Top 4 Best Propane Grills Under $200
1. Char-Griller 3001 Grillin’ Pro – A Powerful Bargain
|Cooking surface||438 square inches|
|Cast-iron grates||[usr 5]|
|Quality of construction||[usr 4]|
Make some room so that you can bow to the number one choice in the best propane grills under $200 category. It might not last your entire lifetime, but you can rest assured that it is capable of providing several years of excellent performance. The construction is made of durable steel, which you can’t say is thick, but is more than you would expect at this decent price. There is also the powder-coated finish for increased resistance to heat and rust. The entire product weighs only 88 pounds, which should give you an idea about the thickness of the steel used.
However, you can’t have everything at just $185, which is the current price of the Char-Griller 3001 Grillin’ Pro on Amazon. You might not get a product with a lifelong durability, but everything else is there, starting with excellent performance. The inner grilling surface has a total of 438 square inches, which means that you can grill for up to six people at once. If you take into account that we are considering affordable grilling systems in this review, it becomes immediately evident that this unit’s size is worth the money.
We loved the cast-iron cooking grates with the porcelain-enameled finish. It’s this type of grates that you can see in premium quality grills, and they contribute to even cooking and excellent heat retention. There are also three stainless steel burner tubes that can provide 40,800 BTUs and make the grilling surface hot in seconds. They are also capable of achieving high heat, but you can control them thanks to the valves on the front panel. You have a separate knob for each of the burners, meaning that you can adjust the temperature just the way you need. All these things we listed in this paragraph are an essence of any grill and Char-Griller made sure that the critical components are made of top-quality materials.
The central cooking surface is not everything that 3001 Grillin’ Pro offers. There is a warming rack with extra 192 square inches of space located above the grates when you open the lid. That is always a useful feature that keeps your food warm until the guests arrive or until you finish preparing the remaining meat. If you need to grill some veggies to go along your main dish, there is a side burner that has 12,000 BTUs of strength. There is also a shelf located on the other side of the unit, which is more than appropriate as a workspace or a prep area.
As for the design, it’s somewhat traditional. The manufacturer painted the entire unit black to avoid the classic silver color that most grilling systems have. The only things that break the black pattern are the red logo of the manufacturer and the writings on the knobs which are in white. Char-Griller 3001 Grillin’ Pro is 49 inches long, 25 inches wide and 42 inches high. That height is because of the cart it stands on that is equipped with two wheels to make it suitable for transport. There is another unusual thing – the stand is not entirely open, but it has a panel on the front that blocks the view.
Our jaws dropped when we realized that this is a sturdy and massive grill that is available at an affordable price. The ample cooking surface and the sheer power turn it into a real bargain. On top of that, it’s also pretty convenient because of the side burner and prep space that are both included in the package. The manufacturer made sure that the highest-quality elements form the core of this model. The burner tubes are of stainless steel, while the cast-iron cooking grates have a porcelain-coated finish. That guarantees splendid heat output, as well as its optimum distribution and retention.
The variety of control that this product provides is superb. The igniter button on the front enables you to turn on the heat effortlessly, while the separate knobs that alter the heat output of each of the burners give you total control over them. Just in case, there is a temp gauge mounted on the lid that will show you the current hotness inside. If you are a newbie, this might be the perfect grill to start with so that you can learn how everything works when it comes to gas grilling systems.
Aside from excellent heat output and total control, Char-Griller also made sure that you can move the unit to your backyard. The two wheels (and the fact that the model is not that heavy) make this possible, which means that you can get the grill close to the backyard table when you plan to use it and store it away in the corner once you finish.
While the wheels are a convenient feature, their quality is questionable. You need to be careful across uneven surfaces as they might break if they hit a bump. Also, they don’t have the locking feature to improve their sturdiness once you get to the desired spot. Fortunately, the fact that the other two legs don’t have wheels helps to keep the BBQ in place.
The instruction manual comes in black & white, which makes the pictures hard to read. That, in turn, causes the entire assembling process to be a bit difficult as you may get it wrong.
2. Char-Broil Quickset 2-Burner – If the Price Is Your Only Concern
|Cooking surface||256 square inches|
|Suitable for beginners||[usr 5]|
|Effortless assembly||[usr 4]|
You might not know this, but Char-Broil is considered to be one of the leading manufacturers when it comes to offering low-cost BBQ systems. In fact, what Weber is to premium grills, they are for the affordable ones. For the list of the best propane grills under $200, we chose their Quickset 2-Burner as one of the cheapest models available. In fact, you can purchase it for only $115. Those of you who want (and are ready to pay) a bit more can also check out the 3-Burner model.
The unit we are focusing on offers a moderate central cooking area with 256 square inches of grilling space. It’s not big, but it is enough to serve up to four people. The product comes with wire grates that are porcelain-enameled so that the food won’t stick to the surface. The cook box and the lid made of steel have a porcelain-coated finish so that they could withstand higher temperatures.
Char-Broil Quickset 2-Burner also comes with plastic shelves on both sides. They provide ample prep space and working area for all your needs. It’s an ideal place to put all your platters and rubs, as well as grilling tools, considering that there are hooks and handles built-in to the sides of the shelves. Although the cooking surface could have been bigger if there wasn’t for this prep space, the trade is more than worth it.
As for the power, the two stainless steel burners can provide up to 26,500 BTUs to get the unit going. You might think that it is not much, but keep in mind that these heaters just need to heat a modest grilling area. They manage to do a proper job and provide optimal heat output and even temperature across the entire surface.
Let’s talk about how convenient it is to use this grill. The manufacturer is aware that assembling is often a problem for customers, which is why they kept in mind the setting up process when designing this unit. Starting the system is no sweat thanks to the ignition button while controlling the heat is also comfortable thanks to the two valves that separately control the burners. Transporting the model across your backyard is also possible thanks to the plastic wheels at the bottom, but you should do that with extra care since they are made of plastic.
If you are looking for a grilling system to introduce you to the world of grills, Quickset 2-Burner is the one you should choose as a partner. It has just as much power as needed to heat the small cooking area, while the side shelves will make dealing with platters and tools more manageable. People that already used it claim that it performs well even during the winter, which means that you can use the product all year round.
You can assemble the model effortlessly and without any complications, because there are no thousands of screws and other parts that you don’t know where to fit. Instead, everything is self-explanatory, and you will be done assembling the grill in no time. When you take into account all its perks, this unit is more than worth the money you invest into purchasing it.
Perhaps the most significant downside of this model is the fact that it uses wire grates. Not only you have to grease it well each time you want to grill, but even then you risk that food will occasionally stick to the surface. Otherwise, this cheap grill has no other significant faults. It’s only natural that you can’t expect a durable product that will last for decades, but if you take good care of it, it will serve you for years, and you can get excellent results from it.
3. Weber Q1000 Liquid Propane Grill – The Most Affordable Weber
|Cooking surface||189 square inches|
|Cast aluminum lid and cook box||[usr 5]|
|Lightweight and portable||[usr 4]|
Fasten your seatbelts because you are about to be propelled to the world of value deals for highest quality grilling systems. Experts and user alike consider Weber a first-rate grilling brand for a reason. Their products always deliver excellent results combined with extended durability. It seems impossible that one of their models fits into the category of the best propane grills under $200, but it’s true. However, the fact that you can get it at a price this low means that you need to be ready to give up some of the features.
One of those is an ample cooking area. Q1000 is a portable tabletops grill and offers only 189 square inches of grilling surface. That is enough to cook for a family of two, but nowhere near enough to host a bigger crowd. On the other hand, you won’t find a product much better to take with you on the road. Whether you are going camping or spending a day at the beach, this unit can be your best traveling companion.
The uncomplicated assembly supports this claim 100%. There is nothing you need to do to set up this unit except to pull it out of the packaging. It comes in one piece, and that is how you pack it back when you want to bring it on the road. You just need to make sure that you have an appropriate liquid propane tank and you can use a cylinder of either 14 or 16 ounces. Keep in mind that the fuel is sold separately, just like the stand, which you will need if you want to avoid looking for appropriate tables to put the grill on them. If you often take it on the road, we suggest checking out the official cover to protect the product against severe weather.
The model features only one burner that can provide 8,500 BTUs of power. That is enough to heat the cooking surface, but you shouldn’t expect incredible heat output. In fact, the unit, just like the entire Q series, puts convenience over performance. Controlling the device is undemanding. There is a button you press to get it to heat up, and you use the valve to adjust the temperature of the stainless steel burner tube.
The quality of the elements used to build Weber Q1000 is superb. The cook box and lid are of cast aluminum to ensure that they withstand high temperatures. The porcelain-coated cooking grates are of cast iron, which is the premium choice for this component since even the most expensive grills also use that material for the grates.
The model is incredibly lightweight and as such suitable for moving around. The fact that it is tabletop means you can place it virtually anywhere in your backyard or pack it in the trunk and bring it to camping or a day you spend at the beach. It might not have a whole lot of power, but it is capable of delivering results and cooking excellent burgers.
The unit barely fits into the category of the grills we are reviewing with its price of $170. It’s a shame that it doesn’t come with a cart that can solve all the issues related to finding a suitable place to put the product. If you purchase a stand and you pay a bit extra for a cover while you are on the run, you will be over the magic limit of $200. Considering the power and cooking space, it provides for that money; this is not a cheap grill. But then again, when was a Weber unit a genuine bargain?
4. Cuisinart CGG-240 – Currently on Discount
|Cooking surface||240 square inches|
|Suitable for decks and balconies||[usr 5]|
|Easy ignition system||[usr 4]|
Cuisinart currently runs a promotion on Amazon and offers a combo of the grill and a stand for as low as $170. If you only want to purchase the tabletop grilling unit, it’s still a good deal at $115 and here is why. The number of the CGG-240 marks the available cooking surface, which means that you have 240 square inches at your disposal. The unit packs the power of 12,000 BTUs and enables hours of grilling during a single session (without having to change a fuel tank which comes separately).
The model is perfectly suitable for bringing it with you when you are on the go. It only has 37 pounds, and that lightweight earns it a place among portable grilling systems. It might be unusual for those to have side shelves, but that is just what Cuisinart CGG-240 offers. The racks provide just enough space to put away the plates or keep the seasonings close to your grill. They are foldable for easier access to the grilling area or transport.
Starting the unit is easy thanks to the twist button. After it gets up and running, you will notice that the heat output and retention are incredible. That is partly because of the stainless steel cook box and lid and partly thanks to the cooking grates. They are made of cast iron and have a porcelain-coated finish, which retains heat brilliantly. Aside from that, it secures that the food-preparing process is more comfortable because you don’t have to think about burgers or chicken sticking to the surface.
You can also purchase a black model which is a bit more expensive, but it looks dashing as well.
CGG-240 is phenomenal if you are looking for a grill that will save you a considerable amount of space. It is a tabletop grilling unit that can be placed on any balcony or small deck. If you combine it with the stand, it becomes your perfect backyard companion. The compact design doesn’t influence the performance of the grill. In fact, it quickly reaches temperatures of over 400F and is ideal for grilling any food.
The users that posted their customer reviews on Amazon loved the sturdy construction of the unit. Despite the fact that it is tabletop, the steel base is durable, and there is no danger of accidentally knocking the product over. Thanks to the broad range of heat it can achieve, this is maybe the most versatile among the best propane grills under $200. You can cook anything from a crispy chicken thigh to a perfect burger on this unit.
The drawback of this unit is that it doesn’t offer an ample cooking space. 240 square inches is enough for a party of three or maybe four at best, but if you are looking to serve bigger crowds at once, you can forget about that idea with this unit. Another complaint that the users had is that the model can get clogged up after several uses. When that happens, you need to unclog the holes (you can do so by using a skewer), which can be a bit troublesome.