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Weber Spirit E-210

I’m looking to replace our old Grill Master with something a little better. It’s lasted 10 years, with a burner replacement about three years ago. But since the burner replacement, it’s never heated evenly — burning one side of a steak while the other’s barely warm. I’d like to spend my money on a grill that’s going to last and can heat evenly.

I’ve been looking around, and most of the grills tout stainless steel construction, but they’re 430 stainless steel — a lower grade of stainless steel that’s ferrous and rusts easily. I could see spots where the Home Depot employees had tried to scrub out the rust. I’ve determined that the larger grills in the $300 to $400 range are garbage, and I don’t want to pay $800 for a grill with real 304 stainless steel.

So I’m looking at a nice portable grill like the Weber Spirit E-210. Weber’s been around awhile, and parts are easy to find — unlike my Grill Master. Two stainless steel propane burners heat porcelain-enameled “Flavorizer” bars and 350 sq. in. cooking grates. The grates aren’t cast iron, but it can be retrofitted. It does have cheap stainless steel doors, but they really aren’t critical to the function of the grill, like the top or tables.

I’d like to tap into the vast pool of Toolmongers’ knowledge: Does anybody own a similar Weber model or have any suggestions for a quality portable grill? Let us know in the comments.

Spirit E-210 [Weber]
Review [about.com]

 

26 Responses to Reader Question: Best Gas Grill For Around $300

  1. Keith Melton says:

    I love my Weber Q. Great small portable grill but still big enough to handle a decent amount of cooking.

  2. Weber says:

    Genesis E-320, hands down

  3. Zathrus says:

    Note — you may want to check just how readily available Weber parts are in your neck of the woods. A few weeks ago I was trying to figure out why my Genesis Silver C wouldn’t get up to temp (the usual crap in the spider guards) and doing annual cleaning and had part of the burners break on me (cross bar weld points broke).

    No problem, I’ll just go to HD. Nope. They don’t carry anything but ignitors. Went to specialty BBQ place. Nope. They recommended another place, who finally told me that Weber doesn’t like their distributors to stock parts, only accessories, and that Weber changes parts every couple years to further discourage distributors from doing so.

    I did find the part online, from a 3rd party for vastly cheaper than what Weber wanted (authentic 1st party part though), but we didn’t get to grill that night.

  4. ned.ludd says:

    For me, Weber wins every time. I’ve got a two burner Genesis (about 7 years old) and my dad has the three burner (about 15 years old). They’re both built like, well, Weber grills. Other than needing to swap out a regulator on the old one, and replace some enameled grill grates/flavorizer bars, they’ve been running fine, and we both use them a LOT.

    IMO the three burner is the better unit. Why? It heats more evenly, gives you more control over the grill temp, and everyone loves more BTU’s. If I had the space on my deck and the money to throw at it, I would have gone for the larger of the two grills without looking back.

  5. erik says:

    Ditto on Weber – you can’t go wrong. I have an ~15 year old three-burner gasser that is just built like a tank. The great thing about these is that you can *still* get all the replacement parts if you need ’em.

    If you’re able, though, I’d highly suggest staying away from the Weber “Spirit” line. They’re a lot smaller, more prone to flare-ups, and of poorer build quality than the rest of their gas grill line. As suggested above, the E-320 is a stellar grill.

  6. jeff says:

    Go with the Weber. I have a 5 year old Genesis series, and it has held up great. And I’ll be honest, I abuse it. Sometimes I leave it uncovered in the rain and snow, and it seems no worse for wear. My parents own a similar Weber, and have had it for the last 15 years. I think all they every have to replace was the grates once (and they were available off the shelf at HD).

    My only advice, is if you can afford it go for the three burner models. It gives you alot more flexibility for doing different cooking methods (indirect, rotisserie, etc)

  7. PutnamEco says:

    Why don’t you consider a real grill, something like the Big Green Egg
    http://www.biggreenegg.com

    or if you want a real nice grill that will kill you budget, The Grillery
    http://www.grillery.com

    or one that won’t kill your budget.
    http://www.oldsmokey.com/0210OS.html

    or if Weber is what you really like. They make the Performer.
    http://www.weber.com/bbq/pub/grill/2007/charcoal/Performer.aspx

    Another budget buster. the multi fuel Down South Summer kitchen
    http://www.downsouthgrills.com/product.htm

    Most people that cook on gas aren’t really serious about good BBQ

  8. erik says:

    @PutnamEco

    Hehe – very true. He asked about a gas grill, though, so I thought it appropriate to give *gas* grill recommendations. If he’d wanted charcoal recommendations, he would have asked for them.

    Anyway, along with my Weber gasser, I have a Weber kettle and a Weber Smokey Mountain cooker. I use the kettle for the vast majority of my grilling, and I pull out the WSM about every other weekend for some “real” BBQ. I have two butts ready to go into the smoker this evening for a nice Saturday evening supper. Yum!

  9. Kyle says:

    I would strongly recommend cast-iron. Nothing makes me happier than pressure washing the shit out of it each spring. I have a Weber Q as well. It is the best little thing ever. Just look at amazon reviews.

  10. Yeah I thought I might get some replies from charcoal zealots — but I thought it’d be much sooner. Sometimes it’s not about doing something perfectly, but being able to do something at all. That’s why I want a gas grill for right now. I grill in the rain, in the dead of winter, and in the heat of summer. Where I live has like exactly 10 days of “nice” weather, I don’t want to freeze my ass off when it’s -10 below zero waiting for the charcoal to be ready. And I do it while trying to keep track of two young and very energetic children. I know a lot of people that do the same

    I don’t BBQ anyway, up here in the North we grill. If you don’t think I’m serious about it then lets see you BBQ under the same conditions.

    With that out of the way, the GrillWorks is pretty cool. I want one, but not now.

    ====

    Anybody know if you can take the weber Q 300 off its stand and use it like a 100 or 200 series. That’d rock, you’d almost have the best of both worlds.

  11. Keith Melton says:

    Ben,

    I have the 200, but since you can buy the 300 stand and use it with the 200, I imagine the 300 comes off as well.

  12. Erich says:

    Go with the Weber but upgrade to the Genesis series, what no-one has stated is the bulletproof warranty of the Weber’s. 25 years on the castings and shroud, 10 years on the cook-box assembly, and 2-5 years on the replacable items.

  13. Dan says:

    One more vote for the Weber Q’s — I’ve got the ‘original’ Q (now the 200), and it’s great. Only one burner, so it’s not as flexible as bigger ones can be, but I’ve got a charcoal grill if I want to get fancy.

    It doesn’t looks as if the Q300 comes off the stand, every picture has it mounted.

  14. Jason says:

    I’ve never had any issues using a kettle grill in the dead of winter here in Wisconsin. Although the last three years have been a bit more convenient as I purchased the Weber Performer. I use mine all year long, you get the convenience of gas ignition and a true grilled taste. Moving the coals around is a breeze with the charcoal bins, and clean up is relatively painless with the large ash bin. I no longer use the 1lb tanks for ignition, I’ve opted to use a 20lb tank and an adapter hose and the work table has ample room for all my needs. I got mine for $175, but MSRP is the same as that of the E-210 your looking at.

    Only downsides I see are that the included cooking grate is not cast iron ( they are available) and it does not ship with the capability to use 20lb propane tanks.

  15. I’m sorry to be another charcoal zealot, and I’m probably talking way out of your price range, but still, BUY A BIG GREEN EGG EVEN IF IT MEANS A SECOND MORTGAGE. I use mine year round in Michigan. 100 degree heat and -10 degree cold. You can light it with MAPP gas torches in about 30 seconds and it hits grilling temps in about half an hour or less if you force feed it with a hair dryer. I’m a little nuts, admittedly, and have been known to step onto the porch buck naked at 3am in winter to check on a brisket, but I know what tastes good…

    If I were choosing between a gas grill and a normal metal charcoal grill, I might go gas for convenience’s sake. However, there’s just no comparing a metal grill with a ceramic cooker. The juicyness of the meat that comes off it, the ability to bake bread or cookies or whatever on it, the temperature range from a ~200 degree smoker up to an 800 degree blast furnace…it just can’t be beat. It’s darn near impossible to either get a steak properly charred on gas or to do BBQ on a tin can.

    It’s stupid expensive, but they’ll last forever. Try to find a used one. You can’t. People keep them until they die, and then their next of kin haul it home. They’re wonderful.

    FWIW, last pork shoulder went for 25 hours at a constant 225 degree cook temp and the outside temps were hovering around zero…and well, http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2354/2387539299_b4fa9bbaf6.jpg?v=0

  16. Randy says:

    I have a Weber Genesis Silver C. Not all stainless, but doors and side burner cover. It’s been uncovered in Houston for 2 years and the only rust is a very light drink ring. I guess the phosphoric acid in the soda caused a reaction. I know I could get it off with a Scotchbrite pad and 5 minutes of effort. However, normal weather doesn’t seem to bother it. One tip: look around at the different stores in your area. When I bought mine, the prices were all the same, but the grates were different. Home Depot (at the time) had enameled cast iron grates while Lowes had enameled pressed steel and Ace had uncoated cast iron. Also, the side burner is prime. I use it to fry fish and chicken so my house doesn’t smell like grease, and to light my charcoal chimney when I use my Smoky Joe.

  17. PutnamEco says:

    Re:
    Benjamen Johnson Says:
    Sometimes it’s not about doing something perfectly, but being able to do something at all. That’s why I want a gas grill for right now. I grill in the rain, in the dead of winter, and in the heat of summer. Where I live has like exactly 10 days of “nice” weather, I don’t want to freeze my ass off when it’s -10 below zero waiting for the charcoal to be ready
    =======================================================

    Sounds like you need something like an indoor grill.If the weather and the waiting bother you that much.
    I would recommend George Foremans grill offering. They really work well, a lot better than you would think. No waiting, No gas, No charcoal, No weather.

    Check it out.
    http://www.foreman-grill.com/store/indoutgrill.php

    Or if you’ve got the bucks, their are plenty of other options to grill right in your kitchen [or living room for that matter]

    http://www.catergear.com/_search.php?page=1&q=char+broil

  18. Joe Birmingham says:

    I have never understood why Webber puts the control knobs on top of the side table. What is the point of the table if you can’t put something on it.

    I really like the new Kenmore models that come in colors but I can’t say I own one.
    http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_07116302000P?vName=Lawn+%26+Garden&cName=Grills&sName=Gas+Grills

  19. Jason says:

    Another vote for the Weber Genesis series.

  20. Norman says:

    I also throw in a vote for Weber.

    I currently have the Genesis Gold, a 22″ Kettle and 2 Weber Smokers (Stacked when I need to smoke a lot). I live in the Northeast and I use the Gas grill almost daily because it is convenient and works good (added the smoker basket for adding some smoke flavor when I want it). I have owned the Genesis for 6 years and have had literally no issues at all.

    I am looking to get a Green Egg when I retire (couple of years) and have read all about them. They sound awesome but are expensive and take alot of time to use, not convenient for me in my current situation.

    Just my opinion.

  21. Andrew says:

    I have a Weber Q, and it’s the best grill I have ever owned. Stainless steel burners, cast aluminum body, and cast iron grill. It looks small, but you can easily feed a crowd with it. And food cooks really fast on the cast iron grill (and does not get dried out).

  22. ToolFreak says:

    As already mentioned many times, Weber Q or Genesis for cheap, or if you’re that hardcore into grilling, drop the money on a Big Green Egg.

    Myself, I’ve had it with lugging around a gas grill and just get the cheap $97 models when on clearance for ~$20 at the end of the season, and keep ’em til they die or I get another deal. If I ever found a Weber or BGE for a nice deal, I’d get that, though.

  23. Clinton says:

    The Fiesta Blue Ember is a darn good grill. I’m very happy with mine. It uses composite plastics and cast aluminum rather than stainless for a good chunk of the base and lid as a cost-reducing measure and that’s fine because the Stainless is used in place where it should be used and is a better grade Stainless than that used in other grills in the price range. The only place that I can see that they used an “inferior” material in a place that matters is the drip tray. It really could be better. The grease trap is a nice stainless piece that seems near indestructible. Wish I could say the same for the tray that feeds into it. Hopefully I’ll be able to get another should t ever fail. If not it should be easy to fabricate something similiar.
    I got mine for $200 missing the rotisserie from a used appliance dealer. I think they retail for $399 so it’s above the price range of this discussion but if you’re not satisfied with the options under $300 and are looking upwards you don’t have to look hard to find a good quality model at a reasonable price.

  24. PutnamEco says:

    http://www.herringtank.com/pics/Smoker.gif
    best portable grill for under what?? $300,000. you say?

  25. JP says:

    OK, this is a really old blog so I’m just posting for anyone else out trolling the web deciding between gas grill and char. My $.02- instead of a gas grill, just consider using the broiler in your oven. I have a $500ish stainless grill on my deck and I’ve more or less stopped using it. In the market for a char.

  26. Que-Rescue says:

    If your in the market for a Green Egg grill, wait acouple years and buy one at a yard sale, cheep. I like all types of grills, the Egg is a yuppie fad. I will not reconmend a brand name, I do want everyone to know that the cheep grills are only cheep because the burners are steel and will rust out in three years.
    So when your shopping for your next grill bring a magnet, what might look like stainless steel could be just chome plating. Cast stainless steel, cast iron are best, 304 stainless steel is good, be carefull not all s.s. is 304.
    If your B.B.Q. is not getting up to 600*F the proplem is not the grill, nor is it the regulator, its not the propane gas. Its the little black knob that is used to connect to the gas tank. Years back when the U.S. demanded everyone switch to OPG valves they put a gas flow restrictor into the system. Then another restrictor into the connector knob, then when it gets to the regulator it will not give you enough gas presure to get the grill up to high temperatures. This also causes the grill to fool you its empty when the tank still has gas in it.
    There are many makers of these black knobs, some work just fine, some work just fine on a specific valve, others are found on thoughs cheeper grills. All can be fixed. Inside the knob is a spring and ball bearing, just remove them and all will be good. High will be high, and low will be low, and you’ll burn all 4.2 gallons of gas. Please feel free to criticize, I’m willing to answer any B.B.Q. repair questions. HAPPY GRILLINGS

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