It’s time to round up the best gas grills under $500 for 2013 (specifically between $300 – $500). This year has seen Weber in particular releasing new versions of some of their trusted stalwarts in this price segment, like the new Spirit E-220 that improves on the Spirit E-210.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though. Before we get to the grills, just a quick note or two.
What to Expect From a Sub-$500 Gas Grill
This is an exciting price range for gas grills, as you have a pleasant variety of options to choose from. Want something portable? You got it. Want a party-sized behemoth? It’s here as well.
Indeed, the sizes you’ll get to choose from will vary wildly depending on brand and quality, ranging from the modest 360 square inches primary cooking surface of the Weber Spirit E210 to the massive 650 square inches of the Char Broil K6B.
Ultimately your choice will depend on your budget, requirements and the importance you attach to quality over quantity. We have isolated a winner in this price segment, but have a look at the other candidates as well.
Here are the best gas grills under $500 for 2013, starting with our favorite pick and moving down from there.
Yes, those are three grills, but the Spirit series grills are very similar in features and construction and all offer outstanding quality for under $500. Here’s a quick breakdown to explain the differences.
The Weber Spirit E210 is a full form, yet compact gas grill, perfect for anyone who has limited space (balconies and small patios come to mind).
Two stainless steel burners give you 26,500 BTU on a 360-square-inch cooking surface. The grates are porcelain-enamel covered cast iron. An electronic ignition gets your burners going without hassle, and you get two folding side tables.
In 2013 Weber released the Spirit E220, which has all the features of the E210, with the addition of a 12,000 BTU side burner built into the left side table. Despite being compact, the grill can accommodate a 20 pound turkey and features not only a useful temperature gauge, but also a very handy fuel gauge that will help you to roughly keep tabs on how much gas you have left.
Highlights of the grill include:
– very easy assembly
– outstanding build quality
– lots of heat for two burners (550 degrees in 10 minutes)
– great cast iron grate
– compact with foldable tables
– side burner on the new E220 model
The Weber Spirit E210/E220 is a great gas grill. It’s straightforward without frills, but have all the essential features you need to cook great food. Its compact size and great heat from two modest burners underline the quality design you’re dealing with here. A highly recommended grill if the cooking area suits your needs.
The E210 maintains a 4.6 star rating out of 5 on Amazon.com.
The Weber E310
If you need more cooking room, the Weber E310 is the bigger brother of the E210 with the same high quality construction. It offers a slightly larger 424 square-inch cooking area and 3 burners giving a heat output of 32,000 BTU. Again, it has no problem achieving and maintaining 500+ degree heat.
Any of these three products will give you many years of grilling delight, and these are the best gas grills under $500 that you can buy. Also consider the Spirit E320, which includes a side burner. You’re not likely to find it for under $500 though. Please note that the E310 may not always cost less than $500 either, but we did find it below that threshold at the time of this writing.
This is the baby of the batch and the only portable grill. The Weber Q320 offers 393 square inches of cooking area, powered by 21,700 BTU from two stainless steel burners. Your food will rest on porcelain-enameled cast iron cooking grates. You get an electronic ignition, fully adjustable burner valve, thermometer, drip pan and two removable folding tables with tool hooks.
Despite being called “portable”, this unit should be thought of more as striking the middle ground between portable and full sized. This is about as large as a portable grill can be before it’s not practically portable anymore. The Q320 is perfect for anyone who wants:
– top quality construction
– family-sized cooking space combined (only just) with portability
– smart, practical design
The Weber Q320 is an excellent gas grill and maintains a 4.6 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon.com.
Dyna-Glo is a fairly new entrant in the grills market, although they are part of the GHP Group, which has been making fire and heat related products (hearths, heaters, etc.) for a long time.
In this price segment, The Dyna-Glo DGE530BSP-D Gas Grill demands your attention. It is a 5-burner unit (50,000 BTU) with 530 square inches of primary cooking space, as well as a 12,000 BTU side burner. The total cooking area amounts to 708 square inches, so this is quite a large unit.
It offers stainless steel cooking grates, a warming rack and heat tents to add flavor and protect the burners. A handy slide-out holder for the propane tank is a nice touch.
There is a feel of quality about this product. Assembly instructions are well written, and all parts are individually packed. The grease tray slides out, making cleaning easy. The design offers a lot of depth which reduces flareups and gives you more space to work with the food on the grills. The grill gets hot fast and offers plenty of heat.
The big negative for this product is that it also has a gap at the back like the Char Broil unit below. A company representative said this is for safety to manage the heat, which is sort of dubious because a lot of heat is lost this way and the grill struggles to maintain 450 degrees.
If high heat grilling is your thing, this may not do the trick. Otherwise, this is a very well built grill at a decent price. You get a 1 year overall warranty and a 5 year warranty on the burners. We’ll recommend it over the Char Broil K6B (below) if you need a big gas grill for under $500.
The Char Broil K6B is an absolute beast of a grill. It gives you 900 square inches of total cooking space (650 square inch primary, 250 square inch warming rack), covered by 6 burners, a dedicated searing burner and a 10,000 BTU side burner (65,000 total BTU for the whole grill). The grill has porcelain-coated cast iron grates, electronic ignition and stainless steel lid, control panel, handle and doors. Four casters help you to move it around.
There’s no denying it: for the price, this is massive value if you’re in the market for a big grill for large family meals or social gatherings. It has an excellent grate and plenty of stainless steel in the construction, huge grill space and a searing burner.
Unfortunately, user feedback on this grill highlights a lot of issues: poor heat distribution, a big gap between the lid and the grates at the back where a lot of heat escapes, rust becomes a problem within the first year, not enough heat on the side burner, requires lots of cleaning.
We still believe the K6B has its merits and straight out of the box it is a good value grill. Lifespan is the problem here though and you’ll have to take a lot of trouble with maintenance to keep this grill in working shape for more than a couple of years.
Replacement parts aren’t cheap. Only consider this grill if you really need something this big. More size only equals more value if you’re actually going to use every inch of it.
The Char Broil K6B has an average rating of 3.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com and many people are quite content with it.
Final words on the best gas grill under $500
You now have at least 5 solid options for sub-$500 gas grills. Our personal choice for the best gas grill under $500 would be the Weber Spirit E220. It is not the biggest of the bunch, but it is a high quality grill perfect for personal use for a couple or a small family. If you don’t need the side burner, save some money and get the E210, or scale up to the larger cooking space of the E310.
Hopefully the information on this page will help you choose the grill that is right for you!