In 2017 Weber relaunched its iconic Genesis line of gas grills and renamed the series as the Genesis II. There were a number of changes that warranted that renaming of the series. These changes include new styling, the roll out of four and six burner grills and the inclusion of the Weber GS4 High Performance Grilling System.
While changes in styling and the number of burners were obvious to spot, the GS4 High Performance grilling system left many people confused.
The name “GS4” is shorthand for the idea that Weber upgraded four components on the Grilling System. The four upgraded components are:
- Burner Tubes
- Flavorizer Bars
- Grease Management
Let’s look at each of these upgrades in more detail.
Changes to the Burner Tubes
Weber developed rectangular, tapered burner tubes that are meant to even out the flame pattern across the whole tube.
With traditional cylindrical burner tubes the gas pressure decreased towards the back of the tube as gas was consumed in the front of the tube. This meant that the flame could be a little weaker at the back than at the front which would result in uneven heating.
The taper on the new design should increase the gas pressure towards the back of the tube since there is less volume for the gas to occupy. The new burner looks cool and I am sure that the engineers geeked out over getting the taper just right.
I am not convinced that the burner tubes are a meaningful upgrade. Genesis grills have always heated pretty evenly so this is, at best, a marginal upgrade.
I have also read some user reports that the new design requires more maintenance. On the old burner tubes the gas ports were on the side of the tubes while the new rectangular burners have the gas ports on top.
It looks like dripping grease/crud from the grill has an easier time getting into and clogging up the top mounted burner ports. The Flavorizer bars protect the burners from most of the grease but some still gets through. You might need to clean the burner tubes more often with this design.
Changes to the Flavorizer Bars
This change is a strange upgrade that will be enjoyed by a few folks and will go completely unnoticed by most. The point of the Flavorizer bars is to help with heat distribution, protect the burners from corrosive liquids and add flavor to your food by vaporizing dripping grease.
It turns out that a portion of Weber grill owners were frustrated that the Flavorizer bars blocked their view of the burners. They wanted to be able to see exactly how high the flames were and to also make sure that the burner was really lit.
To solve this problem Weber “upgraded” the Flavorizer bars to include a small notch at the base that lets you see the burner flame.
While this change will give comfort to some grillers it has absolutely no impact on the performance of the grill.
Changes in the Grease Management System
Weber moved the grease tray back to where it used to be for the Genesis 1000, Silver and Gold grills. This is not actually an upgrade but a throwback to an original design that worked.
Nothing to see here folks….keep moving along.
Changes to the Ignition System
In my opinion this is the only exciting aspect of the GS4 High Performance Grilling System. Weber has named the new module the Infinity Ignition System with the name reflecting how long they expect the system to last.
The warranty on the ignition has been upgraded from two to ten years.
The increased warranty is enabled by seriously beefing up the protective coating going to the electrodes and moving the primary ignition module away from the heat.
Bringing It All Together
Here is a nice video from Weber showing you all of these upgrades and how they work together. Enjoy the video and give some thought to getting a grill with that upgraded ignition system!