The million dollar question: If the Weber Spirit E-210 is the best gas grill in 2017, then the first few picks below are ones to consider (keep your distance from the others):
2.) The Dyna-Glo Grill w/ 2 burners + 30,000 BTU
Available for $345 at the most (don’t shop at Target) and a bargain of $220 or less (March 2017 update- Amazon has a low price right now on the Dyna Glo reserved for Prime members), the retailers marketing the Dyna-Glo fit in a good selection including Lowes, Amazon, Home Depot, and Wal-Mart.
The grill from Smart Space Living got an Amazon rating just over 4 stars as of March 2017 (222 of those 400+ reviews were five star scores), as well as the feedback from Home Depot users being favorable. Also, it was fondly spoken of by BBQ reviewers at Grill Advisor and About.com.
Historically, you’d know to wait until after August to buy this grill (the 3 burner dropped to $205 last September 2016 on Amazon’s site), but I’d understand buying it in April for the grilling season. Otherwise, you’d be lucky to have found it for $230 or so between April 2013 through June 2016.
At 23.03” x 45.43” x 45.83”, the hardware measurements of the Dyna-Glo are more than the E-210 Weber Spirit, but its footprint still isn’t too big that it would compromise the space of your balcony or backyard. Just as you can with the side tables in the Spirit E-210, you can fold them down in the Dyna-Glo as well. Also noteworthy is that the two Dyna-Glo burners each output 15,000 BTUs, totaling 30,000, whereas the number of BTUs pumped out by the Spirit E-210 is 26,500. But this is about as far as you’re going to get for the upside of what you’re paying.
Really, if it’s in your budget, the Weber’s it, hands down. The coverage and peace of mind from what you’ll get just from the warranty is enough reason to spare $150 more.
An outer, stainless steel thin layer comprises the firebox and dome in the Dyna-Glo while the inner is aluminized with end caps constructed from cast aluminum. And while its grilling surface is cast iron enameled that’s similar in looks to what Weber E-210 similarly features, more reviewers than few pointed out that the enamel is prone to getting chipped. These facts aren’t good markers for the future of its longevity, or less importantly the grill’s retention of heat.
By now you’ve probably picked up my trail for my build quality ticks, but I don’t see this thing lasting past a few seasons, perhaps, which the parent company of Dyna-Glo reinforces (GHP Group) by only ensuring a limited warranty of one year. Also noteworthy is that while they weren’t of the majority, some of the Dyna-Glo owners complained of it poorly controlling temperature, with flare ups reoccurring and a build quality that’s shoddy, due to the steel rolled heat tents’ design positioned with the burners underneath.
1.) Broil King Signet 20
March 2017 update: You probably won’t be able to find this grill anywhere online anymore save for Craigslist or eBay. It has been replaced by the Signet 320.
A gas grill with three burners priced the same as the two-burner Weber (so long as you don’t shop at the wrong place), but prior to deciding on whether this grill is the one you’ll be happy with, there’s a couple things that should be known.
The area on a Signet 20 you’ll primarily be cooking with measures 400 square inches. The upgraded model to our E-210 first choice (the Weber Spirit three-burner E-310) has 24 more square inches to cook on (although an extra hundred bucks).
Like Weber’s series of Spirit grills, the Signet 20 sports burners of stainless steel along with the frame, and with it comes side tables built in so it’s not so much of a balancing act when you’re cooking on it.
But while the hardware in the Weber uses enameled porcelain steel with ends of cast aluminum as part of their dome and firebox construction, the Broil King Signet entirely relies on aluminum. So, the durability and heat retention of the grill may not match that of what you’ll get from the higher priced Weber.
And, the components in the Broil King don’t come near the coverage of Weber’s warranty on their grills. A lifetime warranty is part of the Signet 20 package, good on the parts of the grill with cast aluminum (namely the dome and firebox), with a burner warranty of five years and the remaining paint and parts of the barbecue covered for two years.
In comparison to Weber, their line of Spirit grills’ steel and cast aluminum and dome/firebox are only covered for 25 years. Good from the sounds of it, but other parts will fail before those do.
Considering that the most deterioration (due to oxidation, scouring, and extreme temperatures) will take place with the burners and cooking grates, your attention should be towards those piece’s warranty. Weber’s cooking grates are covered with a warranty worth 5 years, and their burners good for 10 years, compared to the two-year and five-year coverage, respectively, that the same hardware bits are provided in the Broil King. If the market has you stuck on a grill having no less than three burners, the better investment is the additional $$ paid on an E-310 Spirit.
It’s worth also pointing out that as the Signet 20 has only been out for a short period of time, there’s little available feedback on its hardware’s performance long-term. And not to forget, while the availability of the Signet 20 at Lowe’s is nationwide (also at Amazon and popping up more in independent shops), our Weber picks easily edge past the hardware from Broil King for their wide in-store and online availability.
Read the full Signet 20 review here.
4 (Not-So?) Honorable Gas Alternatives
4The Char-Broil 463722311
It’s not expensive and you get three burners with it, but a warranty is not mentioned, and knowing what it uses for materials, it likely will only last a few years at most. For around this much, the Char-Broil 463722311 grill can be brought home, but the product isn’t quality any way you look at it. Cast aluminum almost entirely makes up the grill, and part of the deal is also getting a steel grill (flimsy one) according to the specs of the hardware on Amazon and Char-Broil’s homepage.
A review on About.com also poorly rates it that didn’t come across as untrustworthy, based on what it provided for information. That means the retention of heat is less by a whole lot and not as durable than what is offered from the Weber Spirit E-210. You couldn’t get me convinced that it’d be just as long-lasting or as good serving you.
Adding to that, there wasn’t an online reference I could find anywhere regarding the 463722311’s duration of warranty. That’s not very settling, even if it has some admirable features in its favor. (It’s got a side burner plus the three main burners, meaning the space for grilling is more, flame control is better and your side dish has a spot to be cooked.)
3The Weber E-210 has a sister model: the stainless steel Spirit S-210
(about $450) ..but you’d be crazy for buying it. The E-210 has the same exact specs as the Spirit S-210, with the exception that its dome and firebox are made from porcelain-enameled steel instead of (the S-210’s) stainless steel. All you’ll get from that $50 extra is an exterior shiny enough that you’ll struggle over not to get dirty. You’d be worse off having your cash spent there than say, on an E-210 grill cover and some tool upgrades/ Weber gadgets.
2The cost of a Broil-Mate 155154 is only $270
It has a pair of burners and an area of 400-square-inches for primary cooking. But its fire bed and dome are entirely made of cast aluminum. They porcelain coated the cooking grate, but it’s not iron constructed (steel made), and the heat retention it provides isn’t nearly at the level as the E-210. And, the warranty Broil-Mate offers is only five years on its components made of stainless steel (some internal parts and the burners) and the paint and remaining grill components for two years. Yikes.
1The Char-Broil 463241313 T-36D packs one more than two burners along with a side burner priced the same as the Spirit line of Webers.
Unfortunately, it’s crap. A thin covering of 430 stainless steel entirely covers its exterior, which will rust and discolor over time. Not just that, it’s a grilling system that’s infrared, which was previously discussed is a technology that’s not quite yet geared for the big stage. The maintenance needed to keep the T-36D working requires some careful attention. Getting to the point, it won’t last judging from how it’s built.