5 best gas grills under 500 Dollars in 2023

best gas grills under 500 dollars

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In this article, I will share with you and review the five gas grills for under 500 dollars. If you’re in the market for a new grill, but don’t want to spend a fortune, we’ve got you covered.

We’ll talk about what makes each option good, and help you decide which one could be a good fit for four. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the best gas grills under 500 bucks. Let’s get started!

Best gas Grills for under $500 dollars

1. Weber Spirit E-210Best Overall

Weber has been manufacturing grills for years, and certain models are just too good to change too much, and grills like Weber’s Smokey Maintain and the Spirit models are examples of just that.

The Weber Spirit II lineup of grills is the brand’s entry-level models and is a great option for those looking for a simple gas grill to use on a few occasions. Simplicity is the key here and no gas grill review can be complete without it. The Weber Spirit has been a top seller for Weber and is a great grill for the money. It is a great choice for people looking for a quality grill without spending a lot of money.

This grill has two stainless steel burners and offers enough cooking space for small families or couples. It also has two side tables, which are perfect for meal prep space or placing drinks, food, and cooking tools. Just beware that only one of the side tables folds, and the tables are not meant to hold extremely heavy items.

This grill is also compatible with Weber’s iGrill 3 wireless thermometer, which you can monitor food temperature wirelessly. Don’t jump out of your couch yet! It is pretty much a magnetic base for the iGrill Bluetooth receiver, but hey, it is the thought that counts.

There is also a fuel gauge. However, it is more of a fuel weight than a gauge. The gauge is a spring-loaded propane tank holder that, as the propane inside the tank is spent, and the tank gets lighter, the base raises showing the approximate level of propane left in the tank. We tested this feature and have to say it actually works and is pretty accurate. It might not beat an actual gauge, but it does the job.

Another nice feature of the Spirit II E is the barbecue tool hooks on the side table. This grate is for hanging clinging brushes, spatulas, and tongues and having them handy when cooking.

The Weber Spirit II E models also come with porcelain-coated cast iron grates, which, if taken care of, will last a long time (don’t scratch or crack the enamel coating) and are at transferring heat. The Weber Spirit II series comes with a grease catching system that consists of a removable grease tray. The trays are made out of thin aluminum and are located at the button center of the grill.

Unlike most pellet grills where there is a grease bucket on the side of the grill and it is easy to remove, the Weber Spirit II E series, however, has this aluminum catch trash that is easy to put in place, but once it is full of grease, it can be very messy to remove. Unless you are paying attention, it is easy to overfill the grease tray, and then, well, there is no way to empty it but to slide it out. This happened to me many times, and I always made a mess and spilled old grease all over the bottom of the grill.

All in all, this grill gives you everything you need and enough cooking space for grilling quick and small meals. The Weber Spirit ii e 201 comes in two configurations. A free-standing four-legged with an open storage area configuration and a closed storage configuration with four caster wheels for a few dollars more. I highly recommend the closed storage options. You will thank me later.

Why our top pick?

We picked the Spirit II e 210 as our top pick because it offers reasonable cooking space, good craftsmanship, and many of the features seen on more expensive grills, such as side tables, fuel indicators, and an electric ignition stater. Additionally, this grill comes with an excellent warranty. Many grills priced at $500 or less will survive only a season, but Weber stands behind their product with a strong warranty.

Specifications:

  • BTUs: 26500
  • Number of Burners: 2
  • Build Materials: Cast aluminum cooking box button, steel lid.
  • Total Cooking Area Square inches: 450
  • Weight: 103 lbs
  • Igniter: electric – uses 1 AA battery
  • Warranty: 10 Years excluding normal wear and tear

Pros:

  • Affordable and available in two configurations, opened storage and closed storage with doors.
  • The tools hooks on the side table are very useful and help keep cooking tools around.
  • Ideal for small families or couples often grilling small meals.
  • Removable aluminum disposable trays grease management system. Easy to remove, trash, insert a new one.
  • Top level warranty, event at this price point.

Cons:

  • This grill is built using thin steel, so it does get hot to the touch.
  • The grease management system can be messy if the grease tray is left in for too long a gets too full.
  • Only the left side folding table folds.
  • If you pull too hard on the left side table, it can damage the locking grooves; the stable will still function and “hook,” but it will be hard to move the grill.

2. Char-Broil Performance 300 – Runner Up

This Char-Broil Performance 300 is our runner-up choice. This grill is smaller than the Weber Spirit, but you get similar features. This Char-Broil offers 300 square inches of total cooking space, a maximum heat output of 24,000 BTUs, off of two stainless steel burners, and two folding side tables.

This compact gas grill has a cabinet storage area with one door and a removable grease plan. The grease pan in the Char-Broil is easier to operate than the Weber’s, but the Weber still wins on quality. Other features found in this grill are an electronic ignition, a temperature gauge, and a warming rack.

This grill is built out of steel, so it does get hot, and I wouldn’t give it a hammer. But all jokes aside, if you want an inexpensive grill with a decent-sized cooking surface, something to cook a few burgers, and a good steak every now and then, the Performance 300 can fit the bill.

Why our Runner-Up?

The Char-Broil Performance 300 offers similar features as our top choice, the Weber Spirit II E 210, but for almost half the price. The reason that it is second on our list is quality. Char Broil builds these grills using thin steel, although if careful, it should not be a problem. Just don’t expect heat retention to be optimal. Also, this gas grill is slightly smaller and slightly less powerful than the Weber. But if you want something similar to the Weber grill but pay less, the Char-Broil is one of the best gas grills under the 500 price point.

Grilling with this Char-Broil is easy and it works great for cooking daily meals and feeding a small family.

Specifications:

  • BTUs: 2400
  • Number of Burners: 2
  • Build Materials: Cast aluminum cooking box button, steel lid.
  • Total Cooking Area Square inches: 300
  • Weight: 82 lbs
  • Igniter: electric – uses 1 AA battery
  • Warranty: 5 Years excluding normal wear and tear

Pros

  • Good price for an entry level grill.
  • You get two side folding tables.
  • The grease tray pulls away from the grill, making it easier to clean and less likely to make a mess.
  • Porcelain cast iron grates absorb and retain heat well.

Cons

  • No fuel gauge.
  • Thin metal will get hot.
  • Not a lot of cooking power, but for the price, and cooking small foods, is enough.

3. Broil King Gem 320 – Best Three burner gas grill under $500

The Broil King Gem 320 is unquestionably a hidden gem and one of the best gas grills under the “affordable” umbrella. Three burners deliver 2400 BTUs of power to the 426 square inches of total cooking space on this propane gas grill. Although the storage compartment does not have a door, you may still store a few items inside the pedestal base.

This gas grill is distinguished by its cast-aluminum cooking chamber. The primary cooking chamber box is made entirely out of cast aluminum, which resists corrosion and maintains high levels of heat retention. Additionally, this grill features a unique heat reflector design that aids in heat distribution. A stainless steel warming rack and cast iron grates complete the cooking area.

Additionally, this gas grill offers foldable tables, tool hooks, and an electric igniter. Grilling with this unit is very simple, and I like that the large wheels make it easy to move around.

Specifications:

  • BTUs: 2400 main burner
  • Number of Burners: 3
  • Build Materials: Cast aluminum cooking box button, steel lid.
  • Total Cooking Area Square inches: total 2747 | 1, 896 primary cooking surface | 294 warming rack.
  • Weight: 50 lbs
  • Igniter: electric
  • Warranty: 10Years on main components, 5 and 2 years in wearable components.

Pros:

  • Three burners and powerful.
  • This is a great gas grill for larger families.
  • Cast aluminum cook box will remain rust-free.
  • Two folding side tables.

Cons:

  • The cabinet/pedestal does not have a door, but you can still store a few items in there.

4. Char-Griller e3001 Grilling Pro – Best budget three burner gas grill

The Char-Griller e3001 is another three-burner gas grill, spanning 630 square inches in total and outputting 40800 BTUs of heat. The primary cooking area measures 438 square inches, while the warming rack measures 192 square inches.

In terms of features, you have an electric ignition and a cast iron cooking grid, and a stainless steel warming rack in the cooking area. What distinguishes this grill is the addition of a side burner. A side burner enables you to cook whole meals on your grill. Prepare veggies, rice, or side dishes. This can also be used as s sear burner.

The huge temperature dials on the Char-Griller are another attractive feature. Even if your hands are quite greasy from handling food, turning the knobs is simple.

Specifications:

  • BTUs: 40800 | 12000 side burner
  • Number of Burners: 3
  • Build Materials: Steel
  • Total Cooking Area Square inches: total 630 | 438 primary cooking space | 192 warming rack.
  • Weight: 88 lbs
  • Igniter: electric
  • Warranty: 5 Years

Pros:

  • VERY Affordable THREE burners gas grill / propane grill.
  • Having a side burner means you can cook side dishes on many foods using nothing but your grill.
  • Tool hooks are always nice to have.
  • The grill gets to cooking and searing temperatures quickly.

Cons:

  • No fuel gauge.
  • No storage area.

5. American Gourmet – Char-Broil Classic 360 – Best portable  propane gas ( cheapest gas grill on this list )

The Char-Broil Classic 360 is the cheapest gas grill on this list, making it an excellent choice for people searching for the minimal essentials at the best price. While it is not the greatest or offers the most features, it is a respectable and portable propane gas option for under $500.

This gas grill has a straightforward design that includes three stainless steel burners and a cast aluminum cooking chamber. The three burners generate a combined 30,000 BTU and are used to heat the 360 square inches of cooking space. While this grill is simple, it is powerful and provides a reasonable amount of space for the price.

Two side tables and a push-button starter are included as features. This is a piezo starter, which means that, similar to a candle lighter, you must apply pressure to generate a spark to light the burners. All other gas grills on this list are powered by electricity.

Specifications:

  • BTUs: 30000
  • Number of Burners: 3
  • Build Materials: Steel
  • Total Cooking Area Square inches: total 360 square inches of cooking.
  • Weight: 88 lbs
  • Igniter: Push start
  • Warranty: 1 Year

Pros

  • This is a very affordable grill.
  • A sufficient BTU output for grilling daily foods.
  • Light and easy to move.
  • There aren’t that many parts to assemble.

Cons

  • This is an economical entry level grill, paint and other materials are fragile.
  • No storage area.
  • No tool hooks.
  • No gas gauge.
  • Shortest warranty on this list.

What should you look for when buying gas grills under 500

Determining the best gas grill under $500 is pretty straightforward, really. However, there are a few things you should look for on gas grills at this price range.

Grill Build Quality

The grill’s build quality is one of its most important factors when buying any grill, but especially when considering gas grills under $500. Most grills in this price range are made of thin steel, with some being made with a more durable cast aluminum body.

A gas grill with a cast aluminum body will generally be more durable but at the cost of more weight. Some grill bodies are entirely made out of cast aluminum, like some like the Weber Spirit, where only the bottom of the cook box is cast aluminum.

A gas grill made out of thin aluminum will get very hot to the touch when grilling at high temperatures and will be less efficient at retaining heat. Also, they will be more fragile and harder to cook in cold weather. But these grills will also be cheaper and lighter.

The gas grill Heat Output- BTUs

BTUs is an acronym used for the British Thermal Units, and it measures the amount of heat put out in BTUs per hour. The higher the BTUs, the more heat is emitted per hour. Gas grills under 500 dollars typically feature two to three burners, with a BTU output ranging from 1500 BTUs to almost 40,000. The BTU output determines how much heat the grill will be able to put out.

This is important because it will determine the type of meals you will be able to cook on your grill. Lower BTUs will work great for those only cooking a few burgers and hot dogs, or maybe even a chicken or thin cuts of meat every now and then. If you want to cook thin cuts of meat or sear a steak, consider a propane gas grill with a higher BTU output.

Grill Features

Features are an important factor in any gas grill, but at this price range, the features tend to be limited. Still, some manufacturers manage to add decent features to these budget-friendly grills.

Some of these include electronic ignition systems, side burners, porcelain-coated grates, and side tables. Other brands add even more features, including fuel gauges and built-in cooking chamber thermometers.

Of course, the more features a gas grill has, the higher its cost will be. You don’t need all the bells and whistles. I included the best gas grills under the 500 dollars price point with the most practical features.

As far as features go, here are the ones that, in my experience, are worth getting: a fuel gauge and side tables. Knowing how much fuel is left in a propane tank when cooking in a liquid propane grill is a big help. I cannot tell you how many times I have run out of propane during a cook. If you are grilling for long periods or at high temps, these grills can consume some fuel.

Side tables are another nice addition. Having a place to rest all your cooking tools and even meal prep is a huge convenience and one that I am willing to pay for.

Some “nice” to have features are storage and electric ignition.

Grill Size

Whether you buy a propane grill, a natural gas grill, or a charcoal grill, size is an important factor when making a grill purchase. Grill size is measured in square inches, and normally manufacturers will tell you the total cooking space, the primary cooking area size in square inches, and the secondary cooking area as well, such as a warming rack.

When it comes to grilling, size does matter. If you are planning on cooking often and for a small household, a grill in the range of 300 to 400 square inches of cooking space will do, but anything smaller will be more of a portable grill. Also, temperature control in small grills can be a challenge. Because the burners are so close to the grates, they are also prone to flare-ups.

My recommendation is to go for the larger grills unless you absolutely need a small grill due to limited space, weight, or the need to reduce cost.

Warranty

With any product, a warranty is important, and some remain true with grills, especially gas grills under 500 dollars. Don’t expect these grills to last for years, but with proper care, you can get good use out of them.

A new gas grill should include a good warranty because even stainless steel burners can rust and, in some cases, prematurely.

Although most warranties will not cover wear and tear, they will cover things like failed ignition systems, broken parts, and, in some cases, premature part failures.

Amount of Burners

The amount of burners is important but be ware that more burners do not necessarily equate to higher BTUs. This is specially the case when comparing two to three burners models The amount of burners can help but good grills with two burner can outperform a bad grill with three burners. So is important to pay attention to the BTUs and evaluate that measure by the size of the grill.

Nice features to have in a propane gas grill

A propane gas grill in and around the price mark of 500 bucks is not going to be packed with the latest features and technology, still, you can get good useful features at this price range.

An electric Grill igniter ( battery powered )

If you have a choice between a Piezo igniter and an electric igniter, I strongly recommend the electric igniter. The piezo is very valuable in portable gas grills because you will most likely be using the grill outdoors in the woods somewhere and you don’t want a AAA battery to get in the way of your diner.

At home, however, is a different story, and for $500 you can get a grill with a good electric starter. The starter works similarly to a car’s push start button; press it and an electric spark will ignite the grill. The piezo starter requires pressure and force, and when those igniters get dirty, you’ll be squeezing that button like a cranking old car.

A Grill Side Burner

It can be difficult to find grills with a side burner  and under 500 dollars, but there are options, as I listed above. This extra burner can transform your grill into a mini-kitchen, allowing you to grill as well as cook side dishes. A side burner is also useful for searing, as well as for boiling and using cast iron skillets.

Grill Side Tables

Imagine cooking on your kitchen and not having countertops to put your knives, bowls, tools, you get the point. Although side tables will not give you a lot of surface to work with, they are very nice to have. having space to set your BBQ tools, plates, and food is a huge plus.

Grill Storage Space

This is another feature that is nice to have but is not really a necessarily. However, have a nice storage area even if just a lower rack allows you to store things like a grill cleaning brush, tools and even extra fuel

The differences between a liquid propane grill and a natural gas grill

Okay, this is something I’d like to discuss because it affects a lot of people. It also doesn’t hurt that the terms phrase gas grill and propane grill are sometimes used interchangeably to denote the same thing but are actually two distinct things.

A natural gas grill will only work with natural gas and these grills are clearly marked a “natural gas grill” at stores. Propane grills are also parked as “liquid propane gas grill”. Both types grills are fall under the gas grill category but be aware that they are not the same.

Because natural gas and propane grills operate at different pressures, they cannot use the same fuel. There are conversion kits available, but not every grill supports them. A liquid propane grill will work with any LP tank available at almost every hardware store and even gas stations.

Conclusion

Propane gas grills are popular because, compared to charcoal grills, they are easier to use. However, because of more components, they tend to be a bit more expensive. However, there are diamonds in the rough, and good grills under $500 are available.

We chose the Weber Spirit ii e 210 as our top choice and the best gas grills under the 500 bucks mark because it checks all the boxes. First, the Weber costs less than $500; it includes good features and has a market-leading warranty. Most importantly, it works well.

I owned a Sipirt II E, and my only complaint was that I let the grease tray get too full and made a mess trying to empty it.

If you want the best of both worlds and the absolute cheapest, the American Gourmet will meet that criteria.

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