As soon as grill season arrives, you see your neighbors making space for their favorite grill in their backyard or balcony. Grilling food is a great way to entertain yourself along with a bunch of friends or family. A good quality grill not only provides restaurant like results at home but is also durable. But that does not mean you need to break your account to buy a good quality gas grill. There are gas grills under $500 that work excellently for years and are less messy.
The typical charcoal grill is a favorite of many people. This is because the coal smoke infuses a wonderful flavor to the meat and patties which is simply irresistible. But operating a charcoal grill needs some skill as you first need to gather coals, then heat them up in a chimney start and wait for the coals to reach a perfect temperature. And you can all avoid this with a gas bbq grill.
An outdoor gas grill is perfect for use in both large backyards and small open apartment balcony. They are great for beginners who haven’t bought any type of grill before. You can easily begin your first grilling session in a small bbq grill without going through the hassle of maintaining a coal ratio or using a chimney starter. But for that, you will need a good quality product that is both functional and durable.
Best Gas Grills Under $500
We’ve listed down some of the best affordable gas grills under $500. Check out the review below and pick out the product that meets your grilling needs without breaking the budget.
1) Weber 46110001 Spirit E-210 LP Gas Grill, Black
Weber 2-burner gas grills top the review list without any doubt. This compact grill is perfect for a wide variety of grilling sessions. Do not let the small size of the product confuse with the cooking space as it offers an impressive 450 sq. in of grilling area. And with two-burner control, you can cook two different food at the same time at different temperatures. You can easily light the Weber Spirit propane gas grill with an electric ignition start. Just turn the main burner at an appropriate temperature and press the ignition switch. You might not need to press it again to light the secondary burner.
No need to buy an infrared or meat thermometer as Weber 46110001 Spirit E-210 features a built-in thermometer. It shows the accurate reading of the temperature inside the grill to properly preheat or sear the meat. Below the porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates are large storage spaces. This space is ideal to keep liquid propane and other grill accessories. Besides, there are two fold-down side tables and 3 tool hooks on each table to hang the cooking tools. This way to tools remains accessible yet out of the way.
2) Dyna-Glo Smart Space Living 36,000 BTU 3-Burner LP Gas Grill
Up your grilling game with Dyna-Glo 3-burner gas grill. This heavy-duty unit is perfect for beginners and home chefs to experiment with different foods. There are 3 stainless steel commercial-grade burners for performance and durability. Just turn the knob, set the flame, and easily start the gas on by pressing the ignition button. The heavy-duty cast-iron grates retain heat while the porcelain enamel layer transfers the heat directly on the food surface. Along with better heat transmission, porcelain also prevents food from sticking. This results in smooth cleaning of surface post grilling.
Not only the cooking grate, but the heavy-duty steel hat tents are also porcelain-enameled. The enamel tolerates high heat and evenly distributes it across the grilling surface as well as protects burners. Also, it vaporizes the juices that fall from grates and provides them with natural flavor. You’ll feel the taste of meat grilled on this bbq gas grill a lot similar to that of a light-duty charcoal grill. Apart from providing ample cooking space, Dyna-Glo features side tables with integrated tool hooks and towel bars. These additional features let you cook food conveniently.
3) Weber 49010001 Spirit II E-310 3-Burner Natural Gas Grill, Black
Weber Spirit II E-310 is an upgraded version of E-210. Instead of 2 burners, it features 3 powerful burners with the main burner offering 30,000 BTU per hour. Turn all the three burners and see the Weber Spirit E-310 do its magic by preheating the cooking area in minutes. You can easily monitor the temperature inside with the built-in lid thermometer. Each component of GS4 is uniquely designed to provide the utmost comfort to the user while they’re in the backyard for grilling. Integrated with high-quality burner tubes, E-310 Weber outdoor propane grill spreads out the heat evenly over the cooking grate for even searing of meats.
The flavorizer bars of Weber E-310 bbq grill is simply amazing. They are angled just right to catch drippings and smoke that smoke and sizzle back up. This helps to infuse the smokey flavor of meat and other food that we love. Not to worry if there’s too much dripping as all the excess moisture collects down in the grease tray. You can easily take out the grease tray once the grilling is done and the unit is cooled. Throw away the watery fat, clean the tray and fix it again in the position for a fresh round of grilling. Thanks to the safe grease management system of Weber E-310 outdoor grill that reduces the risk of flare-ups. You can either reuse the drip tray or replace it as needed.
4) Camp Chef Flat Top Grill, Stainless Steel
Experience grilling like never before with Camp Chef flat top grill. Providing 604 sq inches of griddle surface, Camp Chef flat top 600 is perfect for large families, get together, and family gatherings. The large 604 sq inch cooking surface fits up to 40 strips of bacon, 72 hotdogs, 36 burger patties, veggies, etc at a time. This means you can cook or up to 100 people at a time without letting the crowd wait. Camp Chef propane grill features 4 stainless steel match burners that are easy to control. Turn on all 4 burners and you can reach a piping hot temperature in no time.
Fold out a mini table from the sides to serve the sizzling hot food right on the plate. Lock-on both sides to ensure the tables stay in place while you keep seasoning ingredients and sauces. Two large rear wheels let you maneuver the unit freely in the background. You can say this large unit is a portable gas grill as it uses liquid propane. Find a sweet spot in your patio, deck, or backyard, attach the propane tank safely, and you can begin searing meat. The ready-to-cook nonstick surface heats up in no time to offer the correct temperature for cooking.
5) Fuego F24C Professional Propane Gas Grill
The first impression of Fuego F24C seems a lot like a charcoal grill but in reality, it is a propane gas grill. This compact unit is perfect to have a seamless grilling experience in small spaces like an apartment balcony, small patio, deck, etc. The small footprint of the unit fits easily in small spaces. Thanks to the 4 smooth-rolling wheels of Fuego F24C that lets you maneuver it easily. Although it is a small outdoor grill, Fuego F24C offers 525 sq inches of total cooking surface. While the main 412 sq in. surface is ideal for grilling, secondary 110 sq in. is perfect for warming.
The dome-shaped lid is strategically angled at 45 degrees to make room for grilling the whole chicken. Also, the hinged lid prevents you from reaching directly over the hot grill and saves your hands from burning. While the dome-shaped lid helps to retain heat, the powerful concentric burners allow you to cook over direct or indirect heat. The dual-zone burners ensure even heating to both, grill the food on the primary grate and toast the buns on the secondary cooking surface.
6) Royal Gourmet 8-Burner Liquid Propane Event Gas Grill, Black
Let the grilling party begin with Royal Gourmet GB8000 8-burner liquid propane outdoor gas grill. If you love participating in tailgating events or throw a get-together party then this big party grill is a perfect unit to own. With 8 stainless steel tube burners and 950 sq in of cooking area, you can grill more than 60 burgers or 120 hot dogs at once. Besides, all 8 burners are individually adjustable that allowing you to use 1 or 2 burners when cooking for less than 4 persons. In addition to individual control, each burner sets at different cooking zones so you can grill a variety of food items.
And just like many propane bbq grills on the market, Royal Gourmet GB8000 also features a fast and reliable electronic ignition start. But instead of single ignition, there are 2 of them to control all 8 burners. These burners help to heat up 1/4″ diameter porcelain wire cooking grates. Porcelain wire cooking grates retain heat evenly which in turn helps to lock juices and makes the meat more tender. It also leaves beautiful sear marks on the food surface that is undoubtedly appetizing.
7) Monument Grills Stainless Steel Propane Gas Grill w/Side Sear Burners
If you want a beautiful-looking unit with powerful performance then go for Monument Grills 24367. This 4-burner stainless steel propane gas wide with side sear burners is ideal for backyard grilling. With 4 main burners, 1 side, and 1 sear burner, you can get multiple things cooking simultaneously. While 513 sq. in. primary cooking area is perfect for grilling meat and veggies, you can use the side burner to melt cheese or sauce. Besides, you can keep the main lid off and use the side sear burner of cooking for yourself. This saves energy as well as gets the unit less messy.
The rugged stainless steel exterior of Monument Grills’s backyard gas grill is not only beautiful but durable. Resistant to rust, the steel is easy to maintain. Simply wipe clean the surface with a damp cloth followed by a dry microfiber cloth and your grill will shine like new. Besides the tough exterior, you can easily grill steak and meat in the porcelain-coated cast-iron grate. All the grease and fat from the ingredients collect into the rear removable catch pan that remains enclosed in the steel cabinet. It is extremely easy to take out the tray and throw away all the dripping.
How to choose the best gas grill under $500
Burners + Side Burners
The quality of burners is an important thing to check as at last, they are responsible for passing heat. Settle for a product with heavy-duty stainless steel burners. Such material passes heat evenly across the cooking surface as well as does not deform with excessive use.
While some units offer main burners, there are a few models that offer side burners. These burners are ideal for preparing food for two persons. And if not grill, you can use the side burner for preparing sauce, dips, dressing, etc.
Natural Gas vs Propane
There are two main types of gas grills, natural and propane. While natural gas is common on patio and deck areas, propane tanks are portable. You can pack up your large propane grill and take it to tailgate, picnics, and other big events. While on the other hand, it is not possible to have a natural connection in all the places.
But on the positive side, you do not need to worry about the fuel consumption of a natural gas grill. You can keep using it for hours and will not have to check the fuel remaining in the tank. However, propane gas grills require you to have a compatible liquid propane tank all the time. If you’re going to cook a large meal for a family get-together or party then it is better to keep a spare propane tank. In short, if you want portability then go for a propane gas grill but if you’re going to use the unit in your backyard/patio/deck then a natural gas grill is perfect.
Cooking Grate and Warming Racks
The cooking grate is where your food will actually be placed. And cast iron cooking grates are popular since an outdoor grill was first made. High-heat retention of cast iron makes them a popular choice for making grates as grills are exposed to high temperatures for long hours. However, modern bbq grills feature cast-iron grates with a porcelain enamel layer that transfers heat directly into food and prevents sticking of food as well.
Apart from a primary cooking area, many models offer a secondary cooking rack. This rack sits a bit above the main cooking grate and is ideal for toasting buns and keeping the food warm.
BTU determines how much heat a unit can generate. A gas grill with higher BTU burners will heat up quickly as compared to lower power. However, it is important to note that the BTU of a unit changes with its footprint. But BTU should not be your only primary focus. Look for an outdoor grill with a large temperature range that can climb to high temperature quickly and maintain it for a long while.
Grills come in different sizes and so does the cooking surface vary. A 400-500 sq inch grill can handle enough food to feed a family of 6. You can accommodate up to 20 burgers patties and still have space for grilling veggies on sides. And then there are large barbecue grills with 700-900 sq inch cooking space that are ideal for big events and commercial use.
Apart from the above-mentioned features, it is good to look for some bells and whistles in a unit. The bells and whistles do not have to be only fancy look but user-friendly features like automatic ignition, grease management system, folding side tables, temperature gauge, and built-in LED lights.
How long do gas grills typically last?
It is obvious to have this question in your mind when you’re investing nearly 500 bucks on a grill. So how long does the gas grill last? Most gas grills, including both natural and propane, last between 5-12 years before you look for a new one. However, the longevity of gas grills hugely depends upon the usage and maintenance. You might be surprised to know that, on average, Americans throw away their gas grill only after 3 years of use.
There are some grills that stop performing after 2-3 years and need replacement. But a gas grill under $500 can last up to 7 years with proper maintenance. Focus on the cleanliness and seasoning of grates before you begin grilling. Also, check for the hose of a propane gas grill after some time as an accumulation of dirt over time leads to improper lit of burners. It seems the problem is with burners, but in reality, the hose is the culprit. It is better to replace broken parts rather than buy a new unit if the performance of the grill is all good. But if you’re done with your old unit then there are a lot of good gas grills available in the market.
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Make your grilling time more fun with a good quality gas grill. These bbq units are small yet powerful enough to tenderize food and leave beautiful sear marks on the food surface. And most importantly, a natural or propane gas grill is a lot easier to operate than a typical charcoal unit. Many leading brands integrate an electric ignition push start system that lets you start the tents conveniently. Also, no need to spend an entire fortune on an expensive product as a good quality gas grill under $500 also provides you great results and will last long as well.