Today we’re looking at two of the very best gas barbecues that are just as practical for taking away on holiday as they are sitting permanently on the patio or balcony. The Weber Traveler and Everdure by Heston Blumenthal Force are among the most desirable gas barbecues on the market so we thought it was about time we pitted them against each other in a grill-off for patio supremacy.
Granted, the Everdure Force has been on the market for quite some time, but it’s still one of the very best designed two-burner models you can buy. But how does it fair against Weber’s very latest portable Traveler?
You’ll just have to carry on reading or you’ll never know.
Weber Traveler vs Everdure by Heston Blumenthal Force: design
Both of these gas barbecues are among the most aesthetically appealing models on the market and, in all honesty, it’s difficult to choose between them. The new Weber Traveller looks really sleek with its gorgeously shiny black porcelain-enamelled lid. Moreover, the collapsable wheeled base makes it a cinch to move it around the patio even if it does weigh a whopping 28.141kgs. In typical Weber fashion, build quality is exemplary throughout.
By comparison, the convolutedly named Everdure by Heston Blumenthal Force (which I shall simply call the Everdure Force henceforth) is a picture of simple, functional elegance that’s available in four colours (pale grey, dark grey, blood red and aquamarine or Blue Ground as arty paint meisters Farrow & Ball would describe it). At several millimetres in depth, the beautifully crafted aluminium hood – replete with temperature gauge – provides superior insulation, but it’s the precise way in which it closes against the main aluminium frame that truly screams quality. However, the two tiny caster wheels are only good for making minor adjustments to its position on the patio or balcony.
Weber Traveler vs Everdure by Heston Blumenthal Force: The grill
The Traveler is a single burner gas barbecue with a huge 2,065cm cast-iron grilling area – enough meal estate for up to six guests and many more if just doing sausages or burgers. Personally I would have preferred to see two burners on a grill this size if only for added convenience when cooking foods that require different temperatures or moving cooked food to a lower heat.
The Force is a two-burner barbecue equipped with two enamel-coated cast iron plates that amount to 2,358m2 of cooking area – more than enough space for a party of six to eight. In order to prevent flare ups from dripping fats, the plates themselves feature solid sections that sit just above the two main heavy-duty burners (other manufacturers simply cover the burners with thin metal sizzle shields).
Weber Traveler vs Everdure by Heston Blumenthal Force: conversion for travel
As the moniker suggests, the Weber Traveler (American spelling) is designed with travel in mind so the whole thing collapses for easy transport in a suitably sized car or caravan. To unfold it, you simply undo a safety latch, put your foot on the leg and pull it up until it clicks into position. It takes some effort but it’s easy enough to do. However, it’s the folding up mechanism that blows the mind because it collapses with a really slow and satisfying damping action that is so appealing you might find yourself playing with the mechanism for the first 10 minutes or so after taking it out of the box. Once it’s collapsed, the Traveler can be pulled along on its oversized wheels to its final place of rest.
By deep contrast, the Everdure Force is predominantly designed for staying in one spot. However, with a bit of unclipping here and there, it’s easy enough to remove the entire top section – shelves and all – to expose four hidden stumpy legs for tabletop use or perhaps the floor of a campsite. You also have the option to take the centre section, which raises the grill by a few extra inches. Of course, if travelling in a big enough vehicle and spending more than a week at a campsite, you could just as easily take the whole shebang with you and re-assemble it on the other side since everything essentially clips together.
Weber Traveler vs Everdure by Heston Blumenthal Force: fuel system
As it’s ostensibly designed for portable use, the Weber Traveler runs off disposable canisters of the screw-top variety (recommended brands include Primus, Coleman and Weber). However, it can also be easily adapted to work with a standard Patio Gas propane bottle by purchasing a Weber Adaptor Kit.
The Everdure Force is designed to work with propane gas of the Patio Gas variety so, if travelling, you’ll need to take a large 5kg bottle of gas with you. That’s no issue if doing a Staycation but it’s a bit more awkward if travelling across the channel – make sure to let the carrier know you have gas on board.
Weber Traveler vs Everdure by Heston Blumenthal Force: performance
As to be expected from a brand with such a successful history, the Traveler is an exemplary performer. Granted, the shallow lid won’t comfortably fit a whole chicken unless its spatchcocked but, despite the fact it has just one burner, it grills exceptionally well for a portable.
The Force heats up to 350˚C in just five minutes and is capable of reaching higher temperatures than many of its competitors, making it the perfect model for searing steaks. Its convection system – aided by a cutaway air intake at the rear – is also suitable for slow roasting. Crucially, I found no cool spots on the grill and, as a result, everything cooked to succulent perfection without me having to move ingredients around. The two slender steel gas controllers, meanwhile, provided a level of precision rarely seen in a gas barbecue.
Weber Traveler vs Everdure by Heston Blumenthal Force: verdict
So, you’ve just spent 10 minutes reading this comparison feature expecting to see a decisive conclusion, only for me to tell you that both barbecues are bloody brilliant and as good as each other. Which leaves portability as the deciding factor.
If you’re not into camping, picnics, canal boating or any other form of outdoor holiday other than one that involves a luxury log cabin with its own barbecue, then the Everdure by Heston Blumenthal Force is the grill for you. It’s an amazing gas barbecue on many fronts, not the least its ability to heat up in record time. But if you go camping, caravanning or canal boating even on an irregular basis and have several mouths to feed, the Weber Traveler will be right up your neck of the woods.
Now check out T3's best portable barbecue guide