Best Outdoor Grills Under $500 In 2020 [Top 5 Reviewed + Buying Guide]
As the summertime approaches, majority of us will choose to spend our valuable time outdoors with our friends and family. There is no better way to enjoy outdoors without throwing a BBQ party. If this is what you have in mind, you should then be investing in the best bbq grill to be placed in your kitchen backyard. Of course, all gas grills comes in different price range. In general, they are not as expensive as you think. Hence, in this review, we will be covering the best outdoor grills under 500 dollars.
Can an affordable grill really cover all the necessary basic features? Sure they do. Read along to find out which grill models have won our stomach, I mean our heart. However, for those who wants to skip straight to our final verdict, here are our top picks.
Lists of The 5 Best Outdoor Grills Under $500
Weber Spirit E310 Liquid Propane Gas Grill
| Power: 32,000 BTU/hour|
Dimension: 63 x 52 x 32 inches
Cooking Area: 424 SQ-in
Weight: 130 lbs
Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill
| Dimension: 20.87 x 16.54 x 32.13 inches|
Cooking Area: 219 SQ-in
Weight: 57 lbs
Hopper Capacity: 9 lbs
Pit Boss 700FB Pellet Grill
| Dimension: 41.3 x 26.6 x 43.8 inches|
Cooking Area: 700 SQ-in
Weight: 117 lbs
Hopper Capacity: 20 lbs
Traeger Renegade Elite Wood Pellet Grill
| Dimension: 20.1 x 21.7 x 9.6 inches|
Cooking Area: 380 SQ-in
Weight: 120 lbs
Hopper Capacity: 18 lbs
Camp Chef SmokePro SE24 Pellet Grill
| Power: 27,000 BTU/hour|
Height: 42 inches
Cooking Area: 429 SQ-in
Weight: 110 lbs
Hopper Capacity: 18 lbs
Detailed Reviews of The Best Outdoor Grills Under 500 Dollars
1. Camp Chef SmokePro SE Pellet Grill - Best Gas Grill Under 500
If you are looking for the best gas grills under $500, the Camp Chef SmokePro SE Pellet grill fits the bill.
This unit is a combination of a smoker and a grill and an ideal option for your backyard. It is very simple to operate. The desired cooking temperature can be set then the food gets cooked by its own on the grill tray.
This top rated gas grill uses smart smoke technology to cook food and therefore ensures that it produces as much smoke as possible. As a result, the flavor of the food will be enhanced. The best part is that the unit can be cleaned easily after each usage. Many users pronounce this model to be the best budget gas grill in the market today.
2. Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett
The Davy Crockett ultimate portable grill is the best grills under $400 from Green Mountail Grills. The most exciting feature is the unit can be controlled by Wi-Fi, by monitoring its progress using the Android or the iOS mobile app.
It has a Sense-Mate heat sensor that monitors the temperature of the grill constantly. This is the perfect outdoor grill you can take with you when you go out for camping, RV trips, tailgating, music festivals, boat rides, etc. It comes with a convenience tray with utensil hooks and also a peaked lid for you to place the food.
3. Pit Boss 700FB Pellet Grill
This is the best grill under $500 that offers 8 different types of cooking options in one grill.
It has an inbuilt flame broiler that can smoke, bake, roast, BBQ, char-grill, braises, and sear. This is a very big grill with a cooking area of 700 square inches. Hence, this grill is ideal for making a feast.
It also offers an adjustable temperature setting knob that can be set from 200 degrees to 475 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the food you are cooking. It makes use of natural wood pellets for cooking food and does not use propane, gas, or charcoal.
The cooking grids are highly durable and do not rust. They can hold high temperatures on a consistent basis.
4. Traeger Grills Renegade Elite Wood Pellet Grill - Best Premium Grill
If you are looking for the best premium grill under $500 that can enrich your meat with its natural flavors, you probably should take a look in this wood pellet grill from Traeger Renegade Elite.
This unit is very simple to use and even newbie grill users can cook a sumptuous meal. You will be able to cook a lot of meat at one go on this grill. It is easily portable as it comes with wheels. This grill is ideal to be used for camping, boat trips, backyard parties, etc.
Apart from grilling, with this unit you will be able to bake, BBQ, smoke, char-grill, and braise to satisfy your taste buds.
5. Weber Spirit E310 Propane Gas Grill - Best Propane Grill Under 500
If you are looking for grills that are fueled by gas, then Weber Spirit E310 Liquid Propane Gas Grill is definitely a good option.
Weber Spirit E310 propane gas grill is the best backyard grill as it offers 424 square inches of primary cooking space. It also comes with 105 sq. inches of warming rack. Therefore, this Weber gas grill is a very good option for small backyard parties or family outings.
The porcelain coated cast iron cooking plates will ensure that the heat is retained while cooking. It is very easy to clean up and will not rust or peel off easily. It also comes with three burners and they can be ignited by the touch of a button. Not a surprise that this model made it to our list of best grills under 500 dollars.
Grills Buying Guides
Generally, there are different types of grills offered in the market that includes the charcoal, electric, gas and pellet types. The types of grill that you want to buy depends upon a variety of factors.
You should invest in grills that fit your needs, budget, lifestyle, space, and the kind of grilling or roasting that you wish to enjoy. If you are looking to buy the best grills under 500 dollars, it is important to have a clear mind as to what you want out of the grill.
Types of Grills
1. Pellet Grills
If you are looking for a woody flavor from your grilled food, then investing in the pellet grill is the best option. This type of grill burns hardwood pellet instead of charcoal, and that is how the woody and smoky flavor comes from.
However, these hardwood pellets may be hard to locate. These grills are not offered at a cheaper price and cost as much as the char-broil commercial stainless/black 3 burner gas grill or other superior brands.
2. Charcoal Grills
The charcoal grills offer better flavor and taste to the food if compared to the gas grills. Using these grills is time-consuming as the charcoal takes quite some time to fire up. You have to wait for around 20 to 30 minutes after setting up the charcoal on fire before placing the food to grill. Not to forget to mention that dowsing off the charcoal also take some time.
The good point is, charcoal grills and charcoals cost less and not a single hard time to locate. Charcoal grills need a lot of space in the backyard in order to avoid possible fires risks if not used properly. Safety first, why not?
3. Gas Grills
Gas grills are the most popular types of grills. They are known for its good and tasty flavors, ease of operation and cleaning, and versatility. The best part is that these grills do not take a lot of time to heat up. Hence, cooking meat or other foodstuffs will not take a lot of time.
In terms of operating, these gas grills are very easy and they get ignited by the touch of a button. As for the design, it normally comes with side cooking area, food warming area, multiple burners with maximum BTU output, Wi-Fi controls, rotisserie kits, etc.
4. Electric Grills
Electric grills can be used everywhere as long as there is an electric socket. The taste and flavour of the food are not that "authentic" when you cook on the electric grills. They heat up rather quickly and do not need any fuel to heat the grill plate. All they need is electricity. Check out this post to find the best electric models.
Most electric grills however do not generate the kind of temperature needed for perfect cooking. This grill is an ideal option for those living in areas with small balconies or lack of outdoor space.
Considerations to Select the Perfect Grills
Traditional, as well as modern cooking uses grills to cook ribs, steaks, burgers, hot dogs, etc. The best cheap gas grill in your backyard or kitchen can make your dinner time with family and friends enjoyable.
But, shopping for grills is a confusing task with so many options and features to consider. You need efficient and easy to use equipment to bring versatility to cook.
So, here are the things to look for while shopping for a grill that match your need.
1. Size of the Grills
This is the first thing to consider when you purchase a grill for your home. Think where you are going to set up the grill, whether a kitchen grill for indoor use or outdoor gas grill for your backyard.
You have to decide the size according to the space available at the place of installation, and according to the number of people you are cooking for. Small-sized grill is recommended if you are only using it to cook food for the family members; but if you are a person who likes to invite friends and relatives for dinner or parties you will need a larger grill.
Look at the area of the main cooking surface and also the size of the warming rack. This will give you a rough idea on the size that you need. There are grills with removable warming racks which can save space. You also need to consider the headspace of the grill. Make sure that the headspace is 1 inch so that you can easily roast a turkey. You can also decide whether you need stand alone grills or built-in grills depends on the space availability.
There are grills which use fuels such as charcoal, wood pellets, gas, and electricity. If you are planning to cook in your home it is better to go for electric grills which do not create much smoke. But the downside with electric grill is you cannot achieve the strong smoky and roasted flavor.
If you are looking for best budget BBQ grills, then you can opt for grills which use wood pellets as fuel. They are an ideal choice for people who are looking for mild smoked flavor for their steaks. The drawback of using wood pellet grills is that they cannot give enough heat to give the best sear for the steaks.
Grills with gas burners are a good option for those who prefer less clean up after cooking. If you are into cooking veggies, chicken and fish this is definitely a good choice. If you are looking for the exact smoked flavor from your grilled meat, then charcoal grills are the best choice. However, charcoal grills take more time to set up and cleaning the grills is a difficult task.
3. Temperature Control
Grills with multi-zones allow high temperature fast cooking as well as low heat slow cooking. Select gas grills with at least two burners for controlling temperature cooking.
Pellet grills with digital thermostat offer better temperature control than charcoal or gas burners. There are coal grills with movable coal containers which help to control the heat reaching on the food you are cooking.
The advantage of pellet grills is that you can set the cooking temperature and this will give you extra time to do other work. Go for burners with lids so that it retains the heat.
4. Maximum Heat
If you want your red meat cooked with a nice brown crust outside but pink and juicy from the inside, then you need to look for grills which can provide a temperature of 600-degree Fahrenheit or more.
Most charcoal grills can achieve this temperature. However, only gas grills with infrared burners will be able to achieve this temperature. There are pellet grills which can give temperature up to 700 degrees. The best built-in grills use infrared burners to achieve high heat within a short time.
5. Burner Material
Burners of grills come in different materials such as cast iron, aluminum, brass, stainless steel, etc. It is better to select grills with brass or stainless burners. Cast iron burners require heavy maintenance or it will rust.
Aluminum burners are not very durable as they will burn out. Burners made with heavy gauge, corrosion resistant stainless steel or porcelain enameled stainless steel are an ideal choice. Cast iron burners transfer heat evenly and retain heat better than stainless steel. Cast iron grates also provide the sear marks on cooking items.
Stainless steel burners are more expensive than cast iron but offer zero maintenance. Most consumer reports suggest the use of burners fitted with porcelain coated stainless steel burners.
Your grilling quality depends on the grates used on the grill. Convection or radiation of heat is the process for grilling. The food comes in contact with the grates and the points of contact the cooking occurs by conduction. This leaves the grill marks on the food.
It is better to use porcelain or stainless-steel grates with ¼” wide rung to get the proper grill marks. Cast iron grates may rust and nickel or chrome coated grates will not give the desired grill mark. You can also go for porcelain coated cast iron if you can handle them carefully.
This is needed if you want to cook a whole turkey or chicken. Grills with limited budget may not have a rotisserie. But if you allow more budget, you can go for a grill that comes with rotisserie.
Charcoal grills usually cannot be fitted with this feature. The best Weber grill has the basket type rotisserie, which allows even cooking of the meat. Look for grills with rotisserie, which has a sturdy motor and has a proper weight balance design.
If you want to move your grill to different locations you need to go for grills on carts with sturdy wheels. Grills with wheels are easy to move when it rains. Make sure that the wheels are large enough to roll on different surfaces such as lawn, concrete, deck etc.
You can get grills in different price ranges whether it is pellet grills or gas grills. Grills with more features will be expensive. You can find best propane grills under 300 and some expensive one can cost more than $2000.
One thing you should understand is that price is not an indication of the quality. You can find best performing quality grills under $500. However, quality grills are durable and can last for 10 years or more if you do proper maintenance and cleaning. You can compare consumer reports blaze grills to find the best one with the right features and an affordable price.
It is important to consider what type of warranty or guarantee is provided by the manufacturer of the grill. The best gas grill for the money are models which offer warranty for burners for five years and more.
If the grill has a longer warranty period you can be sure about its quality. Some grills even come with warranties for different parts of the grill such as burners, grates, hood etc. so check the warranty carefully before you purchase the item.
Frequently Asked Questions
1.How many BTU do you need for a gas grill?
You need between 80 and 100 BTU per square inch. A unit with this capability will heat up quickly and stay hot for long.
2.How long should a gas grill last?
A gas grill can last up to 20 years, but the burners have a much shorter lifespan, between 5 and 10 years.
3.Is Weber a good grill?
Yes, Weber makes some of the best grills available on the market. They are advanced units that come with a long lifespan and high price.
Weber Spirit E310 Liquid Propane Gas Grill
It is clearly evident from the above review that the Weber Spirit E310 Grill is the best outdoor grills under 500 dollar. This unit is of great value for money, and also provides a tasty and flavor-rich grilling food.
We give this pellet grill a 5 out of 5 rating as it offers the best performance, automatic dispersing of pellets through auger, auto-ignition button, inbuilt temperature gauge, large grilling area, and superb grease management.