Gas grills are perhaps the most ubiquitous type of grills in today’s American kitchens and backyards.
Choosing the perfect one for your specific needs can be overwhelming, though, as you must consider so many factors, including size, BTU ratings, durability, ease of assembly, and the like. You’ve undoubtedly scoured the web at some point or the other to look at the multitude of gas grills to determine which one is best for your money.
In this review, we hope to shorten the grill-shopping process for you. We’ve done the research for you and will feature five of the best sub-$500 gas grills for their performance, durability, affordability, versatility, and ease of use.
Don’t Have the Time? Check Out Our Top Choice!
For its technology enhancement with a dedicated smartphone app for monitoring temperature, alluring, compact, and durable design, combined with excellent features for cooking all kinds of meat perfectly, the portable Weber Spirit II E-310 gas grill with three burners is our top recommendation.
- Large cooking surface, ideal for big families and social gatherings
- 8,000 BTU side burner for preparing sauces and other dishes
- Porcelain-coated grates make it easy to clean and prevent foods from sticking
- Stainless-steel burners enhance durability and performance, and they are corrosive-resistant, which gives you excellent value for your money
- Piezo ignition system ensures reliable and secure startups
- Two side shelves offer ideal preparation and storage space
- Two 6” wheels enhance portability
How to Pick the Perfect Gas Grill Under $500
To choose the very best gas grill for your taste and needs – at a price point of less than $500 – we have outlined the key features to consider before making your purchase:
Different heating and cooking components on gas grills serve a variety of purposes. These include burners (number and type) and a rotisserie.
The number of burners on a gas grill determines the amount of food it will cook in a given cook cycle. Smaller gas grills usually comprise at least two burners. The more burners, the more cooking capacity, and the more people you can serve at once.
Conventional burner gas grills are sufficient for cooking most meats. That said, meats that require more delicate preparation to bring out better-tasting, more tender meat, are best prepared using infrared grills, which also offer the convenience of faster cooking. A rotisserie cooks meat more slowly and at lower temperatures, yielding more tender results.
The construction of a gas grill is an essential determinant about how well your meat will cook and how long the gas grill will last. A sturdy gas grill with hardy, coated materials will last longer than gas grills comprising low-quality construction.
The individual components on the gas grill determine how efficiently it will retain heat, and how long the grill will last. A gas grill with a lid also ensures efficient use of fuel, as it retains heat inside the grill better when you’re cooking meat that requires a high-intensity flame. The retained heat is essential in preparing the inside of the meat and maximizing tenderness.
A warming rack uses the heat escaping from the grill to keep your cooked food warm, so you can serve your guests fresh, warm food every time.
Cooking grids or grates made of cast iron and coated with porcelain guarantee the best quality and even cooking. Stainless-steel grids, on the other hand, are the best for durability because they are less prone to rust and corrosion, retain heat well, and thus, cook meat better.
Gas-drip containers also are essential. These accessories collect meat juices, preventing them from reaching the burners and clogging them or causing flare-ups. Gas grills with side storage are excellent ways to expand your prep space away from the cooking area.
Open-cart designs and cabinet gas grills also offer extra storage. And gas grills that include digital thermometers are preferable for convenience.
Ease of Assembly and Ease of Use
Most gas grill covers come unassembled, requiring that you put them together.
Of course, no one wants to stand by a pile of parts for hours, trying to figure out which item fits where. Easy-to-assemble gas grills reduce the hassle that comes with complicated construction.
Convenience factors account for less mess and cleaning, which means more time to cook your delectable and interact with your guests. The easier it is to start a gas grill and use it lets you quickly become familiar with the controls and other features of the grill, so you can cook your food as precisely as possible.
Types of Burners
You’ll find three types of gas grill burners on the market today:
- Infrared burners
- Hybrid burners
Conventional-style burners come in various shapes, with dual-tube burners being best at heating your food evenly.
Infrared grates radiate high-intensity heat to the cooking surface, which the meat absorbs to cook evenly and thoroughly. As such, they cook food faster and sear meat better, making for the most flavorful barbecue. Infrared gas grills generally cost more than equivalent-quality conventional gas grills, but they are more energy-efficient. If you want to shop for best infrared grills, see our review.
If you want both conventional and infrared burners so you can choose the best type for each cut of meat or other dishes, consider a hybrid-burner gas grill, which usually has multiple conventional burners and an infrared one.
Being able to use your gas grill for multiple purposes is beneficial. A versatile gas grill gives you the ability to cooking a more extensive range of recipes.
These models will allow you to cook anything from breakfast to baked meals, lunches, searing, roasting, and braising. This versatility requires additional components that you place over the burners – including a grill box, griddle oven, and cooking pans, to open endless doors for recipe perfection.
Top 5 Gas Grills Under $500
This affordable stainless-steel Char-Broil Performance gas grill is one of the best budget infrared grills on the market – and our pick for the best overall gas grill for less than $500.
If you’re a steak lover, this is the grill for you!
It employs infrared technology to emit heat, ensuring that meat is cooked thoroughly on the inside. Infrared heating also is superior for searing – creating that beautiful, mouthwatering, crusty outer layer. Yum! Char-Broil also promises that its Tru-Infrared grilling technology makes your food up to 50 percent juicier.
The unique Tru-Infrared cooking grate on this grill encompasses 450 square inches cooking area, ensuring even heat distribution across the cooking surface. The high-intensity radiated heat cooks meat faster, too.
What’s more, the tiny holes on the infrared grate also prevent juices from trickling down onto the burners and causing flare-ups, and the small amount that does drip from the cooking surface is instantly vaporized and redirected to your food as smoke that flavors the meat. This Char-Broil grill also features an enclosed side burner that doubles as extra working and storage space when you’re not using the burner.
The grill-mounted temperature gauge on the lid monitors the heat temperature inside the unit, so you don’t have to keep disrupting the cooking process to check the temperature.
The two wheels on this unit make it easy to push the grill to your desired location in the backyard, while two stands on the opposite side hold the grill firmly in place.
- Instant, reliable ignition
- Cooks food perfectly and quickly, making for tender, juicy meat with a crispy outside
- Durable cooking grate
- Efficient fuel use
- Cleaning this grill can be challenging
This propane gas grill with rotisserie from Monument Grills offers real value for your money.
It has a sturdy build, tremendous stainless-steel design, and embraces the latest technologies. The grill comes unassembled, so you have to put it together – but it’s pretty easy to do. Its ignition is a simple, push-to-start, and the control knobs have LED lighting. The temperature gauge has Bluetooth connectivity, so you can monitor it from a smart device.
The cooking area on this baby measures 513.3 square inches and comprises cast-iron cooking grids that are coated with porcelain for enhanced durability. The warming rack above the grilling area ensures that your cooked food stays – or, alternatively, provide you additional room for cooking burgers. What’s more, you’ll find a rotisserie kit for spit-roasting just below the warming racks.
Four stainless-steel burners heat the main cooking area. The side burner also offers convenience for cooking sauces or other side dishes while providing extra storage space when you’re not using it.
- Easy, fast ignition
- LED lights on control knobs for visibility in the dark
- Heats to high temperatures quickly and cooks your food evenly
- Warming rack keeps cooked food fresh and gives you an option to prepared foods at low temperatures
- Prone to rusting
Talk about affordable gas grills that cook excellent barbecue recipes for large gatherings! The giant Royal Gourmet eight-burner gas grill is perfect for special events and big parties for as many guests as you’re hosting.
Assembly of the grill might not be as easy as you’d like, but it comes with a manual to walk you through the process.
Ignition of the burners is easy-peasy and works with every push. The large cooking surface can fit as much as five dozen burgers and includes two separate grilling areas.
Outdoor grilling exposes the open-top grill to the wind, though, which has the potential to affect the flame. But the Royal Gourmet gas grill has foldable windscreens for shielding against the breeze. Add to that dual, foldable side burners for prep and workspace and two tiers of shelves for extra storage.
The cooking grates guarantee even cooking across the entire cooking surface and help keep meat tender and juicy.
If you’re cooking for a lot of people, you’ll also create a lot of grease. The Royal Gourmet gas grill has two large grease-drip cups for increased capacity, so you can focus on grilling instead of changing out the drop pan repeatedly. Cleaning the drip containers is trouble-free, too.
The caster wheels on this gas grill ensure that, even though it’s quite large, it is easy to move, and it has lock-on wheels to ensure that it holds its position firmly when you get it where you want.
- Sturdy build for durability
- Convenient for cooking for small and large gatherings alike
- Foldable windshields for shielding against the wind
- Doesn’t come with a lid or warming rack
The first thing that catches the eye about the Megamaster Five-Burner gas grill is its exquisite, modern design.
Like most of the grills on our list, this grill comes unassembled. But putting it together is easy and relatively quick.
It is rectangular, with large side shelves, and a cooking area enclosed by a lid. The cart-style gas grill has a unique tank hole and lock for holding the propane tank. Its electronic ignition instantly starts the flames and works at every push, and the burners are stainless steel for durability.
The Megamaster five-burner gas grill has a mid-sized cooking area capable of creating meals for seven or more people, plus a warming rack for keeping cooked food fresh and cooking other food at a low temperature.
For mobility, this five-burner gas grill has two wheels and two stands on its side to hold it in place. Considering it has five burners, this gas grill is surprisingly lightweight, at only 67.2 pounds, without compromising on the quality of construction materials.
- Reliable, push-to-start electronic ignition
- Even heat distribution and searing of meat
- Lid ensures effective delicate cooking
- Alluring design
- Lightweight for easy mobility
- Can create hot spots that might result in uneven cooking results, if they go unnoticed
The 16-inch Camp Chef Big Gas Grill is genuinely versatile. It includes triple stoves supported on detachable legs and a grill box that covers two burners, leaving the third open. This construction allows you to grill and cook other dishes on the open stove at the same time. The grill also features a foldable side shelf for additional prep space.
The two-burner stove has a large grate that fully absorbs the flames, plus a BBQ box, oven, cooking pans, and a cast-iron griddle, so you can cook the full spectrum of recipes. The large grate is exceptionally sturdy to support the heavy grill box and oven.
A three-foot hose connects the grill to your propane tank, and the cooking height is 31 inches, which is an ideal waist height for most people.
The cast-aluminum burners are easy to start and produce high temperatures that heat the grill box in minutes. The cast-iron cooking grate in the grill box ensures even heat and terrific meat-searing.
The heat diffusion system on this Camp Chef model converts flames into infrared heat and vaporizes grease that trickles from the meat.
This gas grill weighs 85 pounds, and you can move it in a carry bag, though you’ll need separate boxes for the stove and the grill box.
Due to its convenient carrying bags, this grill is an excellent option for backyard grilling, as well as tailgating and camping cookouts alike. Unfortunately, essential components, including carrying bags, griddles, and windscreens, come as separate items, so you must factor those into the overall price.
- Allows for versatile cooking techniques
- No flare-ups
- Easy to assemble
- Doesn’t have a warming rack
All of our picks are quality gas grills that will meet all your grilling needs but we particularly liked the Weber Spirit II E-310 Gas Grill for its versatility, durable build, and superior performance. Weber is a trusted force when it comes to gas grills, so you can rest easy that it will work as promised. Some of the essential components, sold separately, include a griddle, but even with that, you’ll stay within a $500 budget.
Another of our favorite recommendations is the Char-Broil Performance Tru-Infrared 3-Burner Gas Grill. This grill uses infrared technology to yield tender barbecue results inside the same budget while maintaining durability and fuel efficiency.
We’d love to hear what you have to say, so please let us know in the comments below.
Read also our review of gas grills under $300.
Another Great grill to try specially for social gatherings is the Hibachi Grill. Traditionally groups of people are gathered around the grill cooking at the same time socializing.