So, after much research and soul searching in terms of how much money I was willing to part with in exchange for a new grill, I finally decided on the Weber E-330 in natural gas.
I picked her up Monday and yesterday afternoon I got everything hooked up and running.
On Monday I was not entirely thrilled with the unit. The construction of the doors is okay, but nothing to write home about. The SS stiles and rails are just kind of crimped on, no real welding or anything there. The gap between the two on my grill is also abnormally large (if you want the doors level, which I do) and looks somewhat awkward. The magenet that keeps the right hand door closed was broken and fell out. The rotisserie bracket is rather cheap and cumbersome. It bolts into the grill and takes up a lot of the left hand prep area. So, rather than being able to just hang the motor / bracket on WHEN you need it, you either bolt the bracket on each time, or leave it on grill and deal with ugly look and lack of space. So, on Monday I would have given it about a 7.5 / 10.
Last night I cooked on it. Performance... 10.0 / 10.0
Here she sits while I do a burn in.
After no more than 5 or 6 minutes the temp is what you see below. I realize that these thermos are often off by quite a bit, but it was still dang sure hot. Every bit as hot as a charcoal grill, which had me excited. My biggest concern with a gas grill was having those perpetually tan colored steaks. Barf! I can't stand a tan colored "Longhorns / Outback / etc" steak.
Now we're cooking. The side burner works great... almost too great. I initially bough the 330 just to have the side burner so that I could do mushrooms when it was time. Before I was grilling on a kettle under the house and communicating with the wife as to when to put the mushrooms on the house was a pain. Now it's all right in front of me. Little did I know, that the "sear burner" (nothing more than a 4th burner in between the two primary ones which must makes a TON of heat on the left side of the grill) would work like a champ as well. So, I'm happy that I upgraded to the 330. Anyway, the side burner gets hot... real hot. On low it was just abot to burn the butter that I had the mushrooms in. It worked fine, though.
On the grill we did two ribeyes and some grilled zuchini. I put the veggies on a little to soon, so they got a bit mushy, but not bad for a first run on a new grill. Besides, I was much more concerned with meat and mushrooms.
No tan steak here! Granted, it's missing some of that pink / purple look that you get from smoke, but this here ain't bad. The sear burner is the ticket. I think the steaks took about 6 minutes start to finish. Pretty awesome.
First pic is pretty sorry in terms of picture quality. I was hungry. Regardless you can see the color of the steak. Not bad. Also, you can't tell in the second pic because the flash washed things out pretty badly, but the steak was very pink in the middle. Pretty much perfect, actually. Much more rare than it appears to be in the picture, and we had color / crunch / caramelized exterior.
So, suffice it to say, I'm a much happier customer right now than I was 24 hours ago.