There are so many different brands, models and features to choose from that the whole process can get confusing.
Some of the biggest brands in the business include Char-Boil , Broil-King or High-end grill options like these etc. However, brand name doesn’t tell you much about the brand or what the machine does if you don’t know what to look for.
There are also different store brands to choose from, which differ in quality and make.
also read: Gas or electric smoker which one better?
Nevertheless, most gas grills are either Made in China or North America and are covered by a 5 to 10-year warranty. The first recommendation we can make is to opt for a reputable brand name instead of a store brand. Well-known brands offer better support and their grills are generally easier to maintain.
Now that you know what to look for when shopping for a gas grill you can take the next step and start shopping around for one. Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind while you’re shopping is the different colors that are available, the size of the grill as it relates to your space, its cooking area size, and features.
Luckily, we did some legwork for you and found the top 10 best gas grill under 500 on the market.
In this post we'll cover:
Best gas grill under 500: Char-Broil Classic
Don’t let the low price of this Char-Broil gas grill fool you. It’s a decent well-made model with just the right features.
Not only is it made from high-grade stainless steel, but this model is durable and lasts for a long time. Users report that the components can last for up to 5 years without needing any repairs. Even after that, the only thing that requires repairs is the starter ignition.
You can cook up to 14 burgers on this grill thanks to its big cooking surface. It also features an adjustable control valve which allows you to cook a variety of meats at the same time.
This is in addition to the side shelves, side burner and warming rack which are also included. You’ll love the cast iron cooking grates which are covered in a porcelain coat.
All in all, this gas grill comes equipped with everything you need to start grilling. The only thing you’ll have to buy is a propane tank and you’re good to go. It’s one of the best Amazon gas grills around.
A great option for a bigger family with a very limited budget. Four burners plus 425 square inches of the main cooking area will meet the expectations of most people.
Char-Broil Performance Stainless Steel is a very simple grill for those less demanding. It offers a lot of space, as many as four burners, the basic essential features and an affordable price.
It is among easy options in terms of assembly due to its fairly simple construction.
In terms of quality, you get what you pay for, so in simplest words – it is sadly not a high quality grill to last for very long. Still, for that kind of money I have to admit that the quality of workmanship and materials are good for this price range.
I certainly like its visuals, especially the lid made of stainless steel.
A surprise to me is the side burner, gadgets of this type are usually only present in much more expensive grills. I give it thumbs up for pretty big side shelves that provide a lot of work space.
Char-Broil’s offer mostly features inexpensive gas grills for less demanding people available at relatively low prices.
It is not an option for demanding people, quite the opposite, I recommend this grill for beginners or those who don’t cook a lot. If you take good care of it (using a grill cover etc) it can certainly serve you quite a few years.
- Well-built, great value for money
- Easy to install and use (read: the grease tray is easy to remove)
- Has plenty of cooking space and can handle different types of meat at once
- Long lasting and durable
- No complaints here! This grill is a great deal for the money.
What to Look for in a Gas Grill Under 500
When it comes to gas grills that cost $500 and below, it’s best to stay away from anything that’s made of stainless steel. That’s because the type of stainless steel used is usually of a low grade or quality. Not only does it rust and discolor easily, but it will be a nightmare to maintain. All in all, it will deteriorate quickly and look so gross that you’ll want to throw it out in a relatively short amount of time.
Also, $500 gas grills are often larger than their expensive counterparts, which can be a problem for someone that’s working with a small space. But there are smaller models with dimensions of 300 to 350 square inches that will make your life easier. These usually come with 28,000 to 36,000 BTU and about 3 or 4 burners depending on your preferences and needs. If you like you can even get a model with a side burner so you can cater to more people.
Would like to read our review super premium gas grill from Broilmaster
Some grills even feature rear mounted rotisserie burners for those who enjoy rotisserie style cooking. But beware of the quality because the ceramic type burners are prone to breaking, which is why we recommend getting a standard gas port burner rotisserie instead. The moral of the story when it comes to gas grills is to purchase a simple model that comes with the features you need. Don’t waste money on extra burners, stainless steel construction or other features that you don’t need.
If you’re shopping online, be sure to pay attention to the product description and the features mentioned. For those shopping in physical store outlets, it’s important to get a good look at the grill and even remove some of the parts to see how it’s built on the inside. Be sure to carry a magnet so you can test to see if it’s stainless steel or not. If it’s made from low-grade stainless steel the magnet will stick on and it will feel lightweight. It’s best to stay far away from such grills and only buy 304 heavy-duty stainless steel.
Tips for buying a new grill under $500
Remember that you can’t expect miracles at this price range. Of course you can buy a decent gas grill for this kind of money but it won’t be the best option on the market. Below I share the most crucial things to expect from a gas grill for up to $500.
Size – Think carefully how much you cook so that you can pick the right size of the grill. If you cook for a small family or even for just 1-2 people, the most basic small two-burner grill will be enough for you. If you cook in bigger quantities and more often, however, it will be more convenient to have a bigger, at least three-burner grill.
Number of burners – The minimum amount for a full-sized gas grill is two burners. Personally, I prefer at least three, to me it’s the universal number no matter if I cook for myself and my wife or for a group of several people. On top of that, having as many as 3 independently controlled burners allows to create three different heat zones.
Features – Gadgets and different accessories are very nice, but you have to keep in mind that they have a huge impact on price. You actually don’t need them to prepare great food. I suggest you go for the simplest yet solid and durable grill, especially if you have a limited budget. A perfect example is the fairly simple feature-wise yet certainly solid Spirit II series from Weber.
Type of fuel – If you have an active natural gas line and cook a whole lot, then it’s a good idea to consider buying a grill in the natural gas version. Such option mostly covers the more expensive models which is why I only recommend it to those who cook a lot. Before making the choice, learn about the differences between propane and natural gas (more on that below).
Mobility – You need a grill to go camping with? For an apartment or simply don’t have much room in your backyard. At a price below 500 dollars you can buy really great portable gas grills.
Warranty and customer service – Pay attention to what is covered by the warranty and for what time period, then compare it with other brands at a similar price range. There are brands on the market that have been around for a very long time so there’s no worry that a company will suddenly go bankrupt and you will be left without help in the event of any problems. Another very important thing is the approach to the customer, and it’s pretty common that after you buy the grill it’s hard to get in touch in any way in the event of malfunction.
Propane vs natural gas
Plenty of manufacturers offer gas grills in two versions, propane or natural gas.
Don’t know which version to choose?
Natural gas is great if you cook a whole lot but it requires installing a gas line at the start. It’s an option for those who need a bigger stationary grill in their backyard. If you are already hooked to a line then it’s another reason to consider that option. You don’t need to worry about refilling the tank and in a longer run it’s a more cost-effective option.
Propane, on the other hand, stands out with its mobility, the places where you have a tank are the places where you can cook. A good option if you need a mobile grill and move the grill around a lot. Personally, I believe that if you don’t cook a lot or you have up to three burners in your grill, propane is a better solution. In such cases, the consumption isn’t that high and you don’t have to refill the tank too often.
What to Expect from a Gas Grills Under 500
A $500 grill should provide you with a nice even heat that parallels that of a high-quality model. It should have enough features to allow for versatile cooking and solid construction that will last you for at least five years. With proper maintenance, you can stretch the lifespan of your gas grill to reach 10 years.
It’s advisable to register your grill as soon as you get it so that you can take advantage of the warranty that it comes with. The good news is that most companies are more than willing to honor the warranty that they offer with the product. They’ll replace failed parts and even repair it if any malfunction happens due to factory issues. Be sure to check reviews and find out what the brand’s customer support is like. At $500 you should be able to get decent customer support for your gas grill otherwise you should take your money elsewhere.
Whether you’re buying a BBQ gas grill for the first time or you’re looking for a portable model that you can take boating, it’s important that you know what to look for. Luckily, we’ve covered all the bases with this buying guide and have given you a few good options to choose from.
However, if we were to recommend one particular option then it would be the Char-Griller Grillin’ Pro 3001 model. This is one of the best natural gas grills on the market with features like a high BTU rating, quick heating ability, and a side burner so you can diversify. It also comes with a warming rack, a smoker attachment and double-sided grates with porcelain coating. All in all, it’s a well-constructed gas grill with all the features you need in order to enjoy an amazing BBQ season.
Related: Best Two Burner Gas Grill