Okay, you have been to Costco and saw that absolutely beautiful Kirkland Six Burner Gas Grill. Right beside the Kirkland grill is a Weber Genesis II E335 that costs almost the exact same amount of money.
So which one do you buy?
TLDR: Buy the Weber Genesis.
Key Features of the Kirkland and Weber Gas Grills
While I feel strongly that the Weber Genesis is the better grill, the comparison is not a slam dunk. So, before we get to why the Weber is the better choice let’s look at some of the key features of each grill.
The cooking grates on the Kirkland grill are better than what you get with the Weber.
The Weber has a two piece cast iron grate that is protected from rusting by a porcelain enamel coating. The Weber grate is perfectly fine but is not as nice as the one the Kirkland which are made of solid 304 stainless steel rods.
The stainless steel rod grate on the Kirkland grill will give you better grill marks and is much easier to clean than the cast iron Weber grate.
Additionally the Kirkland grates are slightly larger than the Weber grate (565 sq in vs 513 sq in) giving you a little more grilling room.
Propane Tank Location
The location of the propane tank is a minor issue for some people and a major one for others. Either way, the win goes to Weber for this feature.
The Kirkland grill has the propane tank located underneath the grill behind the enclosed cabinet. The Weber grill has the propane tank located on the side of the grill behind a decorative cover.
Changing out the propane tank on the Kirkland grill will require you to squat down and get into a little bit of an awkward angle while you can switch out the tank on the Weber simply by bending over.
If you have bad knees like I do then just the thought of squatting down to change the tank on the Kirkland grill is painful.
Weber has invested heavily in R&D and as a result developed a new type of burner tube. The Weber burner tubes are tapered, rectangular and have top mounted flame ports.
The new burner tubes are designed to evenly distribute the gas across the entire length of the tube even as the pressure of the gas drops as it travels from front to back. The result is a grill with more even heat distribution.
The burner tubes on the Kirkland grill are the same old tubes that other manufactures have been using for decades. The Kirkland burners are fine but are a notch below what you will get with the Weber Genesis.
Both grills are designed to be excellent at searing steaks but they approach the task from different angles.
The Weber has an extra burner located underneath the cooking grate that they call a Sear Station. The concept is pretty simple in that when you want some extra heat you fire up the extra burner. My Genesis has a Sear Station and it works just fine.
The Kirkland has an extra burner that is located above the cooking grate. The burner is a ceramic infrared burner that gets incredibly hot and should be amazing at searing a steak. I have not used a top mounted IR sear burner before but the design concept is solid and I suspect it also works great.
Both grills have an extra burner but Weber gets the clear win in this category.
The extra burner in the Kirkland grill is located underneath the cooking grate and serves to get the grill scorching hot. The issue is that just about the only time you need a grill to get scorching hot is when you are searing something and that job has already been taken care of by the top mounted IR searing burner.
The extra burner on the Kirkland grill is nice but serves no real purpose.
The extra burner on the Weber is a side burner mounted in the right side table. The side burner adds extra functionality to the grill that is not available on the Kirkland. I use the side burner on my Genesis to:
- Fry bacon in a skillet so I don’t make a mess inside.
- Heat up a pan of baked beans.
- Light a chimney full of charcoal for my Weber Smokey Mountain smoker.
Stainless Steel vs Porcelain Enamel
I have a strong bias against grills like the Kirkland that are primarily made of stainless steel.
Stainless steel looks amazing in the warehouse but once you put the grill to work it shows every speck of grease and dust and can get grungy looking pretty fast.
I got rid of my one and only stainless steel grill because when I had it on my back deck it would reflect bright, hot sunlight back into my living room.
This is one of those things that is purely a personal preference but I greatly prefer the black porcelain enameled Weber over a stainless steel.
The Brand Factor
Everything up to this point has been minor differences and I wouldn’t blame you for buying the Kirkland grill because it does look awesome and shows no obvious flaws.
But…….here is where stuff gets real.
Weber has been making some of the best grills in the world for over 50 years. Their customer service is outstanding and is even better than Costco’s.
Weber is a known quantity that makes awesome products and this one is backed up with a ten year warranty on every single component. I promise that with a little maintenance and replacing a few parts like the Flame Tamers this grill will last you at least 15 years and maybe even 20.
The Kirkland grill is made by Nexgrill.
Nexgrill traditionally makes grills that are super cheap and essentially disposable after 1-2 years. If you want to check out a typical Nexgrill product then head down to Home Depot and put your hands on one.
Just because Nexgrill makes junk grills for Home Depot that does not mean that the Kirkland grill is junk. However, when I look at the warranty for the Kirkland grill it makes me very nervous.
The Kirkland grill is covered for:
- Burner Tubes = 10 Years
- Grill Body and Lid = 3 Years
- Ceramic IR Sear Burner: 1 Year
- Stainless Steel Cooking Grates: 1 Year
- Everything Else: 1 Year
This is essentially the same warranty Nexgrill offers on their piece of crap grills and does not inspire me to spend $800 when there is an amazing Weber grill sitting right beside at at the same price point.
Maybe Nexgrill has changed its ways and is finally capable of making an amazing grill.
Or maybe not.
It’s your money so buy what makes you happy.
I would buy the Weber.