Choosing between the Weber Genesis II and Spirit II Three Burner Grills

Making a purchasing decision on a quality can grill be difficult. Weber offers two very highly rated three burner grills. The premium models are in Weber’s Genesis II line of grills. The three burner Genesis II grills are the E-310 and E-315 models. For those looking to save a little money, Weber offers three burner grills in their Spirit II line. The Weber three burner Spirit II models are the E-310 and the Home Depot exclusive S-310.

Cook area difference between Weber Genesis II and Spirit II three burner grills

The Spirit II E-310 has 424 square inches of primary cooking space with an additional 105 square inches available on the warming rack.

The Genesis II E-310 has 513 square inches of primary cooking space and an additional 156 square inches available on the tuck-away warming rack.

Side by side, the Genesis II clearly has the advantage with 669 total square inches of cooking area compared to 529 total square inches available on the Spirit II 529. That makes the Genisis II about 20% larger overall. But in practical terms, what does this mean?

This blog post on the official Weber site says that the Genesis II three burner models will accommodate 12 hamburger patties. We have to assume this means they are grilling the patties, so the cook area provided by the warning rack is excluded. While I couldn’t find a burger patty capacity for the Spirit II, a little math reveals that you can expect to fit about 10 hamburger patties on a three burner Spirit II.

Advantage: Genesis II

Burner differences between Weber Genesis II and Spirit II three burner grills

While both grills offer three burners, there are differences in the design of the burners on the Spirit II and Genesis II models.

The Spirit II uses the stainless steel tubular burner design that you find on many grills today. For the Genesis II line, Weber went the extra mile and completely redesigned the burner to overcome some of the problems that occur with tubular burners.

Tubular design replacement burner for a Genesis II Spirit E-310.

The first thing you’ll notice about the Genesis II burners is the shape. Instead of round tubes, the burner in the Genesis II are more or less rectangular bars. Look a little closer and you will see that the burner bars are actually tapered to the end of their length.

Genesis II tapered grill burner with raised portholes.

This tapering was added to overcome a problem common with many tubular burners – uneven heating from end to end.

Advantage: Genesis II

What is the best wood for ribs?

The best wood for smoking ribs is really dependent on the type of ribs you are smoking. The flavor of beef ribs and pork ribs can can benefit from the use of different types of wood when smoking.

The best wood for smoking beef ribs

Beef, in general goes best with stronger flavored woods like oak, mesquite and hickory. Personally, I think oak is the perfect wood for beef of any kind, including ribs. The flavor of mesquite, which is excellent on cuts like brisket, can be a little overwhelming on cuts with more exposed surface area like beef short ribs.

The best wood for smoking pork ribs

When it comes to smoking pork ribs, you really can’t go wrong with hickory wood. Pork ribs can also benefit the addition of some from fruit woods such as apple, cherry or peach. You can blend hickory with small amounts of fruit woods to find the perfect combination to suit your tastes. The addition of fruit wood to a base of hickory gives you the opportunity to create unique flavors that can really accentuate the flavor of your pork ribs.

What is the best wood for smoking chicken?

Chicken and most other poultry is best smoked with fruit woods such as apple, cherry or peach. Other woods commonly used in smoking meat such as oak, hickory and mesquite can overpower the flavor of chicken. Fruit woods tend to provide a lighter, sweeter smoke that accents the flavor of chicken instead of overpowering it.

Apple wood is my usual choice for smoking chicken.

Of the available fruit woods, my typical go to is apple wood. It is typically the easiest fruit wood to find on store shelves or online. However, chicken is relatively inexpensive and it doesn’t hurt to experiment with different woods or combinations of wood. It is actually kind of fun to mix and match to find your own signature combinations.

For example, when preparing smoked chicken wings that will be sauced, I like to add a small amount of hickory to the apple wood to add a little extra smokey flavor. This extra flavor provided by the hint of hickory helps adds a little extra complex smokiness to wings that will be covered in BBQ or hot sauces.

Yeti Yak Rub Recipe

While we call it Yeti Yak Rub, this rub is perfect for beef roasts or briskets. What make it special? Well, Yeti Yak Rub contains ingredients from the rugged Himalayan mountains (original home of BBQ Yeti). This rub was designed to be applied to meat before smoking, but it also works well in the oven or slow cooker.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fine ground Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili or ancho chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed rosemary

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients into a sealable, airtight container.
  2. Shake container to mix thoroughly.
  3. Place beef roast or brisket on a large cookie sheet.
  4. Apply a light coating of vegetable oil to the surface of the meat.
  5. Apply a generous coating of Yeti Yak Rib to the front and back surface of the beef.
  6. Cover lightly and place beef into refrigerator for approximately one hour to let the rub set.
  7. After one hour, your ribs are ready for the smoker.

Disclosure: BBQ Yeti is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

First Tri-Tip Roast

I pulled this three pound tri-tip beef roast from Blonde Farm, LLC out of the freezer this morning. I’ve never had this cut before, but I understand it is pretty lean.

My plan is to let it thaw for another day, then rub it and smoke it. Based on my research, a tri-tip this size will take 4 hours to cook low and slow. This isn’t a tough cut like brisket, it’s more like steak. I will really only need to get it up to about 145 degrees. Whatever happens, I’ll share the results!

Que Review – Beef Brisket at Smokey Bones in Roanoke, Virginia

BBQ Reviewed: Smoked Beef Brisket
Establishment: Smokey Bones
Location: Roanoke, Virginia
Visit Date: 03/23/2019

Beef brisket at Smokey Bones in Roanoke, Virginia

The beef brisket at Smokey Bones was disappointing. The meat was tender and moist, but it lacked flavor. The rub that had been applied to the brisket was bland and soggy.

Most importantly, there was little to no smoke flavor on the brisket. The lack of any perceptible smoke flavor was somewhat surprising for a place with “smoke” in the name. The only real flavor came from the KC style BBQ sauce that had been spread on top of the brisket.

If this brisket had been served along with gravy and mashed potatoes at a Cracker Barrel, you could have easily convinced me it was just roast beef out of an oven and not smoked brisket.

I’m actually very curious to know how Smokey Bones smokes their brisket. Outside the restaurant, there was no sign of smoke in the air. To me, this is bizarre. Even outside most steakhouses you can smell the steaks being grilled inside from quite a distance away. It’s strange how they are are smoking brisket, wings and pulled pork every day without a hint of smoke outside the restaurant.

If we ever find ourselves at a Smokey Bones again, I will skip the brisket and try the smoked wings. I’ve heard from several different people that their wings are fantastic.

Read our full review of our visit to Smokey Bones in Roanoke, Virginia.