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On a warm day, the general inclination is to spend time outdoors — and what better way to do that than cook with a gas grill? A gas grill can be set up in a yard area to entertain guests with a Sunday barbecue or even just a quick dinner for two on a weeknight. Investing in a gas grill gives you more meal prep options and helps you enjoy cooking in nature rather than cooped up indoors.
01 of 07
Best Overall: Weber Spirit II E310 Liquid Propane Gas Grill
This 3-burner Spirit Gas Grill from Weber offers you a brand name at a great price. It has 30,000 BTUs in 529-square inch cooking space which is enough room for a family dinner. The grill turns on with the simple ignition button and there is a fuel gauge that will let you know how much propane you have on hand. Grease from burgers and fatty meats gets managed with the flavorizer bars that evaporate into smoke giving your meat a deeper flavor and whatever is left over flows into a collection tray that is far enough away to prevent grease fires.
02 of 07
Best for Small Spaces: Baron 320 3-Burner Gas Grill
Luckily, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a quality mid-size gas grill. Featuring sturdy, reversible cast iron cooking grids, three stainless steel Dual-Tube burners, an enclosed cabinet base, side shelves, and a gleaming porcelain coated warming rack, the fully equipped (and affordably priced) Baron 320 3-Burner Gas Grill has everything you need to prepare a tasty dinner in record time. With this top-rated Baron gas grill, adjusting the heat simply entails a quick turn of the knobs, so you can easily prevent undercooking or burning your food. Plus, thanks to the grill’s size, you don’t have to worry about it taking up too much space on your patio. Reviewers love the Baron 320 3-Burner Gas Grill for its low price point, great temperature control, and above-average features.
Want to see more options? Check out our list of the best small grills to buy now.
03 of 07
Best Budget: Dyna-Glo Smart Space Living 2-Burner
Small space grills started showing up a few years ago, marketed to people who simply don't want or don't have room for a traditional full-sized gas grill but still wanted full-sized grilling. This model from Dyna-Glo is a very basic gas grill with two burners that can handle 17 burgers at once. It has a quick start ignition which will help you get the grilled fired up but in terms of other features that is about it. If you are looking for a basic model that doesn't break the bank this is a great option. Reviewers commented set up is easy and cleaning the grates is seamless.
04 of 07
Best Large: Char-Broil Performance 5 Burner Gas Grill
This large, 5-burner, 45,000 BTU grill includes a 10,000 BTU lidded side burner for more cooking options. The lid folds down when the burner isn’t in use, so you can use the area for extra workspace. The primary grates are porcelain-coated cast iron and offer 550 square inches of cooking space, and an additional 210 square inches of space is available on the swing-away rack.
Heat tents over the stainless steel top-ported burners reduce flare-ups and provide even heat. A thermometer in the lid lets you monitor the interior temperature without lifting the lid. This has a stainless steel lid, handle and cabinet that will look good for years to come, and large metal side shelves provide extra work space and a place to set down your cooking tools and beverage. Electronic ignition offers reliable starts every time and a removable grease pan make cleaning easy when you’re done cooking.
The cabinet has two doors for easy access to the storage space and the propane tank. If you need to move the grill, it has four casters; two of them lock to keep the grill from wandering if it’s accidentally bumped.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Best Mid-Sized: Broil King Signet 320 Stainless Steel 3-Burner Liquid Propane Gas Grill
Sometimes, you need a grill that can offers just the right amount of space without taking up an entire patio. While we may all dream of having that large backyard to host massive BBQ parties, that isn’t always a realistic dream. Thankfully, you don’t have to give up on a great grilling experience or the ability to dazzle guests with your grilling skills. The right mid-sized grill is the perfect option for smaller yards and patios when you want to grill without limits.
This 3-burner grill from Broil King offers everything you need in one affordable package. The superior burner design provides even heating and the heavy cast iron cooking grates give excellent heat transfer. What's more, the fire box design holds in heat for versatile cooking abilities. This grill is a fantastic value for anyone who wants to cook outdoors here but doesn't have the space for an extra large sized grill. The 400 square inch cooking area is plenty for entertaining a few guests plus the 40,000 BTUs mean this grill is highly effective and producing the temperatures you need for your cookout food. Plus, side shelves make storing your tools and utensils a breeze.
06 of 07
Best Griddle: Blackstone Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station
When is a grill not a grill? When it’s an outdoor griddle! It operates like a traditional grill but has a flat cooking surface, so you’ll never need to worry about food falling through the grates or grease causing the flames to flare up dangerously. It’s more versatile than a traditional grill since you can cook eggs or pancakes on it, right next to your bacon. You can also use it for making stirfry, grilled cheese sandwiches, or hash browns, as well as burgers, steaks and sausages.
This offers 720 square inches of cooking space, so you’ll have plenty of room for family dinners or parties. Electronic ignition with a push-button battery operated starter makes this easy to use, and since food won’t drip on the burners or ignition, it will remain reliable for many years. A bottom shelf and two side shelves give you extra work space and storage space to keep your cooking tools handy.
This has a powder-coated black steel frame, four independently controlled, 15,000 BTU stainless steel burners, and a thick cold-rolled steel cooktop for professional quality cooking. When you need to store the grill, it has wheels to make it easy to roll. The legs fold up and the griddle top is removable, to make it easier to tuck away.
07 of 07
Best With Rotisserie: Monument Grills Propane Gas Grill
This grill has it all, including a rotisserie, so you can make the best chickens and roasts that baste themselves and cook evenly as they spin on the spit.
For normal grill cooking, there are four main burners as well as a side burner with electronic ignition for fast, easy, reliable starting every time. The grill produces a total of 60,000 BTUs of heat, and you’ll have plenty of space for grilling with 513 square inches of primary cooking space. There is an additional 210 square inches on the warming rack, so you can keep food at serving temperature or warm buns for your burgers while you cook.
The exterior is stainless steel that will never rust and is easy to maintain, and the cooking grates are porcelain-coated cast iron for easy maintenance and great grill marks.
This grill includes an integrated thermometer so you can check the interior temperature at a glance. For evening cooking, the control knobs are backlit with LEDs, so you won’t need a flashlight to make adjustments. If you need to move the grill, there are four casters that lock when you’ve found the perfect spot for cooking.
How We Tested
Our reviewers spent 20 hours testing one of the most popular gas grills under $500 on the market. To ensure the most thorough feedback possible, we asked our testers to consider the most important features when using this grill — from its size to its various features — and we've outlined them here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
What to Look for in a Gas Grill Under $500
Size A grill with at least two burners offers more flexibility and temperature control. Surface area, which is measured in square inches, is the most important measurement when evaluating size. A 450- to 500-square-inch grill is sufficient for most — these models can cook up to 24 burgers at a time.
BTU BTU indicates gas output and how much heat a grill can generate, but it isn’t a great measurement of efficacy. Look for a grill with a large temperature range instead — premium models may have infrared burners that can climb as high as 700 degrees or more.
Features Choose a gas grill that has an automatic starter and a removable upper cooking grate for indirect cooking (ideal for buns, veggies, and large cuts of meat). A propane gauge is a huge advantage. A side burner is also nice to have but often underutilized. Premium features include built-in LED lights and wireless temperature monitors.
Test Results: Weber Spirit II E310 Liquid Propane Gas Grill (Best Overall)
What We Like
Heats up quickly
Ample grill space
What We Don't Like
No side burner
One of our testers was pleasantly surprised at how easy this grill was to set up: “Amazon suggests that assembly time is typically around three hours,” he said, “but it only took me 1.5 without help.” Our reviewers also loved how quickly this grill heated up, plus the amount of surface area it had for its size. “There was more than enough grill space for everything I wanted to cook,” said one tester. “I was able to get six burgers, seven kabobs, and four hot dogs [at the same time] — plus, the bun warmer offers extra space.” One thing our reviewers did wish for was a side burner.