5 Best Gas Grills Under $500 – Reviews & Buying Guide
As compared to charcoal or wood grills, gas grills have the main advantage of being easy and convenient to use because you simply have to turn a knob so as to get things started. These units are also less smoky and the heat or flames can be easily controlled using the same knobs.
However, these products do vary in terms of price and features, and if your budget is limited to not exceed $500, these are the best gas grills under $500 that you can buy.
- 5 Best Gas Grills Under $500 – Reviews
- How to Buy the Best Gas Grill
5 Best Gas Grills Under $500 – Reviews
1. Weber Spirit II E-310 (Best BBQ Gas Grill Under $500)
2. Weber Q3200 (Compact Gas Grill Under $500)
3. Fuego F24C (Good Gas Grill Under $500)
4. Char-Broil Performance 475 Cart (Best Outdoor Gas Grill Under $500)
5. Char-Broil Performance 450 Cart (Gas Grill Under $500 with a Side Burner)
1. Weber Spirit II E-310
(Best BBQ Gas Grill Under $500)
2. Weber Q3200
(Compact Gas Grill Under $500)
3. Fuego F24C
(Good Gas Grill Under $500)
4. Char-Broil Performance 475 Cart
(Best Outdoor Gas Grill Under $500)
5. Char-Broil Performance 450 Cart
(Gas Grill Under $500 with a Side Burner)
1. Weber Spirit II E-310 - Best BBQ Gas Grill Under $500
- Main Cooking Area: 424 square inches
- Warming Surface: 105 square inches
- BTUs: 30000
- Burners: 3
One of the most crucial things about tasty barbecue meat is its smoky flavor and Weber’s E-310 is designed to capitalize on this by using its flavorizer bars.
These components are placed under the grates and are angled so as to catch drippings from the cooking meat, then smokes and sizzles them, resulting in a sweet smoky flavor that goes back to the meat.
The grill is also equipped with a grease management system, which reduces the risk of flare-ups, and it consists of a disposable drip tray for collecting the drippings that are not vaporized by the flavorizer bars.
An open cart design gives the unit additional space to keep your grilling tools while side tables give you room to keep seasonings, platters, and more tools within close reach. These tables are foldable for space-saving during storage and contain hooks for hanging tools.
Other features include porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates, 2 large wheels for easy movement and an integrated thermometer. However, this grill does not have a side burner and is relatively expensive.
2. Weber Q3200 – Compact Gas Grill Under $500
- Main Cooking Area: 393 square inches
- Warming Surface: 75 square inches
- BTUs: 21700
- Burners: 2
If you are looking for a compact gas grill that costs under $500, Weber’s Q3200 is a good option to consider. With this size, you get two burners that combine to produce a total of 21,700 BTUs of heat per hour over a total cooking area that is 468 square inches in size.
Above the two burners is porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates that are durable and easy to clean while a cast aluminum lid and body makes the entire piece lightweight and easy to transport. It also has two wheels that further simplify its movement in and out of storage.
More features include infinite control burner valves for temperature adjustment, a liquid propane tank holder underneath the grill with pressure gauges, electronic ignition, an integrated lid thermometer, an open cart design, a large lid grip handle, and large, fold-down side tables.
There is also a natural gas option and this comes with a long hose for connecting to the supply lines. On the downside, this Q3200 has a relatively small cooking area with relatively low heat output.
3. Fuego F24C – Good Gas Grill Under $500
- Main Cooking Area: 415 square inches
- Warming Surface: 110 square inches
- BTUs: 26500
- Burners: 2
Though very costly, Fuego’s F24C is the top-rated gas grill under $500 and this can be attributed to its user-friendly design, which comprises of a relatively large 525 square-inch cooking surface that can hold up to 20 burgers at once, all while maintaining a very small footprint.
Additionally, the unit has industrial-grade casters that roll smoothly and stably as you move it in and out of storage while a door clasp latch system keeps the front panel securely closed without any annoying rattling noises.
On the upper side, a 45˚ angled hinged lid prevents you from reaching over the fire as you check on your steaks and this avoids any burning accidents.
Other features include dual-zone concentric burners that allow for direct and indirect grilling with temperatures ranging from 250 - 700˚F, a built-in lid thermometer and an easy-to-clean residue removal system in which the cooking debris falls directly into the residue tray.
However, there is no natural gas option that is available for this model.
4. Char-Broil Performance 475 Cart – Best Outdoor Gas Grill Under $500
- Main Cooking Area: 475 square inches
- Warming Surface: 175 square inches
- BTUs: 36000
- Burners: 4
Aside from being very affordable, Char-Broil’s Performance 475 stands out as one of the best outdoor gas grills because it is equipped with 4 burners, which combine to produce a whopping 36,000 BTUs of heat per hour.
Additionally, a lidded side burner is also included, and this one produces 10,000 BTUs and provides additional cooking space.
Each of the burners is controlled independently via a knob for precise temperature control while a lid-mounted temperature gauge lets you monitor the temperature changes inside in real-time.
As for the main cooking area, you get 475 square inches while a warming surface of 175 square inches lets you keep your buns warm and ready for the burgers. Overall, this totals to 650 square inches, which is very large.
Other features include durable metal side shelves that provide ample working space, two 7-inch wheels for easy movement, a removable grease pan for quick cleaning and a durable stainless-steel lid, handle and control panel.
However, the unit is quite large in size, which is not ideal for tight spaces, and it doesn’t have a natural gas option.
5. Char-Broil Performance 450 Cart – Gas Grill Under $500 with a Side Burner
- Main Cooking Area: 450 square inches
- Warming Surface: 150 square inches
- BTUs: 24000
- Burners: 3
Another one from Char-Broil and this Performance 450 is equipped with 3 burners plus a lidded side burner, which burns at up to 10,000 BTUs. This means you can prepare your steaks and burgers on the main cooking surface while also frying some onions on a pan at the side.
That said, the main cooking area is not short of space, giving you 450 square inches plus an extra 150 square inches of a porcelain-coated warming rack. The 3 burners channel a maximum of 24,000 BTUs on this area and are independently adjustable for precise temperature control.
More features include a surefire electronic ignition system for quick start-ups, rust-resistant porcelain-coated grates, a convenient cart design with storage spaces and two wheels for easy movement and a TRU infrared cooking system that spreads heat evenly across the grill.
On the downside, there is no natural gas option that is available for this model.
How to Buy the Best Gas Grill
Of course, price is a major factor to consider, and more so because these gas grills cost less than $500, which means they are for buyers on a budget. That said, ultimately, the determining factor should be the features that you require.
Once you narrow it down to the ones that fit your requirements, you can then pick according to the price that you are most comfortable with.
2. Cooking Area
Measured in square inches, the larger the cooking area, the more the food that you can cook at a time. This means that the primary determining factor for this feature should be the number of people you want to cook for.
For instance, if the unit is primarily for family use, say, six people, then a 250-300 square inch area will be enough. However, if you want it to prepare food for parties with many guests, then you need the largest cooking area available.
Another thing to check is the availability of a warming surface and this is important because it helps keep accompaniments, such as buns, warm as the burgers cook up. You should ensure that the gas grill you buy has this section.
BTU refers to British Thermal Unit, and this is basically a measure of how hot the grill is at the maximum heat setting. The higher this value is, the hotter the grill, but that is not all.
You need to check the maximum temperature that it can reach and some models can actually go as high as 700˚F. The ability to reach such highs is usually determined by certain underlying technologies such as an infrared burner.
With that in mind, the higher the maximum temperature and the wider the range is from low to high, the better.
4. Number of Burners
Burners are the parts that provide heat and fire, and the more they are, the hotter the grill. This means that a grill with 4 burners is hotter than one with 2 or 3.
In addition to that, with each burner comes an infinite control valve, which means you get to precisely adjust the temperature of different sections on the grill. This allows you to create heat zones so as to cook different types of meals at a time. Therefore, the more the burners, the better.
5. Material Construction
Gas grills are mostly either made of aluminum or steel. Aluminum grills have the benefit of being lightweight, which means they are easily portable. This makes them ideal for carrying out to outdoor events such as when caravanning or camping.
On the other hand, steel grills are very heavy to carry around but this makes them very solid and durable.
If you are looking for a unit to fit into your patio or deck permanently, then a large, steel-built grill is the best option. However, ensure that it has wheels just in case you want to move it around.
To summarize, there are a lot of terms that might confuse you at first when shopping for a gas grill such as BTU, cooking grates, burners, etc., and especially if you are new to this.
Considering that you want to limit your spending to $500 or below, it is important that you get the right gas grill and having gone through the review above, you will understand all the features and terminologies so as to correctly pick the best gas grill under $500 that fits your description.