Weber Spirit vs Spirit II Reviews, Tips, and Guides
What are the differences between the Weber Spirit and the Weber Spirit II? This is a question that often comes up for people who are looking to buy a Weber grill. In this blog post, we will compare the two grills and highlight their key differences. We hope this information will help you decide which grill is right for you.
What is a weber spirit?
-A weber spirit is also known as an “Upright Spirit” or more commonly, a “Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM)” which is based on the Weber Kettle grill. These grills are bullet shaped cookers that can be used for low and slow cooking but that’s not really what they excel at.
– 22.5″: Actual cooking area is 193 sq. in.
– 34″: Actual cooking area is 275 sq. in.
– 22.5″: $199.99
– 34″: $249.99
– Fan located behind fire pot to force airflow within the cooker, adding more oxygen into the fire. This allows for better even temperatures throughout the entire cook chamber – Stainless steel construction with a chrome plated cooking grate – Top and bottom vents control the heat inside of the cooker to allow for either hot & fast or low & slow cooking.
These units come in either black porcelain enamel or stainless steel, both options available in either 22.5″ or 34″. Complete with legs on all four corners, each unit can handle the amount of weight it is given. Heavy but still easily maneuverable for one person at a time.
-Weber offers a 10-year limited warranty on all parts excluding the paint. There are many YouTube videos that show how to properly care for your unit or basically what not to do when owning any charcoal fired smoker/cooker.
-Weber customer service is known to be exceptional and there are plenty of people who own these units whose only regret was not buying larger ones because their family grew so quickly! The company also has several resources such as manual downloads, recipe websites and even free apps you can for an interactive cooking experience.
-Most units (including this one) are made of stainless steel and porcelain enamel. The enclosure is welded together with high quality welding wire to form a solid unit that will last for many years. There is slight movement in the unit due to its size but not enough to worry about if you’re using it properly and following the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines. The cooking grates are plated and easy to clean with a grill brush.
Ease of use:
-The WSM can be a little intimidating at first if you’ve never used a smoker/cooker before, but Weber offers a ton of information via their website and YouTube videos. Once you get it going it’s very easy to use especially with the constant temperature monitoring that you should be doing while cooking.
-There are many accessories out there for these units including different size replacement grates, remote thermometers, insulation blankets and even leveling feet so your cooker doesn’t sit unevenly on your patio or deck.
-When it comes to color choices, Weber offers these units in either stainless steel or porcelain enamel, both of which are good however I prefer the stainless steel because it’s a higher quality material and is easier to clean. With if you don’t mind spending a little more time cleaning this unit then go with the black enamel coating which does come out looking brand new after a good scrubbing.
-Disassembling this unit for transport is simple and can be done in less than 5 minutes by following the instructions on Weber’s website. Each piece fits inside of the next so you don’t have to worry about it taking up a ton of space when putting it away especially if you buy one with legs on all four corners.
-Being that the WSM is a charcoal-based cooker, it can be fueled by natural or even lump hardwood charcoal. I prefer to use wood because I like the rustic taste of cooking with indirect heat and real logs, but this really comes down to personal preference. If you choose to cook with propane, I recommend getting an adapter hose so you can control your temperature accurately without having to mess around with the vent system every 5 minutes.
-Weber’s 22.5-inch model comes with a slightly smaller 8.75″ diameter burner than the other models however it still has 513 square inches of total cooking space so you shouldn’t have any problems with flare ups or hot & cold spots when cooking anything other than poultry.
Maximum BTU Rating:
-The 18.5-inch model is a one trick pony by having only one main burner which has an output of 25,000 BTUs, but since it uses indirect heat, it can handle even the toughest cuts of meat with ease. If you buy the WSM 22 then you get two main burners that have a total BTU output of 40,000 which gives you more cooking flexibility and makes this unit much faster at reaching desired temperatures. Both models have a decent smoke box/chip tray design so getting smoke rolling is never a problem.
-Weber makes a grill grate with the same dimensions as their main grates which is great for cooking small things like sliced veggies and weber chicken kabobs. I use this thing all the time and can also be used to hold ribs vertically or fish horizontally while they smoke, it’s convenient!
-This unit comes with a cart that has four swivel casters on the bottom which makes it very easy to roll around even when full. Having wheels also makes it easier to clean under the unit without getting dirt & grease all over the place, so it’s a bonus if you want to maintain your smoker unit.
Folding Side Tables:
-This is a new feature on the WSM and makes it much easier to work with because you don’t have to balance your plates & tools on top of the factory side tables that really aren’t big enough for most things, plus since they fold down there’s more room when cooking.
-The WSM has 4 wheels on the bottom and each of them can hold up to 225 pounds which is plenty for this unit, but what really makes these things great is how easy it is to clean underneath them because they have a removable plate that prevents large chunks of dirt and loose particles from getting inside of the unit.
What is a weber spirit ii?
-The weber spirit ii is a perfect blend of innovation and tradition that gives you cooking flexibility like no other smoker can. You can cook just about anything on this unit and even if you’re a beginner it won’t take long to figure out how to get the most out of your weber spirit ii.
Features of a weber spirit ii:
– The Spirit II has a cooking surface of 363 inches which is more than enough for just about any occasion. If you’re into smoking bigger cuts of meat, then the only way to go would be the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 18.5 inch.
– If you want to save some money on your smoker purchase, I highly recommend buying refurbished because they are basically new units that have been returned by previous buyers, but what’s great is that these things were still made with care even though they went through the ringer. You can’t beat the price and it almost feels like you’re stealing from Weber when you get a factory refurbished unit for half off!
– One thing that really drew me to the weber spirit ii was its simplistic design and structure, everything from the firebox to the grill grate just looks so clean and sleek even though it’s a gas-powered smoker. The porcelain coated bowl is perfect for longer smokes because of how good it retains heat which makes this unit ideal for smoking brisket or pork shoulder.
– Let’s be honest here, the weber spirit II is a great looking smoker that will look perfect wherever you decide to position it. You could put it in your back yard or even on your deck if you wanted to because this thing looks pretty badass either way.
– When you buy any product online it can be kind of scary especially when buying expensive items, but with Weber that is never an issue because they have one of the best warranties around and I’ve never had my grill stop working right after the warranty expired.
– The people at Weber really know what they’re doing and treat their customers like royalty so getting replacement parts or just asking questions all goes smoothly and quickly which is another reason why so many people trust this brand.
– The weber spirit ii is built with nothing but high-quality parts which you can tell by looking at it, even the screws are designed to last a long time without corroding or rusting which happens with poorly made gas smokers.
Ease of use:
– Webers are incredibly easy to use because they have detailed manuals that take you step by step through everything that needs to be done for your grill or smoker to function properly. I remember when I first bought my WSM and read the manual front to back 4 times before firing it up, but now after all these years I only look at it twice before lighting her up!
– Accessories such as the weber smokey mountain cookbook or weber’s best rib rack will make smoking ribs, pork butt and even brisket a joy because you can get professional results in your own backyard with little to no practice.
– Webers are available in 6 different colors which are red, black, green, grey, blue and orange.
– Disassembling a weber sounds scary, but it’s quite easy if you have the right tools. The best way to clean out your firebox would be to remove the burn grate and charcoal grate first so that they are no longer holding ashes which reduces the risk of getting ash all over your hands or into gas lines.
– It takes a little over 8lbs of propane to last you the whole day when smoking meat so if you want to save even more money, then why not buy a bulk tank, and fill it up at your local gas station.
– The burner on this bad boy was designed to last with stainless steel burn rings that surround the flame ports. These high-powered jets can produce at least 32,000 BTUs per hour which is more than enough to provide you with even heat throughout the whole cook chamber.
Maximum BTU Rating:
– The weber spirit has a maximum BTU rating of 48,000 which is probably overkill when it comes to smoking meat, but if you want the best and need the power then this unit will not fail you.
– The Weber spirit II has a unique grill that makes it perfect for grilling but even better for smoking meat because this thing is built like a tank and the removable center section allows you to smoke more than one piece of meat at once, which comes in handy when cooking whole racks of ribs or pork butts. The best part about these grills is how simple they are to maintain so there’s less time cleaning up after meals and more time relaxing with friends and family.
– The cart looks basic, but it has all the essentials including a propane tank holder for saving space on your deck or patio. The legs are adjustable so you can position this thing however you want which is nice because everyone’s backyard setup is different.
Folding Side Tables:
– These side tables fold up when you need to get the Weber out of the way because space is key for most people. You can also remove them if you want to get even closer to your grill and maintain a very low profile which comes in handy when grilling chicken or other small pieces of meat.
– The weber spirit II has 4 very durable caster wheels that swivel 360 degrees and lock when you need to maintain a solid position, however the best part about these wheels is how convenient they make it to move your smoker around.
The similarities of weber spirit and spirit ii:
– The weber spirit and the weber spirit ii are the same except for a few minor details which include:
The differences of weber spirit and spirit ii:
– The weber spirit is a little cheaper than the spirit ii because it has less stainless-steel parts which eventually rust out. Another difference is that the spirit only uses a push button ignition, but the spirit ii has an automatic electric igniter and a battery to power that igniter. The last difference I can think of would be the fact that the Weber Spirit II comes in 6 colors while the Weber Spirit only comes in 3 different colors.
– There is no winner here because both grills are great for beginners, but if I had to choose, we would go with the weber spirit ii simply because it has more stainless steel and doesn’t rust out as easily. Also, you can’t beat all those additional features for such a low price making the weber spirit ii $40 cheaper than the weber spirit ($249 vs $289).
What is the primary difference between a weber spirit and spirit ii?
– The primary difference between a weber spirit and a spirit ii is that the spirit does not have stainless steel burn rings or a detachable propane tank holder.
Which smoker is right for me?
– If you’re looking for a smoker that comes pre-assembled and has all of the essentials then I would say go with the weber spirit ii. If you don’t care about side tables or an ignition system, but still want stainless parts on your smoker then go with the weber spirit instead.
Pros and Cons of a weber spirit and spirit ii?
weber spirit pros:
– The weber spirit is perfect for anyone who wants to get their first smoker because it has the essentials and it’s also very affordable. The money you save on this thing can be used to buy accessories like thermometers, temperature probes, grates (charcoal grate included,) gloves, utensils and more.
weber spirit cons:
– I don’t really have any cons besides the fact that some features are limited because of the low price like included thermometer and side tables that don’t fold down. A lot of people will often complain about rust, but if you take care of your grill then this won’t be a problem at all.
weber spirit ii pros:
– Stainless steel burn rings, detached tank holder, folding side tables, caster wheels and an automatic electric igniter are just some of the features that make the Weber Spirit II stand out from its predecessor. The fact that you get all of this at such a low price is amazing in my opinion which is why this unit gets 5 stars for value.
weber spirit ii cons:
– The main issue with this grill is that some people might see some rust on their 18-inch version after about 2 years (unfortunately I am one of these people.) Another con would be hard to clean grease pans, but we will save those details for another article.
– If you don’t want rusty parts and you want a few extra features then go with the weber spirit ii. If you’re looking to save some money and don’t mind a little rust, then go with the weber spirit (it’s also more versatile in my opinion.) Finally, I know that some people are passionate about their preferred grill color, but both of these grills come in 6 colors so it shouldn’t be that big of an issue.