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Weber Grill Review
If you don’t think you can afford a Weber Genesis then you might want to take a peek at
the Ducane line of gas grills.

Weber sells the Ducane line of gas grills so it can participate in the low end market
without tarnishing the Weber name.  The Ducane grills aren’t that bad and come with the
same great customer support you get with other Weber products.  If I was buying a new
grill but didn’t have enough money for a Weber Genesis then I would seriously consider
the Ducane Affinity grills over the Weber Spirit.  

There are three Ducane grills; Affinity 3100, Affinity 4100 and Affinity 4200.
The Affinity 3100 is a three burner grill with 420 square inches of grilling area.  Basically
this is a direct comparison to the Weber Spirit and Genesis 310.  This is a pretty good grill
and costs about $150 less than the Spirit and $300 less than the Genesis.

The Affinity 4100 and 4200 grills sport four burners with 526 square inches of grilling
space.  The Affinity 4200 comes with a side burner which, like on all grills, is usually a
complete waste of money.  This four burner grill is the same size as the Weber Summit
410 and costs about $500 less.

The biggest downside with the Affinity grills is their warranty.  Weber makes this grill
affordable by using lower quality materials than employed in the Spirit grills.  As a result
the parts are covered for a maximum of five years, well short of the warranty for the
various components in a Spirit.  That being said, a five year warranty is pretty danged
good. If your Affinity is more than five years old here is a nice place to buy Ducane grill parts.  I don’t think you will find many other gas grills under $300 that carry a five year
warranty.   

If you do some more research on Ducane grills you will find a lot of reviews and comments
that are lukewarm or negative.  There are typically two main things going on here and I
don’t think either one of them is relevant.  

The first is that some people buy a Ducane and have the mental image that they are
getting the Genesis at a $
300 discount.  When the grill doesn’t look or perform like a
Genesis they get pissed off.  Umm…the Affinity is not a Genesis and nobody ever said it
was.  

The second issue is that a lot of folks remember when the Ducane Company was a direct
competitor to Weber and did produce grills that battled the Genesis.  These folks are
upset that when Weber bought the Ducane brand they intentionally outsourced
production and lowered the quality of materials in order to make the grills more
affordable.  They believe Weber destroyed a great company.  Umm…no, Ducane’s
management team destroyed a great company when they built a spiffy new construction
facility right when the market for high end gas grills was going down the drain.  
Ducane
filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2003
; Weber didn’t cause this, they just picked up the
pieces from a train wreck.  

The bottom line is that the Ducane Affinity grills are a viable alternative to the Weber
Spirits.  They absolutely must be considered if you have found yourself looking at POS
grills like the Charmglow or Charbroils at Home Depot because they were “affordable”.