It’s time to round up the best gas grills under $500 for 2018 (specifically between $300 – $500). This is a segment where there is not much change, with a few stalwart models ruling the roost.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though. Use the table of contents below to navigate this review, or just read everything from top to bottom.
- 1 What to Expect From a Gas Grill Under $500
- 2 The Lineup
- 3 Comparison Table
- 4 Final words on the best gas grill under $500
What to Expect From a Gas Grill Under $500
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 grilling 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 2018, starting with our favorite pick and moving down from there.
OUR TOP CHOICE GAS GRILL UNDER $500:
Weber Spirit II E210/E310
Yes, those are two 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 II 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 450-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. You get a total of 6 tool hooks on these tables, so you can keep plenty of grilling aids within arm’s reach.
Highlights of the grill include:
- doable assembly
- outstanding build quality
- good heat for two burners
- great cast iron grate
- compact with folding side tables
- GS4 grilling system
- iGrill 3 compatible
- 10 year warranty
The Weber Spirit II E210 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 cart could have been a bit sturdier though.
The Spirit II E210 is a worthy replacement for the trusty old Spirit E210, offering more grilling space, the same GS4 grilling system found on the high end Genesis II range and a fantastic warranty. The grill is also available in 4 different colors (I quite fancy the red myself), if you feel like taking a break from black and gray.
The Weber Spirit II E310
If you need more cooking room, the Weber Spirit II E310 is the bigger brother of the E210 with the same high quality construction. It offers a larger 529 square-inch cooking area and 3 burners giving a heat output of 30,000 BTU.
Any of these two products will give you many years of grilling delight, and these are the best gas grills under $500 that you can buy. 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 one is also available in 4 colors.
Weber Q3200 Portable Gas Grill
This is the baby of the batch and the only portable grill. The Weber Q3200 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 Q3200 is perfect for anyone who wants:
– top quality construction
– family-sized cooking space combined (only just) with portability
– smart, practical design
The Weber Q3200 is an excellent gas grill and maintains an 89% customer satisfaction ratio on Amazon.com. It is a reliable little beast of a grill that should give you many years of excellent service. Coming in at the same price as the excellent and larger E210 though, it’s got only its more compact size and its longer history of proven reliability and performance to recommend it.
Check out this post for more portable gas grills.
Char-Broil Signature TRU-infrared 525 4-Burner Grill
Char-Broil always has an excellent value proposition to offer, and the TRU-infrared 525 is no exception. This is a big 4-burner grill that offers excellent value in this price segment.
You get a full size grill with 525 square inch cooking area, plus a handy warming rack offering an additional 200 square inches. The stainless steel burners are stainless steel, so should last a good while. They offer 32,000 BTU across 4 burners, while the side burner offers 13,000 BTU.
Char-Broil’s “infrared” grills, of course, uses a special cooking grate above the burners that distributes heat more evenly, eliminates cold spots and prevents flareups. That sounds like big ideals, but it actually works pretty well and while being a total Weber man, I love the Char-Broil infrared system. I think you’ll enjoy it too once you try it.
The big drawback to this grill right out of the box is that it is not a very easy assembly. Some confusing instructions combined with a few hard to reach areas offers a few challenges, so have some help handy, preferably someone who has assembled gas grills before.
I have rust concerns about the cast iron grids, but time will tell if it gets to be a problem or not. As always with Char-Broil, you don’t get Weber construction quality, but you do get a very capable grill that produces excellent results. This is a good choice in this segment if a larger grill is what you fancy, coming in at between $400 and $500.
Dyna-Glo 5-Burner 62,000 BTU Gas Grill
Dyna-Glo has been in the grill market for a number of years now, and has proven to be a popular lower cost brand. 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 DGE Series 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, although there’s not a whole lot of stainless steel going on (much of the steel is painted to look stainless), so you’ll get rust damage eventually.
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 450-550 degrees. The gap can of course be covered with a bit of simple home-made modifying.
If high heat grilling is your thing, this may not do the trick, although it does heat up fast on full blast. Otherwise, this is an good grill at a decent price, but you won’t get nearly the mileage out of it that you would a Weber. You get a 1 year overall warranty and a 5 year warranty on the burners.
|Weber Spirit II E210 / E310||Weber Q3200||Dyna-Glo 5-Burner||Char-Broil TRU-INFRARED 525|
|Total Cooking Space (Sq. Inch)||450 / 529||393||708 total||525 + 200 rack|
|Heat (BTU)||26,500 / 30,000||21,700||50,000||32,000|
|Side Burner||No / No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Burners||2 / 3||2||5||4|
|Cooking Grates||Porcelain-enameled cast iron||Porcelain-enameled cast iron||Stainless steel||Cast iron infrared|
|Customer Satisfaction Rating||87%||89%||65%||77%|
|Price Range||$350 – $400 /
$450 – $500
|$350 – $450||$330 – $400||$400 – $450|
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 II E310. For about $100 more than you’d pay for the two-burner E-210, you get three burners and more cooking space. If you don’t need the extra space of course, the E210 will do you just fine. These two grills are in a class of their own with regards to construction quality and durability in this segment.
As a more portable option the Weber Q3200 makes a lot of sense and offers you Weber reliability and performance, along with a decent amount of cooking space. It weighs about 20 pounds less than the E210.
Finally, the behemoths. They offer great value IF you need the space. If you want to entertain on a grand scale, this is probably where you should look. I think the Char-Broil TRU-infrared 525 is an excellent choice. Again, it won’t last as long as a Weber, so there is a payoff.
Hopefully the information on this page will help you choose the grill that is right for you!