$300 is quite a reasonable budget for a grill. With this amount of money, you’ll get a decent grill that will not only be durable but also have a few bells and whistles as well. Still, you need to be careful when choosing your next best grill under 300 dollars because there are tons of cheaply made grills out there that will trick you into buying them because they look good. But looks can be deceiving.
Because of this, I’ve researched, tried, and tested many grills for or under $300, and chosen these 3 candidates. Which one is the winner is up to you.
Top 3 Grills Under 300 Dollars
What Is the Best Grill Under $300?
Being a lover of smokey-flavored meat, my best choice is the Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill. It’s one of the few good kamado grills that you’ll get for this budget.
If you live in an apartment or don’t have a backyard in general, then I suggest trying out the Weber Q1400 Electric Grill. The great thing about it is the constant fuel supply – electricity is everywhere.
What Is the Best Gas Grill Under $300?
There are many gas grill that you can get for this kind of money but not a lot of infrared ones. The Char-Broil Performance 450 is one of them. You’ll dominate the neighborhood BBQ party with this grill.
If you are looking for a grill that will serve you for many years, take a look at these 3 grills and check their specifications.
Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill
The Akorn Kamado Grill, model 16620, is a very popular kamado grill, and it is worthy of all of its praise. It’s got 314 square inches of cooking space, which boils down to a diameter of 20 inches. It comes in a variety of colors such as blue or forest green, but their graphite is the most popular color.
This is both wood and charcoal grill, so it doesn’t have any burners, but the grilling grate is still made of cast iron. The lid has a heat damper outlet and a thermometer. The unit itself is free-standing and powder coated for a glossy, matte finish, with a small utility shelf on the bottom, dual workstations on either side, and utensil hooks on the bottom of the shelves. To empty the Kamado, simply disconnect the bottom piece and empty the ash bin.
To a newcomer, the rocket-ship like design is actually extremely efficient, with this “egg” shape funneling and retaining heat where it matters, giving control over your fire and cooking. The entire grill is carefully made to have a double layer of insulation, keeping your fingers modestly cool compared to the scorching temperatures inside.
This Kamado has room for:
- 3 32 oz porterhouse steaks
- 6-8 chicken quarters
- 2 whole salmon side fillets
- 6-8 kabobs
It is tall enough to cook large foods such as:
- 2-4 beer can chickens depending on their size
What’s So Great About this Akorn Kamado?
The Kamado is like a luxury car purchased for a modest price. It’s got a bunch of thoughtful features with little flourishes here and there where it matters. From the starting process of assembly, which is easy, to each cooking outcome, the Kamado is consistently excellent.
The design is very important for this grill and it makes all the difference in the cooking process. Unlike other grills, the Kamado can cook at very low temperatures for extended lengths of time, which is perfect for large and slow-cooked meats. The grill can be configured in a variety of different ways, such as taking the centerpiece out to pile charcoal briquettes or wood chips higher. The warming rack can be put on or off. And sold separately, you can purchase a pizza stone to give your pizzas a unique, fired taste like upscale pizza restaurants.
Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared 450 Liquid Propane Gas Grill
The Char-Broil Performance TRU Infrared has 450 square inches of primary cooking space, which boils down to 30 inches long by 15 inches wide. It also has a warming rack for buns, bread, or slower cooking vegetables that measures 30 inches long by 5 inches wide, and can be moved out of the way thanks to some internal hinges.
This grill is infrared and powered by 3 burners that deliver 8,000 BTU each, totaling 24,000 BTUs for the main grill area. But there is also a side burner that’s 10,000 BTU, bringing the total heating power of this grill to 34,000 BTUs. The ignition system powering this baby is Surefire. The grilling grates are cast iron with porcelain coating for ease of cleaning, non-stick properties, and even heating across the grill top.
This is a full-sized grill with a heat shield in the front, and half shields along the 2 sides, to protect your propane tank from any spills, splatters, or drips. The control panel and handles are all heat-shielded to protect your hands and fingers. The grill lid has a thermometer at the top to measure the inside temperature. This model has 2 workstations on either side, one of which converts to a second cooking surface with the lift of a flap.
How Does the Char-Broil Performance Tru Infrared 450 Stack Up?
Infrared grills have a whole different ball game when it comes to cooking, so while their cooking times are different, they tend to preserve more juices. A cook coming from charcoal or propane will want to keep that in mind as they perfect their skills in this new arena. Want to know more about infrared technology? Then read this guide.
The Performance TRU Infrared has it all when it comes to cooking, and the 2 workstations are very handy. Some might say that the workstation’s inability to fold down is a major drawback, but having an extra grilling surface and folding are two incompatible features: it’s either one or the other. For a big grill like this one, the ability to sit a cast iron pan for something like sauteeing mushrooms for those burgers is a major plus.
The assembly process is okay. But what really makes this grill shine is that they used the Surefire ignition system, which is known for being steady and reliable. Many other grills will be cheap in this area and use the infamous Piezo ignition system which isn’t exactly known by it”s name but embodies the entire idea and experiences of a junker BBQ.
Weber Q1400 Electric Grill
The Weber Q1400, model number 52020001, is an electric grill with space, folding, and compact size in mind, making it a great addition for an RVer, camper, or festival barbeque.
With its 189 square inches big grilling surface, it’s large enough to comfortably cook for 1 or 2 hungry adults, and with space on the grill still left to cook for a child or two depending on how hungry they are, too. It’s got a single burner on the side that controls the temperature, and the push-button start on the front.
The Verdict on the Weber Q1400
The Weber Q is a long-awaited answer for you who want a grill but want to go even simpler than propane bottle attachments. It comes fully assembled, and there’s no propane or other fuel needed – you simply plug it in and it starts cooking. It’s like a griddle, but better. For someone who wants to grill but can’t be bothered to even get a propane tank, this is the answer.
Beginner’s Guide to Kamado Grills
What is a Kamado Grill?
A Kamado Grill is an Asian design that dates back a few thousand years. Chinese, Japanese, and Indian cooks made rice by placing a clay pot over a fire with water and rice inside. I think somebody dropped a hot clay pot one day and knocked the bottom out of it. Rather than throw the pot away, the brilliant cook decided to put the pot back over the fire with a grate inside to cook some meat.
From Clay to Ceramic
Modern Kamado grills aren’t made out of clay, they’re made from ceramic. When American soldiers brought back Japanese Kamado grills after World War II, the design caught on and good old American ingenuity came into play. The fragile, egg-shaped pots were replaced with more durable ceramic pots. This not only increased the durability of the grill, but it also aided in retaining heat more efficiently.
What Is So Great About a Kamado Grill?
Kamado grill enthusiasts report several advantages over steel-bodied bar-b-que grills. Let’s take a look at them one-by-one:
- Kamado grills can heat up between 275 degrees and 700 degrees Fahrenheit; cooler and hotter than most metal grills.
- Kamado grills can cook at a lower temperature for longer periods due to the heat-absorbing ceramic.
- Because they use a wood-based fuel and not a charcoal briquet, Kamado grills burn less fuel. The heat-retaining characteristics of ceramic keep temperatures up without having to add more fuel.
- A Kamado grill doesn’t retain any burned-on bits or pieces inside like a cast-iron pan or griddle. That means food comes out with authentic flavor and better taste.
Are Kamado Grills Worth The Money?
It depends. If I had an extra $700 or $800 laying around with nothing else to do, I might consider buying a Kamado-style grill to use on the patio. Some smaller models go for around $400 but unless you’re on a strict-intake diet, living alone, and never give parties, I’d take a pass on those. The larger-sized grills run pretty steeply but if you’re a true grilling enthusiast with a life-long passion, a fair-sized checkbook, and a few mouths to feed, this is a cool tool.
Kamado Grills Are Game Changers
Despite its cost, the Kamado grill is an easy grill to cook on. Grill chefs enjoy simple vents on the bottom and top to control airflow and temperature. The wood fuel is easy to start and burns clean without residue building up on the grill grate or food. Due to its higher temperature capability, most items that fall through the grill burn off of the ceramic interior surface making clean up much easier.
Big-League Grills for Serious Players
The Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Kooker, Char-Broil Performance TRU Infrared 450, and Weber Q1400 are my best picks for this price range category and all of them are excellent. They cover pretty much the entire playing field of grilling, with each grill being the best in class for a particular type of griller.
All in all, I think if you’re looking to up your backyard grilling game a notch, commit to the lifestyle in a meaningful way, and impress your friends and neighbors, this is a great way to start.
Ever grilled on a kamado grill before?