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on May 27, 2013
READ ONLY IF YOU INTEND TO ASSEMBLE THE GRILL YOURSELF.
I had first made up my mind to buy the Spirit SP320, which a magazine had rated tops of all grills. Looking into it, I found that Amazon, other than listing the grill had nothing to do with it. My experience with independent marketers has been miserable. They generally take advantage of Amazon's excellent reputation but are worse than most reputable stores, with high shipping cost and exorbitant return/restocking fees. Since the vanilla E320 cost less, differs only in material for lid and grates, does not have the independent's $130 shipping cost and gets to me in two days, I went with it.

Per the header I rated this grill a "5". That means that I chose to live with the few errors and flaws that came with my package. Others, could constructively rate it "4" or even "3" if those quality hits would bother them. The grill being replaced was a 23 year old Weber three-burner, which had gotten ugly based on zero external cleaning and upkeep. My wife put her foot down and stated that either the old grill should go or she would go. After some consideration I decided the grill should go. It was later a win-win decision; my wife loves the grill and the quality of what is cooked on it.

I think I will be of most help to folks who put this grill together themselves, rather than repeat all the positive things prior reviewers have listed. You get installation documentation with the grill package and it contains 28 numbered installation sections, with NO WORDS in any language. I address the sections that are impacted and don't list the others. In many ways, the ones listed are the items I wished Weber had included in their documentation:

1. This is one I screwed up and paid dearly for. Even as a graduate mechanical engineer (50 years from graduation, however), I failed to pick up some subtle details. More on those later. What I did discover, during the unpacking, was that the floor-tray that the casters are mounted to had very noticeable creases and dents. I will borrow my neighbor's rubber mallet and fix them later. Since many reviewers listed the same experience, this should get into Weber's corrective action plans.

2. The two padlocks shown here in the installation picture indicate that the two casters presented next to them are lockable. Miss-installing those two, which I did, would introduce a solid delayed assembly disaster. If not fixed at all, the grill's operation would be very flawed.

3. In figure "2" the tech writers have flipped the tray sideways (from figure "1") NE to SW, i.e., the lockable casters still face you since they are now on the underside of the tray. Installing the wrong side panel (i.e., the left in the right side of the tray) will force following parts installation into wrong location. Also, even if correct, this section will require nimble fingers, which at 73 I don't have. If not, it requires much patience and anger management, which I do have.

* Start assembling the outside bolts first and the other four afterwards. If you reverse that order you will spent much time fighting the slight misalignment (you always have with sheet metal) in these two most cramped and inconvenient places. When doing them first, it takes a fraction of the time and temperament loss to line up the inside ones.
* Note the magnet. It is not labeled as such, but it is there to keep the metal door closed. If you find it on the far left side (in the left side panel), you have screwed up and will have to disassemble every washer and bolt you have fastened in "1" and "2" and start all over. That is what happened to me.
* The dotted circle has not been drawn consistently (compare "3" and "4"). The right side panel should touch the circle, as in "4"

You have now completed three of the 28 sections of the assembly and your knuckles may be a bit skinned. DON'T DESPAIR. You are almost half way there. Most of the 70 or so bolts have been fastened and the remaining parts are more interesting and fun to deal with. Make a mid-course refreshment stop and get going on the second half.

7. The tap on the bracket should fit in the square hole in the left side panel. You may need to apply some force to do that.

8. If you have worked with hair pins / cotter pins before, you know what to do. I had not and thus worked out one approach which may not be the industry accepted one. Put the flat working end of an old-fashioned screwdriver in the loop you see, in the upper detail circle, and twist it while pulling it straight up. The smooth bolt should then come out with some minor twisting and tapping.

9. For me, this was a clumsy picture. The arrows indicate you should straighten the steel-covered gas-line, but figures "10" and "11" show you need to bend it into a 90 degree angle to fit around the assembly that is being dropped into the supporting support structure you completed earlier. This assembly is rather heavy and will require use of both hands when lowering it into position. Unless you have unusually nimble toes, get a friend to position the steel-coded gas-line into its 90 degrees on the inside of the L-beam of the left side panel while you lift the "cooking bucket". The bucket is supposed to lock the line in place when it comes to rest.

10, 11, and 12. Figure 10 has a symbol of two people and a 2X inscription. This icon shows up several times and indicates (as I see it) that the item is too heavy to be lifted by one person. It is probably added by their lawyers to reduce the number of self-installers taking them to court for back injuries. Check it in a straight-back lift. If needed get a third person to now handle the new requirement. I suggest you do not choreograph the second lifter to also position and hold the gas-line while lifting one side of the bucket.
With the gas line and assembly in place, take a close look at these three figures. There are three separate lines/cables hanging from the cooking assembly: one that will connect the gas tank to the three main burners, another that will connect burner #1 to the warming burner on the far left (outside the cooking chamber), and a final one that will indirectly connect the starter to all four burners. Study these until you are 100% certain where they are going, behind or in front of this or that part and only then start on "10".
The clamp you install for the connector line to the gas tank (installed later) uses one bolt/washer connection only. Use the lower of the two holes and don't start looking for a second item needing connection even though there are two holes in the clamp and two in the side panel where the clamp is being fastened.

13. You can fasten the black electrical connection box in this section, as per the instruction, or wait until the wire plugging and battery insertion is completed in section "20". I found it easier to do it in "20" since I could twist and turn the black box when I connected the various wires.

15. My grill differed considerably from what is shown in this drawing. I don't know if this is attributable to me getting the first grill in a revised batch or the last one before the revision. If your grill looks like the one in the drawings, count your blessings and follow the sequence in the two detail views. If not, just thread the wire harness from the back of the control panel, introduced here, down behind the horizontal support beam and leave it until you get to "19". Installing the control panel is fairly straight forward with the three bolts. Again, start with the center hole. You may have to help the other two holes line up by using your knee instead of the third hand you were not born with.

16. Straight forward. The lid on the left side burner does, of course, not have to be open. The welded-in-the-factory bolts come in very handy (Thanks Weber!). A fellow from my health club told me, that when trying to install the two side units, he (probably on his third scotch) put the nuts directly on the welded bolts, leaving the square plates out. These plates, of course, go on the welded bolts on which the side units have already first been place. The plates, when tightened by the nuts, allow the side units solid connections with the rest of the grill. Before going to "17" note again, from "9" through "16", where the gas line with the steel harness goes. (The side table on the right side is installed as the side burner on the left, minus the stuff having to do with the burner unit.)

17. Here the gas line to the side burner is on the outside of the left side panel with its adjustment subassembly read to be mounted on the side burner itself. Concentrate only on two things (the figure includes a lot that you at this point can't see and is therefore somewhat confusing. First, from the general drawing and the upper detail drawing, notice only where the mounting plate and bolts go. The control switch faces you. The unit on the back (opposite) side is pushed into the hole that looks like a hazard sign. These two moves done while you point the control know side slightly down, enough to clear the lower portion of the side burner's back panel. Now move the entire control knob and panel up and looking from underneath, line up the two holes on top of the knob assembly with the two on the inside lip of the side burner. Then apply, from the bottom, two of the last four you should now have left in this assembly.

19. This is where you complete the wiring. This includes the harness that came from the back of the main control panel. Start by putting the wire fasteners in the two SMALL holes in the left side panel. Then carefully identify, from the two detail drawings, where each wire comes from and where it is plugged into what I would call the black wire assembly box. You do this by identifying that the colors on each wire's start and finish are the same. You then plug the wire portion that goes to the black box in the SAME COLORED receptacle/hole in that box. The same for the other wires. The current from/to the main control panel (black wire) allows the wires to go into the two black receptacles in the box in any order.
Unscrew its black plug. Then INSPECT THE AA BATTERY THAT CAME WITH THE GRILL. Mine, a "LARGE" battery, was in a tight plastic wrapping with both end units exposed for contact, I thought. When I, after completing section 28, tried to start the grill with the ignition system, nothing happened, not even the brrrrrr that was supposed to happen. If you did not fasten the box in "13", do it now from the OUTSIDE of the left side panel. Clarification: The door panel shown in the first detail drawing is a "back view", despite the solid line of the handle in that view.

20. The troubleshooting section in the Owner's Guide had the battery listed as the first item to check. When I called Customer Service (they are listed as Replacement Parts in the Owner's Guide), battery was the first thing they mentioned. When I studied the supplied battery, I notes that the shrink-wrapped battery came slightly around the edge of the negative "-"end. Not enough to impact the contact, I thought, but I still peeled that portion of the plastic off, put the battery back in and tightened the cap. Eureka, the fix worked.

24. Despite the two guys and the "2X" on top of the figure, the lid is much lighter than the cooking bucket and can easily be lifted and handled by one person. Otherwise, this is a somewhat reversed order of "8". Tap the bolt in from the outside through the holes in the lid and the cooking bucket. Grab the hair pin / cotter pin firmly with a plier and push it, and later drag it all the way in.

27. This grid should have been straight forward, but the detail picture shows what may be an unstable position. You need to have both of the two bottom pins/rods (that are welded perpendicular to all the other parts of the grid) on the OUTSIDE or on the INSIDE of the cooking bucket walls. This is not stated or shown. If one side, say on the left side of the bucket, is on the inside and the one on the right is outside the bucket, the slightest force on the grid by a fork or a spatula towards the right will cause the left side to unhook and drop its content back on the grill. With the grid at about 550 degrees F, this is not a good time to push or pull the grid to lock the two sides tightly. It takes a fair amount of force to bend the grid in either direction. If you don't have that, take the grid down to a machine shop and get them to handle it.

With that finished get your LP Gas tank installed. The tank weighs almost 40 lbs. full. You are going to lift it up and extend it straight into the hole in the floor of the grill. If you wonder if that is something you can do with regularity, take a strong tray and position five gallon containers full of water. While standing behind one line drawn on the ground a foot in front of the grill, hold the full tray about six inches above the ground and then move it straight forward about two feet without letting it go below the six inches and no more than 5 inches above it. If then needing some rest, put it down in the hole, until you have regained your strength. Now, position yourself as close to the grill as you can and lift the tray straight up six inches. This needs to be very straight, since one inch deviation in any direction would, with the actual gas tank, prevent you from hooking it up on the bracket inside the right side panel. This is a bracket you can barely see inside the room created by the three panels and the door. The door opening is, of course 80% covered by you standing right in front of it. If this is not an exercise move you can regularly do, contact the Weber folks for some hints on how others might have done it. My male self-confidence prevented me from making that call. However, I devised a board to slide the container in on and a block to pivot it up to where it made contact with the mounting bracket.

28. This drawing really puzzled me. Was it a children's firecracker, as the lower detail picture showed? (I know, kids today are not allowed to have them. About 70 years ago I was.) Or, was it a test mechanism to see if the ignition system worked, as the upper detail drawing seems to show? "Neither" the Weber folks said. The one with the firecracker came closest. It was a lit match, to be used if your ignition system did not work. First you had to take the top iron grid off, though. Somehow the match was locked in place at the end of the long stick attached to the chain, they said. On my side of this conversation I was almost tempted to do my impersonation of Bob Newhart: "Don't tell me." I would say. "Then you carefully lower the chain with the burning match down to where all the gas is." I would say. "And if this does not blow you to Kingdom come, you reassemble your grill and put the steaks on."
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on August 21, 2014
The grill cooks fine, I was disappointed that the flavorizer bars on such an expensive grill were not stainless steel, and will be prone to rusting out...when you spend $648.00 for a stainless steel grill, that's what you expect, stainless steel! Also, the grill is made in China with cheap labor....come on Weber,,,,if your going to pay low wages to have your products made...pass the savings on to the customer....otherwise, employ americans who are greatly in need of jobs!!
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on August 29, 2013
While I like grilling as a nice excuse to be outside and have a beer, I never really enjoyed it much. Seemed like work. Heat is uneven, things cook slow, you feel incompetent because everything dries out before it looks safe to eat. One burger is shoe leather while the other is raw. Then I bought this grill. What a difference. Very even heat although the center is still hotter then the sides, the difference is easily manageable. Sears nicely, then cooks through leaving meat moist on the inside even when cooking lean chicken. Good controls, and the igniter works well. The side shelf without the burner gets really warm so don't leave the tools you want to use resting on it. And definitely, don't leave a cold one on it.

My base plate came bent because of the way the grill is packed--everything rests on it. I didn't bother complaining--the grill still went together well and the unit didn't rock on two wheels. Other than that, the construction and design is good. It goes together easily--just make sure you have plenty of room and a few hours. Scale for the propane tank is sticky, but still seems to give a reasonable clue as to the amount of propane you have left. The controls work well and adjust temperature effectively.
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on September 25, 2014
Mine arrived damaged but Weber is sending new parts so no complaint there although the metal is a bit thin and subject to dents, and a magnet will stick to the "stainless steel" just like the other grills.

Negatives
Only once, the lid handle got too hot to touch when grill burners had been on high. Hasn't happened again. Pilot error somehow? keep an oven mitt nearby anyway.

The hole in the bottom is too large for a propane tank. It would just fall through. So to mount the tank, they use a combination spring operated tank gauge and mount which has a U-shaped lip toward the bottom to hold the tank and a sliding plate which secures the tank to the gauge/mount. This apparatus is held to the right grill panel by two screws. It is set at a certain spring pressure for a specified tank weight. [47.6 lbs] The lip is not wide enough to accommodate the "handle" part of a propane tank so you must use one of the narrow slots in the tank ring. This means that the gas line coupling will likely face forward or toward the rear of the grill, assuming that the rounded tank "handle" is opposite the gas line coupling. This means that there is no way to mount a real pressure gauge since there is not enough clearance when the coupling faces the door or rear of the grill. Widening the mounting lip by 1/8 inch would solve the problem. You could then have three directions to choose from. Or just make sure your propane tank has the handle/lifting part to the right as you face the valve. Or you could just ignore this negative part. I fixed mine.

Positives

Aluminum fire box. [My last C......grill was steel and eventually separated at two of the seams. The steel just deteriorated after 4 years of grilling, smoking, BBQing and abuse.
Flat top lid should result in fewer hot spots since heat cant increase as in a dome top.
Thermometer actually seems to be accurate. A rarity, and could possibly be used for BBQ. But don't throw away your digital yet.
Easy to assemble
Good customer service so far

Summary. I hate the spring gauge mount for the tank and gaping hole in the bottom, but like the rest of it and it has the only aluminum fire box I have seen.
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on April 29, 2015
I have been on the grill hunt for several months now in preparation to replace my CharGriller 5050 Duo (hybrid). I have owned two Duo's that suffered from the same fate - rust. No matter how hard I tried to extend the lives of these grills (covers, shelter, etc.), they rust out completely in one firebox or the other. Instead of purchasing another Duo, I wanted a solid, made-to-last gas grill and charcoal grill. My charcoal grill will probably be the Weber Performer 26" kettle grill. For gas, I decided to take a serious look at Weber's gas line of grills.

Weber is synonymously with premium build quality. Their reputation of building grills that last is a testament if you check out your local or online classified ads. I picked up the SP-320, brand-new on pallet, from a local individual after having conducted in-depth research in the wide variety of gas grills and brands. There are other very formidable brands out there, but I wanted a Weber because of the selection of materials that went into the construction of the grill.

The grill parts come very compact in the box with ample packing material to product the surfaces. The one I purchased came from Weber on a pallet so I did not have any of the reported dents and dings.

Pros:
- The SP-320 is their premium Spirit series grill. The "S" indicates the stainless model. The "E" series indicates the enameled version (available in a variety of colors).
- The Spirit 220/320 series have the added benefit of a strong side burner, which makes for a great place to mount your chimney starter for charcoal grills.
- Aluminum firebox that won't rust out
- Weber warranty is fantastic and long-lived; a testament to their commitment to the product
- Ignition module is serviceable, sealed, and protected in the cabinet beneath the grill.
- Casters are larger than most of the budget grills making it easier to move over driveway gaps or deck boards.
- A special channel runs on the backside of the grill connecting all burners. You only have to use the igniter once for the left burner - the middle and right burners will light using this special channel.
- Enameled steel sides and rear are thin but still thicker than many of the grills you'll check out at your local stores. Once all the pieces are mounted, the grill is VERY solid and does not wobble/flex when being moved.
- Side burner has a nice brass deflector that spreads the flame further from the center point than your average grill. This allows heat to be distributed further towards the outside of your pans to give a better heating surface.
- Porcelain enameled "flavorizer" bars (designed to capture fats which will add natural smoke to the cooking area) sit on solid cutouts built into the firebox. Many average grills will have a thin piece of sheetmetal to rest these bars on that are notorious for rusting out.
- Because the LP tank is meant to be suspended from the fuel gauge device, it does not actually touch the bottom of the grill. While someone commented that this is a poor design, this is a "pro" for me. The steel LP tanks are notorious for rust at its base. Since the tank will never sit in contact with water (via rain or condensation), the base of the LP tank should remain rust free or at least not spread the oxidation to the grill base itself. I like the design.
- Temperature gauge has a nice spread/range so dialing in the ideal temperature should be a piece of cake.
- Even the drip pan that directs grease to the pan is porcelain enameled with stainless steel accents.
- Front casters, when properly mounted, have easy to use locks to keep your grill stationary when cooking.

Cons:
- Other have indicated that the LP tank mounting could be improved. Weber made an assumption that the LP tanks you'd install have the curved handle on the top of the tank directly back. I just exchanged an old tank for a new one with the curved handles on the sides. Because the length of the LP hose basically wants you to face the output of the tank towards the front of the grill, you're forced to finagle the tank onto the mount point of the fuel gauge device precariously. I was able to accommodate without any issues. If your tank handles have a lot of difficulty holding on to the mount point, I recommend taking a piece of wood and striking the handle with a mallet to flatten it down a bit.
- Knobs feel insignificant compared with the rest of the grill parts. Light-weight plastic makes me worry a bit since the kids like to shoot basketball near where the grill area is.
- The stainless steel work surfaces are like any stainless steel appliance - you WILL mark up the finish quite a bit.
- Their grill features sticker on the lid needs to be removed prior to use. It's extremely thin and will separate adding a bit of time to remove all of the sticker material.
- Cabinet handle also feels insignificant, made of lightweight plastic. I can only imagine that this will eventually fail. Only time will tell.

Conclusion:
If you have never had a Weber product before, visit a local store and tap on the grill surfaces (to compare gauge of steel), lift the lid to feel its weight, shake the grill by grabbing a corner, and basically compare all the different brands there. The Weber will definitely stand out among the other grills and help you make that determination to spend the extra money for that 25 year warranty to get a quality product. No regrets here.
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on June 8, 2013
This is the perfect mid-size grill we have ever purchased! NO more burned, dried out or undercooked food again!! The burners work great! You can cook a med-well and a well done steak at the same time!! The temperature gauge on the outside is useful for preheating and trying to maintain a certain temperature inside. It holds its heat. We can actually use the cedar plank more than one time now for doing our salmon which we love! It is a completely solid grill, not made of flimsy material that may be unsteady, buckle or rust. It rolls smoothly from one place on the deck to another. The drip pan underneath actually collects the juice and fat. My husband and I have purchased cheaper grills in the past. They would last 2-3 years but never actually did great grilling. We decided to put a little bit more money into the purchase so that we could have better grilling and longevity of the product. We belong to Consumer Report and this grill got excellent scores and reviews. When we purchased this grill, we too had a dent in the floor of the grill. We purchased our grill from Amazon.com. But I noticed the Weber phone number on the instruction manual, and called Weber instead. I spoke with a very nice woman on the phone. No problems or hassles at all. She simply asked me for the serial number located on the manual and in doing so, brought up our grill, registered our product and put a rush on it since we were approaching Memorial Day weekend and needed it, at no cost to me, I should add. As much as I was disappointed in the the defective grill floor, I was so appreciative to the fact that Weber handled the problem effortlessly! As for the grill, I honestly haven't had such great grilled food at home ever! It works great. We found it easy to put together. And use it all the time. I have not used the side burner yet. I have never had one before. I am sure that too will be a nice bonus for when do our corn on the cob!! I really do recommend this grill. You will not be disappointed!
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on January 27, 2014
It is well made and stainless grill is easier to clean. Every thing that I have cooked on it has come out perfect. The trick is to heat the weber up before starting to cook. Temp gauge lets you know when to start your cooking.
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on November 30, 2013
Weber was recommended to me by several people who have owned them for years. Previously, I bought a different brand where the burners rusted within two years and we don't even live near salt water. Plus, I was always careful to clean and maintain the grill. So I decided to give the Weber a try even though it was more expensive than others in its class size. Plus, Consumer Reports rated it highly.

The grill was delivered on time and came on a pallet. The delivery company called a day before to schedule a time to deliver it. My husband and I spent about two hours putting the grill together. The directions were easy to follow and all the pieces were accounted for and labeled. I definitely believe it was easier and faster to assemble the grill with two people although it is not impossible to do it by yourself.

It has a handle inside to which you hook the propane tank. As the gas is used up, the handle lowers and indicates that the tank is almost empty. The grill started right away with an ignition button. It evenly cooked my burgers and sausages from the first use. Over the last month, we've cooked shrimp and veggies and nothing burned or had areas that were undercooked. The grill seems solid and is already working better than my old grill ever did.
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on August 1, 2015
We absolutely love this grill. I used to be the gal who'd buy the least expensive option thinking they are all the same. I had a gas grill I never used because the meat didn't taste like it had been grilled. I didn't see the point so would just use my oven. A few years of barely being used and being outside under the deck (so sort of covered) and the grill was literally falling apart. The drip pan crumbled, for example. I then bought a charcoal grill thinking it would give more flavor. Oh boy -- I didn't realize how long it takes to get the coals going to a point where you can grill. Try about an hour. Then there's the clean-up. So yes, we used that about 3 times and it's now covered under the porch (at least it's covered this time). I bought this grill because I wanted to have an easy way to grill often, have it taste great and wanted a grill that would last years. I have no regrets. We have used this grill about 20 times already. That's more than we used the old gas grill and charcoal combined.

It was not hard to put together, IMHO. I read through the directions once before doing anything and that was extremely helpful because there are a few key directions you may miss. For example, two wheels are lockable, two are not. Put them in the right spot (it's indicated on the directions).

The only negative is that several pieces arrived dented. This is despite the fact that this is a very well-packed grill upon arrival. That annoyed me, but I did just take a dish towel and a hammer and bang them out (put the dish towel between so as to not damage). Paying this type of money should result in perfect parts so that's a start deduction.

We find that it cooks very evenly and the flavor is delicious. We bought this cover for it: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G441MLC/ref=sr_ph_1?m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&ie=UTF8&qid=1438434018&sr=sr-1&keywords=Duck+covers+elite. 53 inch works well.
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on June 4, 2013
I love this grill! After our last grill, a cheap model bought locally, this grill really delivers. The heat is easy to regulate, though with all three burners on it gets very hot. I like the side burner for cooking onions, mushrooms or heating up sauces. I wasn't sure I would use it but find that on really hot nights it's perfect because I don't have to turn on my kitchen stove top and heat up the house.
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