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.

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.

5 Best Corn Grilling Baskets

One of the best things about summer is fresh sweet corn on the cob. The dry high heat of a grill is perfect for carmelizing the corn’s natural sugars and unlocking the incredible complex flavors. We’ve selected five of the best baskets for grilling corn on the cob.

1. Mr. Bar-B-Q 06077X Non Stick Corn on the Cob Grill Basket

This is the cream of the crop is corn grilling baskets. The Mr. Bar-B-Q corn basket highest quality basket that we reviewed, but that quality makes it substantially more expensive than the competition. The Mr. Bar-B-Q 06077X boasts a premium wooden handle with a carved finger grip for extra stability when moving corn on and off the grill. However, the best feature is the non-stick finish that makes clean up a breeze.



2. Best of Barbecue Stainless Adjustable Corn Grilling Basket

Like most of the corn grill baskets, this one will hold up to four full ears. What makes this basket unique is the locking mechanism on the handle is adjustable to accommodate corn of any thickness. If you live in those parts of the country where monster-size ears of sweet corn grow, this basket has you covered.



3. Camerons Products Corn Grilling Basket – Non-Stick Corn Griller

This is the nicest looking corn grilling basket we reviewed. The Camerons basket comes with a 9-inch rosewood handle to protect your hand from the hot metal while you are grilling. This basket also features non-stick cooking surfaces for easy cleanup.



4. Internet’s Best Corn Grilling Basket

This is a great budget option for a corn grilling basket. It’s not built as solidly as some of the more expensive baskets, but it gets the job done. We love the look of the bamboo handle, although we generally prefer baskets with a synthetic handle material for increased durability.

The manufacturer claims you can grill up to eight ears of corn at a time in this basket, but that will really only work if you are using relatively small ears that you can overlap across each of the four grilling rings.



5. Grilling Traditions Non-Stick Corn Grill Basket

This is the lowest quality corn grilling basket that we reviewed, but its also the cheapest – so that is why we kept it on the list. This basket is not likely to last more than 1 or 2 grilling seasons, but at this rock bottom price, you should get your money’s worth out of it. This would be the perfect basket to buy when you need multiple cheap baskets for something like a large multi-family camping trip. Just realize it’s not comparable in quality to some of the more expensive baskets.

Weekend in Roanoke, Virginia

We are Roanoke, Virginia this weekend for a travel volleyball tournament. Word has it that the Team Mom has scheduled a team dinner at a local BBQ place called Smokey Bones. I’m stoked! Smokey Bones will likely be the very first BBQ restaurant we review on BBQYeti.com. Hopefully the first of many!

How To Use A Charcoal Grill As A Smoker

When most people think of cooking on a charcoal grill they are usually are thinking about grilling burgers, dogs or steaks. However, with a few minor modifications, many charcoal grills can double as a smoker. Learning how to smoke on a charcoal grill is actually pretty easy once you understand the basics.

The difference between grilling and smoking

Grilling, by definition, is cooking directly over high heat for a relatively short period of time. Smoking is all about applying a lower temperature indirect heat to your food for a longer period of time. If you try to grill a cut of meat that should be smoked, you will up with something dry and tough.

The key to smoking is indirect heat

Most charcoal grills are designed so that the bed of hot charcoal is directly below the cooking surface. The first modification we need to make to the charcoal grill is to find away to separate the hot coals from the cooking area.

First, the larger charcoal grill you have, the better. It’s much easier to modify the grill for indirect cooking when the grill is large enough to create some space between the meat and the coals. It’s virtually impossible to try to smoke on a charcoal mini-grill designed for tailgating or a hibachi.

Mini-grills are great for direct heat grilling, but not so much for smoking.

Creating an indirect heat source inside a charcoal grill

To get an indirect heat source in a charcoal grill we need to put the coals behind some material that can act as a heat deflector.

Fire bricks that are made for stoves and pizza ovens make an ideal deflector. Pavers and bricks that you can purchase at your local hardware store appear similar to fire bricks, but they do not have the same thermal properties. These bricks/pavers can contain trapped moisture that causes them to crack and potentially explode when exposed to extreme heat. It’s not worth the risk.

If you have a classic Weber Kettle grills, there is an even more elegant solution for indirect cooking. The Smokenator line of conversion kits are designed to fit perfectly into 21 inch and 26 inch Weber Kettle grills. We have a complete review of the Smokenator conversion kit here.

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.

Decisions, Decisions

There are a lot of options for charcoal smokers. Deciding on which one I want is going to be difficult!

I stopped in at Lowe’s yesterday to pick up a new ceiling fan and a light switch. You can tell the store is all geared up for spring. It is March and here in West Virginia we are bound to get a few 60°+ days very soon. That will trigger spring fever when everyone heads to the big box home improvement stores.

I also needed to also pick up some seed starting mix, so as I walked toward the lawn and garden section, the prominent display of grills and smokers caught my eye. I wandered over to the smokers “just to look”. My wife Sara was with me. Sara asked me if I wanted to get a new smoker. I told her my Weber equipped with a Smokenator has been working well for me. She hinted that maybe it’s time that I upgrade. Well okay, then!

I purchased the Smokenator 1000 in 2012 when I first became interested in smoking. For me, the Smokenator was the perfect solution for a relatively low cost way to get into smoking. Since that time, it has served me extremely well. I am a big fan of the product.

Justification for a new dedicated smoker

So why would I get a new dedicated smoker? Capacity and convenience. The two main issues I’ve noted over my years with the Smokenator are the limited amount charcoal you can load at a time and limited cook space that you have available.

The Smokenator isn’t going away though. I can still think of circumstances where a large dedicated smoker would be overkill. I’ll keep the Smokenator on hand for those smaller cooks.

The Plan

It sounds like the new smoker will end up being a Father’s day gift for me. That means I have a few months to figure out what I want to purchase. I’ve got my work cut out for me. There are so many styles of charcoal smokers available. I want to make an educated purchasing decision.

Over the coming weeks I will be documenting my smoker research here on BBQYeti.com. My hope is that others will find my research helpful in making their own purchasing decision on choosing a dedicated charcoal smoker.