10th Day of Christmas: Pardon My Gas
Until recently I was a die hard Weber kettle user. Well, I guess that I wasn't exactly John McClane. It didn't take glass in my feet to realize that after using my wife's family's natural gas grills for a few years that I really wanted the convenience and speed of a propane grill. I still love a kettle grill, but I'd rather spend time feeding my family rather than feeding a fire. Why propane over natural gas? No gas line under my deck.
I looked at a lot of grills. I analyzed many features and reviews. In the end I realized that what was most important to me was not to have to go through the process again any time soon. If something breaks or the company goes out of business I'm back to square one with an expensive door stop on my hands. So I chose a company that has been producing reliable grills since 1952, good old Weber.
I went with the Weber Spirit E-310 for a lot of reasons. 1) It didn't cost $800 and up like a lot of gas/propane grills. Weber offers a more expensive line too but if people are getting 15 years out of the lower priced grills why pay more? 2) A temperature gauge is a handy thing to have when cooking things like fish. 3) It has three burners. Indirect heat or varied heat is a must for proper grilling. 4) Electric ignition that fires right up. My coal chimney is back with the camping gear. 5) The E-320 included the option of a side burner but I've never used the extra burner on any grill that had one. The additional work space and extra tool hooks were more valuable to me. 6) It has a fill indicator for the propane tank so I won't run out while cooking. 7) The design is easy to clean including the enameled cast iron grates and flareup reducing "flavorizer bars". 8) A good amount of cooking area in a reasonable footprint.
A grill cover is not included but are sold separately. Propane tanks are available at Costco or if Blue Rhino is available in your area I have found it to be an affordable and convenient method of propane replacement with a couple of my local grocery stores offering the service. When my Weber says it's low I just take the empty tank to the grocery, pay for the new tank and drive away.
I will still get a kettle for larger parties as well as a smoker when summer comes but for now the Spirit is all of the grill I need. If you're looking for a gift for yourself this is a good one and everyone you know will get something out of it. If you are a die hard kettle user Ol' Doc Gus will back me up that Weber still has the best kettles around. Take a look at the One Touch models.
The Weber Spirit line are mid-priced propane grills. They also offer the Q Series grills for less and Summit for more money. Their web site will give you a lot of information on their grills as well as guide you to local or online sellers.
Whatever you use, get your grill on!