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As a follow-on from our article on two-burner grills, we felt it was the right and apt thing to do to launch straight into another similarly themed review; three-burners.
Three burners are better than two, right?
Is it the case that bigger really is better?
Well, what you lose in the portability of the two-burner units, you gain in cooking space and versatility.
The way most of us at wellfed see it, is that the three-burner fills out a middle ground in the market in a way that they are ideal if you want to cook for several guests but are conscious of the risk of going into overkill mode.
As such, for many of us, the three-burner size really is more appropriate for our expectations of a cook-out than a two-burner.
We wanted to look into this further, and so, without much further ado, we introduce to those of you craving the more versatile style of outdoor cooking; the best three-burner grills for 2019.
1. The Char-Broil Performance 450
This dynamic little Char-Broil unit boasts 450 square inches of primary cooking over porcelain-coated grates, and a 150 square inch swing-away rack for your warming needs. Its all-important versatility as a grill is then enhanced by its three top-ported burners, which serve to make for more accurate and precise temperature control. The Surefire ignition system is no-nonsense and delivers precisely what it promises: no more having to have a long lighter to hand, and no more having to twist slowly and cautiously looking for the ignitions ‘sweet spot’.
These are all great features, but our favorite, and the one that more than justifies the price of the Char-Broil, is the TEC infrared system. This tech keeps your meats nice and juicy, and 100% free from the dry rubbery textures resulting from overcooking. We reckon this quirky extra is well worth the extra cost! Whether novice or veteran, you will benefit from this feature. It’s not just a gimmick!
- Goes together nicely
The unit is surprisingly easy to assemble and shouldn’t take even the most ‘green’ of DIYers too long to work out.
- Versatility, manageability, control
The temperatures really are as easy to manage as the manufacturers claim. No more flare-ups. Instead it’s a one-way ticket to beautifully lined grill marks and even cooking throughout.
- Quality assured
Char-Broil is a well-known manufacturer of quality products, and many of you will recognize the name and will have already associated the name to its connotations of quality. Well, this grill is no different to the norm in that regard, and it looks like Char-Broil are continuing to build long-lasting products that they then stand behind. Their customer service continues to fare excellently.
- A grill of few words
There are rumors that the grates are notoriously difficult to clean, but as those remain unsubstantiated, we wouldn’t be all that concerned about it. The only issue we could find with the Performance TRU-Infrared 450 3-Burner is that the assembly instructions could have perhaps benefitted with the inclusion of more wording for those of us who can’t function on pictures alone. A really minor complaint for what is overall a great grill!
2. The Weber Spirit II E-310
As was the case in our ‘best two-burner grills’ series, the Weber towers over the other 5 grills in this series also. It is a true goliath, boasting roughly an acre (or 529 square inches) of primary cooking space spread out over three burners, which are responsible for putting out a characteristically large 30,000 BTU per hour.
Naturally then – it being a Weber, this unit does sport a price tag which reflects its capabilities; but we think that Weber are totally within their right to charge what they do for this grill (which isn’t much more than their two-burner version). It boasts the state-of-the-art GS4 grilling system, porcelain-enamelled Glamorizer bars and a new and improved infinity ignition system. We also love the reversible grill – thick on one side, thin on the other. Overall, it’s clear that the materials used in the construction of this unit are first rate, and the quality is apparent throughout. We can’t imagine that any part of this would be subject to decay any time in the near future. We would suppose that’s why they offer a ten-year warranty!
- Gets up to heat, fast!
The Weber can get up to around 600°F in mere minutes, so you’re ready to grill pretty much instantly.
- No hassle!
Weber offer professional assembly as an option, which we would recommending opting in for, as the Weber range are known to be notoriously tedious to assemble. So why not take a day off and let someone else do the grunt-work?
- Insanely generous warranty
As is the case with the two-burner of this series; Weber are so certain they’ve rolled out yet another quality product that they’re willing to put their money where their mouth is. This grill comes with a ten-year warranty. That’s right, ten years!
- Dedicated after-market team
In terms of customer service, Weber cannot be faulted. In order to protect the reputation of the brand, customer service representatives frequently comment on negative reviews, looking to resolve dissatisfied customers issues directly.
- The price point
We did mention that this thing will set you back more than a few bucks, didn’t we? As it turns out, that’s about the only flaw we can find with the Weber 45010001 Spirit II E-310 3-Burner!
3. The Dyna-Glo DGB390SNP-D
The Dyna-Glow offers something a bit special as part of its repertoire; commercial grade burners! Any of you who have worked in a professional kitchen before will be able to testify that these burners are made to stand the test of time. They’re practically designed to be banged about for decades and survive. To offer this standard of burner on an outdoor grill is SUCH a nice touch. We also appreciate the double-walled stainless-steel lid, which serves to reduce heat loss, but also adds a sense of toughness and durability.
Overall, the feel we get from the Dyna-Glo DGB390SNP-D is that build quality was a central concern for the manufacturer, and we can definitely support that as an ethos; 100%. However, it would be wrong to suggest that this is a dull, lifeless grill, whose sole design feature is functionality. It does also boast some interesting and unique features: this is not a primitive machine! For example; this model offers infinite control valve options, which makes a fully customizable grilling experience, leaving you to be the master of your foods’ destiny.
- Large cooking area
The Dyna-Glo DGB390SNP-D puts out a huge 36’000 BTU over an ample 390 square inches of primary cooking space (507 square inches total cooking space).
- Ease of assembly
The assembly instructions given are reasonably coherent, and the assembly itself is spectacularly easy. Many of the parts come fully assembled, like the main grill, burners, and regulator; in essence, all you have to do at home is to put the stand together and put the grill assembly in place.
- Design excellence
The design of this unit is not only aesthetically pleasing and ergonomic, it’s simply excellent when it comes to its functionality. There is no part of this grill that leaves you thinking “now why did they put that there?”; it is all logical. We dig it!
- What’s the catch?!
Price-point: In many ways, this grill is surprising, but perhaps the element we found most surprising is the quality of build it offers for such a low price. The Dyna-Glo undercuts most grills of its apparent quality by more than just pocket change; unbelievable value for money!
- One faulty part
The Dyna-Glo appears to have a long running issue with their grease trays. These, after a year or so, tend to wind up plagued with rust or sometimes even falling apart entirely. This a particularly annoying on an otherwise fantastic grill.
4. The MASTER COOK 3 Burner
At this point we felt that it was necessary to include a grill for those on a tighter budget, who still crave the outdoor cooking experience, and who also don’t want to be short-changed on quality. The MASTER COOK fires on all cylinders in this regard, offering 30,000 BTU over a total of 473 square inches of enamelled porcelain. The built-in temperature gauge is a nice feature, and it reveals that this grill gets up to temperature fast.
The MASTER COOK is also remarkably small for a three-burner unit, and sports some drop down shelves, allowing those with less space to accommodate for a more versatile three-burner as opposed to having to opt for a two-burner model.
- Ease of assembly
An absolute novice can put this thing together! The directions given are very clear and the hardware is well laid out. The whole process should take less than an hour.
- No hot spots
This grill has enough power to heat up quickly, and when it gets there it distributes its heat evenly. No hot or cold spots!
- Costs next to nothing
We really can’t reiterate enough how cheap this thing is compared to nearly all grills its size, and as far as we can tell it holds up to scrutiny on build quality. There’s no obvious corner-cutting going on at the plant. Good job, guys!
- Ignition system
The ignition system doesn’t exactly set the world on fire. For starters there is only one lighter on the grill, and so you have to light the center burner first and then light the other two from that. In addition, it doesn’t exactly light first time, every time.
5. The Camp Chef Tahoe Deluxe
Alright, before we get going with this review, it’s important that we address the elephant in the room. Yes, we realize that this grill is as ugly as sin, but let’s not be too hasty here and judge a book solely on its cover. This Camp Chef means business! It pumps out a jet engine-like 90,000 BTU per hour over three cast aluminium burners (30k each) and brings fully adjustable heat-control dials to the party as well.
Logically then, it could be assumed that due to these high-performance statistics that this grill would be amongst the most expensive of its type; but it’s not! It costs pocket change, and that’s because this is minimalism at its best; no whimsical gadgets, no bulky add-ons: just you, nature, and a high-performance grill. We can get behind that!
Of all of the grills in this review series, this one wins on portability. Its simplistic no-nonsense design, removable legs, and optional carry case (~35$ extra) mean you can easily just grab this thing and go.
Despite the massive output of the burners, they can each be adjusted to a tiny flame without going out.
The Camp chef is a seriously sturdy build. We wouldn’t be at all surprised to hear tales of one of these lasting 30+ years.
- Portable, but heavy
It’s not an enviable task trying to find a flaw with this particular grill, but yet, here we go. It’s heavy! Though it may disassemble nicely and fit in an optional carry case, don’t be expecting to be able to hike with this thing; you’ll be exhausted after a few hundred yards.
6. The Royal Gourmet PD1300
Those of you who are veterans of the outdoor cooking scene, or indeed read our two-burner review, will be unsurprised that a Royal Gourmet unit has made our ‘best of’ list for 2019. As a manufacturer, they are keen on rolling out quality products at a fraction of a price of their competitors. As such, they are great for those who crave the outdoor cooking experience but may not necessarily have the funds for the top of the line gear.
However, as is the case with most Royal Gourmet products, there is no evidence to suggest that they are skimping on anything important, and as such, this little portable unit performs quite well. It boasts 3 separately controllable burners, each capable of putting out 9,000 BTU – which is no small feat for a unit a meagre 23.6”L x 13.4”W!
- Great build quality
Considering its bargain-basement price, this thing is very well put together. It boasts durable stainless-steel panels and a porcelain enamelled grill.
- Great customer service
As is always the case with Royal Gourmet, they stand by their product after selling. We were quite pleased to see that a lot of the negative reviews on this product (and others of theirs) were addressed directly by a customer service representative. In an era where the quick dollar is king, it’s great to see an ethical approach to customer care. Kudos!
- Compact but uncompromising
The PD1300 was designed to be portable, compact and miniature, but this does not necessarily mean that your meals also need to be downsized. This grill can handle a surprising amount of food!
- Pocket change
Coming in at a fraction of the cost of its rivals, we can’t understand why you wouldn’t opt for this one, if cost is a driving factor for you.
- Uneven temperature
The heat is mainly focused on the back of the grill, away from the controls. Once you’re prepared for this, however, it doesn’t create much of a problem.
Best 3 burner gas grill buying guide summary
There we have it, a complete round-up of all three-burner grills we feel are worth giving a second look. Within this shortlist, we’ve meandered from cheap to expensive, compact to large, portable to gargantuan, and possibly every other variant we could think of! To us, each one of these grills holds the potential to be the perfect cooking partner for you, the reader, depending on your own style of cooking and your preferred meals. That being said; we have also included some great all-rounders for the inexperienced or indecisive among us. These offer compromise and quality, without sacrifice and will guarantee you the pleasure of delicious and hassle-free outdoor cooking for years to come.
As a parting note, we would be interested in hearing from you, the reader, to clarify a debate we’ve been having here. Is there really any need for a larger grill than this, or is it the case that beyond this size it’s just overkill?