≡ Menu

Best Gas or Charcoal Grill Under $500

 

GAS GRILLS $500 OR LESS

DYNA-GLO BLACK AND STAINLESS PREMIUM GRILLS – 2 BURNER

 

PROS: WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT THIS GAS GRILL

This little beauty is a joy to cook with.

First, for an inexpensive 2-burner this thing gets hot – and FAST! Heat distribution is superior. Within 3 – 4 minutes you’re ready to start cooking.

Secondly, it has heavy cast iron grates for grilling with a surprising level of adjustment (being a 2 burner) from its two control knobs.

Lastly, assembly’s a piece of cake. Unlike most grills this one actually makes sense from top to bottom.

WHAT CUSTOMERS HAD TO SAY

“Compact grill, Easy to assemble, nice size” – Susan B. Droste

SPECIFICATIONS

Dimensions: 45.8 x 23 x 46.1 inches, Weight: 81.4 pounds

CONS: WHAT WE WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY

The bimetal thermometer located on the lid of the grill is WAY off. Then again, there’s no grill on the market that can read temperatures as accurately as a digital thermometer placed an inch or so off the grills surface. It’s a gimmick that could be done away with on all grills, this ones no exception.

BOTTOM-LINE: THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

For the money this is by far one of the best grills we’ve had the pleasure to review. It won’t last for more than a decade, we’d say 3 – 5 years with normal use, but if a cheap, affordable grill is your aim, this liquid propane gas option is the way to go.

+        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +

 

WEBER NATURAL GAS GRILL

 

PROS: WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT THIS GAS GRILL

If “perfection” defined a single grill it would be the Weber Q3200. The number of things that impress us are virtually endless. High heat, no cold spots. Metal grates hold heat far better than steel rods in more expensive and traditional gas grills. Cooks evenly, quickly, so meat stays tender and juicy. Char marks on meat and veggies are simply a masterpiece. Picasso would be proud.

It’s compact for smaller patios yet robust enough for large meals. It’s sturdy plastic legs and parts prevents future rust and corrosion over time. Sure, metal and cast iron are heavier, sturdier, and gives a feel of quality, but you pay for it with high maintenance and a strict cleaning regimen.

It’s a breeze to wash and clean, and there’s no need for tanks. Assembly takes approximately 1.5 hours from start to finish. So simple a 12 year old could do it.

WHAT CUSTOMERS HAD TO SAY

“Top notch. Everything that I had hoped for in a grill” – D. Cox

SPECIFICATIONS

Color: White, Dimensions: 30 x 50.2 x 55.5 inches, Weight: 85 pounds, Material: Aluminum, Model Number: 57067001

CONS: WHAT WE WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY

The grills can get grimy pretty fast if left uncleaned for long periods of time. We do wish they were easier to clean.

BOTTOM-LINE: THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

Overall, you’ll be pleased with this purchase. From the moment your grill arrives at your door step, in less than 2 hours it’s assembled, and from there you simply push a button, turn the gas, and as the book of Genesis would say, “Let there be light!”.

+        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +

 

BROIL KING SIGNET CAST ALUMINUM 3 BURNER GAS GRILL

 

PROS: WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT THIS GAS GRILL

Aside from being manufactured and shipped on American soil (no cheaply-made or produced foreign products here), the Broil King Signet has a build quality on par with the popular Weber grills for a significantly cheaper price.

The encased burners protecting from drips or anything else is a nice touch for preventing slow corrosion and damage. And did we mention their 10 year warranty as well?

Heat evenly distributes across the grill with zero hot spots. Nothings more embarrassing than a guess getting the ‘bad end of a burger’ because of hot spots.

WHAT CUSTOMERS HAD TO SAY

“This grill is amazing. It puts others to absolute shame” – Tech Reader

SPECIFICATIONS

Dimensions: 62.2 x 23.2 x 48.4 inches, Item Weight: 135 pounds, Material: Cast Aluminum

CONS: WHAT WE WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY

This model lacks assembly and operating instructions. Sure, it’s pretty straight-forward and common sense for some with assembly experience, but for the average Joe or Jane they’re going to need a little assistance. Fortunately, there are online instructions you can download and print but, including the printed instructions (maybe $1.00 worth of ink and paper) would have been a nice touch for added convenience.

BOTTOM-LINE: THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

All-in-all this is an awesome grill for the money. Get one. You won’t regret your decision.

+        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +

 

CHAR-BROIL CLASSIC 2-BURNER

 

PROS: WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT THIS GAS GRILL

This is a very decent, cheap, and lightweight grill that’s great for a few burgers, pork chops and hot dogs. Customers experience no leaks or issues. This is sure to last several years, but if you have a grill it should last you twice as long.

WHAT CUSTOMERS HAD TO SAY

“I liked it a lot and it fits perfectly to my balcony” – Alejandro Requena

SPECIFICATIONS

Color: Black – Dimensions: 41.5 x 49 x 19 inches – Material: Aluminum – Weight: 37 pounds – Manufacturer: Char-Broil

CONS: WHAT WE WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY

The side shelves are quite ‘flimsy’. We wouldn’t put anything heavy on them (plates of food – cooked or uncooked, heavy pots/pans, etc.) Condiments are about the only thing we’d place on them along with cooking utensils.

Also, there are no instructions on how to mount the propane tank. For the experienced it’s no big deal, for the first time griller it can pose a slight challenge.

BOTTOM-LINE: THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

Overall, this is a great grill for the price. It’s a trusted name brand people trust plus you get the satisfaction of building it yourself. If you’re an experienced griller who requires a side burner or other bells and whistles for the perfect grilling experience you may want to look elsewhere, but for the newbie griller it’s a fun little starter to get your feet wet.

+        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +

 

CHAR-BROIL CLASSIC 4-BURNER GAS GRILL W/ SIDE BURNER

 

PROS: WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT THIS GAS GRILL

This is one beautiful, sturdy grill. It’s appearance and construction makes it look and feel twice as expensive than it really is. Good even heating. For the price this gas grill is amongst the exceptional exceeding even our own high standards. Realistically, you can expect to get 7 – 10 years out of it provided you keep a cover (not provided) over it after every use.

The grill surface is porcelain so it doesn’t need to be seasoned. Just throw your food on and start cooking. Food doesn’t stick and it comes out beautifully.

WHAT CUSTOMERS HAD TO SAY

“I got this as a Christmas gift for someone and it gets SO much use.” – Annie

SPECIFICATIONS

Color: Metal Grey, Dimensions: 56 x 21 x 45.5 inches, Material: Aluminum , Weight: 70.5 pounds, Manufacturer: Char-Broil

CONS: WHAT WE WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY

There’s a lot of pieces involved to put together. If you’d rather not bother, have it pre-assembled for an extra cost. If, however, you enjoy a good challenge, we’d recommend having a partner to assist you in assembly. It’s easier that way.

BOTTOM-LINE: THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

You’re going to enjoy this grill. It’s easy to kick start with one button and takes the hassle out of lighting coals and using lighter fluid. This allows you to take your kitchen without outside for a party!

+        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +

CHARCOAL GRILLS $500 OR LESS

SMOKE HOLLOW GAS/CHARCOAL/SMOKER GRILL W/ SIDE BURNER

 

PROS: WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT THIS CHARCOAL GRILL

Although this page is primarily for the best charcoal grillers available, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to review a 3-in-1 – Gas, Charcoal and Smoker – because this grill performs equally well across the board while giving you more variety in the way you prepare food for yourself and guests without the added expense.

Out the box the assembly instructions are simple and straightforward to follow. No rocket science here. Boxes are labeled with what parts go where.

WHAT CUSTOMERS HAD TO SAY

“Loved it so well that we bought another one after we moved.” – Gary

SPECIFICATIONS

Color: Black, Dimensions: 45 x 22.5 x 66 inches, Material: Resin Wicker, Power Source: Propane and Natural Gas, Weight: 110 pounds, Manufacturer: Outdoor Leisure Products, Inc

CONS: WHAT WE WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY

According to some reviews some parts don’t fit as well as they should, however, this is the case for all similar grills (3-in-1’s or greater) and are likely to have the same shortcomings. Because of a few manufacturing flaws expect to make a few minor modifications.

BOTTOM-LINE: THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

This is a GREAT starter grill for the anyone wanting to get their feet wet with more than one grilling option to experiment different ways of grilling without needing separate grills for each function (i.e. smoker grills, Gas grill, charcoal grill, searing grill, etc.)

+        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +

 

WEBER ORIGINAL KETTLE 22-INCH CHARCOAL GRILL

 

PROS: WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT THIS CHARCOAL GRILL

We’ve placed Weber’s Original Kettle Charcoal Grill at the top of the pack because push come to shove this grill is by far one of the most practical grills you’ll likely ever own in your lifetime. Here’s why:

Performance – Highly adjustable and easy heat controls.

Versatility – Air tight vents makes for an effect indirect heat smoker.

Efficiency/Economy – Allows for extended charcoal preservation for multiple uses. No other grill on the market competes with the airtight nature of this grill. Period.

Taste – The flavor on a Weber using good briquettes is beyond fantastic. Some argue it’s leaps and bounds better than gas because charcoal is what makes barbecuing unique from home cooking with its smoky, woody flavors.

WHAT CUSTOMERS HAD TO SAY

“My grill of a lifetime, I’ll die owning my Weber Kettle. I was gifted this grill 16 years ago. It continued to work until I recently bought me a new one.” – Harold Wolf

SPECIFICATIONS

Color: Black, Dimensions: 38.5 x 20.5 x 25 inches, Material: Steel, Power Source: Charcoal, Weight: 31.8 pounds, Manufacturer: Weber

CONS: WHAT WE WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY

We found it fairly difficult to find a single negative review about this grill. We’re sure they exist, “somewhere”, as no grill is perfection, just not prominently on Amazon.

BOTTOM-LINE: THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

Whether your experienced or novice this grill blows every other grill on the market today out of the water in terms of normal, everyday use without the fancy bells and whistles.

+        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +

 

CHAR-GRILLER KAMADO CHARCOAL AND SMOKER GRILL

 

PROS: WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT THIS CHARCOAL GRILL

If you’ve never used a Kamado Charcoal and Smoker you’re in for a pleasant surprise.

We confess. It’s quite challenging to name everything about this cooker because it grills AND smokes so well you’ll never find reason to utilize any other charcoal grill.

It’s a superior smoker compared to any offset barrel smoker you’ll ever own. It’s a superior grill compared to any gasser or kettle you’ll ever use. And to add icing on the cake, it can be used as a traditional convection over if you so choose to bake pizza, cornbread, or any desert of your choosing.

WHAT CUSTOMERS HAD TO SAY

“This is a flavor game changer. I purchased this unit a few months ago and I have been hooked on grilling/smoking ever since.” – Joe

SPECIFICATIONS

Color: Red, Brown, and Black, – Dimensions: 24.8 x 28.7 x 21.6 inches – Material: Steel – Power Source: Charcoal – Weight: 99 pounds – Manufacturer: Char-Griller

CONS: WHAT WE WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY

Some users have said this model ‘overheats’, others mentioned they’ve had issues with the rivnuts holding the lid and side shelves into place, and a few said this model comes with noticeable dents on the lid. This could likely be a shipping issue.

BOTTOM-LINE: THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

This Kamado model strikes a near perfect balance between affordability and utility. Other Kamado models such as the Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe, and Primo XL ARE better alternatives, but only moderately so and cost four to five times more.

This char-griller is one of the greatest things you could do for your own backyard.

+        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +

 

WEBER PERFORMER DELUXE CHARCOAL 22-INCH GRILL

 

PROS: WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT THIS GAS GRILL

The word ‘PERFORMER’ fits this grill perfectly as it comes with everything you need and more to put on quite the show for family, friends, neighbors, and party guests. It has the flavor and taste of charcoal or wood with the convenience of using a gas grill. It’s a wonderful idea that happens to work very well!

Assembly’s ‘easy peasy’. With instructions it takes less than 30 minutes for one person to set-up alone.

Customer service is fantastic and their warranty shows how much confidence they have in every model built and shipped to their customers.

It comes with two charcoal trays for indirect grilling and with other brands of grills, air gets trapped and you can’t control the heat. With this model you have total control allowing you to preserve charcoal for longer.

WHAT CUSTOMERS HAD TO SAY

“Way better than any gas grill I’ve had.” – Patricia Jones

SPECIFICATIONS

Color: Black, Copper, and Green – Dimensions: 43.5 x 48 x 30 inches – Material: Steel – Power Source: Charcoal – Weight: 99 pounds – Manufacturer: Weber-Stephen Products LLC

BOTTOM-LINE: THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

It’s a FACT. You’ll get more flavorful memories within a single week using this grill than you ever will using any gas grill on the market – guaranteed.

Here’s a tip: Grab Weber’s “Charcoal Chimney Starter”. It lights coals without fluid and worth every penny spent. Thank us later (smiles). Simply put, this is a great grill, plus its made in America.

‘Nuff said.

+        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +        +

 

PORTABLE KITCHEN ‘PK’ CAST ALUMINUM GRILL AND SMOKER

 

PROS: WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT THIS CHARCOAL GRILL

This retro-style 1950’s designed charcoal grill has THICK aluminum construction allowing for food to be cooked evenly around without constant turning along with adjustable vents and dampers for temperature control.

Grill and charcoal grates are stronger than other grills and if you need to replace grates they’re available if need be (very unlikely). Plus, this grill NEVER rusts.

WHAT CUSTOMERS HAD TO SAY

“I have used one of their grills since 1970 you can’t burn this grill out. Wonderful heat retention” – Gary Gregory

SPECIFICATIONS

Color: Silver and Graphite – Dimensions: 35 x 20.5 x 35.5 inches – Material: Aluminum – Power Source: Charcoal – Weight: 35 pounds – Manufacturer: Portable Kitchens, Inc.

CONS: WHAT WE WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY

If you enjoy hosting parties and entertaining multiple guests, you’ll want to consider a different grill and model with a  larger surface area. It’s designed for smaller families and at this time there isn’t a larger model for purchase.

BOTTOM-LINE: THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

Many customers claim this is “the BEST grill they’ve ever owned”. And they mean it “literally”. Many leave reviews of the same product they’ve owned for decades being sold here as new, so it’s safe to say that this grill will outlast you and can be passed down to your children so they get as much joy out of it as you