Smart technology is in every room of the house these days, from Amazon Alexas telling you the weather to robot vacuums doing all the hard work. It only seemed only a matter of time before that technology made it outside, and Weber says they have harnessed that with ‘the biggest barbecuing innovation in decades’.
The BBQ can be connected to the Weber Connect mobile phone app, where you can monitor the temperature of the BBQ, the temperature coming through the smart probe, and you can even set temperature alerts, handy for cooking meat. But more on that later.
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Building and setting up the Genesis Smart Gas Barbecue
First thing is first, the BBQ arrives in a large box, delivered via a pallet so you need a reasonably sized driveway to even take the product. The box comes with an in depth manual with each part recognisably labelled, and 70 steps.
Make no mistake, setting this BBQ up is not an easy task, it took around two hours and is definitely a two person job. I did finish up feeling like I may as well have a degree in engineering afterwards – as the process involves not just building but wiring and electricals.
Once built, you need to turn the BBQ to full whack for 20 minutes to burn out any rubbish inside. You can attach a portable battery pack underneath to work the smart display, which shows you the temperature of the BBQ.
How easy is the Genesis Smart Gas Barbecue to use?
As a family, we are loyal users of a 50 or so year-old Weber charcoal gas BBQ, the like of which I doubt you can still buy, although Weber still stocks a fine charcoal selection . It takes finesse and knowledge of the art of BBQing.
As a BBQ novice, other than watching my father cook on his beloved BBQ all year round and every year (even on new years day), the user experience of the new Genesis would be properly tested. I needn’t have worried.
You just have to burn the BBQ for 15 minutes before each use, then turn the burners to where you want them and crack on. The sear zone (the red knob) means it is just as easy to cook steak and pork chops as it is burgers and sausages.
The recommended use for the burner on the left is a cooler zone, as you would for a charcoal BBQ, and the extendable cooking grate at the top is perfect for placing almost-done food, where it will still cook away from the direct heat. It really is an extension of cooking inside, except you feel so much cooler doing so.
How does the Weber Genesis Barbecue smart technology work?
On the right hand side of the BBQ is a small digital display. It shows you both the overall temperature of the BBQ at that time, and the interior temperature of whatever your probe is stuck into.
It needs either collecting to a plug, which is often impractical for outside, but it also works off a portable battery. The power also lights up both the burner knobs, and interior lights, so you can happily BBQ at nighttime.
Is the smart technology in Weber’s Genesis Barbecue a gimmick?
The answer to this question simply begs another – is any technological advancement a gimmick? If old style, charcoal BBQs work so well, why do we bother with gas?
Yes, the smart technology is certainly not a necessity but it makes cooking quicker and more convenient. It meant I could sit inside and have a glass of wine with my family while monitoring both the overall temperature of the BBQ but also the interior temperature of my sausages through an app on my phone.
It is not all knowing and I would not recommend putting the lid down and completely trusting your phone, as you need to know when the food is charring and when it is actually burning. But it is a handy tool to have.
The Weber EPX-435 Smart Gas Barbecue in pros and cons
Gas compartment is hidden
Heavy duty caster wheels which make the BBQ weightless to steer
Storage in bottom for baking sheets, racks, manuals etc.
LED lighting for BBQing at night
Side hob for veggies
Smart display with BBQ temperature and probe temperature
Hidden slide out drip tray with liner
Price tag (£2,249)
Time taken to assemble
Takes up a lot of space
Best food to BBQ on the Weber Genesis
Weber’s top grillmasters stress the importance of knowing where your meat comes from, to eat as sustainably as possible. The first thing I cooked on the BBQ was Heck’s new Smokey Heck Dog sausages, and the new Heck Steak and Butter burgers
Both were delicious and what better way to christen a new BBQ than with the old classic burgers and sausages? I used a smidgen of oil, BBQ salt, and Smoky Chipotle Chilli Jam for the burgers from the Ross & Ross Gifts British BBQ Box and it was *chef’s kiss*.
Once I felt I had broken the BBQ in and I was comfortable using it, I decided to experiment. Parson’s Nose Ultimate BBQ Box was perfect for this, as inside you get a T bone steak, pork chops, chicken kebabs and sausages and all the food is free range and sourced in the UK.
I had particular fun with the steak, which I seared using the searing zone burner on the BBQ (big enough for two steaks) for a minute or so either side, before moving to the cooler part of the BBQ to cook through. It was just the perfect amount of red in the middle.
I also used Parson’s Nose’s Ultimate Burger Kit , which is a bargain for £17.50. With that you get burgers, buns, bacon, red leicester, mayonnaise plus toppings and fillings.
All of this paired perfectly with a lovely, herby red Toscana wine from Laylo and Passionstar Martinis from Soho Street Cocktails , which were just zingy enough to cut through the red meat. You have to eat and drink well with a BBQ like that.
Is the Weber EPX-435 Smart Gas Barbecue worth the money?
Absolutely. The BBQ comes with a warranty of 12 years, and having felt and cooked with the quality, I can assure you it will last you a lot longer than even that. This is definitely an investment for life.
There is nothing quite like it on the market. No other high end BBQ, like Big Green Egg or Napoleon are offering such a sleek, versatile and durable BBQ that really feels like it will last forever.
You can buy the Weber EPX-435 directly from Weber’s website.
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