The Best Grill Tools And Accessories
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.
We assembled the six grills alone and in teams of two. We did this to see if the former scenario was even possible and whether the latter made much of a difference . We noted poor instructions, needlessly complicated screw or bolt sizes, or safety hazards like sharp edges.
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, youll have to perform these tasks at least a few times a year, so a grill that makes them a little easier is a welcome thing.
For our 2022 update, we relied mainly on market research and meta-analysis. Most new grills worth considering are still produced by the same companies whose products weve tested in previous years. And with each new version of the models were familiar with, the most important characteristicssuch as quality of materials and constructionare the same. We spoke again with Joe Salvaggio of Big Apple BBQ about the newest models, and we examined our main contenders in person at Home Depot, Lowes, and Berings in Houston.
The Grill Isnt Heating Up
This complaint is usually caused by issues with the regulator. The regulator is the small segment of pipe that connects the grill to the gas supply. Weber grill regulator problems can cause the burners to produce only a tiny glimmer of flameor sometimes none at all.
If the issue isnt with the igniter system or the gas supply, a regulator reset could do the trick. First, turn all the burner control knobs and the tank valve to their OFF positions. Take the regulator valve off the gas tank by pulling the metal collar toward the tank, then pulling the valve in the opposite direction.
When youve removed the valve, turn each burner knob to HIGH and wait for at least one minute, then switch them all off again.
Next, youll want to hook the regulator valve back up. Pull the metal collar back toward the tank and insert the tip of the valve directly into the tank. Make sure the valve is secure, then switch the tank valve back on. Attempt to use the grill as you normally would.
If the reset procedure doesnt solve your Weber grill regulator problems, it might be because the grill has gone into .
Since 1995, Weber has included a gas detection device inside all of its propane hoses or regulators. The use of this safety feature has been mandated by the federal government to reduce the inherent risks of cooking over a gas flame. Heres how it works.
Performing a Leak Test
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Our Pick: Weber Spirit Ii E
*At the time of publishing, the price was $639.
The Weber Spirit II E-310 provides the unrivaled combination of top-notch grilling performance, a versatile three-burner design, durability, and a relatively affordable price. It excelled at every test, producing the best sear on our burgers of any grill, and equaling or outdoing the others in our tests involving barbecue chicken and whole roasted chickens. The Spirit II E-310s overall compact size suits almost any patio or deck. And yet 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, this model will last for years. For decades, the company has refined the Spirits design, too. This version includes an easily accessible externally mounted propane tank and an under-grill shelf. On top of all that, this grill is particularly easy to assemble, maintain, and use, and its finish comes in four colors .
With 424 square inches of primary grilling space, the three-burner Spirit II E-310 can easily accommodate 12 large hamburgers, two whole or cut-up chickens, or a large cut for smoking, like brisket. Or it can cook a complete meal for five or six people. For instance, you can 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 exhibited the most consistent heat across the entire cooking surface.
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Advanced Weber Spirit And Spirit Ii Grill Features
Just like their larger siblings, the Weber Spirit grills include a variety of advanced features to make your grilling easier and more successful. Look for models including:
- Porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grills for fast searing and easy cleaning.
- Flavorizer bars to protect burners from grease and drippings while adding an extra layer of smokey BBQ flavor.
- iGrill 3 compatibility for remote monitoring of temperature, complete with alerts when the ideal cooking heat is reached.
- Integrated thermometers and fuel gauges.
Grill Wont Maintain Stable Temps In Cold Weather
When the temperature outside dips below 50 degrees, the propane may be taking too long to transform into vapor. This can restrict the gas flow, which means that the grill wont be able to hold its heat long enough to cook your ingredients.
Check the outside of the LP tank. Is it coated in frost or ice? If so, it will need to be disconnected and replaced with a new one.
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Best Cheap Grills Under $300 In 2022
Best Value Gas Grill. Available from Home Depot. Price: $229 at time of publishing. Pros: â¦ Both the liquid propane and natural gas models carry the same price tag, â¦ For example, a three-burner grill with 36,000 BTUs and 370 square inches of primary cooking space boasts about 97 BTUs â¦.
The Weber Spirit II E-310 Liquid Propane Gas Grill has dimensions 52L x 27W x 44.5H inches .
This grill weighs 114 lbs . Its not lightweight but just like other outdoor grills, it comes with two wheels for you to drive it around in a breeze.
Lid & Thermometer
The lid is 9 inches high with a built-in thermometer so you can monitor the temperature along grilling. Alternatively, you can additionally buy a Weber iGrill 3 for more precise temp tracking. The iGrill 3 is a smart app-connected thermometer that is compatible with this grill model.
Moreover, there are 4 different colors you can choose for the lid from classic black, white, ruby red to sapphire.
Power & Fuel Gauge
The Spirit II E-310 is powerful with 30,000 BTU-per-hour input main burners.
The time of replacing the gas tank is sometimes confusing as we cant see inside. Yet, this grill has a fuel gauge near the gas tank which enables you to see how much fuel is left in the tank.
Assembling the whole grill is sometimes daunting. But rest assured, Weber provides a free BILT app. You can follow the 3D interactive instructions via the app.
Why You Should Trust Us
When we first started working on this guide, back in 2017, we spoke with more than a dozen experts before opening the valve on a single propane tank.
Among those 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 regions leading grill shops, for over 30 years. Because Salvaggio is an independent retailer who carries grills from many manufacturers, 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 several brands that wound up being featured in our test: Weber, Broil King, and Napoleon. We also spoke with multiple makers of high-end grills. Though we wouldnt be testing their grills, we found that understanding what goes into making a $4,000 grill helped us evaluate the less expensive grills in our test.
We backed this reporting with comprehensive researchthe in-depth, professional reviews at AmazingRibs.com being a standout sourceand with hands-on time with grills at the big hardware chains.
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Upgrade Pick: Weber Genesis E
If youre looking for a big grill that has a larger cooking area and more fire power, consider the Weber Genesis E-325s. Even though its billed as a three-burner grill, it actually has a fourth burner located between the middle and right-hand burners, creating what Weber calls the Sear Zone. The grill also comes with two big, asymmetrical side tables , a closed cabinet with double doors, and four lockable swiveling casters. Compared with our pick, the Spirit II E-310, the entire Genesis E-325s is almost a foot longer, and its cooking area is about 20% larger, easily accommodating 15 burger patties at a time. Instead of having porcelainized cast-iron grates , the grates on the Genesis E-325s are made from thick, stainless steel rods. The stainless steel grates could create slightly lighter sear marks on your food than cast iron would deliver, but the difference should hardly be noticeable. The Genesis E-325s also has a foldable upper rack that extends the length of the main cooking grate and expands to be 11 inches deep. The E-325s looks sturdy and well built, and it has some new practical features that further justify the higher price tag.
Webers warranty covers the firebox and lid assembly for 12 years it covers stainless steel burner tubes, cooking grates, and Flavorizer bars for 10 years.
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers
We wish the bars of the Spirit II E-310s warming racks ran front to back, parallel to the main grates, like they do on our upgrade pick, the Genesis E-325s. That way, you could easily slide a spatula under stuff thats 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 should come with a grill cover. This one doesnt, nor did any grill in our test group, so youll need to buy one separately. Webers dedicated Spirit II cover costs about $80, and a well-regarded generic cover costs about $30 .
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Grill Light Wont Turn On
If the lid of your Weber grill is equipped with lights for evening cookouts, it will only activate when the lid is open. Try pressing the AWAKE button once youve lifted the lid. Battery replacement might also be in order.
Remember that the light will automatically shut off after 30 minutes if theres been no grill activity during that time. You can relight it by pressing the AWAKE button.
When the light wont shut off, its probably because the lid of the grill is ajar. Make sure to close it completely when youve finished grilling.
What Could Be Improved
When using this grill, you will mainly be cooking meat that is flat or chopped into small pieces. There is not much space under the lid that will allow you to cook something like a whole chicken. If you had hopes of making rotisserie chicken, then this is not the grill for you. One negative we did discover is that both the handle and the body got very hot during cooking, wearing oven mitts is a must!
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Weber Spirit Vs Genesis: Entry Level Vs Mid
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If youre looking to invest in a new gas grill, chances are youre trying to decide between the Weber
In this guide, well take you through both the Spirit and Genesis Weber grill lines, explain the main differences and run through the latest updates from 2022.
Well go through all the models to consider, but if you are in a rush we think the Weber Spirit II E-310 is the best value gas grill you can get if you want Weber quality without a lot of bells and whistles,
If you can stretch your budget, then the Genesis E-335 hits the sweet spot between price, size, and functionality.
Read on for more in-depth comparisons between these two grill lines.
Whats The Environmental Impact Of Gas Grills
A grill that is both durable and easy to repair creates much less waste than a cheapo grill that ends up in the garbage. We chose grills with fireboxes made of cast aluminum because the firebox is a major part of the grill, its difficult to replace, and aluminum is resistant to rust and corrosion. Cheaper grills have thin enameled steel fireboxes that are prone to damage and holes from rust. Once your grill has a rusty hole in the firebox, its destined for the scrap heap.
Also, as mentioned in the above section on grill maintenance, things like burner hoods , grilling grates, and the ignition switch are consumable parts, meaning they eventually degrade or wear out over time and are meant to be replaced. Those are parts that should be easy to find and can be purchased for a reasonable pricepreferably from the company that made the grill. Any solid grill maker will have those available for purchase, even if your grill is 15-plus years old.
But what about fuel? This is a tough one because, well, theres no one clear answer. Gas grills run on either liquid propane or natural gasboth fossil fuels. Though both are relatively clean-burning fuels, propane emits fewer greenhouse pollutants than natural gasthough the difference is negligible. However, propane is more efficient because it burns hotter than natural gas. Additionally, propane tanks are inexpensive, reusable, and available at most hardware and big-box stores.
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Why Choose A Weber Spirit Grill
The original Weber Spirit grill range was launched back in the 1990s and quickly became a firm favorite in the compact grill arena. Many successful models were released, each one providing more features and greater quality than the last.
Ace carries the full range of Weber Spirit and Weber Spirit II grills, with some of our best sellers including:
- Weber Spirit II E-310: One of Weberâs latest compact grills, this grill features three powerful propane burners, a sturdy open-cart design, and a surprisingly spacious cooking area considering its easily portable size.
- Weber Spirit E-310: Also featuring three burners and propane power, but this time with a closed-cart format for weatherproof storage of utensils and accessories.
- Weber Spirit E-210: A two-burner design thatâs compact enough for a small patio or even a balcony, while still providing the excellent cooking power of larger Weber grills.
- Weber SpiritE-330: A powerful three-burner grill with a super-hot searing station to char your steaks to perfection.
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Competition: A Standout Among Strong Contenders
There are a handful of grills with similar features to the Weber Spirit II E-310, including the Master Cook Classic Smart Space Living 3 Burner LP Gas Grill. Like the Weber grill we reviewed, this Master Cook model features three burners, foldable side tables, and porcelain-enameled grates, but the Master Cook retails for significantly less than the Weber. You can find the Master Cook for under $200 online.
But, while the Master Cook will cost you less, youd have to trade in some of the cool Weber features, like the thick, reversible grill plates, the Weber iGrill 3-compatibility, and the easy-to-read fuel gauge, to save some dough.
Another option is the Char-Broil Classic 3-Burner Gas Grill, which is, as the name implies, a no-frills, three-burner grill fueled by propane. As with the Master Cook 3-Burner and the Weber Spirit II E-310, the Char-Broil model has porcelain-coated gratesbut again, these arent reversible grates like you get with the Weber. Its a compact grill, but it has almost no bells or whistles, and the design isnt nearly as eye-catching as the Weber. Still, for the priceyou can find the Char-Broil Classic 360 for under $150its a solid competitor.
Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best gas grills.
Worth the splurge
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Should You Buy The Spirit Or Genesis
So, which grill line is for you: the Spirit or the Genesis?
That greatly depends on your overall budget and how many people you are planning to feed during your next cookout.
The Spirit line is more affordable and its models are generally smaller, making them easier to store. The Genesis line is packed with the latest features from Weber and has grills that are usually larger, allowing you to cook for more people, for slightly higher prices.
I hope this guide helped you answer your questions about the Spirit and Genesis, and youre now ready to decide.
Budget Pick: Weber Spirit Ii E
*At the time of publishing, the price was $459.
If you have limited outdoor space or dont want to commit to a larger grill, the Weber Spirit II E-210 is a smaller, two-burner version of our pick, and its a great choice. The Spirit II E-210s smaller grate might make grilling for a crowd a challenging endeavor. However, this grill can still accommodate a whole cut-up chicken or six to eight burger patties at a time. And it performs on a par with the three-burner version, the Spirit II E-310. Like our top pick, the two-burner Spirit comes with a cast-aluminum firebox, an enameled steel lid and open cart, two side tables, and a 10-year warranty.
The upper warming rack adds 90 square inches of cooking surface to the E-210, making the total grate area 450 square inches. Overall, the two-burner Spirit II is the same depth and height as the three-burner model, but the E-210 is 4 inches smaller width-wise. That may not seem like much, but if youre working with a small patio area, every inch counts. Like the E-310, the E-210 has an open-cart design and an easy-access side-mounted hook and gauge for the propane tank.
Even though we didnt officially test the Spirit II E-210, we did test its predecessor, the Weber Spirit E-210 . And one of our guide writers, Lesley, owned the Spirit II E-210 for years before passing it off to a friend . She recounts that the Spirit II E-210 held consistent temperature across the cooking grate, and flare-ups were never an issue.
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