Nothing beats a hot summer like a barbeque: sunshine, outdoors, cooking, and being surrounded by the ones you love. But what grill is the best for this?
The most convenient way to have a BBQ party is with a gas grill. You just push a button and off you go grilling. No messy handling of charcoal, no waiting for the grill to heat up, and no big mess to clean afterward.
The market is saturated with gas grills, some are great, others are not. Finding the right one for you is quite a time-consuming task: you have to check out all the brands, see their reviews and the reviews of their products, ask others on forums for any defects the manufacturer is hiding, etc.
Luckily, I’ve done the job for you and gathered 4 of the best gas grills under 500 bucks. Check out the reviews and the buying guide below. Your search for the best grilling companion ends here.
Top 4 Best Gas Grills Under 500 Dollars
What’s The Best Gas Grill For Under $500?
- Best Natural Gas: Weber 49010001 Spirit II E-310 3-Burner Natural Gas Grill
- Best Propane Gas: Char-Broil 463375919 Performance 4-Burner Liquid Propane Gas Grill
- Best For Steaks: Char-Broil Performance 650 6-Burner Liquid Propane Gas Grill
- Best For Small Patio: Chef’s Grill RT2417S-1 3-Burner Liquid Propane Gas Grill
Here are the details of these 4 grills that will provide you with a great grilling experience.
Weber 49010001 Spirit II E-310 3-Burner Natural Gas Grill
My personal top choice. This grill is the winner of this list because I used it almost every day last summer and it never failed me. Even when I made burgers last week it grilled flawlessly just like the very first time I bought it.
Having a cooking space of 529 square inches, worrying about feeding your friends and family at the same time will be a thing of the past. The grates are cast iron, enameled in porcelain for even heat distribution and easy cleaning. The 3 burners put out a whopping 30,000 BTUs of raw grilling power.
The grill is designed so that most of the grease that falls down is vaporized by the Flavorizer bars, giving your meals a smokey flavor. The grease that doesn’t get vaporized, falls into the grease management system below. When you’re done barbecuing, you just pull out the drip tray and empty it. It couldn’t get more simple than this.
It has 2 side tables. The left one is foldable. A great feature if you intend to grill on a balcony.
- 6 tool hooks
- built-in thermometer
- open cart design
- 10 feet long hose
I must admit, it took me quite some time to assemble this grill. Also, because it has no handles and is heavy, it’s quite difficult to move the grill.
Still, this grill is the best gas grill I’ve ever tried.
Char-Broil 463375919 Performance 4-Burner Liquid Propane Gas Grill
The Char-Broil 463375919 Performance is a liquid propane grill with 4 individually controlled burners outputting 9,000 BTUs per burner, for a total of 36,000 BTUs for the entire grilling surface.
The grilling area is 23 inches long by 18.5 inches wide for 425 square inches of porcelain-enameled grilling space, and the warming rack is 20.2 inches long by 7.4 inches wide for a total of 150 square inches of warming space. It has an electronic ignition system activated by the front push button.
This Char-Broil grill has 2 non-folding workstations on either side. The left one doubles as a side burner that has 10,000 BTU. This freestanding grill has a fully enclosed propane cabinet beneath the grilling area. The lid’s handle will stay cool to the touch, and the lid contains a thermometer.
Pros and Cons of This Grill
The major issue with this grill is that it has the same issues that plague all grills. It will rust if left exposed to the elements (get a grill cover), it can become dented or scratched in the transit to your door, and factory quality control issues mean that some grills will arrive with pieces that have issues like bends, cracks, or holes.
But this is Char-Broil, so take advantage of the warranty on the grill and all its parts and pieces and get an exchange. Lastly, the plastic parts around the ignition system are prone to break and fail, such as the grill not heating up properly, but a replacement is very inexpensive after the warranty ends.
Everything else about this grill has no issues or surprises. The instructions are easy to read and the grill assembly takes 2 – 3 hours. The grill cooks amazingly well. When it’s covered and protected from the elements, the paint can last a long time.
Char-Broil Performance 650 6-Burner Liquid Propane Gas Grill
The massive behemoth Char-Broil 650 is the Cadillac of grills with 6 separately controlled burners at 10,000 BTU each with the 6th burner being the searing burner for direct cooking in high heat. The grilling surface is 35 inches long by 18.5 inches wide for 650 square inches. The warming rack swings away for a bigger unimpeded working area and is 31 inches long by 7.4 inches wide for a total of 280 square inches.
This grill has 2 workstations that do not fold, one of which is the side grill – simply close the flap if you’re not using it to have your workspace back. This 7th side burner is 10,000 BTU. The lid has a thermometer.
Beneath the grill is a double door, fully enclosed area for your liquid propane tank, with room for larger items beside it, and a bar to hang your utensils when they are not in use.
This grill is prone to come with pieces missing, damaged, bent, or banged up beyond the usual delivery service issues. For any of those, consult the 1 to 5-year limited warranty and get a free exchange grill to solve any troubles you may have.
The ignition system is still going strong with no signs of suddenly failing, and the grill is heated evenly every time. This grill doesn’t have issues with the regulator where the temperatures won’t rise above 200 to 250 F. The grease and catching bin is a little small for how large the grill is, but this is not a major issue.
If you’re looking to impress, if you have a very large family, or if you regularly have large parties, this grill will be perfect. It’s very large, you can easily cook 8 or more full-size racks of ribs and about 8 porterhouse steaks. The warming rack will fit about 8 hamburger buns or slices of bread. The side burner is big enough to fit a medium to large size pan but very large pans will still fit but a little awkwardly – a cast-iron skillet might be better for even heat distribution.
Chef’s Grill RT2417S-1 3-Burner Liquid Propane Gas Grill
The Chef’s Grill RT2517S-1 is a newer propane grill brand debuting on the market and this is their 3 burners full size, fully enclosed, and freestanding grill. Each burner has 12,000 BTU and like Weber grills, it has flavorizer bars to help your food come out tastier. The cooking surface is 26 inches long by 21 inches wide for about 552 square inches, and the warming rack is removable, measuring 26 inches long and 5.5 inches wide for about 142 square inches.
This grill has some quality control issues at the factory level, causing grills to sometimes arrive with missing parts or pieces. Sometimes the assembly process results in a grill that isn’t lined up perfectly but should still be functioning just fine. The ignition system isn’t the best, simply consult the manufacturer’s warranty if it fails.
If you are curious about the difference between gas grills and charcoal grills then you should read this guide.
What Should I Look For When Buying a Gas Grill?
The most important questions I want to answer when considering a gas grill are:
- Where am I going to be using it?
- What will I be cooking on it?
Those 2 questions are the start of my investigation into the features and benefits I should be thinking about before buying a gas grill.
Where I Grill
A lot of people use their gas grill exclusively at home. That’s going to influence the design and engineering needed for a backyard gas grill. There are a lot of options for home gas grills but I don’t want to leave out the portable ones available on the market.
For campers, picnickers, and others who like to bring along their Bar-B-Que grill, a portable option is one way to go. Portable gas grills can be used at home or on the road, depending on the design and available cooking area.
While smaller grills will be more challenging to use with a small crowd, the ability to take your grill along with you is very attractive for true grilling devotees.
What I Grill
There’s a big difference between grilling a couple of thick, juicy steaks and a few pieces of chicken.
The grill’s burners will determine how much I can cook at one time as well as the best method of cooking. Modern gas grills offer heating elements that distribute heat more evenly than an open flame and can cook with greater accuracy and control.
If I’m looking to fire up some hamburgers and hot dogs, I’m not going to need a high degree of sophistication to accomplish the task. However, if I’m looking to wow my guests with some grilled swordfish or, perhaps, a special medley of grilled vegetables, the old, traditional gas burner under a grate might not work too well.
Grills Are Not Created Equal
The variety of gas grill manufacturers includes companies that are well-known companies as well as some lesser-known companies. Each manufacturer follows strict safety and usage guidelines to ensure consumers can enjoy their grilling experience without worry or concern for their safety.
The main areas of construction and design for gas grills focus upon:
- The type of metal used for the body of the grill. Aluminum, steel, and ceramic are used for grill enclosures. Each has its own benefits and features with aluminum grills being the lightest in weight and easiest to move around or carry along to go camping. Steel and ceramic construction tend to increase the overall weight of the grill making it less portable. Aluminum doesn’t rust while steel will if it is not protected from the elements.
- What distributes heat more evenly and eliminates flame flare-ups. Infrared surfaces allow for better control over the food being grilled. Searing, browning, and gentle warming can take place at the same time with greater control on an infrared grill compared to a traditional gas grill.
- The grilling surface area determines how long your guests will be waiting for their meal. Small grill areas require multiple waves of cooking to get everyone’s burgers and buns to perfection. Large grill areas require additional fuel to heat, whether you’re using that part of the grill or not. Determining the optimum size will be dictated by the answers to the first 2 questions of where and what I will grill.
- More important than BTU’s is the design and burner configuration that determines the cooking efficiency of the BTUs.
Last But Not Least
I think about other things like rotisserie attachments and fuels that can be used like Propane, Natural Gas, or Pellets. There’s also the decision between having a built-in grill that’s a permanent part of my patio or a grill that rolls on wheels so I can set up next to the swimming pool when it’s sunny outside or under the deck cover if the weather isn’t agreeable.
I also consider product warranty and customer support when looking at a new grill, because you never know what might go wrong. All in all, I think with a few minute’s consideration, the perfect gas grill can be yours (and your guests) to enjoy for years to come.
Barbeque Experience Made Better
I picked 4 best gas grills under 500 dollars for you to consider but which to choose? For a single family, the Chef’s Grill RT2517S-1 or the Weber 49010001 Spirit II E-310 might be a perfect fit for your budget and style. The Char-Broil Performance 650 would be a great fit for a griller who loves hosting parties or who often does grilled meal prep for the upcoming week. The Char-Broil 463375919 Performance is something in the middle – a great choice for medium-sized parties.
Do you have a natural gas line at home?