How many burners do you need in a grill? Ideally, you’d have two burners so you could set up a direct and indirect grilling zone. Adding one more burner can make a difference, too. Here, we compare 2 burner and 3 burner grills to help you make the choice.
Generally speaking, a 3 burner grill would have more cooking space than a 2-burner one due to the additional burner. But most of the time, the difference between the cooking surfaces don’t have a very wide gap.
To give an example, let’s compare two grills from Summerset and Blaze. The Summerset Builder ALT30T is a 2 burner grill that has 780 square inches of total cooking surface. On the other hand, the Blaze Professional BLZ3-PRO is a 3 burner grill that offers a bit more space at 816 square inches.
Still, this is not to say that all 2 burner grills have small cooking surfaces. When comparing some 2-burner and 3-burner models side by side, you can also find 2-burner options that provide a bigger cooking area. (You can head off to another review of ours if you are looking for the best small gas grills.)
The question you should ask yourself here is the number of people you’ll be cooking for. If you’re just looking forward to serving a small number of people, then a 2-burner grill would suffice.
But if you need more room to grill food for family and friends, you might want to go for a 3 burner option. However, this might not be enough if you’re serving a large crowd at your BBQ party. Four or five-burner grills may be more up to that challenge.
Another thing you should consider is the temperature controls. Each burner is a gas grill that can be set at a different temperature, so more burners mean more control.
One burner can be set at a high temperature for direct grilling, flame-broiling, and searing purposes. Meanwhile, the other burner can have a lower temperature for indirect grilling . You’d need this kind of flexibility at some point, and that’s why at least two burners are ideal.
However, a 3-burner would give you more wiggle room because of the additional burner. You can play around with this however you like. You can utilize two burners for the searing zone and one burner for the indirect heating zone, or you can do it the other way around.
But since each burner can be controlled independently, you have the freedom to set each one to a different temperature if you’d like.
So if you’re a bit keen on cooking different kinds of food over its ideal heat, then a 3-burner grill gives you more leeway to achieve perfectly-cooked food each time.
In line with temperature controls, having more burners also gives you more flexibility.
For instance, you have different meat pieces and veggies in the menu you’ll be serving. In a 2-burner grill, you can cook in two sections by dividing the surface into a high-heat and low-heat zone.
As for a 3-burner grill, you can get three jobs done at the same time since the three burners can be separately controlled. You could be searing a steak on one area, cooking burgers on another, and light-cooking side dishes on the third burner.
Having three separate heat zones will help you cook more food simultaneously. Some of the side dishes we love throwing on the grill are asparagus, zucchinis, potatoes, cabbages, and peppers. They complement meat recipes really well.
But then again, not everybody may need this kind of flexibility. If two heat zones are enough for you, then a 2 burner grill would do just fine. In the end, it all boils down to personal preference.
There are different types of gas grills you can choose from. You can have a built-in gas grill, a freestanding grill, a drop-in grill, and a portable grill.
You can get a 2-burner or a 3-burner gas grill built-in, drop-in, freestanding, or even an entire outdoor kitchen island. For a built-in option, you need to have a cutout especially made for the grill. Freestanding options can come fully assembled if you don’t have a cutout ready.
As for drop-in grills, remember that you must put it on a non-combustible surface for obvious safety reasons.
If you like to take your grill with you when camping or on the beach, portable grill options are available but they will most likely have one burner only.
One catch with having more burners on a grill is the increase in fuel consumption as well. Before buying a grill, check the BTU rating on the grill specifications to get an idea of how much fuel it will consume.
Since a 3-burner grill has an additional burner, it would generate more BTUs per hour, thus drinking up more fuel.
Despite the flexibility and added space of 3-burner grills, there are 2-burner options that can blow other models out of the water - like this one from Summerset.
The ALT30T is a luxurious 2-burner grill with cast red brass burners, 304 stainless steel finish, and heavy-duty 9mm cooking grates.
From these features alone, we find this grill extremely durable. The main burners generate 26,000 BTUs each, and the back burner and smoker burner provides more grilling area.
The Summerset Alturi ALT30T offers 780 square inches of cooking surface. And with the LED front panel lighting, you won’t have any trouble grilling at night.
If you’re certain that a 3-burner grill is what you need, the Blaze Professional BLZ-3PRO is one of the best you can get. It has 304 cast stainless steel burners that generate 54,000 BTUs in total, plus a 10,000-BTU infrared rotisserie burner.
It has 816 square inches of total cooking space, making it ideal for serving meats to a moderately-sized crowd. For light cooking or keeping things warm, there’s also a warming rack you can use.
With flame-stabilizing grids, heat zone separators, push-and-turn flame-thrower ignition, illuminated control knobs, and a double-lined hood, the Blaze BLZ-3PRO really provides all the essentials needed by a backyard chef.
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