How To Find The Best Natural Gas Grills Under $500
If you have a budget that's less than $500, you only need to pay attention to the following considerations to be assured that you're getting a good barbecue grill deal.
First of all, you need to look for effective heat radiation. This is non-negotiable. Regardless of the design of the gas grill, the heat must be effectively and efficiently radiated within the grill chamber so your food cooks sooner rather than later. Furthermore, the unit must have enough scale. What it means is that it must be able to accommodate lots of food.
Now, you have to be realistic. Given your budget, you shouldn't expect some sort of industrial gas grill brands that can accommodate a limitless amount of food. However, you still should insist on a stainless grill design accommodating enough food because you want to be able to cook food in an efficient way. You don't want to have to run to the kitchen every time you put ingredients on the grill. That kind of defeats the purpose.
Moreover, the grill must be scalable enough to accommodate different types of food. The holding tray section of the grill should be able to hold seafood, meat and other types of food. The same applies to vegetables.
Finally, you should pay attention to basic considerations like lightness. Good grills are light enough for easy storage. They are also easy to maneuver so you can position them based on where the wind is blowing, and other practical considerations.
Finally, the best grills are easy to clean up. This is really important. You don't want to be stuck with an appliance that is such a hassle to clean, that it ends up developing or growing harmful microorganisms. Not only do such grills end up stinking, but they can pose a threat to your family's health. Who wants that?
- How To Find The Best Natural Gas Grills Under $500
Below, we'll take a look at some of the top-rated Natural gas grills you can buy under $500 and the difference between stainless steel and cast iron models.
Grills Under 500- Our Top Picks for 2019
|Grill Model||Price||BTU||Grilling area||Rating|
|Weber Spirit S210||$$||26,500||360-square-inch||4.4/5|
|Dyna-Glo Black & Stainless||$$||60,000||667-square-inch||3.8/5|
|Our Pick -|
Weber Spirit E310
* Click on the Grill model for more information and prices, or scroll down below for more details.
Cast iron or stainless steel gas grills?
Two, the most common types of gas grills are those made from cast iron and those made from stainless steel. At first sight, they may look the same, but they are entirely different!
Cast iron gas grills are treated as heavy-duty models. They can be used the entire day, every day and they will still work properly after a long period. The primary material here is cast iron, obviously, so you can deduce that they are superb in maintaining heat, which allows you to cook for a longer period while using less gas.
The material is also more resistant to sticking and easier to clean. Keep in mind that all, main elements of these grills must be coated with enamel or porcelain. It is used as a protective layer to prevent corrosion and rust.
There are a few drawbacks. Cast iron gas grills are complicated to maintain. The enamel mentioned above or porcelain coating must be maintained and replaced if needed. Without it, a grill will corrode!
Stainless steel models are an entirely another story. They are much easier to maintain, and they won’t rust over time. Most people who are looking for a permanent solution will choose stainless steel grills. Keep in mind that they offer more cooking space, compared to cast iron models.
Looking at stainless steel, you will be able to get a clear picture why they are so desirable. The material looks professional, and it makes grills look more expensive than they actually are. Besides, most of them come with advanced features.
When we think on drawbacks, there are two main issues. The first one is the heat conductivity; it is lower than with cast iron models. Over time, grates made from stainless steel will turn black. This doesn’t affect grilling, but it makes a grill look old and damaged.
1. Weber 57067001 Q3200
Q3200 is one of the top models here and due to a reason. First and foremost, it looks futuristic, so it may be difficult to find a natural gas grill with a similar design. Nevertheless, the smart and futuristic design is implemented on the inner elements as well. As such, you get a large cooking area of 393 square inches and 21.700 BTU (per hour). These two facts will ensure your meals are prepared in no time and that you can prepare large meals for your family and friends.
When it comes to materials, this model stands out from the crowd. We have a cooking grill made from cast iron, which conducts heat perfectly. It is coated with porcelain and enameled. Lid and the base are made of aluminum, which is rust resistant. Electronic ignition and grill-out lighting handle are included as well.
- Easy to maneuver considering it is 102 pounds heavy
- Looks great and modern, without compromised cooking
- Cooks perfectly
- All elements are made from high-quality materials
- Value for money
- LED light isn’t bright enough, and it is located under weird angle
- Assembly process can take time
2. Weber 47100001 Spirit S210
Here we have another natural gas grill made by Weber. However, it is a unique model. The design is straightforward and suitable for most backyards where patio furniture is placed. It simply matches all yard designs. It is made entirely from stainless steel, except grill which is made from cast iron. There is no need in telling you that it is also coated with porcelain and enameled.
The cooking area is 390 square inches, which is enough for most people. Even better, you get 90 square inch surface for heating up ingredients and meals. All of that in a grill with 32 x 50 x 63 inches dimensions. Grease management must be mentioned. It funnels grease under angle and stores it in a catch pan. Addition: This version comes with a gas gauge, telling you how much gas you have left in a tank.
If you are looking for a propane grill similar to this, don't forget to check this article.
- Burner tubes are made from stainless steel
- Grill is perfect for most homes due to well-known design
- Cooking and warming areas are large
- Grease management system works perfectly
- Gas gauge
- Isn’t suitable for slow cooking
- Manifold issue occurs with some units
- Position of the tool hooks
3. Dyna-Glo Black & Stainless Premium Grills
This gas grill is powerful no less. The combined power of all burners is 60.000 BTU (12.000 BTU per a burner and 12.000 BTU for side burner). The cooking space is 667 square inches, and it is one of the largest in the class. We really liked the smart design which supported this feature. We also were impressed with the cabinet style which offers sufficient amount of space.
Burners are made from stainless steel, and there are 4 of them. Grates are made from cast iron, so the combination of these two is simply amazing because it takes best of both materials. The grill also features an easy-start ignition system, redesigned for heavy-duty applications and a temperature gauge. At the end, we must point out that the design and the functionality are at a high level! Addition: Dyna-Glo cover, made from heavy-duty materials is available, but it will have to be purchased separately.
- 60.000BTU of total power is immense
- Cooking area is larger than on similar models
- Side burner is a great addition
- Ignition system is perfect for heavy-duty operations
- The cover is available only as an optional extra
- Heat deflectors could be better
Our Pick: Weber 47510001 Spirit E310
This model obviously has to be recommended. Why? You will fully understand once you read its description. First of all, there is 424 square inches of cooking space and additional 105 square inches of warming. In a small and portable gas grill, this is truly an advantage. Cooking grates are available in three options. Those made from stainless steel, porcelain-enameled steel or cast iron (porcelain-enameled). Grease management, we saw on more expensive models made by Weber is included as well.
Tool hooks are a nice addition. Still, we like the now-famous temperature gauge which will help you cook delicious meals, simply by knowing the precise temperature at any given moment. When it comes to space, we must mention that there are three shelves, quickly boosting the functionality of this gas grill. Obviously, electronic ignition is also included.
Some additional facts you should know is that this model now comes with Expert assembly, free of charge. You won’t have to waste your time on the assembly process, which is simple by the way. The price is slightly above $500, but this grill is worthy!
- Made from carefully selected materials which ensure it will last long
- Temperature gauge
- Well-known grease system
- Lightweight and practical
- Free Expert assembly
- Comes with cards with cooking tips
- Requires maintenance
- Front panel can be easily bent
Natural gas grills are still the best option when it comes to grilling in your backyard. The models we mentioned here are a safe choice. All of them are capable of making your meal delicious and perfectly cooked while allowing you to enjoy cooking thanks to the simplicity. Regarding durability, models here are outstanding. Although all of them are desirable, we still like the Weber Spirit E310. It is loaded precisely with the things most users will actually need.
Cast Iron Gas Grills
Cast iron gas grills are some of the first units ever made. The manufacturing procedure is complicated and time-consuming. Nevertheless, they are ideal when it comes to maintaining the heat generated from the burners. In other words, they are perfect for long grilling periods. They also use less gas than any other bbq.
Iron will rust over time, so most grates are coated with enamel, porcelain or both. It is a thin layer of a coating designed to prevent corrosion. Sadly, this also means that you won’t get dark lines on your grilled meat! Without the coating, grills would require constant maintenance and cure once per year. We must add that the mentioned layer of protection also makes cleaning easier because porcelain and enamel are stain resistant.
Sticking won’t be an issue with cast iron gas grills. The secret is in the material itself, so they are suitable for all of you who want to prepare a meal as soon as possible, without any distractions. In the term of price, cast iron grills are more affordable than any other type.
There are a few drawbacks as well. First of all, these grills are heavy, so don’t expect to move them around a backyard all by yourself. They require frequent maintenance, and the grates must be oiled after each use. Also, they also must be cleaned while still warm. In a case the porcelain/enamel coating is damaged, grates will corrode!
- Maintain heat
- Use less gas
- Anti-sticking properties of the cast iron
- Ideal for extended hours of grilling
- If the protective coating is damaged, they will rust
Stainless Steel Gas Grills
Stainless steel gas BBQs are more sophisticated than any other type. They are also more expensive but usually treated as high-end models. The main thing to remember is that they cannot reach extremely high temperatures as cast iron gas grills, but manufacturers find a solution. Grates are larger, and there are more of them. So they will retain heat better than cast iron models. This naturally eliminates the difference in temperature. We must add that grates will turn black over time, but it is perfectly normal.
Maintenance is simply outstanding, or better said there is no any. Stainless steel gas grills require no oiling, nor they have a coating which has to be replaced. In a matter of fact, they are 100% rust-resistant and completely immune to the elements. All of that and they are still lighter than gas grills made from cast iron.
The bottom line of stainless steel gas grills is that they are high-performing and low-maintenance grills. Sun, snow nor anything else won't damage them, so keep in mind that your new gas grill will be with you for a long period.
Drawbacks are minor, but still present. First one is in the heat which is usually lower than with cast iron models. Retaining the heat will do the trick, but you still expect longer grilling time. Chromed or tempered steel grates will rust over time, so make sure you get a pure stainless steel. The last drawback is in the dark grates which will occur eventually. They don’t affect grilling, just don’t look appealing.
- Low maintenance
- Resistant to the elements
- Larger cooking surface
- Lighter than cast iron grills
- Slow when it comes to cooking
- Grates will turn dark over time
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