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Best Gas Grills Under $500

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Get Cooking and Find the Best Gas Grills for the Money

As the weather turns warmer, many of us become excited about the prospect of cooking up some delicious and mouth-watering treats on the grill. As one of the great pastimes, grilling has become a traditional activity for families, backyard cookouts, or those who just prefer their food cooked on a grill. No matter the reason, cooking on a gas grill provides a unique experience for both those eating and the one doing the cooking. As such, it is important to have the right grill that offers an enjoyable experience for all involved.

Gas grills come in all shapes, sizes, and price points. Finding the best one for under $500 can sometimes seem like a daunting task as the salesman is constantly pushing to move up in class. More expensive grills can provide an excellent cooking experience, but for most of us, high-quality units can easily be found without a more reasonable price range. We have looked at four of the most popular gas grills to help you make your decision a little easier.

Our Top Picks

Weber E-310

Char-Broil Performance

Cuisinart CGG-7400

Royal Gourmet SG6002

HonorsBest in ClassBest Value
The GoodExceptionally high quality materials. Even and consistent cooking with reversible porcelain enameled grill. 10 year warranty.Sleek and good looking backyard grill. Plenty of cooking space. Better at indirect cooking than most budget grills.Uses cast iron grates for better cooking. Sturdy while in use and simple to put together. A bottle opener for a little unique touch.Massive cooking space can cook for almost any size group. Lots of good features including a side burner, shelves, storage cabinets, and more. Beautiful and easy to clean.
The BadSubpar wheels and free assembly is only available in certain service areas.Assembly is time-consuming and contains many parts. Four wheels instead of two would have been preferable.Materials feel thin and flimsy in parts. May be a little on the light side, which could cause problems in high winds.Cheaply made materials used for construction. Gas flow feels low and it doesn’t put out as much heat as would be expected. Cooking is sometimes uneven and takes time to learn the grill.
OverallAffordable, high-quality, and versatile. One of the best grills you will find for under $500.Great price for a good grill. One of the best looking grills you’ll find and does a good job cooking for groups.A budget grill that performs like a budget grill. May not last as long as some other models, but it will save money for a short-term fix.Not a long-term solution. Expect 2-4 years before it is time to get a new one. A higher quality grill may save money in the long run. An average to above-average grill.
Our Rating8.47.67.46.9
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The Reviews

Best Choice

Weber Spirit II E-310

By: Weber

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Features

  • 30,000 BTUs
  • 424 sq. in. cooking space
  • 105 sq. in. warming rack
  • 3 burners
  • GS4 grilling system
  • Porcelain enameled cast iron grates
  • Open cart design
  • Infinity Ignition
  • Side table (folding)
  • Easy access tank
  • 6 hooks

Weber 45010001 Spirit II E-310 3 Burner Gas Grill

Backed by the powerful reputation of Weber, the Weber Spirit II E-310 offers numerous advantages over other grills offered for under $500. Weber doesn’t disappoint and provides one of the most durable and high-quality grills around. Featuring consistent and even heating, the Weber E-310 provides buyers with a satisfying and efficient backyard grilling experience. The porcelain-enameled cooking grates combined with the GS4 grilling system are the backbone of the performance of this grill. Heating up very quickly to heats in excess of 500 degrees, expect to be off and cooking in no time flat. The solid construction ensures that heat does not escape to maintain an even heat throughout. Additionally, an exceptional 10 year warranty provides extreme peace of mind as you can be sure the grill will last for years.

There are very few problems associated with the Weber Spirit II except for some minor issues. One potential issue is that, unlike the rest of the grill, the wheels appear to be an afterthought. They are made of cheap plastic and have difficulty rolling across some surfaces. Another problem with moving the grill is that there is nowhere to really grip it, like a handle. While not a huge deal, it can be a hassle. Additionally, some buyers have reported that the free assembly is not available in their service area. While this is an easy grill to assemble, if the free assembly option is important to you, ensure that you are within the service area for that option.

Overall, this is one of the best budget grills currently available. It has solid construction and uses excellent materials. The 10 year warranty is best in class and speaks to the confidence that Weber has with their products. It produces an even, consistent, and flawless cooking experience that seems to be sustainable over the years. You can expect this three burner grill to last in excess of 10 years and will more than make up for being on the upper end of the $500 range. Weber doesn’t disappoint with this model as they continue their tradition of providing exceptional products.

  • Even and consistent cooking
  • Accurate temperature gauge
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Strong construction materials
  • Minimal heat loss
  • Strongest warranty you’ll find
  • Wheels could be better
  • Free assembly is only available in most areas
Full Review

Best Value

Char-Broil 463377319

By: Char-Broil

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Features

  • 36,000 BTUs
  • 425 sq. in. cooking space
  • 150 sq. in. warming rack
  • 4 burners
  • Side burner (10,000 BTUs)
  • Porcelain coated cast iron grates
  • Stainless steel shelves
  • Electronic ignition

Char-Broil Performance Stainless Steel 4 Burner Gas Grill

The Char-Broil line of grills are well respected throughout the grilling community. The Char-Broil Performance model is a great example of the attention to detail that the company puts into each of their grills. This model offers several benefits to backyard grillers such as a large cooking space, beautiful design, high durability, and exceptional value. Featuring 425 sq. in. of primary cooking space and approximately 85 BTUs per square inch, it cooks in an even manner for a variety of foods. The heating control works well and allows for fine-tuning the heat to accurately cook delicate food at low temperatures or sear a steak at high temperature.

Additionally, a warming rack is available that is perfect for keeping food warm while the rest of the food is finishing. It works very well for items such as corn on the cob. The strong stainless steel gives the grill a sturdy feel and just plain looks good! Another benefit of being a (mostly) stainless steel device is that it is easily cleaned and wiped down. This greatly decreases the amount of maintenance that is needed, provided a quick wipe down is completed after each use. Two wheels are used to make the grill easier to move around the yard or transporting to and from the storage area. Four wheels would have been better to make it even easier to move around. Assembly can be time consuming as the grill is made up of over 100 separate parts. The instruction manual is surprisingly good, but expect to spend a couple of hours putting it together.

The Char-Broil Performance 4 burner gas grill does a good job at providing a quality grill without costing too much. It offers very good value considering the quality of the materials used. While it may not last as long as a Weber, it will last a long time. Furthermore, the even cooking and granular temperature control give you plenty of control for cooking a variety of meals. Plenty of convenience features such as the easy cleaning nature of the grill and quick-start ignition make this a joy to work with. If you are looking for a grill that is durable and works well and save a few bucks while doing it, the Char-Broil Performance grill may be the right one for you.

  • Solid quality
  • Beautiful grill
  • Easy to clean
  • Fine-tune temperature control
  • Indirect cooking
  • Instant twist start
  • Many parts for assembly
  • Only 2 wheels
  • Parts without stainless steel can rust
Full Review

Cuisinart CGG-7400

By: Cuisinart

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Features

  • 44,000 BTUs
  • 443 sq. in. cooking area
  • 167 sq. in. warming rack
  • Cast iron grates
  • Stainless steel
  • Twist ignition
  • Side tables
  • Thermometer
  • Bottle opener

Cuisinart CGG-7400 Full Size 4 Burner Gas Grill

The Cuisinart CGG-7400 is a full size 4 burner gas grill that features high affordability for a grill with an exceedingly high BTU/sq. in. (99). The grill comes with 443 sq. in. of primary cooking space with a warming rack (167 sq. in.) powered by a total of 4 burners (44,000 BTUs). The grates are strong cast iron cooking grates that are very heavy duty. Cooking is comfortable with plenty of elbow room as you are operating the grill. The frame feels solid as it doesn’t wobble or sway while the device is in use. Another convenient aspect of this model is that the cleaning is fairly easy as most of the grill is covered in stainless steel.

The Cuisinart CGG-7400 also features a bottle opener that comes in more handy than one would at first realize. Other features such as the twist-start ignition and temperature gauge work well and do not disappoint. Most of the aspects of the grill are surprisingly well done, but there are a few problems that users experience such as some materials feeling cheap and flimsy. There is also a small gap between the lid and warming rack that could allow heat to escape and impact cooking.

Overall, the Cuisinart four burner gas grill does a good job at providing an affordable option for a daily use grill. While it doesn’t quite measure up to the Char-Broil or Weber, it is an acceptable alternative for those looking to try something different. It has the highest BTUs/sq. in. of any of the grills we have reviewed here, but the grill doesn’t cook quite as well as either of the two above (Char-Broil/Weber).

  • Comfortable grilling
  • Quickly heats up
  • Bottle opener
  • Affordability
  • Some cheaply made parts
  • A little too lightweight
  • Small gap allows heat to escape
Full Review

Royal Gourmet SG6002

By: Royal Gourmet

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Features

  • 71,000 BTUs
  • 802 sq. in.
  • Warming rack (199 sq. in.)
  • 5 burners
  • 1 sear burner
  • 1 lidded side burner
  • Stainless steel design
  • Electronic ignition
  • Thermometer

Royal Gourmet 6 Burner Cabinet Propane Gas Grill

Cooking for large groups or events requires the right grill for the job. A simple 3 or 4 burner grill just will not do in these situations. The Royal Gourmet SG6002 6 burner grill offers a massive 802 sq. in. of cooking area (603 sq. in. primary). The porcelain enameled cast iron cooking grates are preferred by many over the other kinds of grates. They do a good job at holding heat and helping accommodate an even cook. The SG6002 includes numerous features such as an electronic ignition, built-in thermometer, a sear burner, side burner for sauces, and plenty of storage for cooking utensils. Additionally, the stainless steel design allows for a nice appearance and easy cleaning.

Assembly is relatively easy due to a poor instruction manual and numerous components that make up this huge grill. It is easier if you have experience with assembling other grills, but it can be a pain if this is your first time. One of the best aspects of this grill is the price for such a large grill. While it is much cheaper than one would expect, there are some drawbacks inherent in something that is too good to be true. The materials used feel cheap, presumably to save on costs. Some parts of the grill have a tendency to rust over time, which can drastically reduce the durability. Additionally, the gas flow doesn’t seem to be adequate, at times, to heat the entire grill.

The Royal Gourmet Cabinet grill is intended for big jobs at a reduced priced. If you need to save money and aren’t interested in a long-term investment, this may be the grill for you. But, if you expect the grill to last 5+ years, it may be a good idea to look at another option. This model will save you money, but over the long run, it is often advisable to get something that will last. The cheaply made materials and exposed components leave a little to be desired in that area. This 6 burner propane grill will get the job done, it just won’t do it as well as some other grills.

  • Massive cooking space
  • Lots of features
  • Porcelain enameled cast iron grates
  • Easily assembled
  • Affordable for huge grill
  • Cheaply made
  • Rust on non-stainless steel parts
  • Low gas flow
  • Subpar instruction manual
Full Review

Gas Grill Buying Guide

Choosing a new grill often comes with a critical decision; what kind of grill to get? The choice often comes down to the type of fuel that grill consumes. The never-ending debate of gas vs charcoal can be broken down further to propane grills, natural gas grills, and ol’ reliable…charcoal. Each type of grill offers benefits and drawbacks that are unique to that type of device. It is a good idea to ensure that the grill will meet your expectations and fit in with what you want it to do.

Charcoal

Although gas grills are becoming more popular by the day, charcoal grills are easily the most popular form of grill for a number of reasons. The primary reason being that they are generally cheaper than their gas cousins. You can find a small charcoal grill for as little as $20 in some cases. While it may not be the biggest, it will get the job done for a single person. Furthermore, charcoal grills are the most portable of all types of grills. They are fairly easy to take for a camping excursion or a day of grilling at the lake. Charcoal grills also provide a smoky flavor that some prefer while also providing more heat than the gas versions. Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks with these grills. Charcoal is messy and can require extensive cleanup after each cooking session. Additionally, the convenience factor is appalling as you must wait for 15-20 minutes for the coal to burn down. Not to mention the hassle of starting your coals, depending on the type you are using. Overall, many prefer the convenience of gas grills when the device is intended to mostly stay in the backyard.

Chicken wings cooking

Propane

Propane grills are the most popular gas grills as they provide numerous benefits over their natural gas cousins such as less expensive initial cost, higher heat levels, and better portability. While propane grills offer more features and cost more than charcoal, they are consistently less expensive than natural gas for the grilling unit. While the cost and hassle of replacing propane tanks can be annoying, it is considerably less expensive than installing a natural gas line if one isn’t already in place. Furthermore, propane puts out 2500 BTUs per cubic foot compared to natural gas’ 1000 BTUs. The higher heat is often preferred by experienced grillers as a purer form of cooking. Finally, propane grills are much more portable than natural gas. You can even find travel propane tanks that are made specifically to accommodate travel.

Natural Gas

Natural gas has become more and more popular in recent years due to the extreme convenience, clean burn, and overall cost. Natural gas grills are easily the most convenient grills, once they are set up. Setting up natural gas in your home can be a real hassle and huge expense if it isn’t already in place. But, once it is set up, starting your grill and cooking is effortless. You don’t have to deal with messy charcoal or switching out propane tanks on a regular basis. You can pretty much just turn on the burner and start cooking anytime you want. Another selling point of natural gas is that it is the cleanest burning fuel of any of the grill types. Additionally, gas is cheaper than propane over time. While these are excellent selling points, there are a few drawbacks besides the huge roadblock of getting a natural gas line installed to your home. Natural gas grill units are more expensive than their propane counterparts. While this one-time cost difference isn’t huge, it is something to consider. Additionally, portability is absolutely zero. The grill must stay within reach of the gas line to provide fuel. Often the grill doesn’t move more than a few feet once it has been installed and connected to the gas line.

ThermometerDid You Know?

British Thermal Units (BTUs) are one of the primary measuring sticks that buyers look for when deciding on a new grill. BTUs are a measure of how much heat the grill produces. This is taking into account that the burners will be turned to full. Most say that a good target for BTUs in a grill should be around 80 – 100 BTUs per square inch. To arrive at this number when researching grills, simply take the total BTUs put out by the burners (i.e. 40,000 BTUs) and divide by the main cooking section. Side burners and warming racks shouldn’t be considered to arrive at this number.

Cooking Considerations

Finding the right grill often hinges on what kind of cooking is intended. The cooking surface area is integral in ensuring you are getting one that can accommodate your cooking needs. The cooking area often takes into account the primary grilling area and the warming rack (if available). As a point of reference, 450 square inches will fit most people’s cooking needs and can fit approximately 15 – 20 burgers (depending on size of patty).

Another consideration is the number of burners offered by the grill. At least 3 burners is often recommended to allow variable heat cooking. This allows you to adjust the heat per burner and cook at different temperatures on various parts of the cooking surface. This works very well in cooking for families as you could simultaneously cook various items on different areas of the grill at variable temperatures. You can find grills with up to 6 burners, but 3 usually works fine for most families.

Another common option you may find is that some grills come with a side burner. Side burners are most often useful for keeping sauces, side dishes, and the like warm. This comes in especially handy if you enjoy barbecuing on a regular basis as it keeps your BBQ sauce warm and within easy reach for basting the meat. While side burners can be convenient, they can also sometimes cause problems as it can be difficult to regulate the heat for proper cooking.

Quick Tip

The cooking grate is one of the most important components of any gas grill. The heavier the grate, the better. The grate can come in a variety of materials, but the most common are steel, iron, and porcelain-coated iron or steel. They type of materials used for the great can greatly impact durability and longevity. Most serious cookers prefer a heavy cast iron as they hold heat better than the others. Unfortunately, they also require more maintenance and are more difficult to keep clean. Stainless steel is commonly found on grills as it is easy to clean and lasts longer than plain steel. Unfortunately, it tends to chip, over time, and is less durable than cast iron. Finally, porcelain-coated steel or cast iron is a good middle ground, but similar problems arise as stainless steel due to chipping.

 

Burgers on a flame

Commonly Asked Questions

How long should a gas grill last?

The durability of a gas grill is most often impacted by maintenance of the grill and the quality of construction. A cheaply made grill may only last a couple of years if it is poorly maintained. On the other hand, a well-made, high quality grill that is taken care of can last up to 20 years, under the right circumstances. You can expect to replace the grilling area and burners about once every 5-7 years, while other parts (i.e. gas line) may need to be attended to more frequently. Paying close attention to these components and keeping them out of the rain and elements can greatly extend the life of your grill.

How often should you clean a gas grill?

Cleaning a gas grill is much easier than charcoal grills. You should do a quick clean after each use that consists of brushing the grates and wiping down the exterior to remove any excess grease or dirt. Another quick way to clean the grill is to periodically (once a week or so) turn the burners up to high for 10 – 15 minutes to remove any buildup. More detailed cleanings should occur every 3-4 months (depending on how much you grill). The detailed cleaning should consist of brushing and scraping the grates, removing and cleaning the burner protectors, wiping buildup from the burners, and cleaning the bottom of grill (under the burners).

How many burners do I need for a gas grill?

Most people prefer at least 3 burners on their grill to provide variable cooking areas that can cook at different heat. If you want a larger model to allow for more food to be cooked, aim for at least 4 burners.

How much should I spend on a gas grill?

The price for a gas grill can vary from as little as $200 all the way up into the thousands. Determining how much to spend largely depends on the uses. If you intend to do professional cooking, expect to pay $1000 or more for a quality model. If you don’t need one as big and only intend for some light cooking in the backyard, $500 or less will do just fine. Of course, some models provide quite a bit more bang for your buck, so ensure you do your research.

Conclusion

Buying a new gas grill or shopping for one for the first time can be difficult considering the wide range of features and options to choose from. Additionally, the price can range from affordable to very expensive, further complicating matters. Having a good idea of how you intend to use the grill can help with pinpointing exactly what you should be targeting. Fortunately, numerous gas grills are available that are affordable and offer similar features to those at the upper end of the price range. As long as you follow the guidelines we have discussed and are confident in your research, you should be able to find the perfect grill to suit your needs. There’s no need to “break the bank” for that new grill when there are plenty of options available for many of us.