The automated cooking capabilities of Weber’s new Genesis II smart grill gives greater freedom to the backyard barbecuer. Image courtesy Weber.

It was only a matter of time before someone came up with a smart gas grill to complement all the other “smart” equipment and gadgetry in our homes. Yep, there’s a new grill in town, and it’s going to change the backyard barbecue.

Weber, the world’s leading grill manufacturer, is the first to introduce an intelligent model it bills as “the biggest grilling innovation in decades.” The claim has merit, say those who have been using the smarter, more connected Genesis II EX-335 since it debuted late last year.

“Can you fall in love with a grill? My Weber fulfills all my grill time fantasies!” reads one review that exemplifies hundreds of enthusiastic thumbs-up posts in recent months.

July is National Grilling Month.

We rarely single out a particular product for the Walton Wise blog, but we’re making an exception. National Grilling Month seems like the ideal time to spotlight the smart grill, which seems to be revolutionizing the task of “manning the grill.” Its automated cooking capabilities allow more time for socializing and require less time babysitting burgers — a freedom most grillers will gladly celebrate.

Griller thriller

Even before Weber’s smart model introduction, gas grills have been a favorite among the barbecue set. In fact, an estimated 63 percent of grill owners use a gas-fueled grill, according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association’s 2021 survey. Grillers embrace gas-fired models because they fire up fastest and offer easily controlled temperatures for expertly cooking anything from hamburgers to veggies.

You can be connected to your grill no matter where you are.

Now, the integrated smart tech features of the Genesis II EX-335 are luring even more grillers into the natural gas fold. These include:

  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled. The grill comes with a free IOS and Android app, so you can be connected to your grill no matter where you are. You can prep food in the kitchen, greet guests at the door or mingle with friends — all while keeping an eye on cooking food from your smartphone.
  • Real-time food monitoring. Digital, real-time food temperature monitoring lets you know what’s happening inside your grill without opening the lid or going to check in person. The remote monitoring capability also makes it easier to use your grill in winter months when standing by the grill can be cold work.
  • Readiness notifications. Select desired food monitoring and receive an alert once it has reached the perfect temperature to serve. The grill also sends alerts when food needs to be flipped, rest period and when it’s ready to serve. “The recommended ‘time to turn’ is spot on, which has helped the less experienced griller in our house,” noted one recent purchaser who gives the product a top rating of five stars.
  • Grilling assistance. The app includes step-by-step instructions for grilling foods plus recipes.

As with any new technology, it’s only good if you can figure out how to use it. Those who have been using the grill for a few months rate the EX-335’s features as user friendly. “The built in probe, built in display system and app are very easy to use,” noted a longtime barbecue boss.

More features

Aside from the alluring tech package, the EX-335 also offers these features that make it an exceptional grill:

  • 669 square inches of total cooking area — which Weber says can fit up to 20 hamburgers.
  • Three stainless steel burners with a unique, tapered shape to deliver a consistent gas flow from front to back, ensuring food grills evenly and consistently anywhere on the cooking grates.
  • Extra large, 9,000 BTU sear station burner for grilling multiple steaks at once.
  • Motion-activated, handle-mounted light and lighted burner control knobs for added visibility during nighttime grilling.
  • Grease management system that makes cleanup as easy as possible.

In May, we found the Genesis II EX-335 smart grill available in home improvement and hardware stores throughout Georgia. Some retailers are offering the natural gas base model with black porcelain enamel finish for about $1,250.

Happy National Grilling Month!