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. If that is a key must-have on your list, then look a little closer at the grills in the 2nd and 3rd spots on our list for a better fit.
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 grill from Coleman is a favorite in the small grills group because it’s the perfect portable partner for grilling on the move. It also comes in at a lower price point than the 225 and 285 models, with just a few minor changes.
If camping, picnicking, tailgating and boating with friends and family is your thing, or if you just have a small outdoor patio space that can’t accommodate a full size set-up, this is a great go-to grill for solid, reliable cooking that won’t deplete your beer budget.
The X-Cursion is Coleman’s most affordable option in this range and offers all the must-have basics.
Where it really shines is when it comes to portability and durability. Getting toted around to all your favorite events and on trips this little guy is going to take a beating, but that’s ok, it’s exactly what it was intended to withstand. It is designed to be collapsible to fit neatly in the trunk of most cards (well, maybe not if you have a smart car), and the stainless steel scissor legs on casters keep it sturdy and ready to roll.
Overall cook size is a surprising 285 square inches, which is larger than you would expect from it’s slim profile. It is pumping 20,000 BTUs of power over 3 burners with a temp range of 350-700 degrees. It includes porcelain coated cast iron cooking grates and a twist ignition for matchless lighting.
A removable grease tray makes clean up fast and mess-free, which is a serious bonus when you’re on the move and want to enjoy your day instead of spending it maintaining your grill.
Our favorite feature on this grill that make it a best value pick are the swappable griddle, grill and stovetop plates that can be used interchangeably to customize your cooking experience. This is super useful when you’re on a camping trip and want to cook up a stack of pancakes and sausage for breakfast, but need to be able to grill a pile of hot dogs for lunch or dinner. A single pop up side table also makes prep convenient.
Assembly is quick and fans especially love how easy it is to collapse and then roll behind them on the built-in casters before loading and unloading. This is a great pick for a small and potable grill that falls in the lower-range for budget and upper level for ease of transport.
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.
The compact 2 burner from Huntington is a great budget option grill for those just getting into at home grilling and wanting to test the waters before diving in with something more expensive, like a Weber.
This isn’t a grill packed to the gills with bells and whistles. It’s a streamlined, no frills package, but what it does do, it does well and is designed with longevity in mind, so it is meant to last you reliably through many grill seasons. So what does that even mean?
Here’s a breakdown of the features Huntington offers in this model package: The total cooking area is 300 square inches with additional warming rack space, it offers two H-burners with two temperature control knobs and an electronic push-button ignition, the wire cooking grids are porcelain-coated steel and cooking components are also made of stainless steel, the outer casing is die-cast aluminum with a weather resistant card that includes a lower rack for the propane tank.
I do love the ample prep space offered by the two side shelves – they are permanently up so they don’t fold down to save space, keep this in mind if you don’t have a lot of backyard area to house it. This is a solid beginner grill with all the essentials and reliable reputation.
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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!