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If you're after a BBQ perfect for entertaining, look no further than this Weber Genesis. It's a versatile offering that provides a generous amount of cooking space – read on for our full verdict.
Part of a new range for 2022, the Weber Genesis Series EPX-335 is a professional-grade gas barbecue for anyone wanting to achieve great flavours, cook for a crowd, or simply have an easy outdoor cooking experience year-round.
There are plenty of bells and whistles as you’d expect for the price, like night vision LED lighting that gives it a showstopper feel or Bluetooth and wi-fi connectivity. But at the core is the basic technology to get reliably good quality cooking results again and again.
This is a large unit. The BBQ is on four wheels, two of which lock for safety. Unlike most, it doesn’t have a thermometer on the grill hood – the ambient temperature was instead displayed on a digital panel which also had a meat thermometer.
The BBQ needed to be positioned close to a plug and the wire wasn’t particularly long but if you had access to an outdoor-safe extension lead, this wouldn’t be an issue. One AA battery is required for the digital ignition.
Nifty features that stood out on first view were the red sear zone heat control, the side burner lid that doubled up as a surface when closed and the extendable cooking rack above the main grills. A robust wire cleaning brush with scraping edge was included and we used this repeatedly.
Our BBQ for testing arrived preassembled by the supplier (it is not sold preassembled) so we were not able to review this part.
We tested the BBQ’s grilling, searing and optional rotisserie functions. The gas cylinder hooked up easily below the burners and was hidden from view by two painted steel doors. Three burners are on offer including a large sear zone for extra oomph, plus a side burner, perfect for pans or skillets. This doubled up as an additional work surface with its lid down.
The serving table to the right was a useful size for plating up multiple dishes while also resting the gloves and utensils. We hung other tools from its six handy hooks.
The porcelain-enamelled hood has a heft that denotes good quality without impacting how easy it is to open or close. It also sealed well, an area in which many barbecues fail. Ignition was button-controlled and the stovetop lit just like a gas hob at home. We cranked the flames up for a pre-use burn to warm up the BBQ and left it with the lid down for 20 minutes as recommended in the instruction manual. According to the thermometer panel, the internal temperature reached 300 degrees but the exterior handle remained cool which was good.
The cooking grates themselves are porcelain enamelled cast-iron – a material designed for longevity if cleaned and taken care of often. The cooking area was easily large enough for catering for 10-12 or more people, depending on your confidence in rotating ingredients.
Weber Connect Smart Technology refers to the BBQ’s ‘real-time food monitoring system’ including temperature alerts, Bluetooth and WIFI connectivity. Alerts for step-by-step barbecuing direct to your phone comes with this; a modern nudge that could prove useful when easy to get distracted during busy BBQs with friends and family.
Behind the doors is what Weber calls a ‘pull and clean grease management system’. In effect, this means two foil trays that pull out to be washed and reused. However the internal flue at the back would need scrubbing after a few uses to remove greasy build-up that could cause smoke and impact the flavour of the food.
We found the heat distribution to be even across the barbecue and the deep grill didn’t show any obvious cold spots. The sear zone flame on the right added extra oomph. We were able to sear steaks on the right whilst cooking kebabs on the left and loved the double-width rack above the grills that acted as a keep-warm area.
The steaks had defined char lines and good caramelised smoky flavour while remaining pink, tender and juicy in the middle.
The side burner on the left is like your standard gas hob and was perfect for charring whole aubergines directly for achieving the sweet, soft flesh ready to be chopped up with herbs for a salad.
We lay un-oiled courgette slices across the grill to firstly assess how easily things stuck and secondly how defined the grill lines would be. None stuck to the grill and all cooked through with tempting lines without burning unpredictably.
We tested the meat probe on the rotisserie roasting chicken, adding (and then cleaning) it towards the estimated cooking time to ensure the meat was fully cooked. The meat probe alerted us when the meat reached a safe internal temperature and having that reassurance took away the anxiety of having potentially undercooked meat inside a nicely cooked outer.
A good warranty (between two-12 years depending on the part) covers the individual parts of this barbecue which considering the price point, should come as standard.
The inclusion of a cover would prolong the life of its exterior parts. Unfortunately, this isn’t included in the price but would be a worthwhile investment to make.
If you have the budget to spend and somewhere safe to store it, the Weber Genesis Series EPX-335 Smart gas barbecue takes the margin of error away that usually plagues barbecuing for a safer, easier experience year-round. It’s fun to use, allowing you to be in total control but with the capacity to give step-by-step alerts for helping guide you through the process. Similar cooking results can be achieved on a model much simpler, smaller and cheaper than this. But its size and smart additions like the meat thermometer offer you peace of mind as well as the reliability of a stove-top indoors.
Meat probe: Yes
Model: Genesis Series EPX-335 Smart gas barbecue
Dimensions (cm): H 123.19 x W 157.48 x D 68.58
Materials: Porcelain-enamelled cast iron cooking grates, porcelain-enamelled lid, stainless steel flavourised bars
Warranty: Between two to 12 years depending on the part
Gas needed: Propane
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