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I’m often asked for my opinion on the best small gas grills. People are looking for a small portable grill to cook with their condo, apartment, or vacation home that doesn’t take up too much space and still does a good job cooking food. We all know that most people use their bbq during the year’s warmer months. The Q is great for this type of use. So with the help of my assistant, I tested two Q grills. I fully expected them to cook the same, but I was hoping for some differences that might sway me one way or another.
Main Differences Between Weber Q2200 and Q3200
The main differences between the Weber Q2200 and Q3200 are:
- The Weber Q2200 has a porcelain enamel-coated cast-iron cooking grate, whereas the Weber Q3200 has a stainless steel cooking grate.
- The Q2200 has small plastic wheels and a built-in stand, whereas the Q3200 has larger wheels with two plastic locking mechanisms on either side of the revolution but no stand.
- The Q2200 has a plastic catch tray for the grease, whereas the Q3200 has a metal drip tray with a removable aluminum insert.
- The Q2200 has a built-in dial thermometer on the lid, whereas the Q3200 has an external metal probe thermometer.
Q2200 vs. Q3200 – Side by Side Comparisons
Lid Thermometer – One of the main differences between these two grills is measuring food temperature. The Q2200 has a thermometer built-in on the lid, whereas the Q3200 measures food temperature with an external metal probe inserted into the lid.
Sticky Coated Grease Tray – The grease tray is another difference between these two grills. The tray on the Q2200 is made of plastic and is coated with a sticky non-stick coating. The grease tray on the Q3200 has a metal bottom with a non-stick coating and holds a removable aluminum insert. The metal on the Q3200 grease tray is not coated.
Exterior – There are a few more differences on the outside of these two grills. First, they have two very different types of wheels. The Q2200 has small plastic wheels and a stand built-in. The Q3200 has larger, two plastic locking mechanisms on either side of the wheel but no stand. They also have different catch trays for the grease. The Q2200 has a plastic catch tray, and the Q3200 has a metal catch tray with a removable aluminum insert.
Common Areas – The two grills are the same width, depth, and height. They have the same number of burner tubes. The grates are the same size and grilled to about the same height above the burners. They both have a side burner, thermometer, and the same number of tool holders attached to them.
Q2200 vs. Q3200 – The Test
- I prepped both grills the same way. I used a Weber Chimney Starter and eight pieces of natural lump charcoal (all lump is not created equal) and lit them in the grill.
- I placed both grills on a stand in my driveway. The grills were side by side and facing opposite directions.
- Both grills were in the open air and not in direct sunlight.
- I let the charcoal get to about 500 degrees in both grills.
- I placed four pieces of double-thick steak on the Q3200 to test flare-ups.
- I placed four pieces of double-thick steak on the Q2200 and opened the lid quickly to sear. I then closed the cover and waited for about 10 minutes.
- I turned both grills off and let them sit covered for about 10 minutes.
- I opened both grills and tested the steaks with a Thermopen. The steaks on the Q3200 came out medium-rare, while the steaks on the Q2200 were closer to rare.
The Weber Q2200 is a small, compact grill. It is perfect for grilling small amounts of food and keeping it warm when cooking large quantities of food.
The Q2200 has an all-encompassing cast aluminum lid, four legs with built-in tool hooks, one enamel coated cast iron cooking grate, two burners, a side burner that can also be used as a warming rack with the lid shut, and a built-in thermometer.
The Q2200 only has one adjustable burner. The other burner is fixed. It can grill up to eight hamburgers at once with proper airflow around each burger. Airflow is essential for this grill to reach its full potential.
The Q2200 grill is perfect for camping or tailgating. Its small yet rugged design makes it great for these purposes. The side burner can be used for boiling water or making coffee. I recommend getting the optional propane adapter hose that attaches to the standard 20-pound propane tank, which you adopt into your campsite to use the side burner.
The best thing about this grill is how compact it is! It can easily be stored in a small closet or garage. The downside to this grill is its cooking capabilities, but Weber has solved that problem with an optional stainless steel grate upgrade which increases cooking space by 35%.
Performance is where this grill truly shines. Its sheer portability and compact design make this grill extremely useful for tailgating, camping, or picnics. I have used this grill while tailgating, camping, and for my family at home.
Using it is simple. Add charcoal, turn on the adjustable burner to the desired heat level, let it get hot, then add your food. I recommend having a full chimney starter of charcoal to use this grill at its full potential.
Weber offers very affordable prices. For a comparable grill of a different brand, you’ll pay about $50 more. This grill is an excellent value for all of its features.
The Weber Q3200 is another small, compact grill. The main difference between the two grills is that this one has three adjustable burners instead of one.
Like the Q2200, it also has an all-encompassing cast aluminum lid, four legs with built-in tool hooks, one enamel coated cast iron cooking grate, two burners, a side burner which can also be used as a warming rack with the lid shut, and a built-in thermometer.
The Q3200 has one standard 20-pound propane tank that sits underneath the grill and one extra propane tank holder on each side of the grill for a total of three tanks.
The Q3200 has a more extensive cooking area than the Q2200 and can easily fit eight steaks at once or nine hamburgers without sacrificing airflow around each piece of food. These two grills are both great for camping and tailgating.
The main differences between the two grills are that the Q3200 has a larger grill area, three adjustable burners instead of one, and thicker steel.
This grill steps up performance quite a bit. Having three adjustable burners allows the user to set each burner to a different heat level. This means that the Q3200 can be used for large amounts of food. The extra propane tank holder allows the user to more easily use one half of the grill for cooking food while still leaving enough propane in the tank to use the other half for cooking without switching tanks. The thicker steel and bigger grill area make this a great tailgate or camping grill.
With a somewhat hefty price tag, this grill is more expensive than the Q2200. However, it is well worth the money for those who wanted at once and increase their performance to cook larger amounts of food.
If you’re looking for this kind of grill, there are plenty of other alternatives you might want to look at. Let’s take a look at some of your other options so you can make a better decision.
One alternative is the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Grill2Go X200. You can grill up to 200 square inches of food on this guy. It has a lid that can adjust up or down, multiple fold-out side tables, and wheels for easy transport.
There is a grease catcher below the grill to prevent grease flare-ups, and it has large 10″ wheels for easy transport.
There’s also the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Grill2Go X200-S. This one is exactly like the former, except that this one can be used as either a tabletop or full stand grill.
Another good alternative is the Coleman Road Trip LXE Portable Propane Grill. This grill weighs 31 pounds and is relatively large compared to most other portable grills. It has a drip tray, easy-to-clean surfaces, and adjustable heat controls.
Keep in mind that this one uses small 16.4-ounce propane canisters instead of a large propane tank.
This grill has a 240 square inch grilling area, while most other portable grills have a 160 square inch cooking surface. It’s also easy to transport because it comes with a handle and two giant 10″ wheels on one side of the grill.
Coleman claims that this grill will reach 3500 BTU, although it only has a 285 average review score on Amazon.
There’s also the Coleman Road Trip LX Portable Propane Grill which isn’t as large as this one, but it gives you the same cooking area and performance. The main difference between this one and the previous one is that it doesn’t come with wheels, so it’s harder to transport.
If you’re still considering which grill you want, these frequently asked questions may help you make a better decision.
Answer: It depends on the grill, so you’ll have to look at each one individually and see which better match your cooking needs. Usually, a large tank will perform much better than multiple smaller tanks because it can supply more consistent heat.
Answer: No, the cheaper models such as the Q2200 and Q3200 aren’t nearly as good as the more expensive premium models. The only way to know if a grill is made by Weber or not is to look at its logo or any other markings.
Answer: This is another question that you will have to answer for yourself because it will depend on your personal preferences and cooking needs. You can read our earlier blog post about the subject if you want more information, though.
Answer: Yes, a larger grill with a greater cooking area can quickly produce better results. One of the main benefits of grilling with a portable grill is that it’s easy to transport, but you will have to sacrifice some cooking area for portability.
Answer: This is another question you’ll have to answer yourself because it depends on what type of road trip you’re doing and how many people you’re cooking for. If a grill is heavy and bulky, it’s going to be a pain in the butt to take with you on a road trip, especially if you have limited space in your car.
Answer: You can get an adaptor hose so that you don’t have to use 16.4-ounce propane canisters instead of a large propane tank, a griddle for cooking pancakes and bacon, or a rotisserie kit to cook chickens on your grill grates.
These Weber grills are good for a wide range of cooking needs. The Q2200 has a smaller grilling area, so it’s not going to produce the same great results as the Q3200, but it’s much more portable and can easily be taken anywhere. The Q3200 is also better suited for long road trips because it comes with large wheels, making it easier to transport.
Price-wise, both of these grills are relatively cheap, and you can get the Q3200 for $100 less than the Q2200, which is a pretty big margin considering that this grill offers better cooking performance and has a larger grilling area.
These Weber grills have received great reviews on Amazon, and it’s hard to pick a clear winner. Although the Q3200 is better suited for long road trips, the Q2200 produces much better results, making it more versatile and valuable if you want something that can cook food evenly without burning it.
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