Let’s talk grills, shall we? If you are into the grilling scene, then you might have heard of the esteemed name “Weber”. The pioneers of the grill industry, Weber has made quite a name since 1950. My entire family (including the extended one, who we rarely meet except on Thanks Giving or Christmas parties) loves grilling. In fact, my dad was the one who introduced me to grilling. With all the knowledge I have gathered over the past 7 years, I have become somewhat of an expert on grills.
Weekends, particularly Sundays, are like the 4th of July in our backyard. There are kids running around, my wife and the neighbours’ wives sip margaritas and exchange recipes, and we the men . . . we stand around the grill and talk about our day at work. If it was up to me, I would be educating them on the types of grills because they keep ruining my family time by calling me and asking me for directions on how to operate their grill. Since no one likes a know-it-all, I usually drop subtle hints on how they can tackle a problem with their grill on their own.
Alright, so the first grill in the Q series was introduced in 2003, which was later upgraded to electric in 2009 and with more unique features in 2012. To understand the motivation behind their upgrade, you need to know about the Q series. You see, the initial Q grills were invented with one thing in mind: Portability. At the same time, Weber was also introducing other grill series. People were attracted to the bigger grills because they had better components and unique features. Seeing their enthusiasm in the other grills, Weber decided to include all these features in the Q series and make it small and portable. The result was spectacular! People flocked to it like bees on honey.
Since then, grilling has become a big thing in my house. I have one from the Spirit E series and one from the Q series. The S is reserved for the backyard and I mostly use it on weekend dinners or parties. As for the other, Weber Q3200 Natural Gas Grill, I use it when we are out on picnic, or when I am lazy and want to grill in the comfort of my home.
So, let’s move on to its basic and best features because this grill is built on a different level than the other Weber grills.
Weber Q3200 Natural Gas BBQ – The Basics
The grill might look small but it has all the necessary features that are required in a grill. The best part about this grill is that it’s small enough to fit in your kitchen, which makes mornings really fun. I like cooking. In fact, I love cooking! If I could get a chance, then I would definitely audition for Master Chef. My wife and I, we are a team, and we love to make breakfasts special for our children. After all, it’s the most important meal of the day. When you have three kids, who love throwing food around when they don’t find it yummy enough, you need to learn how to make finger foods that can be dipped in ketchup.
This grill has been made with great detail, with small convenience features that will surprise you. The lid and the body is made from cast aluminium that has a thermometer in it, two stainless steel burners, handle with a light, removable folding side tablets, porcelain enamelled cast iron cooking grates, glass-reinforced nylon frame, electronic ignition system and a grease tray.
The two features that I found unique in the Weber Q3200 Natural Gas BBQ were the light in the handle and the burner tube layout. There are a few extra features within the lid that makes this grill all the more appealing and I will be explaining them below.
I have had this grill for about a year now and it has been doing a superb job. I can’t tell you on how many trips I have taken this grill. Even my dad was impressed with its quality and is planning to buy one for his “Oldies Club”. I don’t exactly know what they do in there, like play chess or Bingo, but the people sure do eat a lot.
Done with the basics, so let’s move on to its features:
Portability at its Best – Cast Aluminium Lid and Body
As mentioned earlier, Weber usually uses porcelain enamelled stainless steel or painted steel in its grills. So, the reason why my number one choice for portable grills was Weber Q3200 Natural Gas BBQ is because it weights 83 lbs. Most of the Weber grills weigh between 120 lbs to 240 lbs, which makes it harder to take them on picnics. You can’t exactly connect a ramp to your van and then roll on the grill. Plus, not everyone has vans!
Right, so back to the grill’s body – Cast aluminium has the same strength as metal but it weighs less. It is way cheaper and also offers various benefits compared to other materials. It can withstand high temperatures, is resistant to corrosion, is light weight, has very good hardness and strength, has excellent thermal conductivity, and has good finishing characteristics.
This grill has quite a unique body. It’s shaped like a triangle and, with the side tables, it looks like a bat. The thermometer in the lid shows you the temperature of the grill at all times. For first timers, it can be a little hard to keep track of the temperature when the grill has been heating for a long time. This grill in the Q series is taller than the other Q grills. It is yet another one of the changes Weber has added on its customers’ demands.
As compared to other Weber grills, this grill has even smaller vents in the lid that helps retain heat quite well. The lid handle has a LED light on it that makes grilling easier. When I cook outdoors, sometimes the area is completely surrounded by foliage. At times like this, the LED light comes quite in handy.
Their Signature Mark – Porcelain Enamelled Cast iron Cooking Grates
When it comes to the cooking grates quality and compatibility with the grill, Weber has offered three different materials: Porcelain enamelled stainless steel, steel, and cast iron. The porcelain enamelled steel is popular for its durability and easy management, the porcelain enamelled stainless steel is popular for its grilling quality that gives lovely sear marks on the food, and the porcelain enamelled cast iron offers all these quality with superior heat retention. Plus, it does not need to be seasoned.
The main cooking area is 393 square inches, enough space to cook 18 burgers. There is a small warming rack that occupies 75 square inches above the grates. I love this feature because it’s always a battle to get the kids settled down for dinner. The amount of time it takes for my wife to catch the kids, the food gets cold meanwhile. So now, I just grill everything, keep the veggies on the warming rack and meat on the grates, and close the lid until the kids have come. One of the best qualities of cast iron cooking grates is that it keeps the flavour locked in the food and makes it more delicious.
Prep Station – Removable Folding Side Tablets
There are two removable folding side tables that seem to be another trade mark of Weber. Almost all of its grills come with side tables. A side table is an extremely important feature because it makes cooking all the more easy. You have everything by your side and well within reach. I usually keep sauces on the side tables. Although there are three hooks for hanging utensils, mine usually go into the bottom shelf because my kids have an active imagination and think they are lightning swords from Stars Wars.
When you are grilling, things tend to get a little messy. However, with this grill, due to the small space, you don’t have to worry about anything. Keep the condiments on one side table and the uncooked meat on the other. As soon as the meat is done, keep it on the warming rack and add more to the grates.
The folding tables make the portability feature more convenient. You can pack the Weber Q3200 Natural Gas BBQ in a small box and carry it easily to the car and anywhere.
High and Low BTU Combined into One – Burner Tubes
There are two main burners that are made of stainless steel. The valves have infinite control settings and you can be sure that the temperature on the burner valve will be the same as on the thermometer. I am saying this because many people complain that their burner valve temperature does not measure the thermometer reading.
There’s an electronic ignition that lights the burners with just one push. The total burner output is 21,700 BTU. Each burner has an output of 10,850 BTU per hour. The first burner runs around the side of the body, whereas the other is a single rod in the middle. This feature has been created while keeping grilling feasibility in mind. Both burners can be turned on high speed to get a hot surface, but if you want a somewhat of a ‘toasty’ surface, then you can turn off the middle burner and slowly grill the meat. It takes about 4 minutes for me to cook a medium rare steak if the meat is loose.
Durability at Its Best – Glass-Reinforced Nylon Frame
This material has only been used in the Q series. I know what you are thinking, why not porcelain enamelled stainless steel? Well, Weber wanted to introduce something reliable for a small grill and what better than glass reinforced nylon frame. It’s a material we are all familiar with because we use it every day. The knives at your home with those sturdy black handles . . . those are made from nylon. This material is popular for its impact resistance, strength, ability to withstand high temperature, and chemical inertness. Add glass fibre to this, these qualities are enhanced tenfold. So, basically, you have got a material that not even Hulk can smash . . . well not exactly true but you get my meaning.
When nylon is reinforced with glass using coupling agents, its tensile strength increases from 10,000 psi to 30,000 psi, or possibly even more. Another benefit is that its deflection temperature rises from 170°F to 500°F.
In simpler words: The glass fibres combined with nylon protects the grill’s body from repeated impact. So, if your kids are running around and accidently hit the grill with something heavy, there won’t be any dents in it. How do I know this? Because my kid thinks he is Lionel Messi and he is not even eight.
Open Cart Design – The Bottom Shelf
The bottom shelf is reserved for the LP tank. The Weber Q3200 Natural Gas BBQ uses a 20 lb natural gas tank. When I grill in my kitchen, I usually connect it to the main line. A 20 lb tank is more than enough for three to four turns. I like to call this a ‘4 person’ grill because it cooks the perfect amount of food. Of course, when my kids get older, the trips will become less frequent, and I will have to slave more time on the grill. Since I love grilling, I don’t mind one bit. Let me tell you a secret – Want to make your wife happy? Then grill on the weekends and let her relax. Cooking is no doubt difficult but grilling is pretty easy. All you need to do is slap some meat on the grill, toss in some vegetables, turn them around every few seconds, and you have a delicious meal prepared.
No matter what grill you buy, there’s always going to be a problem with the grease management system. However, there is nothing greasy about this grill. I mean, Weber has made a kick-ass grease management system for its every grill. The one for Weber Q3200 Natural Gas BBQl is pretty much the same as the others. It has a grease tray and a catch pan that can be accessed from the side of the cart. The grease tray can be easily removed for cleaning. Both the parts are located at a safe distance away from the burner tubes to prevent any flare-ups. The grease drips into the catch pan, and if that fills up, it flows on to the grease tray. The catch pan is disposable and must be replaced every time after you are done grilling. As for maintenance, all you need is a cloth dipped in warm water and a stainless steel brush.
Weber provides one of these brushes and you can easily get it from their website. The reason why I recommend using this brush is because it has been specifically created to prevent any scratch marks on the grates.
Here’s how to clean the grates:
- Wash the grates with lukewarm water
- Let the grease and food residue drip into the pan
- Scrub the grates with the brush and run water over it once again
- Wipe off any remaining grease with a soft cloth.
Weber offers separate warranty for the bigger parts of the grill. The cook box, lid assembly, stainless steel burner tubes, cooking grates and all the plastic components have a warranty of 5 years. The remaining parts have a warranty of 2 years. You can be assured that the grill’s parts won’t rust or develop any holes in it.
So, there you go. That was my experience with the Weber Q3200 Natural Gas BBQ. This latest grill in the series is only available in natural gas; others are available in propane gas, and some in both. The only difference between these gases is that natural gas is cheaper and gives a slightly low energy output. For this grill, natural gas is perfect because it does not require much power. If you are thinking about buying a grill for personal use or for your small family, then this grill is perfect.
Although the grill is a bit pricey as compared to the bigger grills but the portability feature more than makes up for this. You will come across several bigger grills in the same price range and fancy features such as sear station or a burner in the side table. However, they will not have the convenience that this grill provides. For me, this grill is perfect and has no faults. This grill can also be a great wedding or anniversary present for one of your best friends.