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There’s something uncanny about the correlation between warm weather and an overwhelming desire for a good burger (be it beef, veggie, or otherwise). While we didn’t do the research on that Pavlovian response, we did find that the best gas grill for making that burger needs to be durable, easy to clean, and simple to control. After five days of cooking burgers, barbecue, and chicken on seven top-rated grills—and weeks of researching the dozens available—we’ve decided that the Weber Spirit II E-310 is our pick as the best gas grill for most people. No grill matches its combination of exceptional performance, usability, durability, and value.

The Weber Spirit II E-310, introduced in January 2018, replaced the original Spirit E-310 as our top pick for gas grills. Like its predecessor, it excelled at every test we put it through, producing the best hamburgers (deeply seared, evenly cooked) of any grill we tested, and outdoing or equaling the others on barbecue chicken and whole roasted chickens. Its overall compact size suits almost any patio or deck, but its grilling surface is big enough to cook a complete meal (meat or fish and a couple of veggies) for a family, or a dozen burgers for a party. With a thick, rust-proof cast-aluminum firebox, it’ll last for years. (Weber guarantees all parts for a full decade.) And Weber has incorporated some nice features of its pricier Genesis II line—our upgrade pick—into this model, such as an externally mounted propane tank and under-grill storage shelf. The Spirit II is also a particularly easy grill to assemble, maintain, and use. Finally, at around $500, it’s a terrific value.

If you need a bit more room on your grill, get the Weber Genesis II E-310 Gas Grill. Though it’s just a few inches wider than the Spirit II E-310 overall, it offers 20 percent more grilling area. And we love a couple of its design features: The externally mounted propane tank is easier to install and replace than traditional under-grill tanks, and it also frees up the area under the grill for storage of tools and other items. Plus, the frame is made of sturdy welded beams, not folded sheet metal like many grills in its price range. We didn’t notice a significant upgrade in performance over the Spirit II, but that’s okay—this grill is an exceptional performer, period.

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Why you should trust us

Before opening the valve on a single propane tank, we spoke with more than a dozen experts.

Joe Salvaggio of Big Apple BBQ spent two hours explaining the fundamentals of gas-grill design, function, materials, and maintenance. Joe and his brother Tony have run Big Apple BBQ, one of the New York region’s leading grill shops, for over 30 years. The store carries grills from multiple manufacturers, ranging from $400 backyard portables to five-figure custom built-ins. Because Salvaggio is an independent retailer, he was able to speak freely about what he saw as the relative strengths and weaknesses of various designs.

At the 2017 Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Expo, we interviewed senior product managers from almost every major grill-maker in attendance, including all the brands that wound up featured in our test: Weber, Broil King, and Napoleon. We spoke with multiple makers of high-end grills, too, as they predominate at HPBE. Though we wouldn’t be testing their grills, we felt that knowing what goes into making a $4,000 grill helped us evaluate the less expensive grills in our test.

We backed this reporting with comprehensive research—the in-depth, professional reviews at AmazingRibs.com being a standout source—and hands-on time with grills at the big hardware chains.

We then tested six grills ourselves in 2017. Our tests were designed and run by Wirecutter senior staff writer Lesley Stockton, who has a decade of experience in professional kitchens, much of it spent on the grill station. Sam Sifton, then food editor of The New York Times, joined in the testing and added his extensive knowledge. In 2018, we tested Weber’s new Spirit II E-310—successor to our previous pick, the first-gen Spirit E-310—against our upgrade pick for the best gas grill.

Gas grill vs. charcoal grill

If you’re buying a grill, your first decision is which type of fuel: charcoal or gas.

Gas grills offer three big benefits:

  • Control: Adjusting the heat is a simple matter of turning the burner knobs, so you can easily prevent burning or undercooking, as well as create different heat zones by shutting down one or more burner (handy for indirect grilling). You can do the same with charcoal, too, but it takes work—you need to move the coals around and adjust the vents.
  • Convenience: Gas grills turn on with the press of a button and heat up fast. Charcoal grills require 20 minutes or so to light the coals and another 10 minutes or so for the grates to heat up.
  • Cleanliness: Gas grills don’t generate much smoke and don’t produce ash or embers the way charcoal grills do, so cleanup is simple—you just have to brush and wipe the grates and empty the grease trap after you’re done cooking.

That said, charcoal grills have several upsides of their own. Charcoal burns hotter than gas, so you can get a superior sear on burgers and steaks. You can buy an exceptional, do-everything charcoal grill for $150; gas grills start at around $200, and you’ll spend at least twice that on a really good one. Lastly, there’s the romance factor: For some people, it’s more fun to play with fire than to twiddle a few knobs.

On balance, gas is probably the better choice if you favor no-fuss cooking or grill often (and especially if you grill on weeknights, when time is at a premium). If you’re an occasional griller or you enjoy getting hands-on with your cooking, charcoal is an economical choice that, with a bit of practice, produces great results.

How we picked the best gas grill

Four grills sitting outside on a concrete patio.

We had three firm criteria that our main contenders had to meet:

  • Three burners: Three-burner grills are compact but big enough to cook a complete family dinner (say, chicken breasts on one burner, corn on the cob on another, and another vegetable on the third), or a bunch of burgers or brats for a party. And three burners give you a lot of versatility in your cooking technique: You can sear, slow-cook, do indirect cooking, and even smoke large cuts of meat. Two-burner grills save a little space and a little money but lack that versatility, and in our experience, they feel cramped. Grills with four burners (or more) are generally more than most people need. But if you know you need either fewer or more than three burners, most manufacturers’ lines, including our top pick and upgrade, come in two-, three-, four-, and six-burner versions (and are priced lower or higher accordingly).
  • Cast-aluminum firebox: Based on advice from Joe Salvaggio of Big Apple BBQ and multiple grill-makers, we insisted that our main contenders have a cast-aluminum firebox (the lower half of the grill body, where the burners and grates are mounted). Cast aluminum is rust-proof and highly durable (offering a decade or more of service), and it holds and reflects heat well. Even many high-end grills use it. By contrast, budget-priced grills usually have fireboxes made of thin, painted or porcelain-coated carbon steel. Such models are notoriously rust-prone, don’t last long, and don’t hold or reflect heat efficiently.
  • A price of $400 to $700: As Salvaggio explained, and as our hands-on time confirmed, this price range is something of a sweet spot. For this amount, you can get a great grill that meets our other criteria, without overpaying for seldom-used add-ons (such as rotisseries, side burners, and infrared burners), unneeded capacity, or deluxe materials. Even so, we also looked at budget-priced options (around $200). Again, because budget models are generally made of thin steel, they don’t offer nearly as much durability and functionality as our main contenders—but then again, not everybody needs a grill designed to last for a decade or more.

Finally, we restricted our search to grills that burn propane from refillable tanks, the most common fuel by far, but you should note that most grills can also run on natural gas—though converting to natural gas isn’t cheap or simple.1

We didn’t fret much over two other factors that grill-makers spend a lot of time talking about: total Btu count and the grates’ material. First, the total Btu count (British thermal units, a measure of maximum heat output over the course of an hour) on three-burner grills tends to vary between 30,000 and 40,000, and the industry is making a strong push toward “more is better.” But our research and reporting convinced us that at least as important as the total output was whether those Btus were applied efficiently, steadily, and evenly across the grates. We decided to reserve judgment until our tests.

Second, grates come in a range of materials: thin wire (usually nickel-plated or stainless steel, less commonly aluminum), plain cast iron, porcelain-coated cast iron (more rust-resistant), and massive, welded stainless-steel rods (as thick as a stick of chalk, or even a thumb). Manufacturers push the “heavier is better” line, but we found a lot of debate among professionals. A strong contingent among the pro reviewers at AmazingRibs.com, for example, favors the cheap, thin wires because they expose more meat to the searing heat of the flames. Joe Salvaggio likes porcelainized cast iron because in his opinion it holds and delivers heat better than the even heavier stainless rods on his top-end wares. Porcelainized cast iron is now predominant on grills ranging from $300 to over $1,000—we noted that all our eventual contenders featured it—so we didn’t have much choice available to us, anyway.

We knew we would be looking at intangibles, too, such as how well the grills were packed, if the instructions were clear, and if assembly was reasonably straightforward. And, of course, we would consider the biggest intangible of all: the grills’ ability to perform in our tests.

But those judgments would have to wait until we got our hands on the contenders. So after weeks of research, reporting, and discussion, we settled on four gas grills to test in our main $400 to $700 category, and two grills around the $200 mark to test as budget options.

How we tested gas grills

Over the course of four days in Spring 2017, we put our gas grills through a battery of tests designed to demonstrate their qualities and highlight their differences. We cooked burgers on high heat to see how well the grills seared meat and how intense and even was the heat they could generate across the whole grate surface. We slow-grilled cut-up chickens to see if the grills could hold a low temperature evenly across the whole grate. And we roasted whole chickens indirectly on both low and high heat to see if the grills could create browned skin and perfectly cook meat without charring. Sam Sifton, editor of the Cooking section of The New York Times (parent company of Wirecutter) joined us for these tests. In 2018 we repeated these tests, pitting the new Weber Spirit II E-310 (successor to our previous top pick) against our upgrade pick, the Weber Genesis II E-310.

A person seasoning burgers as they cook on the surface of a gas grill.

For the high-heat, whole-grate burger test—an indicator of the grills’ ability to pump out uniform, high heat without creating an inferno—we heated the grills on high with their lids down for 15 minutes (a standard manufacturer recommendation). We then oiled the grates and distributed 12 to 15 6-ounce patties across the whole cooking surface. While the burgers cooked we kept an eye out for flare-ups—they’re not desirable, as they char the meat and create rancid smoke—and looked at the evenness of cooking on the different areas of the grates. After about 10 minutes of cooking (five minutes per side, burners on high, lid open), we compared how well each grill had seared the burgers, looked for any patties that were charred or still unacceptably raw, and took a taste.

We put our gas grills through a battery of tests designed to demonstrate their qualities and highlight their differences.

For the low-and-slow, whole-grate test—an indicator of the grills’ ability to maintain a uniform, moderate heat for foods that need a long, gentle cook—we brought the grills up to 375 degrees Fahrenheit on medium heat with the lids closed. We then oiled the grates and distributed a whole cut-up chicken—two each of breasts, thighs, drumsticks, and wings—skin side down. Then we closed the lids for 45 minutes, occasionally checking for charring and redistributing the pieces as necessary (ideally, it wouldn’t be necessary at all). As the chicken cooked we monitored the grills’ temperatures according to their built-in thermometers; the goal was a steady hold at 375 °F with little or no burner adjustment. After 45 minutes, we flipped the chicken parts, slathered on a coating of barbecue sauce, and closed the lid for another five minutes. We repeated this step twice more, rounding out the cook time at an hour flat. Then we had a taste, paying special attention to the breast meat—a long cook can dry it out.

For the indirect-cooking tests—an indicator of the grills’ ability to act like an oven, a really nice feature in hot summer months, when you don’t want to warm up your kitchen—we cooked whole chickens at two temperatures: the first chicken at 375 °F and the second at as close to 500 °F as we could get. (The 500 °F test emulates Barbara Kafka’s famous oven-roasting method; however, none of the grills got hotter than 450 °F during this test.) We brought the grills to temperature with their two outer burners lit and the middle burner unlit. Then, as usual, we oiled the grates, placed a 3- to 4-pound chicken in the dead center of the grate surface, and closed the lid. Over the course of an hour, we monitored the grills for temperature but kept any adjustment of the burners to a minimum. At the end of each hour-long test, we noted the depth and evenness of browning, and finally we did a taste test, again paying special attention to the breasts—ideally, they’d be fully cooked but still juicy.

Throughout, we also tested our “necessities”: grill accessories such as spatulas, tongs, grill brushes, and sheet pans. We learned a lot about them (and we have a guide to what we learned), but they also helped us identify a few design strengths and flaws of the grills.

We assembled the six grills alone and in teams of two, to see if the former was even possible (answer: yes, when the instructions were clear and the assembly was well-thought-out) and if the latter made much of a difference (answer: yes, in every case). Our testers had various levels of experience, too, so this wasn’t just a judgment among “professionals.”

Two people assembling the bottom and top halves of a gas grill.

Overall, the cooking tests were far more important to us; you assemble a grill only once. But poor instructions can make assembly slow, frustrating, and full of retraced steps. Same for assembly that requires lots of screws and bolts, or screws and bolts of multiple sizes. Even absent those problems, a simply bad design can make assembly needlessly difficult. And poorly finished parts can have dangerously sharp edges—sharp enough to cause a nasty cut. So we kept an eye out for all of these issues.

Finally, after all the tests were done, we performed routine maintenance by removing and replacing the propane tanks, emptying the grease traps, washing the grates, and scrubbing out the fireboxes. If you own a grill, you’ll do these fairly unpleasant—and unavoidable, but not especially difficult—jobs at least a few times a year, so a grill that makes them even a little easier is a welcome thing.

Our pick: Weber Spirit II E-310

the Weber Spirit II E-310, our pick for best gas grill

The Weber Spirit II E-310 is the best gas grill for most people, offering an unrivaled combination of top-notch grilling performance, a versatile three-burner design, durability, and an affordable price. It excelled at every test, producing the best sear of any grill on our burgers and equaling or outdoing the others on our barbecue chicken and whole roasted chickens. Its overall compact size (helped by a new fold-down side table) suits almost any patio or deck, but its grilling surface is big enough to cook a complete meal for a family, or a dozen burgers for a party. With a thick cast-aluminum firebox, it’ll last for years. (Weber warrants all parts for a full decade—among the best coverage in the industry.) The company has refined the Spirit’s design for decades, too; this version incorporates the easily accessible externally mounted tank and under-grill shelf from the Genesis II line. On top of this, it’s a particularly easy grill to assemble, maintain, and use; and it comes in four colors (black, white, red, and blue). Finally, at its current price of around $500, it’s a terrific value.

the Weber Spirit II E-310, our pick for best gas grill

With 424 square inches of cooking space, the Spirit II E-310 can easily accommodate 12 large hamburgers, two whole or cut-up chickens, or a large cut like brisket for smoking. Or it can cook a complete meal for five or six people—the three-burner design means you can, for instance, sear steak or fish on one side of the grill and cook vegetables on lower heat on the other. And you can cook them really well.

The Spirit II E-310 also exhibited the most consistent heat across the entire cooking surface.

In our 2018 test, going up against the Weber Genesis II E-310, the Spirit II E-310 produced a better deep, crusty sear on hamburgers, leading us to surmise that the smaller Spirit model concentrates the burners’ heat better. We had no problems with the meat sticking to the flat, porcelain-coated iron grates. And we had no problems with flare-ups, the grease fires that produce charring and acrid smoke. (All grills produce a brief burst of flame when grease drips onto the burner hoods; the problem is persistent fires.) In our 2017 test, both Webers outperformed the Napoleon Rogue 425 and the Broil King Signet 320.

The Spirit II E-310 also exhibited the most consistent heat across the entire cooking surface in the 2018 test, just as the original Spirit did in 2017. Among the competition in our 2017 test, the Napoleon model in particular had noticeable cool spots toward the front of its grates. To a degree, all grills suffer this problem, because the burners don’t extend all the way to the front of the firebox, but the Spirit offered the most consistent heating across the entire grate surface. After 10 minutes, the burgers at the rear (the hottest part of the grill) were medium-well and those at the front were medium-rare to medium (this difference might even be handy, if your diners have various preferences). On the Napoleon grill, on the other hand, some of the front burgers were nearly raw in the center, while the rear burgers were well-done. We were surprised that the Spirit II once more outperformed, if only slightly, its larger, more powerful cousin, the Weber Genesis II; again, our theory is that the Spirit’s smaller firebox reflects more heat onto the grate surface.

Grilled barbecue chicken sitting on a silver pan.

The Weber Spirit grills (both the previous and current versions) produced beautiful barbecue chicken, with crisped skin and caramelized sauce. Photo: Michael Hession

Burnt barbecued chicken sitting on a silver sheet pan.

The Broil King ran too hot even on its lowest setting, turning out charred chicken and sauce. Photo: Michael Hession

During the low-and-slow grilling of the cut-up chicken, the Spirit II held almost perfectly steady at 375 °F, requiring almost no fiddling with the burner knobs—a quality it shared with the Genesis II. Both produced perfect barbecue chicken. By contrast, the Napoleon grill struggled to produce crisp, browned skin, and we soon discovered why: Its built-in thermometer was registering 50 degrees hotter than the actual temperature inside the grill. The result was flabby barbecue. The Broil King model had the opposite problem, running way too hot, as high as 450 °F, even with the burners on low. The result was charred chicken and burnt sauce.

The Spirit II performed beautifully during our 2018 indirect-cooking test, producing a pair of perfectly cooked chickens (and holding a steady 440 °F). Its cousin, the Weber Genesis II, performed almost identically. Both turned out something close to the Platonic ideal: deeply browned chickens with skin so crisp it puffed up like a balloon. In our 2017 test, the Broil King and Napoleon performed fine, but not spectacularly—we had to adjust the heat frequently to keep the temperature consistent, and the Napoleon ran about 20 degrees cool according to our probe thermometer, so we had to compensate for that.

Four barbecue roasted chickens sitting on silver sheet pans.

In regard to assembly, of the six grills we tested, the Spirit II E-310 was the simplest and had the most well-thought-out instructions; even if you lack much experience with this sort of work, you could likely assemble it easily. (However, actually moving the Spirit, still packed in its box, to your patio will require two people or a hand truck, because its shipping weight is 114 pounds.) One thing Weber does exceptionally well: It clearly labels the little bags of bolts and other fasteners (A, B, C, and so on) and cues them to the stages of assembly, so you rarely have more than one or two bags open, and finding the right component is always easy.

The Spirit II incorporates two features of the Genesis II that helped make that model our upgrade pick in 2017. The gas tank mounts externally (see the top photo in this section), instead of in a cabinet underneath the grill, as is typical (such as on the previous-generation Spirit). That makes it much easier to install a new tank and unhook an old one, because you’re not scrabbling around a small, dark enclosure to find the hoses and brackets. This design also let Weber put a sturdy shelf under the grill—a handy place to store pans, bags of wood chips, a small cooler, and other stuff you may need while grilling. Plus—new for this generation of the Spirit line—one of the side tables folds down, making the grill more compact for storage when not in use (it’s 43 inches wide with the table down).

As for maintenance, the Spirit’s flat grates were easy to keep clean with a grill brush, and its grease trap was easy to access for dumping and washing. The same goes for the Genesis II, whose grates are identically made but slightly larger. The other grills also have easy-access grease traps—not much to ask for, really. But we found the Napoleon model’s wavy grills hard to clean because we couldn’t run the grill brush in long strokes.

The Spirit’s firebox cleaned up fine with some Simple Green and hot water in our tests, and because it’s aluminum, there’s no concern about rust. And as a general observation, this grill is sturdily built from the ground up: Lots of metal, little plastic, and tight tolerances add up to a stiff chassis.

The entire Spirit II line interfaces with Weber’s iGrill 3 “smart” thermometer (a separate purchase); however, as with a lot of “smart” gear, we’re not sold on it. The ability to remotely monitor conditions is useful for 24/7 appliances like thermostats, security systems, and garage doors. For monitoring how your dinner is doing, your eyes, your experience, and a good instant-read thermometer are better tools.

We haven’t long-term tested the Spirit II E-310, but we have every reason to believe it will last for years and keep working flawlessly. Weber constantly refines its designs, even on its classic kettle, which has been around for well over 60 years. And again, Weber warrants every part of the Spirit II for a full 10 years, so the company has a financial incentive to build it to last for years, too.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

We wish Weber would take a cue from some competitors (including Broil King) and make the bars of its warming racks run front to back, parallel to the main grates. That way, you could easily slide a spatula under stuff that’s warming. As it is, the warming-rack bars run edge to edge, and you have to awkwardly jimmy a spatula in there sideways.

The Spirit II E-310 (and every grill) should come with a grill cover. It doesn’t, nor did any grill in our test group. You’ll need to buy one separately; Weber’s dedicated Spirit II cover costs about $55, and a well-regarded generic cover costs about $20.

Long-term test notes

Wirecutter editor-in-chief Ben Frumin has been long-term testing the Spirit II E-310 since summer 2019. He says: “It replaced a years-old grill (a Kenmore, I believe) that was totally serviceable but kinda old and gross. I was immediately blown away by how much better our pick is. It was so easy to use. It heated up way faster than my old grill, cooked meat faster and more evenly, was easier to clean, and was just so clearly better overall. In November, we moved, and did a bit of disassembling and reassembly. It also sat outside in my backyard (with a fabric cover) getting snowed and rained on for months. I was a little nervous this spring to see how it would hold up after the move and an outdoor winter, but everything was in great shape, and its performance was the same as always. I’ve been using it to grill up burgers, hot dogs, salmon, chicken, mushrooms, Beyond Burgers, and a bunch of other stuff. It’s aces.”

Senior staff writer Signe Brewster bought the Weber Spirit II E-310 in 2019. It’s her first grill, and she says: “I loved using it all summer. I mostly used it for pizza (on a pizza stone) and brats, plus veggies in our grill basket pick. Zero complaints except for cleaning it at the end of the summer, but I’m sure that’s an issue with all grills.”

After scoring the Weber Spirit at an end-of-season sale in 2018, senior editor Mark Smirniotis has “no complaints so far.” He also says that it “starts reliably, [and it’s] as easy to clean as anything.” On top of that, he says it’s “certainly more stable than the couple of cheaper grills I’ve owned.”

Upgrade grill pick: Weber Genesis II E-310

The Weber Genesis II E-310, sitting outside on a concrete patio.

The Weber Genesis II E-310 gas grill is also an exceptional performer, and it offers several clever, life-improving design elements that we love. The grates are about 20 percent bigger, too, but overall the Genesis II takes up barely more area than the Spirit II, so there’s no appreciable trade-off between the two if your patio space is tight. Essentially, the decision comes down to how you’ll use your grill: If you often cook for crowds, the Genesis II is worth the extra couple hundred dollars.

Performance-wise, we found the two Weber models nearly identical, with the Spirit just slightly edging the Genesis II on burger-searing performance. And that gap would probably close with a bit more time to learn the Genesis II’s finer points. In terms of materials, the two are almost twins, offering heavy cast-aluminum fireboxes and porcelain-coated cast-iron grates. The Genesis II, however, features a frame made of welded rails, while the Spirit II is made of folded metal (like most grills in its price range). They’re both sturdy enough, but the Genesis II is appreciably stiffer and more solid-feeling. And we like that it has casters: It’s easier to swivel into a corner for storage than the casterless Spirit.

The Genesis II’s most obvious design innovation—and our favorite by far—is the externally mounted propane tank. Instead of having to wrestle the tank into and out of a cramped cabinet beneath the grill, you hang it on easily accessed mounts on the left side of the grill’s support frame. It’s such an obvious, life-improving feature that when Weber debuted it in 2017, we predicted it would start appearing on Weber’s other grill lines in the near future—and indeed it has, on our top-pick Spirit II line.

The Weber Genesis II E-310 sitting outdoors on a concrete patio.

Moving the tank to the outside also frees up space below the grill, which Weber fills with a generous and sturdy storage shelf. That’s a nice feature; you can keep trays, grill tools, or even a small cooler there.

A man placing raw hamburgers on the grate of a Weber Genesis II E-310.

At 513 square inches, the Genesis II E-310’s grates offer roughly 20 percent more grilling surface versus the Spirit II E-310’s 424 square inches. That bumps you up from 12 to 15 or so burgers for a big party, or it lets you cook an ambitious, complete meal for a large family. But although the Genesis II looks much larger than the Spirit, in reality the differences are not huge. The Genesis II is 3 inches wider (54 inches versus 51 inches) overall, and its grates are 25 by 19 inches versus the Spirit’s 23 by 18 inches. Both models have a fold-down side table that reduces their width to under 45 inches, for easier storage.

Do note that the Genesis II line includes two subcategories: the “plain” category we tested, designated with an E before the number (as in the E-310) and an upgrade, designated with an LX in the name. The LX models, which cost about 75 percent more burner-for-burner (the three-burner LX model retails for $1,200, for example, versus the E-310’s $700 price), employ stainless steel in place of some of the powder-coated plain steel and aluminum, and have a cabinet base rather than the open design of the E models. We don’t think those features are worth the extra expense—the fireboxes are identical, and though the LX models offer about 15 percent more maximum Btu (37,500 versus 43,500) with their High+ setting, that doesn’t seem to improve performance greatly, so you’re probably paying for extraneous details. And on the face of it, we prefer the flexibility and easy access of the E line’s open cabinet.

The entire Genesis II line, like the Spirit II line, interfaces with Weber’s iGrill 3 “smart” thermometer (a separate purchase). Again, we’re dubious. For making dinner, your eyes, experience, and a good instant-read thermometer are better tools.

Long-term test notes

Lesley Stockton has been cooking on the same Weber Genesis II E-310 model we tested since 2018. Here’s her verdict: “I’ll admit that I wasn’t a big fan of propane gas grills before I started using this one. We just prefer that smokey charcoal flavor in my house. But I gotta say that the Genesis is one of the best propane grills I’ve ever used because it doesn’t flare up and holds temperatures very well. And the electric ignition lights up the grill the first time, every time. It’s just so convenient to push a button and have a hot grill in 10 minutes! We keep the Weber Genesis on our back patio cloaked in a Weber-branded grill cover but otherwise exposed to the elements.”

Wirecutter staff writer and the author of our guide to the best charcoal for grilling, Kit Dillon, says: “The [Weber Genesis] gas grill is remarkably convenient, gets very hot, and is great for grilling in Hawaii because of all the fish. I say that even as I spent years being obsessed with charcoal grilling. I grill a lot more now because of the convenience of the gas.”

Grill maintenance basics

Maintaining a grill is not hard, and doing it right can add years to the life of the grill.

First and foremost: Use a grill cover. They keep your grill dry—which helps to prevent rust—and clean, which helps to prevent clogged burner ports and gritty grates. They don’t come with most grills; you can buy a “custom-fitted” brand-specific one for $50 or $60 (Weber Spirit II E-310, Weber Genesis II E-310), or a generic version for less than half that (this well-regarded one will fit all our picks). Our test grills sat through days of intense rain, and we didn’t notice a difference in performance between the two options. In winter (if you live where it snows), try to keep your grill in a garage or shed—grill covers don’t protect against standing water or extended periods of dampness.

Second, clean your grill before or after every use. (We like the Best BBQ Grill Brush; read why in our guide to grill accessories.) Joe Salvaggio of Big Apple BBQ recommends turning the burners to high and closing the lid for 10 minutes after you’re done cooking—and then just turning them off and walking away. Next time you cook, brush the cold, soot-covered grills clean, wipe them with a wet paper towel or rag, and then proceed. That goes against the common advice to clean the grates while they’re hot; Salvaggio has found that cleaning hot grates more easily damages the porcelain coating on cast-iron ones, allowing rust to form.

Check the grease trap after every use (or before every use), and don’t let it get too full. If it spills over you’ll be cleaning grease out of the inside of your grill for an hour.

If a burner seems to be running cool or creates patchy flames, use a thin piece of wire (many grills come with one on a chain) to clean out the gas ports, the little holes. There’s nothing inside the burners to break, so don’t feel like you have to be delicate.

Take the battery out of the igniter before you store the grill long-term. Batteries can burst and corrode the igniter contacts.

About once a year (usually before winter storage), many grill enthusiasts do a deep clean of the whole grill, soaking the grates in hot soapy water and scrubbing them, and scrubbing down the firebox and rinsing it with a hose. That’s probably good practice.

Finally, be aware that a few parts of a grill are consumables, so you will need to replace them occasionally. The burner hoods are usually the first to go, after a couple of years (these are the metal “tents” that sit over the burners and guide grease away from the flames, preventing flare-ups). You can replace them in-kind, or find third-party options that claim higher performance and long lifespans.

The grates also take a beating, and eventually most start to rust. That’s not necessarily a problem in itself, as you can oil iron grates and season them as you would a cast-iron skillet. But if they were originally porcelain-coated (as our pick’s and upgrade’s are), you may get chips of porcelain in your food, and that’s not a good thing. Again, you can replace them with factory parts or third-party alternatives.

The competition

For 2021, Weber introduced a line of smart grills that we chose to not test. The Weber Genesis II EX-315 Smart Grill has the same dimensions, burners, and work tables as our upgrade pick, the Weber Genesis II E-310. But the Smart Genesis has a bunch of other bells and whistles, like lighted knobs and lid handle, a built-in meat probe, and Wifi and bluetooth connectivity that let you monitor the doneness of your meat and fuel level from the Weber app. The app also has recipes and a step-by-step feature that sends alerts to your phone when it's time to tend to your food. All of these extra gadgets require power, and the Genesis Smart grill takes 10 batteries. The Wifi module alone uses six D batteries, although there is an option to power that part (and only that part) with a power bank. We assume the four other batteries power the igniter, LED lights, and fuel gauge. We’re not big fans of smart cooking gear, there’s too many little things that can glitch out. It’s also nice to just put down the phone and engage in cooking time without screens. But we also understand that some folks really dig this technology and we say go for it if it makes you happy.

The Weber Spirit SX-315 is the smart version of our top pick, the Weber Spirit II E-310. And just like the Genesis models, both Spirit models have the same bones—burners, side tables, and overall dimensions. The Spirit Smart grill connects to wifi, and lets you monitor the meat probe through the app. But unlike the Genesis Smart grill, the Spirit doesn’t monitor the fuel level.

Weber added two new models to its Spirit line of gas grills in 2020, but we ultimately chose not to test them. One of them, the Spirit S-315, is similar to the Spirit II E-310 (our top pick) according to the specs, with a few cosmetic differences—and a higher price tag. The new S-315 features a stainless steel lid, a cabinet-style grill stand with a door, metal dials, and four swivel casters, while the E-310 has a black enameled lid, an open cart stand, plastic dials, and two fixed wheels. The S-315 has a slightly higher Btu output than our pick (32,000 Btu versus 30,000 Btu, respectively), but other than those minor variations, it looks like it would perform about the same as our pick.

Weber’s other new addition to the Spirit line, the $700 Spirit SP-335, is basically the S-315 with a built-in side burner and a dedicated high-heat searing area on the grill. We don’t recommend grills with side burners because we don’t think that extra feature is worth the $100-plus markup. As for the dedicated “searing zone,” we don’t think it’s necessary, since we’ve never had trouble grilling steaks and chops with dark brown crusts on either of our picks. We think you’re better off saving over $200 with the Spirit II E-310. But if you want to splurge on a grill with exceptional temperature control, go for our upgrade pick, the Weber Genesis II E-310.

The Napoleon Rogue 425 ($750 at the time of this writing) is the Canadian company’s flagship in the $400 to $750 range. Like the other models we tested in that category, it has a cast-aluminum firebox, porcelain-coated cast-iron grates, and three burners. On paper, it has a lot going for it, but we were disappointed in its performance. Despite showing 650 °F heat on our burger test, it failed to achieve a good sear—a combination, we expect, of the pyramidal grate bars making minimal contact with the meat, and the grill’s thermometer overstating the actual temperature by about 50 degrees (we measured it independently with an accurate probe thermometer). It also struggled to hold a steady heat on the barbecue-chicken test. Napoleon’s signature is its wavy grates, and they do look cool—but they’re harder to clean than straight grates. They also leave odd, distorted sear marks if you try to make the classic crosshatch pattern. Assembly was straightforward, and the instruction manual was well-thought-out. But given the Weber Spirit II E-310’s higher performance and lower cost, the choice was clear.

The now-discontinued Broil King Signet 320 is similar to the other grills we tested in the $400 to $700 category, offering a cast-aluminum firebox, porcelainized iron grates, and three burners. It boasts the highest total Btu of the four grills we tested in that range, at 40,000. But we found that this wasn’t an advantage: It topped 700 °F after 15 minutes of heating for the burger test, and as a result it blackened the patties. (“Tastes like a Marlboro,” said Sam Sifton.)

Burgers cooking on the surface of a gas grill.

On the barbecue-chicken test, the Broil-King ran very hot even with the burners on their lowest setting, topping 450 °F when the goal was a steady 375 °F. That meant moving the chicken around, and even to the warming rack, to try to avoid charring—whereas the key to good grilled chicken is a steady, undisturbed cook. We had a problem with the grates, too: They have a strange ridge about half an inch from the front edge, and if you’re not careful you can catch your spatula on it and send your utensil flying. Also, during assembly we ran into an unforgivable design flaw: A key pair of bolts, which hold the firebox to the frame, are located in a tight space that’s almost impossible to get your fingers or a wrench into. Also, the caster wheels absolutely refused to slide into their sockets—we slightly broke one socket when trying, and the other required a coating of soap and as much pressure as we could manage. For $100 more, the Weber Spirit II E-310 offers a much better experience end to end.

The now-discontinued Char-Broil Advantage 3-Burner Gas Grill from Lowe’s met the low expectations we set upon seeing its sub-$200 price. It cooked burgers acceptably, but to get an even cook we had to shuffle the patties around from hot spots to cool spots. Unable to keep a steady low temperature, it burned the barbecue chicken. To this grill’s credit, it made a nice indirect-roasted chicken—but then again, every tested grill did. Assembly was a pain, with unclear instructions and multiple fasteners of different sizes and types. And this model’s bizarre design, with a fixed panel running across the front of the grill, means you have to sneak around the back of the thing to replace the tank. Have fun doing that if you plan to keep the grill next to a fence. If you need a cheap grill, spend the extra $20 for the Dyna-Glo.

We dismissed another popular budget-priced grill maker, Nexgrill, out of hand. Nexgrill models are sold mostly at Home Depot, and the negative reviews alone put us off, complaining of sharp edges that have sliced off fingertips and leaking fuel lines that have threatened to cause fires. Hands-on time with some Nexgrill units in the store confirmed it: They’re junk.

The budget-oriented Smoke Hollow specializes in charcoal-gas combination grills but also offers a couple of gas models. Reviews, prices, and hands-on time convinced us they didn’t have the initial quality to compete.

Hands-on time, reviews, and availability concerns led us to dismiss lesser-known brands such as Brinkmann (now called Outdoor Direct after an October 2016 bankruptcy) and Huntington, along with well-known names like Cuisinart and KitchenAid. The former two’s models are generic and shoddy, and the latter two’s grills appear to be afterthoughts next to their respective brands’ main areas of expertise, with materials and design to match.

Finally, though we used them for comparison (and a sense of what’s possible in a grill, for a price), we did not test grills from high-end makers such as Hestan, Lynx/Sedona, and MHP. Costing four or five figures, they were outside our criteria.

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between gas and charcoal grills?

Gas grills are faster and easier to use than charcoal grills because you can turn on the flame with the press of a button and control the heat with the turn of a knob. They don’t produce much smoke and are easier to clean than charcoal grills since you don’t have to deal with disposing of ashes.

Charcoal grills are much cheaper, however, and can burn hotter than gas grills for a better sear. Charcoal also imparts a pleasantly smoky flavor to your food, which you can’t get from a gas flame. But charcoal takes time to light, and you have to be comfortable with moving around coals and fiddling with vents to control the grill’s heat.

How long should a gas grill last?

A good gas grill should last a decade or more, provided you clean it after every use and protect it from the elements. Weber, which makes both of the grills we currently recommend, guarantees all parts for 10 years, so we expect our picks to hold up for at least that long.

Is a gas grill worth the cost?

If you grill regularly or you enjoy grilling on weeknights, when time is at a premium, you should invest in a gas grill. A good one costs $400 to $700 but will serve you well for years. Although that’s over twice the price of a quality charcoal grill, it’s worth the investment if you prioritize speed and convenience.

How do I choose a gas grill?

When choosing a gas grill, first decide what size you need. We think a three-burner grill is large enough for most needs, with plenty of space to cook for a family or a backyard BBQ. Grills with more burners are usually overkill, while two-burner grills can feel cramped.

Look for grills in the $400 to $700 range with a cast-aluminum firebox (which holds heat well and won’t rust). Don’t cheap out on a budget model if you want your grill to last, but also don’t overpay for extras you won’t use, such as a rotisserie or a side burner.

About your guides

Tim Heffernan

Tim Heffernan is a senior staff writer at Wirecutter and a former writer-editor for The Atlantic, Esquire, and others. He has anchored our unequaled coverage of air purifiers and water filters since 2015. In 2018, he established Wirecutter’s ongoing collaboration with The New York Times’s Smarter Living. When he’s not here, he’s on his bike.

Lesley Stockton

Lesley Stockton is a senior staff writer reporting on all things cooking and entertaining for Wirecutter. Her expertise builds on a lifelong career in the culinary world—from a restaurant cook and caterer to a food editor at Martha Stewart. She is perfectly happy to leave all that behind to be a full-time kitchen-gear nerd.

Michael Sullivan

Michael Sullivan has been a staff writer on the kitchen team at Wirecutter since 2016. Previously, he was an editor at the International Culinary Center in New York. He has worked in various facets of the food and restaurant industry for over a decade.

Further reading

  • Throw a Backyard Party

    Throw a Backyard Party

    by Raphael Brion

    From Bluetooth speakers to patio furniture to gas and charcoal grills, here’s what we think you need for backyard entertaining and cooking.

  • The Best Portable Grills
  • The Best Charcoal Grill
  • The Best Grill Tools and Accessories

    The Best Grill Tools and Accessories

    by Lesley Stockton, Michael Sullivan, and Tim Heffernan

    After testing more than 90 tools from spatulas to tongs to grill gloves and more, we have recommendations for everything you need to have an amazing barbecue.

Sours: https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-gas-grill/

What is the Warranty On My Grill?

One of the perks of owning a Weber grill is our best-in-class warranty program. We make our grills with quality in mind, and our intention is for the parts on our grills to last at least as long as the warranty covering them, but there will be times when someone needs to take advantage of the warranty on their grill.

So how does one find out what the warranty is on their grill?

  • All current generation Spirit II, Genesis II, Genesis II LX, and Summit Gas series models purchased after 10/1/17 feature full 10 year warranties on all components, excluding normal wear and tear.
  • For all other models, the warranty coverage may vary by part, check your owner’s guide for the specific coverage. If you no longer have your owner’s guide, you can always look it up here. For instance, certain parts, like a lid, may carry a 10 year warranty. Other parts, like igniters may carry a 2 year warranty.

A few other important things to consider:

  • It’s a good idea to register your grill as soon as you buy it and bring it home. Having a grill registered in our system makes the warranty claim process go as smoothly as possible, and also ensures that we’re getting the right parts for your specific model.
  • Parts replaced under warranty do not start the warranty coverage period over. An example would be if you bought your grill today and in a year you needed new burner tubes for some reason. Most models have a 10 year warranty on the burner tubes and we would be happy to send you out a new replacement set, but the set that we send will be covered for another 9 years, rather than starting over at 10 years.
  • If you purchase a replacement part through a dealer it carries a 2 year warranty.
  • Most Weber accessories carry a two year warranty.
  • Warranty coverage is tied to the date of purchase, not the date the grill was made. The warranty coverage is also not dependent on when you register your grill, but it’s best to register when you first purchase it.
  • Warranties do not continue covering a grill just because you never took advantage of them. For instance, let’s say you have a grill that is 12 years old and you never replaced the burners, but now need to. The warranty on the burners will have expired and no longer covers their replacement.
  • Keeping the receipt or proof of purchase for your Weber grill and accessories is a good idea in case you ever need to take advantage of the warranty.
  • Warranties are not transferable. They apply to the original purchaser of the grill only. So if your relative, friend or neighbor decides to give you their old grill it will not have any warranty coverage.
  • Weber grills require periodic maintenance if they are going to last. If a grill is not properly maintained it may disqualify it from being covered by the warranty. Always make sure to refer to your owner’s manual for proper maintenance procedures.
  • Grills owned by resorts, condo associations and multi-family dwellings don’t carry warranties. Please check out our blog on the topic for details. 

If you ever think you have a problem that might be covered by warranty the best thing to do is to reach out to Weber Customer Service right away for help. We’re ready and waiting every day to help you get your grill up and running and in tip-top shape!

Sours: https://www.weber.com/US/en/blog/burning-questions/what-is-the-warranty-on-my-grill/weber-29929.html
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Weber Q - low flame or no flame

Hello everyone! I am a certified gas fitter and I have been working in the barbecue repair industry for about 5 years now. As you all know, the Weber Q grill is extremely popular, both for portability for camping, etc., and for size in small condos. Far too often I hear people complain that their Weber Qs aren't getting hot enough, or that the barbecue used to work great but now it doesn't. On occasion it's the regulator, or sometimes a dirty burtner, but in almost every case the person is using an adapter hose with a 5/10/20lb propane tank, not the disposable 1lb canister that the Weber Q is designed to run on. I decided to write up a guide for my website on how to fix this issue and I figured it would be a good idea to spread the word so people can stop swearing at their barbecues and get back to grilling!

Why won't my Weber Q work?

In my career as a gas fitter and barbecue salesman I have encountered literally thousands of people that have issues with their Weber Q grill not getting hot enough, or perhaps not lighting at all. Sometimes it is a bad regulator, or sometimes they haven't cleaned their burner, but by far the single biggest cause is the use of an unregulated propane adapter hose. This hose combined with the "OPD" safety device in a modern tank can cause issues with insuffient or no flow of gas.

What is an OPD?

Modern propane tanks sold in North America are equipped with a safety device called an OPD. OPD stands for Overfill Protection Device, and in very basic terms it could be described as a hollow ball in a cage at the end of a tube. It's primary function is to prevent propane tanks from being filled past 80% capacity, which provides the space necessary for propane to turn from liquid to vapor. When the propane liquid level reaches the ball, it raises and blocks off the flow of gas from the tank. A secondary function of the OPD is to shut down or reduce the flow of gas in the event of a signifcant depressurization of the propane hose, such as would happen if the propane hose were severed.

This is what an OPD most commonly looks like, though there are other types. (Image taken from http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/26283959/gotomsg/26289078.cfm)

Why is this happening if the hose isn't severed?

In most cases the OPD is triggered because of the initial flow of gas into the adapter hose which triggers the OPD, combined with insufficient wait time to allow the pressures in the tank and the hose to equalize. If the barbecue is lit too soon after turning on the tank, the hose never pressurises and so the OPD ball never drops to allow full flow of gas. In most cases the equalization of pressures takes less than a second, however when using an adapter hose this can take much longer because the high pressure gas (150+ PSI!) rushing down several feet of hose triggers the OPD long before the hose has a chance to fully pressurize.

But my barbecue works for a while then stops, what gives??

When using an unregulated adapter hose, even if the OPD triggers prematurely there is still sufficient pressue in the hose to run a low demand appliance for several seconds to several minutes. A standard Propane (LP) appliance runs at 11" WC (Watercolumn). 1 PSI is equal to 27.68" WC, so a propane appliance runs at less than half of a PSI, thus if the hose contains even 50 psi it can still contains enough gas to run a low BTU appliance for a while.

So what's the solution?

Unfortunately there isn't really a solution to the problem, because the problem is using an unregulated adapter hose. However the problem can be completely prevented by using the appliance the way it was intended to be used; with a 1lb disposable propane canister. If the disposable canister option is too expensive, inconveinient, or wasteful for you, then you can use the following method to convert your barbecue to run only on propane tanks with a standard OPD fitting on them. Keep in mind that you will no longer be able to use disposable propane canisters without purchasing an adapter!

WARNING: Propane gas can be EXTREMELY dangerous. If you are at all unsure of your ability to perform the following modifications please contact a licensed gas fitter to perform the modification for you. I cannot be held responsible for any damages to property or injuries sustained from gas leaks or improper installation of parts during the following procedure!

Required parts:
1 x 3/8 Male flare to 1/8 Female pipe thread fitting (I use Fairview Fittings part # 46-6A)
1 x Barbecue hose and regulator, Any length with do.
Gas tape or pipe thread sealant
Wrenches

1. Disconnect any hoses and tanks from barbecue.
2. Remove cooking grill and burner from barbecue. Burner is held down with a 7/16" nut and bolt, or a 3/8" bolt.
3. Pull off control knob and remove brass lock ring from gas valve with an adjustable wrench. Remove valve and regulator from barbecue. Newer models have a black bracket that can make removal difficult.
4. Remove valve from regulator. Inspect for oil buildup in valve. Excessive oil build up will require replacement of valve.
5. Apply gas tape or pipe sealant to threads of the gase valve. Do not get any tape or sealant in the valve that could obstruct the flow of gas.
6. Screw 3/8FFL x 1/8MPT fitting onto valve and tighten. DO NOT over tighten, the brass threads can strip.
7. Attach hose and regulator to fitting on valve. No gas tape or pipe sealant is necessary on flare fittings. Snug flare nut hand tight and give it an extra 1/4 turn.
8. Insert gas valve back into barbecue, tighten lock ring. Reinstall control knob and burner. Do not install cooking grills yet.
9. Ensure gas valve is in the OFF position. Brush or spray a solution of 50/50 dishsoap and water on each connection and fitting. Connect regulator to propane tank and open tank valve. Look for bubbles at all connections. Retighten connections if necessary.
10. Observe flame on high and low. There should be a distict difference between high and low settings. Clear any obstructions in burner ports with a straightened paperclip.

Hopefully this helps a few people that are having difficulty with their Weber Qs! Feel free to ask whatever questions you may have and I'll try to answer them.

 

Sours: https://tvwbb.com/threads/weber-q-low-flame-or-no-flame.49713/
How To Install A Propane Tank On A Weber Grill

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Home regulator depot grill weber

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How To Connect A Propane Tank To Your Gas Grill - Weber Grills

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