I think the $200 price point is one of the trickiest to shop for when it comes to grills. Let me explain.
This is the range in which most new grillers feel comfortable spending to get a home grill.
That means, manufacturers flood the market with grills at this price point, all with identical or nearly identical features.
Seems like a good thing right?
It actually makes the shopping process more challenging because now you have a ton of options, all claiming to be spectacular, but you don’t know which ones really live up to the hype.
So let me break it down for you, here’s what to look for and what to avoid:
At $200, a quality grill isn’t going to have all the bells and whistles like a built-in rotisserie kit, flavorer bars and a ton of space. But, if you choose the right one, it should fulfill it’s primary purpose like a champ and grill consistently and smoothly.
Ignore the marked down deals at Walmart that include everything under the sun. That’s exactly how to wind up with a cheaply-made grill that barely reaches desired temps and instead of laying down some nice sear marks on your steaks, leaves you with a floppy, unevenly cooked piece of meat.
Which grills will really perform?
The Char-Broil Classic 360 3-Burner is a top-performer for the under $200 category delivering 3 burners and a powerful, reliable experience worthy of the higher price ranges.Sometimes you can snag the 4-burner version for under $200 during a sale and can check here. If you can that is a steal for the quality.
The first thing that jumps out is how much cooking space you get for the price, as well as how much power they’ve packed in. It is the largest grill in our top 3 and you can see how spacious it is just on first glance.
Overall cook power on the 360 is a solid 30,000 BTUs, with 360 square inches of primary cooking space and 3 burners. It also offers 170 square inches of porcelain-coated wire warming rack (perfect for corn or veggie grilling) for over 530 square inches of overall cooking area.
The side tables on this grill are roomy and great for any prep work you need to do and for keeping essential tools while you’re in the grill zone.
The electronic ignition makes grill start up fast and easy, and the stainless steel inline burners offer top durability for a long grill life.
Like the other two grills in our top 3, the Char-Broil offers porcelain-coated cooking grates for easy clean up and excellent heat retention and transfer. It also comes with porcelain coated steel lid and firebox for increased durability, especially in poor weather months.
This grill is also on a solid cart with 6’’ cart-style wheels so you can move it around your backyard or into the garage for storing during winter months. The side tables do not fold down and are stationery, so if you are looking for something that can reduce in size for a more compact space, this isn’t the grill for you.
It is also important to note that this grill has 3 burners, but no dedicated side burner, this is one of those premium features you won’t usually see without expanding your budget just a bit, however we do have a Royal Gourmet on this list that does include that extra burner so scroll down to the #5 spot to check it out.
For maximum value for your budget, this is an impressive grill that will perform with the best of them.
No grill list is complete without a Weber in the top few spots.
For under $200, the Q1000 is a compact, but reliable pick that will last for years while delivering the same quality performance.
I know it’s hard to wrap your head around a smaller, portable grill when you’ve been eyeing a 5 burner beast, but don’t let the compact design fool you, this is a great backyard grill option that also gives you a lot of versatility.
This isn’t just a glorified George Foreman.
The Weber offers a single burner with 8,500 BTUs of power and 189 square inches of overall cooking space. It includes porcelain-coated cast iron split cooking grates that allow for a grill/griddle combo for added versatility. Push button electronic ignition makes start up quick and easy. The infinite control burner valve settings allow you to fine-tune the cooking experience.
If the Q1000 will be a permanent backyard fixture, you can pair it with the add-on portable cart for a full height grilling experience. My neighbor has this set up and swears by it. He loves being able to use it at home and when he’s on family camping trips.
It also gets top marks on Amazon with 4.7 out of 5 stars and nearly 650 reviews.
This budget-friendly model from Coleman is a top pick in the small grills group and this price point because it’s the perfect portable partner for grilling on the go. It also comes in lower in this price bracket than the other Coleman models (the 225 and 285), with just a few modifications.
If camping, picnicking, adventuring and tailgating are your thing, or if you have limited outdoor patio space that can’t accommodate a full size set-up, this is a sweet go-to grill for reliable cooking that won’t deplete your craft beer budget.
The RoadTrip Sport is the most affordable option in this range and offers all your essential basics.
Where this model really shines is when it comes to portability and durability. Getting packed around for all your favorite adventures, this little beast is going to take a beating. And that’s ok, this is a no-stress grill, it was designed to withstand all the bumps and bruises of an active lifestyle.
It is also intelligently designed to be collapsible and fit neatly in the trunk of your car while still extending to table height when opened fully, no additional grilling surface needed.
The overall cooking area is a surprisingly roomy 225 square inches with a single burner and a porcelain-coated cooking grate for easy maintenance. Construction is stainless steel and a twist button ignition system makes start ups quick and easy. The removable grease tray makes clean up simple and hassle-free.
This is a really nice model if you’re looking for a basic travel buddy on the lower-end of the $200 price point.
At first glance, the 75275 looks more like a super-sized panini press than a conventional grill. But don’t let the compact appearance fool you, this is a beast of a tabletop grill and a great pick for the under $200 category.
The first thing to know about the PitBoss is that it’s made of top-quality materials: 430 stainless steel casing and lid, as well as 304 stainless steel grid construction. It’s small, but made to last.
The design is a 2 burner set up with 10,000 BTUs of power per burner for powerful, consistent heating and searing. There is a push and turn matchless igniter and a lid-mounted thermometer for internal heat monitoring. It’s lightweight and easy to carry for tailgating, boating or excursions to the park. The legs also conveniently fold up under the grill to make for a slimmer profile for transit.
This is a great little grill if you’re looking for something extra compact for travel or adventures on the go. it also makes a great patio companion if you live in an apartment or small space where yard real estate is at a premium.
Royal Gourmet makes a solid line up of well loved grills and the SG3001 is their best budget option and a great pick for the under $200 category.
It can be tough to find a larger standalone grill at this price point that is reliable and easy to use. This is a solid pick for both points and is a great starter grill if you’re just getting used to BBQing at home.
So what can you expect from the SG3001?
It offers a total 443 square inches of cooking space, with 320 square inches of primary cooking area with the addition of a 123 square inch warming rack. There are 3 stainless steel tube burners, pumping out 39,000 BTUs, along with a bonus lidded 9,000 BTU side burner, perfect for sauce or side prep.
A Piezo ignition system makes start-ups quick and easy with no hassle lighting. The lid is porcelain-coated with a stainless steel handle. It also includes a mounted thermometer and an easy-to-remove grease cup for quick clean-up.
A left side prep table is perfect for storing stools and spices while you cook. The cart is sturdy and features 2 casters for easy maneuverability.
This is a great basic set-up for the entry-level griller ready to serve up some perfectly seared steaks and juicy burgers.
Char-Broil makes some of our favorite grills in the $200-$500 range, but if you’re searching for a compact option under $150, this is a great contender.
I also love that the Classic can be purchased with or without the optional side burner for about a $50 difference. This is a nice feature and it’s great to be able to add this on if you’re a little more serious about your grilling game.
So what can you expect from the Classic by Char-Broil? This grill offers 280 square inches of cook space (comparable to the RoadTrip from Coleman), 2 burners delivering 20,000 BTUs of power, porcelain coated cooking grates for simplified clean up, and a push-button start ignition system. The optional side burner delivers 8,000 BTUs and is great for sauces or side dishes.
The Classic also offers 2 side shelves for cook prep and storage.
This is larger, less compact option from Master Cook that is a basic mid-range option. The Master Cook Classic offers 3 stainless steel burners over 473 square inches of total cooking space (125 square inches of warming rack) and 30,000 BTUs of total power.
It’s roomy enough to handle 15 burners all at once on the porcelain-enameled wire cooking grates., designed for easy maintenance. Double metal side shelves fold away for storage and are large enough for prep work or holding a stack of freshly cooked burgers while you finish off some sides. The lid and firebox are porcelain-coated steel with a mounted thermometer.
This model also offers the standard electronic start ignition you see across the line-up for this category. This is a good mid-range size and pricing option for grillers looking for something larger than a portable.
The Cusinart is a solid, less expensive alternative to the RoadTrip from Coleman if you’re looking for a portable option to hang with your on-the-go lifestyle.
This is a VERY small grill at just 145 square inches, which can accommodate about 8 burgers or 6-8 chicken breasts in one go. The single burner offers 5,500 BTUs and porcelain coated cooking grate.
The construction on the Petit Gourmet is somewhat lacking compared to the other options, comprising mostly aluminum and plastic, but for the price, you’re not expecting all stainless. It comes with a portable stand package so you’re not confined to a table top.
It’s also the smallest option on this list and a great pick if you literally need something that could fit in a beach bag or the trunk of your car for outdoor adventuring.
Dyna-Glo makes some of our favorite budget-friendly grills that give you a full size grilling experience while going easy on your wallet. For a stand-up grill that looks like the big guys, this one is serious bang for your buck.
Offering 3 burners, the 310 pumps out 24,000 BTU’s of power across a total cooking area of 449 square inches, with 310 square inches of primary grilling space, separate from the warming rack. The cooking grates are porcelain coated for easy cleaning.
The porcelain-coated heat tents work to vaporize drippings and infuse flavor and moisture back into the meat while conducting heat evenly and quickly across the grilling surface for a consistent cook and no flare-ups.
The outer design includes two folding side shelves for prep and storage while cooking. This is great if you like to prep and baste as you go and don’t have a work surface nearby. The grill is situated on a cart-style body with rolling casters for maneuverability, making storage easy and straight-forward.
Ignition is push button and the enameled outer casing gives the grill a sleek and expensive look. There is no lid-mounted thermometer so that is one convenience draw back to keep in mind with this particular model.
This is a great griddle option in the under $200 category if you’re looking for a well-performing flat top style grill.
Blackstone does griddles especially well and the roominess of this one makes it a prime pick for feeding bigger groups of people fast.
In terms of size, this model offers 470 square inches of flat top cooking area with two independently controlled H-burners at 15,000 BTUs each.
It also includes an easy push-button start ignition, 4 adjustable heat zones for max versatility whether you’re going bacon, eggs or quesadillas.
It is designed to accommodate some storage with a folding side shelf, lower cart with casters and side mounted towel rack.
If you are planning to host large parties, do a little catering or are just ready to move on from a grill style cooking experience, this flat top is a solid performer that is also really friendly to pretty much any budget.
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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!