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3 burner vs 4 burner gas grill

3 Burner vs 4 Burner Gas Grill. How to Pick the Right One for You

Grilling definitely requires some sort of skill. But you can’t disregard how the type of cooktop you use also contributes to the entire cooking process. While you have the option to pick between an electric grill, induction or gas grill, most people favor the latter – and with good reason. Gas grills are loved for their durability, cost-effectiveness and the fact that they are cookware friendly. But even so, a further decision has to be made; do you pick a 3 burner or 4 burner gas grill?

In this article we answer this question by explaining the differences between the two, where each both excel and which is better. By the end of this article, you should be in a better position to make a decision that’s best for your needs.

Let’s get started.



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The Science Behind Burner Grills

Before you go any further, we think it’s necessary to start by explaining the science behind burner grills and how they work exactly. When discussing burners found on burner grills, we’re referring to the main or primary burners found on these grills. In other words, these are the burners that you actually use for grilling. And they are found directly under the cooking grate.

Note that we’re not referring to the side burner or rear mounted burners.

These main burners not only provide the primary heat source to your grill but are ultimately responsible for controlling the cooking temperature. With either 3 or 4 burners, you can either have hot, medium, or low temperature zones. Simply control the temperature depending on your intended cooking method.

3 burner vs 4 burner gas grill

Do I need a 3 or 4 Burner Grill?

This brings us to our next question: do you need a 3 or 4 burner gas griller? The answer to this question depends on factors such as the number of people you’ll be cooking for using your burner grill and features to consider.

Number of People

What are your grilling habits? Will you be using the grill just for cooking small meals for your family or you’ll be hosting a number of BBQs?

If you’re going to be mostly cooking for a large number of people, then you might as well opt for 4 burner grill which contains more square inches. While both grills allow you to cook different foods at the same time and at different temperatures the key lies in the amount of food you can cook at any given time.

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4 Burner grills have a larger cooking area compared to 3 burner grills. This essentially means you can prepare more food on this unit. You can cook foods like chicken, steak and even vegetables, fruit and sauces. Because your food prep time is literally cut by half, your guests will be enjoying their meal in no time.

Features to Consider

Keep in mind that whether you pick a 3 or 4 burner grill, you must consider the features like the following ;

  • Materials: The material that makes up these gas grilles to a large extent determine the quality of the grill. Gas grills can either be made of stainless steel, brass or cast iron. Grills with cast iron grates are known for their ability to minimize flare-ups and allow for even heat distribution. Grates made of cast iron are also known to retain heat for longer You can also sear your food without scorching it which many people appreciate. The only major downside to cast iron cooking grates is that they tend to rust and corrode over time. Stainless steel grills are also known to effectively regulate the cooking temperature and reduce flare-ups. Plus, grills made of stainless steel also allow for even temperature distribution so your food will be cooked evenly. More than anything else, steel burners are known to last long. Gas grills made of brass are reasonably priced compared to the other two types.
  • Side burners: Picking a gas grill with side burners is a smart decision. This is because such grills allow you to also cook sauces or other side dishes on the side like sauteing vegetables. These side burners will also keep your side dishes warm.
  • Open or closed cart: Do you want a gas grill that features an opened or closed cart? Know that both allow you access to your tools. The only thing about closed cart grills is that they are easier to store out of sight.
  • Fuel: Consider if the gas grill is powered by charcoal, natural gas, or liquid propane. Natural gas comes with a number of benefits like being more environmentally friendly. Plus it’s considerably cheaper compared to propane.
  • Power: The energy generated by gas grills is measure in British Thermal Units (BTUs). The higher the number, the more power likely to be produced by the unit. Also note that BTU -per-hour produced by the main burners, side burner, and flavorizer bars will differ so pay attention to the different ratings.
  • Warranty: Before deciding whether to pick a three or four burner grill, also consider the warranty period attached to the product. Reputable companies are usually confident in their products and offer reasonable warranties. You can take advantage of this warranty if your unit happens to malfunction while within the warranty period.

3 burner vs 4 burner gas grill

What is the Best 4 Burner Gas Grill?

Given how considerably pricy 4 burner grills are compared to their three burner counterparts, you want to make sure that you make the right pick. That’s why we’ve taken the liberty to research on the best 4 burner gas grillers on the market.

And based on our research, Weber Genesis grills are the units to consider. And the Summit S-470 is one of the best 4 burner gas grilling models to consider. We’re impressed with the overall specs found on the model starting with the sturdy construction. The grill is made of premium stainless steel which takes care of the unit’s durability concerns. This material is known to withstand different kinds of weather. Note that the bars and shroud are also made up of stainless steel.

The cooking grates on the other hand are made of a combination of stainless steel, porcelain-coated steel and porcelain-enameled cast iron. You’ll find these cooking grates easy to clean which is one less thing to worry about.

You’re likely to be impressed by the large cooking area which measures a total of 560 square inches. As a result, you can grill food for up to 10 people at any given time.

The unit also comes with a total of eight control knobs. This allows you to control the cooking temperature depending on the meal you’re preparing. Bear in mind that you can either purchase this unit as a natural gas or liquid propane grill depending on your preference.

This gas grill comes with two side shelves that also feature tool hooks so you can hang your cooking utensils. It also comes complete with a side burner, smoker burner and rear mounted rotisserie burner.

This is the unit to pick if you want a grill that comes with an enclosed cart. And the manufacturer also included a built-in thermometer. Last but not least, you’ll find this unit easy to assemble, operate, and clean after use. You’ll however need to purchase a 20 pound LP tank and fuel gauge which are unfortunately sold separately. You can use this grill to prepare different meals such as meat and burgers.

How Many Burners Do I Need On a Gas BBQ?

The number of burners you’ll need on a gas BBQ grill will depend on quite a number of factors such as the following. Ask yourself the following important questions before deciding on which type you’re buying.

Direct or Indirect Grilling?

The first question you need to ask yourself before deciding on the number of burners to pick is what kind of cooking method you want to do. On any given occasion, you have two types of cooking methods to pick from; direct or indirect. The main differences are highlighted below:

  • Direct cooking: Direct cooking is commonly referred to as grilling. In this instance, the heat source will be directly under the food you’re cooking. Also, direct cooking usually involved searing foods as well as preparing food that doesn’t take more than 20 minutes. Chops, steaks, and hamburgers are usually prepared using this method. If you prefer preparing such foods then you’ll need a one or two burner grill.
  • Indirect cooking: On the other hand, with indirect cooking, also referred to as roasting, there isn’t any direct food under the food. Food is rather cooked using heat produced by the surrounding burners. Foods cooked using these methods generally take much longer to prepare. Roasts, turkey, and chicken pieces are usually cooked using this method. If you’re looking to do indirect cooking, then you’re better off picking either a 3, 4, 5, or 6 burner grill. Why? This is because the more burners there are, the more convectional heat is produced. And essentially, the faster, the cooking process.

3 burner vs 4 burner gas grill

What is the Unit’s Fuel Consumption?

It follows that the more burners the grill has, the more the fuel consumption. If you don’t want have to utilize more fuel than is necessary during your food prep times, then you might as well pick a 3 burner grill. Be sure to consider which fuel is easily accessible to you so you make a cost-effective decision.

How Much Space Do You Have Available?

You’ll also need to consider the space you have available at your home. Do you have ample outdoor space to store your grill or not? If you’re working with minimal space then you can pick a three burner grill since it’ll be slightly smaller than a four burner.

How Much Money Are You Willing to Spend?

Of course, you can’t disregard the cost factor. Simply put; the more the number of burners on a grill, the higher the price tag. This ultimately means that 3 burner gas grills will be slightly cheaper than a gas grill with four burners.

3 burner vs 4 burner gas grill

Is a 2 Burner Grill Enough?

As mentioned earlier, burner gas grills have a different number of burners – including 2. But will such a grill be enough? This will entirely depend on your needs. 2 burner grills are ideal under the following circumstances;

  • Cooking for a small family since it has a very small cooking area
  • In need a unit that’s easy to operate
  • In need a grill that doesn’t use up much fuel
  • If you want a grill that doesn’t take up too much space
  • If you want a burner grill but are working on a tight budget
  • If you only need a grill for direct cooking.

It follows that while a 2 burner grill will save you money, it isn’t the ideal pick if you want to cook for a large number of people or cook huge pieces of meat regularly. Ultimately whether you pick this type of grill is really a matter of preference.


After all is said and done, you have a decision to make. Do you pick a three or four burner? The one you pick is ultimately up to you depending on your individual needs. Just bear in mind that a gas grill with 3 burners is cheaper, has a smaller cooking space, and may not have additional features like a side burner found in a grill with four. But whichever model you buy, be sure to consider the fuel used; is it propane or natural gas? Also, make sure you buy a high-quality model that’s designed to last.

3 Burner vs 4 Burner Gas Grill. How to Pick the Right One for You