If you’re like me, you love grilling. But if you’re also like me, you don’t have tons of cash to buy an expensive gas grill. For you, I’ve assembled the 10 best grills under $500 that will fulfill your grilling goals without breaking the bank.
Buying a grill can be a daunting experience, particularly if you don’t know what you should be looking for. There are so many options and so many different models to choose from, how do you know what to look for?
This guide will show you how to find the best propane grill under $500 available.
Benefits of Gas Grills
There are lots of great benefits to using a gas grill vs. charcoal grill. Here are just a few:
- Gas grills heat up fast. This is by far the biggest benefit since you don’t have to wait on charcoal to heat up.
- Gas grills are easy to use. You just come home, turn them on, and they’re ready to go.
- Gas is generally cheaper than charcoal. If you use your grill a lot, this will be a big benefit.
- It’s easier to clean up. No ashes to mess with afterwards.
- You can often connect them to propane or a natural gas line. Most propane grills can be converted to use natural gas by purchasing adapter kits.
- Gas grills have a lot of cool accessories. You can get side grills, smoker boxes, and other cool grilling accessories for a gas grill.
With so many great benefits, it’s no wonder gas grills are the most popular type of gas grills for backyard grillers. They also tend to be a little more expensive than charcoal grills, but you get what you pay for in the long run.
A good gas grill will last for many years and give you and your family lots of happy memories, so spend as much as you can afford and enjoy one that will last the longest.
What Do I Need?
With a near endless list of features and accessories available for gas grill, trying to decide which ones you want can be pretty intimidating.
Here is a short guide to choosing the right BBQ features or accessories:
Probably the most important thing to consider when choosing a gas grill is the grill size. Grills come in many different sizes, from a small tabletop grill, to a massive 6 burner. The main thing to consider is how much cooking surface you will generally need.
Are you going to be cooking for just you or your family? A small gas grill may be right for you. Do you plan to cook something big, like a turkey, someday on your grill? If this appeals to you, choose a grill with more square inches of cooking space and a taller hood.
If you can afford a little more for a larger grill, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
BTUs, or British Thermal Units, are a traditional way of measuring heat output for an appliance like a BBQ. It’s a rating that gives you an idea of how much heat the BBQ will put out over the grilling surface.
The BTU rating can be a little deceptive since heat output is dependent on different factors, such as the material the BBQ is made from or whether it’s a traditional or infrared grill.
For a standard gas grill, a BTU rating between 20,000 to 30,000 BTUs is ideal.
There are a few options to choose from when it comes to grill grate materials. Generally, grill gates will be made from one of the following materials:
- Stainless Steel. Stainless steel tends to be the most popular and most affordable option for grate material. It is generally thinner and lighter weight, so they heat up quickly, but don’t typically retain heat very well.
- Cast Iron Cooking Grates. These heavy duty grill grates have a reputation for retaining heat longer and leave nice grill marks, however they also require more maintenance and tend to be prone to corrosion.
- Porcelain Coated Grates. These porcelain coated cast iron or steel grates have an enamel layer which helps prevent food from sticking to the grill. However, coated cast iron grates have a reputation for chipping over time and losing their anti-corrosive and non-stick features.
In general, I recommend cast iron cooking grates if you can afford it, despite their extra upkeep. They cook meat more evenly, and their thick surface tends to hold delicate food like fish better on the grill without losing it through the grill spaces.
Stainless steel is also fine if you don’t choose cast iron, but I don’t recommend choosing the porcelain enameled cast iron option as the corrosion issue can be a real pain over time.
10 Best Gas Grills Under $500 Available in 2020
Here is our list of the best gas grills under 500 dollars available in 2020. We start with the best overall choices, then go into the best options for different needs.
The Char-Broil Performance 300 2 Burner Gas Grill is my favorite value choice. It provides a lot of great features of a larger model, but at a really good price.
It’s not the largest of the grills in this review, with 300 inches of cooking surface, but for if you don’t need much more than that you’ll appreciate this grill.
It also comes with built in side tables and a storage cabinet, making it an ideal small gas grill for balconies or tighter cooking spaces.
- 2-burner, 24,000-BTU Cabinet Gas Grill
- 300 square inches of primary cooking on porcelain-coated cast iron grates, plus 100 square inch swing-away rack with porcelain-coated grates
- Stainless steel lid and UFC provide stylish durability, and features a lid-mounted temperature gauge for added heat control
The Char-Broil Performance 4-burner gas grill is one of my favorite small gas grills. It comes with beautiful stainless steel features you might not expect in a budget gas grill and looks really, really nice.
In addition to its beautiful design, this grill is packed with features including 4 burners which produce a nice 36,000 BTUs of heat, a 10,000 BTU side burner unit, and two stainless steel side shelves.
It has 425 square inches of cooking space and two side shelves, providing plenty of prepping area.
- Power Source: Propane/ liquid petroleum gas. The propane tank is not included.
- Exclusive Stainless Steel finish for increased style and durability
- Reliable electric ignition to fire up your grill and 10, 000 BTU side burner
3. Monument Grills Stainless Steel 4 Burner Propane Gas Grill with Rotisserie – Best Full Featured Gas Grill Under $500
If you’re looking for a gas grill under $500 with nearly every feature you can imagine, the Monument is the grill for you.
Not only does it look rugged and beautiful with its stainless steel design, but it comes with 4 burners (producing a blazing hot cooking surface quickly), a warming rack, porcelain coated cast iron grills, LED backlit control knobs (a very convenient feature for nighttime cooking), flame tamers, a rotisserie, and a side grill.
I recommend this model for the griller that wants to take their grilling game to the next level without spending a fortune.
- Rugged stainless steel grill designed for years of grilling and amazing meals
- Propane grill that's designed to cook food evenly and quicker than traditional models
- 513.3 square inches of primary cooking area
Weber Grills are generally known for two things, being expensive and being really durable. The Weber Spirit II E-210 gives you the durability and quality of a Weber grill (with a 10 year warranty) with an affordable price tag at under 500 dollars.
It comes with Weber’s GS4 Grilling System, which is a combination of these four features:
- Upgraded E2i Ignitors
- High performance burners
- Weber’s unique flavorizer bars
- Convenient grease management system
These GS4 features ensure that you have an amazing cooking experience, with minimal flare ups, extra smoke infused flavor (from the flavorizer bars), and easy clean up.
With its open cart design and two large wheels, the E-210 is very easy to move around and position anywhere on your patio. The side tables fold down for easy storage, and it comes with plenty of side hooks for hanging your cooking utensils.
All in all, this is a fantastic unit that costs a little more than the other units, but with its long term durability and top shelf features, is definitely worth the investment.
- Boasts the Gs4 grilling system with improved infinity ignition, burners, porcelain-enameled Flavorizer Bars, grease Management system, and 450 Square inches of cooking space over two burners
- Porcelain-enameled, cast iron cooking grates. Left table down width : 38 Inches
- 26, 500 BTU-per-hour input main burners with fuel gauge. Dimensions - Lid Open (inches)57 H x 48 W x 26 D
If you’re looking to spend as little money for the best value possible, the Master Cook 3 Burner Propane Gas Grill is the model for you.
It’s a pretty standard gas grill design, with 3 burners producing 30,000 BTUs of heat and two folding side tables. It has 339 inches of cooking space and even includes a warmer rack.
It’s easy to assemble and at a price point under $200, possibly one of the best BBQ values available.
- ❤ STAINLESS STEEL BURNERS: This propane gas grill has 3 Stainless Steel burners, can put out 30,000 BTU-per-hour with integrated piezoelectric ignition system, quick start up with the push &turn of a control knob
- ❤ FEATURES: The whole Stainless steel control panel with chromium plating control knob makes this propane gas grill more study and delicate, a stainless steel handle and a built-in stainless steel thermometer on the cover lid, two foldable tables and two heavy duty wheel casters for storage and moving
- ❤ PORCELAIN-ENAMEL WIRE COOKING GRATES: The cooking area of our propane gas grill is 471.8 include 339 square inches for cooking and 132.8 square inches for warming
If you’re one of the fortunate grillers with access to a natural gas source (and who doesn’t have to deal with the hassle of driving to a propane bottle exchange, lucky you), the Weber Spirit II E-310 is a great option as a natural gas grill under 500 dollars.
It packs a whopping 529 square inches of cooking space across 3 burners, and comes with other nice grill features like electronic ignition, flavorizer bars, and a grease management system.
- This product is a Natural Gas unit and you must have Natural Gas plumbed out to your patio or deck to be able to use this grill; If you do not have Natural Gas plumbed, please look at our selection of Propane barbecues
- Natural gas grill with 10 year, 100 Percent Weber Guarantee, 10 foot flexible hose included ,Left table down width - 42 inches
- Boasts the Gs4 grilling system with improved infinity ignition, burners, porcelain-enameled Flavorizer Bars, and grease Management system
When you want to take your barbecue game to the next level and cook anytime, anywhere, this is the model for you. The Napoleon TravelQ 285 Portable Gas Grill is perfect for tailgating, picnics, camping, and just about any situation where portability is key.
It’s what’s called a “scissor cart” design, which means that when it’s not being used it folds down into a flat cart-like shape, making it easy to pull behind you. When you get to your spot, you just easily pop it open and you’re ready to go.
The Napoleon TravelQ 285 runs off of a small propane bottle making it even more easier to transport, but you can connect it to a regular size propane tank using an adapter.
This unit’s a little more on the pricier side, but if you’re passionate about taking your barbecue with you wherever you go, this is the model for you.
- 2 burner portable grill with up to 12,000 BTUs
- Total cooking area: 285 sq. In
- Dual stainless steel burners for direct and indirect grilling
The Weber Q2200 is small (280 square inches of cooking space), compared to the other gas grills on this list, but it packs a POWERFUL set of features that more than make up for its small size.
Some of the Q2200’s best features include:
- Porcelain-enameled, cast-iron cooking grates
- Cast aluminum lid and body
- Built-in lid thermometer
- Glass-reinforced nylon frame
- Folding side tables
- Removable catch pan
- Infinite control burner valve
- Electronic ignition
It weighs only 40 pounds, making it easy enough to carry back and forth to your outdoor kitchen without a cart. The two stainless steel burners put out 12,000 BTUs, which is plenty of intense heat for such a small grill.
This grill can easily accommodate a meal for a family of four.
- Total cooking area = 280 Square Inches
- Stainless steel burner puts out 12,000 BTU-per-hour
- Porcelain-enameled, cast iron cooking grates
When you’re looking for a gas grill under $500 that takes up the least amount of space, the Fuego Element is the model for you.
This unique round design of this barbeque takes up an incredibly small 21 in. x 21 in. space, making it ideal for a small balcony or patio.
It also features inner and outer heat rings which, combined with the domed shape of the lid, provides plenty of convection heat without using very much gas.
There have been some reports that this model tends to rust if left out in the elements uncovered, so be sure to purchase a Fuego Grill Cover. For an extra $40, it’s worth the investment.
- New (May of 2020) Porcelain Enamel Lid to eliminate any paint peeling or bubbling
- New easy to clean drop through residue removal system allows for grease to drop straight through to the residue tray
- Upgraded 22, 000 BTU/hr. dual zone burner system for direct and indirect grilling. 500F in just 5 minutes and temps up to 650F overall
The Newport 2 Infrared Gourmet Gas Grill by Magma seems to be almost purpose built for using on a boat.
First off, it’s American made, which is great in my book. It looks great and it’s built with very high quality standards. It’s constructed of 100% 18-9 marine grade mirror polished stainless steel.
Second, it’s very small, weighing in around 20 pounds with a grilling surface of 9 in. x 18 in. It also has foldable legs, making it easy to stow away in a storage compartment without taking up too much space.
Another feature that makes it perfect for marine use is a dynamic combustion system which keeps the grill lit in even heavy winds. With the tempered glass viewing window, you can also check on the meat without having to open the lid and lose valuable heat.
- New tempered glass viewing window New beautiful rounded edge design Redesigned dynamic combustion system
- Made in the U.S.A. Constructed of 100% 18-9 marine grade mirror polished stainless steel Full double lined lower shell Hermetically sealed thermometer
- Equipped with integrated fold-away legs Locking front access grease tray 9"x18" (162 Sq. In.) grilling area
Popular Gas Grill Accessories
There are a lot of really great accessories available for gas grills. Here is a list of some of the more popular ones:
- Electronic Ignition System. This is pretty standard for most gas grills, and nice to have. You just push a switch and the grill lights up. It’s better than the older rotary or push button types.
- Side Burner. A side burner gives you a stove top burner to prepare other foods in a pan or pot off to the side, and connect to the same propane tank as the main grill.
- Smoker Box. These convenient devices allow you to use wood chips to smoke food with a gas grill, and who doesn’t love the taste of BBQ smoke in their food?
- Rotisserie Burner. A rotisserie steadily rotates food over the grill using an electric motor and a metal rod, allowing you to slow cook meats and vegetables that are juicy and full of flavor.
- Lights. Grill lights enhance your barbecuing experience by allowing you to see better in the low light conditions. How can you tell if that hamburger is done if you can’t see it?
- Side Table. A grilling side table provides a convenient place for you to set ingredients down and not have to run back and forth to the kitchen or another table.
- Storage. Some gas grills come with an extra storage area for keeping your tools and other accessories in a convenient and easy to reach place.
Barbecue accessories help make your grilling experience better, but they can also add to the price of your grill. When it comes down to it, all you really need is a good grilling surface and plenty of heat. But if you choose to upgrade your grill, these accessories all do nicely.
All of these gas grills under 500 dollars are fantastic, but the one that really stood out is the Char-Broil Performance Stainless Steel 4-Burner Cart Style Gas Grill. With a very reasonable price point around $300, you get a beautifully designed barbecue with most of the features of a higher end barbecue.
Whichever one you choose, you can’t go wrong. Happy grilling!
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