New for 2023 – Weber’s Freestanding Griddles. Weber has long recognized griller’s love of griddles and steadily provided a variety of add-on griddles over the years for use with their gas and charcoal grills.
As griddle popularity grows, so goes Weber’s product development team to now offer full-size inserts for their Spirit and Genesis Gas Grills.
Plus they have Stand-Alone Griddles in 36″ 4- Burner and 28″ 3-Burner models. Here’s the 36″ 4-Burner.
For this review we tested the 28″ 3-Burner.
Weber Griddle 28″
The dimensions of the griddle with the lid open are 41.45″ H x 53.46″ W x 23.94″ D. Weber Griddles have an aluminized steel cookbox and slide off hood that hangs from the back when cooking as shown in the photo. The hood is meant to protect the cook surface when not in use. Never cook with the hood down.
The 11″ W x 18″ D left and right side shelves are sturdy. They don’t fold down but do have tool hooks.
The simple, solid cart includes a lower storage shelf. It has no casters, just two large wheels and two legs. You need to lift the left side to roll it around on your deck, which isn’t bad as it feels surprisingly light for 110 pounds. The big wheels work better than casters on grass if you intend to roll it out into your yard.
Like what you’re reading? Click here to get Smoke Signals, our free monthly email that tells you about new articles, recipes, product reviews, science, myth-busting, and more. Be Amazing!
Absent on these new griddles is a feature that’s become standard on most Weber gas grills; their LP tank fuel level scale. LP tanks run dry and often at inconvenient times. To help avoid unpleasant surprises on their gas grills, Weber hangs the tank on a scale that gives a rough estimate of fuel level. These types of LP tank scales are useful, but not precise. They at least give notice when you’re running low. Fuel level can be seen on a full-to-empty graduated gauge incorporated into the tank hook scale and are displayed through software with their Smart Grills.
We kinda miss this inaccurate old fuel level scale. Both the 36″ and 28″ Weber griddles just have plain tank hooks.
Plain and simple. It seems Weber intended these griddles to be streamlined with economic designs and price tags. Light on flash and heavy on substance. Could future, upscale lines be on the drawing board somewhere at the castle in Palatine?
Back on top. Cooktop that is.
The cooktop, aka flat top aka griddle is a heavy hunk of 28″ W x 18″ D hot rolled steel. Some questioned the choice of hot rolled over cold rolled as cold rolled is more commonly used by griddle manufacturers. A cursory investigation of the difference between these two materials revealed cold rolled is more expensive and considered more durable. Weber counters that cold rolled is more durable for certain applications, but they believe hot rolled will better withstand the stress of extreme temperature changes and prove the best choice for their cooktops. Indeed, Weber’s 5 year warranty on their cooktops is equal to or better than many competitive models. Time will tell.
Up your game: Join our Pitmaster Club. Try it out for free for 30 days. No credit card is needed. No spam. Join now and Be Amazing!
That slot in the front, left corner facilitates grease and gunk removal. When done cooking, scrape all the gunk down that slot to deposit it in a slide out grease tray below.
Weber’s grease tray is located in the front, while some other griddles are in the back. We prefer the convenience of front access grease trays. Weber’s tray is fairly large and long, leading some to complain that handling it when full of hot grease is precarious. No doubt. We didn’t have any large griddling cookouts during our tests, but we did a good amount of cooking, cleaning out the tray (when the raccoons didn’t beat us to it) as needed before it filled up. If you don’t forget about the grease tray then you should be fine. Keep it Clean, Keep Calm, and Griddle On.
Like most griddles, Weber’s cooktop needs to be seasoned before use. Seasoning is a load of fun…NOT! There are different opinions about seasoning details, but the basic, universal steps are:
Clean the cooktop off. Note: The Owner’s Manual states “The griddle has been coated with a food grade oil for protection. This oil is not to be used for seasoning.”
After cleaning, apply a thin coat of neutral oil. Be sure to get the interior and exterior sides as well.
Wipe away the excess oil.
Light all the burners and set them to HIGH.
The surface will begin to smoke. Let the seasoning continue until the smoke stops.
Shut off all burners and let the griddle cool – approximately 30 minutes.
Repeat steps 2 – 6 at least 2 more times. Many griddlers repeat this several times for extra layers of seasoning.
Here’s a short video from Weber that shows their process.
You can pull the video up on your cell phone with this QR Code.
Always take the time to clean up when done cooking or you’ll have to repeat the above steps early and often. Turn all burners off, scrape all the grease and gunk into the grease tray, and wipe the griddle down with a cloth or paper towel. If the griddle is still hot, hold the towel with tongs. We found applying a light coat of oil all over the cook surface is a wise final step. When cooled off, don’t forget to put the hood back in place, and we highly recommend using a cover to further protect the cook surface. Also, don’t forget about that grease tray!
An IR thermometer does not make physical contact with the surface being measured. Instead it senses the amount of infrared radiation emanating from the surface. Just point at the surface and pull the trigger. The temperature will display on the small screen above the handle. We used a ThermoPro TP-450 shown in the picture.
With all burners on LOW we measured the average temperature at about 370°F. With all burners on HIGH our average was about 590°F. There was some variance left to right and front to back, but nothing of concern.
Our bread test also indicated fairly even heat distribution.
Griddling is a load of fun – YES! Here’s a full pound of bacon spread across the cooktop with room to spare.
Most recipes benefit from 2-zone cooking. Setting up 2-zones; one hot side and one moderate side, is an essential technique for grilling and griddling. Click here to learn the importance of 2-zones. For our breakfast of sausage with scrambled eggs and veggies we turned the left and middle burners slightly above LOW and the right burner off to create our hot zone left – and moderate zone right.
Using Weber’s griddle tools, we easily flipped, flopped and moved everything between the zones as needed for it to all finish at the same time.
Even if new to griddling, you likely have cooking tools that work just fine. But the griddling business is a little different than grilling as Weber’s Griddle Essentials Set illustrates.
From right to left the set includes:
• Griddle Spatula for flipping and moving heavier food with ease (note the extended length).
• Griddle Scraper effectively removes grease and grime and double teams foods alongside the spatula.
• Flexible Griddle Spatula easily slides under delicate foods
• Griddle Squeeze Bottles (2) for dispensing dressings, oil, water, etc.
All pieces have quality stainless steel construction and are dishwasher safe.
If you never had a full size, dedicated griddle, you’re in for a treat. It’s just plain fun to have all that wide open, griddle real estate with zone temp control; an outdoor cook’s playground. To get things rolling we started out with the quintessential griddle recipe: Smash Burgers.
Then we took off with sizzling salmon.
Next up was skirt steak.
Somebody stop me! Now some sesame crusted tuna!
And no griddle journey would be complete without cheesesteak.
Let’s take a break for a word of caution. What’s wrong with this picture?
NEVER leave plastic on either side shelf when in use. Those shelves get HOT! If it hangs from the tool hooks there’s no worry, but think twice about leaving anything on the shelves. Even glass and metal can get too hot to handle, and may end up splattered with grease. We learned to use a prep table.
Be cautious with the lower shelf as well. Heat from the cookbox bottom is significant. Heed Max’s words and you will reap this gooey reward without a disastrous mess.
Weber’s packaging is consistently good. All parts come safe and secure in a logical order with clear directions. Assembly was a little harder than anticipated. Perhaps I unrealistically expected it to be almost as simple as putting together a table. Ooops.
In recent years Weber had a couple high profile roll outs that, uncharacteristically, seemed forced into the market before ready. And boy did they take a shellacking on the internet. Weber is a flagship company. The bar is set high. They rarely fall short and this is no exception. These griddles are bulletproof. Few will be disappointed, indeed early customer reviews are almost unanimously stellar.
This is solid Weber quality at a competitive price, with an effective though austere, Spartan design and appearance. No bells and whistles, just bacon and eggs. We award Weber’s new griddles our top AmazingRibs.com Best Value Platinum Medal.
Cookbox 5 years, no rust through/burn through (2 years paint excluding fading or discoloration) Hard cover assembly 5 years, no rust through/burn through (2 years paint excluding fading or discoloration) Stainless steel burner tubes 5 years, no rust through/burn through Carbon steel cooktop 5 years (excluding rust) All remaining parts 5 years (excluding normal wear and tear)
We thank Weber for providing a unit for our tests.
Where to buy (buying from this supplier supports this website):
Cooked On It
We have hands-on experience testing this product. We have also gathered info from the manufacturer, owners and other reliable sources.
71.43 Heat Flux is the BTU per square inch and is a more useful measure of how much heat a grill delivers than BTU alone.
504 square inches
Mid-Size(about 24 burgers)
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 8pm 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.
Since then Weber, like many others, has outsourced manufacturing of more product lines. 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 appears this is beginning to change as Weber enters a new era of digital technology and software based products.
Max Good, Full time grill tester - Max Good, AmazingRibs.com's Vice President of Product Reviews & Keeper of the Flame, is the man in charge of finding the best products for the AmazingRibs.com Equipment Reviews section. Max bottles his own barbecue sauce recipes and now sells them around the country.