Let’s face it: Most good gas grills come with an expensive price tag. So, it’s only natural to choose the right one the first time. If you’re on a limited budget, this article is for you.
Why do many people choose gas grills when charcoal grills make food taste much better? Gas grills may not give food that distinct smoky flavor, but they’re more convenient—less messy, easy to clean up, and simple to use and control by anyone, including new grillers.
The downside is most of the best gas bbq grills can easily cost more than a thousand dollars. If you can’t splurge right now, check out 12 of the best barbecue grills under $500 below.
Table of Contents
Best Gas Grills Under $500 Review
Weber 45010001 Spirit II E-310 3-Burner
Starting off the list for the best affordable gas grills is the 45010001 Spirit II E-310 3-Burner by Weber. It may cost higher than other standard 3-burner propane gas grills, but its 10-year parts warranty and other features help justify its price.
This gas grill is enough to cook for medium-sized families and groups. Made from stainless steel, the three burners can produce up to 30,000 BTU-per-hour of fuel-efficient heat. The total cooking area is 529 square inches (primary cooking area is 424 square inches and the warming rack is 105 square inches).
Weber equipped the Spirit II E-310 3-Burner gas grill with its easy-to-use and reliable GS4 grilling system, which includes four key parts: high-output burners, Flavorizer Bars, Grease Management System, and Infinity Ignition. All of these work together to ensure you can enjoy evenly-cooked food with the irresistible smoky flavor, without worrying about the mess after.
- Fast, easy start-ups
- Heats up fast (if all three burners are used)
- A simple gas grill to assemble
- Has reversible grill plates
- Feels awkward to move it by grabbing the folding side table
- Misaligned screw holes
Char-Broil Classic 360 3-Burner
The Char-Broil® Classic 360 3-Burner is a more affordable option than the Weber 45010001 Spirit II E-310 3-Burner. But the price doesn’t really reflect the quality of this positively-reviewed gas grill.
The size of this best economical gas grill is enough to cook around 15 burgers at one time. It has three in-line stainless steel burners (30,000 BTUs), which evenly distribute heat across the porcelain-coated cooking grate (360 square inches). It also comes with a swing-away warming rack (170 square inches) to keep food warm or serve as a secondary cooking area.
Char-Broil® placed two metal shelves at the sides for food prep. It also has a side burner (optional) that you can use to whip up your favorite sauces and side dishes.
The Char-Broil® Classic 360 3-Burner weighs around 48.5 pounds. It’s not the lightest in its class, but with its two 6-inch wheels in place, it shouldn’t be too difficult to move around your patio.
- Great performance from the valves and three burners
- Easier to clean and maintain compared to larger gas grills
- Not difficult to move around
- Provides plenty of cooking surface
- Requires oiling before every use to prevent food from sticking
- Paint easily peels off
Royal Gourmet GB8000 8-Burner
If you’re looking for the best grill for big events, the Royal Gourmet GB8000 8-Burner is amazing for that. With over 950 square inches of cooking surface with 1/4-inch thick porcelain wire cooking grates, you’ll have enough space to cook roughly 120 hot dogs at once.
Like what its name says, it has eight stainless steel burners that can make a total of 104,000 BTUs. Remember, the more burners affordable gas grills have, the more guests you can feed all at once. It also gives you more flexibility because you can have different temperature zones to cook your food to perfection.
You don’t have to worry about the drippings from fatty foods. The Royal Gourmet GB8000 8-Burner has two large grease cups and another two drip pans, which are easy to clean.
This is built and designed to withstand the different weather elements. The grill unit is attached to a frame that’s made from easy-to-clean and rust-resistant stainless steel. Moving it around your backyard also requires less effort, thanks to its four lockable caster wheels.
- Perfect grill for cooking for a large group of people
- Does an excellent job of cooking different types of food at the same time
- Has a non-stick cooking surface
- Fun and easy to use
- Doesn’t come with a lid
- Cooks food too fast
4-Burner Propane Gas Grill in Stainless Steel with Side Burner and Stainless Steel Doors
Another good cheap gas grill to add to your to-consider list is the Nexgrill 4-Burner Stainless Steel Propane Gas Grill. It comes with all the parts and features that you expect from a gas grill in its price range: side shelves, warming rack, angled flame tamers, lid, stainless steel cooking grates, and electronic igniter system.
The primary cooking area (462 square inches), which is made up of stainless steel-wrapped grates, offers enough room for grilling around 2o to 24 burgers at once. It has a 164.5-square-inch warming rack for your buns and other foods that need to be cooked at a lower temperature. With this much cooking space and four burners, the Nexgrill 4-Burner Stainless Steel Propane Gas Grill is a good choice for larger BBQ parties.
There’s no question it looks good. Plus, it has a fully enclosed cart with stainless steel doors to keep wildlife away from the drip tray/grease pan. It’s fitted with four caster wheels, so you can easily move it around wherever you need to.
- Sleek and attractive appearance
- Relatively easy to empty the grease pan
- Works decently for the price
- More suitable for slow cooking
- Takes time and effort to assemble
- Not built to last for years
Camp Chef Flat Top Grill
If you love to cook a lot, or if you need to feed a large crowd fast, the Camp Chef Flat Top Grill is the best gas grill for the money. It has a large griddle surface area (604 square inches) that allows you to cook breakfast, lunch, or dinner for 50 to 100 people every hour.
One of the great things about the Camp Chef Flat Top Grill is its 2-in-1 design. You can use the interchangeable flat top griddle like a cast-iron pan or skillet to cook a variety of foods, ranging from omelette, beef tacos, pancakes, and basically anything you want. Or, you can grill hamburgers, T-bone steaks, and more on its massive grill grates (501 square inches).
You’ll love how easy this is to clean. It has two heavy-duty, stainless-steel drip pans under the center of the grill that you can easily empty and clean. And since you can cook or grill a lot of food at the same time, you don’t have to spend so much time cleaning up afterwards.
- Heats up fast and evenly
- A 2-in-1 gas grill
- Takes less than five minutes to clean
- Doesn’t require too much cooking oil
- Plastic burner knobs
- Rusts if constantly exposed to rain and humidity
Fuego F24C Professional Propane Gas Grill
For 2020, the Fuego F24C Professional Propane Gas Grill gets a new porcelain-enameled lid to prevent paint from bubbling or peeling. And speaking of the lid, it’s attached to the grill body by 45-degree angle hinges, so you don’t have to reach over the fire to lift it.
The total surface of this best budget bbq grill is 525 square inches: main cooking area is 415 square inches and the warming rack is 110 square inches. This can grill up to twenty quarter-pound beef patties at one time on its main cooking area. The lid is high enough (9 inches) to accommodate three beer can chickens.
The F24C Professional Propane Gas Grill features Fuego’s patent-pending, stainless-steel Dual Zone burner. What’s so great about these circular burners? They create two temperature zones to suit the type of food you’re cooking:
- Zone 1 allows you to do indirect cooking by activating only the outer ring. If you enjoy food baked or roasted in the oven, you can put your food in this zone.
- Zone 2 activates the inner ring of the burner to expose food to the flames to cook it thoroughly.
- Heavy and thick cooking surface
- Lockable caster wheels that move smoothly and quietly
- Comes with burners that have drip covers
- Safely conceals the unsightly propane tank under the grill
- Paint inside the lid bubbled due to high heat
- Subpar insulation in the dome because it’s made from a thinner-gauged steel
Weber 57060001 Q3200
The Weber 57060001 Q3200 best backyard grill is a great addition to any small space, whether it’s a patio or balcony. But don’t let its size fool you. It can grill as much as 18 burgers at the same time. It has a small warming rack (75 square inches) and folding side tables for extra working space.
While it only has two burners (21,700 BTU-per-hour), it still exceeds the expectations of most customers. The porcelain-enameled, cast-iron cooking grates hold on to heat well for a seared effect and an even grilling result. To make sure thicker cuts of meats and vegetables cook more evenly, Weber fitted the Q3200 with a thick-gauged aluminum lid.
If you’re looking for a gas grill for low, slow cooking, this isn’t for you. However, if you like grilling steaks and homemade pizzas, this works decently for the price. The handle even has a light to illuminate the grill grates, so it’s more convenient to cook after sunset.
- Able to reach high temperatures and distribute heat evenly
- Portable and compact
- Made from thick-gauged metal
- Great for cooking low and slow
- Has a few unnecessary parts, such as the LED light
- No protection for the burners to keep grate debris out
Weber 44010001 Spirit II E-210 2-Burner
What is the best gas grill for two people or a small family? The Weber 44010001 Spirit II E-210 2-Burner is one of your best options.
The lid of the Spirit II E-210 is available in four awesome colors to match the color scheme of your backyard: classic black, crimson, sapphire, and ivory. The exterior has a powder-coated finish, which is more resistant to chipping, staining, and fading.
The Spirit II E-210 has all the features that you can expect from a Weber gas grill in its segment, including the GS4 Grilling System. This system consists of four main components:
- The Infinity Ignition for fast and reliable startups
- The angled Flavorizer Bars to add that distinct smokey flavor to your food
- The burner tubes for even heat distribution
- And the Grease Management System to prevent flare-ups and for easy clean up
- Easy to control the temperature of the grill
- Cast-aluminum grill body holds its shape well
- A no-brainer to operate
- Good design and heat distribution
- Tiring to put together
- Grill may not withstand regular use for years
Kenmore PG-4030400LD-AM 3 Burner Outdoor Patio
Kenmore boasts of manufacturing gas grills that can give you the convenience of “grilling without the hassle.” Does the Kenmore PG-4030400LD-AM 3 Burner Outdoor Patio pass the test?
The Kenmore PG-4030400LD-AM is a 3-burner gas grill with a 381-square-inch main cooking area and 131-square-inch warming rack. This amount of grilling space is enough for cooking up to 33 burgers for four people or less.
The three burners can produce up to 30,000 BTU-per-hour, which simply means it won’t use up gas ridiculously fast. They can be individually controlled, allowing you to cook different dishes at the right temperatures.
Customers love how easy it is to light up this gas grill. Simply push the electronic ignition button and get cooking right away.
Similar to most best propane grills under 500, it has folding side shelves with tool holder hooks, porcelain-enameled lid with stainless steel handle, grease tray and cup, and four swivel casters.
- Lights up easily and gets hot fast
- Can cook a good variety of foods (chicken, steaks, potatoes, etc.)
- The perfect size for smaller spaces
- Sharp-looking gas grill with good color choices
- Space between grill grates is too wide
- Made from flimsy metal
Char-Broil 463370719 Performance TRU-Infrared 3-Burner Cart Style
The Char-Broil 463370719 Performance TRU-Infrared 3-Burner Cart Style looks really clean and sophisticated with its stainless-steel construction and black accents. It has two folding side tables—the left table is for food prep, while the right side table houses an extra burner.
This top gas grill is equipped with Char-Broil’s unique cooking technology, the TRU-Infrared™. This cooking technology eliminates cold and hot spots and maintains consistent grilling temperature all the time.
While ordinary gas grills use direct flame to cook food, the Performance changes the hot air trapped in the grill body into infrared heat. This allows the grill to reach higher temperatures, so you don’t have to waste more of your precious time waiting for your food to cook. And that means more time for you to enjoy with your family and friends.
- Offers great value for the affordable price
- Cooks food perfectly, without flare-ups
- Starts almost immediately and heats up fast
- Has a big temperature gauge on the lid for easy monitoring
- Give yourself plenty of time and patience to put this together
- Requires cleaning every time you use it
Royal Gourmet SG6002 Cabinet Propane Gas Grill 6-Burner Stainless Steel
Another best value grill under $500 is the Royal Gourmet SG6002 Cabinet Propane Gas Grill 6-Burner Stainless Steel. It has five stainless-steel burners, each producing 10,000 BTUs, as well as a sear burner and lidded side burner. The multiple burners plus double-layer stainless lid give you the freedom to quickly cook food to the correct temperature every time.
The Royal Gourmet SG6002 is the perfect choice for grilling food for many people at once. It has a main cooking area of 598 square inches on porcelain-enameled grates and a secondary cooking area of 199 square inches. It also has a lidded burner on the left side for cooking with a pan or pot.
- Plenty of burners and working space to cook large meals
- Easy to clean
- Thick and strong grill grates
- Performs well for the price
- Requires a lot of time and patience to assemble
- Rusted out drip pan after a year of regular use
Weber 46110001 Spirit E-210 2-Burner
For the beginner, the best gas grill under $500 is the Weber 46110001 Spirit E-210 2-Burner. It’s equipped with all the necessary features that you need to easily grill delicious meals for your family and friends.
The Spirit E-210 offers enough space (360 square inches) to grill as much as 22 burgers with direct or indirect heat. The warming rack provides an additional space to keep buns, vegetables, or even fruits warm.
Like most modern gas grills, it starts up with a push of a button. The two burners are equipped with Weber’s infinite control burner valve, which allows you to set them to the exact temperature you need.
There are tables on both sides of the gas grill, so you have areas for food preparation or placing your utensils. It also has six hooks for keeping all of your grilling tools in one place and within your reach.
- Distributes heat well at around 525 degrees (depending on the air temperature)
- Not that difficult to assemble, as long as there are no damaged parts upon delivery
- Can fit on small decks and patios, if side tables are folded down
- Good build quality and materials
- Has cold and hot spots
- Requires constant flame guards
How to Choose Good Gas Grills Under 500
Choosing the best grills for the money can be a challenge. You don’t only have to think about the price, but you also have to pick the features and accessories that you want in your gas grill. So, here are five things that you can consider to help you navigate the buying process.
Before you rush into buying a gas grill, it’s a good idea to sit down and give yourself time to think about the reason or reasons you’re using it. Perhaps you’d like to host backyard barbecue parties with less stress. Perhaps you like the extreme convenience and temperature control that charcoal grills don’t offer.
Here are other questions that could affect the configuration, cost, size, and other features of the gas grill you’re going to buy:
- Are you grilling for two to four people? Or do you have many mouths to feed?
- What kinds of foods do you like to cook on the grill?
- How often do you barbecue at home?
- How much room are you willing to sacrifice for a gas grill?
Your Cooking Style
The right gas grill should suit the way you like to cook. By knowing your cooking style, it’s easier to identify the features of a gas grill that’s going to fit your needs.
Perhaps you might like high-heat grilling to produce those classic sear marks on your steak. The best gas barbecue grill should be able to reach 425ºF to 500ºF to get those beautiful grill marks and crust on chicken and steak.
You might also want to consider buying a gas grill with infrared technology, such as the Char-Broil 463370719 Performance TRU-Infrared 3-Burner Cart Style. These types of gas grills can consistently reach temperatures as high as 1,000 degrees in just a few minutes.
Perhaps you like to do more low and slow cooking. Delicate meats (e.g. chicken, fish, and seafood) require indirect exposure to heat, so they don’t end up burned and dry. Gas grills with at least three burners are usually the best options for this job because they allow direct and indirect grilling.
Size primarily refers to the amount of grilling surface a gas grill has. This is an important consideration because it’s going to dictate how much food you can cook for a certain number of people at one time, as well as your cooking style and set up when it comes to multi-zone cooking.
Manufacturers normally expressed the grilling surface in terms of square inches (sq. in.), which you get by multiplying the width by the length of the grilling surface. This doesn’t take into account the size of the warming rack and side burner.
For an average household, 400 to 500 square inches of grilling surface is often enough. That’s a typical size for three-burner gas grills. However, if you’re a weekend barbecue warrior, get a gas grill with a primary grilling surface of at least 360 square inches (around 15 inches deep and 24 inches wide).
If you want something smaller, there are manufacturers that sell simple gas grills with less than 360 square inches of space for grilling. For instance, Weber’s Q Series grills have a minimum grilling surface of 189 square inches, which can fit as much as six burgers at a time.
If you’re grilling full meals or feeding more than five people, you might want to consider mid-sized grills or something larger. Consumer Reports defines mid-sized gas grills as those that are 27 to 33 inches wide. They usually have two to four burners. They can accommodate around 18 to 28 burgers at a time.
Tip: Go one size higher, just in case a few more people showed up for your backyard barbecue. And look for extra working space, such as a removable warming rack and side tables.
The Extra Features
By now, you’ve probably been bombarded with a ton of extra features that you might or might not need to optimize your grilling experience. We know it can get overwhelming, but take your time to think about how many of those features you’ll really use.
Most of the top affordable grills have side burners, which allow you to prepare other types of dishes while you’re waiting for your food to cook on the grill. Side burners can also help you save time and effort since you won’t be running back and forth between your patio and indoor kitchen.
Lids are also good to have on a grill. However, not all models have one, such as the Royal Gourmet SG6002 Cabinet Propane Gas Grill 6-Burner Stainless Steel and the Camp Chef Flat Top Grill. When closed, a thick and sturdy lid can help cook food faster and evenly by keeping the heat within.
The best budget gas grills should also keep you and the people around you safe. How does it reduce the risk of gas leakage? Does the handle have a protective cover? Can you lock the wheels to prevent the grill from moving while you’re cooking?
Grill Grate Material
There are currently four common grate materials:
- Stainless steel: easier to clean and more resistant to corrosion and rust (compared to cast iron)
- Plain steel: found in low-cost gas grills, not a long-lasting material (easily warps, rusts, and loses its nonstick properties)
- Cast iron: good heat retention, long-lasting, and has nonstick properties (if seasoned properly)
- Porcelain-coated steel: economical, heats up quickly, and has better heat recovery
- Porcelain-coated cast iron: excellent heat-retention, thus the ideal choice for those who want bold sear marks on their food
Grill grates that are made from any of these materials will eventually wear down due to the extreme heat of the grill. You need to replace them at least once during the life of your grill, or when they start to crack or peel in certain areas. If you can spare more money, invest on a gas grill with heavier and thicker grill rods.
As what they always say, you get what you pay for. And it’s true. That’s why it’s extremely important to inspect what you’re buying to get the most out of your money. Shop around and compare at least three models to increase your chances of picking the right one for you.
If you’re looking for a basic model to grill on once in a while, the best grill for under 500 might be a good choice. However, if you’re really serious about having the best barbecue experience, be prepared to invest on a more expensive model that could last for years and has the best possible features.
Lastly, don’t forget about the warranty. Compare the warranty of each manufacturer, especially for their burners, grill grates, ignition, and valves. Weber probably has the longest parts warranty in the industry—10 years!