Holds a Master’s degree in Linguistics, loves traveling and learning new languages. Fluent in Spanish, is learning French and Czech at the moment. Enjoys exploring national cuisines every time he visits new countries.
Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous online and offline grilling masterclasses runs his own BBQ accessories shop.
Last updated: April 18, 2021
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Sometimes, your personal appetite for grilled meat doesn’t even matter – you’ve just got to love grilling. Apart from the fact that it offers you a chance to enjoy some tasty, yummy barbeque in the summer, a nice grilling session also offers lots of excitement as it helps bring friends, family, and even neighbors together to bond over some mouth-watering steaks. But even though you want to treat your loved ones to the classic smoky dish, you don’t need to break the bank. The grill market has become super competitive recently, and subsequently, the best gas grill under $500 can help fulfill all of your grilling needs or cravings.
Thanks to their incredible convenience, fuel economy, ease of use and maintenance, gas grills are being preferred to the traditional, charcoal grills in recent years. But since they are relatively new on the market, buying a quality gas grill is often a difficult task, especially if you aren’t really experienced. There is no cause for alarm though, as we are here to help you choose the right gas grill. To simplify the whole process, we’ve selected eight of the best gas grills under $500, while considering their key features like primary cooking space, availability of a warming rack, BTU, weight, and dimensions.
Our research spanned across several sources which include reading customer reviews and technical specifications for a number of the best gas grills under $500. The outcome is the assembly of the eight best reasonably priced gas grills specified in the table below. As you read further, you will also find the comprehensive reviews of each gas grill we listed, before eventually landing in our buying guide section which comprises of numerous buying tips and an FAQ section in which several difficult questions are thoroughly answered.
Despite featuring a smaller grilling area than most units listed here, the Dyna-Glo DGB390SNP-D Gas Grill is our Editor’s Choice, thanks to the superfluity of features it comes with. Besides the 390 square-inch cooking space, the unit also has two foldable side tables to give a total area of 507 square inches. And thanks to the heavy-gauge porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grates produced using cast iron, you are guaranteed to enjoy this best gas grill under $500 for many years.
For optimum performance, the grill features three heavy-duty burners which are produced using stainless steel. The three burners combine effectively to produce 36,000 BTUs in total. Not only that, but it also features easy-to-control valves to adjust temperature accurately for all types of food. It even boasts an easy-to-clean double wall cover that allows heat to be locked up inside the meal for more efficiency. And the bottom shelf comes with a sturdy door in which the propane tank can be stored. Also, you can conveniently take the grill everywhere you go, thanks to the incorporated wheels.
And since it has a small construction, it can be easily rolled away when not in use. As for cleaning and maintenance, there aren’t many gas grills that are as easy and convenient to clean and maintain. While we agree that this unit is extremely difficult to fault, some users claimed that their pans and tents got corroded easily, and the customer service didn’t offer any reasonable support.
Apart from being probably the best-rated gas grill under 500 ever made by Char-Broil, the Char-Broil Classic 405 is one of the biggest and largest under $500 models on the market as well. Featuring a decently large 405 square inches of primary cooking space, you can totally trust this unit to handle all your grilling need conveniently. Not only that, but it also comes with a 190 square inch warming rack, which along with the cooking surface are porcelain-coated for long-lasting durability.
The gas grill comes with four burners, all of which are produced using stainless steel for the most efficient grilling performance. The four burners efficiently combine to offer you a 32,000 BTU heat capacity. Also, the firebox and outer lid have been produced using porcelain-coated steel so as to help the unit endure harsh environmental conditions. In addition, this under $500 gas grill boasts two side tables which measure 12 x 13 inches apiece for additional storage. The side tables can also be utilized as a prepping space.
Also, the gas grill features a piezo ignition system which will instantly start-up the burners, thereby eliminating any need for matchsticks or lighters. Like most gas grills from Char-Broil, this model also features two large wheels to aid easy movability. And the unit also comes with decent warranty terms – five years on the burners, two years on the lid and the firebox, and one year on every other part. The only drawbacks we found on this unit are the unfoldable sides and the difficult assembly which is due to the many parts involved.
Boasting five burners which produce 10,000 BTU each, the Megamaster 5-Burner Gas Grill isn’t just an average appliance. In fact, it’s not the type of grill you see every day as it is equipped with a wide 474 square inch cooking space. For remarkable heat retention and to allow for even heat distribution, the unit also comes with porcelain-casted cast iron cooking grates. The porcelain-casted flame tamers serve as protection to the burners and aid even distribution of heat across the grilling surface for better-tasting meals.
Furthermore, the unit has 13.5-inch wide side shelves which provide ample room to put your supplies on while cooking your meal. Not only that, but it also features an inbuilt thermometer which offers precise temperature control and helps you accomplish perfectly cooked meals. Apart from the main cooking area, there is also a 182 square inch porcelain-coated warming rack to keep your meal warm. And when you are done using the unit, easily move it with the aid of the heavy-duty wheels.
However, the unit doesn’t come with instructions, which might make the assembly a little difficult for some buyers. Otherwise, this is a great gas grill that won’t be troublesome at all. And it’s incredibly affordable, which is something you might also want to consider when making your choice.
What are our favorite features?
Five powerful burners
Features an electric pulse ignition
Evenly distributes heat
Wide side shelves for storage
Built-in thermometer for accurate temperature control
We are recommending a product from Char-Broil for the second time in this article, which should give you an idea of how remarkable Char-Broil is as a company. As suggested by its name, the Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared 500 3-Burner Cabinet Liquid Propane Gas Grill boasts a three-burner cooking system, which makes it one of the highest-performing models on this list. When in search of a unit with top-notch cooking performance and excellent temperature range control, there is no going wrong with this. It has a large 450 square-inch cooking space, which allows you to make those mouth-watering dishes easily.
Furthermore, the unit comes with a 150 square inch porcelain-coated warming rack, which provides you with an excellent platform to warm your meals. Besides, the unit has one side burner that produces 10,000 BTU, a stainless steel door cabinet that hides the propane, and a fixed stainless steel side shelf. And with the unit sitting on four casters, there is increased mobility with this infrared grill. You can even lock two of the casters to keep the unit in one place.
The well-built grates on which the burners sit along with its remarkable swing-away warming rack make sure that your meal is made promptly. And adding to the long-lasting performance offered by the three-ported tune burners, they also provide superior temperature range control, thereby removing risks of overheating or over-burning. However, assembling this unit is quite difficult due to the fact that it comes with many parts.
Of all the units we have reviewed, this model is probably the most inventive. The manufacturer has a rich history when it comes to manufacturing excellent outdoor equipment and their reputation has been done no harm whatsoever with this offering. Being a portable unit, the Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill only has a cooking space of 285 square inches. However, rest assured that you can still do quite a lot with this cooking area. The top grates of the unit are cast iron and porcelain enameled, which makes them swappable, and it is a very cool feature. You can have a griddle on one side, and a grill on the other side.
For superior temperature, this unit features three independent and adjustable burners. You can conveniently and simultaneously cook about three different dishes at different temperatures. Also, it boasts two side tables for extra storage. The side tables also double as prepping space. And probably the highlight of the unit is the inbuilt thermometer, which makes sure you cook your meal at preferred temperatures. Like most grills from Coleman, this one also boasts an easy-to-use electric ignition for simple startup.
For easier cleaning, the unit features a removable grease tray. That doesn’t mean you wouldn’t need some high-powered cleaner and soap though. Fortunately, coated grill grates were used in the unit, which significantly reduces the cleanup you have to do. Moreover, the unit comes with wheels for increased movability, added to the fact that it can be folded down. The wheels are, however, of not the highest quality, which means they don’t usually last too long if the unit is moved from one place to another frequently. The grease tray access could have been better as well.
What are our favorite features?
Comes with a removable grease tray for easier cleaning
Incredibly portable and stylish, the Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill should be at the top of your priority list if stylishness and portability are the major attributes you’re looking for in a gas grill. It has a capturing, colorful, and unique shroud and stand design, making it ideal for patios or apartment balconies. It’s compact design also means it can be easily carried on your camping trips and road trips. And the incorporation of Weber’s portable cart makes it even more convenient and stylish. When the unit is removed from the cart, it perfectly sits at the beach, on a camping ground, or on a tabletop.
Apart from the sophisticated design that the Weber Q1200 Grill sports, it also uses durable quality material – sturdy porcelain-enameled cast iron grate and cast aluminum lid. But the unit is quite heavy, which may be due to the ultra-sturdy materials used in its production. The burner tubes also are produced using a singular piece of steel, which makes them more durable and resistant to burn-through and rust. Besides, the burner valve comes with infinite control settings, which enables you to fine-tune the levels of the heat.
And when it comes to the cooking, the Weber Q1200 Gas Grill is very easy to use and maintain since it needs low maintenance. It’s amazing how easy, straightforward, and simple the portable gas grill is to use. Apart from the fact that it heats up extremely rapidly, it also maintains a steady temperature. The only downside we noticed is the lowest flame of the unit, which isn’t sufficiently low to keep a warm setting. Nevertheless, this is an excellent grill for the money.
Why did it make our list?
Durable and efficient aluminum casting
Easy to clean and maintain
What is not ideal about it?
The lowest flame isn’t low enough to maintain a warm setting
The Magma Newport 2 Infra-Red Gourmet Series Gas Grill was obviously manufactured with portability in mind. It comes with foldable legs, which allows you to easily and conveniently transfer it from one place to another. Also, the grill is small and takes up a tiny room when not in use. This unit is incredibly perfect for boating and camping – not only for its compact built but also because it’s produced using marine-grade stainless steel that’s capable of withstanding salty ocean water.
Moreover, the drip tray and cooking grates are also made of stainless steel which is easy to clean and maintain. To guarantee even heat distribution, the grill features sear plates under its cooking grates. The single burner which produces 11,200 BTU heats up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit in only five minutes, thirty seconds. The seat plates placed under the unit’s cooking grates spread heat evenly and make sure the grill keeps up a consistent temperature.
However, this grill has a 162 square inch grilling area, which is quite too small for a large BBQ party. And if you’re thinking about using this unit on a boat, we advise you to get something to maintain its steadiness on rough waters. The manufacturer sells various accessories for this particular grill such as a serving shelf, a grill mount, a carrying bag, and a cover. While the unit is already expensive for the value it offers, it wouldn’t hurt to buy one or all of these useful accessories.
While the Solaire SOL-EV17A Propane Gas Grill is relatively small, you will be making a huge mistake to underrate it. What it lacks in dimensions, it makes up for it in quality of construction and ease of use. To start grilling, you only need to append a one-pound propane cylinder to the grill, ignite it, and wait under five minutes. When you open the lid, you will have a fully preheated 140 square inch cooktop that is ready to go.
While this grill from Solaire is one of the smallest options on our list, it’s still sufficiently large to make hamburgers for six people. Besides, it’s small design means it’s portable – when you are done the cooking, just close the lid and lock it, and the unit is all set to travel. However, keep in mind that it might be hard to clean this grill, except you follow our little cleaning trick – turn the heat up when you are done the cooking. The powerful and quick heating capabilities of the grill will quickly burn the stuck-on food to ashes so that you will be able to scrap them off.
The Solaire is also flexible when it comes to the fuel – while they usually don’t with the unit, you can buy accessories that allow for the usage of full-sized propane tanks, low-pressure propane systems like those in recreational vehicles, or even natural gas. Apart from the small cooking space and cleaning difficulty (which you can get around following our trick anyway), this grill doesn’t have many flaws.
If you have chosen to buy a gas grill over a charcoal grill, we congratulate you for the excellent choice you have made. However, you’re likely to be faced with a couple of questions about the choice you have made, and we have designed this guide to help you answer them.
Why buy a gas grill?
Perhaps, you’re wondering whether to buy a gas grill or just go for the traditional charcoal grill. But is a gas grill really a better option? Let’s take a look at the numerous benefits offered by a gas grill over traditional charcoal and pellet grills.
A quality gas grill quickly heats up and enables you to barbeque your most loved dishes in a matter of minutes.
It offers optimum and uniform heat that gives the grilled dish an incomparable smoke flavor.
Unlike a charcoal grill, a gas grill offers a much easier temperature range control. The fire can be tuned up and down based on your preferred temperature for each dish.
A gas grill has a less messy operation, due to the use of a propane tank.
It can offer ample space and an extensive variety of burners for grilling your favorite dishes.
It has enough versatility and functionality to enable you to fry or grill dishes at the same time on a pan.
The majority of gas grills offer stretched-out side tables that double as countertops to store the cooking tools.
Most of the gas grills on the market are made with built-in wheels for improved mobility.
Features to consider while choosing gas grills under $500
Before choosing a specific model, it is essential to consider some major factors so that you will be able to pick the right model for your requirements and preferences.
Primary cooking area
One of the first essential factors to consider is the size of the primary cooking space. You need to consider which purpose for which you are buying a grill and the number of people you want to be cooking for. If you are only looking to cook for a family of six, a gas grill with a cooking space of about 250 square inches should be enough. However, if you want to be hosting BBQ events and parties, you have to be looking at 500 square inch and above. The grill with the largest cooking space on our list is the Megamaster 720-0982 Propane Gas Grill, with 474 square inches of total cooking surface.
Depending on how much of a barbeque addict you are, the side burner isn’t a must-have feature, but it’s always a nice one to have. Among the models listed, the Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared 450 features one, but mostly side burner feature is to be seen by more expensive models. Most times, the side burner is used to warm sauces or make side dishes and are not always ideal for primary cooking.
In the event that you don’t intend to place the gas grill near your kitchen, you will find the side burner to be very useful.
Number of burners
Gas grills usually feature different amounts of burners. However, keep in mind that the more the burners on a grill, the more expensive it tends to be. Therefore, if you’re working around a limited budget, we advise you to purchase a grill that has only a couple of burners (we’ve also got a guide to the best 2 burner gas grills, if this is what you’re after). Of course, you can choose a model with multiple burners if you have enough money. Another factor that may influence the number of burners you have to target is the number of individuals you’re looking for. If you’re cooking for only a couple of people, a one-burner model, like the Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill should be convenient for you. If you are, however, cooking for more than twelve people, we advise you to go for a model that has five or six burners such as the Megamaster 720-0982 Propane Gas Grill.
BTU is another element that is frequently talked about. In the world of grilling, a grill’s power is quantified in BTUs. To choose the best gas grill under $500, you have to check the BTU under every product description to have an idea of the amount of power the unit will be able to create. However, keep in mind that larger units with extensive cooking area require more BTUs to heat up the entire thing, so ensure you consider how the power provided relates to the grill’s overall size. With each of its five burners producing about 10,000 BTUs each, the Megamaster 720-0982 Propane Gas Grill is the model with the highest BTUs.
The size that is ideal for you, as well as the cooking space, much depends on the number of people you intend to be cooking for. If you’re are cooking for not more than three individuals most times, then a smaller-sized barbecue grill should be enough for you. But if you’re always grilling for more than six people, then it’s only right to get a bigger grill with larger cooking surface.
Does the design of the grill make movability easy around your patio or deck? Does it have wheels? You have to keep in mind that portability is one of the major factors you need to consider when buying a gas grill. And you must remember that portability is beyond a grill having wheels alone – the incorporation of wheels doesn’t necessarily mean a grill will be easy to move, on rougher surfaces especially.
While the wheels may be insignificant if you will likely be keeping the grill in the same spot, you must look for models with wheels like the Char-Broil Classic 405 if you need to move it around.
Home appliances such as gas grills need to be backed by a warranty. Top of the line grills is usually backed by more extended warranties. While you most probably won’t need to utilize the warranty most times since these products are generally refined and reliable, it is always great and confidence-instilling to know that the producer is firmly behind their product and is ready to refund for any faults encountered.
When you’re in the market for a gas grill, you might want to check the additional features such as temperature gauges, ease of assembly, and materials used, either you want to have stainless steel or cast iron model. While those features may not even have a significant say in your ultimate decision, it can make a difference for some people still. Overall, you can get a lot of handy features in grills under $500, but if you’re looking for a more advanced grills and can stretch your budget a little further, you might also want to check out some great gas grills under $1000 — we’ve found some fantastic options that are well under this price limit.
How to clean your gas grill
Assemble your cleaning provisions: Gather the supplies you’ll need such as gloves, a grill brush, paper towels or cleaning rags, a putty knife or bristle brush, and water and soap.
Take out the grill grates: Remove the grill grates to enable you to perform a full clean.
Clean the grates: Scrub them thoroughly with a brush.
Clean anything on the burners: Take out and brush-clean any ceramic briquette, lava stones, or V-shaped metal heat tens covering the burners.
Do a thorough cleaning for the burner tubes: brush-clean the burner tubes lightly and ensure all the ports are open and clean.
Clean the lid and the grill’s bottom: Wipe or brush any debris in the grill’s base. Use a putty knife or bristle brush to scrape off any grease or carbon flakes on the bottom or lid.
Wipe the grill’s exterior down: Use soap and water to wipe down the grill’s exterior and all the sides with tables.
Since the BTU rating of propane gas is higher than that of natural gas, it has a tendency of heating quicker and consuming less fuel out of the propane tank in comparison with natural gas. The most noticeable cooking dissimilarities between natural and propane gas, however, depends on the specific equipment you’re utilizing. The BTU output of your equipment restricts your heat while cooking, so verify the specifications of your appliance if there is a particular BTU rating you’re after to cook dishes.
According to the report from NFPA, a break or leak is usually the primary factor leading to gas grill-related fires.
Check the hose of the cylinder for leaks before utilizing it for the first time every year.
Apply mild water or soap solution to the pipe, which will release bubbles and reveal if gas is escaping.
If you suspect or smell a gas leak, turn the grill and gas tank off. Call a professional for servicing when the leak stops before utilizing it again. If the leak doesn’t stop, however, contact the fire department.
Never turn the gas on with the lid closed as the gas might build up inside and blow off when ignited, thereby causing burns or injuries.
Infrared grills are lightning fast, and that’s undeniable. These burners can get up to about 700 degrees Fahrenheit within seven minutes only. Besides, infrared grills generate even heat, thereby allowing for a well-seared surface. And due to their speed and hotness, infrared grills are also energy-efficient. As a result, you can prepare more food within a shorter period, utilizing less fuel.
The Dyna-Glo DGB390SNP-D is our pick for the best gas grill under $500, and we do not doubt that you will concur with us as soon as you use this grill as well. Three heavy-duty burners, easy-to-control valves, and portability are some of the features that make this model stand out.
Coming at a close second is the four-burner Char-Broil Classic 405. With four powerful burners that produce a total of 32,000 BTUs, you can trust this unit to effectively and conveniently handle your grilling needs. It doesn’t stop there – the unit also features handy side tables for extra storage, and the long-term warranty offers you peace of mind.
You don’t often see a budget-friendly product that performs exceptionally well, except for extraordinary models like the Megamaster 720-0982 Propane Gas Grill. Despite being the least expensive model on this list, this grill from Megamaster has the largest cooking surface and the highest BTUs.