Next to his car and watch, a man's grill is one of the most important items he owns.

Grills are great for entertaining. Often the gathering place for great conversation, a grill can be a point of pride for the man wielding the tongs. And it doesn't hurt that women love a man who knows what he's doing on the grill!

Not only that, but they're extremely useful. I have a friend who cooked for his family on their grill for days after a bad storm caused the power to go out.

Keep in mind:

Grills are a major purchase, so you want to get it right. But what if you know nothing about gas grills?

How do you pick the best grill for your money?

I've put together an in depth guide to help you choose the best gas grill under $500. Follow the guide and you'll have no problem picking the best gas grill.

Considering the price point and all of the different grill features (sometimes called "grill frills") means that buying a grill can be a bit overwhelming.

To help you out with this process, I’ve included a list of grill lingo definitions, a grill buying guide, and a compilation of the 10 best gas grills under $500.

Although I highly recommend you read my guide first, if you already have an extensive knowledge of grills, you can use the table of contents bellow to quickly see which grill we ranked as the best grill under $500.


The 10 Best Gas Grills Under $500

Now that you know the three rules to follow when purchasing a gas grill, you're ready to start shopping.

Don't forget to consider special features, cooking area, and size.

One more pro tip: Check out grills in different colors. Certain colors are sometimes cheaper than others of the same model.

Here are the 10 best gas grills under $500:

10. Char-Broil Classic

by Char Broil

$299.99 @

Cooking Area:
480 square inches (14.5 burgers)

40, 000

4 (+1 side burner)

Even though this is the least expensive Char-Broil on the list, it doesn't sacrifice anything in build quality or features.

For starters, the Char-Broil Classic is made almost entirely from stainless steel, which, at this price, is impressive. A friend of mine has had this exact same model for 5 years, and only had to replace the starter ignition (which is common on most grills).

It's also one of the biggest grills on our list, capable of cooking up to 14 burgers at once. The cooking area, mixed with the grill's infinite control valve adjustability, makes this a good grill for cooking many different types of meat at once.

This grill is also versatile for its price range. It comes with a side burner, warming rack, side shelves, and porcelain coated cast iron cooking grates.

At $169, you'll get a truly highly quality grill from a well-respected brand.

Special Features

  • Side burner
  • Warming rack
  • Porcelain coated cast iron cooking grates
  • Electronic ignition

  • Stainless steel control valves
  • Stainless steel hood
  • Side shelves

9. Dyna Glo Black and Stainless Premium

by Dyna-Glo

$$$$ @

Cooking Area:
708 square inches (21 burgers)

62, 000

5 (+1 side burner)

One of the Dyna Glo's best features is a double-walled stainless steel lid.

Not only does the stainless steel resist rust and keep your grill looking good, but the double wall creates optimal insulation above the grill surface, which puts the BTUs to work and saves on fuel consumption.

This Dyna Glo also comes with features normally only found on larger grills, such as side shelves and a warming rack. This grill's side shelves fold down to increase it's portability and decrease the storage space it takes up while not in use.

This grill is also pretty compact. At only 350 square inches of cooking space, you won't be able to feed the masses, but you can cook for a family or small gathering with no problem.

Finally, this grill is made almost entirely of stainless steel, so it's sure to stand up to years of use.

If you want a reliable brand name grill with sturdy construction and essential features, the Dyna Glo Black and Stainless Premium is a great choice.

Special Features

  • Porcelain coated cast iron cooking grates
  • Stainless steel burners
  • Double wall stainless steel lid

  • Warming rack
  • Electronic ignition
  • Foldable Side shelves.

8. Cuisinart CGG-200 Outdoor Tabletop Grill

by Cuisinart

$$$$ @

Cooking Area:
240 square inches (7 burgers)

12, 000


The design and portability of the Cuisinart CGG-200 make this one of the best gas grills under $500.

The CGG-200 is so small and lightweight that you can literally pick it up and walk away with it.


Even with one burner, the excellent stainless steel construction provides great insulation to the cooking surface. Though it only sports 12,000 BTUs, it gets hot enough to sear steaks and burgers easily.

Cuisinart didn't give up function in their small portable design. The CGG-200 comes equipped with high quality features like foldable side shelves and porcelain coated cast iron cooking grates.

The most unique feature of this grill is its modular cooking surface. Like the double-sided grates on the Grillin' Pro ranked above, you can remove the cooking grates on the Cuisinart. Instead of just flipping them over, you can swap them with different cooking the all-purpose veggie panel that comes included.

The bottom line:

This grill offers the exact same features as other higher-ranking grills, with the only drawback being the smaller cooking surface.

If you want something portable or are tight on space, the Cuisinart CGG-200 is a great grill.

Special Features

  • Porcelain coated cast iron cooking grates
  • Twist start ignition
  • Foldable side shelves
  • Modular surface

  • Removable veggie panel
  • Temperature gauge
  • Double-walled grill hood

7. Char-Broil TRU Infrared Urban Gas Grill

by Char-Broil

$$$$ @

Cooking Area:
304 square inches (10.5 burgers)

20, 000


The Char-Broil Urban Gas Grill is an excellent mid sized grill with a unique cooking system and several useful features.

This is a great grill for smaller patios or apartments. It offers big cooking area with side tables that fold down, so you don't need a lot of space to store it. Though it requires little storage space, it doesn't compromise on lack of features. You still get the benefit of a warming rack and folding side shelves, along with quality stainless steel construction

The most unique feature of the Char-Broil Urban model is its TRU infrared coking system. Unlike the other grills on our list that use convection cooking (where the flame heats the grates) the infrared system uses flames to heat an infrared element, creating radiant heat that locks in juices and flavor. The infrared system also helps reduce fuel consumption, maintains even cooking temperatures across all cooking grates, and eliminates hot spots and flare-ups common on traditional grills.

Most grills offer temperature gauges in the hood, away from the cooking surface. This can lead to inaccurate temperature readings and overcooked food. As an added bonus, the Char-Broil Urban contains surface level temperature gauges that let you monitor the temperature on the burners, where the food actually cooks.

If you want a mid sized grill with infrared cooking technology and plenty of features, the Char-Broil Urban is an excellent choice.

Special Features

  • TRU infrared cooking system
  • Porcelain covered warming rack
  • Porcelain covered cast iron cooking grates

  • Stainless steel burners
  • Fold away side shelves
  • Surface level temperature gauges

6. Char-Griller 3001 Grillin' Pro

by Char-Griller

$244 @

Cooking Area:
438 square inches (13 burgers)

40, 800

3 (+1 side burner) 

At only $185.00, the Char-Griller 3001 Grillin' Pro is one of the most affordable and versatile grills in the ranking.

Despite its price tag, this grill comes with the second highest BTU rating on our list. A high BTU rating and good insulation lets it heat up quickly (500 degrees in 5 minutes). While other grills on our list can heat more quickly, none can match the price tag of the Grillin' Pro.

The Grillin' Pro also come with three solid additional attachments:

  1. Warming rack
  2. Side burner
  3. Smoker attachment

Another great feature of the Grillin' Pro is its porcelain coated cast iron grates, which are difficult to find on a grill in the sub $200 range. The Grillin' Pro grates are also double-sided (with one side for searing and one for grilling). Just flip the grates over and you have an entirely new cooking surface.

For example:

You could flip half the grates and sear a tuna steak on one side of the cook surface, half while grilling burgers on the other.

The one fault of this grill is that it isn't made of stainless steel. While this isn't a problem if you get a cover, a stainless steel grill is usually the way to go (since it resists rust). Even so, unique features like double sided grates, a smoker, and a high BTU rating make this grill deserving of the #6 spot.

If you're new to grilling and want an affordable grill with similar features as the more expensive options, this is a great grill for you.

Special Features

  • 40,800 BTU rating
  • Side shelves
  • Porcelain coated cast iron grates
  • Side burner

  • Warming rack
  • Electronic ignition
  • Smoker attachment

5. Fuego FELG21C Element

by Fuego

$$$ @

Cooking Area:
346 square inches (10.5 burgers)

21, 000


The Fuego FELG21C Element is a unique looking grill with a unique cooking system.

Despite it's size, the FELG21Cup can heat up to 500 degrees in just 5 minutes, and up to 700 degrees if necessary. The single burner conserves fuel without sacrificing cooking temperature, meaning you can get up to 20 hours of cooking time from just one 20 lb. LP tank. In comparison, larger grills will run through one tank in 10-18 hours.

Its unique "dual zone" burner gives you two cooking areas. The outer area provides slow, constant heat for convection cooking (great for roasts and BBQ), while the inner ring provides quick, intense heat for searing (great for steaks and burgers). The Fuego element accomplishes this feat by giving you the option to target each burner zone separately using the control valve.

This grill is also one of the most compact and mobile grills in the ranking. It's circular design and tilt lock wheels make it easy to move and store.

Even though this grill lacks features like a warming rack and side shelves, its quick pre-heat time, high temperature design, and compact size and portability make it one of the most efficient and powerful grills on our list.

If you want a powerful grill that you can transport with ease, the Fuego Element is a great option.

Special Features

  • Single 15 pound porcelain coated cast iron grate
  • Dual Zone Burner
  • Propane tank storage
  • Unique circular design

  • Tilt locking wheels
  • Electronic ignition
  • Easy to clean residue tray

4. Dyna-Glo DGE

by Dyna-Glo

$$$ @

Cooking Area:
350 square inches (10.5 burgers)

60, 000


Without a doubt the best feature of the Dyna Glo DGE is its size.

There's virtually no limit to what you can cook with 708 total square inches of cooking space and infinite control valve adjustability. In addition, at 62,000 BTUs, this is the most powerful grill on our list. The high BTUs, mixed with its cooking area, make this perhaps the best grill on our list for feeding large groups.

Plus, the Dyna Glo DGE features stainless steel cooking grates. You won't have to worry about rust or mess on these grates, which is awesome after using all 708 inches of cooking space.

This grill has a side burner rated at 12,000 BTUs...better than any on our list. With that many BTUs at your disposal, the side burner is not only good for heating up sauces, but it also doubles as an effective extra cooking space.

For example:

You can use the side burner on the Dyna Glo DGE to cook with a frying pan, allowing you to grill and sauté/sear at the same time.

Besides its power and size, the Dyna Glo DGE is also durable. It’s made entirely of stainless steel, so you can store it outside in any climate at any time of year.

If you're looking for a large, versatile grill made with quality construction, the Dyna Glo DGE is a great choice.

Special Features

  • Stainless steel heat tents
  • Stainless steel warming rack
  • Stainless steel side shelves
  • Stainless steel cooking grates

  • 12,000 BTU side burner
  • Hood mounted thermometer
  • Infinite control valve adjustability.

3. Weber Q3200

by Weber

$419 @

Cooking Area:
393 square inches (12 burgers)

21, 700


The Weber Q3200 is the perfect option for someone who wants the famous Weber brand but doesn’t need a huge grill.

The most unique feature of the Q3200 (and one reason it’s ranked #3) is the split cooking grate design. You can remove and replace the cooking grates with a flat griddle attachment, allowing you to cook things like bacon and even pancakes. You also can purchase additional attachments like a grill pan and vegetable basket.

Another unique feature of this grill is the "Grill Out" handle light. It illuminates the space around you, making it easier to cook at night. In addition to the handle light, the Q3200 gives you the same high quality porcelain coated cast iron cooking grates, stainless steel burners, and warming rack, all for $100 less than other comparable Weber models

The Q3200 features infinite control valve adjustability that locks in the cooking temperature no matter how high or low. This means you can cook meat at a set temperature in any spot on the cook grates.

As an added bonus, the Q3200 comes with plenty of storage. There's a bracket for the 20 lb. LP tank, 3 tool hooks, and a storage slot for the warming rack so you can store it while it’s not in use.

The bottom line:

This is simply a great compact grill with excellent build quality and features. If you want the Weber brand but don’t need a huge grill, this one is the way to go.

Special Features

  • Porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grates
  • Grill Out handle light (for low light conditions)
  • Infinite control valve adjustability
  • Split grates

  • Battery powered push button starter
  • Side shelves
  • Warming rack
  • 3 tool hooks

2. Char-Broil Performance TRU Infrared 480

by Char-Broil

$$$ @

Cooking Area:
480 square inches (14.5 burgers)

30, 000

3 (+1 side burner) 

The Char-Broil Performance mixes features, unique technology, and cooking area into an excellent jack-of-all-trades grill, earning it the number 2 spot in the ranking.

For starters, it’s big. The 480 square inches of cooking space allows you cook close to 15 full sized burgers at once.

Another great aspect of this grill is its high quality construction. Almost all of its parts are made from stainless steel, including the burners (a feature normally found on more expensive grills), so they won't rust and erode over time.

Like the other Char-Broil ranked above, the Char-Broil Performance features a special "TRU infrared" cooking system. The radiant heat from the infrared technology allows you to add wood chips directly to the cooking grates for more flavorful grilling and smoking...something you can't do with grills that cook with traditional convection cooking (they would just catch on fire instead of smoke).

The Char-Broil Performance also features stainless steel cooking grates that are different from any other grill in the ranking. Not only are they stainless steel, but they are also porcelain coated. Unlike enamel cast iron, these grates won't rust as easily, and are a breeze to clean. Their porcelain coating also allows them to heat up faster than plain stainless steel, which creates great searing marks.

And finally, features are the name of the game. The Char-Broil Performance has the features you need to cook a variety of food, including a porcelain-coated warming rack, 10,000 BTU rated side burner, and side shelves.

Such a large grill with a unique cooking system for only $369.00 is a steal. If you want a unique grill capable of cooking for the masses, the Char-Broil Performance is a great option.

Special Features

  • TRU Infrared Cooking System
  • Stainless steel construction throughout
  • Porcelain coated stainless steel cooking grates.
  • Porcelain coated warming racks

  • 10,000 BTU side burner.
  • Warming rack
  • Side shelves

1. Weber Spirit E310

by Weber

$499 @

Cooking Area:
480 square inches (14.5 burgers)

32, 000


Coming in at just under the $500 cutoff, The Weber Spirit E310 is the best gas grill under $500.

Not only does it rival more expensive “professional" grills in quality, it has several unique features that separate it from other grills in the ranking.

Two components that helped earn the Spirit E310 the number one spot are the flavorizer bar and grease management system, which combine to make this grill special. As you grill, the flavorizer bar catches and sizzles juices from your food to further smoke and flavor the meat. Any juices the flavor bar misses are funneled down towards the grease management system to prevent grill flare-ups. Once you’re done grilling, just empty the tray from the grease management system and you’re good to grill again.

This Weber is also perfect for entertaining. The 424 inches of primary cooking space means that you have plenty of room to cook multiple types of meat at once. When you're done, the cooking grates are easy to clean because of the porcelain coating.

The cooking grates maintain heat well since they're made of cast iron. Like cast iron skillets, these grates retain seasoning the more you cook with them, leading to more flavorful food.

Weber engineers designed the angles on the Spirit e310’s double walled hood to push hot air back down on the cook surface to evenly cook meat, even when the meat isn't on direct heat. With three burners, this grill also gets HOT (up to 700 degrees in around 5 minutes), something that many other grills in this price range can't do.

The little details are important too. The Spirit E310 features a fuel gauge so you’ll never run out of propane mid-cook. This grill also has the more reliable battery powered push starter. Like everything else on the Spirit E310, it will hold up to years of constant use.

Finally, this grill boasts a classy and modern stainless steel design, which adds to its durability. It's common for Weber grills like this to last for 8 years or more, while needing only a few repairs.

The plain and simple truth:

If you’re looking for the best grill under $500, even the best grill under $1,000, the Weber Spirit 310 is the way to go.

Special Features

  • Porcelain- enameled cast iron cooking grates & warmer.
  • Battery-powered push button starter
  • Infinite control valve adjustability
  • Easy-read fuel gage
  • Warming rack

  • Flavorizer bar
  • Grease management system
  • Specially engineered cook box hood.
  • 6 tool hooks.

How To Pick The Right Gas Grill (3 important rules to follow)

There's no such thing as a perfect grill for everyone. The perfect grill for you will depend on:

  1. The special features
  2. The cooking area
  3. How much space you have

To ensure that you buy your best gas grill, follow the 3 rules below.

Here's how to pick the right gas grill:

1. Consider the special features

Grills are like Swiss Army Knives. Some only fulfill basic needs, while others come with tons of extra features.

Consider what you want to do with your grill when looking at the special features.

Ask yourself this two-part question:

What do I want to cook and how do I want to cook it?

If you want the ability to cook different types of meat at once, then you might want a grill with infinite control valve adjustability.

If you like to slow cook and BBQ, then you'll want a grill with a warming rack.

If you want a compact kitchen at your side while you grill, consider a model with a side burner and side shelves.

If you're only going to cook burgers and brats once a week, then save a few bucks and buy a simpler grill.

You get the idea. Pick a grill that suits your needs.

To help you out, I've included the special features of each featured grill in our list of best grills under 500.

2. Pay attention to cooking area

One of the most important features of any grill is the cooking area it offers. This measurement is always given in square inches, and refers to how much space you have to cook with.

But why is cooking space important?

It lets you know how many burgers, hotdogs, slabs of ribs, etc. you can cook at once. To help you visualize the how much food can fit on a grill... you can fit 3 average-sized burgers per 100 square inches.

You should also consider cooking area when thinking about how many people you'll cook for on a regular basis.

If you know you'll often cook for parties, it's a good idea to buy a grill with a lot of cooking space. If you know you'll only use your grill to cook for you and your girlfriend, then you may not need to purchase a huge grill.

Important note: Although some grill manufacturers include the cooking area of warming racks in their total, I've left that out of our ranking of the 10 best grills under $500. This is because warming racks are different than the cooking grates, since you don't use them to cook on full heat.

3. Consider how much space you have

This is an important rule that many guys forget when purchasing a grill.

Grills come in many different sizes.

Usually, size correlates with the cooking area the grill offers. A grill with 700 + inches of cooking space and side tables that don't fold down, like the Dyna Glo DGE, will take up more space than a grill without side tables and less cooking space, like the Fuego Element.

Compact grills like the Cuisinart CGG-200 are also easier to transport to parties. If this is something you want to do with your grill, consider buying one of the smaller grills ranked below.

Gas Grill Buying Terms

Like any serious hobby, grilling has its own set of specialized lingo. If you don't have a basic working knowledge of these terms, it's easy to get confused when reading through descriptions of different grills.

But don't worry:

I've defined the 10 most common gas grill terms for you. These 10 terms show up all the time in the grill descriptions in the ranking. Read and understand them so you know exactly what each grill offers, and how each grill may fit your needs.

Here are 10 gas grill buying lingo terms:

1. BTU

BTU stands for "British Thermal Unit." Grill manufacturers use this measurement to rate the heating capabilities and fuel consumption of their grill.

A BTU rating is similar to the horsepower output on a car.

Read More

While BTUs do play a part in how quickly your grill will heat up, they don't tell the whole story. A grill with a high BTU count will still cook food poorly if it doesn't also contain good insulation and high quality cooking grates. Like the horsepower on a car, BTUs are not the only factor in performance.

All of our 10 best gas grills under $500 contain not only good BTU ratios, but also quality construction. This helps keep the heat inside the grill after the BTUs create it.

One important thing I want to note: You may hear that it's good to look for a grill with around 100 BTUs per square inch of cooking space. Nowadays, grills are engineered for efficiency, so it's ok for a grill to contain slightly less than 100 BTUs per square inch.

2. Burners + Side burners

Burners are the components of your grill that provide heat and fire.

Read More

Burners are important because they control how hot your grill gets, and how long it takes for it to heat up. In most cases, a grill with 3 burners will get hotter more quickly than a grill with only 2 burners.

The more burners your grill has, the more precise control you have over the temperature of different areas of your grill. This feature is called "infinite control valve adjustability."

Infinite control valve adjustability allows you to create "heat zones" on your grill. Heat zones are different areas of high and low temperatures on the surface of your grill. They’re useful for cooking different types of food at the same time.

For example:

You could turn the right side burner up higher for searing steaks with direct heat, and slow roast chicken on the left using indirect heat.

Some grills also contain an extra "side burner" located outside of the grill on one of the side tables. These burners provide added cooking area for reducing sauces or heating up more food while you grill.

3. Cooking Grates

Cooking grates are the actual surface on which your food cooks.

Read More

Besides burners, cooking grates are the most important feature of a grill. You should only buy a grill with cast iron or stainless steel cooking grates. These two materials are the easiest to clean, and they resist corrosion.

Each type has specific advantages:

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel grates won't rust and are easier to clean than cast iron grates. Sounds great, but they don't hold heat as well as cast iron.

Cast Iron

Cast iron holds heat better than stainless steel, but is harder to clean.

Pro tip: Look for cast iron grates that have been coated with enamel. This gives you iron's heat holding capacity and stainless steel's easy to clean surface.

4. Natural Gas Vs. Propane

Propane tanks are easier to set up than natural gas. All you need to do is buy a tank and attach it to your grill.

They are also the most popular fuel source for grills, so more manufacturers offer grills that use propane.

Read More

Both propane and natural gas have low CO2 emissions and small carbon footprints, making them much more environmentally friendly than gasoline, kerosene, or charcoal. Although natural gas burns slightly cleaner than propane, setup is more difficult because you've got to hook your grill up to a gas line. If you don't already have a one, you'll need to get it installed before you can use your machine.

All of the models in the ranking of best grills under $500 below use propane. If you want a great natural gas grill under $500, I recommend this one.

5. Liquid Propane

Liquid propane (LP) is the most common form of propane used to power grills.

Read More

All of the grills on our list use liquid propane. You'll most frequently see LP sold in 20 lb. tanks. You can find these tanks outside of gas stations, hardware, and grocery stores.

Make sure the grill you buy works with 20 lb. LP tanks (or buy an adapter.)

6. Warming Rack

Warming racks allow you to raise food off the surface of the grill's grates, which creates more cooking space.

Read More

By taking food away from the direct heat source, warming racks give you a surface upon which to finish food without overcooking (like fish and steak).

With the availability of a warming rack, you can also slow cook or smoke meat for longer periods of time while cooking other things directly on the grates.

7. Side Shelves

These are the shelves on either side of the grill. Some models come with shelves that fold down, while others are fixed.

Read More

Side shelves allow you to do most of your cutting, seasoning, and marinating right there at the grill. Some side shelves even house an additional side burner.

Pro tip: If you have limited space to store your grill, look for a grill with fold down side shelves like the Dyna Glo Black and Stainless Premium or the Char-Broil TRU Infrared Urban Gas Grill.

8. Control Valves

Control valves are the knobs you turn to adjust the heat of your grill. There is usually one control valve for each burner.

Read More

It's best to get a grill with control valves made from stainless steel instead of plastic. These will last longer and resist rust.

Also look for grills with infinite control valve adjustability.

9. Hood

The hood is basically the lid for the grill. Sometimes, you will see it referred to as the "cook box."

Read More

Surprisingly, a grill's hood can play just as important a role in how fast and how well food cooks as the burnersgrates, and BTU rating.

The hood provides insulation that helps the heat spread evenly. Many grills offer tight fitting or double-walled hoods that prevent heat from leaving the cooking surface.

All of the grills featured on our list have great insulation. Most have hoods made from either stainless steel or cast aluminum.

Pro Tip: Always look for stainless steel or aluminum components. These resist rust much better than regular steel or other metals.

10. Ignition Switch

The ignition switch is the button that lights your burners and starts your grill.

Read More

All of the grills featured on our list contain an electric ignition switch. An electric switch is best because it means you won't have light the grill manually with a match.

High quality battery powered ignition switches are best because they don't break easily (found on our #3 and #1 grills).

In Conclusion

Don't forget:

Buying a grill is an important decision...a decision you want to get right.

Without knowledge of grill lingo and a guide for picking the right grill, you might make the wrong choice. Follow this guide and you'll have no problem choosing the perfect grill for your needs.

If you have any questions just drop them in the comments section below.