Best Propane Grills Under $300

1. Char-Broil Classic 4-Burner with Side Burner – A Perfectly-Balanced Grill

Our rating:

Cooking surface 660 square inches
Side burner doubles as a prep shelf  [usr 5]
Heat output  [usr 4]

A product that is an Amazon bestseller undoubtedly deserves the first place on our list of the best propane grills under $300.  Char-Broil Classic 4-Burner is a grilling system intended for cookouts or big families. It is a genuine long-term investment despite the fact that it is considered an affordable product with its price of $280.

The unit has a total grilling area of 660 square inches. However, don’t be fooled by that information because ‘only’ 480 square inches is the central cooking area. We used the quotation marks intentionally since it is more than enough to cook for up to eight people at once. Now, let’s shift focus to the secondary rack that has 180 square inches of space. That component is perfect got simmering some vegetables or preparing any side dish, which means you can cook an entire meal for the guests arriving at your barbecue party.

The question that everyone would ask now is whether the unit is capable of heating up such a broad cooking surface. Char-Broil Classic does that job outstandingly thanks to the stainless steel burners that come with the model. There are four of them, and each of them can provide up to 10,000 BTUs. That means the total power of the central part of the grill is 40,000 BTUs, which you can put under control thanks to the separate control knobs. You can use the heat gauge on the lid that keeps track of the temperature inside the unit.

The main four heaters are not the last thing that this grill had to say when it comes to power. There is an additional side burner on the left packed with extra 10,000 BTUs bringing the total strength of the unit to a whopping 50,000 BTUs per hour. As for the side burner, it’s another way of searing your food or preparing a side dish or gravy. However, if you don’t feel like you need extra cooking space, just close the lid, and use is extra prep space.

The available working area can be doubled that way because you already have an amble side table available on the right of your unit. The shelf is made of metal and can hold all your platters, grilling essentials, seasonings, and all other things you need to temporarily put away during a BBQ session. That completes the impression that Char-Broil Classic 4-Burner is an outdoor kitchen because you don’t need to run inside to cook the side dish and you can store everything you need near your grill.

Unfortunately, the fact that the stand doesn’t offer a cabinet prevented the unit from using the maximum potential when it comes to storing space. Instead of including a cabinet or at least a rack, the manufacturer only decided to place aesthetic addition on the front.

Regardless of that, the cart does its job when it comes to increasing convenience. It lifts the unit to waist height and makes the grill easy to operate. The dimensions of the grill are 46 x 21 x 56 inches when it is on the stand. The bottom of the cart has two wheels that you can use for moving the product around. However, we advise you to be careful as the weight of the unit of over 100 pounds you may break the casters if you don’t pay attention.

Pros

Charbroil Classic 4-Burner seems to have achieved the perfect balance when it comes to a BBQ system. It offers just as much power and just as many features you need, including the bells and whistles that fall into the category of essential. The heat output is exceptional, and it secures consistent cooking throughout the entire cooking surface.

The warming rack and the side burner are just what you need to prepare the side dishes simultaneously, while the latter one also doubles as a working table. That brings the total of side shelves available to two and turns the product into an outdoor kitchen. Users add that it is a highly-movable grilling unit thanks to the wheels on the bottom of the stand.

The quality of construction is marvelous, too. The cook box and the lid are of stainless steel, but the handle is cool to touch to avoid the danger of getting yourself burned. The critical factor is that the burner tubes have a long warranty, which confirms that the essential part of the grill is of the highest quality.

Cons

We still feel that they should have included a grill cabinet instead of the frontal mask on the cart. That is not a serious downside, but it still prevented the unit from maximizing its potential when it comes to convenience. Aside from that, you should also keep in mind that it’s not the easiest job to clean this grill. In fact, you might have trouble with a tray that collects grease at the bottom of the cook box. While the pan prevents the drippings to fall into burner tubes and clog them, the fact that it is not removable makes it tricky to clean.

2. Dyna-Glo Smart Space Living 3-Burner – A Versatile Product

Our rating:

Cooking surface 507 square inches
Usage of direct and indirect heat  [usr 5]
Small footprint  [usr 4]

Grilling systems can be considered as family products and, as such, the entire family should participate in selecting the ideal unit for them. While men will probably look more into performance, women will also check out the design of the grill. That is why we love when manufacturers offer us multiple variants, which is what Dyna-Glo did with Smart Space Living 3-Burner. Aside from the stainless steel model, you can also purchase it in bronze. We suggest that you check out this deal on Amazon and get a cover along with the unit at an affordable cost.

Aside from the unusual alternative when it comes to painting, the model looks like a traditional grilling unit. However, it’s the combination of performance, convenience, and quality that makes the unit stand out from a bunch of similar ones on the market. The grill has a total of 507 square inches with the most of the available space in the central grilling area – 390. That leaves 117 square inches for the warming rack that you can use for all your simmering or keep-food-warm needs.

Dyna-Glo Smart Space Living 3-Burner is suitable for beginners and those who don’t want to go through any kind of hassle with their grill. There is a power button that you just need to push to start the system. After that, you can witness the strength of 36,000 BTUs that comes from three burner tubes. Not only each of them is of stainless steel, but they also have a steel heat tent that additionally protects them and helps them spread the hotness evenly across the entire grilling area.

Cast iron cooking grates contribute to the same thing and secure superior heat retention. As you would expect from a high-quality product, the grates are coated with porcelain to keep the food from sticking to the surface. Whenever you feel like checking if the temperature is at the desired level, you can look at the heat gauge mounted on the lid. If you feel that the hotness could use a bit of adjusting, use the knobs on the front panel to separately adjust the strength that each of the burners provides.

Smart Space Living also excels in categories of prep area and storage space. There are tables on both sides that have integrated tool hooks for all your grilling essentials. The cart features an enclosed grill cabinet with sufficient storage space for all your needs. The two casters on the bottom enable you to move the product, although things do not go smoothly because it is quite heavy (90 pounds). The wheels should be locked once you find the desired spot. That way you will increase the sturdiness of the unit.

Pros

The versatility of the product that comes with separately controlling the burners is remarkable, and it’s what places it among the best propane grills under $300. You have an ample cooking surface at your disposal, and that means you can grill on direct and indirect heat simultaneously. There is no need to wait and put a different type of food in another batch, but you can cook both fish and meat (for example) simultaneously.

There are many other features that existing users praised. Everything starts with the smooth assembly thanks to the clear instructions and continues with high-quality burners and cooking grates. The overall impression is that this grill is an incredible value deal. Dyna-Glo Smart Space Living 3-Burner can provide the same features and performance as some systems that cost double as much, which is a reason enough why you should consider buying it.

Cons

It’s a shame that a meaningful portion of the enclosed cabinet is taken by the area where you should put the LP tank. While it is aesthetically better to keep the fuel cylinder out of sight, it affects the available closed storage space. Also, at the given price, you shouldn’t expect the grill to last for decades. In fact, there are parts of lower quality that are prone to rust, but if you take good care of the product, you can extend its lifespan considerably.

3. Napoleon TQ2225PO Travel Q Orange Portable Grill – Your Best Travel Companion

Our rating:

Cooking surface 225 square inches
Ideal for the road  [usr 5]
Collapsible stand  [usr 4]

There are two reasons that you should consider purchasing this BBQ, and they don’t have anything to do with each other. The first one is related to design, which is incredibly unusual. It has a base with two sturdy legs and a semi-circular form. If you keep the lid of the grill open, it will remind you of an armchair. Although you won’t have the need to uncover the BBQ often, salute to the designers for creating something new and unique.

The other reason why you would want this grilling unit is that it is your ideal travel companion. Napoleon TQ2225PO is a portable grill suitable for all outdoor needs, including camping trips with your RV or an afternoon at the beach. The product weight 30 pounds and measures 25 x 24 x 11 inches. The dimensions are ideal for the trunk of every car (not to mention RV. The ergonomic handle that’s used for carrying the product also doubles as a safety feature that locks the lid into place. If you care to spend a bit more money (you still won’t go over $300), you can consider purchasing the Travel Q carry bag. There is also the collapsible stand that you can take on the road and not worry where you will place the unit.

Okay, all that sounds swell and it adds to the conclusion that convenience is one of the notable advantages of this BBQ. Let’s focus on the performance, which should play a critical role when deciding on your desired product. Just like other Napoleon models, this grilling unit uses PIEZO ignition system. It might sound complex, but in its essence it’s just another push to start feature. While it’s nothing out of the ordinary, it still means when you can get the fire going without effort.

Travel Q Orange offers 225 square inches of cooking surface. The manufacturer argues that it is enough to hold 16 burgers, but of course that comes down to how big each of them is. The important thing is that this unit can feed three or four people at once and it will cover the lunch needs of a small family.

Heat output is admirable and the burner that packs 10,500 BTUs per hour of power can bring the temperature to the desired level in a matter of minutes. The grid is made of cast iron to prevent stickiness and ensure even cooking and superb heat retention. You can regulate temperature level easily and the temperature doesn’t decrease a lot each time you open the lid. On the other hand, that doesn’t mean you should open it each couple of minutes, but if you need to check the current state of the burgers you are grilling, you don’t have to worry about losing heat. The product also comes with a grease tray that collects the drippings and makes cleaning more manageable.

Pros

There is a lot that Amazon customer review can tell if you know how to read. In case of the Napoleon Travel Q Orange, there is no room for mystery. The majority of reviews left are positive and full of praise for various features of the product. Most of the users that purchased it were looking for a compact grill that is portable and a space saver. That is why they loved the foldable legs and the ergonomic handle, which made putting away the unit a job that lasts 10 seconds at the most.

There is no doubt that the quality justifies why we placed this among the best propane grills under $300. The elements used in construction are durable and the combination of stainless steel and cast iron is something that will secure that this grilling unit lasts for years to come. You can see a bunch of convenient features every step of the way, starting from the child’s play assembling up to uncomplicated cleaning.

Cons

Some users reported issues when it comes to even distribution of heat. They claim that there are so-called hot spots on the cooking surface where you risk burning your food. Aside from that, this grilling model doesn’t have any serious drawbacks, unless you count modest grilling area as one.

4. Fuego Element F21C Carbon Steel – Unusual Design and Performance

Our rating:

Cooking surface 346 square inches
Unique and innovative design  [usr 5]
Small footprint  [usr 5]

You got us, we like when grills have unusual design. Fuego Element F21C won awards for its sleek look created by Robert Brunner who used to work in Apple. The truth is that you can either love or hate how this unit looks. While some will praise the unique design, others will think that it looks like a trash can. However, nobody would be able to deny that this grill is compact. The width and length of the product are only 21 inches, which means they are perfect if you are looking for BBQ systems with small footprints.

The unique design also brings some innovation when it comes to performance, but we will get to that later. Let’s start from the beginning and mention that the setting up process is straightforward and it’s not something that should scare you away when you see how the product looks. The grill has 346 square inches of cooking space, which is enough for 12 average burgers or, if you prefer, enough to serve four to five people.

There is only one burner in Fuego Element F21C, but it is a powerful one since it can provide up to 21,000 BTUs of heat. That is enough for the product to reach the temperature of 650F. However, you should pay attention to where you are placing food on the grill. The inner zone is hotter and produces higher heat, which makes it perfect for grilling burgers. However, the outer zone doesn’t get as much heated, which means you can use it for simmering or keeping your food warm.

The cooking grates are made of cast iron and they do an excellent job in retaining the heat. There is a valve that controls the temperature, but you can also use the thermometer that offers accurate results. All the drippings go into the tray that you can easily remove to clean the excess grease from cooking. Fuego stands on four casters that increase the mobility of the model. They all have the locking feature to make sure the product is stable in the desired position.

Pros

Although it looks completely different from all the others, Element F21C is still one of the best propane grills under $300. The unusual design also means that you will have the most sleek-looking BBQ in the neighborhood and all your friends will envy you. The small footprint of the unit makes it suitable for virtually any location, including balconies and small patios.

The versatility of the grill is increased by the fact that it has an inner zone with increased heat and outer zone that can be used for indirect cooking. While we are not sure the manufacturer did that on purpose, it’s still an excellent way to grill food and simmer vegetables at the same time. The company chose durable elements for the product securing that it will have extended durability.

Cons

The only real drawback is that it will take some time to get used to how everything works with this grill. Even those who have experience with more traditional units will probably need a test run or two to find the formula for a perfect burger on this model. However, once you get ahold of it, the product is able to provide exceptional results.

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