There is a plethora of gas grills under $500 on the market now, and it's hard to be knowledgeable about all the new gadgets and features available on new models. So, which is the best gas grill under $500 to get the performance you need with the best value to be a grill master?
In this article, we review three of the top grills, and provide you with tips to keep in mind and helpful information on the different features and specifications of each.
We’ll then discuss how important each feature is, in terms of overall performance.
PRO TIP: Before you go shopping for a new grill, measure the space you plan to use as your cooking area. This will aid in deciding the size of the grill you can safely operate.
Table of Contents
Our Choices for Best Gas Grill Under $500
(plus 10,000 side burner)
The Best Gas Grills Under $500 Reviews
This grill is compact, looks great, and has a sturdy feel to it. As you’d expect from Weber, this system screams quality and longevity.
It gets you up to 550 degrees in less than 10 minutes and cooks beautifully.
Despite it’s smaller cooking area you will have no problem cooking multiple steaks, burgers and veggies simultaneously.
This is a SERIOUS 2 burner-grilling machine. It is at the top of the price range, but it’s a Weber, so expect nothing less than quality.
- 2 stainless steel burners put out 26,500 BTUs
- 360 sq/in of cooking area and 90 sq/in for warming
- Porcelain-enameled, cast-iron cooking grates and porcelain-enameled Flavorizer bars
- Electronic Crossover ignition system starts with the push of a button
- Assembled dimensions with the lid open: 63" x 60" x 32"
Heats up quickly and evenly
Control panel is in the front
Ignition system has been upgraded
10-year limited warranty
Let the new era of grilling begin with this innovative, contemporary designed and powerful performing gas grill. The Fuegos’ slim profile makes it ideal for smaller spaces, yet it sacrifices nothing when it comes to cooking up a delightful, enticing feast.
Designed in California by former Apple Chief Designer Robert Brunner, this little grill is impressive. From sizzling steaks to fresh fish, veggie kabobs to crispy pizza, this compact gas grill has you covered.
- Roomy 346-square-inch cooking surface. The grill can fit 12 quarter-pound burgers at a time.
- The grill's 21-inch, 15-pound, porcelain-enameled cast iron grate heats quickly and evenly (no hot spots to worry about).
- Features an electronic ignition for quick, simple start-ups.
- Heats to 500 degrees in just five minutes with a maximum temperature of 700 degrees.
- With over 20 hours of cooking time on a single fuel tank, the Element's patent pending dual zone burner offers the highest efficiency in its class.
- Heat reflective hood allows for slow cooking at low temperatures or fast searing at high temperatures.
- Features a hinged door for easy access to propane tank storage space, easy to clean residue tray and anti-tilt locking wheels.
Compact - good for balconies or small patios
Heats up quickly
Long cook time on a single tank
Small cooking surface
Hard to clean
For larger family cookouts, the newest model of the Char-Broil Performance gas grill has all the features and performance you need in a grill and more.
Boasting over 36,000-BTU's across the four main burners and 10,000 more side burner with a large 475 square inch cooking area and a 175 square inch swing-away warming rack, this grill makes cooking flavorful food for a large group a snap.
- 4-burner 36,000 BTUs with a 10,000 BTU lidded side burner.
- 475 sq/in of primary cooking on porcelain-coated cast iron grates, plus 175 sq/in of secondary cooking on porcelain-coated swing away.
- Large, painted metal side shelves offer additional workspace.
- Stainless steel lid, handle, control panel, and fascia add style and durability.
- Electronic ignition system offers a reliable spark at every push.
If you need more cooking area and/or power, the Performance 6-burner is pricier (yet still under $500) and is a good option as well.
Large cooking area
Ignition system upgraded
Lid-mounted temp gauge
Poor customer service
Poor temperature control (compared to others)
Begins to rush quickly
Hard to clean
Choosing the Right Grill for Your Needs
There are many features and accessories to accompany your new gas grill, so here are a few things to consider when looking for the best gas grill for you.
With gas grills, you’ll see BTUs (or “BTu”, or “BTu/hour”) listed. BTU stands for ‘British Thermal Unit’. It’s the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit. (Thank you, Wikipedia.)
A grill with 30,000 BTUs puts out more heat than a 20,000 BTU grill, which allows it to heat up faster and sear better, but will use more gas.
If you plan to grill mainly veggies or burgers/hot dogs, you don’t need a high BTU. If you plan to use your grill regularly and want to sear steak easily, you may want a higher BTU.
Helpful tip: Be sure to calculate total BTUs.
BTUs can be listed as total BTUs or per burner. A 3-burner gas grill with 15,000 BTUs per burner (45,000 BTUs total) will put out more heat than a 4-burner at 10,000 BTUs per burner (40,000 BTUs total).
If heat is not distributed properly across the grill, the food will cook unevenly or not finish cooking at the same time.
Each grill is different. With trial and error, you can learn your grill and adjust the heat accordingly, but more evenly distribution of heat will make grilling easier from the start.
Grills can come with a number of different amenities. The more amenities added, the more the cost. Some amenities are:
- Side Burner
- Drawers/Storage Cabinet
- Warming Rack
- Built-In Thermometer
These gas grills have some added amenities, but if you want more amenities, you'll need to bump up your budget a little. You'll need to decide which amenities you'll need.
Cooking Surface Area
Cooking surface area can be a big deciding factor. The largest of these grills is the Char-Broil Performance 475 with 650 sq/in total cooking surface (475 sq/in primary; 175 sq/in secondary) and the smallest is the Fuego Element F21S with 346 sq/in.
If you are grilling for 5+ people regularly, you may want to go opt for the larger sized grill. If only grilling occasionally, you could go for a smaller grill and just grill in batches when you have company.
Use / Portability
Another thing to consider is how and/or where you want to use your grill. Will it be stationary on your patio or do you plan to take it with you camping, tailgating, etc.
Our Choice for The Best Gas Grill Under $500?
Out of the gas grills under the $500 price point we reviewed here, we believe the Weber Spirit E210 to be the overall best choice, though it was a close competition.
After considering all the factors, the Weber Spirit E210 provides the best overall value, with just the right amount of features, no frivolous extras, and proper heat distribution.
While this grill may have a smaller cooking surface area, it more than makes up for its size with quality.
Combine that with the company's stellar reputation and a 10-year limited warranty, you can’t go wrong with this gas grill, which is why this our choice for best gas grill under $500.