Weber Grill Review
At the time Weber introduced the Genesis the two biggest problems with gas grills were poor
heat distribution and flare ups. Weber postulated that these problems were related to the use of
lava rock as a heat distribution media in the bottom of most gas grills. Weber designed and
patented a new means of distributing heat throughout the grill based upon V shaped metal bars.
These metal bars, bent at about a 75 degree angle, were called Flavorizer bars. The Genesis had
thirteen Flavorizer bars; five long ones which sat directly over and parallel to the burner tubes
and eight short ones, perpendicular to the burner tubes, which were located between the long
Flavorizer bars and the cooking grate. The layout of these bars was designed to insure heat was
evenly distributed throughout the grill and to allow dripping grease enough contact time to
vaporize. The bars were porcelain enameled steel and were considered a consumable
component with a three year warranty.
The initial Weber Genesis came in five models. All five were three burner grills with the burner
tubes running right to left. Each burner tube was rated at 12,000 BTU/hr. The independent
burner controls were on the right side of the grill. All grills had a smaller holding rack above the
main grilling area (410 square inches). These grills were available in red, black and chocolate.
The Genesis 1 was the most basic model and was equipped with a working table on the left side
of the grill made of cedar slats and a wire storage area underneath the grill. The retail price for a
Genesis 1 in 1986 was $399 (Popular Science, April, 1986).
The Genesis 2 added more work space. The left side table was equipped with a swinging flip
down table that effectively doubled the working area. The Genesis 2 also had an extra working
table on the right side of the grill. All of the working tables and the underneath storage area
were made from cedar (I think redwood was also used). The retail price for a Genesis 2 in 1986
was $479 (Popular Science, April, 1986).
The Genesis 3 was the same grill as the Genesis 2 except the extra working table on the right
side of the grill was now an 8,000 BTU side burner. The retail price was $549 (Popular Science,
April, 1986). Eventually a conversion kit was available for owners of the Genesis 2 that allowed
them to replace their right side working area with a side burner. This effectively allowed them to
convert a Genesis 2 into a Genesis 3.
The Genesis 4 was the same grill as the Genesis 2 except the working table on the right side of
the grill was now equipped with an equivalent flip up feature as the working table on the left side
of the grill. The Genesis 4 also came with a smoke diffuser (smoke box) and warming basket
inside the grill housing. There was no side burner for a Genesis 4. The retail price for a Genesis 4
in 1991 was $649 (Austin American Statesman July 17, 1991).
The Genesis 5 offered the extra work space of the Genesis 2, side burner of the Genesis 3, the
smoke diffuser and warming basket of the Genesis 4 as well as an enclosed housing for the
space underneath the grill. The retail price for a Genesis 5 in 1990 was $899 (LA Times May 31,
This line of grills was soon supplemented with the Weber Genesis Jr, a two burner grill, and was
eventually replaced in the late 1990s with the Genesis 1000 series grills. Complete schematics
for the Genesis 1-5 are currently available from the Weber website although owner manuals are