Top 5 BEST Grills Under $500

Top 5 BEST Grills Under $500

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Buying a new grill is always a challenge. Smart marketing and design always draw us to the most expensive, out-of-our-price-range grills, which starts us off on the wrong and defeatest foot. So without further ado, we’ve set out to find the best grills under $500 that are robust, stylish, and cook like a pro.

How to choose the best grills under $500?

This price point probably has the most comprehensive selection of grills on the market. While still a relatively hefty price tag, have your wits about you and make sure that you check for quality and a pleasurable balance between cost and function.

Look at the controllability of the burners. You’ll want to have an even and adjustable heat across the cooking grates to control cooking time for each food type. Each BBQ will have variable BTU offerings. If the heat is not even, you’ll experience hot or cool spots that do nothing for your cooking. Meats, veggies, and seafood all require different temperatures and times to cook.

Below are some of the aspects that you should take time to explore. While it seems logical, following this checklist does help narrow down the forerunners of your potential purchase. We want you to enjoy outdoor cooking as much as we do.

What size grill do I need?

Ascertain how many people you really cook for regularly; this will help guide you to the right size grill. If you cook for 20 people once a year, it’s probably not worth investing so much money. Do you cook for two people or 10?

What type of grate is best?

Generally, three types of grate can be used on gas BBQs – stainless steel, cast iron, and enamel grill grates.

Stainless steel is lightweight and tends to be the most cost-effective option. It heats up quickly but doesn’t retain heat particularly well. Stainless steel is corrosion-resistant, but regular use and cleaning will eventually affect the grill grate’s surface. This wear and tear can create a rough surface, and food can stick.

Although it heats up more slowly, cast-iron has excellent heat retention and, therefore, produces an even cooking temperature and can create bold sear marks for extra flavor. Cast-iron is very heavy and cumbersome. It can be challenging to keep clean and needs regular oiling.

Enamel grill grates can be stainless steel or cast-iron grills, coated in smooth hardened enamel. This coating creates a non-stick outer layer and makes it easier to use while cooking, keep clean, and well maintained. However, if this coating chips, the grate can quickly lose its non-stick properties.

BBQ Chicken

Always look for a BBQ that will have excellent longevity.

Look for durability and take your time considering the various benefits of investing in a longer-lasting product.

What are the benefits of a double-lined and snugly fitting hood?

Should I choose stainless steel, cast-iron, or porcelain-enameled coated grates?

What is the strength of the BBQ legs?

Are the wheels lockable?

Does it have a side table for storage, are the tables quickly put down or removable for more accessible storage?

What is the overall construction?

Does it have handy storage facilities under the grill?

Can I purchase a cover to keep it dry?

These are all crucial factors when choosing the best grill under $500.

Built-in Thermometer

All of the BBQs that we tested came with built-in hood thermometers; cooking at the right temperature gives you better taste and moister food.

Easy to Clean

Unfortunately, cleaning a BBQ is the nature of the beast. Try and choose one with a grease tray; not only will this allow for easier cleaning, but you are less likely to experience any flare-ups.

Warranty

Hopefully, you’ll never need to dust down the warranty. Many brands offered limited warranties for over ten years. Take time to consider this option.

Storage and portability​

It’s essential to assess the usage you require from your BBQ. Will you be cooking at home or heading to the mountains to experience extreme BBQ-ing; this will help you decide on maneuverability.

Gas grill benefits

Gas is so much more comfortable than the traditional messy charcoal grill. With just one touch of a button, you are ready to cook. There is no need to struggle with lighting or waiting for the charcoal to heat up to the right temperature in clouds of smoke.

BBQ and Salad

What are the disadvantages of a gas grill?

Experienced BBQ-ers tend to avoid gas grills, as there tends to be little or no smoke flavor while you grill. Some grills have an attachment to add a smoky flavor. You must remember to check how full your propane bottle before you invite your guests over for a BBQ dinner.

Now that we’ve covered all there is to be known about this category,
let’s get in to our choices for the top 5 best grills for under $500.

1. Weber Spirit II E-310

The Weber Spirit II E-310 is a beautifully formed grill that manages to boast an impressive 529 square inches of 30,000 BTU power per hour over three burners. A colorfully stylish and compact BBQ that has an array of goodies.

The hood comes in a choice of colors – black, red, blue, and cream and has a built-in thermometer so that you can control cooking temperatures. You can control each burner separately to accommodate various dishes and their cooking times.

Its GS4 grilling system has infinity ignition and reversible porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates, and a grease management system. The reversible grates allow you to be creative with your cooking skills. On one side of the grate are thin bars so that you can cook delicate dishes such as fish and seafood while on the other side, the bars are wider, which gives excellent food enhancing sear marks on denser meats.

Both sides of the grill are a handy workspace area for platters, condiments, seasonings, and tools to keep them within easy reach while cooking. The left-hand table can fold easily away if space is limited. There is an array of hooks that you can store your grilling tools and keep them organized. Under the grill is a handy shelf for plates and other accessories.

Pros
  • Reversible porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates
  • Three burners
  • Hood with thermometer
  • Two workspace tables
  • Wheels for easy maneuverability
  • 30,000 BTU power
  • Range of colors
  • Easy assembly
Cons
  • Poor packaging
  • Grill has been known to rust

Final Verdict

With the benefit of reversible, porcelain-enameled cast iron cooking grates that make cleaning effortless, top of its class wheel build quality, and easy setup, the Weber Spirit II E-310 is one of the best grills under $500 for 2020. It boasts what is by far the most user-friendly, practical design and some of the most capable grilling experience available in this price range today, all laid out in a package that is very comfortable to use for just about anyone. All of these excellent features do well in making up for its poor packaging and tendency to rust over time.

TastyBBQing Rating:

5/5

2. Broil King Signet 320 Cast-Aluminum Propane Gas Grill

The Broil King Signet 320 is a boasty kind of grill. It’s three stainless steel Dual-Tube Linear-Flow burners deliver up to 40,000 BTU each hour under heavy-duty reversible cast-iron cooking grates. The grates provide exceptional heat retention for high searing power, which locks in intense flavors. The grids are pointed on one side to give perfect sear marks and grooved on the other to capture juices for continual basting, which gives slower cooked foods even more flavor.

The grill has 400 square inches of primary cooking space and an additional 235 square inch warming grill. The smart Flav-R-Wave system delivers gloriously, even heat distribution, and the Sure-Lite electronically powered ignition lights the grill with ease. A rotisserie allows chicken or larger pieces of meat to be cooked to perfection.

The deep, rust-resistant hood fits the grill snugly so that it retains heat perfectly for cooking large roasts and even your Thanksgiving turkey. It has a stainless steel lid insert, which retains heat for even more efficient cooking.

On each side of the grill is a stainless steel shelf that gives you additional preparation space or space to keep utensils, platters, or seasonings while cooking; both can fold down if storage space is limited. Underneath the grill is a handy cupboard that is ideal for storing your grilling essentials.

Pros
  • Reversible porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates
  • Three burners
  • Hood with thermometer
  • Two workspace tables
  • Wheels for easy maneuverability
  • 40,000 BTU power
  • Rotisserie
  • Sure-Lite ignition
  • Warranty
  • Easy assembly
Cons
  • Poor packaging
  • Breakages
  • Plastic base

Final Verdict

The easy maneuverability and the included rotisserie of the Broil King Signet 320, along with its Sure-Lite ignition system and two workspace tables make it an excellent, feature-packed choice for smaller homes, as its size and, therefore, easy compatibility with the average backyard size make it an easy recommendation for anybody within these criteria.

Rating:

4.5/5

3. Royal Gourmet GB8000 8-Burner Gas Grill

The Royal Gourmet GB8000 is a giant 8-burner gas grill. Each of the stainless steel burners provides 13,000 BTU of power each hour, that’s a staggering 104,000 BTU in total for two separate grilling systems. Fear not, the burners can be used independently, allowing between one and 60 burgers to be cooked at any time. The porcelain-coated steel wire grill grates retain heat evenly, which helps lock in juices. They are easy to clean and rust-resistant.

The 950 square inches of cooking space is controlled evenly with two sets of regulators, which give an even and steady flame for easy cooking. The cooking space is ideal for large parties, catering events, or commercial use.

The electronic ignition gives a reliable spark every time for easy lighting. Large capacity grease cups are present underneath the grill, which help with cleaning and flare-ups. Also underneath the grill are handy multi-level storage shelves.

Each side of the grill is handy side tables, which are ideal for preparation space or space to keep utensils, platters, or seasonings while cooking. They can fold down when not in use. The four caster wheels can be locked in place for security or unlocked for easy moving.

Pros
  • Porcelain-coated steel wire grill grates
  • Eight burners over two separate grilling systems
  • Two workspace tables
  • Sturdy under-grill storage
  • Wheels for easy maneuverability
  • 104,000 BTU power
  • Grease cups for easy cleaning
  • Easy to assemble
Cons
  • Irregular heat distribution
  • Poor delivery packaging
  • Lightweight parts

     

Final Verdict

The sheer levels of workspace area the Royal Gourmet GB8000 provides are genuinely some of the best in this category. This makes it easy to achieve the best possible outdoor grilling result if you have a lot of space to fit the contraption in your backyard, giving you a build a whopping 104,000 BTUs of power, grease cups for easy cleaning, and the ability to safely store your accessories and other grilling items sturdily and securely in an under-grill shelving system.

Rating:

5/5

4. Weber Q3200

The Weber Q3200 is the sleekest grill since sliced bread. It oozes fun and a slightly spacey feel. Its two stainless steel burners produce 21,700 BTU per hour and heat 393 square inches of porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates and a warming grill above. The body and lid of the grill is made from sturdy cast aluminum.

This grill packs a punch with its small, yet perfectly formed full-size grill offerings. The smart split grates mean that you can cook using a griddle and a grate simultaneously. The infinite control burner valve allows you to control cooking temperatures for a perfect feast easily. The electronic ignition system allows you to launch at the touch of a button. The oversized grip handle, control knobs, and side handles are fun and well-designed.

Either side of the grill is a large fold-down table to store dishes, rubs, and herbs. Three hooks allow you to hang various tools and utensils; these hooks maximize your working space. Under the grill is a handsome looking perforated screen that secures the tank, warming rack, and one grate or griddle.

The snug hood with a built-in thermometer allows for even cooking for delicate veggies and seafood to large family roasts.

Pros
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates
  • Split grate cooking
  • Two burners
  • Two workspace tables
  • Smart storage
  • Warming rack
  • 21,700 BTU
  • Body and lid made from sturdy cast aluminum
  • 3D assembly
  • Electronic ignition system
Cons
  • Occasional customer service problems

Final Verdict

This device is of excellent value for outdoor areas that simply don’t have the space required to house most larger grills, transforming even the smallest backyards into serious grilling stations, saving you lots of precious garden space in the process. The ease of use of this grill, combined with the convenience of all of its features, truly make this a great product in this category.

Rating:

4.5/5

5. Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 TRU-Infrared Portable Gas Grill

The Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 is deserving of many a road-trip. Its durable die-cast aluminum construction allows you to take this grill virtually anywhere with the portable gas bottle. The high-impact grill has convenient carry-handles so you can enjoy an off-road BBQ.

The lightweight tabletop grill has 200 square inches of cooking space and an impressive 9,500 BTU main burner under the stainless steel grilling grate. The smart ignition button is secured inside the right front leg to protect it from any damage. It weighs a mere 20lb.

This powerhouse is designed for adventures and can withstand being bounced around; its hardy and strongly-latched-lid is built to survive the most challenging terrains.

TRU-Infrared cooking system cooks even in the chilliest of climates; the grills generate impressive infra-red heat and maintain evenly spread heat across the cooking surface at varying temperatures and locks in great flavors. The die-cast firebox and aluminum lid are built to survive life’s knocks, are hinged to the rest of the grill, and have an inbuilt temperature gauge.

Large Cool-Touch heat-resistant handles allow you to open and close the lid quickly. The sturdy snap-lock keeps the lid secure in transit. 

 

Pros
  • Rugged and portable
  • Tabletop
  • Lightweight for traveling
  • Die-cast aluminum construction
  • Electronic ignition system
Cons
  • Aesthetically unpleasing
  • No additional workspace or storage
  • Only 9,500 BTU

Final Verdict

The compact size of the and easy portability of the Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 make it an excellent choice for frequent outdoor travellers that would like to enjoy the luxury of barbecued goods rather than pre-made food. While saying that, it’s crucial to keep in mind that this grill simply wasn’t designed for indoor use, and that while definitely doable, is a less-than-ideal use case for this particular product. In short, if you’re only going to be using this contraption on the go, you absolutely can’t go wrong with the X200 from Char-Broil.

Rating:

4.5/5

Conclusion

Each of the BBQs has its pros and cons; two were eliminated relatively quickly due to their intended purpose. The Royal Gourmet GB8000 is too big for a ‘normal’ family gathering. It is better suited to large community affairs while the Char-Broil Grill2Go X200, although fantastic for adventure and wilderness grilling, isn’t what I’d want to use for a Thanksgiving or celebratory BBQ.

It’s a tough call, but the outstanding winner is the space-age Weber Q3200; its smart design cleverly designed for small spaces, yet it boasts high power and ample cooking space, and ingenious split grates and smart storage spaces. It’s a little like me – handsome, fun, sleek, and a little bit space age.

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