Shopping for a gas grill can sometimes be overwhelming, especially if you don’t exactly know what you are looking for and if you are on a tight budget. Most gas grills have different features and capabilities and these can make or break your grilling experience. That’s why it is important to do your research before you go out and buy one.
By doing so, not only will you be reducing the amount of time you will be spending looking for the right gas grill, but you will also be ensuring you get the right one for your needs. Seeing as this can be a very common situation, we’ve decided to help you out. In this article, we will list the ten best gas grills under $500. Hopefully one of these grills will suit your needs.
1. Best Overall: Weber Spirit II E-210
Weber's Spirit II E-210 isn't the largest or hottest-burning barbecue on our list, but it does have the craftsmanship that Weber has built its name on for decades. Hardy was sold on Weber because of its construction, mid-range pricing, and superb heat control.
This little grill is ideal for small places, yet its quality is unaffected by its size. The lid, like the porcelain-coated cast-iron grates, is enamel-coated for heat retention and simple cleaning. This grill's inner porcelain and stainless steel components make it both durable and efficient. The only significant disadvantage we can detect outside of its cooking space is that its propane tank lacks a cover.
- Dimensions: 50 x 24 x 46 inches
- Cooking Area Size: 360 square inches
- Number of Burners: 2
- BTUs: 26,500
- Fuel gauge
- Built-in thermometer on lid
- 3D interactive assembly instructions
- This grill has great heat retention and efficiency.
- Accessories sold separately
- It has a tiny cooking capacity and the propane tank is visible.
2. American Gourmet 3-Burner Liquid Propane Gas Grill
Finding a gas barbecue might be difficult for the uninformed. A valid obstacle is not wanting to spend hundreds of dollars on a new project, or expense in general. The hackneyed adage "you get what you paid for" might contribute to a beginner griller's skepticism, but it does not have to be true. The American Gourmet 3-Burner Liquid Propane Gas Grill demonstrates that affordability and quality do not have to be mutually incompatible.
This grill foregoes a couple of the extras seen on other grills on our list. The grill, for example, has wire grill grates rather than cast iron, but the grates are still porcelain-coated for sticking reduction. It has a smaller cooking surface, yet it still offers enough room to easily cook for a family or small party. Its 30,000 BTUs per hour output is more than that of some of the more costly grills featured here, which means it will heat up rapidly and keep that heat while cooking.
- Dimensions: 24 x 44 x 51 inches
- Cooking Area Size: 360 square inches
- Number of Burners: 3
- BTUs: 30,000
- 30,000 BTUs of cooking power over 360 square inches of cooking
- Area Durable and rust-resistant stainless steel burners
- Grates with porcelain coating are simple to clean and prevent food from adhering.
- Small cooking area
- Takes time to assemble
3. Weber Q1200 Gas Grill
The winner of our Best Portable Barbecues list, the Weber Q 1200, brings the rapid and consistent heat of bigger grills into a tiny footprint. With porcelain enamel-coated grates and a single ring-shaped burner that generates 8,500 BTUs per hour, this compact yet powerful grill can easily manage delicate jobs like cooking fish or preparing burgers for a family or small party. The fold-out side tables hold ingredients or utensils, and the grease management system makes cleaning a breeze.
Take note of how solid the shroud feels when it opens easily on its hinges. See how the burners light up on the first try? Are you amazed at how easy it is to prepare a delicious supper every time? It's not by chance. Weber spends many hours developing the grilling systems on its gas grills, ensuring simple installation, an evenly heated cooking surface, and precise controls that allow you to dial in the ideal heat setting for direct or indirect cooking.
- Dimensions: 16 x 41 x 17 inches
- Cooking Area Size: 189 square inches
- Number of Burners: 1
- BTUs: 8,500
- Electronic ignition
- infinite control burner valve settings
- Simple and compact to extremely convenient and full of features.
- Disposable drip pans can be used or you can wrap the holder in foil to catch drips.
4. Fuego Element Hinged F21C-H
Storage is one of the features Hardy looks for in a gas barbecue. The Fuego Element is the grill on our list that is most distinctively designed and readily stowed. The cylindrical form, like the propane outdoor space heaters that have grown popular in the past decade, comprises of an enclosure for the propane tank with the grill resting above it, making it perfect for usage in limited areas. The grill, which is mounted on wheels, is conveniently transportable for storage when not in use. In response to concerns that heat might cause the paint on the lid to bubble, the newer (2020 and later) versions include an enamel-coated, hinged cover.
The dual-ring design of the Element Hinged F21C-H allows for two distinct heat zones for simultaneous high-heat searing and low-heat cooking. The cast-iron grate is hefty, yet it delivers great heat distribution and retention, using 22,000 BTUs per hour effectively. Aside from the conventional grill grate, an optional pizza oven and griddle top broaden the possibilities for grill-top cooking. It's an excellent option for barbecuing on balconies or tiny patios.
- Dimensions: 21 x 21 x 46 inches
- Cooking Area Size: 346 square inches
- Number of Burners: 2
- BTUs: 22,000
- Ignition through electronic means
- Simple to construct
- The compact form is ideal for grilling in tight quarters, and the two ring burners provide several heat zones.
- The grill is on wheels and it’s height is higher than most grills.
5. Monument Grills 4-Burner Propane Gas Grill
Hardy looks for two things in a gas grill: heat capacity and the ability to retain that heat. Monument Grills' stainless steel 4-Burner Propane Gas Grill meets this requirement, with 60,000 BTUs per hour and porcelain-coated cast-iron grates. Its burners allow for fast heating while also allowing for high-heat searing, slow roasting, or offset cooking.
The side burner provides additional capability for high-heat searing, heating, sautéing, or wok cooking. In low-light circumstances, LED lights on the control knobs increase visibility of the temperature settings. The rotisserie set includes a 120V covered engine that is weather resistant and a 34-inch spit for slow roasting meats or fowl. This large grill weights 108 pounds when fully completed, but the strong casters make it simple to transport when necessary.
- Dimensions: 54 x 46 x 23 inches
- Cooking Area Size: 513 square inches
- Number of Burners: 4, plus 1 side burner
- BTUs: 60,000
- Reliable & Quick Startups
- Four main stainless steel burners
- LED control knobs
- Storage Cabinet and Easy Cleanup
- Removable Grease Drip Pan
- It is rather hefty and takes up a lot of room.
6. Char-Broil Performance Series 4-Burner Gas Grill
The Char-Broil Performance Series 4-Burner Gas Grill is a dependable worker with a high value-to-dollar ratio. It, like many others discussed here, has cast-iron grates coated with ceramic to decrease sticking and increase longevity. Four 37,000 BTU burners provide a variety of heat zones as well as a big capacity for offset cooking through ambient heat.
The 10,000 BTU side burner gives additional area for searing or cooking sides and sauces. An integrated tray serves as an open griddle, ideal for cooking tiny veggies that might otherwise fall between the grates and catch fire. Two strong wheels make moving the grill for storage or cleaning easier, and the porcelain-coated grease pan adds a lovely touch for simple cleaning and longevity. This appliance will not make you look better, and no one will write odes to it, but it is a dependable grill with all of the required functions at a price range that gets it our Best Value designation.
- Dimensions: 20 x 45 x 50
- Cooking Area Size: 420 square inches
- Number of Burners: 4, plus 1 side burner
- BTUs: 37,000
- Four burners for powerful cooking performance
- Electronic ignition system for quick start with the push of a button
- Two side shelves for increased storage and prep space
- Porcelain coated cast-iron grates are rust-resistant and made to last
- Porcelain-coated grease pan is durable and can be removed for easy cleaning
- For a four-burner, the BTU is low, and the steam tank holding strap is too thin.
7. Weber Spirit II E-310 3-Burner Propane Gas Grill
Weber has a stellar reputation for barbecues, and the Spirit grill is a prime illustration of why. The design is pleasing, the cart is durable, and the three burners provide a total of 30,000 BTUs of power. Although it costs slightly more than $500 (although look for deals! ), we thought it deserved to be our top pick. Our tester discovered that the burners are certainly great performance, as the business claims: The grill reached 500 degrees in a matter of minutes and heated evenly across the board.
The two side tables provide plenty of room for condiments and grilling equipment, while the open cart provides additional storage space. When not in use, the left-hand table may be flipped down to conserve room. Six tool hooks provide enough storage for grill brushes, spatulas, and tongs while keeping them conveniently accessible yet out of the way.
There's plenty of area to cook an entire dinner for the family with 529 square inches of grilling space. It has porcelain-enameled cast iron grill grates, which are ideal for creating grill marks. Furthermore, no seasoning is required. The built-in thermometer in the lid allows you to easily check the interior temperature, and the grease management system makes it simple to clean up once you've finished cooking, giving you more time to relax after dinner.
What is the difference between the Spirit II E-310 and the Spirit II E-210? The design of the two types is identical, however the E-210 only has two burners. It is also $100 less expensive, making it a viable option for small homes.
- Dimensions: 44.5 x 52 x 27 inches
- Cooking Area Size: 529 square inches
- Number of Burners: 3
- BTUs: 30,000 per hour
- Surface heating that is uniform
- Construction of high quality
- System for managing grease
- The cost of three burners is too expensive.
- Hood isn't as deep as some of the other models.
8. NomadiQ Portable Propane Gas Grill
Portable gas grills must have a few key features. They must be lightweight and portable, with a big enough surface space for preparing meals on the go. It also helps to have a fuel source that is simple to locate and store. The nomadiQ Portable Propane Grill checks all of the boxes and is powerful enough to cook delicious burgers and hot dogs.
This 12-pound grill, which is barely 14 inches tall when closed, opens to provide 226 square inches of cooking area covered by nonstick grates. When you connect a 1-pound canister of propane, the electric ignition system turns on two independently regulated 4,600 BTU burners. When you're through, the detachable drip trays make cleaning a breeze.
Our home tester gushed about how simple it is to set up and operate this portable grill, as she was able to connect it to the gas and start cooking right away. "Within three minutes, I was ready to toss on some burgers and test how this little grill could perform for a hungry party of four," she adds. Those burgers cooked nearly flawlessly, with just a smidgeon of sticking (she recommends lightly coating the grates before cooking), and everything was simple to clean. Our tester did discover one significant drawback. Because there is no cover, the heat from the grill cannot be contained, making it impossible to accomplish things like melt cheese on top of a burger.
- Dimensions: 25.6 x 16 x 7.5 inches
- Cooking Area Size: 225 square inches
- Number of Burners: N/A
- BTUs: 9,200 per hour
- Simple, elegant design
- Large grilling area
- Temperature control on both sides
- Lightweight and small
- A little costly
- The burners may become a little dirty.
- There is no protection.
9. Weber Q 2200 Gas Grill
Despite its compactness, the Weber Q 2200 Gas Grill is just as powerful as a full-size model. This strong small grill has 280 square inches of cooking surface across its cast-iron grates and a single burner that generates up to 12,000 BTUs per hour—more than enough for grilling hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks, vegetables, and other foods. It also starts swiftly and simply, due to the ignition button.
The foldable side tables are one of our testers' favorite features of this grill; they're large enough to handle a plate piled high with food. We were amazed by how fast the grill warms up—it easily reaches 400 degrees in 5 minutes—and its robust design is excellent for carrying on the road as well as cooking supper in your garden.
If the Q 2200 does not meet your demands (or your budget), there are numerous additional Weber Q Series models to consider. The Weber Q 2000, for example, is extremely similar, with the same cooking area and side tables. Its dome, however, is significantly shorter, and it lacks several amenities, such as the built-in lid thermometer.
- Dimensions: 15.5 x 51.4 x 19.5 inches
- Cooking Area Size: 280 square inches
- Number of Burners: N/A
- BTUs: 12,000 per hour
- Extremely simple to set up and use
- Large kitchen area
- Grates made of heavy-duty cast-iron
- Side tables that fold up large
- A little hefty for a portable barbecue.
- The catch pan did not fit correctly.
10. Char-Broil Performance TRU Infrared 490
The second item on our list is the Char-Broil Performance TRU Infrared 480. This grill may seem difficult (given its lengthy name), but trust us when we tell that nothing could be farther from the truth. Don't be fooled by the lengthy name; this gas grill is really easy to operate. In fact, most grillers see this as a jack-of-all-trades. That title implies that this grill will perform as advertised. It has a total cooking area of 480 square inches, three main burners, and one side burner. The 480 square inch cooking area should be sufficient for a modest to medium-sized gathering.
TRU stands for "TRU infrared" cooking system. This means that the infrared technology's radiant heat will enable you to continue adding wood chips straight to the cooking grates for more tasty grilling and smoking. This is a feature that grills that employ standard convection cooking cannot provide. If this grill had the flavorizer bars that the Spirit E310 has, it would very certainly be at the top of the list. This gas grill is that fantastic. Not to add that it is far less expensive than the Weber Spirit E310.
- Dimensions: 54.1 x 23.4 x 45.5 inches
- Cooking Area Size: 450 square inches
- Number of Burners: 3
- BTUs: 10,000 per hour
- TRU-Infrared cooking technology reduces flare-ups, provides uniform heat, and results in juicier food.
- Grates with porcelain coatings are long-lasting, rust-resistant, and simple to clean.
- Electronic ignition with push-to-start reliability
- Grilling flexibility with a swing-away warming rack
- No assembly instructions. just pictures.
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A grill with at least two burners provides more versatility and temperature control. Surface area is measured in square inches and is the most significant factor to consider when determining size. A 450- to 500-square-inch grill is plenty for most people; these models can cook up to 24 burgers at once.
The term BTU refers to the amount of heat necessary to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. In the case of gas grills, the number of BTUs shows the amount of heat a grill can produce. However, it is not a good indicator of effectiveness. Instead, look for a grill with a wide temperature range—premium versions may contain infrared burners that can reach temperatures of 700 degrees or higher.
For indirect cooking, use a gas grill with an automated starter and a detachable top cooking grate (ideal for buns, veggies, and large cuts of meat). A propane gauge is really useful. A side burner is also useful, although it is often misused. Built-in LED lighting and Bluetooth temperature monitoring are among the premium features.
Q. How should a gas grill be cleaned?
Every time you use your gas grill, clean the grates with a grill brush or other tool. Because food particles and oil haven't set yet, this is easier to perform while the grill is still warm. If you have cast iron grates, you should also apply some oil to them after cleaning. After each usage, you should also brush the sides and lid of your grill.
You should also thoroughly clean your grill on a regular basis. Every month or so, clean the barrier above the burners, and once a year, disassemble your grill to examine the burners and completely clean the grilling chamber with soap and water.
Q. How many BTUs does a gas barbecue need?
A gas grill should generate 80 to 100 BTUs per square inch of cooking surface as a general guideline. According to this calculation, a 200-square-inch grill should generate between 16,000 and 20,000 BTUs per hour. However, don't make your selection just on BTUs—you'll also want to consider the grill's maximum temperature and the quality of its construction, both of which will impact its performance.
Q. How do you change a propane barbecue to a natural gas grill?
Not all propane grills are capable of being converted to natural gas. Always check your owner's handbook to determine whether your grill can be converted to natural gas safely, and if it can, be sure to get a conversion kit straight from the manufacturer. (Char-Broil grills, in instance, may often utilize both fuel types, and the firm provides its own conversion kit.) Third-party conversion kits are often marketed online, but bear in mind that they are not always safe and will likely violate your grill's warranty.
Q. How does a smoker box work on a gas grill?
If your barbecue contains a smoker box, you may effortlessly prepare wonderful, savory meals. Begin by soaking wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes to keep them from catching fire. Heat your grill for 10 to 15 minutes before adding the wood chips to the smoker box using tongs. Close the box's cover as well as the grill's lid and wait for it to start smoking. Lower the grill temperature and lay your food on the grates over the unlit burners from here.
For people who are on a budget, getting any of these three gas grills will be a great move. As you can see, each gas grill has its own special feature to offer. We’ve also considered the overall value that it brings to the table. For us, what makes a gas grill great is consistency and uniqueness. If it has something else that it can bring to the table that no other gas grill can do, then it is great choice. Hopefully, after reading this article, you can now decide which one is for you.