When I’m grill shopping, I never want to compromise on quality for the sake of price and end up with the easy-bake oven of barbecues.
I also don’t want to massively overspend my budget and explain to my wife why we can’t afford steaks to grill on the shiny new beast out back.
The $300 budget range was when I was sure I was going to have to make some serious sacrifices. But do you know what I found out?
The $300 price point didn’t mean I couldn’t enjoy must-have features like great cooking power, long-term durability, or the ability to get a great sear on a steak. All it meant was I wasn’t going to have all the frills of the pricier $1,000 machines that didn’t really factor in to my every day cooking needs.
With a $300 grill you won’t see a built-in rotisserie, 5 burners to cook burgers for an army or a separate searing station. But none of those are features that affect the quality of the cooking or ease of experience.
The bells and whistles can be fun, but they aren’t what make a quality grill.
For $300 you don’t have to sacrifice grilling power, cooking finesse, size, durability or even looks to keep your wallet happy.
When you’re trying to keep to a budget, the styling of a grill isn’t something you normally get to consider.
The Char-Griller is a top pick for me, not only because it has a great list of key features, but it is also a bad ass looking machine and reminds me of professional smoker-style grills.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not just into it for looks, this grill ranks at the top because it’s powerful, and reasonably spacious for the price tag. The great styling is just a nice bonus to make the neighbors jealous.
TheE3001 Grillin’ Pro offers 40,800 BTUs of total grilling power over a roomy 438 square inches. This is slightly smaller than the Char-Broil in our top spot, but nothing so significant that you’re really going to notice. It also has a 192 square inch warming rack, which is great for toasting buns, and a nice 12,000 BTU side burner, which I like for grilling up some onions for burners or hot dogs.
The construction on the Char-Griller is also a highlight. It’s made of durable steel in a matte black powder coated finish with pop up side shelves for easy prep work. Built to last.
Built-in utensil hooks make it convenient to store just about any tool you need to make grilling easy and efficient when you have a hungry horde of family waiting for a rack of ribs or the next steak.
Porcelain coated cooking grates make for even, consistent sear marks and grilling and the dual stacks on top help maintain a regulated cooking temperature throughout. The electronic ignition system also makes it easy to get the grill up and running at full steam.
Clean up is also pretty low maintenance with a sizable, removable grease tray for drippings. I don’t usually clean mine after each grilling session, and the roominess of this one is great if you prefer to wait, like me.
This is an excellent everyday grill for the backyard enthusiast who doesn’t need a lot of frills, but wants to be able to consistently cook a range of meats for a medium sized gathering of friends and family. It’s also a beast for the price tag!
This grill falls just $20 over our $300 list limit (when not on sale). We’ve included both the 2-burner performance option and a stripped down 4 burner Performance option at lower price points on our list, but we think the feature list on this grill make it with going slightly over budget.
If you have a strict spending guideline, definitely check out those options to see if they feel like a better fit.
The Char-Broil Performance is generously sized, offering 475 square inches of primary cooking space, plus 175 square inches of swing-away secondary cooking surface area. It’s also powerful, with 36,000 BTUs for the main burners and 10,000 on the lidded side-burner.
It also has some great experience-enhancing specs.
The Performance features state-of-the-art porcelain-covered iron grates, a favorite for even, consistent cooking. Thanks to the well-made grates, you don’t need to wait endlessly for your food to be cooked to perfection and ready to be inhaled. Char-Broil’s porcelain-covered swing away cooking feature also doesn’t demand a substantial amount of fire to barbecue finger foods and appetizers.
Getting the grill fired up is similarly smooth, simply pressing Char-Broil’s electronic ignition system produces just the right amount of heat and power. You don’t need to manually set and reset the ignition system multiple times to get your barbecue cookouts underway.
These features come in especially handy whenever you’re in a rush to get food off the grill and onto the plates of a hungry family during outdoor summer cookouts.
Comfortable cooking goes a long way in keeping me in a good mood, especially when I’m grilling in 100+ degree weather (I live in California).
Char-Broil’s sizable metal side shelves provide ample work space to make prep and finishing smooth and hassle-free. My family enjoys the freshness of a barbecued meal and I am constantly using the extra space to hold spices, prep veggies, sauces, baked potatoes, kabobs, you name it. The side shelves really are large enough to accommodate just about anything a serious grillman might need at the ready.
Char-Broil’s grease tray is also especially easy to remove and clean. After cooking sessions are done, you don’t have to struggle to clean up and remove grease from the grill – my least favorite task. The smooth, coated tray makes even the most stubborn grease easy to get rid of.
Like I said earlier, great savings doesn’t necessarily mean a lack of durability.
Char-Broil’s stainless steel lid, handle, control panel and fascia support the equipment’s long-lasting usability and customers rave about the quality of the construction. I also have to report, these features make the Char-Broil look pretty bad ass and expensive, boosting your grill cred with the neighbors as well as friends and family.
This grill is big!
The first thing that stands 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 MegaMaster is an impressive 54,000 BTUs (a little less per burner than some of the others), with 543 square inches of primary cookspace and 6 burners. It also offers 210 square inches of porcelain wire warming rack (perfect for corn or veggie grilling) for over 750 square inches of overall cooking area.
The side tables on this grill are HUGE and great for any prep work you need to do and for keeping tools while you’re working. Or in my case, a cold beer or two.
The electronic ignition makes grill start up fast and easy, and the built-in thermometer is great for regulating the cookbox temperature to allow for a perfect cook on those steaks or ribs.
Like the other two grills in our top 3, the Megamaster offers porcelain-coated cooking grates for easy clean up and excellent heat retention and transfer. It also comes with porcelain flame tamers to keep the burners protected and maintain even cooking across the grates.
This grill is also on a heavy-duty cart with oversized 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 6 burners, more than any other on the list, 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 1st and 2nd spots on our list for a better fit.
If overall cookspace is your priority, then this big guy is your best bet and a killer value for the price.
If you loved our top grill pick but aren’t as interested in having so much cook space, and would prefer a lower price tag, then this 2 burner version is a solid contender.
This more compact version of the Char-Broil Performance is a great compact grilling machine that has most of the same features of the larger, 4-burner style. It offers: 24,000 BTUs of total cooking power, 300 square inches of main cook space, a 100 square inch swing-away warming rack, a stainless steel lid, standard electronic ignition for a reliable start-up, and folding metal side shelves for prep work.
The cooking grates are porcelain-coated and easy to clean, while providing even heat transfer to whatever you’re grilling.
We really like this grill if you have less pace to devote to grilling and for the price, it’s impossible to find something that delivers more value.
Dyno-Glo is always a favorite in the under $300 price range, delivering reliable and consistent grills with solid feature lists.
The DGE Series comes equipped with 52,000 BTUs of total cook power, 4 stainless steel commercial grade burners, as well as an optional side burner with 12,000 BTUs. It includes stainless steel cooking grates (not porcelain coated), as well as a stainless warming rack.
The firebox is steel porcelain enameled and offers a generously sized 646 square inches of total cooking space. It also comes with electronic push-button ignition for a quick and easy start-up. Stainless steel heat tents protect the burners and help maintain even cooking temp across the grates.
The side tables are stationery and do not fold down, so this grill isn’t a best pick if you are tight on space or will need to store your grill.
This Weber may be little, but it is mighty, which is why it snags a spot on our 10 best list despite being a more compact, single-burner grill.
Weber is known for making the best home grills on the market, and this petite little powerhouse lives up to the name. Features include a single 12,000 BTU stainless steel burner, 280 total square inches of cooking space, porcelain-enameled cast iron cooking grates, a cast aluminum lid, and an easy-start electronic ignition system. The side tables conveniently fold down and are just big enough to do a little prep work. The Q 2200 also offers an infinite control burner valve and is lightweight and portable.
It can sit either on a table top or you can add on the optional frame to make it a more permanent, stationery grill.
The Royal Gourmet grill is large and in charge and is the opposite of the Weber in terms of size.
It is especially roomy with 5 burners and a crazy 802 square inches of total cooking space (200 is for the warming rack). The overall cook power is 71,000 BTUs, which is more than any other grill on this list. It includes a lidded side burner, which gets up to 9,000BTUs on its own.
It also offers a double-walled stainless steel lid for maximum heat retention, and an easy-to-use built-in thermometer for precision grilling. Like the other grills on this list, it also comes with a quick push button electronic ignition. The metal side shelf is great to use for prep work, but it doesn’t fold down for storing the grill away.
Reviews are mainly positive, but fall slightly short of the top contenders on this list.
This is the same grill as the first option on our list and is a top-performing choice, with a few missing features for a less than $100 price difference.
Here’s what you’re not getting with this version from Char-Broil: The infrared side burner is not included with this model, it also doesn’t come with the lower cabinet with double doors for storing grilling accessories or tools and hiding the propane tank, it also only has two wheels instead of the four casters on the 36000 series. It also comes in a matte black color instead of the stainless.
This is a great grill with a more stripped down feature list that is a great contender if saving a little is more important than the extra bells and whistles.
This is a great combo-style grill with a lot of cooking space, perfect for casual grillers who have a larger sized group to feed or like the flexibility of two grill types.
This combo grill can use both propane and charcoal for cooking with two separate grilling spaces and an extra side burner. It features 557 square inches of cooking area and 3 stainless steel burners with 24,000 BTUs of total cook power. It boasts enough space for 32 burgers cooking all at once, which is pretty sweet if you have a ravenous crew to satisfy.
No list is complete without a solid portable grill that can be taken on camping trips or tailgating adventures with friends. I love this Coleman option for being a solid add-on to favorite outdoor events.
Here’s what you can expect from this on-the-go powerhouse: 20,000 BTUs of power and 285 square inches of cooking area, 3 independently adjustable burners, an easily removable grease tray for easy clean up after each use, matchless push-button electronic ignition, and two pop-up side tables so you can prep even when you’re on the move.
Of all the portable grills in this price range, the Coleman is known for being especially reliable and delivering an at home style cooking experience even when you’re camping, at the park or pre-gaming at a favorite sporting event.
These gas grills are the irresistible outdoor cookout partners every serious grill master can turn to during the summer. If, like me, you’re looking to enjoy both affordability and a quality, efficient cooking performance, you’ll find a top-notch grilling machine in this list of best gas grills under 300 dollars.
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!