Whether you want to start grilling or add to your collection of grills, finding a new gas grill is exciting and with the amount of options available today, it can be a daunting task. Grilling is a great way to explore new flavors and aromas in your very own back yard. There is no reason to take out a loan or break the bank for quality gas grill. We are thrilled to help you know exactly what to look out for when shopping for the best gas grill under $500. 

Angry BBQ’s Top Pick

Broil King Porta-Chef 320
Top Features:

  • 3 burners that are stainless steel for over 400 square inches of cooking space. Flavor wave protects the burners and covers more area than other gas grill models.
  • Flow valve with 180-degree rotation, easy to control the heat in and out
  • Cast iron grids for easy cleaning and can be removed very easily
  • Protection plan available, there is a 1, 3 and 5-year warranty
  • Relatively lightweight at only 52 pounds 
  • Easy to fit in the car with foldable legs compared to those with wheels 

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 set good grills apart: Burners, Flavor Bars, Grill Grates, Infrared and more.

ModelCategory
Weber Spirit II E 210Best Mid-GradeCheck Amazon
Weber Q3200Best Runner-upCheck BBQ Guys
Fuego ProfessionalBest CompactCheck BBQ Guys
Char-Broil Classic 360Best Budget FriendlyCheck Amazon

Broil King Porta-Chef 320BEST OVERALLCheck BBQ Guys
Char-Broil Professional 4 BurnerMid-Grade Runner upCheck Amazon

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.

Grill Grates 

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 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 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.

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.

BBQ Flavorizer
Broil King Flavorizer Example

Infrared burners vs. Conventional

A feature that is gaining traction in the market is the side burner available on may 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 to this 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 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.


Grills Under $500 To Consider

1. Weber Spirit II 210 2 Burner

Pros: 

  • Features porcelain-enameled cast-iron grates that are durable for years to come, less chance of rusting and replacing. These are the gold standard for grids.
  • Two large wheels to easily transport and move the grill. Overall very lightweight to transport. 
  • GS4 grilling system which features four parts for an easy and satisfactory grilling experience. The 4 parts are quick ignition, burners, flavorizer bars, and grease management
  • A convenient warming rack for toasting buns, and preparing a several course meal
  • Folding Side Table for adding or saving space and is ideal for tight quarters. Additionally, side tables with integrated hooks for easy access to grill tools 
  • Various color options available 
  • 10-year warranty through Weber

Cons: 

  • On this grill, there are only three flavor bars for two burners. Fewer flavor bars means less protection for the burners and most likely less trapped flavors for your meat
  • The gas tank is exposed. First off this is not very aesthetically pleasing and takes away from valuable storage space under the compartment. 

A company that is known for its commitment to grilling is Weber. This classic name comes with a high-quality grill experience that for under $500 can happen. This gas grill is the best propane grill for under $500 due to its wide array of features. The propane grill has porcelain enameled cast iron grids that are fantastic for years of intense grilling. The grids are made to stay in great condition grill after grill, without rusting and breaking. When it comes to grills, I find that having high-quality grids is one of the more important factors to consider.

Additionally, this grill features ample space for your tools and is compatible with smaller areas. The folding table is a great asset especially for those who like to store their grills in the winter. Since we are talking about storing grills, this Weber is easy to transport. With large wheels, this gas grill can easily be taken from point A to point B whether that is your garage or another area in your backyard.

The grilling system that Weber has designed is a well thought out grilling system. There are four components that allow for an easy experience with a gas grill, whether you are a novice griller or a well-seasoned one. The GS4 grilling system features quick ignition, burners, flavorizer bars, and grease management. Focusing on the last factor of grease management, this one stands out to me. Nowadays, many other grills have quick ignitions, burners, and flavor bars but grease management is a very important piece of the puzzle to prevent grease from clogging up burners.



2. Weber Q3200 Propane Gas Grill

Pros: 

  • Two folding work tables which can add and take away space for ideal storage and maximizing room. This grill is compact enough to take along on tailgates and to backyard parties. 
  • Removable grease catch pan for cleaning 
  • The porcelain-enameled cast-iron grid that is durable and long-lasting
  • The ideal distance between the grids and the burners allowing for well distributed and even cooking
  • An aesthetically pleasing tank screen so the propane tank isn’t in the wide-open view
  • Features a Grill Out handle light that allows for the ease of grilling at nighttime 
  • 5-year warranty for most of the parts (burners, grid, and flavorizer)

Cons: 

  • No warming rack for toasting buns and cooking in sequence
  • Not an ideal size for those who like versatility and have many people in their family. It most likely cannot accommodate more than 4 people 
  • Difficult to access the grease catcher, causes more spills and clean up in the long run 

As for another trusted Weber design, this Weber Q3200 offers several unique features to turn up the heat on your grilling experience. This propane grill is an ideal size for a smaller family and features two burners. The grill is easily moveable and compact compared to several other types of bulky gas grills. It features porcelainized cast iron grill grids which are durable for many years of grilling to come. It also features a grease catch pan which is removable for cleaning. 

What makes this Weber unique compared to others is its compact design. There are two side tables on each side that can be folded down when not being used. Additionally, the propane tank has a screen in front of it so it is hidden carefully from view. There are two wheels that can easily transport and move the grill when you plan to put the grill away or to use it at a tailgate. 

This Weber grill is right for those who have a smaller family and don’t plan on being very versatile while cooking. Since there are only two burners, the options for cooking several different types of meat and vegetables at once is limited. This gas grill is ideal for those who want a simple, high-quality grill with no frills.



3. Fuego Professional

Pros: 

  • Quick and easy assembly in less than 30 minutes
  • Warming rack and main grill rack for a dual grilling experience
  • Sleek design that can fit in any tight space and is ideal for tailgating
  • Heats up to 500 degrees in less than 5 minutes with a click of a button 
  • 45 degree angled hatched lid design. This helps prevent you from reaching over the grill and potentially burning yourself when trying to open it. 
  • Clean up is hassle-free with a bowl shape design that funnels debris into one spot. All of the leftover debris falls right into the residue bowl and is removable.
  • 4 wheels that can roll the grill without having to pull on it. The wheels lock in place and ensure that it is not going anywhere. 
  • Built-in thermometer to easily monitor the temperature while grilling

Cons: 

  • No side tables for preparation or handling while grilling. 
  • No hooks for grill tools, fewer accessories for more money compared to other gas grills under $500
  • No storage underneath or anywhere on this grill
  • The four wheels could potentially be a hazard if they are not locked while grilling. Not a very stable or kid-friendly design and workspace.

A sleek, bare-bones gas grill design called the Fuego Professional is a free-standing grill that is pleasing to the eye. The design is a unique take on gas grilling and offers no frills or complicated accessories to manage.

One of my favorite features of this grill is the thoughtful lid design. This grill works with the griller in mind, showing that safety is their number one concern. The unique 45-degree angle lid opens without you having to reach over the burning hot gas grill. This is designed to keep you safe while grilling. It opens smoothly with ease and prevents your forearm from even going over the top of the grill without you realizing it. 

Another one of my favorite features of this grill is the compact design and the simple user-friendly grilling experience. This straight forward design is ideal for those who are looking to be the grill master at a tailgate. It can easily be transported since there are no side tables, hooks, or frills that get in the way.

Lastly, this grill is compact but it doesn’t lack the necessities. For its size, it can be difficult to find other grills that are this size and feature a warming and toasting rack. The Fuego professional doesn’t lack on the factors that you value like a warming rack even though you prefer a compact design.

This gas grill is ideal for those that love tailgating and simple, user-friendly grilling. With no side tables and preparation stations, there are no bells and whistles that accompany this grill. The Fuego Professional focuses on safety with its 45-degree lid handle design and the capsule for a hidden propane tank.


4. Char-Broil Classic 360

Pros: 

  • Ample preparation space with two folding side tables
  • Features 3 burners for a versatile grilling experience. Ideal for grillers that enjoy cooking different types of vegetables and meat all at once 
  • In addition to the porcelain coated grids, this gas grill features a porcelain coated cover to prevent against heavy use 
  • Inexpensive compared to other gas grills, high value for the money
  • Inline burners with three flavor bars 
  • Includes a foldable warming and toasting rack 
  • Screen to hide the propane tank out of sight

Cons: 

  • Large spaces between the flavor bars, this means food and grease could slip through and potentially be more susceptible to damage 
  • Not ideal for tailgates, bulkier than other options to move around

This Char-broil Classic Grill is the best budget pick for a gas grill that is under $500. This gas grill comes with several features included in the affordable price and is one of the best propane and natural gas grills on the market. 

One of the best features of this grill is the ample space and number of burners it comes with for the price. This grill is ideal for families that need burner space but don’t want to necessarily pay for the extra space. The three burners allow for versatile grillers that enjoy cooking vegetables, meats, and deserts all at once. The burners are covered by separate flavor bars that increase the overall flavor and distribute heat evenly.

This grill also offers ample space for preparation while grilling. There are two folding tables that are included and are ideal for those versatile grillers that don’t want to empty their wallets. There is an option that allows you to add on a side burner if you’d like but this comes at an extra cost. However, it is always nice to have the option there to expand your burner space in the future if needed. 

Char-boil also includes a 5-year burner warranty which means that if anything were to happen to the burners, you are covered. This is a great option for those looking to stretch their money for years to come and could save you from a future problem. The Char-boil gas grill is a very affordable gas grill that offers simple accessories. 

5. Broil King Porta chef 320 3-Burner Gas Grill

Pros: 

  • 3 burners that are stainless steel for over 400 square inches of cooking space. Flavor wave protects the burners and covers more area than other gas grill models. This allows for more even heat distribution and overall more flavor
  • Flow valve with 180-degree rotation, easy to control the heat in and out
  • Fold-able legs for portability and comes with snap-on wheels 
  • Cast iron grids for easy cleaning and can be removed very easily
  • Protection plan available, there is a 1, 3 and 5-year warranty
  • Relatively lightweight at only 52 pounds 
  • Easy to fit in the car with fold-able legs compared to those with wheels 

Cons: 

  • Not very compact could be too large for some patios and families
  • No heating rack on the grill

This gas grill is perfect for lots of cooking space and offers a different type of portability for any occasion. The Broil King Porta Chef is ideal for families that need lots of space and room for versatility like vegetables and all sorts of meats. This gas grill is our selection for the best value grill because it includes lots of space and accessories for the price.

Some of my favorite features on this grill are the option toad wheels and folding legs. Sometimes, going to tailgates it is difficult to store a full-size grill with wheels in a car. It requires a larger car or some type of SUV. Since the legs on this one fold up, it is the size of a tabletop grill and can fit in any size car. This makes it especially useful for tailgates and my personal favorite for a tailgate gas grill.

Additionally, this grill offers high quality cast iron grids and features their flavor wave technology. These flavor bars that cover and protect the burners are full range meaning that they cover up more than just the burner. They extend between the spaces of the burner so there is maximum heat distribution. This can also have effects on the flavor and can enhance the smokiness of the food that’s being grilled.

6. Char-Broil Performance 4-Burner

Pros: 

  • 4 burners, great for large families and grillers that love to make a variety of food
  • Side burner for extra grilling space when needed
  • Warming rack for extra space to toast and keep food warm
  • The mid flame from the top to reinforce
  • Grease pan from the back opens up easily for cleaning. The grease pan covers the entirety of the tray 
  • All around sleek stainless steel design 
  • Comes with wheels attached for moving from one stop to another in your backyard

Cons: 

  • Has wheels to transport but very heavy coming in at 93 pounds
  • Not compactable, not ideal for small backyards or spaces

This heavy-duty gas grill offers power and performance to feed many people. This gas grill features 4 burners and a warming rack for maximal space and heat distribution. There is an interesting upper flame that can be used for good searing action on steaks and burgers. This is unique to this grill and isn’t very common. The upper flame can help crisp up any meat or vegetables for all-around even heating. This grill is ideal for those who need lots of different burners to cook vegetables, meats, and fish at one time.  

One of the best features of this grill is its ability to accommodate more cooking space on the side burner. This side table can double as a preparation table then maneuver into a side burner in moments. This means that more mouths can be fed if need be. 

This gas grill is ideal for those that like to host cookouts, big families, and enjoy making a variety of foods. I love the sleek all-around stainless steel design, it shows that it is high quality and can withstand the sometimes harsh conditions of cooking. It is a heavier grill to transport but it comes with wheels so you can move it if need be.



Conclusion 

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 Broil-King Porta Chef 320, due to its ability to be a sturdy at home gas grill and also the ideal on the go grill. This grill offers lots of space for preparation as well as 3 burners which provides power but portability. The flavor bars inside also cover the burners and a little extra across the burners to maximize flavor. Their flavor bar design is ideal for evenly distributed heat which can’t be found in the other grills on the list. Overall, it is important to find the right affordable, high-quality, and cheap gas grill to enjoy specific to your needs and lifestyle.

If you’re on a tighter budget check out our favorite grills under $200, or if you have a larger budget we reviewed top grills under $1000.

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