The cross product line comparison of the Weber Q 3200 and Spirit II 210 is an interesting study. Both are two burner gas grills with identical MSRPs and are available for use as liquid propane or natural gas grills. There are some obvious styling differences between the two grills but there are plenty of other details to consider.
Between the two grills the Weber Spirit II 210 will be the better choice for MOST people. Let’s look at the real differences between the two products and figure out which one is right for you.
The styling between the two grills is extremely different and some people want to buy just on looks alone. The Q 3200 is rounder, has a wider stance and is available in an “off white/cream” color. The Spirit II 210 is sleek but is still “boxier” than the Q. Starting in 2018 the redesigned Spirit II grills are available in Black, Ivory, Sapphire and Red (the natural gas version is only available in Black).
Both grills run off of a 20 pound propane tank. The tank is hidden behind the black mesh on the Weber Q but is exposed on the side of the Spirit.
The differences in styling leads directly to a discussion of materials of construction and warranties.
These grills are made of different materials and come with very different warranties.
The Weber Spirit II 210 is all steel construction. All major components on the grill are warrantied for 10 years.
The Weber Q 3200 cooking chamber is made of cast aluminum and the frame is composed of glass reinforced nylon. All major components on the grill are warrantied for 5 years.
Based on the warranty difference alone the Weber Spirit II 210 is the better deal.
Here is a BIG difference to consider before making a purchase: Although the Spirit has the better warranty the Q 3200 will last longer in harsh environments.
If you plan on putting your grill into service in a coastal area or by your swimming pool then the cast aluminum and nylon composites in the Weber Q will resist corrosion from the salt and chlorine much better than the steel in the Spirit.
This is a big deal as far as I am concerned. Although these are both two burner grills the burners have absolutely nothing in common.
The primary burner on the Weber Q 3200 is somewhat circular and heats the perimeter of the grilling surface. The secondary burner is a linear tube in the middle of the grill. This burner design lets you grill with “Low, Medium or High” heat across the entire grill. You cannot set up a two zone grilling system with a Weber Q where one part of the grill is hotter than the other.
The two independent linear burners on the Spirit II do allow you to set up a two zone grilling system and as such greatly increase your flexibility in how you manage your grill.
Weber Q 3200 Specifications
- 393 square inches
- 43.5″H X 50.2″W X 21″D with lid closed
- 80 pounds
- 21,700 BTU/hr
Weber Spirit II 210 Specifications
- 360 square inches
- 44.5″H X 48″W X 27″D with lid closed
- 103 pounds
- 26,500 BTU/hr
Both grills have a similar footprint. There is a 20 pound difference in weight between the two grills that reflects the different materials of construction.
The Weber Q has a larger primary cooking surface than the Spirit but the increased surface is heated by lower powered burners. The Spirit offers 74 BTU/hr per square inch of grilling space compared to 55 BTU/hr per square inch on the Q 3200. This is also much greater than you get with the smaller Q2000 and Q2200 grills.
Again, I would give the advantage to the Spirit based upon the heating ability.
Grease Management Differences
This is something that sounds mundane but is a massive difference.
The Spirit has metal “tents” over the burners called Flavorizer bars. The Flavorizer bars both protect the burners and vaporize the dripping grease. The vaporized grease is one of the things that make grilled food taste so amazing (thus the name “Flavorizer bars”).
In contrast, the Q 3200 uses grooves in the cooking grate to direct grease away from the burners and into a grease collection system. While the design works okay, in practice a lot of grill debris (grease, marinades, etc) does come into contact with the burner. This causes more frequent flare ups and clogged burner ports on the Q than you get with the Spirit.
The use of Flavorizer bars is a MASSIVE advantage for the Spirit over the Q both in terms of minimizing flare ups and the final flavor of your food.
Head to Head Summary
Unless you are placing your grill somewhere with a lot of salt or chlorine, or if you just like the looks of the Q 3200 better, then the Weber Spirit II 210 is the grill that you ought to buy.
The Spirit II 210 has a longer warranty, higher heating, greater flexibility and better performance than the Q 3200.
Here is a nice video from Weber that walks you through some of the other features of the Spirit II line of grills. The video is not very long and helps you see what a really nice grill this is.