I was strolling through Costco today and got to put my hands on the NexGrill Fortress. The Fortress appears to be NexGrill’s answer to the Weber Q series and looks to be a decent little grill.
In terms of size and features the Fortress is closest in comparison to the Weber Q2200 so I figure a little head to head comparison would be in order. This comparison is based on physical measurements, descriptions and first impressions. I have NOT grilled on a Fortress so I am making some assumptions.
Here is a quick video from NexGrill that shows off the features of the Fortress.
Lets start with the similarities.
Both grills have cast aluminum bodies and porcelain enameled cast iron grates. The warranties are nearly identical with the grates and burners being covered for five years for both products.
The cooking area is very similar with the Fortress coming in at 255 sq in and the Q2200 delivering 280 sq in. The grills have similar heating ability with NexGrill offering 13,000 BTU/hr compared to 12,000 BTU/hr on the Q2200.
Both grills have lid thermometers and are designed to be run off of one pound propane cylinders but can be easily adapted for use with a 20 pound tank.
What are the Differences?
Let’s talk about the big difference right off the bat…price. The Weber Q2200 has an MSRP of $299 compared to $139 for the NexGrill Fortress. This makes the Q2200 115% more expensive than the Fortress. Given the extreme similarities between these two grills the price difference is very hard to justify.
The other massive difference between these grills is the burner configuration.
The Fortress is a two burner grill with independent ignitions on each circular burner tube. This compares to the single burner on the Q2200.
I like the dual burner configuration on the Fortress because it gives you greater flexibility compared to the single burner Q2200. The single burner design on the Q2200 means the entire grill is always at the same temperature. The dual burners on the Fortress allows you to have a hot side and a cooler side of the grill so you can do things like grill a burger on one side and toast the bun on the other. It is a simple feature that makes a difference.
The only place where the Weber Q2200 is visibly better than the Fortress is that the Q2200 has a nice set of side tables. I will consider this a baby victory for the Q2200 since you will probably be using these grills on a table top and the need for side tables isn’t that large.
The Winner Is…
Never in my life did I ever imagine that I would tell someone to buy a NexGrill product instead of Weber but I don’t see any other option in this case. While I typically stay away from budget grills the fact that this is being sold by Costco really boosts my confidence in the warranty and performance of the Fortress. Costco does NOT sell crappy products.
The grills look nearly identical, have identical warranties and are just about the same size.
Way to go, NexGrill!