The S-460 is Weber's mid-size, built-in model for their top of the line gas grill series, aptly named Summit. S-460 has four stainless steel main burners and a lot of extras. They are a step up from Weber Genesis in construction, performance and price. Summits look good, cook beautifully and have great features that are clever, effective and easy to use.
S-460 is similar to the freestanding S-470. It has four main burners at 12,200 BTU each and a 10,600 BTU sear burner in the center. The primary cooking area is 468 square inches, and the removable warming rack is 112 square inches. Use of the sear burner in conjunction with the four main burners increases the Heat Flux rating, (BTU/square inches of primary cook surface), from 102.56 to 126.92. The 460 comes with an AC powered rotisserie and 10,600 BTU rear-mounted, infrared back burner. A smoker box with dedicated 6,800 BTU burner occupies the right side of the cook area. Main burner knobs are illuminated with the flick of a control panel switch. Cart doors, hood and control panel are stainless steel. The hood has cast aluminum end caps. Built-ins are only available in stainless: no porcelain enamel finishes.
460 has stainless steel flavorizer bars, serious 3/8 inch (9 mm) diameter stainless steel rod cooking grates and a double layer of steel under the hood for extra insulation. Piezo-electric "Snap-Jet" ignition is activated by each individual control knob. A battery powered Grill Out Handle Light screws onto the lid handle to illuminate the cook surface. Handle lights are nice accessories, but internal hood lights would be more appropriate for this premium priced cooker.
Unlike freestanding Summits, this built-in has no side shelves and therefore no side burner. An optional, dual side burner is available. 460 has a double door cart on two swivel casters and two locking casters to slide in and out of your installation for service or maintenance. It also comes with trim pieces and a concealer strip to hide the wheels.
460 is available in LP and NG models, as are all Summits. LPs have Weber's "Precision Fuel Gauge". Hang the propane tank on the fuel gauge scale, it measures the weight in 20% increments and shows your approximate fuel level.
All gas BBQ grills have air vents that often invite rainwater in. Summits have an extra set of water friendly vents right above the control panel. Although Summit cook boxes are waterproof, the carts are not. If you are constitutionally unable to use a grill cover and your grill is regularly exposed to rain, be aware that Summits are notorious for taking in water which gets funneled to the grease pan inside the cart and can cause quite a mess.
Addressing an increased interest in outdoor kitchens, Weber introduced add on "Island Cabinetry" and "Social Centers" to integrate with the Genesis and Summit lines. These range from matching side tables with enclosed storage to cart mounted side burners, enclosed trash cans and large "Social Areas" that serve as a bar with double door storage underneath. There is also a faux stone island with matching countertops for the S-460 and S-660 built-in models. We generally advise against brick and mortar installations because once the cement dries, it's hard to change your mind. And if you move, you can't take it with you. But if you stick with Weber's modular options, these concerns should not be an issue.
We had the opportunity to test the 2012 four-burner S-470, which is a freestanding version of the S-460. Our high expectations were met with a few minor exceptions. Small complaints perhaps, but one could reasonably expect only the best from Weber's premier grill line. Read our review of the S-470 to learn more.
Heat Flux is the BTU per square inch and is a more useful measure of how much heat a grill delivers than BTU alone.
Looked Closely At It
We have seen this product up close and we have also gathered info from the manufacturer, owners, and other reliable sources.
Weber-Stephen is one of the oldest and most respected manufacturers of BBQ equipment and related accessories in the world. Weber grills and smokers cook beautifully and have great features that are clever, effective and easy to use. As popularity and demand for BBQ gear grows worldwide, Weber continues to earn their long standing reputation for quality, durability and outstanding customer service and support, (7 days a week from 7am to 9pm CST), in an increasingly competitive environment. Even in this crowded marketplace, many consumers are still willing to pay more for the Weber name and they are rarely disappointed. They make a variety of cookers and smokers. Their iconic black charcoal kettles are known throughout the world. Indeed Weber is expanding globally.
Weber-Stephen was family owned since it was founded in 1952 by George Stephen. At the end of 2010 the Stephen family sold a majority stake to Chicago investment group BDT Capital Partners. In 2012, Weber settled a class action suit out of court regarding their use of the phrase, "Made in USA". Weber previously qualified the "Made in USA" statement by specifying their products are assembled in the USA with some components that are sourced globally. Here is an excerpt from Weber's statement "Weber believes that because all Weber grills and the disputed accessories are designed and engineered in the USA, and all grills save for one line [Spirit]* are manufactured and assembled in the USA using component parts primarily made in the USA, it did nothing wrong and therefore has valid defenses to plaintiff's claims. The court has not held a trial or ruled in favor of either party on any disputed issues. Weber and the plaintiff have agreed to settle the matter to avoid the costs of continued litigation." As a result of this suit, Weber can no longer claim to be made in America.
Things change, but we believe Weber's commitment to quality and innovation has not.
The biggest barrier for many folks is price. Webers are not cheap, but when you consider that they last decades, the price is easy to justify. Many some cheap grills fall apart after three years or so.
Our main complaint: All Webers have the obligatory bi-metal dial thermometer in the hood that gives you a ballpark reading of what the temperature is high above the meat. Since we cook on the grates, though, it's always better to bring your own digital thermometer and place a probe there. It would be nice if they would go digital in the digital age and it appears with their acquisition of iGrill digital thermometers, this is begining to change.
Weber gas grills are simply the gold standard. Designed intelligently with attention to details and built to last, they look good, work beautifully, and almost never break down. If they do, Weber is known for great customer service and for carrying an inventory of parts on models from years gone by. Meathead owned a Genesis for 15-years and can testify from experience.
All their burners are quality stainless steel, have a long life expectancy, and they come with electronic ignitions. The body is heavy. The casters are sturdy and lock solid. Nothing wobbles on Webers. The grease drip pans are easy to access from the front, not the back as with many other grills. Except for the portable/compact Q line, all models hold the propane tank inside the enclosed cart, and can be adapted for natural gas. They have smaller vents in the hood than most gassers which means they retain more heat than grills with more BTUs.
All have inverted V shaped "flavorizer" bars that cover and protect the burners while vaporizing drips and turning them into flavor that gets back up onto the meat. Except for the Q line, all either come with a rotisserie or you can order one as a factory accessory.
Weber gas grills come in four basic flavors, Q, Spirit, Genesis II, and Summit, each with several configurations. Models starting with an "E" are built with Weber's sturdy porcelainized enamel coated steel, and those starting with an "S" are mostly stainless steel.
Much has been made of 430 and 304 stainless steel: the two most popular grades used by grill manufacturers. Many other inexpensive brands use very thin, low cost 430 stainless to get that shiny showroom floor look. Premium grill makers tout their use of higher quality, higher priced 304 stainless. At some point, Weber decided to switch from 304 to 430. Although 304 is superior, 430 can work just fine if it is a thick gauge like Weber uses, but it is not as durable and one has to expect the life of the grill will be shortened. Will this decision could come back to haunt the castle in Palatine? Only time will tell. Alas, it does not appear Weber's prices were reduced to reflect the cost savings realized with this change.