Yes, it’s true. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a fantastic gas grill and we’ve written this article to prove it. We discuss and review several of the best gas grills for under $500 that are high-quality, reliable and easy to use, and most importantly — allow you to cook amazing tasting food. You don’t need to spend $1000 to get a great gas grill.
Backyard barbecues bring people together, whether it’s a special occasion or just a relaxing weekend at home. When you’re setting the meal you want it done right with the best gas grill. If you are in the market, you’re in luck because you will find some of the best gas grills under $500 listed here.
There are many considerations to take in when shopping around for a new grill, whether you’re a grill master or first time buyer. Factors like what you plan on cooking on it are important in choosing the right grill when it comes to delicate foods such as fish and seafood. Don’t sweat it! This article will cover the basics you need to know and recommendations on the best options out there.
Beautiful Designed Gas Grill | Fuego Element F21C
In the U.S. 75% of adults own a BBQ pit or a smoker. Among those, a study revealed 62% of them owned a gas grill making them the preferred choice in the BBQ industry over other choices. When it comes to safer cooking practices, quality, and efficiency gas is clearly the superior choice.
What to Look For in a Grill
Barbecue pits can range in price from as low as $100 for smaller, portable models to upwards of thousands of dollars for large-scale models made to feed an army. When selecting from the best gas grills under $500 there are valuable points to look for that make all the difference in quality and performance.
When choosing the best grill for your needs, consider how often it will be used and how many people you’re entertaining on average. If you enjoy entertaining a large group of people or regularly feed a crowd, you’ll want to take note on the size of the grill’s cooking space. You’ll also need to take into account the size of the space where it will be kept. If you have a small balcony or patio to an apartment, you’ll need to ensure the grill you’re choosing will fit with the space you have.
My Personal Favorite | Excellent Quality | Weber Spirit II E-310
A mid-sized grill is the most popular choice for those that enjoy cooking primarily for family and occasionally for a group of people for social gatherings. A grill this size will cook a maximum of up to 28 burgers or full course meal. If your outdoor space is limited, consider a grill that is compact such as a portable grill or one that’s stationary with space-saving features like fold-down shelves.
Choose a grill with at least 2 burners. This is a must for 2-zone grilling performance with a direct zone for crisping and an indirect zone for slow roasting. The burners inside the grill may be lined up from side to side or front to back. Side to side burner tubes will give you more flexibility and versatile options for your grilling needs.
BBQ Grill Features
Different features offered among gas grills can add convenience such as a pull out grease tray for easier cleanup. Valuable features like heavy-duty grates can also enhance the quality of your food. Other features some manufacturers will add don’t really provide much benefit to your grilling experience but do add to the price. For instance, dial thermometers that are added to the grill hood are typically not great quality and often off by at least 50-degrees Fahrenheit. You’re better off investing in a digital thermometer with a probe you can use on the cooking surface of the grill for better accuracy.
Stainless steel – grills with stainless steel grates are typically more durable for long-lasting use. Coated cast-iron and stainless steel grates also tend to maintain even grilling temperatures better for searing and optimal cooking temps. Also take note of the material of other components to the grill.
Your grill will be sitting outside in the elements year-round. You want to invest in a reputable brand made to withstand the weather with durable materials throughout the construction of the grill. You’ll find Weber is a top preferred choice and often a best seller among grills because they are built with durable materials to last. Most Weber grills are also backed by a 10-year warranty to ensure durable quality, landing a place in our list among best gas grills under $500.
Dyna-Glo (DGE486SSP-D) | High-Performance Gas Grill
Fuel gauge– The fuel gauge on a propane gas grill displays the amount of propane remaining. This is a valuable feature to look for if you don’t want to run out of fuel in the middle of a cookout. You can also purchase a fuel gauge if the grill doesn’t include one. Be prepared to have a spare propane tank on hand with a propane grill so you’re not making last minute runs during a BBQ.
Get a lid on it! Some grills do not have a lid and these are fine if you’re just grilling burgers and hot dogs. For thicker cuts of meat, ribs, and poultry, however, you need a grill with a lid to obtain heat retention. Having the lid closed while cooking will also retain smoke to help you achieve that authentic smoky flavor in your food.
Infrared technology – A gas grill with infrared technology is designed with a special surface material above the flame, typically metal or ceramic. This added element absorbs the heat from the burner and radiates it back to the food. It gets hotter than convection, which reduces the motion of dry air so there’s less moisture loss in the food. A grill with infrared incorporated offers a similar performance to a steakhouse and offers a better browning quality to your meat. It also comes at a higher price tag than convection, but it’s worth it if you particularly enjoy grilling flavorful thick cuts of meat.
Weber Q3200 (57060001) — Propane Grill
Also available in Natural Gas : Weber Q3200 (57067001)
You can cook 19 hamburgers simultaneously with this gas grill. That should be enough for a small backyard party. If you want to entertain a large group of people, Hollywood style, then you can go crazy and get something like the Weber Summit S-670 (7370001), which can cook 30 hamburgers at the same time, but you pay 6x as much as the Q3200. Is it worth it? Well, only if you’re wealthy and need the cooking space.
- 468 sq. in. total cooking area
- 2 stainless steel burners; 21,700 BTU per hour main burner; 75 sq. in. warming rack
- Grill-out handle light
- Infinite control burner valve settings; cast aluminum lid and body; durable all weather wheels with full wheel hubs; glass-reinforced nylon frame
- Operates on a 20 lb. LP tank (sold separately); adapter hose that connects to 20 lb. LP tank; removable catch pan; 2 sturdy fold-down side tables
- Compatible with Weber grill cover #7112 to protect your grill in inclement weather
- Porcelain-enameled, cast-iron cooking grates
- Electronic ignition
- Cast aluminum lid and body
- Built-in lid thermometer
- Removable folding side tables
- Open cart design
- Glass-reinforced nylon frame
- Bottom shelf
- Removable catch pan
- Infinite control burner valves
- Tank holder
- Two stainless steel burners produces 21,700 BTU-per-hour
- 393 square-inch total cooking area
- Grill-Out handle light. Battery type: AAA
- Operates on a 20 lb. LP tank (sold separately)
If modern is what you’re looking for with the quality and performance you can trust, this Weber Q3200 is really heating things up. The 2-burner gas grill has a sleek appearance with the function of a midsize grill. It offers 393 square inches of primary cooking space, ideal for a small crowd, and an additional 75-square inch warming rack area.
Get cooking with a fast startup thanks to the electronic ignition. The stainless steel burners put out 21,700 BTUs per-hour of heat. An infinite control burner valve allows you to lock in your preferred cooking temperature to ensure efficient cooking at any temperatures. The porcelain-enameled, cast iron cooking grates feature a split design that allows you to explore new options by combining a griddle for greater versatility. A separate Q-3000 series compatible griddle can be added in place of one of the grates.
First impressions are everything and this grill is on fire! It boasts style in a small footprint and has many additional features providing convenience and ease of use. It has a built-in LED grill handle light for those times when you feel like grilling at dusk. The folding side tables provide additional space for essentials like grilling tools and spices and can also detach for storage. The cast aluminum lid and body construction give this grill a durable quality that was made to last. It now also comes in a natural gas version with the Weber 57067001 model that has all the same features and comes with the natural gas hookup hose included.
- Main burners: BTU-per-hour input : 21,700
- Primary cooking area : 393 sq.in.
- Warming rack area : 75 sq.in.
- Total cooking area : 468 sq.in.
- Stainless steel burners : 2
- Fuel type : Liquid Propane (20 lb. tank sold separately)
- Side tables : 2
- Tool hooks : 3
- Batteries : Requires 4 AAA
The Weber Q3200 is easily one of the best gas grills you can buy for under $500. Compact, stylish and enough cooking space to grill 19 hamburgers at the same time. It’s a great example of the type of quality gas grill you can get for little money.
Weber Genesis II E-210 (60010001) — Propane
Natural Gas Model : Weber Genesis II E-210 (65010001)
- Main burners: 26,000 BTU
- Primary cooking area : 380 sq.in.
- Tuck-Away warming rack area : 114 sq.in.
- Total cooking area : 494 sq.in.
- Infinity ignition
- High performance burners
- Porcelain-enameled Flavorizer bars
- Grease management system
- Porcelain-enameled, cast-iron cooking grates
- Porcelain-enameled lid
- iGrill 3 compatible (accessory sold separately, not included)
- Built-in lid thermometer
- Fold-down left side table
- Open cart design
- Welded tube frame
- Fuel gauge – Propane models only
- Bottom shelf
- Infinite control burner valves
- Stainless steel heat deflectors
- Left table down width – 38 inches
Note : Weber iGrill3 (7204) compatible : What is it? A digital Bluetooth thermometer that monitors your food, displaying the real-time temperature, and fuel tank level, on your mobile device
The compact design of the Genesis II E-210 grill makes this a suitable choice for small patios and serving up a full course meal for a small family. With a cooking space of 380 square inches you can grill up to approximately 8 burgers or 4 large steaks easily. An additional 114 square inch warming rack sits overhead the cooking space for warming sides or toasting buns and conveniently tucks away when not in use.
As Good As it Gets in this Price Range | Genesis II E-210
Don’t be fooled by the size of this grill. It is equipped with the same GS4 High Performance grilling system featured in the entire Genesis II series providing a top quality design for the best heat distribution. This 2-burner grill produces 26,000 BTU-per-hour delivered by a tapered design for better efficiency. The porcelain-enameled cast iron grates provide even heat distribution and are reversible for the meal you’re cooking. A thin side allows you to cook delicate foods to perfection while the the wider side produces thick sear marks for better flavor.
The Genesis II E-210 features all of the components of the GS4 grilling system that provide ease of use and optimal performance in propane and a natural gas model. Flavorizer bars and grease management have been incorporated to enhance the flavor of your food while making clean ups almost effortless. It has an open cart design with the grease management system for easier access to remove the grease pan. Fold-down side tables and swivel-locking casters make storing and moving the grill around much easier.
VIDEO | Learn all about the GS4 Grilling System | Genesis II E-210
Tech Specs (Weber Genesis II E-210) :
- Main burners: BTU-per-hour input : 26,000
- Dimensions – Lid Open (inches) : 61″H x 47″W x 31″D
- Dimensions – Lid Closed (inches) : 45″H x 47″W x 29″D
- Primary cooking area (square inches) : 380
- Tuck-Away warming rack area (square inches) : 114
- Total cooking area (square inches) : 494
- Stainless steel burners : 2
- Fuel type : Liquid Propane (20 lb. tank sold separately)
- Side tables : 2
- Swivel locking casters : 2
- Durable all-weather wheels : 2
- Tool hooks : 6
- Battery type : AA
- Batteries : 1
Don’t forget investing in a grill cover to protect it against the elements. Every grill has a cover available but typically they are sold separately.
Visit the Weber site to learn more about their grills and technology.
Char-Broil Classic 405
Propane Gas : 4 burner grill. Best gas grill under $500. This is an inexpensive grill, well-below $500. So, if you’re on a tight budget then this is the grill for you.
- 405 square inches of cooking space
- Porcelain-coated grates
- Main Burner BTUs 32,000 ,
- 190 square inch porcelain-coated swing-a-way rack for warming
- Four stainless steel in-line burners
- Porcelain-coated steel lid and firebox
- Metal side shelves measure 12-inches w x 13-inches
- Two 6-in wheels
This 4 burner gas grill is a suitable choice for a small backyard cookout. Where size meets function, the 405 square inches of cooking space allows you to grill up to 18-23 burgers at a time. There is an additional 190 square-inch swing-a-way warming rack providing a secondary cooking space that’s perfect for buns or cooking sides.
It’s what’s inside the grill that counts where things become heated! Inside this Char-Broil Classic are 4 stainless steel in-line burners that produce 32,000 BTUs of heat evenly. The in-line burners give you better heat control from high to low over traditional pancake burners. The Piezo Ignition system gets the grill fired up instantly with a push of the button.
Additional features like the porcelain-coating are incorporated in several elements to provide better durability and easier to maintain. The porcelain-coated wire racks help prevent food from sticking.The porcelain-coated steel lid and firebox are made to stand up to the elements for long lasting quality you can depend on so you can enjoy your grill longer. Two metal shelves have also been added to provide storage space for condiments, spices, or serving trays. Two 6-inch wheels provide easier mobility when you need to move it out of the way or store it.
If you’re looking for a basic, simple grill this is definitely one of the best gas grills under $500. I should add that it’s well under $500 so you’ll have plenty of money left over.
Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 420
Propane : 3 burner grill
- 420 square inches of primary cooking
- Porcelain-coated cast iron grates
- 155 sq.in. warming rack (porcelain-coated)
- 13,000 BTU side burner
- Three top-ported 443 stainless steel tube burners
- Surefire Electronic ignition system
- Easily converts from liquid propane (lp) to natural gas (ng) with natural gas conversion kit (Char-Broil 4584609) (sold separately)
- TRU Infrared Cooking System : Allows the grill user to cook their food evenly and with greater temperature control, using infrared technology. The Infrared heat helps prevent hot and cold spots on the grill’s cooking surface and facilitates faster cooking with the use of less gas.
- Special cooking grate : Core of TRU-Infrared technology spreads heat evenly across the grill top.
- Surefire Electronic Ignition : Syncs every burner
- Durable Porcelain-Coated Cast Iron Grates
This mid-sized grill delivers high performance with desirable features any master griller can appreciate. Grill up your favorites on a cooking space of 420 square-inches and a 155 square inch warming rack. The grill also features an additional side burner on one of the side shelves for cooking sides or sauces separately.
Bringing in the heat, this Signature TRU-Infrared gas grill has 3 Top Ported stainless steel burners that provide up to 25,500 BTU of heat. The infrared technology provides fast and even heat across the cooking surface of the porcelain-coated grates to eliminate hot and cold spots. The infrared cooking system design also creates a barrier so food drippings do not land directly on the flame which often results in flare ups and clogged burner tubes. The side burner produces up to 13,000 BTU of heat.
The grill cart has enclosed storage to hide the tank for added appeal while also providing additional storage for tools, wood chips, and other items. The stainless steel shelves provide space for prep and spices with a fold-down lid that covers the side burner when not in use. The bottom of the cart has 4 casters for easier mobility; 2 of the casters lock in place to provide stability while cooking. An added feature with this gas grill is it can be configured for natural gas using a conversion kit that can be purchased separately.
Visit the Char-Broil site to learn more about their Grills.
Weber Spirit S210 — 46110001
Note : This model has been updated as the : Weber Spirit II E-210 (44010001)
- 450 sq. in. of total cooking area offers plenty of grilling space, 360 sq. in. of primary cooking area and 90 sq. in. of warming rack area
- 2 stainless steel burners with 26,500 BTUs are durable and deliver powerful heat and performance
- Porcelain-enameled, cast-iron cooking grates designed to cook food evenly; our unique, angled porcelain-enameled flavorizer bars smoke and sizzle when cooking juices drip down, adding flavor to your meal
- Electronic crossover ignition system for quick, reliable startups
- Front mounted thermometer monitors temperature inside the grill
- Front access, porcelain enameled grease tray with catch pan for easy access and clean up, painted enclosed steel cabinet with stainless steel door
- 2-stainless steel fold-down tables with integrated tool hooks allow for easy access to your grilling tools
- Fuel gauge lets you know exactly where you stand on fuel at all times (LP only), tank not included with LP models
- 2 heavy duty front locking swivel casters and 2 heavy duty back swivel casters
This compact gas grill is a great basic grill that is also a top seller for quality build, easy assembly and additional features. First, let’s talk size.The 450 square-inch cooking space provides ample room to grill burgers for the family or a 20-lb turkey and vegetables simultaneously. The porcelain-enameled cast iron grates provide convenience and superior heat retention. They’re easy to clean, do not need to be seasoned and offer long-lasting quality with no fading, peeling, or rusting. The cast iron grates also provide better searing with perfect grill marks.
Heating things up in our list of best gas grills under $500 this Weber Spirit E210 gas grill is equipped with 2 stainless steel burners. It puts out a BTU of 26,500-per hour. An electronic crossover ignition system quickly lights the two burners with the push of the igniter button. As standard in Weber grills, the design also enhances grilling quality. The cookbox in combination with the shroud is constructed to provide the adequate heat circulation around the food needed for even cooking.
Innovative features are also incorporated to provide the best grilling experience. The Flavorizer bar system is angled in such a way to catch the drippings from foods that add flavor as they smoke and sizzle. This feature also serves to make clean ups easier and less maintenance by funneling the drippings that haven’t vaporized into a grease management system.
An additional feature is the 270-rotational control knobs on Weber grills. Most control knobs on other typical gas grills only rotate up to 90-degrees, giving Weber grills a leg up in the competition for better heat control. The grill also features a fuel gauge to easily stay on track of how much fuel is left. Two stainless steel shelves provide additional space for prep or serving and conveniently fold down for storage. It comes in your choice of black or a stainless steel finish.
Propane vs. Natural Gas Debate
The biggest debate among gas-fueled grills is propane or natural gas. Propane or Liquid Propane (LP) is the most commonly used fuel source in gas grills. It has been the standard for years with over 60% of gas grills being fueled via LP. That being said, there has been a slow rise in popularity for natural gas over LP in recent years. Both fuel sources have their own benefits they bring to the grill and many propane gas grills can be converted to natural gas as an alternative.
Benefits of Liquid Propane —
A standard LP tank is a portable tank that sits under the gas grill or beside it and typically sold where gas grills are sold as well as hardware stores. Propane tanks come in various sizes but the most commonly used in bbq grills is a 20lb. Tank. This will give you a cook time of up to approximately 25 hours.To hook up to the grill a valve connects directly to the barbeque pit from the tank. Prior to using propane you will need to release the gas by turning a valve to decompress it and distribute it to the burners.
One of the biggest benefits to propane is its portability. The tank easily detaches from the grill for convenience. If you enjoy tailgating or going camping, LP is the way to go with a portable gas grill. Propane gas also puts out more energy than natural gas.
BTU, or British Thermal Units is a unit of measurement you often see in descriptions of gas grills as well as gas stoves and heaters. The BTU in grills indicates the amount of heat the burners produce. Propane is superior to natural gas in that it provides a greater BTU-per-hour. In fact, it contains 1,500 more BTUs per cubic feet than natural gas providing more than enough heat to get your grill at the right temperature.
Benefits of Natural Gas Grills —
Natural gas is generally sourced from a gas company that services your home to install it for appliances. Many homeowners prefer gas over electric for their home appliances such as the stove or heater due to affordability over electricity and better heat production. If your home is already hooked up to natural gas, this may be an option to consider when choosing a grill. An added benefit of having a grill that can be hooked up to natural gas is having it readily available all the time. Having a natural gas grill offers more convenience as you don’t have to constantly refill or swap out a tank. The downside to this, however, is your grill is stationary.
The cost of gas is generally calculated by BTU per cubic feet. Because natural gas contains less BTUs-per cubic feet than propane, it is typically cheaper. Depending on where you live, it may cost a third of the price of propane per BTU.
Another important factor that may have many homeowners switching over to the natural gas side is its environmental impact. Both propane and natural gas emit a small carbon footprint; however they both have a significantly lower impact on global warming than any other fuel source and produce less pollutants than charcoal. Natural, gas on the other hand, has an advantage in going green as it burns cleaner than propane.
Gas Grill Maintenance Tips
To keep your grill at its best, be sure to follow the guidelines included with the user manual on cleaning and maintenance recommended with your grill. Occasional to average use during typical grilling season only requires a deep cleaning 1-2 times a year. If you use your grill frequently year-round, it should be cleaned every few months.
- Regularly check your propane grill for leaks at least once a month. Turn the propane on and apply soapy water along the gas line as well as connections. Bubbles forming will indicate a gas leak and require repair or replacing the line before using the grill again.
- Use the ‘burn off’ method to remove excess gunk once a week by turning the grill up to high for 15 minutes. This isn’t a thorough clean but will help keep grime from building up in between cleanings.
- Turn off the propane tank and detach the gas tubes before disassembling your grill for cleaning. Cover the connections of the gas valves using aluminum foil prior to washing the interior of your grill to protect from corrosion.
- With ceramic or porcelain-coated grates do not use a wire grill brush. Wipe clean with a sponge and hot soapy water or follow the recommended guidelines in the user manual.
- Grill covers can also be purchased separately as an added measure to protect your grill during the cooler months when it’s less frequently used. Most brands have specific covers available to fit over their models for adequate protection.
Don’t just blow smoke with any gas grill. Be the master of the BBQ and the envy of the neighborhood with one of the best gas grills under $500.