If you’re in the market for a new gas grill but are on a budget, having it be reliable and good quality is key. Luckily, there are several cheap gas grills out there that will still have you grilling like the pros in no time without spending a fortune on a luxury grill.
A gas grill cooks food with gas jets located underneath its cooking surface, fueled by natural gas or liquid propane. The advantages of gas grills over their charcoal counterparts are many. They’re tidier: You can skip the messy wood chip/pellet and charcoal system and ash cleanup. They’re faster: Just turn it on instead of waiting for the coals to heat through. And they’re safer: You control the size of the flame and the temperature with a turn of a dial. We researched various options, considering their safety, durability, stability, features, and more to help you find the best option.
Char-Broil 463773717 Classic Series 3-Burner Gas Grill
What We Love: Has features expected from a higher-end grill, easy to transport, large grilling space
What We Don’t Love: Challenging to assemble
The Char-Broil Classic 360 is a great starter grill if you’re on a budget, newer to grilling, and don’t want to commit to a spendy option—or simply won’t get the use out of a “big guns” type of grill. While this grill is budget-friendly, it offers many of the features you’d expect from more expensive versions: 30,000 BTU of grilling power (plus more on the side burner), 360 square inches of grilling space (enough for 15 of your favorite burgers), and a 170-square-inch rack that can be used for slow cooking or to let foods rest after searing. Another great bonus feature is that it’s easy to transport: not too heavy and has no attached gas line.
It features two side shelves for prep space, as well as stainless steel inline burners that offer better temperature control and utilizes the Piezo ignition system that works quickly and easily. The porcelain-coated steel lid and the firebox mean it’s okay to leave it outside, no matter the weather.
Reviewers’ major beef (sorry) was that the grill was difficult to assemble (insert IKEA joke here), though many said it was doable with only a Phillip’s head screwdriver. Overall, buyers were super happy with this grill because it offers the fancy features of a luxe grill at a fraction of the price.
Price at time of publish: $242
Material: Stainless steel, porcelain, and cast iron | Dimensions: 51.2 x 24.1 x 43.5 inches | Weight: 48.5 pounds | Number of Burners: 3 | Cooking Surface Area: 530 square inches | BTUs: 38,000
Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill
What We Love: Lightweight, compact, adjustable burners
What We Don’t Love: Messy cleanup, some parts are flimsy
Whether you're planning a road trip, a tailgate party, or a camping trip, the Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Gas Grill has you covered. It offers three adjustable burners, boasts 20,000 BTU grilling power, and push-button ignition. The selling point with this grill is obviously its portability. It has a compact size (30 inches long and 16 inches tall), it's lightweight (under 50 pounds), and it's easy to set up in minutes so you can start flaunting your skill behind the grill. It also breaks down quickly to roll back into your car thanks to its two wheels and telescoping handle. Kristin Hazlett, a Denver chef agrees, "The Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Gas Grill is a great option for home use, but it's [also] a safe and reliable grill for camping, tailgating, or wherever you need a portable grill that's easy to set up and use. It gives you even cooking temperatures and is great for burgers and dogs—you can't go wrong!"
The grilling area is pretty sizable for a portable grill—285 square inches—so there’s enough space to grill up some chicken nachos for a few people. It has two sliding side tables for meal prep, and an interchangeable cooktop, so you can swap out the grill for either a griddle or a stove grate.
Reviewers’ main complaint was that the water pan, designed to sit under the cooktop and around the burners to catch any grease or other messes that drop through the grates, is messy to clean. But, several reviewers do offer solutions on what works best for them. Other users have commented some parts of the grill are flimsy.
Price at time of publish: $320
Material: Blend | Dimensions: 30.25 x 19.2 x 16.1 inches | Weight: 52.6 pounds | Number of Burners: 3 | Cooking Surface Area: 285 square inches | BTUs: 20,000
Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker, Roaster, and Grill
What We Love: Infrared burners help retain moisture and use less propane, versatile, compact, lightweight
What We Don’t Love: Small grilling space, doesn’t cook low temperatures well, assembly could be better
Infrared grills are propane gas grills that use infrared technology as their heat source or as an optional burner, rather than the direct flame heating the grate, by placing an infrared element between the grate and flame. By using radiant heat instead of convection heat, the airflow is directed away from the grill surface and makes food retain moisture, resulting in juicer meats.
An added bonus is that the grill vaporizes drippings, so you won't get any flares. While its low level of BTUs may seem underwhelming at first compared with conventional gas grills, keep in mind that with the infrared feature, it doesn’t need the added power. It also uses around 30 percent less propane than a conventional propane grill and has reduced cooking times.
What’s great about the Char-Broil The Big Easy is that it’s capable of smoking, grilling, and roasting, and that versatility earns major points with us. Whole turkeys and racks of ribs can fit in the roaster basket, and there’s a smoker box to fill with wood chips for added smoke flavor.
The grill grate gives you 180 square inches of grill space and works for steaks, burgers, chicken, and side dishes, which may not be enough space if feeding a crowd. It’s also compact and very lightweight at under 25 pounds. Some users say it is not that easy to assemble, and it may be challenging to maintain low temperatures.
Price at time of publish: $270
Material: Steel | Dimensions: 23.1 x 23.4 x 36.2 inches | Weight: 22.7 pounds | Number of Burners: 1 | Cooking Surface Area: 180 square inches | BTUs: 20,000
Related: The Best Grills
Cuisinart Chef's Style Stainless Tabletop Grill
What We Love: Power is commensurate with larger grills, comes assembled, burners operate independently
What We Don’t Love: Small size means it can only cook for small groups
For apartment dwellers or those cooking for just one or two people, there may not be the need to get a show-stopping grill. Enter the tabletop gas grill. There's a lot to like about this Cuisinart version: It comes assembled out of the box, turns on with the turn of a knob, and never needs matches. Plus, for its size, it packs a serious punch of 20,000 BTUs total on two burners, similar to larger grills. It heats up in under 10 minutes, and you can control the heat on either burner with the knobs, using each burner individually or together. Since the burners work independently, you can set different temperatures depending on what you’re cooking, whether grilling salmon or romaine lettuce, and there’s a built-in thermometer to help monitor the heat.
The Cuisinart weighs only 22 pounds and has a locking cover, folding legs, and a handle, so it’s easy to take the barbecue with you. It can double as the ideal stove on a road trip or camping trip, as well as work on a tabletop indoors or outdoors. It comes with a 3.5-foot hose that hooks up to a 20-pound tank of propane. The stainless grill is easy to use and clean, and it has a grill tray to catch grease and drippings. It’s especially great for those who live in small spaces or whose residences have charcoal grill restrictions. Just keep in mind a small grill means a small cooking space.
Price at time of publish: $220
Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions: 21.5 x 19 x 15 inches | Weight: 28.7 pounds | Number of Burners: 2 | Cooking Surface Area: 275 square inches | BTUs: 20,000
Best Under $200
Master Cook 3 Burner Propane Gas Grill
What We Love: Heats quickly, includes a warming rack and two side tables, easy to move around
What We Don’t Love: Some parts seem low quality
For grillers who want to stay within a budget and still get a decent grill, the Master Cook 3-Burner Propane Gas Grill is a great choice. Its system cranks out 30,000 BTUs, starts with the twist of a knob, and heats up to cook in under 10 minutes. It has a built-in thermometer and 339 square inches of grill space with an additional 132 square inch warming rack above the main grill, meaning you have enough room for chicken under a brick and grilled corn on the cob. It has two side tables for prep use, and when they’re folded down, the grill is a compact 29.5 inches in length.
It has two wheels and a handle for easy transport to the yard, garden, courtyard, or balcony space, and it can be used for all-season grilling. Reviewers’ biggest complaint, though, was that some of the materials were flimsy and cheap.
Price at time of publish: $199
Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions: 46.5 x 20.9 x 41.1 inches | Weight: 49 pounds | Number of Burners: 3 | Cooking Surface Area: 339 square inches | BTUs: 30,000
Related: The Best Grills for Tailgating
Best Stainless Steel
Nexgrill 5-Burner Propane Gas Grill
What We Love: Five burners, large cooking area, looks nice
What We Don't Love: Construction feels a bit flimsy
If you want the look of a high-end grill without paying the price, this five-burner gas grill from Nexgrill is a great choice. With 618 square feet of cooking space, you can easily feed a crowd—and even heat the barbecue sauce on the side burner. Each of the stainless steel burners puts out 11,000 BTUs, meaning you can grill up steaks, chicken kebabs, burgers, and dogs, as well as some vegetables all at once on the porcelain cast-iron cooking grids.
And the features don't end there: You will find a condiment tray, battery-operated electronic igniter, stainless steel side shelves, and two wheels to make moving the grill easier. The burners are protected by a five-year warranty, while the cooking grates are covered for one year. Some users say, however, the overall construction is a bit flimsy.
Price at time of publish: $349
Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions: 46.53 x 51 x 24.22 inches | Weight: 72.76 pounds | Number of Burners: 5 | Cooking Surface Area: 618 square inches | BTUs: 55,000
The Char-Broil Classic 360 gets our top spot because it’s a real winner for the price. Most grills with bells and whistles (tons of grilling space, warming rack, additional burner) cost at least twice as much. Looking for a gas grill that you can take anywhere? The Cuisinart CGG-306 Portable Tabletop Propane Grill is the ticket.
What Are The Other Options?
Weber Genesis II E-335 Propane Grill: With grills, the choices are endless, starting at around $1,000 and up, they can be costly, but they also last decades. These quality grills build brand loyalty for a reason. This Weber is like the Cadillac of grills, offering a massive 513 square inches of main grilling space and three side burners. It can be paired with your smartphone, ensuring perfectly cooked food every time. You simply program the iGrill 3 app with the type of food you’re cooking (for example, a steak cooked to medium-rare), and it notifies you when the internal temperature has reached the correct level. The possibilities are endless once you get into the "over $1,000" price range, but if you’re ready to grill at a nearly professional level or need to cook frequently for a crowd, it’s worth considering the upgrade.
Kenyon B70090 Frontier All Seasons Portable Stainless Steel Electric Grill: Reviewers claim that the hype is real on this product, meaning that if you love to grill and want the flavor you get from grilling, this electric grill will work just as well as its gas and charcoal counterparts—but is safer and permissible where rules no longer allow grilling. Made of 304 Marine-grade stainless steel, the Kenyon Frontier has a waterproof digital touch control panel that allows you to precisely dial in the desired heat. It features a nonstick grate that will give you the distinctive char marks of a regular grill, but none of the smoke. It has an insulated lid designed to prevent accidental burns and a double-coated non-stick grilling surface that’s dishwasher safe. It has a 600-degree capacity that’s perfect for searing and preheating in under ten minutes, and the 155 square inches of grilling space heats evenly.
How We Selected
Rebecca combed through scores of top-rated gas grills under $500, looking at consumer reviews and available manufacturer information such as key specifications. She interviewed professionals and avid home cooks to learn more about what makes a great gas grill and how to best use them without making common mistakes. Rebecca used this data to choose her top picks.
What to Look for When Buying a Cheap Gas Grill
Major things to consider when buying a gas grill are safety and solid construction. Grill stability is key because you want to avoid tipping. Grills that are properly assembled are safer and last longer. Other than those important considerations, think about how many people you’ll typically be cooking for and what you will be preparing. Hotdogs and burgers are pretty easy to cook, but what about more delicate items like fish or vegetables? Look for a grill that heats up quickly and maintains temperature well (and with your control) over how many BTUs it has.
How should I clean a gas grill?
Most experts recommend using a grill brush dipped in water to scrub off the big stuff while the grill is still hot (it’ll be steamy, so stand back). Use soapy water to scrub off any stubborn stuck-on bits, and then wipe clean with a damp cloth.
How long should gas grills last?
Gas grills should last somewhere between two and ten years, depending on the quality and whether you maintain and take care of the grill; regular cleaning and covering of the grill will extend its lifespan. When it comes to grill parts, burners get replaced the most, but that’s a fairly simple job and often covered by warranty (check your warranty options before you buy, if that’s important to you).
Do more expensive grills last longer?
In most cases, a more expensive grill means a better quality product, which, in turn, means the grill will last longer than a cheaper model. It mainly comes down to its construction and materials, which make the grill more durable and long-lasting.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Rebecca Treon is a freelance food and travel writer whose mission is to share her knowledge with readers. As an avid griller, she’s cooked everything from romaine to ribs and especially loves cooking for others.
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