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Best gas grills under $500 – choosing without overpaying

We’ve researched the best gas grills, so you don’t have to. Find the top 5 with the best construction and heating capacity under $500 and based on user reviews

Imagine… You’re in the backyard of your house, the music is playing loudly, your friends are laughing… You turn your head and catch the light smell of grilled meat. You take a step, one more and the flavor just becomes stronger… The flavor of burgers, hot dogs, grilled corn, and other vegetables — these all combine in one perfect aroma and you are drooling from just one look at all the variety of food. Isn’t it a great day? We hope so.

Do you want to enjoy the grilling experience? A grill is your necessary minimum. We have conducted research to list the most important criteria for each gas grill. Based on this study the top5 gas grills under $500 were selected. Below you can familiarize yourself with our best models and which features they excel in.

Model
Specs and Benefits
Winner:
The best construction for outdoor cooking
Weber Q3200
Material: Aluminum
Weight (pounds): 83.8
LxWxH (inches): 55.5 x 50.2 x 30
Number of burners: 2
BTU-per-hour: 21,700
Minimal possibility of corrosion;
Drop-down shelves (save space when aren’t in use but also provide additional space during grilling).
Detailed review
Winner:
The most practical size
Fuego Element F24C
Material: Steel + Cast iron
Weight (pounds): 80
LxWxH (inches): 24 x 24 x 47
Number of burners: 2
BTU-per-hour: 26,500
Compactness;
Easy to move.
Detailed review
Winner:
The best heating capacity
Char-Griller E3001 Grillin' Pro
Material: Steel Weight (pounds): 92
LxWxH (inches): 48 x 28 x 48
Number of burners: 3
BTU-per-hour: 40,800 (12,000 side burner)
Heats quickly fast;
A protection plate over each flame to minimize the flare-ups.
Detailed review
Winner:
The quickest cooking
Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared
Material: Stainless Steel
Weight (pounds): 105.8
LxWxH (inches): 54.1 x 23.4 x 45.5
Number of burners: 3
BTU-per-hour: 24,000 (10,000 - side burner)
Infrared technology helps cook quicker and the meat will be juicier;
Easy to assemble.
Detailed review
Winner:
Best at retaining temperature
Weber Spirit II E-310
Material: Porcelain-enameled + cast iron
Weight (pounds): 110
LxWxH (inches): 52 x 26 x 57
Number of burners: 3
BTU-per-hour: 30,000
Good holding capacity;
A nonmetal handle to avoid skin burn.
Detailed review

How did we choose

We have our own proven by years of work methodology. 

  • First of all, we looked at all gas grills with the highest rates. 
  • Then we selected 10 models for a detailed review (excluded outdated or models with a small number of reviews). 
  • After that, we analyzed more than 100 customer reviews

This helped us to understand which criteria are the most important and how each model compares. That is how we chose the top-5 gas grills under $500. You can see the calculations and results of our research in the picture below.

Valuehunta® analysis methodology

What to look for in a perfect gas grill

Let’s take a closer look at our list of criteria. We have listed the top 3 the most important criteria for any gas grill according to our research.

  1. Heating capacity is the most critical. You must be able to heat your gas grill fast and ignite it easily. And that’s not all. We all want our meals to cook equally, so even heat distribution is also a must. And don’t forget about fire safety. Dripping grease can cause a flare-up, which could result in a fire. We have heard enough stories about fires, so we insist that you pay attention to this and have therefore included it in our list.

The best heating capacity goes to the Char-Griller E3001 Grillin’ Pro (review), which not only heats quickly but also has side burners with great functioning. Other gas grills also show high results in this category, however, the heat output can sometimes be inconsistent that can lead to problems in retaining temperature.

  1. The next important criterion is the construction. Here we include the material from which the body and frame are made and elements of the right size so they connect without problems and your meals (e.g. vegetables) don’t fall through. As almost all grills are kept outdoors all year round, protection from mice and rain is important.

The Weber Q3200 Liquid Propane Grill (review) is on top as it’s made from aluminum which reduces the possibility of corrosion and that can’t be said about the Char-Griller E3001 Grillin’ Pro (review) as its steel frame can corrode in a couple of years. Also, Weber’s grates are designed to hold the vegetables inside the grill, so they don’t fall out. 

  1. Size closes our top-3 important criteria. We found that most people are looking for grills to feed 2-6 people, so they don’t need extra-large party grills. 

Also, a perfect gas grill should take up little space —  the compact Fuego Element F24C (review) is the best example. The Weber Q3200 Liquid Propane Grill (review) is also a good example as it has drop-down shelves but its cooking surface isn’t as big as the Fuego’s.

Additional factors to pay attention to while choosing a gas grill

  • Cooking surface — a single piece and a solid unit, perfectly fits the amount of food cooked as it is advertised 
  • Wheels — look for those which are comfortable to move around and can be locked
  • Handle — easy to open, shouldn’t be made of metal to avoid skin burns
  • Easy to clean — a grill is a perfect place for microorganisms to multiply, take care of your health and look for grills that have an easy to clean surface
  • Tray for grease — to collect grease during cooking, should be easy to replace
  • Duration of use — means no signs of corrosion or wearing out 
  • Hose to the propane tank — better to have a long one so one is not limited during cooking and it should be easy to put together
  • Grates — are held in place so you will not spill your meal
  • Infrared technology — provides your meal with a delicious taste
  • Evenly applied paint that does not swell

Now let’s go through our selected models.

A detailed review of each model

Weber Q3200 Liquid Propane Grill — the best construction for outdoor cooking

Weber Q3200

Category winner: the best construction for outdoor cooking

✅Pros:
  • The metal is of high quality
  • Light and takes up little space
  • Heats almost as fast as Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared (review) 
  • Even heat distribution
  • No flare-ups
  • Easy to assemble
⛔️Cons:
  • Long waiting for replacement parts if you need them

If you are used to keeping your grill outdoors, then this one will be your trusted friend. It is made from aluminum, which minimizes the possibility of corrosion. Our research shows that when properly used even a 5-year-old version doesn’t have any signs of rust or wear out. The frame and grates design will prevent your vegetables from falling through, so they won’t burn or go to waste. And also, it’s the only gas grill with a handle light, which is cozy when you cook in the evening.

As we have mentioned, Weber Q3200 is suitable for a small yard and has drop-down shelves. This grill is small and you can grill an entire roast. Its size is compact, but if you’re limited with space there are compact models such as the Fuego Element F24C (review). Another advantage of the considered model is to work without flare-ups. Electronic ignition, built-in lid thermometer, and infinite control burner valves —  these together protect your food from burning. 

Fuego Element F24C Carbon Steel Gas Grill — the most practical size

Fuego Element F24C

Category winner: the most practical size 

✅Pros:
  • The most compact model
  • Enormous cooking surface; bigger than in Weber Q3200 (review)
  • Contains the propane tank nicely and solidly
  • Easy to move
  • Wheels can be locked
  • Customer-oriented client service
⛔️Cons:
  • Paint forms bubbles
  • Built-in thermometer functions intermittently. For a digital thermometer look here.
  • Heats slower than others: needs around 20 min to heat

In regards to the sizing, we paid attention to the grilling and cooking surface. The first thing that catches your eye in the Fuego Element F24C is its untraditional form. Being taller rather than wider, will save your yard space. More than half of the reviews noted the design, minimalism, and compactness of this model. The cooking surface is enormous and of high quality. 525 sq. in. grilling surface provides you with the ability to grill 20 quarter-pound burgers at once. For comparison, the Weber Q3200 (review), with the biggest LxWxH parameters, has a 393 sq. in. grilling surface. 

One more advantage is the wheels. Thanks to them the grill is easy to move, so it can be relocated without difficulty. They can be locked in space and that means that your grill will not move suddenly and it’ll be stable when in use. Attention: don’t move or touch the grill while it is hot.

Char-Griller E3001 Grillin’ Pro — the best heating capacity

Char-Griller E3001 Grillin’ Pro

Category winner: the best heating capacity

✅Pros:
  • Heats quickly
  • The side burner works as good as the front one
  • The original gas tube will last for 10 years
  • Instant ignition
  • Grates don’t slide to the sides
⛔️Cons:
  • Retains the temperature but not as effectively as in the Weber Spirit II E-310 (review)
  • You will need to get the hang of the temperature control
  • Sometimes the grates may fall because of a small lip to support the grates 

One of the main criteria in any grill is its heating capacity. Without it, you won’t be able to cook at all. All our selected grills have a good heating capacity, but the Char-Griller E3001 Grillin’ Pro is the best of the best. 80% of users note that it gets hot very fast with the help of 40,800 BTU main burners and a 12,000 BTU side burner. Also, the Weber Q3200 (review) gets the maximum points in this category, however, it has only 21,700 BTU. All burners of the Char-Griller E3001 Grillin’ Pro work evenly and have smooth control. Maybe you will need time to get the hang of the temperature control but then you’ll be able to cook meals of all difficulty.

What also makes this grill stand out from others is its grates. According to our research, they will last for around 2 years and more. Of course, they can rust (as any metal grates) but proper care will prolong their life. Also, the grates have little pins to hold them in place and not slide to the sides. Moreover, over each flame, there is a protection plate, which helps reduce the number of flare-ups if the grease drops from the food. Unlike the Weber Spirit II E-310 (review) this grill’s plates are not made of aluminum, so they are a little bit heavier and can rust quicker but still, they will protect your food from burning.

Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared 3-Burner Cart Style Gas Grill — the quickest cooking

Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared

Category winner: the quickest cooking      

✅Pros:
  • Has the infrared technology that provides food with delicious taste
  • Heats fast 
  • Flare-ups are less possible than in the Char-Griller E3001 Grillin’ Pro (review) and the Weber Spirit II E-310 (review)
  • Easy to control the heat
  • Perfect for 4 people
  • Extremely easy to assemble
⛔️Cons:
  • Holes in the grate may get clogged
  • Poor customer service
  • Difficult cleaning

If you’re looking for modern and quick methods of cooking, this grill is for you. It not only has a propane tank but also infrared technology. Thanks to this technology you can cook anything with maximum ease and confidence. Remember we mentioned perfect flare-ups protection in the Char-Griller E3001 Grillin’ Pro (review) and the Weber Spirit II E-310 (review)? The infrared technology creates between the food and flame a barrier as it first fries the top layers of meat and then comes to the middle. This way the fat does not drip on the grates and there are no flare-ups. This technology retains all the minerals and vitamins in the food as infrared heat is akin to solar heat and is the most wholesome for humans. Your steaks will never burn or dry again.

And it’s not all about this model. If you haven’t ever assembled a gas grill, this one will be the easiest for you to begin with. The whole process will take around 30 minutes of your time. For comparison, you will need 1-2 hours to assemble both Weber grills. More than 60% of Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared users noted the ease of assembly and only 10% said that they had some troubles as the diagrams weren’t clear for them. If you have some problems with the assembly, you can always find video instructions.

Weber Spirit II E-310 – the best at retaining temperature

Weber Spirit II E-310

Category winner: best at retaining temperature

✅Pros:
  • Keeps temperature steady
  • Heats fast
  • Comes equipped for natural gas
  • Even heat distribution
  • No flare-ups
  • Perfect size for 2-6 people which is bigger than in the Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared (review)
⛔️Cons:
  • The assembly has 48 steps and is more intensive than in the Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared (review)
  • Difficult to regulate temperature
  • Poor customer support

We’ve already mentioned the importance of heating capacity. The Weber Spirit II E-310 heats fast: at 600°F (approx. 316°C) in 10 minutes. This temperature is enough to fry a boneless, skinless chicken thigh in 8-10 minutes. But what is more important is that it also retains the temperature with just one burner on a low setting. Thanks to this you can cook meat more evenly allowing it to roast from all sides. A good heating capacity is also achieved with the material of the grill. This one is porcelain- enameled which makes it the heaviest among other gas grills but even the Char-Griller E3001 Grillin’ Pro (review) doesn’t retain the temperature so well. 

One more feature is the nonmetal handle. This grill retains the heat so well that you will not realize how hot it is until you open the lid. In many grills, you can face a problem trying to find a potholder not to burn your fingers. It makes us happy that Weber thought about this and found an easy solution. You just have to open the lid to check on your meal without worrying about burning your fingers.

For your best experience

Supplements & accessories to make your cooking process easier 

It’s not a secret that your passion for cooking and inspiration is the most important in the cooking process. But we know how to make it easier and a pleasant experience. Here are the small secrets of all hosts and hostesses thanks to which their grilling is easier, faster, and more comfortable. 

Toolset and Grill basket

Cuisinart CGS-W13 Wooden Handle Tool Set

You no longer have to run around looking for all the tools as they are stored in one place. Pay attention to sets in a case as they are more practical to keep. For example, this toolset has the most common tools like a spatula, tongs, brush, fork, kabob skewers, and corn cob holders. 

Grillaholics Heavy Duty Grill Basket



Save your time: put all vegetables in the basket and grill them together with the meat. Everything will hold nicely in place and won’t scatter around. 


Meat thermometer and Marinade injector

KULUNER Waterproof Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer

No more doubts about whether your barbecue is ready or not. Use a meat thermometer and your steaks will always be tender and delicious. 

Ofargo 304-Stainless Steel Meat Injector

Add a special taste to your meat with a marinade injector. Cook the most delicious Thanksgiving Christmas turkey, beef brisket, pork, lamb, chicken, goose, or duck by injecting sauce straight into the meat instead of pouring on top.

Meat claw and Grill gloves

The Original Bear Paws Meat Claws

Pull apart large cuts of meat easily. Note: heat-resistance is a must-have. Forget about knives and forks, just tear apart.

Homemaxs BBQ Gloves


Take care of your hands. You’ll need heat-resistance gloves if your gas grill doesn’t have a non-metal handle. 

Cleaning and care products

Rust, grease, and stuck food…here is the other side of the coin. But we know how to deal with it. Look through our list of cleaning and care products.

Grill cover and Grill Brush

iCOVER Grill Cover 55in, 600D Heavy Duty

The cover will protect your grill from rain, snow, and temperature changes. It will not rust for a long period and you will stay satisfied with the functionality of your device. 

GRILLART Grill Brush and Scraper 18 Inch


Clean your grill faster.
Now with just one stroke, you can clean a larger area without any problem.

Grill cleanser, Grate scrape and Apron

Goo Gone Grill and Grate Cleaner




Grill cleaner in addition to a brush will make your gas grill shine like a new one in a short time. Our choice is safe for food-prep surfaces. 


XIANGMIER Stainless Steel BBQ Grill Scraper

Be sure that next time you won’t see leftovers of burnt food on the grill grates. It isn’t esthetic, is it? A grill scraper will deeply and effectively clean debris and hard-to-clean smudges.

Weber 6533, Black Apron, Custom-fit




Last but not least. Take care not only of the cleanliness of the gas grill but also of your own. Be a real chef — don’t be afraid of grease and stains.

Typical mistakes while choosing a gas grill

  • The most typical mistake is to look only at the number of BTUs. Yes, this number will provide you with information on how much power the unit can create. But do not forget to compare the size of the grill with BTUs, as a bigger gas grill needs more power than a smaller one for the same process.
  • Trying to use another type of fuel. Remember: you can use a natural gas grill for propane gas but you cannot do the opposite: use a propane gas grill for natural gas. However, the Internet is full of conversion guides. This is a dangerous process and we DO NOT recommend it for your safety.  
  • Not having enough propane. It is offensive to stop grilling because of a lack of fuel. Experienced cooks tell us that it is better to have 2 propane tanks in reserve.
  • Putting a grill outside in a beach area and expecting it will not rust. It will as the climate is very humid. Use a grill cover and clean your grill regularly. 
  • Sizing. Pay attention to the parameters of each gas grill to find the right size for your location.
  • Planning to put a grill in illegal or dangerous locations. Balcony, roof, the side of your house, and deck —  forget about grilling there as these places pose the most risk for fires.

Summary

There are some typical mistakes that people make while choosing a gas grill. We did research highlighting the most critical criteria to prevent these common issues. Heating capacity, construction, and the right size are things to look for at first. When you’re sure that these parameters match your plans and facilities then look further down the list: cooking surface, wheels, handle material, how easy the grill is to clean, trays for grease, and duration of use. We have also discovered accessories and care products that will make the process of both cooking and cleaning much easy, faster, and calmer.

Here you can find our top-5 best gas grills under $500, the best of their kind.

Weber Q3200Winner:
The best construction for outdoor cooking

Fuego Element F24CWinner:
The most practical size

Char-Griller E3001 Grillin' ProWinner:
The best heating capacity

Char-Broil Performance TRU-InfraredWinner:
The quickest cooking

Weber Spirit II E-310Winner:
The best at retaining temperature

FAQs

🤔How to choose a gas grill?

First of all pay attention to the heating capacity, size, and construction of your desirable gas grills. Also, keep in mind how often you want to cook and for how many people. It will help to understand which cooking surface you’ll need.

🥇What are the best gas grills?

The best gas grills under $500 in 2020 are:

  1. Weber Q3200 — the best construction for outdoor cooking
  2. Fuego Element F24C — the most practical size
  3. Char-Griller E3001 Grillin’ Pro — the best heating capacity
  4. Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared — the quickest cooking
  5. Weber Spirit II E-310 — best at retaining temperature

Find out more about the best gas grills in our article.

 

🔥How can I prevent flare-ups?

Look for protection plates in your gas grill. If it doesn’t have them, you can buy them separately. However, the best flare-ups protection provides infrared technology, for example, as in the Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared.

 

🥩Can I use a propane gas grill with natural gas?

It needs an additional conversion. This process itself is dangerous, and we DO NOT recommend doing it by yourself. Read the manual of your gas grill and consult with your gas provider.

🧼How to clean a gas grill?

Clean your grill each time after cooking and when it has cooled down. Use a grill brush, grate scrape, and grill cleaner for your best experience. We also recommend using a grill cover if your grill is outside.

 

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