Last summer I wrote a round-up of barbecuing apps that included Weber’s On the Grill. It’s a fantastic app that scored a perfect 5 out of 5 and was worth every penny of the $4.99 price tag. This month, Weber released their second app, Weber Grills… and it’s free!
So what’s the difference between these two apps and does the new one continue the hot streak?
The older app includes over 280 recipes plus 40 rubs, marinades and sauces. It also has over 100 tips and other features. Weber Grills includes 75 recipes and 60 guides, tips and techniques. I’ll get into the details in just a second. As far as following in the shadows of their rookie app, there’s no sophomore slump for Weber. In fact, I think this app, while having a bit less content, improves on an already great experience.
When you launch Weber Grills for the first time it asks if you’d like to take a tutorial of the features. I always think this is a great idea for robust apps. This tutorial is a quick series of slideshows that get to the point.
Perhaps my favorite new feature of this app is the slide-up navigation system. By touching the Weber logo on the bottom of the app and sliding it up, a sheet of nine thumbnails appear showing the various areas of this app. They include: Products, Weber Nation, Find a Dealer, Recipes, Prep School, Grill Skills, Grocery List, My Favorites and My Settings. Slide down and this navigation gets out of the way. The other clever navigation feature they added is a scrolling horizontal silhouette of various food categories within recipes that takes you to that section. For example, a cow graphic represents the “red meat” recipes. Moreover, each recipe category is color coded adding to the users sense of place within the app.
Within the recipes you can add items to a grocery list, which works really well, add your own notes, and see related technique videos and tips. This is something we’ve seen in the best apps, such as Asian Market Shopper and Rick Bayless: Mexican Essentials. Another improvement from the previous app is the addition of user reviews and likes. This element of social connectivity adds a fresh layer to an already robust grilling experience.
Along those social lines is the Weber Nation section of the app. This portion allows users to share pictures and thoughts on their grilling. It even pulls tweets. (To share your own stories you’ll need to create or login to your Weber account.)
Perhaps two of my favorite sections of this app are the Prep School and Grill Skills. The Prep School offers slideshows and videos on how to properly prepare red meat, pork, seafood, fruit and vegetables. This section also provides a section of tools. (It has not gotten past me that it’s in their best interest to promote barbecuing gear. Saying that, the information is helpful). The Grill Skills area is much the same, except it includes the cooking portion. The horizontal swiping navigation is used again here to zip from Mastering Smoking to Mastering Ribs, and everything in between.
The grocery list, the search function, the favorites section, the products channel and the find a Weber dealer section are all superb. Like its predecessor, this app is a blueprint for what all food brands should strive for. It puts their brand in front of consumers without being intrusive. It provides stellar information that makes you want to fire up your grill (presumably a Weber) within minutes of opening the app, plus this app is mind-numbingly easy to use with flawless navigation that’s bold and beautiful.
Overall, this app is definitely different enough from the first one to warrant its own icon on your screen. With no major fixes needed from the last app, Weber Grills has added a lot of polish and turned up the heat on the competition. If this app were a steak it would be well done, or maybe medium rare, or…well you get my point. Download it and start grilling!
Toque Rating: 5/5