Best Natural Gas Grills Under $500
1. Weber Genesis II E210 – Who Needs Power When You Have Taste?
|Cooking surface||494 square inches|
|GS4 Grilling System||[usr 5]|
|Wi-Fi Contol||[usr 4]|
The Genesis II is a series of premium grilling systems manufactured by Weber, one of the top brands in the niche. The model we are presenting is the only one whose price fits our criteria. As you can see on the official website, units from this edition are expensive. However, thanks to Amazon, you can get Genesis II E210 at an excellent price and brag that you purchased one of the best natural gas grills under $500.
Just like other units from this series, this model uses the GS4 Grilling System patented by Weber. Four components make this system a whole and ensure that the product delivers excellent results. The first one is the infinity ignition system that takes care of two things. The first one is that the unit will ignite in each occasion and the other that all you have to do is push a single button. The electronic ignition comes with a 10-year warranty that should be enough to prove that the manufacturer is confident you can get your grill up and run in no time.
Several components make the core of every BBQ system, and burner tubes are at the top of that list. However, Genesis II E210 comes with a twist in this area. It packs two burners that can produce up to 26,000 BTUs per hour. You might not think that is a lot, but the trick is in the shape of the heaters. They are tapered, which means that there is a consistent flow of gas from the front side all the way to the back. That is the secret of even heat distribution that this unit provides. Each portion of the cooking surface is equally heated, and there are no hot or cold spots to bother you.
While we are on the topic of the grilling area, we want to pinpoint that this model belongs to average-sized grilling systems. The entire cooking surface spans to 494 square inches, but 380 square inches are considered to be the so-called central cooking space. If you are wondering whether you can feed a family of four, the answer is yes. You may even call a friend or two and organize a small barbecue party.
The rest of the grilling surface or 114 square inches is reserved for a warming rack. It is located in the central area, and it can be tucked away whenever you don’t feel like using it. However, you might want to take advantage of it being there because it adds a convenient way to whip up a side dish or a sauce and even keep your food warm.
Weber always cared about the elements that they include in a grill. In most cases, they choose the best options, and a clear indicator of that is the cooking grates on Genesis II E210. They are made of cast iron, which is proven to have superb results when it comes to retaining heat. Just in case, there is also the porcelain-enamel finish to ensure that the grates will resist the rust for a long time. Yes, they also come with a 10-year warranty, which speaks enough about their quality.
But there is more! The grate of this unit, as well as the entire series, is reversible. There is a broader side that you can use for regular grilling. It will provide the beautiful sear marks and make your steaks and burgers visually more attractive. However, if you turn the grate, you will find a thinner side. That part is used for food that requires more delicate handling, such as shrimp or fish. Combine that with a bit lower heat and enjoy seafood and other grilled specialties.
We are now taking a look below the cooking grates where lies the third component of the GS4 Grilling System. You might be familiar with flavorizer bars if you have used a Weber grill before. They are angled in a way that catches all the drippings that come from the food on the grates. After the grease falls onto these bars, they use the heat to vaporize it and turn it into smoke. That smoke then infuses back into food and makes it incredibly juice. Thanks to this feature, the taste of the steaks and burgers you prepare on Genesis II E210 will be just like using a wood-fired or charcoal grill. And we assure you, no one will be able to claim that gas grills can’t compare with other types when it comes to flavor after he tries food cooked on this unit.
Of course, not all the drippings vaporize because flavorizer bars are not that quick or powerful. There the final component of the GS4 comes into play. The so-called Grease Management System consists of funnels that transfer the excess drippings away from the grates and burners and into a disposable tray. The crucial feature of this addition is that it prevents flare-ups because there is no way that the drippings fall onto the burner tubes. However, there is another obvious benefit in the area of cleaning. All the grease goes into one place – the catch pan on the bottom. You should place a removable aluminum tray (you can buy a pack cheaply on Amazon) in this container. Each time when it fills with the drippings, you just need to take it out, throw it away and replace with a new tray. Those who have at least cleaned a grill that has no grease management system will appreciate this feature.
Weber Genesis E210 is an excellent example of the breakthroughs made in the grilling market. It supports one of the coolest extra accessories we have seen lately – iGrill 3. In short, it is a digital thermometer that enables you to monitor your BBQ from afar. In reality, this is an extremely impressive accessory. It uses Bluetooth technology to send the information from the grill to your mobile phone. The only thing you need to do is to install the app on your device and stay within sight line. As long as you do that, you can move as far as 150 feet from the unit and still keep total control over it. That means you can enjoy chatting with the guests of your party of talking with your family while your meal is getting ready.
When it comes to design, the model reminds of any random traditional-looking backyard grill. However, there is one unusual thing about the look of this unit. It comes with an open cart that offers two extra racks of space. One of them is located at the bottom, while the other is closer to the top of the stand and can be convenient for hanging your grilling tools and other essentials.
While we are discussing space, we should pinpoint that even more of that is available thanks to the side tables. Unlike some other models in the series, the tables in E210 are foldable so that you can put them away whenever you don’t need them. That provides a better way for storing your BBQ unit as it means that you can fit it in any corner. If you plan to use the tables, you will have plenty of work or prep space. They are mainly convenient for holding the platters as we know that juggling with plates can be a downside of grilling on an outdoor unit with no prep space.
The tables, as well as the entire construction, are made of high-quality stainless steel to ensure maximum durability. You can best see the thick gauge of the materials if you take a look at the weight info of the product. It has 133 pounds, which is incredibly massive for a unit that is average in size (its dimensions are 32x33x26 inches).
It sounds like we praised Weber Genesis II E210 enough throughout the review, but let’s make a brief overview of all the positives of the product. The first one is excellent performance secured by the GS4 Grilling System, which combines several key features, including tapered burners and grease management. However, we particularly liked flavorizer bars. They are that one part that secures the food to be juicy and tender and enables this unit to compete even with the top charcoal and pellet models.
You also need to consider the excellent durability of the product. The high-quality materials provide sturdiness in construction, as well as an extended lifespan. The manufacturer offers a 10-year limited warranty on all components, but there is a good chance that the unit will last even longer if you take good care of it. Aside from regular cleaning and maintenance, you should consider purchasing the official cover that resists water and UV heat.
It’s the price that might be one of the reasons why you will decide against purchasing this unit. It barely fits the budget criteria we set in this article, and you can quickly go over the limit if you buy a cover or the iGril3 accessory. However, you should know that you are making a long-term investment that will be well worth the cash. If you are looking for an average-sized grill to serve your family for years, there are not many better options than E210.
2. Broil King Monarch 390 – Grill like a King
|Cooking surface||520 square inches|
|Rotisserie burner included||[usr 5]|
|Dual Tube Burners||[usr 4]|
Broil King is not a stranger when it comes to value deal, and we would say that Monarch 390 grilling system is one of them. Furthermore, we are sure that it is one of the best natural gas grills under $500 you can find on the market. Purchasing this unit means that you will be securing a quick and tasty grilled meal for a small family whenever you feel like it. We can’t consider 330 square inches of cooking space as ample, but it is still enough to fit a dozen average-sized burgers.
You also shouldn’t underestimate the extra grilling space you get with the rotisserie burner in the back and the side burner on the left. These two features take Monarch 390 to the next level and provide the versatility that sets it apart from other affordable gas grills. The manufacturer has been using dual-tube burners for a while now, and they applied the same technology to this product. The idea behind it is to secure even heat distribution to the cooking grids.
There are gates above the heaters that not only protect them but also catch the drippings from the food and vaporize them. That way they enable the smoke to infuse the flavor back into the meat and provide improved tenderness. The system is similar to the one that Weber has with its flavorizer bars. Broil King Monarch 390 also has a drip pan that catches all the excess grease and eases the cleaning process.
As for the cooking grates, they are reversible with one side giving sear marks, while the other designed to secure continual basting of the food during the cooking process. The heat output of this grill is up to 30,000 BTUs. Spread across three burners, it means that each of them can give 10,000 BTUs. The rear heater boasts 12,000 BTUs, while the side heater has a weaker heat output of 10,000 BTUs.
If we can say a word or two about aesthetics, it’s noticeable that this is one sleek-looking unit. The combination of black and dark gray for the body with stainless steel colored elements seems exceptionally modern. The style is combined with convenience. Side tables on both sides have integrated tool hooks, while the whole unit stands on a single door cabinet. That is how you get a whole lot of storage space, but it’s the four wheels that secure mobility. Two of them have locking casters to ensure that the model has no trouble with staying in position.
Broil King Monarch 390 weight just over 120 pounds, and its dimensions are 48 x 22 x 52 inches. You can also check out Monarch 340, which is insignificantly different from this model.
The crucial win that you will achieve if you purchase this unit is value for money. The usual price of a gas grill that has both side and rotisserie burners can go even over a thousand dollars, and here you get a deal under $500. The versatility of the product is further increased with the reversible cooking grate that gives the sear marks to the food.
All those cooking options are nicely intertwined with convenience. If you are not using the side burner, it can double as a prep area, but even with it active, there is the table on the right that you can use for platters and other essentials. The tools can be hanged on hooks on the sides, while the enclosed cabinet provides plenty of storage space to put away the things you are not using.
One of the perks that you need to give up for the price is a spacious cooking surface. Instead, you get an average-sized product that can still be used to prepare a meal for the entire family. Aside from the size, the only complaint that the users had is related to the motor of the rotisserie kit. Several of them pinpointed that it could have been more powerful and durable.
3. Dyna-Glo DGA480BSN 4-Burner – A Large-Sized Unit for a Price of a Small One
|Cooking surface||666 square inches|
|Large-sized grill||[usr 5]|
|Accurate thermometer||[usr 4]|
Both of the grilling systems we covered so far had excellent results, but they weren’t able to feed more than four or five people simultaneously. If your plans are to grill for the entire neighborhood (or you just have a large family), you should consider Dyna-Glo DGA480BSN 4-Burner. It offers devilishly ample cooking surface of 666 square inches. The central part takes 480 square inches, while the rest is the secondary warming area.
The first thing you will notice in the otherwise traditional design of this unit is its bronze-black color combination. According to the manufacturer, the product has a burnished bronze metallic finish, which is why it looks so unusual. Its dimensions are 53 x 23 x 47 inches, and it weighs 100 pounds. If you compare the durability of this and the previous units, it seems that Dyna-Glo’s model loses the race somewhere at the finish line. Although it resists the rust and severe weather, it probably won’t last as much a Weber.
On the plus side, this is a mighty grilling system. In fact, it has perhaps the highest heat output of all the best natural gas grills under $500. The total potential is 60,000 BTUs, which is spread evenly across four central and a side burner tube. If you do the math, it means that each of the heaters can provide up to 12,000 BTUs per hour. Each of them can be controlled by a separate control knob on the front panel of the unit.
The side burner on the left has a mounted cover that doubles as prep space. On the right, there is an extra table you can use for the same purpose. The entire unit stands on a two-door cabinet, which offers ample storage space for all your grilling essentials.
Dyna-Glo DGA480BSN 4-Burner is a large-sized grill available at the cost of a smaller unit. You can easily serve both your family and neighbors with this model. Furthermore, you have increased versatility thanks to the side burner you can use for side dishes. The heat output of the unit is excellent, and it can achieve the desired temperature in no time.
The heat gauge on the top of the model is pretty accurate and gives you a good idea about the current temperature in the cook box. The color combination is unusual, but it looks impressive, and it singles out the grill from the similar models.
Time is not a friend of this model. There were a couple of users that posted severe damages to their units after several years of usage. However, there is a question of the money you paid for it and the quality you’ve got in return. We would say that getting a colossal grill that can be used for several years is a sweet deal at this cost.