A $500 budget for a new gas grill provides you with so several options, but which grills are actually worth that amount. At Angry BBQ we prefer companies that have a proven track record and use quality materials. That is why we have chosen a Weber for a third year in a row. We feel the best gas grill under $500 in 2023 is the Weber Spirit II E-210 gas grill.
Previously we had chosen the Weber Spirit II E-310 which is slightly larger than the E-210, but due to inflation and rising freight costs from the Pandemic, many grill prices have increased, including the Spirit II E-310 which moved it beyond the $500 limit.
Even though the Spirit II E-210 is smaller than the E-310, you are still receiving a very high quality grill for a fare price in todays market. Read below to learn why we chose the E-210.
There are other options that offer quality under the $500 mark. Read on to see our top picks.
|Weber Spirit II E-210||CHECK PRICE|
|Broil King Gem 320||CHECK PRICE|
|Char Broil TRU infrared||CHECK PRICE|
|Royal Gourmet Classic||CHECK PRICE|
|Camp Chef 600 Griddle||CHECK PRICE|
Table of Contents
Our Top Picks of Gas Grills Under $500
1. Weber Spirit II E-210 Review
What We Like…
- Large Grease Tray
- Porcelain Enameled, Cast Iron Cooking Grates
- Infinity Ignition (push-start)
- Weber Reliability
What Makes Us Angry…
- iGrill 3 Sold Separately
- No Side Burner
Weber is undoubtedly one of the best brands known to mean business when it comes to their appliances. The Weber Spirit II E-210 is the upgraded version of the Weber Spirit, with marked changes.
Weber Spirit II Design and Build
To begin with, the Weber Spirit II E-210 has an elegantly designed body that is compact and easy to store. This three burner grill is designed with a spacious grilling area equipped with side tables for holding serving trays, and tool hooks for hanging your tongs and spatula.
The body of the grill is a heavy-duty porcelain-enameled stainless steel unit with ample space to store grilling accessories. Other components like the grates and flavor bars are made of cast iron coated with enamel.
The Weber Spirit II E-210 comes with 2 large wheels and two solid legs that help hold the unit in place and can be easily navigated. It features 2 burners that are spaced evenly to distribute heat across the grates.
Weber Spirit II Cooking Performance
The cast iron in the grates that help heat retention coupled with the porcelain, are a griller’s dream come true. There are angled flavorizer bars positioned below the gates to cover the burner to protect them from spills. These are designed to vaporize the dripping juices to create the much loved BBQ taste by wafting it back to the meat cooking above.
This version of the Spirit series uses an effective grease management system that prevents flare-ups and excessive smoking. Using infinity ignition, the front knobs that control the burner is controlled by a push-button that helps control all knobs easily.
In short, Weber Spirit II-210 is everything you could be looking for if you’re planning to up your grilling game. With it’s compact body, user friendly systems and great cooking efficiency, this could just as well be your next buy.
2. Broil King Gem 320 Review
What We Like…
- Cast-iron cooking grates perfect for getting great grill marks
- Side shelves are perfect for prep space while folding down for storing the grill
- Three dual-flame burners allowing for a high degree of temperature control
What Makes Us Angry…
- Packaging could be a bit more robust as some customers state damage on arrival
Broil King Gem 320 Design and Build
The Broil King Gem 320 checks in at 426 total sq in of cooking space with 294 sq in of primary space. The primary space is covered by cast iron grids, perfect for getting great grill marks on steak and burgers. The cooking area is heated by three stainless steel burners capable of putting out a total of 24,000 BTUs of heat. Broil King ensured that the entire cooking chamber would be properly heated through two methods.
- One, each burner has ports on both sides to help spread the flames out for more even heating.
- The Gem 320 also boasts Broil King’s Flav-R-Wave system. The system protects the burners with stainless steel coverings that catch the drippings and turns them into vapor and smoke to help add flavor. The system also helps distribute the heat from the burners evenly to try and limit unintentional hot and cold spots across the grill.
Broil King stands behind the long-term quality of this grill from the aluminum cook box to the zinc-coated steel components. The cook box is protected by a 10-year warranty while the burners have a five-year warranty and all other parts are covered by a two-year warranty.
Overall the Gem 320 is a quality product from a manufacturer that knows how to build high end gas grills. It is at the lower level of their model lineup, but you are getting value and something that will provide long term reliability.
3. Char Broil Performance Tru Infrared 3-Burner Review
What We Like…
- 3-Burner Control
- Push to Start Electronic Ignition
- TRU Infrared Side Burner
What Makes Us Angry…
- Not as Easy to Clean as Competitors
- Some Complaints of Finish Quality
Char-Broil has also moved their prices up since the Pandemic. In 2021 we selected the 4-burner model of this grill, and that is now above $500. We have selected the 3-Burner for 2023 as it comes in under $500.
It is known among grillers that infrared grills are a better deal than gas grills as they heat more uniformly and prevent flare-ups. With the addition of the infrared element, these grills are more efficient and work quicker than conventional grills. Let’s have a look at the Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared 3-Burner Cabinet Style Gas Grill.
If you’re working on a tight budget and are looking to invest on a grill, Char-Broil is the product you want even when costs are increasing on energy and food because of new policies. With that said, everyone has to eat and you may as well have a better experience and result when cooking a meal. It’s good to note that while their grills are good, it’s hard to get something very durable in their price range.
Char-Broil Build and Design
This Char-Broil commercial series product features TRU-Infrared technology that provides even heat distribution and prevents flare-ups. The result- An “Oh, so juicy!” meal. Of a sleek stainless steel build, the body is a sprawling 450 sq. ft. cooking space with four main burners and a side burner. This works especially great for large gatherings. A push-to-start electronic ignition assures quick start-ups every time. The Char-Broil comes with a 1-year limited grill guarantee and a 10-year burner guarantee.
A side shelf attached to the body is handy to keep your grilling tools close by, they also give you space to prepare your meal. This unit is equipped with a warming rack that helps maintain your food at serving temperature till it is served. The porcelain-coated, cast iron grates are rust-resistant, easy to clean, and surprisingly durable.
Char-Broil Cooking Performance
A temperature gauge mounted on the lid provides an accurate reading on the temperature inside without drying out your food. This grill comes with a dual-fuel conversion kit (that is sold separately), that helps in easy conversion from propane to natural gas. This gives you the freedom to choose your mode of cooking.
Overall you get this grill for a great price and you also receive the Infrared burner which is usually only available on more expensive grill lines. Decent option amongst this group.
4. Royal Gourmet Classic Review
What We Like…
- Large Cooking Area
- 6 Burner Control
- Swing Away Warming Rack
What Makes Us Angry…
- Thin Gauge Metal Construction
- Cleaning Grease Trap Problematic
Let’s take a look at the Royal Gourmet Cabinet Propane Gas 6-Burner Grill to see how it fares among others of its kind.
Royal Gourmet Build and Design
True to its name, this grill is all about recreating the gourmet experience – right in your backyard. It is one of the best grills out there for its price, whether you are looking at conventional gas grills or infrared. It comes with a rich, glossy stainless steel exterior, and a double layered lid that guarantees maximum heat retention. The body of the grill provides for primary cooking space of 598 sq. inches supported by a rust-resistant swing-away warming rack. The entire unit measures up to 797 sq. in., supporting a secondary cooking area of 199 sq. in.
It features 5 individually controlled stainless steel tube burners, a U-shaped searing burner and a lidded side burner. While the searing burner efficiently locks in the juices to create the barbeque flavor, the lidded side burner is perfect for preparing sauces and side dishes which can even make a vegetarian switch sides.
Royal Gourmet Cooking Performance
The porcelain coated cast iron grates evenly distribute heat and help give a wonderful finish to the food. Fitted with an electronic ignition system, this grill starts with an easy-breezy push of a button. On top of this, it employs an efficient oil management system that helps manage spills and eliminate grease, making it easier to clean.
A built in thermometer accurately reads temperature fluctuations inside the unit. What’s more, a grill cabinet designed to hold your grilling necessities makes working on this grill more fun. The Royal Gourmet 6-Burner grill comes with 4 lockable casters that helps move it smoothly around.
The Royal Gourmet Cabinet Propane Gas 6-Burner Grill fits in perfectly with any occasion, be it a small family dinner or large gathering. It is highly efficient and meets your needs of a comfortable and convenient barbeque experience without having to compromise of the flavor of your food.
5. Camp Chef 600 Griddle Review
What We Like…
- Unmatched versatility on this list as you can grill on the grates or put the flat top on and use it as an outdoor griddle
- Outstanding 501 sq in of cooking space
- Four burners capable of putting out a total of 48,000 BTUs
What Makes Us Angry…
- Combination of size and only two wheels makes it harder to move around
- No lid like a standard gas grill to create a convection cooking effect
Camp Chef Design and Build
You may find yourself wondering why a flat top grill is on this list. That’s because Camp Chef has a version of their Flat Top 600 that includes grill grates so it can double as a gas grill. So you can have the versatility of a large flat top grill and a large gas grill all in one package.
As a gas grill, the Flat Top 600 boasts 501 sq in of cooking space, plenty for the biggest summer cookout. The large cooking area is fueled by four burners capable of 48,000 total BTUs. Each burner is protected by a metal tent so drippings don’t end up clogging the burners. This also can lead to those drippings vaporizing for a little more flavor added to your food.
Then you factor in the large 604 sq in flat top griddle, and you’ve got unmatched versatility for a gas grill. That means you could conceivably cook every single meal in one day on the same piece of equipment without needing to purchase additional pieces of cookware.
However, there is one small drawback to using the Flat Top 600 as a gas grill compared to the other grills on this list. It does not include a lid. That means you do not have a convection process for cooking your food. All you have is the heat from the burners cooking the one side of whatever you are grilling. This means that larger pieces of meat require a bit more care to ensure they are cooked to the proper doneness, but if you’re someone who enjoys their burgers rare or medium-rare, that will be no issue at all.
For a more in-depth look at the Camp Chef Flat Top 600, check out our review.
Not your traditional gas grill, but a very affordable and versatile option worth considering. You get a great flat top griddle, and if you want to grill or sear a protein, the included grill grates make it an option.
How to Choose a Great Grill
Finding a great grill on a budget of $500 or less still leaves a lot of good options on the table. We will go over the key features to focus on to ensure you are getting a quality product for your money. Understanding what to look for and how different accessories add and take away from a gas grill is key.
Here we will go over the most important construction items that sets good grills apart: Burners, Flavor Bars, Grill Grates, Infrared and more.
Maximizing Versatility with Burners
Many people have the misconception that having more burners is only for larger grilling areas. That is true but also somewhat false. It is important to consider the number of burners for how versatile your grilling needs are. If you plan on only grilling one type of food on your grill at a time or only grill for small groups of people, a grill with two burners would probably suffice. On the other hand, if you enjoy grilled vegetables, meat, and fish all at once, then you might want to consider finding a gas grill with more than two burners. Even if you enjoy cooking multiple different types of meat, having more burners provide you the ability to have different heat zones or even allow indirect heating. Indirect heating works great for cooking low and slow where you want more of a convection cook vs a direct cook. Think of a rotisserie grilled chicken, you do not want the chicken close to the ignited burners to cook evenly.
The amount of burners also aids in how well the grill will keep even heat across the grilling space. Higher quality grills will also use burners that burn evenly and will not fail after years of use. In this review we look at the burners each grill uses in detail.
Gas Grill Grate Options
The main stage of the grill is the grids. The grids are the interface where your meat meets heat. They are exposed to tremendous amounts of heat and need to me manufactured out of reliable materials. They also need to be made of a material that can be easily cleaned and ready for the next use. The two popular grid materials used today are Stainless Steel and Cast Iron. Here we will explain the pros and cons of each.
Stainless Steel Grill Grates
Stainless steel is a very common grid metal and is found in several different types of gas grills. Stainless steel is a proven material in the grilling world and used in a lot of grills today. They conduct heat quickly and are quite easy to clean. Some of the drawbacks to stainless steel grates are a lower life expectancy vs cast iron and they eventually lose their non-stick ability.
Cast Iron Grill Grates
Cast iron grates have been used for decades and have proven to be a great option on the grill. They take longer to heat up but when they are hot they retain their heat very well. They tend to create the best grill marks in your steaks as well. When properly maintained they can last longer than you. The only downside is their weight and they need more TLC when cleaning vs stainless steel grates.
Gas Grill Flavor Bars
One of the most important parts of a gas grill is the flavor bars. A high quality and well thought out gas grill will have flavor bars that will spread the heat evenly and keep flame ups to a minimum. These flavor bars are important in helping the grill give off an authentic charcoal smoky taste. When searching for your new grill, it is important to look for grills that have these flavor bars and that they are made of quality materials. Generally, the more flavor bars the better. This is a feature that sets good grills apart.
Infrared burners vs. Conventional
A feature that is gaining traction in the market is the side burner options available on gas grill models. Some will come with the conventional gas burner and some are now offering infrared burners.
Infrared burners use a unique design that still uses the propane or natural gas fed to the grill. The infrared burner will subject the gas flame to a ceramic tile that contains microscopic holes. This method converts the flame into infrared energy. The benefit is the intense heat this burner creates. Some of these burners can hit temps of over 700F which create a great heat source for searing meat. Conventional burners do not reach these high temps that infrared creates. Something to consider.
Why Choose A Gas Grill Over A Charcoal Grill
This is a hot topic of debate in the grilling world. There are many benefits to choosing a gas grill over a charcoal grill. The obvious benefits to gas grills is the easy ignition and startup of gas. A charcoal grill requires a more time consuming procedure of igniting the charcoal such as a charcoal chimney, electric charcoal torch or single use fire starters. We recently outlined the best ways to light your charcoal grill. If you’re going to be grilling with charcoal, you need to allow yourself more time for the cooking process. Lighting charcoal will take about 15-20 minutes total before you can add meat to your grill. Gas heat is instant and you can be grilling in a couple minutes.
That being said, charcoal has one solid advantage and that is the flavor it adds to your meat. It provides a slight smoky flavor that gas cannot replicate. Personally, if I have more time to grill, I’ll use my Weber Kettle and a chimney full of lump charcoal and I know I’m going to enjoy my meal. If time it tight or I’m grilling steak and I need a high searing heat asap, I’ll use my gas grill. Personally I own a Broil King Regal S590 Pro.
One other advantage to propane or natural gas grills is the constant heat source. You can really regulate your heat easily on a gas grill. Charcoal heat can fluctuate especially after the charcoal starts to burn down and you need to add some fresh charcoal. If you know how to manage your vents properly, you can keep an even heat but a gas grill is still much easier.
Should I consider a Pellet Grill
A Pellet Grill is another possible option that can be considered, especially at this price point. Recently we reviewed the top pellet grills under $500. Pellet grills can offer more versatility than a gas grill with the ability to smoke and sear, though searing temps can be a struggle on a pellet grill, some do it better than others.
Gas grills are convenient, easy to maintain, and can change the way you feel about grilling. In a moment’s notice, they can heat to searing temperatures and get you grilling quickly. The clear winner for the round-up is the Weber Spirit II E-210, because of the quality components used throughout the construction. It has the space, cast iron cooking grates, reliable ignition system and that Weber reputation that few companies have. The simple grease trap design makes it painless to clean out without getting yourself or the grill filthy. All this for just under $500 makes this a great value buy.