Weber Spirit ii E-310 Review
Seasoned grill gurus usually look for two things in a grill: impressive performance and design. We’ve heard all about the compact, modern Weber Spirit II E-310 gas grill and its smart, easy-to-control features, so of course we had to find one to test. We wanted to see if this popular gas grill with the brand’s GS4 high-performance grilling system really does actually light up and burn as evenly as promised every time.
Could we cook multiple dishes at once, or were we forced to cook each one piece by piece? And, most importantly, how did the food taste? For weeks, we cooked everything from burgers and hot dogs to vegetables and steaks. Here’s what we found.
Design and Build Quality
While the E-310 offers plenty of cooking space and plenty of built-in features, it’s also lightweight. Anyone expecting a heavy-duty grill may be disappointed when faced with an assembled unit that feels fragile when moving.
However, the fact that Weber offers a 10-year warranty on their grills gives them confidence. Despite the decorative design, the grills perform as competitively as you would expect from a brand like Weber. Even if your grill arrives in rough packaging, Weber is happy to get things right.
And, while it doesn’t reflect the quality of the product, you might be happy to hear that Weber knows that not every grill’s favorite color is black. In addition to the classic black finish, you can choose from three new lid colors previously unheard of in the grilling world: sapphire, ivory and red (but good luck finding them in stock anytime).
The cooking box and shroud are made of cast aluminum, which is more durable than the metal plates commonly found in other grills. In addition, the shroud is enameled to help prevent fading, flaking and rusting, and is easier to clean.
The cover includes a center-mounted thermometer, although we always recommend having a good digital thermometer on hand.
The side racks and burner tubes are stainless steel and the cooking grate is enameled cast iron, which provides better insulation and searing heat than thinner wire grill grates. In addition, the cooking grates do not need to be seasoned and are ready to use right out of the box.
Propane models are powered by a 20-pound tank (sold separately) and have a built-in fuel gauge (which determines how much fuel is left based on the weight of the tank), so you always know how much propane you have. The E-310’s natural gas-powered model comes with a 10-foot flexible hose that easily connects to the gas line.
Storage cabinets provide ample space for propane tanks and additional space for tools and other accessories.
Stainless steel side shelves provide space for food plating and preparation. In addition, each shelf has 3 tool hooks at the end for easy hanging of grill brushes, tongs, etc.
This grill is a gas grill and not a charcoal grill. Therefore, all you have to do is turn the knob to get started. The grill will also come with a manual to help you get familiar with how it works. In terms of construction, the grill is ready to go. The main cooking area is over 60 x 46 cm, enough to cook about 16 beef patties at a time. That’s a lot of space, which means you can cook for the whole family at once.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Over time, grease and carbon buildup may make the paint look like it’s flaking off the inside of the lid, but there’s no paint here. Brush the flakes off and dispose of them in the pan (or vacuum them) before they start to fall into the food.
Speaking of pans, be sure to clean the grease collection pan and replace the drip pan regularly.
You should also clean the grates after each cooking session to prevent them from going bad. Scrub them with a cleaning brush or paddle. For seasoning sticks, take a gentler approach; use a plastic scraper to remove stuck-on debris, or if absolutely necessary, use only a stainless steel brush. Similarly, use a plastic scraper on the heat deflector and inside the cooking box.
The burner tube is another area where food debris collects. Brush food away from the burner holes to maintain an even flame. The tubes on the Weber Spirit II E-310 gas grill have screens on the end to keep bugs out, so you don’t need to clean them, but you should brush the screens off occasionally.
For the exterior, use warm soapy water on plastic, painted and enameled surfaces and stainless steel cleaner on stainless steel parts.
Should you buy it?
I like the $599 Weber Spirit II. The problem is that most people will find more value in the $299 Char-Broil Performance XL. With more burners (including a side burner), the Performance XL can cook more delicious food faster and at a much lower cost.
Some niche features, such as the Spirit II’s propane scale and its optional integration with the iGrill 3 smart temperature probe, are very nice additions. But in the end, they’re not worth the extra $300 (or $400 if you also buy the $100 iGrill 3). At least for most people.
Nonetheless, it’s a beautiful grill that stands out from all the ordinary stainless steel cookware out there. But unless you’re particularly keen on its propane scale and optional temperature probe, I wouldn’t get it – and the wide selection of color finishes available.