No barbecue connoisseur is complete without a go-to gas griller. As an avid meat lover, I’ve gone through multiple of these grills back in the day. I used to own a cheap steel gas grill that immediately rusted after a few years and burned more burgers than I can remember.
That’s when I decided to save some cash and go buy a new one. There are plenty of awesome gas grills out there that are sturdy and performs well but won’t break the bank. In this list, I’ll be reviewing six different products that I believe are the best gas grills under $500.
Table of Contents
Includes Flavorizer bars that catch juice drippings and sizzle it which adds a bit of flavor to your grilled food.
Rated by Christine
The build quality is outstanding for its price and you get a multitude of features that are essential for a well-performing gas grill.
Rated by Christine
What I like about this grill is that the side shelves have an integrated towel bar and tool hooks for your spatulas and tongs.
Rated by Christine
The best gas grill for your money
At the top of my list is the Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 325. For just under 300 dollars, you’re getting a grill that’s constructed of durable stainless steel and a 325 sq. inch of primary cooking space.
I personally like how the grill grates are porcelain coated as this helps prolong the lifespan of the grates and allows it to heat up evenly.
Char-Broil advertises that this grill uses a TRU-Infrared cooking system to allow a faster, cleaner, and even cooking.
After testing out the grill, I can happily report that it delivers a consistent performance and lives up to its claims. It has a spacy storage cabinet at the bottom for storing your grilling items.
You’ve got plenty of space to work with due to the foldable side shelves. There’s a temperature gauge at the top of the lid to help monitor your grill temperature.
Overall the Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 325’s build quality, performance, and price are hard to beat in its price range and that’s why it ranks number one on my list.
Serious grill for some serious barbecue
If you’re willing to shell out some serious dough on a gas grill, then look no further than the Weber 46510001 Spirit E310.
This bad boy uses three stainless steel burners that crank up to 32,000 BTU and a super-wide 424 sq. inch cooking space for all your big meals. It also has a 105 sq. inch warming rack above the grill grates.
It uses porcelain enamel coated grill grates which offer great heat retention for cooking and grilling meals evenly.
What I like about this grill is that Weber included Flavorizer bars that catch juice drippings and sizzle it which adds a bit of flavor to your grilled food. There’s a center-mounted thermometer for temperature management and heat control.
Underneath the grill is a spacey cabinet that allows you to store your grilling tools. The side shelves are wide and comfortable to use as well. Just fold it down when you’re done grilling.
When it comes to the performance, the Weber 46510001 Spirit E310’s burners are top-notch. It heats up the grates evenly every time you start it and it doesn’t take long before it reaches high heat. The solid choice of materials, functionality, and performance make the Weber 46510001 Spirit E310 well worth its price tag of around $500.
Great workhorse grill
The Dyna-Glo DGB390SNP-D is a great all-around grill that’s easy to use and can serve as your workhorse gas grill.
What were’ looking at here is 507 sq. inches of total cooking space. You’ve got a primary cooking surface area of 390 sq. inches and a warmer grill up top that measures 117 sq. inches.
One feature that I like about this grill is that the side shelves have an integrated towel bar and tool hooks for your spatulas and tongs.
Once you’re done using it, you can simple fold it down for easy storage. The porcelain enamel coated cast-iron grates perform well but not as consistent as the aforementioned grills on the list.
This grill delivers 36,000 BTU courtesy of three durable stainless steel burners which I found to heat up really fast. The double wall stainless steel lid assembly allows it to retain more heat and keep the temperature high. You have the option of checking your grill’s temperature thanks to the convenient temp gauge on top of the lid.
Dyna-Glo gives you an option to buy the grill with a cover and I would suggest you go out and buy it because one of its downfalls is that the pans will rust quickly when exposed to moist environments. Despite that, the Dyna-Glo DGB390SNP-D is worth the purchase and ranks third in our list of best gas grills under $500.
3 burners’ a charm
The Char-Broil Classic 360 3-Burner’s appeal lies in its three burners with the 8,000 BTU side burner installed for cooking sauces and soups.
It features 360 sq. inches of primary cooking space and a warming rack that’s 170 sq. inches in size. The primary burners are rated at 30,000 BTU which are made of in-line stainless steel.
It also uses porcelain coated steel much like other grill that are in the list. One con I found on this grill is that you have no drawer on the bottom for storing your grilling materials.
It does come with one side tray which you can fold down after using.
The side burner works very well and it makes the grill versatile enough to handle both grilling and cooking sauces simultaneously. With just a push of a button, you’re rocking and rolling thanks to Char-Broil’s Piezo ignition which is fast and reliable. It does feature two wheels for easy transport and mobility.
If you’re looking to a versatile grill that can do multiple jobs at the same time, the Char-Broil Classic 360 3-Burner is a solid purchase decision.
Back to basics
The smallest gas grill on my list is the Smoke Hollow 205. It’s a basic gas grill that’s capable of getting the job done in a portable, lightweight package.
If you fancy on-the-go grilling for tailgating, camping, hiking, or any outdoor activities, this grill will serve you very well.
For a gas grill under 100 dollars, the Smoke Hollow 205 doesn’t cheap out on materials. It uses stainless steel all throughout which makes it very durable.
It’s got 205 sq. inches of cooking space which is plenty considering its size and uses stainless steel cooking grates which are easy to clean and maintain.
The U-shaped burners are also made of stainless steel that outputs 10,000 BTU. That’s impressive considering the size of this small gas grill. Everything about this product is just well-put together and the quality is okay for the price point.
You do have a temp gauge on the top of the lid for temp management. It's got foldable stainless steel legs that make it easy to stash and transport and I like how it has 2 lid locks to help keep the lid secure. The Smoke Hollow 205 is perfect for light grilling and small meals which is perfect for beach trips and light hiking.
The performance is more than enough to make the list of best gas grills under $500.
One of the most frequently asked questions I get about grills is whether you should go for a charcoal grill or a gas grill. Here I will discuss the advantages of each and let you decide on what kind of grill you want to pick up.
There are plenty of reasons why some opt for using charcoal grills. Charcoal grills are very affordable when compared to gas grills and one of the biggest reasons to use a charcoal grill is the flavor that it delivers. Charcoal tends to get hotter than gas grills without infrared burners.
We all know that in order for lamb chops and steaks to get that crispy texture outside and that reddish-pink color on the inside, the heat needs to reach a certain temperature while cooking the meat. Before charcoal grills fully lit up, it produces smoke that influences the food’s flavor the longer you cook it. That’s why charcoal purists prefer using charcoal grills over gas grills is because of that distinct flavor and high heat.
The grill can reach up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit when you use plenty of coals that are close to the grates which is perfect for searing.
What I don’t like about using charcoal grills is the fact that you can’t control the heat much like you do with a gas grill so there’s a slightly higher risk of fire when working with charcoal grills. Sparks and coals can escape the grill by falling through the vents and it’s a chore to put out the fire. With a gas grill you can just turn off the knob and the flame is out.
Handling charcoal grills can be a bit dirty to handle and clean. Flare-ups are also more likely to happen in charcoal grills that can burn your food. But if you’re a seasoned veteran and you know how to use it, you most likely won’t encounter these problems.
There’s no denying that using a charcoal grill will yield significant flavor if you know how to properly use it.
Personally I like using gas grills because of the convenience and consistency it offers. It’s easy to start and heats up fairly quickly as well. The reason why some prefer gas grills over charcoal grills is that it can hold temperatures steadily and you can crank the heat up and down in an instant. Not only that, but gas grills are far more easier to maintain than charcoal grills.
Gas grills also come with different accessories that many users will find very useful such as a temp gauge for monitoring your grill heat and side tables for additional space. The best gas grills under $500 come with many different features that will elevate your grilling experience as a whole.
Gas grills can be very expensive than their charcoal grill counterparts. Usually these will set you back at a minimum of $100 and they can get crazy expensive up to $1000 or more. Another important thing to note is that using gas grills also come with risks that you should be aware of before using it.
Gas is explosive and if you don’t know how to properly use a gas grill, things can get very catastrophic. Also, some gas grills don’t produce as much heat as a charcoal grill so make sure that your gas grill is capable of reaching a certain BTU before picking it up to ensure it delivers the temperature you want for grilling your food.
If you value ease of use more than flavor, the gas grill is the way to go. It performs consistently and is very easy to maintain. The added features of gas grills makes it a lot more convenient than charcoal grills in terms of overall usability.
If you want top-notch flavor, you’ll most definitely want to pick up a charcoal grill. If convenience is more important, a gas grill should be your first choice. If you’re like me who wants the best of both worlds, you can buy both if you have the money.
Gas grills are usually built with solid materials and they tend to last longer than charcoal grills but that doesn’t mean you can neglect it completely. Even the best gas grills under $500 will break down if not taken care of. Maintaining your gas grill is easy and it will help prolong its lifespan for years to come.
Burners tend to get clogged, gunk build-up can cause flare-ups, and even rust can start to deteriorate your precious gas burner. Some clean their grills once or twice a year by completely deep-cleaning it. Others clean it every few months depending on the usage but my suggestion is that you should clean your grill every few months for it to last.
Here is what you’ll need to clean your gas grill:
1. Grab your grill brush and start scrubbing the grill grates to remove the gunk build-up. Make sure to thoroughly brush every nook and cranny and brush with extra force to completely remove the debris. After brushing the top side, take the grates out. You’ll see that the bottom part needs a good brushing as well. Brush it thoroughly and set aside.
2. Take out the burner protectors and give it a good wash. Burner protectors can get fairly dirty because they do just that - protect your burners from grease and gunk that could otherwise clog it. You can take them out easily and give them a good thorough cleaning.
Grab the burner protectors and soak them in a bucket of warm, soapy water. Grab your sponge and give it a good cleaning, making sure to remove the gunk as much as you can. Dry the burner protectors and set aside for now.
3. Wipe off the dirt from the burners. Your gas grill’s burners will take a beating after a long use and they too are prone to collecting all sorts of dirt. Some burners are easily removed while others can be quite challenging. My suggestion is to keep them intact and wipe them with a soapy sponge.
You’ll be surprised with how much gunk the burners can accumulate over time. If you don’t wipe it down completely, the burners can get clogged and its performance will suffer.
4. Take out the plates from the bottom of the burners. After giving the burners a good clean, it’s time to go down deeper and give the base a clean as well. Take out the plates and submerge them in a bucket of soapy water. Grab your grill brush and scrub the plates thoroughly, making sure to remove as much debris as possible. Take out the tray and give it a deep clean as well.
5. Wipe down the whole gas grill with a soapy wet rag. Grease can accumulate on your gas grill so make sure to wipe it down completely from top to bottom with a soapy wet rag. Grab a dry rag and give your grill one last wipe and it’ll come out squeaky clean!
6. Now, place the tray and the plates back in place. Return the burner protectors and the grates and now your grill is back in good condition!
I like to clean my grills once every few months since I use them frequently. When to clean your grill is entirely dependent on your usage. If you use your gas grills once in a while, then giving them a deep clean once or twice a year will suffice. If you use it frequently like I do, you’ll also need to clean them frequently to ensure it’ll perform well each time you use it. So the next time you find your gas grills all greasy and gunked up, give it a clean and I guarantee you, the difference in its performance will be night and day!
Charcoal grills tend to accumulate more gunk, grease, and debris when compared to gas grills because of the coal used when grilling. The last thing you want is a thick carbon or ash build-up in your grill grates when you decide to use it. Cleaning charcoal grills also ensure that you get the best flavor possible with your food.
Ideally you want to clean it before grilling season starts so you’ll have plenty of time to clean it.You’ll only need a few items and fortunately it won’t take long before you get it all nice and clean again.
Here is what you’ll need to clean your charcoal grill:
1. First off, take off the lid and give it a good cleaning with a wet, soapy sponge. Most charcoal grills today come with lids coated in porcelain enamel that accumulate grease and smoke when used frequently. To avoid chipping, remove the build-up by thoroughly wiping it down with a sponge and it should come right off.
2. Take out the grill grates and give them a good scrub. Use your grill brush and use enough force to brush out any stubborn gunk build-up from the grates. Make sure to brush the bottom side as well.
If the debris doesn’t come off easily, you can use a soap and water solution to soften it up. Dip your grill brush in a bucket of soapy water and generously scrub on the grill grates until it comes off. Once it’s clean, set it aside and let dry.
3. Clean the inside bowl of the charcoal grill. This is where drippings, grease, ash, and other nasty gunk-build up collects so you’ll need to use a steel wool pad to dislodge any stubborn build-up. Grab your steel wool and scrub on the bowl, making sure to remove the gunk left behind.
Once you’ve removed the gunk, grab your sponge and wipe it down to clean off any grease and meat drippings.
4. Take out the ash pan and dispose of ashes properly. Grab an old rag and wipe down the whole grill to remove further grease. Use another dry rag to wipe down the lid and once the grates have dried, put it back together and now your charcoal grill is ready for another smokin’ hot grillin’!
A little bit of cleaning will go a long way when it comes to your charcoal grill. Since it uses coals as a heat source, charcoal grills tend to flare up more than gas grills. That’s why you want to clean the grates once a significant amount of build-up is visible to avoid burning your food when grilling.
If you haven’t cleaned your charcoal or gas grill in a very long time, you’ll find that warm soap or water won’t do a great job in removing the gunk and grime. In this case, you can use a baking soda solution to really penetrate the dirt and help loosen it once you give it a deep clean.
Lemon is also a great alternative for cleaning hardened gunk and grease in your grill grates. You can slice a lemon in half and dip it in a cup of baking soda and start rubbing it on the grates and other parts of the grill that have stubborn dirt in it. The acids will help dissolve the gunk and make it easier to remove once you give it a good scrub.
Cleaning your grill doesn’t need to take you forever, but you do need to clean it very well to prolong its lifespan and give you a tasty, juicy, appetizing meal each time you use it!
If you’re looking to purchase a gas grill, there are several important factors to consider to make sure you buy the best grill available. The market is saturated with plenty of grills and it can be overwhelming to find out which ones are the best.
Fortunately I’m here to help guide you in making that purchase decision. I’ve owned several gas grills and when I’m out to buy a new one, these are the four things I keep in mind to help me narrow down my choices and pick the one that will work best for my grilling needs.
When buying a gas grill, it’s important to look at the materials used for making it. You don’t want to cheapen out when buying grills because they come with subpar build quality and will only last for a few years before breaking.
Quality gas grills are made of sturdy materials like stainless steel and come coated with a variety of different finishes to help prolong longevity. Just like the products listed in my best gas grills under $500, most of them are sturdy and well-built. Generally, what I found is that the more a grill weighs, the better the materials are used it making it.
Look for telltale signs of a well-made grill such as the finish, the welding, and the overall assembly.
A gas grill’s performance primarily depends on how good its burners are. BTU’s are a good way of measuring how much heat a burner can output, but it’s the quality of the burner that will make or break it.
Some grills come with a burner that’s small which means it produces hot and cold spots that unevenly heat up your grates. Look for grills that use large burners because these typically perform better and distribute heat more evenly across the cooking surface.
Scoring a gas grill with a good warranty is a life-saver. This keeps you from splurging money on repairs whenever your grill turns faulty. Some manufacturers offer a 10-year warranty while others offer a lifetime warranty for their gas grills.
Look for reputable brands with good warranties to make the most out of your gas grill. In my opinion a good gas grill comes with a good warranty.
A good performing gas grill is capable of reaching high temperatures quickly and safely. If you’re a fan of grilling steaks, a gas grill that can reach 600 degrees Fahrenheit is essential so you can cook the steak quickly without drying out its tasty juices.
It should be capable of reaching low temperatures at well with almost no flare-ups.
Overall, the best gas grill under $500 is the Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 325. The build quality is outstanding for its price and you get a multitude of features that are essential for a well-performing gas grill.
The TRU-Infrared cooking system of Char-Broil really does work wonders when it comes to grilling your favorite meats. It’s consistent all around and you won’t have to worry about overcooking your food because it heats up evenly all across the board.
You can also convert it from propane to natural gas by buying the conversion kit separately which makes it versatile in my opinion. If this is your first gas grill purchase, I can assure you that you won’t go wrong with the Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 325.
Other gas grills on the list of best gas grills under $500 perform just as well as the Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 325. It’s all about weighing your needs and choosing which one fits your budget. Make sure to read the reviews first before buying.
Buying a gas grill doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. There are a lot of available options out there especially the ones that I reviewed in my list that will give you the most bang for your buck purchase.
Don’t cheap out and buy the best one you can afford so that you will get a high-quality, good performing gas grill.