This is by far the best price range for most people.
I recommend everyone who’s looking for cheaper grills to try and stretch their budgets to this range.
For 500 bucks, you can get an awesome Weber grill that will last for years, and you will actually save yourself from having to buy a new unit in the future. If you invest in anything less, you’re more likely to end up buying another unit a few years down the road.
Here are two great options in this price range. I really only recommend the second model because if I didn’t, everyone would think that I’m working for Weber. I have no affiliation with Weber at all, I just love their grills, and believe they’re a better product.
Weber Spirit E310
What sort of outdoor grill review list would this be if it didn’t include a Weber? The Spirit E310 is priced at $499, making it just affordable enough to include in this list of the best sub-$500 gas grills on the market today.
Like any Weber, the Spirit E310 is an awfully nice-looking piece of grilling tech. In fact, it’s so attractive you might feel bad about covering it up when you’re done grilling. Everything about the design looks well-thought-out and feels reassuringly sturdy. The controls, the ignition system, and the doors are all very durable and well-made.
You’ll probably be rolling a grill like this onto your patio with every expectation of getting a solid 10 years of service out of it, and nothing about the Spirit E310 makes me think your experience would be otherwise. The one caution I would give you is to add a cover to the grates because they’re made out of iron rather than steel.
When it comes to cooking quality, the Weber grill is an absolute delight. This is a two-burner grill, and after trying out the Dyna-Glo with all its raw power I was frankly worried that the warm-up time on the Spirit was going to be disappointing. I shouldn’t have doubted Weber engineering! The Spirit got up 550 degrees in less than 10 minutes. Even though it’s lagging behind on burner count, the Spirit offers you higher max temperatures than the Dyna-Glo. That all means this grill is going to be especially satisfying for folks who like to char-grill.
One important safety tip from my own experience: The hood and handle of this grill heat up while it’s in use. Make sure you’ve got your oven mitts handy when it’s time to open it.
I’m not the first reviewer to notice how compact the Spirit is. The side burners fold down when they’re not in use, producing a very small package when it’s time to store your grill. When it’s opened up for cooking, there’s no shortage of space and there’s ample space under the dome for grilling a whole chicken. The Spirit also comes with a detachable warming rack, an idea so brilliant that now I’m slightly disappointed in seeing how many grills don’t include this handy feature.
This is a highly satisfying grill, but I would expect nothing less from a model that is a) at the top of our price range and b) produced by Weber. It seems most users are as satisfied with the Spirit as I am; it currently holds a very respectable average rating of 4.5 stars over at Amazon.
Dyna-Glo DGE Series (5 Burner)
Our runner-up grill in the under-$500 category is Dyna-Glo’s formidable five burner model. This is definitely the grill to consider if you’re looking for sheer heating power. It pumps out a whopping 50,000 BTUs with all burners engaged and adding on the side burner pumps up the total by another 12,000.
At first glance, the Dyna-Glo is a rock-solid grill that looks like a professional piece of cooking equipment. The market for premium outdoor grills is getting positively crowded these days, but the Dyna-Glo stands out above the competition thanks to its stainless steel construction and its distinctive style. There are lots of grills out there that cost significantly more than this Dyna-Glo that don’t use half as much durable stainless steel. Cleaning this grill is nearly effortless and it does a great job of holding up to the elements even if you leave it uncovered. This is one grill that’s not going to rust out anytime soon.
With the Dyna-Glo’s electronic ignition system, you have complete control over how many burners you fire up. You’ll be able to keep things small for cooking more modest meals, and that means saving a little bit of fuel in the tank. Firing off all the burners together delivers a truly impressive amount of heat, and this grill reaches cooking temperature exceptionally fast.
Sheer power isn’t everything, though. The Dyna-Glo doesn’t disappoint when it comes to heat distribution. Every part of the cooking surface receives even heating, taking a lot of the guesswork and hassle out of grilling.
This grill comes with a lot of thoughtful design features that really make it easy to use. A fine example would be the way the gas tank is mounted on a slide-out holder. I’ve had to go through some incredible contortions to install and remove tanks from other grills, so the straightforward yank required to get the Dyna-Glo’s tank out was very much appreciated.
Of course, no grill is quite perfect, and as you might expect at the lower end of the price spectrum you’re going to have to put up with a few sub-optimal features. For me, the main disappointment I encountered while putting the Dyna-Glo through its paces was the overly well-ventilated lid. This meant that even though all of those burners pumped out a tremendous amount of heat, a lot of it ended up escaping and the grill struggled to reach and maintain the very highest temperatures. If you like doing really high-intensity cooking this might not be the right grill for you.
Don’t get me wrong, the Dyna-Glo is still an extremely impressive machine. The makers might have cut a lot of corners for the sake of stretching their profits but it’s clear they didn’t want to compromise on quality. Although the suggested retail price on this grill is $499, you can usually find it on online stores for under $400.