Weber Spirit E-320 Gas Grill Review
Weber may be known for its charcoal classics, but this gas grill's performance deserves attention.
The average American consumer spends $237 on a gas grill, over twice the price of the $649 (MSRP) Weber Spirit E-320. It takes a lot to justify buying a grill that expensive, but unlike some grills that we've seen, it's easy to see where the extra cost goes. From the excellent results of our lab tests to the useful features and sturdy build, this grill gave us some good reasons why it might be worth the spot on anyone's patio.
Design, Features, & Usability
Designed for people who grill, not people who look at their grills out the window.
The Weber Spirit E-320's design straddles different genres, with one foot in the "outdoor kitchen" camp and another in the tradition of the black One-Touch that made Weber a household name. The front-mounted knobs don't seem that heavy-duty, but we do prefer having the knobs front and center instead of on the side tray, like some other grills. The E-320 features a side-burner tucked into the left shelf, providing a way to cook with pots and pans alongside everything else. Below the 424 square inch porcelain-enameled cast-iron grates, three burners lit by an "electronic crossover" system supply the heat. The "crossover" in "electric crossover" means that one burner lights the next and so on. Weber's "Flavorizer Bars" are really just a fancy name for flame tamers that shield the burners from drippings—like the lava rocks in the old gas grills—which collect in a disposable tin pan. To the right is a standard shelf, and the grill provides six tool hooks. Weber conveniently included a fuel gauge so you don't have to guess how much fuel is left.
"I'm not like other grills."
It's rare to see a grill that gets excellent numbers across our performance tests. Many gas grills, although they're better at preheating, often have issues with hotspots since having a small number of burners can make it difficult to produce even heat. But this just isn't a problem for the Weber Spirit E-320. The temperature remained fantastically uniform across the 424 square inch surface, and the grill preheated really quickly, uniting two performance categories that are often mutually exclusive. Only one small thing overshadowed a near-perfect report card: the handle and body temperatures, which were a bit too hot for our liking.
We've got some burning love for this grill.
The Weber Spirit E-320 clearly has a lot going for it besides its sturdy feel and outdoor kitchen inspiration. This is among the best lab results we've seen in terms of temperature evenness across the grate, and does so without giving up a quick preheat time. As a mid-size grill, it doesn't dominate a deck or patio but it's certainly big enough to get some serious work done. At $649 (MSRP) it's not cheap, but if you as many of your summer evenings cooking outside as in, you'd be remiss if you didn't consider the E-320.
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