Taking the price and many other aspects into account, buying a new gas grill might be a really complicated task especially if you are completely new to the topic.
I have prepared a guide for you to help you choose the best gas grill under $500.
The price range, functionality, size, number of burners etc. are some of the things to pay attention to. If you want to avoid problems or disappointment then make use of my tips to choose a gas grill in this price range.
I have to admit that I very heavily limited my list of the best grills under 500 dollars.
I did it because most of options in this price range are junk. Instead, I focused on such aspects as quality, durability, functionality and efficiency.
The 3 Best Sas Grills under $500 Reviewed
It offers great quality of workmanship, durability and essential features at a pretty convenient price. The grill comes with 424 square inches of the main cooking area and three strong burners.
Such number of burners makes it possible to create different heat zones and to achieve very high temperatures in a very short time.
Weber Spirit II E-310 is without a doubt the best overall gas grill under 500 dollars.
It is a pretty simple gas grill without any extra features, but it’s possible to buy many interesting gadgets separately (such as the iGrill 3 wireless thermometer).
The most important thing is quality, and in this case there is nothing to complain about. The Spirit II series is a solid and reliable construction that will certainly withstand a lot, especially considering that the manufacturer offers whole 10 years of warranty.
The open construction might not be appealing to everyone, which is why I’d like to remind that there is also the Weber Spirit I E-310 available with its closed construction (the previous series).
The grease management system ensures that the excess juices go straight onto the grease tray. Such solution makes the post-cooking cleaning incredibly simple and effective.
It comes with plenty of work space on the side shelves and plenty of room to store things.
A small downside is the slightly complicated assembly to many people, and I also noticed a thinner grill lid compared to the previous Spirit series.
Weber Spirit II E-310 is one of the best options of recent years. It is characterized by great efficiency, a lot of cooking space, three strong and reliable burners and durability.
Another advantage is the great approach to the customer and post-sale support as well as respecting the warranty in the event of any problems.
A great option for a bigger family with a very limited budget. Four burners plus 425 square inches of the main cooking area will meet the expectations of most people.
Char-Broil Performance Stainless Steel is a very simple grill for those less demanding. It offers a lot of space, as many as four burners, the basic essential features and an affordable price.
It is among easy options in terms of assembly due to its fairly simple construction.
In terms of quality, you get what you pay for, so in simplest words – it is sadly not a high quality grill to last for very long. Still, for that kind of money I have to admit that the quality of workmanship and materials are good for this price range.
I certainly like its visuals, especially the lid made of stainless steel.
A surprise to me is the side burner, gadgets of this type are usually only present in much more expensive grills. I give it thumbs up for pretty big side shelves that provide a lot of work space.
Char-Broil’s offer mostly features inexpensive gas grills for less demanding people available at relatively low prices.
It is not an option for demanding people, quite the opposite, I recommend this grill for beginners or those who don’t cook a lot. If you take good care of it (using a grill cover etc) it can certainly serve you quite a few years.
3. Weber Q3200
A very interesting alternative to standard gas grills. At first glance, it is simply a differently looking grill, but if you take a look inside you will understand that there are many more differences.
Weber Q3200 has an unorthodox configuration of burners that is completely different from a traditional gas grill. The main burner is rectangle-shaped and covers the outer part of the cook box whereas the secondary burner is located in the middle to provide extra heat.
Thanks to such configuration, it can achieve the right cooking temperature very fast and offers high maximum temperature. The advantage is the ability to reach perfect conditions for grilling steaks for example (with beautiful sear marks) whereas the disadvantage is inability to create cold spots.
The entire construction of the grill was designed more for those with slightly limited spaces. Despite a big cooking area (393 square inches) it maintains a great balance between a typical portable grill and a big stationary one.
For this kind of price, the quality of workmanship is very good, you can expect it to be an investment for years to come.
The unorthodox yet solid and durable construction is pretty minimalistic when it comes to features. It’s a simple grill for those with limited space, for an apartment, small patio etc.
Tips for buying a new grill under $500
Remember that you can’t expect miracles at this price range. Of course you can buy a decent gas grill for this kind of money but it won’t be the best option on the market. Below I share the most crucial things to expect from a gas grill for up to $500.
Size – Think carefully how much you cook so that you can pick the right size of the grill. If you cook for a small family or even for just 1-2 people, the most basic small two-burner grill will be enough for you. If you cook in bigger quantities and more often, however, it will be more convenient to have a bigger, at least three-burner grill.
Number of burners – The minimum amount for a full-sized gas grill is two burners. Personally, I prefer at least three, to me it’s the universal number no matter if I cook for myself and my wife or for a group of several people. On top of that, having as many as 3 independently controlled burners allows to create three different heat zones.
Features – Gadgets and different accessories are very nice, but you have to keep in mind that they have a huge impact on price. You actually don’t need them to prepare great food. I suggest you go for the simplest yet solid and durable grill, especially if you have a limited budget. A perfect example is the fairly simple feature-wise yet certainly solid Spirit II series from Weber.
Type of fuel – If you have an active natural gas line and cook a whole lot, then it’s a good idea to consider buying a grill in the natural gas version. Such option mostly covers the more expensive models which is why I only recommend it to those who cook a lot. Before making the choice, learn about the differences between propane and natural gas (more on that below).
Mobility – You need a grill to go camping with? For an apartment or simply don’t have much room in your backyard. At a price below 500 dollars you can buy really great portable gas grills.
Warranty and customer service – Pay attention to what is covered by the warranty and for what time period, then compare it with other brands at a similar price range. There are brands on the market that have been around for a very long time so there’s no worry that a company will suddenly go bankrupt and you will be left without help in the event of any problems. Another very important thing is the approach to the customer, and it’s pretty common that after you buy the grill it’s hard to get in touch in any way in the event of malfunction.
Propane vs natural gas
Plenty of manufacturers offer gas grills in two versions, propane or natural gas.
Don’t know which version to choose?
Natural gas is great if you cook a whole lot but it requires installing a gas line at the start. It’s an option for those who need a bigger stationary grill in their backyard. If you are already hooked to a line then it’s another reason to consider that option. You don’t need to worry about refilling the tank and in a longer run it’s a more cost-effective option.
Propane, on the other hand, stands out with its mobility, the places where you have a tank are the places where you can cook. A good option if you need a mobile grill and move the grill around a lot. Personally, I believe that if you don’t cook a lot or you have up to three burners in your grill, propane is a better solution. In such cases, the consumption isn’t that high and you don’t have to refill the tank too often.