Nexgrill vs Weber: Q2200 vs Fortress & Spirit vs Evolution

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the winner is, then we highly recommend the following Weber grill models:

As a grilling enthusiast, I’m always curious about whether certain models are worth the hype—specifically, how well they stand up against other giants in the field. That’s what prompted me to test the Nexgrill vs Weber theory. Which of these big-name brands has more to offer consumers, and does the performance hold up to the promise?

In this article, we’re going to review the following gas grills:

NexGrill Evolution vs. Weber Spirit II E-210

NexGrill Fortress vs. Weber Q2200

Things To Consider Before Buying a Gas Grill

As outdoor cooking units go, gas grills have plenty to offer. These units are versatile, typically long-lasting, and can be fired up at the touch of a button—no need to plan ahead and wait for the charcoal briquettes to ash over. Depending on the size and style you’re looking for, they can be quite affordable too—although some of the fancier, tricked-out models might be cause for sticker shock. In general, the simpler the grill, the less expensive it will be.

Die-hard charcoal enthusiasts probably won’t be swayed by the convenience and instant gratification that a gas grill will afford them. These shoppers would be better off sticking with kettle grills or other charcoal-burning models. In their defense, while it takes longer for a charcoal grill to heat up, at least they don’t have to worry about failed ignition switches or gas leaks.

Here are a few of the other things you should keep in mind before narrowing down your search:

  • Affordability—How much are you willing and able to spend?
  • Size—Are you looking for a great deal of cooking space, or just enough to grill meat for one or two people?
  • Durability—How well does the structure stand up to the elements?
  • Burners/Heat Retention—Does the unit have sufficient power for the tasks you have in mind?
  • Additional Features—which add-ons are you looking for specifically, and which are you willing to forgo?

Nexgrill in Review

To help you narrow down your choices still further, I looked at two-burner and tabletop models for each of the name brands in the roundup.

#1 Nexgrill Evolution

Each of the two stainless steel burners on this unit will crank 14,000 BTUs (British thermal units) of heat, which is impressively high, considering that the grill only features 385 square inches of available cooking space. The cooking grates are cast iron, with an additional warming rack above. The two side shelves offer extra prep space, but can be folded down when not in use, making this a solid option for those with limited space.

This unit is powered by propane, but comes equipped with a conversion kit if you prefer to use natural gas. Finally, note that the Evolution features infrared technology, allowing users to sample a broader variety of cooking styles.

Pros:

  • Compact design with small footprint
  • Affordable price point
  • High, even heat output
  • Infrared technology
  • Durable construction

Cons:

  • Somewhat difficult to clean
  • Infrared covers may cause visibility issues
  • Spotty customer service

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

#2 Nexgrill Fortress

The Fortress is a sturdy little tabletop grill, offering 255 square inches of cooking space over two stainless steel burners (with a combined BTU output of 13,000). The older model was fairly utilitarian, but the updated version includes a built-in thermometer as well as a reliable push-turn ignition system.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Grill grates can be difficult to clean
  • Drip pan is small, even for a travel grill
  • Carry handles are tricky to install, with screws that are prone to loosening in transit

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Weber in Review

Now that we’ve covered the Nexgrill offerings, let’s see how Weber’s similar models stack up against the competition.

#1 Weber Spirit II E-210 (2-Burner)

The Spirit II features Weber’s “GS4” grilling system, with a heat output of 26,500 BTUs over two burners and 450 square inches of available cooking space. The cart-style design offers additional storage, with six hooks for hanging your barbecue tools. Other add-ons include “Flavorizer” bars for seasoning, an impressive grease management system and a ten-year warranty. Be forewarned that these extras come at a price, so this grill should be considered only if you have a healthy budget to invest in a two-burner unit.

Pros: 

  • Attractive design
  • Decent amount of space for cooking and storage
  • 10-year warranty
  • Impressive list of extras

Cons:

  • High price point
  • Difficult to assemble
  • Secondary parts can be prone to breakage

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Read our review of the first version of this model.

#2 Weber Q2200

Weber’s tabletop grill boasts 280 square inches of cooking space over a single 12,000 BTU burner, with a porcelain-coated cast iron grate. There’s also an electric ignition and a thermometer built into the sturdy lid. Unlike the Nexgrill Fortress, though, the Q2200 comes equipped with two side tables, so it may be a better choice if you enjoy rustic camping (where you might not have access to much available work space).

Pros:

  • Attractive design
  • Sturdy construct
  • Side tables for prep and storage space
  • Decent amount of cooking space for a travel grill
  • Heats quickly and evenly

Cons:

  • Assembly can be time-consuming
  • Burners are prone to clogging if not cleaned regularly
  • Some of the secondary parts are prone to easy breakage

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Features & Benefits of the Nexgrill Brand

Affordability

Nexgrill products tend to be priced competitively, which is part of the reason why they continue to hold their own in the Nexgrill vs Weber race. On the flip side, they don’t offer as much in the way of special amenities—but if affordability is a top priority, you’re bound to be happy with a Nexgrill unit.

Size

This category is something of a toss-up for Nexgrill. While the units listed here are certainly sufficient for singles or couples, they might not be the best choice for larger groups (unless you’re planning on grilling something simple and quick, like hot dogs or bratwurst). Be sure to read the product specifications carefully before making a decision. It’s always best to err on the side of too much space, rather than running the risk of not having enough.

Durability

Here’s where Nexgrill comes up a bit short: The overall durability and shelf life of their products. While the grill grates themselves are typically high-quality, and the Fortress, in particular, tends to earn high marks in the longevity department, their larger systems are flimsier in construct, meaning that they might not last as long as some of the competition. A good rule of thumb to follow when considering Nexgrill products might be: The smaller the grill, the longer it will last.

Ignition System

I’ve found the ignition systems on Nexgrill units to be both reliable and sturdy, lighting every time without flare-ups or issues with breakage. It helps that the Fortress features rounded knobs rather than a push-button starter, as this cuts down a great deal on wear and tear.

Burners/Heat Retention

The burners on a Nexgrill will usually crank out more heat than their Weber counterparts, making them a solid choice for serious grillers who routinely grill in large quantities. The fact that there’s also less cooking space actually works in Nexgrill’s favor here, as the heat supply tends to be more concentrated—a factor that some experts claim is more important than the number of BTUs itself. They might be on to something, because I’ve never noticed any issues with heat distribution, even in the smaller units listed here. If you prefer thicker steaks, such as hearty ribeye cuts or filet mignon, these grills are up to the challenge.

Ease of Assembly

For the most part, I’ve found that Nexgrill units are easy enough to put together. One minor corollary to this involves some of the secondary parts, such as the carry handles for the Fortress, which can be fiddly to install and somewhat unreliable once they’re in place. Fortunately, these aren’t major obstacles, but it’s something to be aware of if durability is higher on your list than ease of assembly.

Maintenance

Unfortunately, cleaning these grill grates isn’t as easy as one would hope. Most of them aren’t porcelain-coated, for one thing, which means more residue can stick to them during cooking. The problem is alleviated somewhat once the grates are seasoned, but that can take a while. The drip tray on the Fortress is also prohibitively small, which leads to additional cleanup duties in the burner region.

Additional Features

This category isn’t Nexgrill’s strong suit. Their units are decent when it comes to the basics, and will certainly get the job done, but they’re not what anyone would call fancy. The infrared heating system on the Evolution offers versatility and convenience, but that’s about as far as it goes. If you’re the type of outdoor chef who wants your grill to be a conversation piece as well as a cooking tool, you might be better off broadening your search.

>> Check Nexgrill on Amazon <<

Features & Benefits of the Weber Brand

Affordability

Weber’s high prices were one of the first things I noticed when I became serious about shopping for grilling equipment. If you’re looking for a value option, this isn’t the brand to try. However, it must be noted that Weber offers a ten-year warranty with every purchase, and that their construction is noticeably high-end when compared to some other brands.

Size

Weber grills also tend to be correspondingly larger than their counterparts. For example, the Spirit II E-210 features 450 inches of cooking space to the Nexgrill Evolution’s 385. This can make a big difference if you like to entertain or if you prefer more than one grilled component on your dinner menu. It might also help to offset the higher price tag, depending on where your priorities lie.

Durability

Similarly, you get what you pay for when you invest in a Weber grill. The materials are noticeably high-end, and the warranty is there to step in should there be any problem. I have noticed that some of the accessories don’t hold up as well as the main components (for one thing, the ignition switch on the travel grill once broke off in my hand when I went to light it), but these are minor issues that are easily fixed.

Ignition System

As I mentioned above, the switches themselves aren’t always the most reliable aspects of a Weber grill. However, as far as the system goes, I haven’t run into any problems on either the Spirit II or the Q2200. When the switch is properly installed, the flame ignites quickly and reliably every time. I don’t even keep a spare book of matches next to the grilling station anymore.

Burners/Heat Retention

The burners on a Weber grill are powerful enough to stand up to most of the competition. While they don’t offer quite the same BTU output as the Nexgrill units, they give a good, even sear and are capable of holding their heat for long periods of time.

The only persistent issue I’ve run into with the burners involves the cleanup more than the heat distribution itself—if you’re not careful, grease buildup can affect their performance. Fortunately, units like the Spirit II E-210 feature a grease management system to make this chore go more smoothly.

Ease of Assembly

Since Weber grills usually feature a lot of extras, setup isn’t quite as easy as with basic utilitarian models. It’s often more time-consuming than complicated, however, and if you read the instructions carefully and make sure that all the components are included before you begin, the end result should be worth your time.

Maintenance

The units listed here feature porcelain-enameled cast iron cooking grates, which are easier to clean than their plain cast iron or stainless steel counterparts—especially if you do some preliminary cleanup before they’ve had a chance to cool down. A stiff wire brush is an invaluable tool for saving time and elbow grease down the road. As I mentioned, the burners are prone to clogging, but as long as you’re diligent about grease removal on a regular basis, this shouldn’t be a major problem.

Additional Features

The Weber Spirit II E-210 comes equipped with the company’s notorious “GS4” grilling system, which is distinguished by the following features:

  • Quality ignitors
  • A high-performance burner system
  • Grease management system
  • “Flavorizer” or “Glamorizer” bars

These features alone draw attention to the Weber models, although it’s a matter of personal opinion whether they’re really worth the extra money. My favorite aspect is the “Flavorizer” bars, which help impart that unique grilled taste without the aid of charcoal or wood chips. The travel-size Q2200 doesn’t offer these same perks, but it does include two side shelves for prep and storage—something that its Nexgrill counterpart lacks.

>> Check Weber on Amazon <<

On the Road With Nexgrill

To find out if Nexgrill really delivers as advertised, I checked online to see if there were any customer testimonials to substantiate the company’s claims. What I found fell mostly in line with my own experience: The burners heat up quickly and efficiently, and the infrared technology allows you to cook a myriad of different foods (sometimes at once). One individual specifically mentioned its superiority in the pizza-grilling department.

On the Road With Weber

It’s difficult to find much across-the-board criticism for Weber—there’s a reason these grills have endured for as long as they have. The heat and temperature controls deliver as advertised, their quality is usually worth the extra money and the travel grill is large enough to serve a family of four if you’re efficient about space.

Nexgrill vs Weber: The Verdict

So, which of these grills would win in a head-to-head matchup?

It’s a difficult call, but I would give the edge to the Weber, for several reasons. One, the quality (and included warranty) help to offset the additional cost. Two, while I don’t have any major complaints with Nexgrill’s performance, it’s not noticeably better than what the Weber units offer. Lastly, you’re likely to spend less time on cleanup and maintenance with the Weber grills, which will translate to a more positive grilling experience in the long run.

You can check weber grills on Amazon by clicking the links below:

I hope you’ve come to some useful conclusions of your own, and that you purchase the model that will best suit your individual needs. Thanks for reading, and happy grilling!

Find out how Weber grills perform compared to other brands:

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