Let’s face it – food trends come and go, but barbecue will never go out of style. Barbecue means summertime, weekends, vacation and good times. Barbecues can be extremely casual (especially when you’re eating chicken or ribs with your bare hands) to upscale and high end. From the classic grilled burger to modern fusion cuisine, barbecue is diverse, delicious, and an excellent way to entertain guests or simply for the enjoyment of preparing irresistible food.
Top 16 Best Gas Grills Under $500
Gas grills are one of the easiest, most convenient and popular methods of grilling barbecued food. In this article, 16 of the most popular grills under $500 are compared. Delicious steak, chicken, fish, kebabs, burgers, fresh vegetables, hot dogs, corn on the cob and more await.
Weber 45010001 Spirit II E-310 3-Burner Liquid Propane Grill
- Infinity ignition system – guaranteed to ignite every time you use the grill for 10 years.
- Flavorizer bars and smoke infusion system work together to help create and enhance incredibly flavorful and perfectly cooked foods.
- Grease management system that allows for quick, easy, hassle-free cleanup.
- Powerful burners that ensure food is grilled thoroughly, evenly and consistently.
- Some difficulty reported with getting grill surface hot enough to sear meat.
- There is no ledge in the front or back to prevent your food from rolling off the grill.
The Weber 4501001 Spirit Gas Grill is a competitively priced, streamlined, well-built barbecue machine that will have you grilling like a champion in no time. Weber has gone out of its way to manufacture a safe, easy to use grill that consistently delivers amazing food.
From the infinity ignition system to the grease management system, the Spirit is fantastic.
Camp Chef Flat Top Grill, True Seasoned Griddle Surface
- Two-in-one cooking capacity (can be used as a griddle or a grill).
- Griddle cooking surface is over 600 square inches; grilling surface is over 500 square inches.
- Matchless ignition; four 12,000 BTU burners made of stainless steel.
- Not all hardware included with purchase, according to multiple customer reviews (specifically, washers were missing).
- Complaints of inconsistent heating.
The Camp Chef takes a bit of work, from assembling the grill to understanding how to use it.
That said, it is incredibly versatile; a grill and a griddle at once. It provides consistent heating, allowing you to be in total control of the food you grill. No more worrying about undercooked meat or chicken that’s dry and flavorless. The Camp Chef takes the guesswork out of the equation.
Weber 51010001 Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill, Black
- Design features cookbox and shroud. The two fit together securely to provide superior heat insulation (the cookbox is where the heating units are stored). The cookbox and shroud are made of durable, easy to clean cast aluminum.
- Portable; ideal for camping trips and backyard barbecues. Handles are cool to the touch; cookbox and shroud insulate the grill and allow it to be safely heated to extremely high temperatures.
- Includes cast iron trays coated with porcelain enamel; interior thermometer, zoned heating, options for indirect and direct grilling; the grill is extremely versatile.
- Does not perform well at lower elevations; difficult to reach high temperatures.
- Several complaints about the dial that regulates the heat.
The Weber Q1200 is the quintessential patio grill; small, compact, efficient and sleek.
It’s also incredibly versatile considering its small size; there are lots of features and options that can be utilized at once, from indirect to indirect cooking to selecting flame infusion.
Blackstone 1554 Cooking 4 Burner Flat Top Gas Grill Propane
- Restaurant-grade grilling station; flat top and other advanced features.
- Fast ignition; rapid heat up; extremely efficient use of gas.
- Four burners; each one can be heated at variable temperatures; overall easy to use; low-maintenance and safe; includes grease pans.
- Some complaints about the surface of the griddle blackening after use.
- Multiple complaints about the customer service team being unresponsive to emails regarding the grill’s performance.
The Blackstone 1554 is described by some as the ultimate griddle. It meets the rigorous standards to be considered restaurant grade, and is sold at a very fair price.
The vast majority of customer reviews are enthusiastically positive; the griddle is well-loved.
Blackstone Outdoor Tabletop Grill
- Impressive 268 square inches of cooking surface on which to conduct heavy-duty grilling.
- Immediate ignition and rapid heat acceleration; 12,000 BTU output.
- Smart, space-saving design. Top component can be flipped upside down to securely attach to the bottom component for efficient storage.
- Several complaints about seller’s customer service team; unresponsive.
- Difficulty with regulator reported.
Blackstone’s Tabletop Grill is portable, compact, lightweight and sleek.
It takes a bit of time to get it ready; assembly is simply, but the grill must be seasoned before use; a requirement atypical of tabletop grills. That said, the grill is wildly popular and its performance has received high praise. On top of that, the price is right.
Cuisinart CGG-180TB Portable Propane, Petit Gourmet Tabletop Gas Grill
- Smart design featuring over 145” of surface area on which to cook; the legs fold away for easy, convenient storage, the grease trap is simply to remove and clean, the grill itself is very user-friendly.
- Lightweight, compact and portable; weighs just 13 lbs. and is carried with a briefcase-style handle for added convenience.
- Sleek, stainless steel and black Cuisinart design; would look chic in any kitchen, patio or backyard.
- Report of plastic components melting due to regular use.
- Issues with igniter reported.
The Cuisinart Tabletop Grill is designed to be aesthetically pleasing; black and steel.
Don’t be fooled by its small size or elegant design – it’s a heavy-duty grill. Though it may look small, it can cook four pounds of fish, eight hamburgers, eight steaks or six chicken breasts at once.
Cuisinart CGG-501 Gourmet Gas Griddle
- Superior heat; 12,000 BTU heating capacity; stainless-steel burners.
- Ignition is simple and reliable; a dial just needs to be twisted.
- Includes a veggie panel that makes grilling fresh vegetables a breeze.
- It is reportedly difficult to turn on the gas without a pair of pliers.
- Some complaints about the plastic component parts melting as a result of normal use.
The Cuisinart CGG-200B is described as a grill that’s simple, beautiful and efficient.
There are over 2,000 positive reviews extolling the virtues of the grill, from its space-saving, clever design to the way it consistently and properly grills food; even for the pickiest grillmasters, the CGG-200B appears to be a winner.
Masterbuilt 205 Stainless Steel Gas Grill, Tabletop
- Sharp, fashionable and functional stainless steel design and construction. It works well and it looks great.
- Over 300 square inches of cooking surface space; 10,000 BTU burner.
- The legs fold in, the front latches securely and there is a large carrying handle, making the grill safe and easy to transport.
- Requires one-pound propane cylinders, a special order camping product
- Propane cylinders not included with purchase.
The Smoke Hollow is yet another grill that falls under the “small but mighty” category.
It is quite lightweight and portable, but it should be noted that it requires the use of one-pound propane cylinders, which must be purchased online or at a camping goods store. That being said, the majority of customer reviews are positive; the grill is fun and easy to use and is perfect for everything from camping to tailgating.
Pit Boss Grills 75275 Stainless Steel Two-Burner Portable Grill
- Completely constructed with industrial-strength stainless steel for superior strength and durability.
- Instant ignition and rapid heat; efficient performance.
- Grease trap safely and effectively collects all grease particles, making cleaning fast and simple, while reducing the risk of a grease fire.
- The folding legs do not lock; the grill can be difficult and unstable.
- Issues with customer service reported.
The Pit Boss is a tough, impressive looking tabletop grill that does not disappoint.
It ignites immediately and heats up extremely fast. From searing a steak to making an incredible grilled cheese, the Pit Boss does it all, truly living up to its name.
Char-Broil Classic 360 3-Burner Liquid Propane Gas Grill
- Includes a porcelain-coated swing away warming rack to prevent food from getting cold or drying out.
- Features three large stainless-steel in-line burners for exceptional cooking performance.
- Includes metal shelves on either side for extra storage space or a food prep area.
- Report of plastic component part melting while the grill was heating up.
- One customer claimed that only two out of the three burners worked upon initial assembly (which was done correctly).
The Char-Broil Classic 360 is the perfect choice for a small patio or grill. It is not suitable for indoor use, but it would be ideal for a small outdoor space.
It is well-reviewed by experts and customers alike. Char-Broil has an excellent reputation and is one of the grilling industry leaders. The Classic 360 is well-built, reliable, easy to use, easy to take care of, and is priced to sell.
Char-Broil Performance 475 4-Burner Cart Liquid Propane Gas Grill- Stainless
- Four stainless steel burners, 36,000 BTU heating capacity.
- Cart-style grill that can be wheeled.
- Cast iron grates that offer 475 square inches of cooking surface plus a secondary grilling area that offers an additional 175 inches.
- Knobs which adjust and control flame levels get extremely hot.
- One customer claimed the grill arrived damaged; some difficulty with customer service while attempting to rectify the issue.
The Char-Broil 475 is, in a nutshell, impressive. It’s easy to assemble and a breeze to use.
It offers a generous amount of cooking space and is loaded with safety features. It’s also priced quite competitively. It’s an excellent choice in a grill.
Royal Gourmet GB8000 8-Burner Liquid Propane Event Gas Grill, BBQ
- Eight burners; 13,000 BTU each; stainless steel. The burners are regulated for total control and temperature management.
- Over 900 square inches of cooking surface space. Can cook 120 hot dogs or 60 hamburgers at once.
- Shelving units on either side for extra storage. Expandable side counter area for food prep; extra convenience; no wasted space.
- Multiple reports of grill arriving damaged.
- Grill is reportedly quite difficult to assemble.
The Royal Gourmet 8-Burner grill cooks mammoth proportions of food at once.
It is the true go-to for a large barbecue or backyard party. Or submitting to that urge to suddenly cook 120 hot dogs at once in the event you decide to become a competitive eater.
Royal Gourmet GB4001 4-Burner Propane Gas Grill Griddle Outdoor Flat Top
- Stainless steel control panel; easy to program and control.
- Four stainless steel burners; 13,000 BTU heating capacity each, fully regulated.
- Open cart design; the setup can be customized.
- Multiple reports of damaged hardware upon unboxing.
- Some problems with grease drip pan reported.
The Royal Gourmet 4-Burner grill may seem small in comparison to its predecessor, the 8-Burner. Don’t be fooled.
The 4-Burner is still a ferocious grill, with everything from powerful instant ignition to consistent, regulated cast iron panels. The 4-Burner is designed to feed a large family, whereas the 8-Burner feeds a small army.
Dyna-Glo DGB495SDP-D 4 Burner Open Cart Propane Gas Grill
- Modern, stainless steel and black design.
- Approximately 60,000 BTU in total; divided into four zones.
- Over 400 square inches of cooking surface.
- Instructions are difficult to follow.
- Multiple complaints about the overall quality of the grill not meeting expectations.
The Dyna-Glo is considered a starter grill and it would be fine for a starter home.
However, the general consensus appears to be that the Dyna-Glo is somewhat problematic; unfit for regular use; difficult to put together, and needing constant repairs.
Master Cook Smart Space 3 Burner Grill
- Porcelain-coated grates; 473 inches of cooking surface area.
- Three powerful burners; all independently programmable.
- Side areas for food prep space and extra storage; smart design.
- The temperature drops quickly when the grill is opened; slow to reheat.
- Issues reported with reaching adequate heat.
The jury is still out on the Master Cook. The reviews are quite mixed and very polarized.
After reading the customer reviews, manufacturer’s instructions and the seller’s ads, it appears that the Master Cook is a good choice for a single person or perhaps two people, but is not the best option for cooking for a family. It simply has a limited capacity and is not designed to provide adequate heat to a large amount of food at once.
Thermos 265 2-Burner Liquid Propane Gas Grill
- Cart-style grill; can be wheeled; easy to transport.
- Firebox – designed to withstand even the harshest weather conditions.
- Features storage space and hooks to hold grilling utensils.
- Not compatible with natural gas.
- Difficult to assemble; hard to follow instructions.
The Thermos 265 is a well-built little grill. It’s small and compact and can be wheeled.
It’s a nice choice for a family barbecue. It’s not designed to feed a lot of people at once, but it would be perfect for cooking a meal. It also is packed with extra features like shelves, expandable counters and hooks, helping you to stay organized as you grill away.
Quick Buying Tips
While considering some of the important features you should consider these helpful buying tips when buying your grill.
- Calculate your monthly grocery budget
- Determine a realistic estimate for how often you will be grilling foods
- Factor in the current cost of propane
- Look for promotional sales
Check the Fuel Type
- Most gas grills use propane
- Some are compatible with natural gas
If you are interested in purchasing a gas grill, you have a lot of excellent options under $500. The majority are easy to use, from assembly to actually grilling your food.
Some of the options reviewed here are more like indoor griddles; others are more like panini makers; be sure to read the product specifications carefully before making your purchase.
Safety is a major concern when selecting a grill. Check to see if there have been any prior recalls on the grill you are considering. Follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions on grill safety, from using lighter fluid to the placement of the grill and the propane tank.
Grilling is an easy way to prepare delicious, savory food. Enjoy your culinary adventure.