A good, well-made gas grill should last about 10 years — compared to 2-3 years for cheaper models — so buying a low-end Charbroil or Sunbeam will likely cost you more in the long run. The first thing to break on an inexpensive gas grill is the automatic starter, making it much more dangerous (and tedious) to light the grill. Invest in a good brand, and don’t underestimate how much room you’ll need to cook a meal for even a few people — grill space fills up fast. I recommend getting at least 400 square inches of cooking space and three burners to control heat better. Read More About Why I Love Weber Grills.
The Weber Spirit Series is Weber's entry level family grill, providing a very reliable two or three burner gas grill that will meet most people’s needs. Weber brought back the retired Weber Spirit name when they added the new Genesis Series, which sits in between the Spirit and Summit Series. The 2013 Weber Spirit models carry over from last year without many changes since their big overhaul in 2009.
The Weber Spirit E-310 is the perfect size for most families who need a good, dependable grill. The E-310 has three separately controlled stainless steel burners, an enclosed porcelain-enamel cart with stainless steel doors (which conceal the propane tank) and two stainless steel work surfaces. Porcelain-enameled cooking grates give even sear marks and distribute heat evenly across the entire gill, so you won’t have the hot and cool spots commonly found on cheaper brands. The Spirit E-310 also has Weber's very dependable electronic crossover ignition system, which lights every time on the first try and will work for years. The grill starter is usually the first thing to go on cheaper grills and it’s the feature you will appreciate the most. This feature has migrated down from higher end models.
The other great thing about the Weber Spirit E-310 is that it’s easy to assemble. You can take advantage of the tax savings and free shipping available from many online vendors and have it delivered to your home. It assembles it in about 10-15 minutes and is available as an LP Gas Grill (4421001) or as a Natural Gas Grill (4521001). I also strongly recommend buying the custom Weber Premium Cover and using it on regular basis (especially during the winter) to prolong the life of your grill.
Weber Spirit Models & Variations
I'd recommend the Weber Spirit E-310 over the smaller, two-burner Weber Spirit E-210, because unless you are single in a small apartment, you will run out of room too quickly when cooking for family or friends. Keep in mind that the grill will last you 10 years and your needs may change. If you like the size and features of a Spirit, but want a side burner than you should consider upgrading to the E-320. If you are looking for a step up in features and size from the Spirit, definitely check out the Weber Genesis E-310 Review.
Starting in 2005, Weber stopped including propane tanks with its grills. Plan on an additional $30 for an OPD equipped tank.