Weber Genesis E310 Review
What follows will be a review of the Weber Genesis E-310 Natural Gas Grill. The aim of this review is to go over all of the pertinent information related to the various important characteristics of this grill, which would allow you to decide whether or not it is the right fit for you and your needs.
In order to provide a clear and multi-faceted picture of this product, this text will be structured in such a way as to highlight all of the major aspects of this grill individually. Firstly we will give a brief overview of the specs on this grill, then take a look at its features and the accessories that come with it. We will also go over what sets this grill apart from others, before finishing with a list of pros and cons. With all that in mind, let us get started.
The Weber Genesis E-310 is a medium-sized natural gas grill, designed to provide high-end results inside a middling price range. Being a natural gas grill, it is more apartment friendly than charcoal grills, and may be used on a large balcony or patio if you live in an apartment building.
Weber lives up to its name as the premier grill manufacturer worldwide with this model, since they have managed to pack a lot of quality craftsmanship into this grill. It doesn’t come with many bells and whistles, but what it does offer is superb quality construction, and great grilling capabilities, as we will see in the following sections.
Let us take a closer look at the most important features of this grill. In this section, we will review the cornerstone features that any good grill should have, including the grilling area, the construction, the number of burners and their strength, and so on.
Firstly, seeing as though this could be considered a medium-sized grill, let us take a look at the total cooking area it offers. The main cooking area is 513 square inches, which is a great number for this size of grill. However, there is an additional overhead warming rack that delivers another 156 square inches of workable cooking area. This overhead warming unit can be tucked away when not in use, so as to save space.
We keep saying that this is a medium-sized grill, so we would do well to provide some actual numbers on its size. Namely, this grill is 26 x 33 x 32 inches when assembled, and it should fit most larger terraces, not to mention backyards. At this size, one would also expect a middling weight for this grill, and that is certainly the case, as this grill weighs 150 pounds.
Let us take a look at some of the more important cooking features of this grill. Firstly, this grill has three distinct burners, which are spaced apart from one another in such a way as to guarantee that there are no hot or warm spots on the grill, for an even cooking temperature throughout.
It is important to point out that the burner tubes on this grill are made from a single piece of stainless steel, which makes them more durable and easier to clean up. Furthermore, they are tapered at the ends, which allows them to deliver more even heat distribution throughout the grilling area.
The three main burners provide a cumulative 37,500 BTUs of output per hour. That is a great number for casual grilling of the most common items such as steaks, burgers, chicken, and so on. However, for the more advanced items which require really intense heat, this grill may struggle to deliver high enough temperatures for optimal results.
At this point, it is important to take a look at the power source that allows this grill to heat up. As previously mentioned, this grill runs on natural gas, though a liquid propane version is also available. Naturally, the package doesn’t come with a natural gas container, as that would make it too cumbersome and heavy for efficient transportation.
The gas tank should be placed beneath the grilling surface, on the bottom of the wheeled trolley that holds the grill up. This makes it quite efficient as far as space is concerned, the only downside is that there is little room to put anything else down there, since the gas tank takes up most of the space.
This grill has an electronic crossover ignition system, which allows you to ignite the natural gas at the press of a button. The system takes the very energy you expend to press the ignition button to set off an electric spark that ignites the gas. Weber is so proud of their ignition system that they have taken to calling it Infinity Ignition, and they point out that your grill is guaranteed to fire up every time, especially because it is covered by a generous warranty.
Speaking of the Infinity Ignition system, we would also do well to explain Weber’s GS4 Grilling System concept. This concept divides the features of the grill into four distinct areas. The first one we’ve already covered, and that is the Infinity Ignition system. The second area are High Performance Burners, which we’ve mentioned already, then there are the proprietary Flavorizer Bars, and finally the innovative grease management system.
Let us take a closer look at the Flavorizer Bars. This is an innovation in the grill market by Weber, and it allows for a tastier piece of meat than would otherwise be possible with such a basic grill. The way they work is actually pretty simple. As the meat is searing on the grate, all the juices drip down onto the dripping tray. However, the Flavorizer Bars heat up the drippings, making them sizzle, so that they give off smoke and vapor, which then gets infused into the meat directly above. Thus, it provides a sort of smoker effect for more flavorsome meat, and it is a fantastic addition to this grill.
This leads us into the description of the grease management system quite well. It works by collecting all the drippings that come off the meat which is not searing above the zone in which the Flavorizer Bars operate, and deposits them down into the replaceable drippings tray. It does this by being installed at an angle, so that gravity works to pull it down into the tray. This is also a very helpful feature seeing as though this slant also helps take the flammable drippings away from the heat source, so as to prevent them catching on fire.
We have mentioned the grilling grates several times over the course of our examination of this grill, but let us now take a closer look at them. Firstl, it is important to point out that these grates are made of stainless steel, which is an excellent conductor of heat, and as such provides an overall better sear on your meat, which, of course, imparts more flavor to the meat.
However, many grill owners have had problems with their meat sticking to the grate, no matter how much oil they apply to help it release. Furthermore, cleaning up grill grates can be a major headache, since all the deposited grease and meat remains get fossilized, and very difficult to remove. With the grate that goes with this grill, these two problems disappear completely.
That is because this cast iron grate is covered in a special porcelain enamel, that helps cook better meat in several ways. Firstly, it prevents the meat from sticking to the grate, while giving it a wonderful sear regardless. Secondly, once you are done grilling, all you have to do is wait for it to cool down a little, and then wipe away all of the accumulated drippings and fond. Finally, porcelain is also an excellent heat conductor, so the effectiveness of the grates is improved as well.
Finally, let us look at some of the controls on this grill. There are three dials at the front of the grill, each controlling one burner. These dials are not calibrated to only be able to provide pre-set temperature steps, but can be turned freely, so that you can dial in any temperature you choose to get your meat to cook exactly how you want it. In addition to these three dials, there is also an ignition button, which we have discussed earlier.
However, there is one downside to the control system offered by this grill. The ignition system only directly lights the leftmost burner, and that one ignites the one in the middle, which in turn ignites the rightmost burner. That means that the user has no control over which burners are ignited and when. The user cannot choose to ignite only the central burner, otr only the one on the right, and this lack of control has proven troublesome for some users.
It is often the case that grill manufacturers will also include certain extra goodies along with the packaging of the grill you ordered, ostensibly in order to show their gratitude to you for choosing to purchase their product. However, the motive here is usually to get you hooked on some of their auxiliary product lines, such as spices, rubs, grilling utensils and the like.
Weber, however, is not nearly as generous when it comes to these little extras. They have chosen to let the product speak for itself, which is a valid choice on their part. However, there are still some items which Weber includes, which have direct bearing on the way you start up your grill for the first time. These items are the tool hooks, and the Owner’s Manual and Cookbook.
Along with the packaging the grill comes in, Weber includes as many as 6 tool hooks to get you started with your first grilling. These come in very handy when you want to clear the side tables for food preparation. They are designed to hang off the side of the construction which holds up the grill, for maximum space management. Many grilling tools such as spatulas, meat hammers, and even some spice racks have holes to facilitate precisely such use.
The Owner’s Manual and Cookbook is a short volume dedicated to teaching you how to use your new grill. It details the best practices when it comes to cleaning and maintaining your grill, as well as some do’s and don’ts of grilling. The cookbook provides some great recipes that were tested and optimized for the Weber line of grills, and these can be very useful when you run out of ideas.
Though Weber only provides a scant number of extras for this grill, there are many other redeeming aspects to it, some of which we will take a look at in the next section.
What sets the Weber Genesis E-310 apart from other grills?
Let us now take a look at what makes this grill special. The only way to do this is to look at its benefits in terms of its relationship with other grills in a similar price range, with a similar size and with similar features. There is little point to comparing it to far bigger, and more expensive grills, firstly because they were designed for different purposes, and secondly because you would expect a really high-end grill to come with all the bells and whistles manufacturers can cram into it.
With that in mind, it is important to say that the good Weber name rings true for this grill, as it is constructed to be exceptionally solid and long-lasting. In this price range, that could be seen as something of a rarity, since manufacturers often use less than ideal materials for the construction, as well as the active elements. Weber, on the other hand, uses high-quality metal to ensure durability in the long term.
It is also important to mention the innovative approach Weber introduces in this line of grills with the GS4 system, which we described earlier. This system gives more flexibility to the user, as it allows them to focus on the flavor of the meat, rather than fretting about some of the technical aspects that accompany the grilling process.
Finally, the grate supplied by Weber for this grill is phenomenal, since it eliminates much of the busywork related to grilling, in terms of cleanup and additional searing. The porcelain enamel that coats the grates ensures that all the drippings are easy to clean, while providing an amazing sear due to their heat conducting properties. This is a feature not many grills in this category can boast, ant it is arguably the most important item here, since it directly impacts the taste of the meat.
It is our goal with this review to provide you with all the information you need to decide on whether this grill is the right fit for your needs. That is why we have provided an in-depth look into some of the most important features and accessories of this grill. However, for the casual reader, easy perusal is essential, so we will also provide a list of pros and cons, to make them easier to see. Here are the Pros.
- Spacious cooking area: For a grill this size, and in this price range, the Weber Genesis E-310 offers more than ample room for any grilling party you may wish to throw, with its 637 square inches of cooking/heating space. It is big enough to cook all the meat you could want for a standard gathering, but small enough to fit in a tighter space, which is a great middle ground.
- Porcelain-enameled grates: The Weber Genesis E-310 comes with fantastic grates which really add a lot of quality to this grill. They are made of cast iron, which is a great conductor of heat, and it is the benchmark against which all other grate materials are tested. Furthermore, it is enameled with porcelain, which grants the grates non-stick properties for much easier cleanup after you are done grilling. Furthermore, porcelain is also a great heat conductor, so it also provides you with a better sear.
- Infinite controls: The dials on this grill, located on the front panel, can be tuned to any temperature the user desires, which gives you much more control as to how you want your meat to cook. Most other grill manufacturers simply put in dials that have predetermined temperature steps, which diminishes the user’s ability to customize their grilling process.
- Grease management system: Grilling inevitably produces a lot of grease, which drips down the grate, and has to be taken care of somehow. Weber opts to include a slanted drip tray with this grill, so that the grease naturally flows downward, and away from the heat source. It is then deposited into a grease bucket which can be thrown away. The main benefit of this system is the fact that the grease is taken away from the heat, so as to prevent it from catching on fire.It also allows for much easier cleanup.
- Flavorizer bars: The Flavorizer Bars on this grill serve to enhance the taste of the meat without many additional fancy features. The drippings that drip down the grate get vaporized, and this smoke imbues the meat that is searing above with the smokey flavor coming off the Bars. That is a great way to improve the taste of the meat, while being completely optional where it is not desirable.
Every product has both good and bad sides to it, and it is very important for ay independent and impartial review to address these as well. That is why we are also providing a list of some of the main downsides to this grill, in our judgement at least. Here they are.
- Ignition system: This grill has an innovative and very effective ignition system, which is literally guaranteed by Weber to successfully fire up your grill every time. However, it lacks flexibility, as it only lights the leftmost burner, which in turn lights the other two. That detracts from the user’s ability to decide where they want their meat to sit, depending on the circumstances they are working under.
- Non-foldable side tables: Though not a major issue for those who have enough space for this grill, it would have been helpful had Weber made the side tables be able to fold down in order to save space.
- Tank not included: Though it would be a hassle to include a natural gas tank along with the package, it can be troublesome to start your grill up for the first time if you haven’t planned for its arrival in advance. Even an empty tank would have been a welcome addition to this package, but Weber skimps on the extras, and delivers the product with the bare minimum additions.
This has been our review of the Weber Genesis E-310 natural gas grill. Our goal was to provide you with all the in-depth specs and features to this grill that you need to make up your mind about whether it is the right fit for your needs. To that end, we have subdivided this piece into numerous subsections, in order to provide an easier reading experience, as well as to allow us to explore more aspects of the grill in greater detail.
The best feature we described here are the fantastic cast iron grates with porcelain enameling, since these provide an incredible sear and great flavor to the meat, all while being easy to maintain and clean up. However, it is ultimately up to you to decide whether all the features herein have convinced you to give this grill a try.