Best Gas Grills Under $500 – Buyer’s Guide

Have you ever thought what it's like to have a gas grill that works perfectly for many years?

To sit down by it with your wife, your friends or simply with the entire family and say - "You know what? This grill was my best spent money ever..."

You can stop now, for this is where your search ends - throw away your old grill that doesn't work and replace it with a better model that will give you many years of enjoying the quality of your hamburger, your well done steak or scent and taste of honey ribs.

Take cash with you and exchange it for the best gas grill below 500 dollars.

All I really mean here is that you can buy a good and efficient gas grill for a decent price, and it will serve you for many years.

Instead of buying some cheap supermarket grills that will have to be thrown away in a year or two tops - think about a better solution.

Do you think that the desire to have an efficient grill with the right grilling area and durable construction that can last years is something important?

You don't need complaining about the problem of heating it up to high temperatures, about elements that get rusty after a years since the purchase!?

You will think to yourself - No, that's not me.

Alright.

Maybe you were told that a 100$ gas grill is the best, but at the store you learned that a good and efficient gas grills costs 500$.

After the fourth beer your neighbour convinces you that a good grill costs at least 1000$ and it's only Weber, and on one of the websites you see a super grill for over 1500$...

Sounds familiar?  Let's be honest. Most of these words are rubbish.

There are many different grill models, depending on expectations, you will find something good in every price range.

I picked a few out of dozens of different models. I looked at the prices, the grilling area, durability of elements ( based on reviews from many users ) and useful features.

That way I chose the grills that maintain the best price / quality ratio.

Best Gas Grills Under $500 - Comparison Table

MODEL

​Main Cooking Space

​Rack Cooking Space

​BTU

BURNERS

PRICE

weber spirit II e 310

Best Overall

Weber Spirit E-310

​​424 sq. in.

​​105 sq. in.

30,000

3

Char-Broil Performance 475

Budget Pick

Char-Broil Performance 475

475 sq. in.

175 sq. in.

36,000

4

Weber Q3200 Liquid Propane Grill

Portable

Weber Q3200

​393 sq. in.

​N/A

​21,700

2

1. Best Overall Weber Spirit II E-310

It is not just the best suggestion within this price range, Weber Spirit II E-310 is one of the best selling gas grills on the market.

Of course the popularity comes with a lot of positive reviews for this model which matters the most to me, and that’s why this model takes the first place on my list.

The latest version of Spirit II from Weber stands out with its great quality and efficiency.

Weber Spirit E-310 is very well balanced in every regard, which is why it lives up to most people’s expectations.

I’m mostly talking here about the universal size that offers a total of whole 529 square inches of cooking area as well as three very strong and efficient burners that evenly heat the entire surface. There is also a slightly smaller and thus cheaper version of this model, Weber Spirit II E-210.

The configuration of three burners gives a lot of choices when cooking and allows for very fast warming up. I have to admit that in practice it works out really great, I am impressed with how fast this model warms up.

The new Spirit II series comes with the GS4 grilling system that until now has only been available in much more expensive Weber models.

When it comes to the quality, I’d like to say that the grill is built solidly and of high quality materials. For those who have any doubts, Weber has prepared whole 10 years of warranty, which only confirms how well built this grill is.

PROS

  • The technology
  • 10 year warranty on all the elements
  • Great at warming up and holding the temperature

CONS

  • Thin lid

It couldn’t be any different, Weber has been proving for years now that they’re the king among gas grills. This model only confirms it, so if you expect efficiency, functionality and most of all quality, pick this model, and you certainly won’t be disappointed.

I can say with complete confidence that there is no better option for this kind of money.

2. Budget Pick Char-Broil Performance 475

Quality and functionality are not the most important thing to you? If you expect large cooking area and great performance for few years at low price then Char-Broil Performance 475 is most definitely perfect for you.

At this kind of price, you have to take into account the fact that the quality isn’t the best, you also can’t expect any additional features.

Char-Broil Perfrormance 475 is a very simple and inexpensive gas grill that focused on large grilling area and efficiency of four burners – I have to admit that this goal was achieved.

The construction itself is pretty simple without unnecessary conveniences, it doesn’t include front door or free space under the grill, either. The only additional feature is the side burner hidden under the lid, which might be a surprise to many.

When it comes to cooking, I have to admit that I am pleased with the efficiency of the four burners on the entire surface and the final results. I am not quite pleased  with the quality and I wish it had space under the grill but I am perfectly aware that it’s not what this is about and you can’t expect such things for this kind of money.

PROS

  • The Price
  • Large Cooking Area
  • The Side Burner

CONS

  • Difficult to Assemble

This model was made for those with a limited budget who mostly expect efficiency. If you want your grill to really last for many long years then choose something from Weber for example.

I usually advise against buying a cheap gas grill as it pretty soon results in the necessity to buy a new grill. In this case, however, I believe that Char-Broil Performance 475 is worth your money and it will be a great choice for beginners who mostly want efficiency and a very low price.

3. Portable Pick Weber Q3200

A little different type and style of gas grills. It's not a traditional portable gas grill, it's not a typical stationary grill either - it's the middle ground between those two categories.

It is definitely not a picnic type grill that the Q Weber series got us used to.

However, it works great as a compact gas grill for a patio or balcony. It has foldable side shelves that make it more mobile.

It's good for people who live in urban areas.

Two stainless steel burners are there to heat up whole 393 square inches of grilling area. Considering the size of this grill and its mobility, it's a very big area. It is completely enough for about 4 people.

The electronic ignition that fires up the gas grill fast. It heats up fast. It holds heat very well, you will prepare great well-made food.

Porcelain enameled cast-iron grates.

It has a fat tray that you can remove to clean or replace with a new one.

The body and the lid were made of aluminium - which mean durability and resistance to corrosion.

People complain about a large number of parts, but in spite of that, the grill is very easy to assemble.

One downside here is poor protection on the front panel, other than that the rest of elements are high quality.

Another downside might be the price, for this kind of money you can get a gas grills with better options.

PROS

  • Highly efficient
  • Portable & Stationary combination
  • Enough grilling space
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • times-circle
    Poor quality elements on the front panel

One has to remember, however, that it's a combination of a stationary and portable grill. That way, a model was created that is perfect for the urban landscape and small interiors.

Despite its medium size it is mobile and doesn't take much space. One can store it on the balcony, for example.

Buyers Guide

As you can see, you can buy very good gas grills for less than $500. Most of those models that I wrote about will serve you for many years. If you're looking for cheaper or more expensive models, you need to check out my other gas grill reviews.

The most important thing is that within this price range you can already buy something from renowned manufacturers that are experienced and really keep developing their products. I won’t deny that the best offer is the one from Weber, not just due to its quality and efficiency, but also their great warranty.

Of course every manufacturer predicts a certain warranty period for their product, but not many approach the topic seriously, avoiding contact with the buyer in case of any problems.

Why did I only choose three models? I decided that there is no point getting your task even more complicated and I chose to create a smaller list that only includes very well tested grills.

Therefore, for this kind of money you can already buy a solid grill that will not only be efficient but also durable. Below I have also prepared a few tips on what to pay attention to in this price range, it will come in handy for beginners.

What to pay attention to in a Gas Grill below $500 ?

Features – Most models come with many interesting accessories that increase the versatility and convenience ( sadly, most of them are also sold separately ). For example, the Spirit II-310 that is compatible with iGrill 3, which is an app that makes it possible to monitor the cooking process on the screen of a phone or tablet.

Size – Think about what capacity will be the best for you, if you only cook for two/three people then something smaller will definitely be enough. There is no point spending more money on a big grill if you’re not going to be using its potential. Luckily, in this price range most models are available at the universal size which is perfect for nearly any occasion.

Number of burners – ( doesn’t apply to the portable models ) The preferred minimal number of burners is three in my view, why? Such number makes it possible to create different heat zones which allows us to even smoke on a gas grill using the right accessories ( smoker box ). On top of that, such number allows to very quickly warm up the surface of the grill, reaching the right temperature for grilling as early as in few minutes.

Warranty – Probably the greatest advantage you could find in this price range. When buying a cheap grill, you can forget about durability of elements or good warranty. It is different when you buy a gas grill in the medium price range, where Weber for example offers whole 10 years of warranty. Admit that you expect your purchase to be durable, wouldn’t you feel more confident in your investment upon seeing a warranty this good?

Fuel – You have propane or natural gas to choose from, each of them with its own pros and cons. The propane tank versions are much more popular, it is easier to hook them up and change their position. The natural gas version, on the other hand, is much more difficult to hook up ( it requires specialized knowledge ) and to have a gas line installed. Both types have their upsides and downsides that you will learn more about in this guide.

Mobility – You want to have a solid stationary gas grill or maybe you expect a hybrid between a stationary model and mobility. A perfect example of this is Weber Q3200 which comes with a stand that you can fold down any moment and conveniently store it away in the car. Such model is great when you’re planning to spend few days away from home, like camping for example. It is also a good option for those who want to save space in the backyard and hide the grill away in the closet once they’re done cooking. The Q3200 model comes with strong burners and the kind of efficiency you can find in many full-sized grills.

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