Ready to have your meat-loving world rocked?
With just $500 you can score a grill that is finally going to cook a perfectly seared, mouth-watering steak evenly and with a perfect sear.
Frankly, your barbecue will smell so good your neighbors are going to be beating down your door wanting to know what is cooking and if they can come join you.
This could be good or bad, depending on how much you like your neighbors. But definitely a good thing if you are serious about enjoying your barbecuing experience as much as the meat coming off your grill at meal time.
So what do you get for $500?
For one, you should expect more grilling surface area. You can cook for the whole family with room to spare. A whole rack of ribs is going to be a breeze. And I am HUGE rib freak, so if you’re like me, you know that extra space is essential.
You should also expect to see quick and even heating. With a bigger budget, all of the essential functions should perform perfectly.
I’ve put together a list of my top picks, researched extensively for this price range, any of which will seriously transform your outdoor cooking experience from a necessity to a recreational activity. I’ll break down the top features AND nitpick any cons that you should know about before buying.
There are some great contenders here and an option for every griller.
The original Spirit is the first grill I ever purchased and I was blown away by the hallmark Weber cooking experience delivered in a smaller package.
The Spirit II 310 is a newer, upgraded version of the original that delivers an even higher-level experience, with three glorious burners.
With the E310, Weber took the top, core features of their largest grills and engineered them to fit in a neat, mid-size version that still packs a power punch. The Spirit delivers 30,000 BTUs with 529 square inches of cooking space, providing solid, even heat to every inch.
Weber added in their new Gs4 grilling system, with three burners, each supported by stainless steel, top quality tubes. These tubes aren’t your typical burner tubes. They won’t rust quickly, or damage easy and leak gas. They are in fact, specifically designed to be durable and they actively limit the effects of rust agents.
Even with just three burners, the Weber really feels like an expansive outdoor kitchen. It comes with generously sized drop down tables on both sides (more room to layout food) that fold down for easy storage. Both tables are equipped with 3 sturdy hooks to hang your tools (pans, spatulas, knives, etc.).
You can also expect to enjoy Weber’s exclusive Flavorizer bar system, porcelain coated cast iron cooking grates (designed for quick cleaning), and the new infinity electronic ignition system.
What really signifies that this is a Weber grill is how evenly it cooks and how quickly. I’ve used the Spirit to cook just about any kind of meat you can think of: steaks, burgers, dogs, ribs, chicken breasts, chops, etc. It cooks all of them evenly (no random cold spots) and delivers a killer sear. Heat time is quick, usually 10 minutes, tops.
The E310 doesn’t come equipped with a side burner. You’ll have to upgrade to the Genesis for that. While I occasionally like to use one, it’s not a deal breaker and is a pretty minor. If your main concerns are quality and budget, then this shouldn’t be a major deterrent for you and for the under $500 gas grill field, this is the very best on the market.
Of all the new grill models released for 2020, this is the one I am most excited about. I love the under $500 price point because you can get some really fun features and you aren’t totally breaking the bank.
Monument makes some top quality grills and this 4 burner is so reasonably priced for their level of quality and attention to detail. The 41847NG is also a big boy. As mentioned, it has 4 primary burners plus a sweet little bonus lidded side burner. Overall cooking area is 513 square inches of main space plus 210 square inches of warming rack.
The power on this model is also impressive and ranks up there with the best at 60,000 BTUs for a really top level performance.
The cooking grates are porcelain-coated cast iron for a hot, consistent cook and easy clean-up. Stainless steel flame tamers deliver on even heating and vaporize juices, infusing them back into the meat for exceptional flavor. The ignition system is also push-button for a quick start up.
With this model, you’ll also find a nice little lid-mounted thermometer and light up LED control knobs for grilling after dark.
My favorite new feature? The clear glass viewing panel built right into that stainless steel lid. You can easily monitor what you’re cooking through the tempered glass without lifting the lid and losing all that built up heat. You’ll need to be prepared to clean the class regularly to maintain, but the maintenance is akin to cleaning the doors on a fireplace. Not a big deal.
The overall construction is stainless steel with a beautiful double door style under cabinet for storing your favorite grill tools and to hide the propane tank. The side shelves are also stainless and the side burner is lidded to provide some extra work space when not in use. Four heavy-duty casters offer smooth maneuverability.
This is a high quality grill thoughtfully designed to provide a superior grilling experience for a reasonable price tag.
I know what you’re thinking, why am I showing you a griddle that looks like it belongs in a restaurant kitchen when you’re looking for grills?
Hear me out.
This huge 600 square inch beast represents the future of grill style and practicality. It is versatile. You can choose to use the griddle plates to cook up a tower of pancakes or switch over to grill grates if you’re hungry for some burgers. You can even enjoy a half and half situation and make burgers AND pancakes.
This is a professional restaurant grade grill that you can bring home and enjoy in your backyard. It offers 604 square inches of griddle space, and 501 square inches of grilling area to churn out enough food for 50-100 hungry guests PER HOUR.
It boasts four 12,000 BTU stainless steel burners for 48,000 total BTUs and electronic ignition. Heat distributes evenly so there are no hot spots and you get a consistent grill on everything you’re cooking.
The Camp Chef also features two roomy folding side shelves for easy prep. The grease management system is also intelligently design for easy clean up and no flare ups.
The grill grates are stationery and the griddle grates are placed over them when you’re ready to switch over.
Users are obsessed with this grill and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars with 133 reviews on Amazon.
For a mid-point in the under $500 range, this is sweet little 2 burner that is a great pick if you don’t need all the cooking space of grills like the Monument but want to splurge a bit on the burners.
This is an overall sleek design, something we’re seeing a lot of for the 2020 grill releases, with integrated LED lights in the knobs and stainless steel in the lid, handle and side shelves.
The TRU_Infrared burners are a favorite for hot, quick and consistent heat delivery with 20,000 BTUs of power across 325 square inches of primary cooking area.
Features worth noting include a simple push-button ignition system, folding side shelves for a slimmer space-saving profile, and porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grates designed to resist rust and be easy to clean and maintain long term. The lower cart is compact and offers just enough space to hide the propane tank from view.
This is a great choice for smaller outdoor spaces and a few high-level perks without a ton of burners you won’t use.
The first time I saw the Fuego F24C, I wasn’t sure if I should cook on it or send it up into space.
It’s the brainchild of a former designer from Apple and it’s a definite stand out on this list for it’s circular design and innovative tech approach to grilling.
In terms of heat, like its name suggests, this grill really brings it. The main selling point for the Fuego is that it heats up to 500 degrees in just 5 minutes. Thanks to its dual zone heating system, the Fuego gives you the option of cooking just on the outer burner for lower temp, slower cooking, or to turn on the second burner to make full use of the 700 degrees of heat it can produce.
The design makes very good use of space, and there are no hotspots at all, so you can cook perfectly on every inch of the space it provides. The round grill is deceptively large, and you can fit 10-15 burgers on without issue. This is a great grill for the more tech-minded griller who doesn’t have or need much space.
This compact grill from Weber sure doesn’t look like the rest of the big grills on this site, but it’s a great higher-end option for small spaces.
Weber is our favorite standalone grill maker and the Q3200 is packed with great features, including 462 square inches of total cooking space (including the warming rack), 21,700 BTUs of power, two stainless steel burners and porcelain-enameled cast iron cooking grates.
The overall grill body and casing is cast aluminum, which we would prefer in a stainless steel instead but the construction is solid and Weber is known for durability.
The Q3200 also gas an easy-start electronic ignition system and infinite control burner settings. The temperature gauge is front-mounted on the lid for easy monitoring. It also offers removable folding side tables, a bottom shelf for storage and the option to switch in griddle plates for flexible cooking.
With the E210, Weber took the very best, core features of their larger grills and engineered them to fit in a neat, compact version that still packs a power punch. The Spirit delivers 26,500 BTUs with 450 sq inches of cooking space and 90 inches of warming rack. This grill provides solid, even heat to every inch.
Weber added in their new Gs4 grilling system, with two burners, each supported by stainless steel, top quality tubes. These tubes aren’t your typical burner tubes. They won’t rust quickly, or damage easy and leak gas. They are in fact, specifically designed to be durable and they actively limit the effects of rust agents.
Even with just two burners, the Weber really feels like a portable outdoor kitchen. It comes with reasonably sized drop down tables on both sides (more room to layout food) that fold down for easy storage. Both tables are equipped with 3 sturdy hooks to hang your tools (pans, spatulas, knives, etc.).
You can also expect to enjoy Weber’s signature Flavorizer bar system, porcelain coated cooking grates (designed for quick cleaning), and the new infinity electronic ignition system.
I love the slim profile of this patio grill from Kenmore. This is a really great pick if you’re tight on space but aren’t ready to give in to a tabletop or portable style model. You still have the standalone feel of a big grill, but it isn’t going to dominate your space.
The Kenmore offers 3 burners capable of firing up 33 (yes, really!) burgers at once with a total cooking are of 522 square inches. The burners on this little beast are pumping out 10,000 BTUs each for a total of 30,000 BTUs across the board. Electronic ignition and beautiful powder coated shelves paired with stainless steel make the build on this one durable and good looking.
Heat tents paired with stainless steel burners create a great cooking set up with even, consistent heat and precision temperature monitoring using the lid-mounted thermometer.
Side shelves are folding to create an even smaller footprint (the grill literally looks like a podium) and tool hooks make it convenient to have everything you need within arms reach. The only drawback for this unit is it doesn’t come on casters so it can be a bit of a pain to maneuver if you have plans to move it around your space.
Hanging out toward the higher end of this price group, the 4 burner from Kenmore is a recommended alternative if you’re looking for a larger grilling space and the bonus of a side burner and lower cabinet storage.
In addition to being packed with burners, the PG-4040 is also pretty spacious. It offers a very roomy 425 square inches of primary cooking area with an additional 168 square inches of warming rack. Total BTUs come in at 52,000, including the additional lidded side burner in the right hand side table pumping out 12,000 BTUs on its own. This is one of my fave bonus features you start to see more commonly with 4 burner grills and toward the higher end of this price range.
Kenmore also used a ton of stainless steel on this grill, outfitting all surfaces, fascia, the firebox and lid, so it’s as shiny as can be.
Electronic push-button ignition, folding side shelves, an enclosed lower cart, well-made locking casters and convenient tool hooks round out the feature list. This is a nice alternative to the Webers and Char-Broil options on our list and is a favorite for consistent daily cooking.
Another great grill from Char-Broil, this time in a smaller, 3 burner set up but with one of the lower price points for this list.
This is a slightly smaller version of the 4 burner we shared earlier and a great option if you just don’t need the extra cook space.
The 463370719 offers 450 square inches of primary cooking area. It is also equipped with 150 square inches of warming rack, for toasting buns or keeping a pile of burgers hot while you finish off some hot dogs. It includes the optional side burner and is outfitted with a lower cabinet to hide the propane tank and provide a little extra storage.
The cooking grates are porcelain-coated cast iron and it comes with a quick and easy electronic ignition system. Overall BTU’s are 44,000 across the three burners, with 10,000 just for the lidded side burner. The infrared technology allows the grill to heat up faster and more evenly (not hot and cold spots) for a better cooking, and eating experience.
Most of the construction is stainless steel so it’s also a good looking piece of backyard equipment designed to withstand the elements and whatever you have in store for it when it comes to grilling.
This is a grill for a regular griller with a large contingent of hungry friends and family to shovel burgers into. It is actually two separate grills situated on the same stand than can be used in tandem or separately.
The ZH3003 offers both gas and charcoal sides for a versatile cook experience, 810 square inches of total cooking area, 27,000 BTUs of power for 3 burners, porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grates, a removable grease drip tray on the gas grill side, and a removable ashtray design for the charcoal half. The charcoal grill also comes equipped with front and upper air dampers to maximize the flow of air.
It also has a lower cart with tons of great storage space and pop up side shelves for prep work.
This is a HUGE grill. The Royal Gourmet Classic 6 is the largest grilling machine on this list and is a shiny steel backyard beast.
Here’s what you can expect from the RG: 5 stainless steel burners plus an extra powerful sear burner AND a lidded side burner for sauce prep. Total cooking power comes in at a serious 71,000 BTUs for even heat distribution. The total cooking space on this guy is 802 square inches which includes a 199 square inch warming rack. The cook grates are porcelain-coated cast iron.
You’ll also find a built-in hood mounted thermometer, an easily removable grease tray, lower cabinet and roomy side shelves and a quick, electronic ignition system. This grill doesn’t have back closure so it will vent out the backside. This is the main reason it falls so far down on our list. It gets high marks for offering so much space for a relatively low price tag.
This monument grill snagged our #3 spot, but that was the version offered in stainless steel with the rotisserie kit. Monument also offers this grill in black, without the rotisserie for a lower price point.
This grill has all the same features of our top pick with the two exceptions noted above. You’ll find, 4 burners, 60,000 BTUs of cooking power, 513 square inches of cooking area, a 210 square inch warming rack, a lidded side burner and porcelain-coasted cooking grates. It also has the standard center-mounted temperature gauge and electronic ignition for an easy start-up.
If you’re not picky about color and don’t think a rotisserie kit is something you’ll use, this is a great alternative to consider.
We already have an E-210 on this list but I couldn’t resist including this slightly older model too.
So why does the older version make the cut? For the simple reason that it offers a cabinet on the base instead of the cart style shown in the newer model. I really wish they hadn’t gotten rid of this feature because it’s so nice to have the propane tank hidden away and protected. I appreciate the added safety and also being able to store a few extra things along with it.
Like the newer version, this model of the Spirit offers 26,500 BTUs with 450 sq inches of cooking space and 90 inches of warming rack along with two burners, each supported by stainless steel, top quality tubes. These tubes aren’t your typical burner tubes. They won’t rust quickly, or damage easy and leak gas. They are in fact, specifically designed to be durable and they actively limit the effects of rust agents.
Even with just two burners, the E-210 really feels like a portable outdoor kitchen. It comes with reasonably sized drop down tables on both sides (more room to lay out food) that fold down for easy storage. Both tables are equipped with 3 sturdy hooks to hang your tools (pans, spatulas, knives, etc.).
You can also expect to enjoy Weber’s signature Flavorizer bar system, porcelain coated cooking grates (designed for quick cleaning), and the infinity electronic ignition system.
If you can snag one, this is a great grill with a discontinued cabinet feature that I think makes it worth considering.
This 8-burner behemoth from Royal Gourmet isn’t really designed for the casual backyard grillman. This grill is more suited for large event spaces, like church bbqs, picnic spaces or event halls.
The Royal Gourmet Event Grill features 8 stainless tube burners, 104,000 BTUs of total cooking power, 2 regulators for the propane system, 950 square inches of total cooking space and porcelain-coated cooking grates. It also includes a stainless steel control panel for extra durability, an electronic ignition system, and large capacity grease management system.
Since this grill is designed to feed a small army, it also has roomy side shelved for prep and two lower shelves for serious storage.
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I am a grill freak! It's hard to pick my favorite thing to grill, but if I had to choose... it is still a tie between pork ribs and a juicy beef burger. I am currently grilling on a Weber S210(I live in a small space) but my dream grill is definitely a summit. Those things are bad ass. Anyways I would love to hear from you, leave a comment or question below!