To sum up this Weber Pulse 1000 review: city-dwellers will love this piece of kit. This electric barbecue is compact, easy to use and surprisingly effective. It’s one of the best barbecues you can get for a balcony.
Living in the centre of town is all well and good until it comes to barbecue season and you're unable to grill outside. At long last, there might be a loophole in the form of an electric barbecue - although don't take my word for it make sure you check your lease agreement first. The Weber Pulse 1000 does away with the flames and doesn’t use any fuel, it’s completely electric so you can use it on balconies or small outside space. You might be wary of an electric barbecue - I was at first, then I tried it, and was surprised by the smoky barbecue flavour and grill sears it gave my food. I’m a complete convert.
Weber Pulse 1000 review: price and features
The Weber Pulse 1000 is available to buy now from a few different retailers, prices start from £519.75 in the UK and AU$599 in Australia. Take a look at the widgets on this page for more recent pricing.
It isn’t available in the US, but you can buy its older, bigger sibling the Weber Pulse 2000 - its cooking surface is 80mm bigger, and it’s more powerful too. From the weber site, that’ll set you back $899 in the US with the cart included. You can buy it without the cart in the UK for £891.45 and in Australia for AU$699.
Powered by 1.8kw of electricity, the Weber Pulse 1000 is a compact barbecue that takes away the worry of using charcoal in built-up areas and means you’ll never run out of fuel. It has an electric, removable temperature gauge with an LED display to get it exactly where you need it to be, and the cast-iron grates ensure barbecue-esque sear marks across the food. Using the iGrill app, you can keep an eye on the temperature inside the grill and get useful tips and guides, as well as track multiple meat temperature probes at once.
Weber Pulse 1000 review: design and setup
Compact and table-top friendly, the Weber Pulse 1000 measures 33 x 61 x 54cm with the lid closed. Its cooking surface uses cast-iron grates measuring 41 x 31cm which is enough for about six burgers. Strong and sturdy, its build quality feels premium. In the box, the barbecue comes with one Bluetooth meat temperature probe, but has support for two if you wanted to get yourself another one.
The Weber Pulse 1000 comes ready to go straight out of the box, you just need to attach the front control panel by pushing it into the front bracket, slide in the aluminium grease tray and plug it in. One thing to know is that the power cable isn’t that long so you’ll either need an extension cable handy or a plug near the back door.
You can buy an optional cart to sit the barbecue on, or you can just have it on a tabletop. The power cord can then be secured to table legs using the velcro attachments, which will stop it from being in the way or being a trip hazard. You’ll want to be careful where you place it though as the gap on the back does chuck out a little smoke at times.
To switch it on, it’s as easy as pressing the red button and turning the temperature control knob. Before you can start cooking for the first time, you need to perform an initial burn-off, it’s super easy. You just heat it to the highest setting for about 20 minutes with the lid closed. After that, you’ll just need to preheat it each time you use it by turning the knob up to its highest setting. When the temperature gauge reaches about 260°C (500°F) it’s ready to use. Weber says it should take 15-20 minutes, I found it actually took a little less than that. Having the LED temperature display gives you far more precision than you’ll get with charcoal, that’s for sure.
Weber Pulse 1000 review: app and performance
I tried out the Weber Pulse 1000 with loads of different foods, from vegetables and veggie burgers to pork sausages and chicken thighs. It seems small from the outside, and while you won't be able to feed loads of hungry people, you can actually fit quite a lot into it at once. Despite there being no flame, the grill managed to give food a great smoky flavour, not quite to the same level as a charcoal barbecue, but not that far off either. I also found food got really good, clear sear marks. The hottest I was able to heat the barbecue was 320°C, matching Weber's claims. Once at the heat, I did find the temperature fluctuates at times, sometimes by as much as 20°C.
Available for iOS and Android, the iGrill app is user-friendly and provides useful tips and guides to using the Weber Pulse 1000. You can also monitor the grill’s temperature and use the meat temperature probe to track the cooking of your food. To use that feature, you just select the type of food you wish to cook from a long list of meat and seafood, stick the probe into the centre of the meat and thread the wire through the dedicated hole on the edge of the barbecue. You’ll then be able to see how hot your food is vs how hot the centre of it needs to be when it is cooked, and it'll alert you when the food is ready.
I tried the probe out with a few different types of meat and it worked well. Although when I cooked a steak and set it to cook to medium, it ended up being more towards medium-well than I would have cooked it myself. The app notifies you that the food is ready as it reaches temperature, but once you take it off the grill to rest, it will continue cooking itself so the temperature actually keeps rising inside the meat. Ideally, the app should tell you to remove the food slightly before it reaches the target temperature.
Most of the components are very easy to clean by hand, and they’re dishwasher safe. Removing them is simple, the whole process of removing the parts and cleaning out the barbecue takes less than 15 minutes. The grates are a little trickier to sort out, they often didn’t come completely clean in the dishwasher so I ended up washing them by hand. Similarly, the main aluminium liner was just too big to fit into my tiny dishwasher, although having said that it was very easy to wipe clean.
Weber Pulse 1000 review: verdict
If it’s an electric barbecue you want, the Weber Pulse 1000 is one of the best you can get. The iGrill app isn’t a necessity, yet it’s a fantastic addition, especially when you’re preparing meat or fish you’ve never cooked before. Being so compact, you won’t be cooking meals for a family of five yet for a couple of people, it works perfectly.
Not only did it do a great job at cooking food, giving meals a delicious barbecue taste, but it also feels safe. I was confident I wasn’t going to be the cause of the Great Fire of London 2.0. It’s a really great way to avoid using fuel or charcoal for outside cooking - I’m impressed!
Weber Pulse 1000 review: also consider
For those with more people to cater for, the Weber Pulse 2000 will be better. It can fit more food and it's more powerful, although you will need a bigger table to put it on if you don't want to spend extra on the cart.
If you don’t need it to be electric, then the best small barbecue is the Traeger Ranger. It’s a pellet grill for balcony and patio use and a great option to take away on camping trips. You could also consider the Everdure By Heston Blumenthal Cube, a stylish portable charcoal burner that’s very reasonably priced.
- For more, take a look at the best small barbecues