Best Grills Under $500 Consumer Reports: Reviews Of Top Picks
Who said all good things come with a price? That doesn’t apply on grills because you can certainly get the best grills at $500 or less. While such grills may not have as many features as expensive grills, but they can certainly get you the scrumptious grilled food at your will.
The market for affordable grills is on the rise because people don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on grills especially when they don’t want to grill on a daily basis. If you too are looking to begin your grilling venture, then it is better to invest in an affordable grill. You should check out the eight best grills under 500 consumer reports because that’s the easiest way you can get hold of the most reliable and affordable grill.
Reviews Of 8 Best Grills Under $500 Consumer Reports
1. Weber 46510001 Spirit E310 Liquid Propane Gas Grill
Weber is a renowned brand when it comes to grills, and Weber Spirit E310 can be considered the flag bearer of the company. The grill comes with 3 burners, which provide a total of 32,000 BTUs of heat to the cast iron grates. For each heat zone, there are different temperature settings and other controls, which allow you to cook different types of food simultaneously.
Grates are denoted as ‘Flavorizer Bars’ by the company because they impart an intense smoky flavor to the food. The grates are porcelain coated, so the food won’t stick on them, plus they are easier to clean. With a cooking area of 424 sq. in., you can easily cook food for a decent gathering.
The grill also comes with a 105 sq. in., of warming rack, which is used to keep the food warm until you decide to serve it. The grill is packed with many amazing features such as electronic ignition, front control panel, two small and collapsible stainless steel table on either side for holding condiments. The unit incorporates a fuel gauge that you can see to determine the amount of natural gas left in the tank.
2. Weber 45010001 Black Spirit II E-310 LP Gas Grill
It’s Weber again, but a different unit altogether. Weber Black Spirit II E-310 Gas Grill comes with 529 sq.in. of cooking space and comes with three burners, which can be heated at different temperatures. The total heat capacity of the three burners is 30,000 BTUs.
The grill has reversible cooking grates, which are made of porcelain-enameled cast iron, so if you want to grill delicate foods, then switch over to the thinner side of the grates and cook on the thicker side to get conspicuous grill marks on the food. The grates being coated with porcelain are easier to clean as well.
The inclusion of a fuel gauge lets you know regarding the volume of propane left in the tank. The grill is equipped with two side shelves on which you can keep plates, sauces, and condiments. Along with the shelves, you will get six hooks for hanging cooking utensils and brushes. The addition of two large wheels allows easy moving of the grill.
3. Weber-Stephen Products 65010001 Genesis II E-210 Natural Gas Grill
Weber makes the best grills under $500, which is why I’ve many on my list. This particular grill has a cooking space of 380 sq.in, along with 114 sq.in, of warming rack. Moreover, it comes with two burners where you can cook two different types of food at a time. You can tuck away the warming tray if it is not being used to create more overhead space for other things.
The cast iron cooking grates of the grill are coated with porcelain, which makes both, cooking as well as cleaning a breeze. Moreover, the grates are reversible, thus allowing you to grill delicate food on one side and thick food with visible grill marks on the other.
The inclusion of two side shelves gives you ample space to keep utensils and condiments. Overall, this is one of the best gas grills for money for small families who want to enjoy the intense and smoky flavors of the grilled food.
4. PK Grills Original Outdoor Charcoal Portable Grill
This grill is dedicated to those who want to enjoy the authentic and innate flavors of grilled food. This grill supports direct as well as indirect cooking, but the end result will always be delightful.
Made up of heavy cast aluminum, this grill looks rock solid. Moreover, it is capable of holding high as well as low temperatures for long periods. With a cooking space of around 300 sq. in., the grill becomes a perfect cooking tool for small families. For proper ventilation and adjustment, the company has added four adjustable vents.
The heat retention of the unit is better than most grills, which you will only be able to find once you start grilling food on it. Large side shelves are also present to store food for warming or keep spices, sauces, and other condiments.
5. Magma Products A10-918-2GS Newport 2 Infrared Gourmet Series Gas Grill
Made up of marine-grade stainless steel, this gas grill will last for a long period of time. The grill can be used at home as well as on boating trips, as the grill comes with foldable legs and mounting bracket. The heat consistency of the grill is not that great, courtesy of tabletop design of the grill.
However, if you are able to overlook that factor, then everything is just great about the grill. The sear plates offer consistent heat, which is spread evenly over the food. This grill is suitable for grilling a wide range of foods such as fish, chicken, steak, and hamburgers, etc.
The grill sports an 11,200 BTU burner, which preheats the grill’s grate to 500 Fahrenheit in about 5 minutes. The grill can be used in windy weathers, thanks to its ‘Dynamic Combustion System’. The inclusion of electronic ignition system along with tempered glass viewing window will also make things easier for you in terms of cooking.
The company offers a warranty period of 1 year on this model, which many users may find a less. Moreover, the grill produces way too much of smoke after the accumulation of grease in the sear plates. The absence of a warm-up plate will also be greatly missed.
6. Blackstone 1554 Station-4-Burner-Propane Fueled-Restaurant Grade-Professional Grill
If you are fond of griddle cooking surfaces, then you should definitely take a look at Blackstone flat top gas grill griddle station. The grill sports electric griddles, which deliver the most amazing taste to grilled food with perfect pre-seasoned flavor. Having a cooking area of 36 inches allows you to cook food for 15-20 guests easily.
You’ll find a pre-seasoned cooking surface in the grill, which is non-sticky and imparts the best flavors to the food. The grill consists of 4 stainless steel burners that can be used to cook 4 different types of dishes. The inclusion of an electric ignition makes starting the grill easy, as you just need to push the power button.
When it comes to cleaning, you can use water and a sponge to clean the entire unit. The company offers a 1-year warranty on all parts. The grill produces a lot of greases, which makes the cooking process a bit messy. Moreover, the company has not given any extra tools with the unit, so you’ll have to buy those.
7. Fuego F24C Professional Propane Gas Grill
Fuego is known for making grills with interesting designs. The credit for creating such uniquely designed grills is given to Apple designer Robert Brunner. The grill in the discussion is a compact unit, which is capable of searing a variety of meats. The grill has a cylindrical base with a dome-like top.
The top is covered with a lid, which opens at 45-degree angle to ensure that your arm doesn’t feel the heat. With a large cooking area of 525 sq. in., you can easily make food for a gathering of 6-10 people. Above the grill grate, you will find a drip tray, where all the grease will accumulate, which then can be easily cleaned.
The propane tank is safely placed behind a metal door, so you won’t even notice if it is there until it gets empty. The grill doesn’t get hot quickly, and the heat distribution is also not even, as you’d find the center of the grill is the hottest at 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit with the edges sizzling around 300-350 degrees Fahrenheit.
While it is easy to assemble the unit, but when it comes to fitting the propane tank inside its metallic door, you may come across certain difficulties because there is a hook given in the small space beneath the grill where you’ll be hanging the tank and it is back-breaking, to say the least. If you looking to start your grilling venture, then this grill is ideal for you, as it is one of the best smokers for beginners.
8. Weber 57060001 Q3200 Liquid Propane Grill
This compact grill by Weber is ideal for those who just want to cook food for 3-5 persons. The highlight of the grill is the split cooking grate design, so you can take out and replace the cooking grates with flat griddle attachment to cook pancakes and bacon. Apart from that, the ‘Grill Out’ handle light is also something that will intrigue you, as it illuminates the grill, thus making it easier for you to cook at night.
The grill comes with cast iron cooking grates, which are coated with porcelain, so you can expect them to impart the best flavor to the food. Along with that, the grill constitutes a warming rack and stainless steel burners. You can lock the cooking temperature with the help of adjustable infinite control valve.
Therefore, you can set any temperature regardless of how high or low it is, the food will be cooked at that particular temperature for the entire duration. Other features of the grill include a storage slot for warming rack, three tool hooks and a bracket for 20 lbs fuel tank.
Important Factors To Consider When Buying a Grill
Buying a grill is an important decision because it is not just a cooking tool, but it is a piece of equipment around which you will have many interesting memories to cherish. Pay attention to every single detail or else you would end up grilling meals that might change your perception about cooking on a grill. Here are a few factors that you need to keep in mind when buying a grill for your in-house or outdoor grilling adventure.
Gas Or Charcoal
As both types of grills are popular with the users, the type of grill you want to buy is clearly your decision to make. If you like to enjoy the authentic smoky flavor of the grilled food, then go for a charcoal grill, but it will be difficult to manage. However, if you want a sophisticated unit that grills fast and without creating much of a mess, then opt for a gas version of the grill.
Then, there is ‘Electric Grill’, a wild-card entry, which is also getting quite popular with the users. It is more suited for grilling in the kitchen because it needs an electrical source to keep running. It is difficult to determine the best type of smoker in terms of fuel type because everybody has his or her own personal preferences, so you need to choose the fuel type you are most comfortable with.
As we are discussing the best grills under $500, features become very crucial because many people think that there won’t be many features available to play with, but that’s a wrong perception. Here are the features that your shortlisted grill must have:
- Built-in Thermostat: As grilling is all about time and temperature, therefore, you must check if the grill has a built-in thermostat to read the internal grill temperature.
- Sturdy Shelves on the sides: These will come in handy when you are about to place chunks/slices of meat on the grill. You can keep the meat, spices, cheese, and condiments on the side shelves, which makes things a lot more organized.
- Grill Cover: Buy this to protect your investment. Getting your grill covered in a durable grill cover will definitely prolong the life of the grill.
- Tongs & Spatula: You should buy a pair of heavy-duty professional tongs and spatula as these will make cooking a lot easier.
- Infrared Burners: Many grills come with an infrared burner these days, so if you want to sear, caramelize or cook food at high temperatures, then you need to get a grill that is equipped with an infrared burner.
- Ample Cooking Space: A grill with a large cooking area is always better. You need to buy a grill that has a cooking area of 600-900 sq. in., as that will get you the food for 4-6 persons at a time.
Now that you have gone through the entire post, you must have pinpointed the grill that you think would suit your interest in the best way. If you are still not sure, then you better make a list of features that you would like to see in a grill and then, match it with the eight best grills under 500 consumer reports.
Pay attention to certain features such as the fuel type, cooking space, material used, cleaning and maintenance, as these features will decide whether your time on the grill is going to be fruitful or disaster. Go through the reviews of eight grills, as you will definitely be able to find the grill that perfectly suits your requirements.