Grilling is one of the most enjoyable outdoor activities, but it has a lot of inconveniences: fuel can be costly, and cleanup can get messy. That’s where gas grills come in.
Gas grills are on the rise because they’re easy to use and clean, making them perfect for beginners and experts alike. They don’t take too much time to start, so they’re great for busy people. Finally, they’re easier on you and the environment, so why not?
Well, not every gas grill is affordable, which is we compiled a list of the best gas grills under $200. Don’t make any more excuses to deprive yourself of the fun.
|Cooking Space (sq. in.)
|Master Cook 3
|Char-Broil Classic 360
The 5 Best Gas Grills Under $200 in 2021
Here is our selection of the best gas grills with affordable price points and high-quality materials and performances.
1. Master Cook 3 – Best Overall
If you’re looking for a gas grill with large cooking space, caster wheels, three burners, and a built-in thermometer, there’s no better option than the Master Cook 3 grill.
This grill’s cart-like style is helpful for storage. Moreover, the two large caster wheels help you easily maneuver the grill around your backyard or garden. Also, it has two foldable side shelves that you can use for convenient meal prepping and fold back up when you’re finished, thus, saving space.
This budget-friendly grill doesn’t disappoint in materials either. It has a stainless steel control panel, handle, and lid, which is also porcelain-coated for protection against the weather.
The porcelain-coated cooking grates are easy to clean because the food doesn’t stick. Plus, they retain heat pretty well, and what more do you need when grilling?
Despite the affordability, the grill offers a roomy total of 471.8 sq. in. of cooking space, which consists of 339 sq. in. of primary space, and 132.8 of secondary space. In addition, this grill has three stainless steel burners that can handle a total heat output of 30,000 BTUs, which ensures fast and even cooking.
It also utilizes an integrated piezoelectric ignition system that makes starting up quick and easy. Plus, the accurate built-in thermometer comes in handy when you’re worried about undercooking or burning your food.
Yet, there are downsides. Firstly, you have to assemble it yourself, which can be challenging. Secondly, the side shelves aren’t as sturdy as the rest of the grill, so be careful.
The Master Cook 3 is the best 3-burner mid-range grill in that price range with its large cooking space and porcelain-coated lid.
2. Char-Broil Classic 360 – Runner-up
The Char-Broil Classic 360 grill is the ideal choice for anyone looking for a large cooking space, partial mobility, and three burners at an affordable price.
This gem, like the Master Cook 3, won’t swallow up your garden space, despite its roominess. It has two large caster wheels for easy maneuverability around your patio. Plus, the grill has two durable metal side shelves, where you can place your utensils and plates while grilling.
We love how the steel lid and firebox are porcelain-coated because it makes them withstand the unpredictability of the weather outside. Also, the grates are porcelain-coated for effective rust resistance and effortless cleaning.
This affordable grill boasts a large total cooking space of 530 sq. in. that comprises a roomy primary cooking space of 360 sq. in. and a porcelain-coated warming rack of 170 for cooking the sides.
The three stainless steel burners have a heat output of 30,000 BTUs, which means you won’t have to wait for the burner to reach the designated temperature like with charcoal grills. Also, the grill employs a Piezo ignition system for maximum convenience.
However, this grill has two downsides. The shelves aren’t foldable, which would have helped in storage. Also, there’s no temperature gauge for beginners to know where they are at.
The budget-friendly Char-Broil Classic 360 grill offers durable materials, multiple heating zones, and a large cooking space.
3. Blackstone 1517 – Best Griddle Option
If you don’t care about grill marks and the way food may fall between grates but still want to throw a BBQ, you may need a griddle or flat-top grill like the Blackstone 1517.
The flat-top design expands your menu; yet, this 28” grill is perfect for gardens and backyards that don’t have space for a ginormous cooking appliance. Plus, the griddle top is removable, and the legs are foldable for easy storage. The grill also has two industrial caster wheels to transport it easily.
In addition, the grill maximizes its space with its side shelf that comes in handy when you need to prepare your dishes on the side. Plus, there’s a bottom tray, where you can store anything from utensils to propane tanks. Moreover, the removable grease catcher at the back makes cleanup much easier.
In terms of materials, the Blackstone 1517 isn’t messing around. It has a heavy-duty, powder-coated steel frame that can easily withstand the toughest weather conditions. Plus, the cold-rolled steel flat-top seasons beautifully, heats evenly and cleans easily. The flat-top provides 470 sq. in. of cooking space that allows you to cook 18 burgers, 12 steaks, or 44 hot dogs.
Moreover, this affordable grill prides itself on its two anti-rust stainless steel 15,000-BTU burners; they last longer than other burners and make cooking two different dishes simultaneously much easier. Plus, you only need to push a button to ignite the grill.
All that being said, the grill’s gas regulator is unsatisfactory and may need frequent resetting.
The Blackstone 1517 grill is the ideal heavy-duty, flat-top griddle grill that doesn’t take too much space yet has more than enough cooking space.
4. Cuisinart CGG-059 – Best Tabletop
Cuisinart needs no introduction, and neither does this grill, but we’ll do it anyway. There are many portable gas grills, but none of them is so easy to carry and use virtually anywhere as the Cuisinart CGG-059 grill.
For such a cheap appliance, the enameled steel grill actually looks pretty sleek. It only weighs 10 pounds and has dimensions so small that you can use it on a small table. In addition, it requires no assembly from your end. Also, the grill sports a locking hinged lid, a large carrying handle, and collapsing legs that enable you to take the grill anywhere you want.
The steel grill employs a porcelain-coated grate for even cooking. The grate is also dishwasher-safe, and grilling couldn’t have been more effortless.
This compact gem has 146 sq. in. of cooking space that allows you to grill burgers, steak, seafood, vegetables, or more on the balcony on a sunny day. Also, it utilizes an 8,000-BTU burner for grilling so quickly it will put charcoal grills to shame. You can set all this magic up with a twist of a knob.
However, the grill’s only flaw is that you have to be careful while touching the lid because it can get too hot very easily.
The Cuisinart CGG-059 grill is an incredibly portable gas grill that doesn’t look too bad on the eyes or cost much.
Frequent campers, tailgaters, and beachgoers need a gas grill that’s lightweight and compact enough but still gets the job done. That’s exactly what the Coleman Party grill has to offer.
It’s all in the convenient design. The impressively compact grill comes with a round cooking surface that is removable to clean it easily; before you ask, the grill’s components are dishwasher-safe. In addition, the legs are removable so that you can throw the grill in your car’s trunk after a fun day at the beach.
The cheap yet valuable grill sports 122 sq. in. of cooking space, which is the perfect size for camping or small family gatherings. It utilizes this space with an adjustable 8000-BTU burner that cooks perfectly in chilly conditions, thanks to the PerfectFlow technology. Furthermore, the InstaStart push-button ignition is as convenient as the whole grill.
That being said, this portable gem still has its flaws. While its compact size is helpful, its cooking space isn’t spacious enough for larger families or gatherings. Also, it doesn’t come with a pot grate, which can be limiting to some people with versatile menus.
The Coleman Party grill is the perfect companion for camping, tailgating, and small BBQs.
How to Pick a Gas Grill?
You may be the barbecuer of the family or a beginner in the world of grilling. Either way, there are some things that would definitely help you get closer to the right gas grill, so here they are.
All gas grills have certain qualities in common: they’re clean, convenient, and easy to use. That being said, the type of fuel that grills need affects how it performs.
The majority of gas grills use propane as fuel for good reasons; propane is available everywhere, and you can easily exchange your empty tanks for new ones. Moreover, propane grills tend to be portable. Overall, propane is the ideal choice for amateur grillers or people who want the most fuss-free grilling experience.
On the other hand, natural gas is a great option if you want an unlimited fuel supply since you connect them to your home’s utilities. So, you can operate natural gas grills at any time without the fear of running out of fuel. However, they don’t have the portability of propane grills.
One of the most important specs that you need to check before choosing a grill is how much cooking space or surface it has. There are gas grills of all capacities that typically start at around 146 square inches and go up to 650.
Single-person households and couples will benefit from 146 to 189 square inches of cooking space, while an average household of four can definitely manage with 450. However, if you’re a frequent family barbecue thrower, you probably need over 470 square inches.
Keep in mind that cooking spaces in gas grills tend to consist of primary and secondary areas. For instance, a grill with a total cooking space of 473 square inches may consist of 340 as a primary cooking area and 133 as a secondary or side one. Secondary cooking spaces may come in the form of a side burner or warming rack.
Just like capacity, a grill’s footprint is integral to your decision-making process. The first thing that you need to do is to measure the area that you’ll designate for your grill. Then, compare the dimensions of the grill that you have in mind to said area.
While taking your measurements, remember to keep a safe space between your grill and its surroundings. Also, note that many grills have features that make the best use of the space that they take or at least help you reduce it.
For instance, grills with side shelves help minimize the space that they take because you can fold or remove them. Moreover, grills with warming racks help increase the capacity without even adding to the footprint, which is great to have if you’re tight on space.
If you want a grill that’s portable enough to take to your next camping trip or easily move it around your backyard, there are few things to look for.
The grill needs to be compact and lightweight to make carrying it easier. Also, look for side wheels for partial mobility or four ones for ultimate mobility. Foldable side tables enable you to pack and go easily. The smallest grills are propane countertop ones; they enable you to grill anywhere you want.
You may have heard of the term BTUs. It stands for British Thermal Units and refers to how much thermal energy a grill needs to raise the temperature of a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.
When you relate these units to grills, they describe the maximum heat output of main or primary burners. BTU doesn’t mean how much heat a grill can generate, but how efficiently it does.
However, these numbers alone aren’t enough to decide because there are different factors to why a grill performs better than another, even though they both have the same BTUs, such as the sturdiness of the materials of the grill.
Materials aren’t just for aesthetics; they play a vital role in how long a grill lasts and how evenly it cooks.
If you’re looking for durability, look for stainless steel, cast iron, or cast aluminum grills. Cast aluminum lids and bodies, in particular, are your best weapon against unpredictable weather. Any lesser option will be more affordable but will rust very quickly.
The quality of grates used will directly affect your experience. Porcelain-coated iron grates are the ideal choice for the best heat transfer and even grilling. They are also easy to clean. On the other hand, the durable alternative is cast iron grates, which leave the famous grill marks that we all love.
Is a 2-burner Grill Enough?
It depends on how much grilling you’ll do. Two burners equal two separate heat zones, which enables you to cook two different things at once, such as the burgers and veggies.
So, a 2-burner grill is perfect for average families, but if you throw large barbecue parties, more burners will be necessary.
How Long Do Gas Grills Usually Last?
A gas grill with a high-quality body and parts that’s made from stainless steel and cast iron can last up to 15 years if you maintain it. However, the majority of gas grills last from 5 to 10 years maximum, and the low-quality ones don’t last longer than 3 years.
Is a Gas Grill Worth It?
It is definitely a worthy investment. A gas grill is more affordable than its charcoal competitor. It’s also cleaner and safer than other alternatives, as there isn’t much smoke to inhale. In addition, gas grills start quicker, maintain steadier temperatures, and have multiple cooking zones that enable them to cook meals and appetizers simultaneously.
Last update on 2024-02-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API