The number of burners is something you should look at when buying a new grill. While your decision shouldn’t depend on this alone, it ensures that the grill truly matches your needs. Three and four-burner grills are fit for medium to large parties, but which one should you purchase?
More often than not, more burners give you more space to cook. A 4-burner grill would typically have more space than a 3-burner grill. So what you should really be asking yourself is how many people you plan on serving.
A 3-burner grill would be great for medium-sized parties. If you plan on inviting your friends and family for a nice backyard cookout, three burners are enough to grill those burgers, steaks, and side dishes.
On the other hand, a 4-burner grill is fit to serve a bigger crowd. It’s ideal for hosting BBQ parties where you’re expecting more guests. But even if you’re not, it’s still a good option if you just want to have extra room on the grill for more food.
With the cooking space that a 4-burner grill provides, you can cook more comfortably without worrying too much about running out of dishes to serve.
Then again, this is not something that’s written in stone, since there are varying sizes of 3-burner and 4-burner grills.
But if you’re really going for the big guns for a huge crowd or for commercial use, there are 5-burner and even 6-burner grills that are made for heavy-duty usage. You can learn how the 5-burner compares against the 4-burner here.
Grills don’t consume the same amount of fuel. Each burner has a specific BTU rating, which indicates how much fuel a burner is consumed.
BTU or British Thermal Unit simply refers to the total heat output and the fuel consumption of the grill per hour. So the higher the BTUs, the more fuel your grill drinks up every hour.
That being said, the fuel consumption of a 4-burner grill is more than that of a 3-burner grill. The additional burner generates more BTUs, giving you more cooking power.
While a high BTU rating may seem appealing, just know that it doesn’t equate to a hotter grill. You can think of it more as an efficiency rating, so other grill features such as even heat distribution or temperature range can be more important.
Perhaps the most notable difference between a 3-burner grill and a 4-burner grill is the way you can control the temperature.
It’s important to know that when you buy a grill, the temperature of each burner can be set to a different one. This comes handy when you want to cook different types of meat  or other foods all at once.
In a 3-burner grill, you can set two burners to high heat, perfect for direct grilling. Then, the other burner can be set to a lower temperature, which is good for low and slow cooking.
It can also be the other way around where you set two burners to a lower temp, and one burner to searing temps.
On a 4-burner grill, you’d have the same flexibility but with a wider space. You can set two burners to high heat, while the other two burners can be set to a lower heat.
For increased control, you can even set each burner to the ideal temperature of each piece of meat you’re cooking. So if you’re grilling different kinds of food all at once, you’d have more freedom with a 4-burner grill than with a 3-burner grill.
Still, it really comes down to what you need. If you’re not too keen on specific temperatures and you don’t really need that much flexibility, a 3-burner grill does the job.
In relation to the temperature-independence of each burner from the others, a grill with more burners allows you to be more flexible with your cooking.
For example, your menu has ribs, chicken, pork butt, and beef for meat, plus some veggie recipes for side dishes. You may want to cook different food items at the same time, but it can be tricky to do so at the right temperatures.
So the more burners you have, the more types of food you can simultaneously cook. Since each burner can be set to a different temperature, a 3-burner grill gives you three different temperature zones and a 4-burner grill gives you four different temperature zones.
In the end, it really depends on your needs. If you prefer just three heat zones, that’s still more than enough for the average cookout.
A great 3-burner grill we recommend is the Blaze BLZ-3 built-in grill. Blaze is a big player in the industry, and their products speak for themselves.
The BLZ-3 has 304 cast stainless steel burners and heavy 8mm stainless steel cooking rods, which are extremely durable. As for the cooking space, you have 560 square inches of cooking surface plus a removable warming rack to keep cooked food nice and warm.
There are heat zone separators on this grill, dividing it into different heat zones. And to avoid charring, the grill is equipped with flame-stabilizing grids that minimize flare-ups.
Despite the more compact size, this grill is a tough one considering the material and features it offers. It’s also something that will last for years, aptly so with the lifetime warranty.
If you’ve settled on a 4-burner grill, the Summerset Sizzler SIZ32 is a great option. Like Blaze, it has 304 stainless steel burners for durability and reliability.
Each burner generates 12,000 BTUs, and there’s also a 15,000-BTU infrared rotisserie that provides additional cooking space. You got 795 square inches of grilling area on this grill, making it perfect for serving a big crowd.
The easy-to-clean briquette trays are a nice addition as well. It helps with even heat distribution while preventing flare-ups. And as backyard grillers know, flare-ups can cause charring, giving food a bitter taste.
Overall, this grill provides all the essentials you need for a seamless and hassle-free BBQ night. With great cooking power plus a generous cooking surface, it’s fit for beginner grillers or professional chefs.
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