By Beth Murton
The Weber Genesis II EX-335 GBS smart barbecue is a serious piece of kit. If you’re looking for a small BBQ for grilling a few burgers and sausages every now and again, this is not the buy for you. If, however, you love grilling alfresco on a regular basis and want to take your grilling game to the next level you’d be hard pushed to find a better way to wow friends and family than cooking up a storm on this brilliant buy.
With three gas burners, a warming rack and a handy side burner, the Weber Genesis II EX-335 GBS smart BBQ can easily handle anything you throw it at it. From slow cooked joints of meat that you cook for several hours and perfectly seared steaks done in a flash to tasty fish or vegetable kebabs or even delicious desserts, this best BBQ can cater for all of your grilling needs.
What's more, thanks to the built-in Weber Smart Connect technology, you don't have to worry about over or under cooking your food either, as you can receive alerts on your phone or the BBQ to let you know when everything is cooked to perfection. It's this temperature monitoring device built into the left side table that gives this grill an extra edge.
Although I love the authentic experience and taste you get when cooking on a charcoal BBQ, I've always been a fan of gas BBQs, primarily thanks to their ease of use. There's no need to worry about lighting fuel and waiting for the coals to get hot enough before you can start cooking.
We regularly cook on a two-burner gas BBQ that we've had for several years, but I've never used a gas BBQ with smart technology before. For that reason alone, I was keen to see if the Weber Genesis II EX-335 GBS smart grill would make a difference to my grilling experience and guarantee itself a spot on our best gas BBQ list.
Weber Genesis II EX-335 GBS smart barbecue: key product specifications
- Fuel type: Liquid petroleum gas
- Number of burners: 3 stainless-steel burners, 39,000 BTU output
- Sear zone burner: 9,000 BTU
- Side burner: 12,000 BTU
- Dimensions (with lid closed): H120 x W150 x D74cm / H47 x W59 x D29"
- Weight: 84.8kg
- Materials: Porcelain enamelled lid, stainless steel side tables, painted steel doors
- Primary cooking area: 68 x 48 cm (3264cm2 or 513 square inches)
- Total cooking area: 4254cm2 / 669 square inches
- Side tables: 2
- Meat probes included: 1
- Batteries required: 10
- Warranty: 10 years (3 years for electronics)
First impressions of the Weber Genesis II EX-335 GBS smart barbecue
The first thing I couldn’t fail to notice about the Weber Genesis II EX-335 GBS smart grill is it’s huge. And very heavy! The BBQ was delivered in a large box and swiftly deposited on my driveway on a pallet. Then came the task of getting it down my driveway and into the garden. I definitely couldn’t move the box on my own, so needed to call in reinforcements (my husband) for some extra muscle power. However, even with two of us we couldn’t lift the box, and ended up manoeuvring it onto a large heavy-duty skip bag we had in the garage and then dragging the box through to the garden.
This is something you will want to consider when ordering this BBQ, as you’ll need two (or even possibly three) people to get it into the garden or yard – unless the generous delivery people will do that for you of course.
Once I’d opened the box, the second thing I noticed was just how many parts there are. A quick look at the manual revealed there are 72 stages to building the BBQ, so it's no surprise there were so many different boxes to open!
As soon as I opened the first packages inside the main box, however, it became clear what a serious piece of kit this is. The materials felt sturdy and good quality, and you realize this is an investment buy that is designed to last for many years, all of which is backed up by Weber's impressive 10-year warranty.
Time to get cracking on the 72 stages of the build! I’ll be upfront here and admit that I wasn't very organized when it came to building the grill. I’d advise trying to do it on a dry day if you don’t have a covered patio and allow yourself at least a couple of hours to put it together.
On the day I built this one with my husband, there were rain showers so we had to keep covering up all the boxes to keep everything dry. Plus, we had two kids constantly pestering us for snacks and a 6-month old puppy that wanted to eat/destroy/hide all the parts and packaging. If you don’t have any of those distractions then chances are you’ll be faster at building it than we were!
We actually ended up building it over two weekends because of the poor weather, and it probably took us around 4 hours from first unpacking the box to having it fully assembled.
Although assembling the BBQ is quite a lengthy process it’s relatively straightforward if there are two of you working together. The diagrams in the manual are easy to follow and I didn’t have any problems understanding what part or fixing needed to go where.
The only issue I found is that that because there are so many packages inside the main box, you pretty much have to unpack and unwrap everything to find all the parts. Hence my suggestion of ensuring it’s a dry day and that you have plenty of space to work in.
Once the main frame of the BBQ is built, you start the wiring and controls for the smart technology (more on that later), before adding things like the burners and the hood. The materials are heavy-duty (you'll ideally need two of you to lift the hood into place) but there's no doubt when you're assembling the BBQ that this is a durable, well-made piece of kit that will be able to withstand all weathers.
What's it like to use the Weber Genesis II EX-335 GBS smart barbecue?
Thanks to Weber's Infinity ignition, lighting the burners is super easy and so far I've found they always light first time. The grill is quick to heat up (much quicker than previous gas BBQs I've used) and I found it was ready to cook on within 10-15 minutes.
The angled stainless-steel Flavorizer bars are key to achieving the perfect smokey BBQ flavor we all love. They catch the fat drippings to create the smoke for flavoring your food. So there's no worries about missing out on the smokey flavor you get with a charcoal BBQ here. Plus, any excess fat drains down beneath the grill into a drip tray, which can be emptied or replaced when required. It means there's less risk of flare-ups (upsurges of flames caused by dripping fat) which can be both dangerous and have an impact on the taste of your food.
Just as with any BBQ, cooking BBQ recipes such as burgers and sausages is pretty straightforward on the Weber Genesis II EX-335 GBS smart BBQ, but if that's all you stick to then you'll be missing a trick with this top-of-the-range grill. Where it really comes into its own is with bigger cuts of meat, such as whole roasted chickens, perfectly seared steaks or large slow-cooked joints of meat.
Cooking on the Weber Genesis II EX-335 GBS smart barbecue
First on the menu was a single rib of beef. I like my steak medium rare and have always found it can be tricky to get it spot on when cooking on a BBQ. No such problem thanks to the smart technology on the Weber Genesis II EX-335 GBS smart grill.
Using the Weber Connect app I synced my phone to the BBQ. In the app, I then selected the type of meat I wanted to cook. Within the red meat section for example, there are 17 different types of cuts of beef to choose from. You simply find the one you are cooking (or the nearest match), select it and add in details such as the thickness of the steak and how you want it cooked so it can tailor the instructions to your specific steak. You then follow the instructions as the app takes you through how to prepare the meat, what temperature to set the grill, how to insert the meat temperature probe (there's handy videos to illustrate all of this), where to place the meat on the grill and whether to have the lid open or closed.
The app then monitors the internal temperature of the meat via the probe and sends you an alert telling you when to flip the steak and then when to remove it from the BBQ to rest it.
While at first this might sound like a lot of extra work to cook a steak, it's actually really quick and easy to do (especially once you have the hang of it), plus it takes away all of the guesswork that's often involved when trying to cook a steak perfectly. After all, there's nothing worse than spending a decent amount of money on a good-quality steak only to ruin it by overcooking it on the grill.
I'll admit that I was initially dubious as to how accurate it would be cooking a steak this way, but I'm happy to say I was proved completely wrong. I made sure I followed the alerts on the app and the steak was cooked perfectly, exactly how I like it. The Sear Zone on the grill creates a high heat on the cooking grate to quickly add sear marks to your food for that restaurant-quality feel at home too.
One thing worth noting is that there are two ports in the temperature monitoring device, so you can cook and monitor different cuts of meat at the same time. The BBQ only comes with one probe as standard, however, so you'll need to buy an additional probe if you want to be using two at the same time. Considering the cost of the BBQ, however, I do think it should be supplied with two as standard.
Next up was chicken. On the app there's options for cooking everything from thighs to breasts and even a whole chicken. Within the poultry section, it even tells you how to BBQ a turkey on the grill - so that's your cooking sorted for Thanksgiving or Christmas Day too!
On this occasion we opted to butterfly (spatchcock) the chicken as we wanted it to cook quicker. We didn't use the meat probe for this one as it was easy to check when the chicken was thoroughly cooked.
Just like the steak, it grilled beautifully and the meat was juicy and flavorsome with a great smokey BBQ taste.
Alongside the chicken, I also cooked several other dishes on the grill. I parboiled small new potatoes and then roasted them on the grill with a bit of oil, for roughly 25-40 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. I can confirm they smelled and tasted delicious!
I also cooked a range of vegetables, such as sweet corn, peppers and purple sprouting broccoli. Cooking an entire meal for 8 people on the grill was no problem thanks to the impressively large cooking area. With so much space to play with, it means you can sear meat in one section while roasting vegetables on a different part of the grill. Plus, the large warming rack keeps everything hot until it's ready to be served.
Cooking larger joints of meat on the Weber Genesis II EX-335 GBS gas BBQ
Keen to test how the BBQ would fare with some longer cooking times, I opted for a whole pork shoulder for our next BBQ party so we could serve slow cooked pulled pork to 12 guests. The pork joint weighed just under 3kg (6.6lbs) and I got the butcher to remove the bone and tie it up to make it easier to cook. My husband then added a BBQ rub all over the outside of the joint of meat before we got it on the BBQ. This time, I used the meat probe again, inserting it into the middle of the joint for the most accurate reading during cooking.
Having already checked the cooking times on the Weber Connect app, I knew this was going to take around 8-10 hours, and this included the necessary resting time at the end. With this in mind, I got it on nice and early at 7am to ensure it would be ready for our late-afternoon BBQ.
With the meat probe in place, I placed the pork joint in the centre of the grill and used the indirect heat setup to start cooking it. This means you only use the burners at one or both sides of the grill and leave the central burner switched off, so that the food sits over the unlit part on the cooking grate. Placing large cuts of meat that need a longer cooking time directly over the heat would dry them out and burn them. With everything in place, I simply closed the lid and left the BBQ to work its magic.
Part way through cooking, the instructions advised wrapping the meat in aluminium foil before replacing it back on the grill for the remainder of the cooking time. This helps to retain all the cooking juices and ensure the meat doesn't dry out.
The beauty of the meat probe and the smart technology is you don't have to guess when it's the right time to do this is. I simply received an alert on my phone telling me to go to the next stage, and then another alert when the meat had reached the correct temperature telling me to take it off the grill and rest it before serving. The pork shredded beautifully, and it was brilliant to serve something different at one of our BBQs rather than the standard selection of BBQ food.
I've since cooked a pork shoulder joint a second time for a smaller BBQ (so used a smaller joint of meat), and it was even better this time round. By now, I was completely confident in how reliable the app is, so was happy to get the meat on the BBQ in the morning, go out for several hours and know that it would be nearly cooked by the time I got home. The smell in the garden was amazing when we returned home that afternoon!
I'd even suggest that you could fire up the grill the evening before and cook a large joint of meat really slowly throughout the night if you wanted it to be ready for a lunchtime BBQ the next day.
It is worth noting that even though you can receive temperature and cooking alerts on your phone, you can't control the temperature or burners remotely, so you do need to be at the BBQ to do this.
As the app gives you an initial estimate of cooking time, my advice would be to allow for a little extra time in case it adjusts the cooking time and takes slightly longer than the original estimate. You can always rest the meat after cooking for a little longer than necessary - that's preferable to having hungry guests standing around waiting for their food!
As well as the above dishes, I've also cooked the more standard burgers and sausages for quicker mid-week BBQs. Other favorites I've grilled for this review include fresh prawn kebabs, salmon, halloumi kebabs, lamb kofta kebabs and a wide range of vegetables.
The side burner has been brilliant for cooking onions, warming sauces, and I've even used it for cooking blueberry pancakes outdoors for a weekend brunch.
Additional features of the Weber Genesis II EX-335 smart barbecue
One major plus point to note for this BBQ is that I love the height of it! I'm quite tall (as is my husband) and we often find that we end up stooping over a BBQ when cooking, but no such issues with this gas grill. It offers a great cooking height and we both found it far more comfortable to use than our previous BBQs.
The side burner is also far better than ones on previous gas BBQs we've used. The burner is housed within the right hand side table rather than sitting on top of it. It means it's really well protected from any gusts of wind, unlike some other gas BBQs I've used where there have been issues with a burner getting extinguished in windy weather. When not in use, you can close the lid on top of the burner to give you an extra food prep surface.
There are handy tool hooks on the side of the BBQ to show off your best BBQ tools as well as keep them close at hand, plus two heavy-duty doors conceal a practical storage cupboard underneath.
The control knobs are illuminated too, making it easy to grill after dark and in all weathers. There's also a clip-on LED lamp that you can attach to the lid handle, and it will switch on automatically when you lift up the lid. While we haven't seen the benefit of these features during summer, I know it will come in handy as the evenings get darker in autumn and we still want to be grilling outdoors.
As you'd expect from a leading grill brand, there are plenty of extras you can add to your Weber Genesis II EX-335 GBS smart barbecue to enhance your grilling experience even further. From pizza stones and wok sets to cleaning kits and more, there's lots to choose from. These are added extras rather than essential, so unless money is no object I'd definitely advise getting used to the grill before investing in any further additions.
Cleaning the Weber Genesis II EX-335 GBS gas BBQ
After each time I've used the BBQ, I've given the grill bars a basic clean using stiff wire brushes. There's no need to use water, you simply pre-heat the grill and use the brushes to remove any cooking debris from the grill. I decided to invest in the Weber three-sided BBQ brush and the Weber 45cm brush for these jobs and have found them to be really effective. It's also a good idea to wipe down the inside and outside of the lid after cooking, as well as the side tables. Don't forget to empty the drip tray each time too. Other than this, there's not much else you need to do when using it on a day-today basis.
In the manual, Weber does advise that the grill will need a thorough deep clean at least twice a year, but if you use it fairly regularly then you should aim to do this quarterly. This involves cleaning everything from the lid and cooking grates to the Flavorizer Bars, burners and heat deflectors. There are detailed instructions on what tools you'll need and how to do it in the manual, and the advice is really simple to follow.
We've done this deep clean once as part of the review, following Weber's instructions. All the parts are easily removable for cleaning, and it's simple to slot everything back into place. Although it's bigger than our previous gas BBQ, we found it much quicker and easier to clean, taking around 45 minutes to go through the entire cleaning process.
There's lots more tips on how to clean a BBQ in our guide too.
Storing the Weber Genesis II EX-335 GBS smart grill
As you'll no doubt have gathered from this review, the Weber Genesis II EX-335 GBS smart grill isn't small! If you want to store it inside over the winter months then you'll need a large space in your shed or garage to be able to keep it undercover. The side tables don't drop down flat either, so you can't reduce the width of the BBQ to help with storage.
As this BBQ is perfect for grilling in all weathers, however, chances are you'll want to keep it outdoors all year long. For that reason, investing in a suitable cover is a smart move. As part of this review, I was also sent a Weber premium BBQ cover which perfectly fits this BBQ. It's lightweight but really durable and water resistant so will protect your grill in all weathers. It also has handy fastening straps to prevent it from blowing off in strong winds. You'll need to make sure these are securely fastened though, as we didn't tighten ours properly and the cover blew off a couple of times during one or two summer storms.
Should you buy the Weber Genesis II EX-335 GBS smart barbecue?
If you love cooking outdoors and want to take your backyard grilling to the next level, then it's a resounding yes from me. Assembly might take quite a while, but don't let that put you off. Once you've built the Weber Genesis II EX-335 GBS gas BBQ you won't look back, and you'll soon be experimenting with a wider range of BBQ dishes than ever before and enjoying how easy it is to cook them.
What's more, thanks to the smart tech you won't have to be chained to the grill while your guests get to enjoy your BBQ party. It's easy to monitor everything from your phone, so you can simply let the gas grill do all the hard work while you relax or get on with other chores in the house or backyard.
Customer reviews on the Weber US website give the Weber Genesis II EX-335 GBS smart grill an average 4.7 out of 5 rating, with customers commenting on how easy it is to use and how the smart tech allows them to get fantastic results with minimal effort. One customer even commented 'it makes me feel like a grill master'. Most people also comment on the relatively long build time (four hours seems to be fairly standard), but like me this wouldn't put them off buying it.
The built-in smart technology is what gives this BBQ its premium price, so if you love the sound of the BBQ but aren't too fussed about the technology then you might prefer to check out the Weber Genesis II EP-335 GBS Gas Barbecue or even the Weber Genesis II E-315 GBS Gas Barbecueas they both have lower price points.
However, the smart features give you the confidence to try things that you wouldn't have considered cooking on a gas grill before. It removes all of the guesswork and makes it super easy to get the cooking spot on every time. It really couldn't be easier. And with so many recipes to try within the Weber Connect app, there's really no excuse not to be more adventurous in your grilling choices! In a nutshell, think of it as having an experienced grill master that's always on hand to tell you how to prep and cook your BBQ dishes, as well as alert you when they're ready to flip, rest and eat, and that's what having this technology gives you.
There's no getting away from the fact that the Weber Genesis II EX-335 GBS smart barbecue is a premium price product. But you know you're buying a product from a leading, trusted grill brand with an excellent heritage. With its impressive build quality and 10-year warranty, this gas grill isn't meant to be a quick purchase for occasional BBQs, it's an investment buy that you'll get to enjoy for many years to come. So if you're looking to complete your outdoor kitchen ideas in style, this would make an excellent addition to any backyard set-up.
About the review and our reviewer
Beth Murton is the editor of Gardeningetc and has been writing about homes and gardens for 18 years for a wide range of magazines and websites.
She lives in the Midlands in the UK with her husband and two young children in a renovated 1930s home. The large rear garden was one of the house's biggest selling points, and in recent years she has made lots of changes to the space to make it work for family life.
As with all our reviews, the Weber Genesis II EX-335 GBS smart barbecue has been tested first-hand in her garden over a number of weeks, using it just as you would so you know exactly what you are buying. The products are given to us free of charge and we test them for as long as possible before sending them back to the brand, unless we are able to keep them. This means that we can continue to use the product which gives us the opportunity to return to our reviews for updating, so you can keep up-to-date with how it's fared over a period of time.
Are grasses the next big garden trend? RHS announces its first dedicated display at Chelsea Flower Show
These plants will be stealing the show in the first-ever autumnal event
By Millie Hurst •
Sarah Raven launches new houseplant range – and names her favourite indoor plants
Plants The gardening guru expands to houseplants – from familiar favourites to more unusual species
By Anna Cottrell •
The plants you should plant in your garden to lower your water bill
Plants These plants don't need much watering and can help you conserve water and save on bills
By Anna Cottrell •
All deals, prizes and latest news
Get the best tech deals, reviews, product advice, competitions, unmissable tech news and more!