Timothy Woods
Published by Timothy Woods
Last Updated On: September 23, 2022

Let’s face it; not everyone has $1,000 to spend on a fancy new gas grill. However, you can still purchase a quality grill with a budget of $500, with a durable build, various sizes, and impressive features.

That’s why we have decided to test seven popular models in hopes to find the best gas grills under $500, highlighting their features, best bits, as well as including a guide to what to look for when purchasing new gas grills.

Editor's Choice
Weber Spirit II E 310 Gas Grill in backyard
Weber
Convenience
5.0
Durability
4.7
Temp control
5.0
Maintenance
5.0
Price
4.8
Overall Score
4.9
Click For Best Price
#2nd Best Choice
Char Broil 463377319 Gas Grill brand in backyard
Char-Broil
Convenience
4.8
Durability
4.6
Temp control
4.8
Maintenance
5.0
Price
4.7
Overall Score
4.8
Check Current Price
#3rd Best Choice
Cuisinart CGG 8500 Gas Grill brand in backyard
Cuisinart
Convenience
4.0
Durability
4.5
Temp control
4.0
Maintenance
4.5
Price
4.0
Overall Score
4.2
Check Current Price

Best Gas Grills Under $500:

1

Weber Spirit II E-310 Grill

First on our list is the Weber Spirit II E-310, offering 529 square inches of cooking space over three stainless steel burners.

This gas grill provides 30,000 BTUs of power, allowing the porcelain-coated grates to heat evenly and quickly.

This grill comes with two foldable side tables, which give users extra space for preparation and management.

You will also find a bottom shelf for storage and six tool hooks.

The stainless steel lid comes in four different colors, all with a built-in thermometer, making it easy to monitor the internal temperature of your grill.

This gas grill also comes with a grease management system, which helped us control flareups and made it convenient to clean once we had finished grilling.

Pros
  • Primary cooking area is 529 square inches
  • Includes two stainless steel side shelves, the left being foldable
  • Lots of storage space and places to hang your tools
  • Includes flavorizer bars, infrared technology, and a grease management system
Cons
  • Doesn’t come with any extra screws or washers
2

Char-Broil 463377319 Grill

Next on our list is the Char-Broil 463377319 propane grill. It features four stainless steel burners, delivering 36,000 BTUs across 425 square inches of primary cooking space.

The porcelain-enameled cooking grate is rust-resistant, making it easier to clean and maintain.

The Char-Broil Performance grill comes with a side burner, which offers 10,000 BTU heat distribution. It also has a lid to protect your side burner when it isn’t used.

You will also find a 150-square inch rack, which swings away for convenience.

This grill uses an electronic ignition system, which we found to provide a fast and reliable start-up nine times out of ten.

Pros
  • Additional side sear burner
  • Four burners producing 36,000 BTU’s of power
  • 150 square inches warming rack
Cons
  • Packaging could be improved
3

Cuisinart CGG-8500 Gas Grill

The CGG-8500 gas grill from Cuisinart features five burners, producing a total of 50,000 BTUs of cooking power over 460 square inches of cooking space on cast-iron grates.

Along with the main burners, you will also find an additional side burner, producing an extra 12,000 BTUs.

This liquid propane gas grill also has a rack measuring 202 square inches if you require additional space.

This Cuisinart grill comes with two side tables, measuring 18 x 13 inches, giving you plenty of room for prepping and grilling.

We found the electronic ignition and heat output reliable, providing us with an even heat distribution across the cast iron cooking grates.

Pros
  • Two side shelves, one with a built-in side burner
  • Comes with a 202-square inch warming rack
  • A total of 50,000 BTUs of power
Cons
  • Propane gas grill can be challenging to assemble
4

Weber 51060001 Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill

Next on our list is another grill from Weber. Weber Q1200 gas grill is made for portability and ease, designed to be used as a tabletop grill with one stainless steel burner, producing 8500 BTUs of power.

The body and lid of this portable grill are made from cast aluminum, featuring two foldable side tables, providing extra space for preparation.

This portable grill features porcelain-coated cast-iron grates, which are durable and easy to clean.

Much like the Spirit E-310, this grill comes with a removable grease tray equipped with a grease control system.

This system made the whole clean-up process easier and helped us control flareups.

Pros
  • Ideal for grilling on the go
  • Made from durable cast aluminum
  • Comes already assembled in the box
Cons
  • Temperature control could be improved
5

Char-Griller E3001 Grillin' Pro Gas Grill

Char-Griller E3001 features three burners, producing a total of 40,800 BTUs, with a side burner that produces an additional 12,000 BTUs.

It comes with 630 square inches of cooking space: 438 for the grilling surface and 192 square inches for the rack.

The coated cast iron grates are designed to hold an even and consistent heat, with independent knobs that control how much heat each burner produces.

The rest of the unit is made from tubular steel, featuring a dual smoke stack for better ventilation.

We found the grill to have plenty of storage space, with enough hooks to hang our BBQ tools and keep the area organized.

Pros
  • Comes with a side sear burner
  • 630 square inches of cooking area
  • Made with a heavy steel construction
Cons
  • Can experience a few grease flareups
6

American Gourmet 463773717 Char-Broil Gas Grill

Next on our list is another grill from Char-Broil called American Gourmet, featuring three burners that deliver 30,000 BTUs of heat across a 360-square inch cooking area.

The porcelain-coated grates prevent food from sticking to the surface, making it easier to clean and maintain.

This gas grill also features a 170-square inches rack and a piezo ignition system which provides a reliable heat output.

We found the two side shelves to be a handy addition to the grill, giving us enough room to prepare our food before grilling.

Pros
  • Cast iron cooking grates to prevent food from sticking
  • Additional warming rack
  • Piezo ignition system for easy start-up
Cons
  • Temperature control could be improved
7

Cuisinart CGG-240 Gas Grill

Last but not least is the Cuisinart CGG-240 portable grill. It comes attached to a collapsible stand, giving you the capacity of a large grill in a convenient size.

This features a 15,000 BTU burner, which heats 240 square inches of cooking surface.

Like most gas grills featured here today, the Cuisinart CGG-240 has two folding side shelves, allowing you to hold plates, tools, or condiments.

The drip tray is removable, allowing us to clean the grill easily without worrying about creating a massive mess while grilling.

Pros
  • Ideal for grilling on the go
  • Two folding side shelves
  • Three-year warranty
Cons
  • Legs could be more sturdy

Best Gas Grills Under $500 - Buyer’s Guide:

When searching the market for gas grills under $500, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you’re getting the most for your money.

1. Natural Gas Grill or a Propane Tank?

Propane tank under a grill

There are two options for gas grilling: using gas or a propane tank. Both are better for the environment than charcoal grills, but natural gas burns slightly cleaner than propane.

If you have a gas line in your house, buying a natural gas grill is more cost-effective in the long run.

That being said, propane gas grills are 64% more popular than natural gas burners [1].

There are a few reasons for this. Propane grills are much easier to use than gas. You don’t need to hook it up to your house line; simply connect it to a propane tank, and you’re good to go.

This also means that propane gas grill options are more portable than natural gas grills since they can be used anywhere.

2. Grilling Space

If you’re purchasing the best gas grills under $500, you probably don’t expect to get many square inches for it.

However, as you can see from the above reviews, it’s pretty easy to get your hands on a grill with 400 - 500 square inches of cooking space.

This will be enough to feed an average-sized family, while a grill above 600 square inches of cooking space will be better for a larger family or a pitmaster who frequently throws bbq parties.

Before you go ahead and buy your grill, you have to consider how much cooking area you actually need.

Think about how big your family is, the food you’re planning on cooking, and whether you’ll have guests often.

You’ll also have to consider the height of your new grill. If you want to toast your buns or cook vegetables, a rack would be a good idea.

If you need the extra grilling space, you could always consider gas grills with a side burner.

3. BTU

2 Propane gas under the grill with high heat

A high BTU (British Thermal Units) doesn’t necessarily mean your grill will produce more heat; it tells you how much energy and heat output the burners will need according to the fuel consumption [2].

You should consider the BTUs like the horsepower on a car; just like how other factors determine how fast your car goes, other factors will affect the hotness of your grill and how quickly it will heat up.

When you purchase a grill, the size and shape of the unit must also be considered.

If you have a larger grill, you will need a higher BTU, and if you have a smaller unit, a smaller BTU will be sufficient.

4. Heat Flux

The heat flux needs to be considered when determining how hot your grill will get. To figure out the heat flux, you need to divide the primary cooking surface of your grill (excluding any warming racks) and divide that by the BTU.

The higher the heat flux, the hotter your cooking surface will get [3].

5. Ignition

Most grills will have electronic ignition. It means that by a simple push of the button your grill will ignite in seconds. You don’t need to use the matches or a lighter. For example, many of the leading contenders, like Weber, use their own patented ignition system to ensure the grill ignites the first time.

The best gas grills will have a high-quality, battery-powered ignition - these tend to last longer.

6. Number of Burners

Meat on a bbq gas grill

The number of burners your grill has will affect how hot it will be and how quickly it will heat up.

Typically, if a grill has three or four burners, it will heat up much quicker than a grill with only one or two.

“The key to good grilling is to recognize that you are setting yourself up to cook in a whole new environment. This is actually one of the main purposes of grilling - to get yourself outside.”
- Barton Seaver, Chef

More main burners will also make your grill more versatile for the foods you cook.

Since you have control over separate burners, you can control the temperature of your entire cooking area. These different heat zones can be used for direct and indirect cooking.

The main burners may be located front to back or side to side. The latter will provide you with more flexibility when you cook.

7. Grill Grates

The quality of your grill grates will determine how well your food cooks. Look for iron or stainless steel grates. These will resist rust and corrosion and be easier to clean.

However, if the cooking surface is made from stainless steel, you may notice that the heat isn’t held as well. This is why you should go with a cooking area coated with porcelain enamel.

If you purchase gas grills under $500 and find the grates flimsy or made of cheaper material, you should consider replacing them for an all-around better experience.

8. Build Quality

Close up image of a weber gas grill

Affordable gas grills should still be made with durable and high-quality materials. Gas grills may be exposed to all types of weather that could easily damage a low-quality grill.

Look for a grill that is made from stainless steel, as they tend to be the most durable.

Grills made from cast aluminum or coated cast iron are also good, but they could experience some chipping, leading to rust. This rule also extends to the burners; stainless steel will be more durable.

It’s a good idea to check the warranty and which parts it includes. Typically, the burners will have a longer warranty compared to the body of the grill.

It’s a good idea to check the warranty and which parts it includes. Typically, the burners will have a longer warranty compared to the body of the grill.

9. Portability

If you’re looking for a grill to use on the go, there’s no sense in buying one that has six burners and a cooking area of 600 square inches.

You’re better off going with a compact propane gas grill that is either lightweight to move or one that’s designed for a tabletop.

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FAQs

How Many Btus Should a Grill Produce?

The best gas grills should produce 80 - 100 BTUs per square inch of cooking area. So, if you have a 200-square inch grill, your unit should produce around 16,000 - 20,000 BTUs. The BTU isn’t everything you should look out for; the size of your grill, max temperature, and quality of build will also affect its performance [4].

Can You Convert a Propane Grill Into Natural Gas?

Not all propane units can be used with gas. However, some may be converted. You will need to check the owner’s manual to ensure you can do this safely, and if so, you need to purchase a natural gas conversion kit.

I recommend getting this from the same manufacturer of your grill. You can always buy knock-off sets online; however, you risk voiding your warranty if something goes wrong.

Ow Do You Clean a Propane Grill?

You should clean your grill using a grill brush after every cook. If you do this when the grill is still warm, it’ll be easier to remove the grease and food particles since they haven’t had time to harden.

If you have a cast-iron cooking area, you’ll want to put some oils on the grates afterward. Deep clean your grill once a month.

Best Grill Under $500 - Our Winner

All the grills listed here are excellent options when it comes to purchasing a grill on a budget.

That being said, our winner has to be the Weber Spirit II E-310 Grill purely for its large cooking area, impressive BTU power, and ample amount of storage.

We loved this grill's handy grease control system, and we believe both beginners to the grilling world and pitmasters will be impressed with the value for money this grill has to offer.

Weber Spirit II E-310 Grill

Our #1 Recommendation

  • Primary cooking area is 529 square inches
  • Includes two stainless steel side shelves, the left being foldable
  • Lots of storage space and places to hang your tools
  • Includes flavorizer bars, infrared technology, and a grease management system
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of September

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