When it comes to grills, I have this little fetish of having whatever is latest in the market. There’s one thing you need to know and that is – Weber is the “King” of modern grills. They started out with so little and moved their way up to offer their customers the best and the latest in modern technology. A beauty such as what Weber offers is nothing short of technology for sure! So far, Weber has introduced various grill series for natural gas and propane gas lovers. Their latest is the Spirit Series that comes in E and S models with options for porcelain enamelled or stainless steel and propane gas or natural gas. So, before you go searching on the internet and declare that Weber Spirit E310 Natural Gas Grill is not the latest, the reason why I chose this grill is because it is perfect for a medium sized family. Since my family includes my wife, my three kids, my mom and my dad, I decided to buy something that would be in my price range but with all the modern features that Weber offers.
And before you perceive me as a spokesperson for Weber, let me tell you a little of its back story and my first experience with it:
The first grill introduced by Weber was born from the buoy and was nothing but a buoy cut in the shape of a bowl with some air vents in it. Voilà, a grill was invented! That was 1952 and today, Weber grills come with the most unique features made to provide people the utmost convenience while grilling. They offer outdoor grills, backyard grills and even countertop grills. Crazy right!
The first experience I had with this grill was at my best friend’s house. He’s Spanish and once a week, there’s a huge party at his block, where along with his own family all of his friends and their families are invited. It’s a chaos and I totally love the fact that in the middle of the chaos, he’s always standing, grilling burgers. He has the E330 Spirit because he cooks regularly at weekends for his family. So, there I was, watching him grill steaks in just ten minutes, with the fastest service I have seen. That grill was the . . . bomb! It was sleek, stylish and made Ian look really macho. Seeing him grilling with ease, I decided to buy one of my own. So, I asked him about the company, its results and everything there was to the grill. He was the one who recommended that I buy a smaller one, so that I can get the hang of grilling.
Alright, let’s move on to my experience with the grill. I will start with the basics and then move on to each component and explain its quality and the convenience it gave me in grilling.
Weber Spirit E310 Natural Gas Grill – The Basics
I like to call grilling a man’s sacred duty. After all it’s one thing that almost half of the male population is good at. Well . . . I don’t know if it’s the half but how hard can it be? You just need to light your baby up, wait for it to reach the accurate temperature and start grilling away.
The Weber Spirit E310 Natural Gas Grill is a combination of porcelain enamelled cast, painted steel and stainless steel. I believe the three materials keep a perfect balance for areas where protection is necessary and where maintenance is not required. The only difference between this grill and the others, in the E series, is that this one works on natural gas. You ask: Why not propane gas? I will get to that in a bit but first, let’s cover the basics.
The grill’s shroud and the box contains porcelain enamelled cast iron cooking grates, a built-in lid thermometer, an electronic crossover ignition system, porcelain enamelled flavorizer bars and burner valves. The bottom half of the grill has the painted steel cabinet, a fuel gauge and hose, the grease management system and four caster wheels. Then there are the stainless steel side tables with hooks in them. All in all, this grill has all the necessary features.
You have to give it to Weber in creating everything with such great detail. Some of its series grills have a stainless steel shroud. Though I don’t think there’s much of a difference between their grills but it might have to do with durability. The porcelain enamelled ones are definitely more durable but I had no idea they were different until Ian told me that I had made a better choice.
The Spirit series have been made in three flavours: E, SP and S. All three flavours have porcelain enamelled housing, a work surface of 430 grade stainless steel, flavorizer bars, cast iron grates, a metal cart and casters. Of course, the materials create a world of difference and are priced accordingly. The S series has all these features but the cart and hood are of stainless steel. As for the S, the grates have been upgraded to stainless rods with 7 mm thickness and the side tables have hooks in them.
With the Weber Spirit E310 Natural Gas Grill, you won’t need a cover for keeping the grill dust free. A simple cloth will suffice. I keep mine in the corner of the shed, so it rarely sees any sunlight or dust. The grates have enough space and burners have enough power to cook 20 lbs of turkey and vegetables at the same time.
Now, let’s get down to the features:
Components of the Cook Box
Grilling With Precision – Porcelain Enamelled Cast Iron Cooking Grates
If you are planning to buy a Weber grill, then you will read a lot about the types of cooking grates they offer. Not to be confused because I am about to explain the difference between the three they offer, the one I chose and why.
The three materials include: Porcelain enamelled cast iron, porcelain enamelled stainless steel and porcelain enamelled steel.
Yes, each grate quality has one feature better than the other but they mostly depend on the size of the grill. So, here’s the difference:
- The steel one is easy to clean and durable
- The stainless steel one gives you that picture perfect food with lovely sear marks and retains heat evenly
- The cast iron one combines the features of both steel and stainless steel and offers superior heat retention. In addition, it is easy to clean and requires no seasoning. Yay!
Ding, ding, ding – We clearly have a winner in number 3, but the first two are equally good too. Weber Spirit E310 Natural Gas Grill has the third material, which let me tell you, has made my life much easy. Seasoning is a hard job. The scrubbing, washing and oiling takes too much time and you have to be very careful to not damage the grates.
Since I bought the grill just two weeks ago, I have used it only twice for weekend dinners. The primary cooking area is 424 square inches. I grilled around 12 hot dogs with some veggies. The hot dogs were done in approximately four minutes and the veggies were just a touch and go on the grates. There’s a warming rack of 105 square inches above the grates, which gave me enough space to keep the food hot. My mom and wife always stall dinner because they make dessert just before dinner time. The food was kept warm until they arrived at the table with the dessert. In the meantime, my munchkins were happily munching on carrots and dipping their hotdogs in copious amounts of ketchup and mustard.
Flavour With in Favour – Flavorizer Bars
The flavorizer bars are still a new invention on the block. Most people don’t know about it and what makes them so special. If you are one of those people, then prepare to be amazed. Before, flavorizer bars were not part of a grill. The function of the flavorizer bar is to bring the lost taste back to the food. Here’s how it happens: I placed my sauce-dripping steaks on the grates. It was inevitable that some of the taste would be lost. However, when the drippings touched the flavorizer bars, they evaporated and circulated back to the food. Cool right! Anything that was left behind was caught by the grease tray. Since the bars are porcelain enamelled, they don’t require any rough cleaning except a simple wipe from a cloth.
Heat Performance – Burner Valves and Tubes + Electronic Ignition System
The Weber Spirit E310 Natural Gas Grill has three main burners and each has a BTU of 12,000, which makes a total of 32,000 BTU. That’s a lot! It takes just ten minutes and that on the lowest setting with all three burners on, to get the desired temperature. It took me five minutes to get the grill at the right temperature for cooking my steaks. The burner valves have infinite control settings, are made of stainless steel and have an ignition system that turns them on with just one push.
The burner tubes are also made of stainless steel, which offer one of the biggest benefits: No flare-ups. They are placed at a safe distance from the grates, so that the dripping don’t get to the burners. On closer inspection during the assembly, I found out that the tubes have been made with a singular steel piece with no breaks in between. This makes them stronger and Weber promises that they will last for ten years with no rust or burn throughout. I call this a kick-ass quality in my grill requirement.
You see, buying a grill is not that expensive but getting it fixed and replacing its components is. It covers more than half of the price and in some cases; you are still left with a ‘somewhat’ working grill. Thankfully, Weber gives at least ten years of warranty for this part. However, you are not going to get this unless you keep up with the maintenance. No matter how minimal maintenance it requires, man up and clean it after you are done grilling. At first it might be hard but trust me, after doing it twice, it gets easier.
A new invention that Weber made in all the Spirit series is the direction of the burner connection. Usually burners are connected side by side with knobs located at the right. However, the connection has now been made from front to back so that they connect directly with the hose.
The shroud of the Weber Spirit E310 Natural Gas Grill is made of porcelain enamelled stainless steel with small vents in it. This ensures that the heat circulates evenly and does not escape when the lid is closed. There’s a thermometer on the lid that allows you to keep track of the temperature. If the burner setting says 345°F, then the thermometer ‘will’ say 345°F.
I read some reviews where the customers complained that the thermometer was not working properly. Mine worked just fine, so the only answer I can come up for this is that it might have gotten damaged during delivery.
Work Station – Stainless Steel Side Tables
The work station truly makes me feel like a boss. I place all the condiments on one side table and the uncooked meat on the other. I plan my grilling for at least an hour, so that I don’t have to run back and forth between the house and the backyard if I missed something. My favourite spatula is always by my side hanging from the work station, as well as other utensils, which my wife says I might need (I never really needed them by the way).
Grease Management System
Since the grease is already managed by the flavorizer bars, there’s not much to clean. Weber has added a grease tray and a catch pan to catch any wayward drippings. The grease tray can be easily removed for cleaning. I discard the disposable every time after I grill. Both the parts are located away from the burner tubes to prevent any flare-ups. As for maintenance, all you need is a cloth dipped in warm water and a stainless steel brush. As mentioned earlier, the grates require seasoning, so just wash it with warm water when the grates are a little hot to touch. This will remove the greases easily and you can wipe off the rest.
Natural Gas Requirements
The Weber Spirit series offers grills with both propane and natural gas. The Weber Spirit E310 Natural Gas Grill is a cost saver because natural gas is cheap compared to propane. Both have minimal harmful emission, so it’s really all about the price. The grill promises 32,000 BTU and I got that with a 20 lb natural gas tank. I would advise you to buy a tank instead of buying a long hose to connect it with your main gas pipeline. This can be dangerous because anybody can trip on the hose and cause a leak.
There’s also a fuel gauge to measure the amount of gas left in the tank. The cabinet really comes in handy here because you can keep a spare tank in there, as well as other things that you might need during grilling.
The grill has four caster wheels, two of which are lockable. So, if I am planning a trip to the hill side, the grill will definitely stand still. I haven’t planned a family trip since my last kid was born, which is eight years, so I guess it will be good to get some fresh air.
Weber offers separate warranty for the bigger parts of the grill. The cook box, lid assembly and the burner tubes have a warranty of 10 years, the grates and the flavorizer bars have a warranty of 5 years and all the other parts have a warranty of 2 years.
So, there you go – My experience with the Weber Spirit E310 Natural Gas Grill. Since the grill is small and weighs less, you can easily move it around. Up till now, I have cooked in my backyard. We have a family lake house and I am planning a weekend there, so I will be taking the grill with me. Of course, if you have a car, it won’t fit but we do also have a minivan that my wife drives. The best part about this grill is that it requires minimal maintenance. Trust me, if you are thinking of buying a small sized grill, then this is exactly what you should spend your money on.