Best Gas Grills Under $300 for 2017 – 5 Outstanding Budget Picks
Who says that you need to spend thousands of dollars on a solid gas grill? That’s just not true and to prove that we listed top 5 best gas grills under $300 currently available on the market. Of course, we are not talking about models packed with additional features and other things that just increase the price. Instead, we will be discussing systems that are reliable and put in a solid performance when it comes to doing the job they were designed for – grilling.
There are various reasons why you should consider getting an affordable grill instead of an expensive model. For starters, you might only be a beginner, and you don’t need a complicated product that will only confuse you. Second, perhaps you just want a barbecue that will serve your family, and you don’t need to grill burgers and other food for a large number of people. Finally, it might be that your budget is restricted or you don’t want to spend a massive amount of money on a grilling system. Whatever the reason is, we got you covered with the list of best gas grills under $300 on the market at the moment.
As we mentioned, you will need to be prepared to give up all those fancy stuff, such as rotisseries and grill lights. We will be focusing on the fundamentals. When it comes to the core features of a grilling system, it’s vital that it does a reliable job in achieving and maintaining heat. After all, what good is a grill if it can’t cook well?
The performance was the main thing we considered, and we made sure that each of the products on our list can do some proper grilling. We also took into account other factors, including power and heat distribution. After analyzing all that, we came up with a list of top 5 affordable gas grills we can recommend for purchasing:
Weber Q2200 Portable Grill – The Best Little Grill on the Market
As a renowned manufacturer of grilling systems, Weber has been meeting the needs of grillers from around the world for decades. Their new Weber Q2200 is the best portable grill under $300 you will find. The product has been on the market for a long time as the Q220 model, but it was restyled in 2014 to transform into a modern grilling system with even better performance.
The keyword here is “portable,” which apparently explains the intention the manufacturer had when designing this grill. Its compact and sleek design enables easy transport and makes it perfect for uses out of your home. When you purchase Q2200, you are not limited to barbecuing in your backyard. It’s easily transportable, and you can take it to the nearby park to change the surroundings and enjoy the beautiful weather. There is no need to bust your brain about assembling this grill because it comes entirely set up out of the box. That is also what makes it easy for moving around since it is prepared for the road in seconds.
Considering that it is a portable model, it features only one stainless steel burner and cooking surface of 280 square inches. Believe it or not, that makes it one of the more prominent portable grills out there. The heater can produce 12,000 BTUs, which is more than enough for the cooking area provided. Weber Q2200 comes with cooking grates made of porcelain-enameled cast-iron, and there is the possibility of combining grate and griddle cooking. The revamped model of the grill offers you to split the cooking area into two halves and use a grate on one of them and griddle on the other. You just have to make sure that the griddle is compatible with the grill, but that shouldn’t be hard to find.
The revamped Weber Q2200 comes with ergonomic side handles, as well as control knobs and grip handles. Thanks to the grease catcher included, cleaning the product and maintaining it is easy.
Portability is the most significant advantage of Weber Q2200. The fact that you can take this product anywhere with you makes it perfect for those who are looking to a barbecue meal during camping or field trips. It’s entirely assembled, which means you don’t have to go through the trouble of setting it up every time you move it. Its compact size makes it ideal for transport. Weber is a reputable brand when it comes to grills, and their products are known for longevity and durability.
The portable grilling cart is sold separately and increases the price for about $70. In case you don’t want to worry whether there is an appropriate table for your grill at your desired location, you will need to invest some extra cash. Aside from that, the cooking area is modest, and it only has one burner, but that is why it falls into the category of little grills.
Char-Broil Classic 280 2-Burner Grill – The Best Budget-Friendly Grill Out There
If your budget for acquiring a grill is restricted for whatever reason, Char-Broil Classic 280 might be the most affordable grilling system available and the ideal fit for your requirements. The primary cooking surface is 14 inches long and 20 inches wide, which rounds up to 280 square inches. In layman’s terms, it means that the cooking area can accommodate anywhere between 10-15 burgers or sausages, depending on their size.
There are two burners made of stainless steel that provide 20,000 British Thermal Units (BTU) of heat, while you can quickly start barbecuing by turning the device on with the push of a button, all thanks to the Piezo ignition system. For your convenience, there are also side shelves that are 12 inches wide and 13.5 inches deep. They may be extremely useful for storing tongs and other accessories, but you can also use them as prepping space for grilling.
Char-Broil Classic 280 grilling system comes in two different versions – with or without side burner. If you decide to go with the latter one, you might even find it for as low as $100. However, we do suggest that you spend about $20 extra for an all-season cover if you plan to use it outside. But let’s talk about the model that includes a side burner. It features additional cooking surface with 8,000 BTUs, which is ideal for sautéing onions, mushrooms, and other side dishes.
You should ensure that you never leave the food you are barbecuing unattended. Due to the uneven heat distributed across the cooking area, there might be a chance that the burgers in the middle burn in a couple of seconds, while the ones on the side remain uncooked. However, this is not an unknown issue with smaller grilling systems, and you will find the perfect way to make delicious food after using it a couple of times.
You probably won’t find a better deal for a reliable grilling system. Not only it fits into the best gas grills under $300 category, but you can spend under $100 if you buy the model without a side burner. However, an additional side burner enables you to sauté onions and other side dishes, which means that you can make a complete meal on this product. It is definitely worth the additional $40 or so.
Char-Broil Classic 280 comes with two wheels that increase mobility and make the grill easy to transport from one location to another. Thanks to its compact design, it is ideal for both interior and exterior use.
Assembling can get incredibly tricky since the product comes with a somewhat confusing instruction manual. People who already used this barbecue complained that it took more than an hour to set it up correctly. If you don’t think you are capable of assembling it, you should consult a friend that is more adept at it or hire a professional. Also, users are reporting that it is hard to find replacement parts for this grilling system.
Dyna-Glo Smart Space Living 3-Burner Gas Grill – A Serious Grill at an Affordable Price
While we selected the first two models because of their portability and price, we are choosing Dyna-Glo Smart Space Living because it is a complete package. If you are looking for an affordable grill that has all the features a system like this should have, you found the right one.
The grill has a total of 503 square inches of cooking area, although only 390 sq. In. Are considered to be the primary grilling surface. That should be enough for fitting around 16-20 burgers and grilling it at the same time while making maximum use of three burners that produce 36,000 BTUs. Heaters are made of stainless steel, but just like other parts of the grill, the material used could have been a bit thicker. However, the manufacturer probably decided to go with thinner steel so that they can lower the price, but they also decreased the model’s durability.
Dyna-Glo Smart Space Living has two powder-coated steel side tables, which are perfect working areas when you need to prepare burgers or set them aside after you finish grilling. The side tables support the weight of up to 50 pounds (each side up to 25 pounds although we don’t recommend you go over 15 pounds per side just to be safe).
The side tables are foldable, and they feature towel bars and tool hooks, which contribute to the maximum usage of the grill’s design. Electronic ignition system secures that you start the product effortlessly and the model also offers extensive settings when it comes to controlling the heat. There is a thermometer built-in so that you can monitor the heat to ensure that your meals are perfectly cooked. Just make sure not to open the lid too often because you can lose too much temperature.
Although it isn’t considered a ‘small’ grill, it features a compact design with maximum usage of all elements. The cooking surface is big enough to provide for a moderate-sized barbecue party, and the built-in thermometer makes it easy to monitor the temperature. Side tables are incredibly useful as a prepping or working area, and you can fold them to save some space when you are not using them. Considering that it does not fall into the category of small grills, Dyna-Glo’s product is not difficult to assemble as it comes with clear instructions. There is a removable tray with a cup that severs to catch all the grease which makes the grill easy to clean. The product is available in different colors.
The quality of material used and, subsequently, the durability of the product seems to be the most significant downsides of the model. People were complaining that the parts started to rust after only a year or so of use. As they reported, the screws were breaking, and the rust made it extremely difficult to cook food properly. Also, the fat wouldn’t roll out from the tent, which led to more flame outs.
Fuego Element F21C – The Prettiest Grill of All!
The first thing you will notice when you take a look at Fuego Element F21C is its unusual design. The manufacturer invested a lot of effort in the sleek look of their product, considering that it was designed by Robert Brunner, who used to work in Apple as chief designer. Fuego definitely deserves an award for a unique look (and they got one from Vesta last year)
The distinct look of the product also means that there are a couple of things you need to take into account. First, the lid handle can get extremely hot, so we suggest using oven mitts (or you will burn your hands just like one of our reviewers). Also, a couple of holes in the lid are probably there with some purpose, but they also ruined the usage of the grilling system during the bad weather.
The model features a cooking surface of 346 square inches along with 21,000 BTUs used to produce heat. The cooking grate is made of cast-iron, which experts agree is the best choice for this material. The manufacturer claims that the model achieves a 500F temperature in only 5 minutes, but our testing proved that it might take a little longer. There is a built-in thermometer that monitors heat and makes the cooking process more manageable.
Fuego Element F21C provides two burners that you can activate with the electronic start-up system. Thanks to the dual heaters, the product enables both direct and indirect cooking. If you want to use indirect heat to sauté some onions, you can only activate the external burner. That secures preparing side dishes without having to go back and forth to the kitchen.
All other standard features are also there, including the residue tray that collects any grease that runs off from the firebox. The product is relatively easy to assemble if you follow the detailed instructions provided and it comes with four wheels that make moving it around a piece of cake. Once you get the grill to the desired location, just lock the wheels into place, and you get maximum stability.
The unique design and a small footprint make it ideal for small patios, decks, and even balconies in condos or apartments. It also guarantees that you will have the prettiest grilling system in the neighborhood. In the area of functionality, the inner and outer burners are a jackpot. They secure both direct and indirect heat for cooking, meaning that you don’t need a side burner to grill some onions with your burger. Four wheels make it easy to transport, and stability is secured by locking them into place.
It takes a bit more time than the manufacturer suggests for the product to heat up and you might need 15-20 minutes to achieve proper temperature. We didn’t like the holes on the lid because they prevent barbecuing while raining. They also mean that you will need to cover the product during the lousy weather and purchasing cover costs extra money.
Thermos 480 4-Burner Gas Grill – An Incredible Bargain for a Large System
Let’s make one thing clear – four burners and a total of 690 square inches of the cooking surface are two indicators of a large grill. It’s only natural to ask what a big grilling system is doing in the category of the best gas grills under $300. Char-Broil apparently made something like that possible with its Thermos 480 4-Burner.
Now, let’s clarify something else. When you are giving little money for a big barbecue, and you are giving only around $220 for this model, you can’t expect wonders. Instead, you should be prepared to give up some things to get critical features that a barbecue needs. Let’s discuss some overall information first before dwelling into specifics.
Thermos 480 includes four burners with a total of 480 square inches of primary area for cooking. There is also a side burner that can be used for keeping food warm or preparing side dishes and this other surface stretches to 210 square inches. Grates are coated with porcelain, and they do a stable job in securing that your food doesn’t stick. You start the system with the electronic ignition, and it provides up to 48,000 BTUs of heat along with 10,000 BTUs for the side racks. If you are not using the side burners, you can cover them and use as prep or workspace. It comes with a stand that includes two wheels, which gives the option of moving it around, but a couple of extra wheels would have made it a piece of cake.
Considering the price, we couldn’t expect that the material used to build it would be of high-quality. To be precise, the manufacturer did use stainless steel, but its thickness is questionable, and that specifically affects the durability of the product. However, if you are looking for a model that will serve you great for a couple of years, this one can be right for you. It is available in two different colors – stainless steel and black.
If you are looking for a bargain deal on big grilling systems, you won’t find any better than Thermos 480. Four burners and the size of the cooking surface are enough to prepare barbecues for large parties comfortably. The heat the 48,000 BTUs provide is more than enough for a solid performance, while the side racks can be used both as warming racks and working area, considering that you can cover them with a lid.
Don’t expect the highest quality product at a bargain price. The durability of the model is questionable, especially considering that the stainless steel used is rather thin. Many parts are prone to rust or even disintegrating after using them for a while. Some of the users also complained that they didn’t get an instruction manual. With or without instructions, the assembly of the product is not an easy job.
|Product Name||Weber Q2200||Char-Broil Classic 280||Dyna-Glo Smart Space Living||Fuego Element F21C||Thermos 480|
|Pros||– Extremely easy to transport
– Completely assembled out of box
– Reputable brand
|– Extremely affordable
– Two models – with and without side burner
– Compact design
|– Great combination of compact design and performance
– Foldable side tables
– Easy to assemble
|– Unique award-winning design
– Dual burners secure both direct and indirect cooking
– Four wheels make it easy to transport
|– Large-sized grilling system
– Sides can be used both as warming racks and prepping area
|Cons||– Cart sold separately
– Only one burner
|– Confusing instructions for assembling
– Hard to find replacement parts
|– Limited durability
– Prone to rust
|– Takes time to pre-heat
– Can’t be used while raining
|– Limited durability
– Prone to rust
– Tricky assembly
|Why You Should Consider It||The best portable grill under $300 ideal for camping and other trips||The most affordable grilling system available on the market||Moderate-sized grill at an affordable price||Award-winning design and solid performance||An incredible bargain for a large grilling system|