 gas grills, editors of ConsumerReports.org evaluate models according to preheating and cooking performance as well as convenience. High-temperature and low-temperature cooking abilities are also considered, as is indirect cooking. The Weber Genesis S-330 is one of the tested models.
Review: Gas Grills, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, May 2013
About 120 users review the Genesis S-330 on Amazon.com, awarding it an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5. Users say it is durable, sears well and is worth the price, although some report rusting and difficult assembly, and one tells of a fire-box housing that melted.
Review: Weber Genesis S-330 Stainless-Steel 637-Square-Inch Grill, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of July 2013
About.com's Derrick Riches praises the Genesis S-330's even heating and solid construction, but adds that preheating is slow and the stainless steel is low-grade. He doesn't mention testing methodology, but his bio indicates that he judges barbecue competitions and has cooked on "hundreds" of grills.
Review: Top 10 Gas Grills between $500 and $1,000 for 2013, Derrick Riches, Not dated
Nearly 50 users post about the Genesis S-330 at GrillsDirect.com, giving it an average rating of 4.8 stars out of 5. Most report it is easy to use and heats evenly, and about half praise its design. A few, however, say it is difficult to assemble, and one calls it slow to heat up.
Review: Weber Genesis S-330 Stainless Steel Gas Grill, Contributors to GrillsDirect.com, As of July 2013
The Genesis S-330 receives about 60 reviews from users on the Home Depot website, garnering an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5. Users say it is easy to use and cooks a variety of foods very well; some say the assembly directions could be better.
Review: Weber Genesis S-330 3-Burner Propane Gas Grill in Stainless Steel, Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of July 2013
More than 85 users post about the Genesis S-330 on Lowes.com, giving this model a near-perfect average rating of 4.8 stars out of 5. Many praise its quality construction, performance, durability and ease of cleaning. The handful of complaints includes reports of rusting and corrosion.
Review: Weber Genesis S-330 3-Burner (38000 BTU) Liquid Propane Gas Grill with Side Burner, Contributors to Lowes.com, As of July 2013