The Summit series is Weber’s high-end line of gas grills, representing the best the company has to offer. If you’re trying to up your grilling game with a truly impressive unit, then the Summit S-470 just might be the one for you.
Most outdoor chefs are familiar with the Weber brand, as they’ve been making grills since the 1950s. As gas-fired units have become more popular, the company has kept up with consumer demand, offering some truly impressive models with plenty of useful features.
Of all the grills sold in the US, mid-sized units are the most prevalent by far. With four main burners, the Summit S-470 falls into this category. However, it’s equipped with several extras that help to distinguish it from the competition.
Take a look at this Weber Summit S-470 review to determine whether the model is something you might be interested in.
- Sturdy and durable
- Easy to clean
- Superior heat distribution
- Comes with sear zone, side burner, and rotisserie station
- Very expensive
- Unit is quite heavy when fully assembled; may require two people to move it
Weber Summit S-470 Review: Features & Benefits
Weber uses a cabinet-style design for the Summit S-470, with twin cabinet doors beneath the main firebox. Both doors are outfitted with rugged handles for easy access to the lower compartment. The “S” in the grill’s name refers to the stainless steel finish, which gives the unit a stylish, futuristic appearance.
The grill is flanked by side shelves, with the one on the right housing the optional extra burner. A compartment on the left-hand shelf pops open for access to the rotisserie equipment. When the rotisserie option is in use, this shelf doesn’t offer a great deal of space. Fortunately, each side shelf is outfitted with a set of three tool hooks as well.
In addition to the regular side burner, this model includes a smoker burner with an integrated box for holding wood chips. To learn more about the burner options, see Burners, below.
A built-in lid thermometer displays the interior temperature of the firebox. It’s generally accurate, but we think it’s a bit hard to read. If you buy this grill, consider investing in a digital thermometer and meat probe so you can keep a close eye on your progress.
The lighted control knobs and “Grill-Out” handle light (which illuminates the interior whenever you lift the lid) come in handy when you’re grilling at night. Even the fuel gauge is equipped with rear lighting.
The Weber Summit S-470 sits atop four swivel caster wheels, with locking mechanisms on the front pair. Be forewarned that the grill is very heavy, so it’s a good idea to set it up in the spot where you’ll be using it.
The stainless steel construction extends to most of the grill, from the welded frame to the grease tray. The burners are also made from stainless steel, as are the “Flavorizer” bars. The lid is especially sturdy and well-designed, trapping the heat inside the firebox where it belongs.
For this model, Weber offers cooking grates fashioned out of 9-millimeter stainless steel rods. These heat up quickly, impart excellent grill marks, and clean up easily afterward. While we’re partial to cast iron grates for their longevity, these are built from high-quality materials and designed to live out the grill’s warranty.
Four stainless steel burners make up the main cooking station, with each one offering a BTU output of 12,200. The side burner cranks out an additional 12,00 BTUs per hour, and the sear burner and infrared rotisserie burners each have a 10,600 BTU output. As for the smoker burner, it adds an additional 6800 BTUs to the total.
The integrated smoker box has a vented lid and makes a marvelous addition to the grill. If you’re the type of griller who eschews gas-powered models because they don’t provide enough real smoke flavor, this feature is here to save the day. We especially love the fact that it runs off its own burner, which can be fired independently.
The same is true of all the burners, as each one is equipped with “Snap-Jet” ignition. This means you can fire up as many or as few of them as you’d like. The ignition is both fast and reliable, allowing you to get the party started in no time.
The infrared rotisserie burner is rear-mounted, and the accompanying motor comes with a clever “Tuck-Away” feature so you can hide the equipment when it’s not in use. The feature comes in especially handy if you like to grill-roast whole chickens on a regular basis.
In the center of the main cooking station, you’ll find the sear station. This extra burner is designed to add an extra flourish to grilled steaks and pork chops, sealing in all the delicious juices as they finish cooking.
The side burner is a nice addition, too, as it gives you a place to heat up any sauces or side dishes that aren’t well-suited to the grilling surface. Be aware that this is a regular gas burner—the kind you would expect to find on an indoor stove.
With a primary cooking surface that measures 468 square inches, the Summit S-470 can easily accommodate 22 hamburger patties at once. An additional 112 square inches can be found on the upper warming rack.
This isn’t the largest grill in Weber’s lineup, which could be a drawback if you like to entertain often. However, it’s just the right size for families of 3 to 6 people, and the side burner adds versatility. If you prefer to grill your side dishes as well as the main course, this could be the perfect setup.
All of the burners offer rapid and even heat distribution, so you won’t have to worry about hot spots when you’re using the entire grilling surface. If there’s one reason to invest in the Summit S-470, it would be the reliable heat retention and distribution that this grill offers.
Cleanup and Maintenance
Like most of Weber’s premium grills, the Summit S-470 is outfitted with a front-access drip tray and catch pan for easy cleanup. The drip tray funnels any grease runoff into the catch pan, which can be removed and disposed of when it’s full. Because the drip tray is removable, you can give it a thorough cleaning after each use.
You can also remove the cooking grates for easy access to the firebox. The stainless steel will clean up easily if you attend to the task as soon as they’re cook enough to handle.
We would recommend using a stiff wire brush to clean the grill’s interior every month or so. If you use your grill more than 3-4 times a week, you might want to perform this chore more often.
Any new Weber Summit model purchased after October 1, 2017 comes with a 10-year warranty. This guarantee covers all the grill components and far exceeds the industry standard.
Remember that the warranty won’t cover any parts that were damaged due to improper use, nor will you receive a replacement if the parts wore out from regular wear and tear. However, if any aspect of the grill is damaged when it arrives, or if the system is faulty, the company will offer free replacements on the affected parts.
If you’re wondering what other grilling enthusiasts had to say about the Summit S-470, stick around. We searched the internet for answers to this very question. Here’s what we found.
From the general consensus, it would appear that this is a durable grill with superb heat distribution. Most of the buyers who posted a Weber Summit S-470 review were quick to praise its sturdy construction and reliable performance. Even if one of the parts was defective upon arrival, the company was glad to offer prompt assistance.
The Weber Summit S-470 is a great grill, but it’s not the only one of its kind. In fact, the mid-size grill market is a particularly hot one. Here are a few similar models that might better suit your needs.
#1 Char-Broil Performance 4-Burner Gas Grill
If you’re looking for something less pricey, the Char-Broil Performance could be a good fit. The grill is set at a much lower price point, but it offers many of the same benefits, including a 10,000-BTU side burner. There’s no rotisserie or smoker box, but it hits all the high notes.
How They Compare
- Heat Distribution—Weber
- Cleanup and Maintenance—Char-Broil
For a basic 4-burner unit that’s easy to care for, check out the Char-Broil Performance.
#2 Master Cook 4-Burner Cabinet Style Grill
This is another budget option, also offering a 12,000-BTU lidded side burner. The grill has a smaller footprint than the Weber, making it a good fit if you’re working with limited deck or patio space.
How They Compare
- Heat Distribution—Weber
- Cleanup and Maintenance—Master Cook
Take a closer look at the Master Cook if you want a no-frills unit that’s easy to care for.
#3 Bonfire 800 Series 4-Burner Gas Grill
If you had your heart set on that rear infrared burner, the Bonfire 800 Series has you covered. The grill is attractive and well-designed, with a total combined BTU output of 72,000.
How They Compare
- Heat Distribution—Weber
- Cleanup and Maintenance—Bonfire
Bonfire makes a high-performance unit that’s built to last. Give it a try if you want a grill that offers maximum firepower.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does the Summit series offer that the Genesis line doesn’t?
Weber’s Genesis grills are sturdy and attractive, and many of the models offer features that can’t be found on grills in the Summit series. However, the Summit line takes the game to a new level, offering a rotisserie station in addition to the sear burner.
What is the GS4 grilling system, and is it available with the Summit S-470?
The GS4 grilling system refers to four components available with the Spirit and Genesis lines: Infinity ignition, steel burners, Flavorizer bars, and grease management system.
While the Summit series doesn’t use the same designation, it’s also outfitted with a reliable ignition system, stainless steel burners, and effective grease management. Weber’s Flavorizer bars are included with the S-470 as well, so there’s no discernible difference.
How large of a propane tank can the Summit S-470 hold?
The unit is equipped to handle a 20-pound LP tank. The frame is outfitted with a weight-sensitive scale, so it’s important to stick with the designated size.
As 4-burner units go, this is an excellent upscale option. If you’re looking for a gas grill that can bake, roast, smoke, and sear, it would be hard to go wrong with the Weber Summit S-470.
The only drawback we can think of is the high price tag, which would prohibit many casual grillers from checking it out. For serious outdoor chefs, however, this is one of the best options you’ll find.
If you think the Weber Summit 470 merits a closer look, click here.