Here is the situation: you love grilling, but you live in an apartment. And your landlord doesn’t allow you to have a gasser let alone a charcoal grill.
We all understand that it’s because of fire safety. But DANG, you’re still itching for some grilling. At least on the weekend, right?
What to do, what to do?
Well, electric grills offer a great alternative to propane and charcoal grills. You don’t have to deal with the charcoal ash or the constant replacement of gas tanks. In other words, electric grills are easi(er) to clean and never run out of fuel. In terms of flavor, the food tastes a little cleaner, but you cannot even tell the difference (maybe with charcoal).
One of the best electric grills on the market is the Weber Q1400. So in this Weber Q1400 review, we’re going to take a closer look at this mini mighty electric grill.
Still with me?
Weber Grills was founded by George Stephen in the 1950s. To this day, they are still one of the most established BBQ companies in the world.
We all know of Weber because of their iconic black kettle-style charcoal grill. They too have a solid line of gas barbecues, and have recently branched out to the pellet smoker arena with their SmokeFire series.
With the demand for electric grills growing, especially due to the increasing restrictions of any type of fire on condo or apartment balconies, Weber also comes out with their Q series electric grillers.
This series consists of the Q1400 and Q2400. Before 2014, they were called Q140 and Q240. But after that year, Weber decided to upgrade the style of both models and give them a new name. Keep in mind that the internal core of the two versions is still the same.
The Q1400 is the smaller of the two. It’s a perfect choice for small apartment and condo decks, where restrictions on other types of grills are in place.
And given its mini size, the Weber 1400 is also a great travel BBQ. You can take it camping and tailgating as long as there is electricity available.
So, that’s a quick unboxing of this quality little electric grill. For a more comprehensive Weber 1400 review, please continue to read on.
- Overall Dimensions – 27” W x 16.5” D x 14.5” H
- Fuel – electricity
- Color – dark gray
- Power Source – 120 V/1560 W (grounded GFCI outlet)
- Primary Cooking Space – 189 sq in
- Cooking Grate – porcelain-enamelled cast iron
- Weight – 29 lbs
- Material – cast aluminum lid & body, glass-reinforced nylon frame
- Cord Length – 6 feet or 1.8 meters
- Side Shelves – no
- Stand/Cart – no
- Removable Grease Pan – yes
- Built-in Thermometer – no
- Warranty – 5 years for cookbox, lid, heating element, cooking grates, and plastic components; 2 years for the rest
- Solid, rust-resistant cast aluminum body and lid
- Small size for easy transportation
- Ability to reach high temperature
- Easy to use and simple to clean up
- Fast assembly
- Cast iron cooking grates retains heat and provides a superior sear
- Will never run out of fuel
- Lengthy preheating time of 20 minutes
- Limited cooking area
- Small size requires a table or cart for comfortable cooking
- Doesn’t have different temperatures layout, just a bar
- Lack of built-in thermometer
Detailed Portable Weber Q 1400 Review
Design & Construction
Compared to the competition, the Weber Q1400 electric BBQ features top notch material.
The body and lid are thick and solid. In fact, they’re made from cast aluminum. This stuff is durable and rust-proof. It means you will have a grill that is going to last a while.
Not to mention the frame on this grill. It’s larger than the Q1400’s predecessor, the Q140. Made from lightweight glass-reinforced nylon, the frame also sports ergonomic handles, allowing you to carry the whole unit with ease.
Inside the grill, you’ll find a top and bottom liner, which is also made from cast aluminum. This creates a double wall construction for the Q1400. The purpose is to prevent the heat from escaping as well as create even heat distribution throughout the cooking chamber.
You’ll also find two porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grates. I love this type of grate. First, it’s very easy to clean because of the porcelain. In addition to that, food bits rarely stick to it. Second, the coating helps protect the cast iron inside unless you chip it away. Finally, the cast iron is superior at conducting heat to deliver one hell of a sear to your food.
And even with the heavy cast iron grates, the Weber 1400 only weighs 29lbs, thanks to other lightweight materials that Weber includes in this unit. You can easily carry this grill all by yourself, which makes it extremely portable for any events. Just make sure that you have a power outlet somewhere.
Speaking of, to power the Q1400, you need a grounded GFCI outlet, with a 15amp minimum. The grill has a 1.8 meters or 6 feet of grounded cord. You can use an extension cord if necessary. Pretty standard stuff here.
Despite the compact and modern design, along with high quality material, this electric griller does come with a few drawbacks.
The temperature controller doesn’t have numbers or words on it. It only features a bar, which is not useful if you want to know the exact temperature you’re after. There is also no built-in thermometer to monitor the temperature fluctuations. As a result, you’d need to use a stand-alone unit for that.
Lastly, the grill doesn’t have any stand or side shelves either. Now, this indeed reduces the footprint of the grill, making it easy to store. However, the low profile requires you to put the grill on a tabletop most of the time. And who doesn’t need some extra side shelves to put their barbecue tools and whatnot?
Overall, I think that the Weber Q 1400 electric grill has a quality construction with some clever designs. There are some minor complaints here and there, but they’re not deal breakers at all.
Most electric grills have problems reaching high temperatures. Surprisingly, this grill can go up to 550F when you set the temperature controller to maximum. Even hotter if the ambient temperature allows.
Mind you, the Q1400 uses a 1560 Watts power source. This is around 5300 BTU, which is about half the heat output of even the smallest portable gas grills. So why could it get to that high temperature?
That’s all because of the cookbox liners and the cooking grates. If you remember from the previous section, the cast aluminum liners help retain the heat inside the cookbox. The cast iron grates also have the same ability. Combined all the aboves with a relatively small footprint, you got a winning formula here.
Keep in mind that the lid needs to stay closed in order to achieve high temperatures. It otherwise defeats the purpose if you open the lid too often. That said, it takes approximately 20 minutes to preheat the grill before cooking. Some folks don’t mind that while some do.
And with its ability to reach high heat, the Weber Q 1400 is also capable of cooking food as fast and efficient as other types of grills. It also leaves the typical grill marks you often find in a gasser or charcoal grill.
However, the smoky flavor is certainly lacking. In fact, electric grills provide a cleaner and “healthier” taste than their gas and charcoal counterparts. If you still want that smoky flavor while cooking on an electric grill, you can always put some wood chips in a smoker box and light it.
Ease Of Cleaning
Grilling is fun and all. But the cleaning after that is not. Fortunately, cleaning the Q1400 is fairly straightforward.
As I’ve said before, the porcelain coating really makes it simple to clean the cooking grates. Moreover, you can split the grates into two pieces. This allows you to fit them into a sink easily. Then it’s just a matter of soaking them in warm soapy water for half an hour. And clean them with a good grill brush later.
Warm soapy water is actually all you need to clean the rest of the grill. Cast aluminum won’t rust even if you forget to wipe it. Just make sure that you turn off the power.
Keep in mind that you can remove the bottom liner. Simply lift up the heating element and carefully slide the liner out. You don’t have to unscrew the heating element at all. A smart design, I might add.
The Q1400 also comes with a disposable grease pan. All the liquid will drain to that one spot. Dump the greases, clean the pan, and you can reuse it again. One downside is that it only includes one, so you might need to buy a few more if needed.
Ease Of Assembly
There is little assembly required for this grill. You just have to screw a few screws, place the cooking grates above the heating element, put the grease pan underneath the cookbox, plug it in, and you’re grilling.
It takes no more than 15 minutes.
With 189 square inches of cooking space, it’s a bit small. You can fit around 6 burgers. This amount of space is good for a couple or a family of three. If you cook for more than that, you might have to do it in batches. However, the grill cooks food rather fast so it shouldn’t be a problem there.
As I mentioned above, you can also split the cooking grates into two. This design change happened after 2014. Weber does sell a cast iron griddle so you can fit into the one half. It comes in handy when you want some versatility in your cooking (such as pancakes for breakfast).
Many folks wonder if you can use this grill indoors. As you can see in the video below, the grill does smoke after being used for a while. If you don’t clean it often, all the grease buildup will vaporize whenever you turn on the grill.
Even if you clean your grill regularly, there is always a chance that food drippings hit the heating element, vaporizing as smoke as a result. And too many of it will certainly smoke up the whole apartment/condo.
Weber actually recommends against using this grill indoors. If I were you, I wouldn’t risk it.
You can’t complain about this grill’s portability. It’s lightweight and compact, which is perfect for bringing it on the go. It’s also easy to store and doesn’t take up a lot of space. A+ on the portability.
Replacement Parts & Support
For a well-established company like Weber, replacement parts are always available. Their customer support is quick and responsive too. In fact, they can be reached 7 days a week, from 7AM to 8PM Central Time.
Weber does sell a cart/stand for the Q1400. The model is #6557. It has two wheels and can be folded down while the grill is attached for easy transportation. You’ll also find tool hooks to hang your tongs and the likes. Still no side shelves though.
Another useful accessory is a Weber Q1400 grill cover. You don’t want the grill to get wet. In fact, you want to protect it as much as possible. Keep in mind that you have to store the temperature controller indoors, according to the manual.
Weber offers a 5-year warranty for the cookbox, lid, heating element, cooking grates, and any plastic components. And this warranty doesn’t cover any rust-through, burn-through, fading, and discoloration. A 2-year warranty for the rest of the grill.
What I Like
I really dig the portable and compact design of this grill. It saves space and allows me to bring the grill anywhere.
I also like the fact that it can get pretty hot. 550F is no searing hot, but enough to get some Maillard browning going. The grill is also quick to assemble, without too many parts to clean and maintain.
Even though it somewhat lacks the outdoor grilling flavor, it makes up for the ease of use and mobility. It’s also backed by Weber’s outstanding customer service and quality warranty. So what not to like?
What Could Be Improved
I would want to see at least one side shelf on this grill. We’re already working with a limited space here. So any extra working space is appreciated.
Maybe a built-in thermometer so we can monitor the internal temperature.
Maybe some numbers or words on the temperature controller.
Last but not least, maybe different color choices (as in the Weber propane grill Q series) rather than just dark grey.
Weber Q2400 55020001 Electric Grill
This is the bigger brother of the Q1400. It features the same specs. Only the cooking space is larger, at 280 square inches. If you find the Weber Q1400 electric BBQ a bit small for your cooking needs, definitely check out the Q2400.
George Foreman GGR50B 15-Serving Indoor/Outdoor Electric BBQ
This electric grill features a larger cooking space than the Q1400 (240 vs 189 sq in). It also has a removable stand, so you can have it stationary or mobile if needed. Unlike the Q1400, you can actually use it indoors. And best of all, the grill comes at a very affordable price.
To get more information about the George Foreman GGR50B, please follow this link.
Should You Buy Weber Q1400 Electric BBQ Grill?
Even though the Weber Q 1400 is more expensive than its competitors, the grill is indeed worth every penny. It might need some minor improvements, but none are deal breakers at all.
You have a sturdy and quality Weber electric grill in a portable and sleek design. Better yet, compared to gas and charcoal, you’ll be saving on fuel in the long run. Electric grills are a solid alternative to gas and charcoal.
In fact, this grill is a great choice for apartment or condo dwellers who can’t have other types of grills on their deck and balcony (hint: New Yorkers). It’s also small enough that you can bring it on the road. If you want to get it today, I’ve included a link for your convenience down below.
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