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peakay

Buy E-310 or get E-330? BTU/Heat?

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Hey there,

 

I have an E-310 on order as my local Lowe's was low on the E-330 in Black (my preferred color). I rarely use a side burner and kind of like the seamless sheet of stainless on the right side table. So really for me it comes down to the sear burner.

 

My only trepidation in staying with the 310 is it getting hot enough and/or taking longer to warm up. I have had a genesis 1000 for over 10 years, then a 2008 300 series with side burner and both performed fine for me. What i read about the new ones is they are more efficient, but have less BTU output.

 

Will I regret/miss the heating capabilities of a 310? Should I go 330?

 

@richlife and others who actually own the new models, what say you? Have you tested max heat and warmup times using just the 3 burners vs 4 with the sear station?

 

Thanks!

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I think that the two biggest factors for why the more recent Genesis heats so well with fewer BTUs is because of the lined (double-thickness steel 1/2" apart) hood and the lower flame guards that help contain the heat. Certainly, the additional sear burner helps preheat faster, but it's not a huge factor and I almost never use all four to preheat. (It does help with cold weather preheating, though.)

 

The time when I think you would miss the sear burner is for cooking -- especially a steak for which it is intended. (But an alternative is to get a separate sear burner which would probably be even better, but would certainly cost more.) For general grilling, keeping in mind that I usually cook for just one or two, I tend to preheat with the main three burners, and then cut back to either the left three (including sear burner) or to just two of the left three. That gives me a band of heat ranging from 15" down to about 8" which is sufficient. This grill is also great for indirect with just the two outside burners -- wings, grilled potatoes and other veggies, pizzas, chili relenos, etc really benefit from that arrangement. In that regard, the E-310 should be similar.

 

So can you get away with an E-310, probably. But my advice would always be to go for the most you can afford as it will give you by far the greater cooking options and will definitely give you at least another 25-50* heating. You will forget the extra money in no time at all.

 

Another thought to consider -- you are asking about the E-3xx models. Be aware that my grill is the EP-330 and I think those stainless grates instead of the PCI make a difference -- a good difference. But all these improvements do add up in cost.

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Thanks Rich! I'll probably spring for the 330, but do like the cast iron grates though I've never used the stainless. The flat surface of the iron ones is very nice and I don't know if I'd like the rod shaped grill pieces as much. I previously ha dbought SS flavorizer bars off amazon for $24 and was impressed that they were actually very nice quality, though not as thick as the rcplanebuyer ones i had on my redhead.

 

"That gives me a band of heat ranging from 15" down to about 8" which is sufficient" -- not sure what is meant by this -- are you talking about the width of the heating area using the variety of LH burners?

 

Last, I thought the sear burner could possibly help for low/slow bbqing/smoking as it is lower btu than the other burners. ever use it for that? what's the lowest constant temp you can reliably run?

 

Thanks again.

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It sounds like you've used both types of grates, so definitely go with what you liked -- you can always go to rcplanebuyer (or we hope, anyway). Interesting that you preferred the flat side of the PCI grates -- I tried both and much preferred the narrower side. Easier to clean too.

 

Yes, I was talking about "the width of the heating area using the variety of LH burners". Given how the flame-tamers work, it's a pretty consistent "band" of heat.

 

I agree with the thought that you might get a lower minimum heat for low and slow with the "sear burner" instead of the the outside burner. But since I have a WSM, I seldom try to get that low with the grill -- but been meaning to try for months. 350, maybe 325 is the lowest I can get with just the outside left burner -- it depends on the season (outside temp). Not as low as I would want which is another reason I go with the WSM.

 

You should also know that I've made a couple of mods to my 330 that I can recommend -- and one definitely affects that lower heat level. I had done both of these with my original E/W burner Genesis with nice results.

 

The one that affects the heat level is to use high temp cement to glue a 5/8"x1/8" band of fiberglass woodstove gasket around the lower rim of the firebox -- front and sides only! (Don't do anything to block the venting of the back side. That could be dangerous.) Dupont makes a high temp cement that works well -- search on my past posts from 3 - 5 years back and you'll find the name. This will result in a lot less smoke coming out the front and sides as well as containing heat. It does help the "smoke" when using wood chunks (or chips), but it also pushes the overall temp up by about 25* (not so helpful with "low and slow" but very helpful with smoke flavor. I almost never grill anything without wood chunks sitting on an open chip box resting across the left two flame tamers.

 

The other mod is actually my favorite though. I got a slight smaller grate at Lowes, 4 x 6 to 7" long carriage bolts with two nuts and two fender washers to hold the grate in place. That gives me a second grill level, doubling my capacity and adding a level at least 6" higher than the stock grates. Easily removed because the carriage bolt heads act as feet sitting on top of the main grate. I have mine sitting just higher than the "bun warmer" grate so I can leave all three in most of the time and use what I want whenever. This upper grate is ideal for more delicate cooks like pizza, chili rellenos, fish and wings. Also works better for "smoke" effects.

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Thanks again Rich. I've ordered the 330 just so i don't have any regrets. Your mods are interesting, particularly the double decker grate idea. I'm going to start with using it stock and see what i need from there. Can you cook on the bun warmer rack or is it placed such that the heat is very low?

 

On the cast iron grates, weber says the proper orientation is flat side up. Seems like a lot of people like the pointy side for grill marks though. http://www.weber.com/weber-nation/blog/which-side-faces-up-on-a-cast-iron-grate

 

i might try the pointy side up over the sear area and flat on the other. regardless, I find the flat side is super easy to clean and very resistant to sticking.

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On the original version of those grates if you used them flat side up they were a PIA. But than the spacing of the bars was much closer together on the narrow side. Now because of their cost cutting they made them specifically to orient flat side up to help mask the fact that they spaced them so far apart

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Thanks again Rich. I've ordered the 330 just so i don't have any regrets. Your mods are interesting, particularly the double decker grate idea. I'm going to start with using it stock and see what i need from there. Can you cook on the bun warmer rack or is it placed such that the heat is very low?

...

 

I tried putting an oven thermometer in nine places in the Genesis -- left, middle and right of the main grate both front and back and also across the bun warmer. The temp is the same everywhere (within very small margins), so yes, you can cook on it (it does serve as a small second level grate). I tend to use my upper grate for lots of food -- it really helps to avoid burning to have six extra inches between the burners and the food. It will sear, but takes a little longer. But I always cook thinks like steak right down on the main grate over the flame (unless I want a reverse sear or just a slower cook -- as with chuck eyes).

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Thanks Rich - very helpful. If you have posted a photo if the double decker grate anywhere, please let me know. Would love to see it.

 

I'm still waiting on Lowes for the 330. Guess it is being shipped to store from a DC. Assembly is included in the deal, but are there compelling reasons to DIY? I've been all through them and know how they work, so it would only be if I was somehow able to affect longevity by assembling it myself.

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Rich, speaking of Chuckeyes I have discovered a really nice steak I cook quite often. It needs a little prep and some marinating to make it nice but I find it many times as little as $3.99lb but it IMO eats better than a $14lb strip steak.

It's the bottom round. I like to get it from the "large" end of the roast (many times I'll just buy the whole roast and carve it to proportions I like to cook typically 1.5" thick give or take. The first thing I do is use one of these http://www.jaccard.com/Original-Super-Meat-Tenderizer--48-Knife_p_10.htmlI then make a marinade that is non-acidic. There is no need for the acid which IMO makes the meat "mushy" feeling. So my marinade consists of doing the following. I get a clove or 2 of garlic crushed and chopped in my small food processor, half a medium shallot, some chili powder (about 2 tsp), 1 tsp kosher salt, some fresh thyme (maybe 1/2 tsp fresh), some hot red pepper flakes to taste and black pepper to taste. Put the dry ingredients in a small food processor. Pulse them than add just enough EVOO to make a paste and rub it into the meat well. Can be up to overnight but I find good results in as little as a couple hours. I grill it on medium direct heat until rare (to mid rare) and rest it 10 minutes or so. Slice thin across the grain. You'll be amazed at what a great steak this is. My grandson is like a bottomless pit when I make it. I typically find mine at Sam's Club but many times my local markets have it on sale. I've gotten it for as little as $3.49lb

I consider it a true eating bargain

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Uh, thanks hood! That one just went into my private recipe colletion as "Hoods Bottom Round Steak Marinade".

 

peakay -- following another old thread lead me to the right search terms "gasket mod richlife". This is the tread with pics.

 

http://www.bbqsource-forums.com/invboard/index.php?showtopic=8028&hl=%2Bgasket+%2Bmod+%2Brichlife#entry73906

 

Please also open this thread and HEED THE CAUTIONS!

 

http://www.bbqsource-forums.com/invboard/index.php?showtopic=6734&hl=+gasket%20+mod%20+richlife&page=1

 

Specific about the gasket type are included on page 7.

 

Other than curiosity and satisfaction (and getting it RIGHT), there is no special reason to assemble yourself. But it only takes an hour and getting it right has merit. Regardless, good luck and have fun!

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I'm still waiting on Lowes for the 330. Guess it is being shipped to store from a DC. Assembly is included in the deal, but are there compelling reasons to DIY? I've been all through them and know how they work, so it would only be if I was somehow able to affect longevity by assembling it myself.

 

Hi Peakay - Just a note on Lowe's free assembly. I just purchased a Char-Griller Akorn kamado style cooker that I originally was going to get from Lowes because of their free assembly. I went to the store to look and see if they had one on display. Well, they had one assembled and all I can say is what a mess! The main bowl was mounted 120 degrees off so the bottom damper and ash catching dish were behind a leg - how they got the ash catcher in I'll never know - it slides out after you unhook the latches. All the bolts appeared to have been tightened with a pair of pliers instead of a 7/16" wrench or socket - heads were all chewed up, paint scraped off them, etc. I saw that disaster, went home and promptly ordered one on Amazon - $15 cheaper and free next day delivery to my door. Yes, it did take a couple of hours to assemble, but I know it was done right.

 

Hopefully the store you are dealing with has somebody with a brain and can read instructions

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OK, the E-330 was delivered ahead of schedule yesterday and all looks good! Feels solid and I could find no problems at all wiht the assembly. Very pleased! Put a big smile on my face for sure. :D

 

Couple photos below. Was happy to see that the heat reflectors in the bottom are stainless - cool! The ones at ace were coated steel. Go figure.

 

Thanks to everyone for the feedback and especially Rich - very helpful. I'll definitely document the heat ranges I see on it and consider the gasket mod based on how that goes. Will be weird adjusting to the front burners and also remembering to have to ignite them every time turned on. So used to my old 1000 and short term e-320 that I picked up used and then sold due to rust.

 

Time to burn off the goo and season this thing. never owned a brand new weber - only ever bought used!

 

20160822_180257_zpsxqdu8q0k.jpg

 

20160822_175924_zpsksywgyvd.jpg

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OK, since I'm posting just had to add a couple more things....

 

I'm glad they put a cooking chart in with the owners guide, but its a far cry from the original binder cookbook you got with the old ones. I'll never let this go and refer to it nearly every time I cook. This thing taught me how to sear and also cook indirect using MOM on the burners. Fortunately the new reference chart fits nicely in it and will serve as my bookmark. The writing is so tiny that might be all it serves as as I can barely read it now and I'm not getting younger!

 

20160823_092423_zps8bv9iygu.jpg

 

20160823_092415_zps2gnglrlo.jpg

 

Here is my well-loved 1000 that I sold. Built in 1989, it had zero problems and I had rebuilt the whole inside with all stainless parts, so it should give the new owner at least 12 more years. It was in need of wood resto to look good again and having had it for so long, I was a bit bored wiht it and preferred upgrading. Will probably outlast this 330, but life is short and it's fun to try something new again.

 

 

20160717_174548_HDR_zpshp2os0w4.jpg

 

 

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Nice story, good ending! I totally get that you might want a new grill, but the red top sure does look good!

 

Abeach2bum, your experiences should be a caution to all. I have seen Weber's on display in Lowe's that were not properlay (or well) assembled. In a way, peakay was lucky, but it also probably helps that this Genesis is almost completely assembled modules right out of the box. Very little to put together and it's quite easy.

 

Peakay, if you haven't done it, get the appropriate wrenches (not the packaged ones) and check that all the bolts/nuts were tightened properly. You should be able to grab hood handle, shake hard and get no looseness or rattling. Even on my 3 year old with added side cabinets that is true.

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Thanks Rich. Ya, hated to get rid of the old redhead, but she served me well and went to an appreciative owner. I initially wasn't looking for a replacement,but a neighbor sold me a 2008 320 for really cheap and I liked it a lot -justenough extra grill space and height to make it perfect imo, plus being able to hide things away. It was a bit rusty though, so I sold both to fund the new one. If i ever regret it,im.confidant i can find another for a resto.

 

I inspected the 330 and couldn't find anything loose or out of whack, but it did rattle while moving it to the patio, but that sounded like the grates and flavorizers. How would those not rattle by shaking??

 

To be perfect, I need to find some of those extinct island cabinetry additions like you have. Any idea where to find? I could also move the tank externally like you did for more cabinet space, but would prefer it to be at least partially hidden. Maybe the 2017 external shields will fit up.

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Sorry, peakay, but I suspect that any used side cabinets will be real hard to come by. I hadn't realized that Weber discontinued them. Definitely a big plus on a Genny -- I would search Craigslist, eBay, etc. as far as you are willing to travel to pickup. Good luck!

 

And, yes, the loose parts like grates and flametamers will rattle a bit -- but I think that's easy to tell in contrast to moving frame or panels. It sounds like you got a good assembler. Congrats on all!

 

OBTW, I did find moving the tank outside to be helpful, but you're right -- it's not an attractive mod. You really wanna have that extra space to make it worth while. Even after getting my side cabinets, I wanted more room. My grill is on my deck an it don't like spare parts, etc. hanging around. So, having the skills and the shop, I built myself a hutch (separate upper and lower cabinet) for all the loose stuff like my grill tools, gloves, extra grates, thermometers, and on and on. I don't have to duck into the kitchen to get a basting brush for example. Of course I had the benefit of enjoying the making and finishing and pride of showing off! :wub: But do think outside the grill, if possible. Since my grill is now under cover, that helps too, though I planned the cabinets to be exposed to the elements.

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