Weber Spirit E-210 vs E-310 Review for 2017

This Weber Spirit grill (numerically spelled out as the Weber 46110001) is much more economical than say, a Genesis when you don't plan on feeding a family the size of the Brady Bunch. 2-3 folks is more like it. Of course, this will vary with the average amount of food each person will be having.

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Leaning towards the Weber Spirit E-310?

In the 2016 issue of Cook’s Illustrated magazine for May/June, they tested and reviewed six gas grills $500 or less, and other than the Weber Spirit E-310, no grill was recommended highly.  But get this, its BTU ratings was lower than most of the tested grills, yet the results it produced outdid grills with more BTU stats.

The article cited reasons, including its lid that’s tightly fit,  a thick cast cookbox made of aluminium to retain heat, and the Flavorizer bars (exclusive to Weber)  diffusing heat evenly.  Also liked by the testers was its compact and sturdy design and the cleanup not being difficult.

In the E-310, the stainless steel shelves have hooks attached on either side of it.  Going down into the cabinet, the first thing you notice is a scale hooked up to the propane that tells you how much gas is left in the tank, so you never have questions on your fuel level.

The cabinet is the same with the Genesis line.  There’s clearance in the base of the cabinet.  It allows the tank to move up and down as it’s going through the scale to prevent it from getting hung up.

What’s nice about the drip pan, unlike most grills you’ll see on the market, is that it has a removable catch pan (which is washable).  It’s also a serviceable part.  If it gets worn too far, you can have it replaced.

While this 3-burner grill from Spirit comes in a very basic setup, it’s a grill that’s built solid and grills just like it’s designed for. If you don’t need all the bells and whistles and the cooking space of a larger grill, then this will do.

e310grill

Assembly

This reviewer on Amazon explains it much more in depth than I would in this review.  He walks you through any of the ambiguous sections among the 28 sections in the E-320 installation documentation (basically the E-310 with the addition of the side burner).

The Grates

The grates in the E-310 are porcelain-coated cast iron. You can find grates that are just cast-iron or you can go the other way and get the thin porcelain-coated steel. You either want to get cast iron or porcelain-coated cast iron, preferably.

The Box- How the Burners are Mounted

If you look at any good grill, like the Weber, you have the Flavorizer bars. One thing to look for is how the burner tube within the box is mounted to the fire bowl. The Weber E-310 actually has castings and mounting points built into the fire bowl. It’s a single screw and a tapped hole, which holds the burner down. Instead of using a system like that in lower-end grills, they have sheet metal mounting points.

These burners in the Weber are stainless steel, and they aren’t going to last for a reasonable amount of time.

Weber uses good material for their products, but it’s a wear item and it doesn’t last forever. Eventually, you’ll have to replace them. When you do, you want to make sure you have somewhere to mount them.

The Flavorizer Bars are porcelain-coated steel. They should last at least 3 or 4 years before you need to replace them. The other ones in some of the lower end assemblies are likely cooked with a high temp paint, and those are the ones that will commonly rust out in a couple years (if not a year or less).

Usually the E-310’s will set you back this much on Amazon.com. There are probably no other grills in this price range with a better build.

wber knobs
The redesign of the Spirit grills in 2013 brought a more versatile and larger grill than the 2-burner versions, and went without the side burner found in the E-320 (a burner some won’t need). You can look at it either way, it’s easy on floor space, but there’s the limited amount of room for preparing meals on, mostly because of the area on the right side table taken up by the control valves.

Pros

  1. Solid build
  2. Grates are coated to prevent food sticking
  3. Capable to serve most families
  4. Fire box has almost no holes where heat can escape

Cons

  1. Stainless steel are of lower grades
  2. A small space for cooking
  3. Made in China

 

wbr cabinet

With quality components making up the interior, you also have the lower graded steel in the side tables. The flare-ups are going to be less because of the grill’s grease management system, and a firebox design good for evenly heated grates (although it’s not uncommon for the left side to get a bit hotter in these grills).

 

grill space

The versatility of the Weber Spirit E-310 is limited overall, but even though the grill is basic you’re still getting a dependable warranty and the Weber name to keep the grill working many years, more than other grills will last.

Final Thoughts

Weber keeps the Spirit line of production in China, and stainless steel of a more inferior quality- lower grades in the front panel and side tables.  With those aside, these two grills are a good investment if you don’t want to commit to a larger end Weber like the Genesis line, or you favor a full-size design over a makeup like the Q-series.

If you’ve got the space and the money, I would get the upgraded version of Spirit’s E-210 with 3 burners: the Spirit E-310.

The temperature of your grill is more controlled with additional burners, and regardless if you’re grilling outside or inside, temp control is essential to kick-butt cooking. The ability you get from two burners is having two zones set up. That’s fine and all, if you’re setting out for one meal to serve, but having that additional burner?

The zones you get from that is three, so those pair of burners are at a maximum blazing with the heat of one at medium, low on everything to cook your roast slowly, or have all three cranked to whip up burgers of an amount massive enough for a party in the backyard. On top of that, more space is needed in the firebox of a grill with three burners for the burner hardware to jam into. What that translates to: more space for grilling.

 Weber 46110001 (E210)Weber 46510001 (E310)
Total Cooking Area450 square inches529 square inches
Dimensions when AssembledHeight: 63 inches
Width: 50 inches
Depth: 32 inches
Height: 63 inches
Width: 52 inches
Depth: 32 inches
Stainless Steel Burners23
BTU Output26,50032,000
Cooking GratesCast-iron, Porcelain EnameledCast-iron, Porcelain Enameled
Key Features*Fold-Down Tables
Built-In Thermometer
Painted Steel Door
Fuel Gauge
Ignition System ("Electronic Crossover")
Built-In Termometer
Painted Steel Door
Fuel Gauge
Ignition System ("Electronic Crossover")
Tool Hooks66
Fuel TypePropane GasPropane Gas
PriceSee Current Discount
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4 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Drew – Great article!

    I noticed you references in your review that mentioned that the assembly instructions “have many steps to them, but they’re cleanly layed out and straightforward.”

    When removing my grill from the box, I was unable to find the assembly instructions. I went to the Weber site and filled out the form on the “ask a question” page, but I was wondering if you had managed to find the assembly instructions online. If you had, would you be able to point me in the right direction? Thanks!!!

    • Hi LaVerne,
      the main difference is the extra burner you’re getting with the e-310 versus the two SS burners packed in the e-210. The E-310 has an additional 5,500BTU burner output and an additional 64 square inches for the primary cooking space. Here’s my two cents- two burners isn’t as good as having three. It’s harder to do a setup with 2-zones if you only have 2 burners.

      I’d be curious to know what you end up deciding on!

      Drew

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