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Best Gas Grills Under $300 – Inexpensive, Capable of Great Results!

After a flashy watch or a powerful sports car, a grill can be one of our most valued possessions. We take great pride in showing off our cooking skills and, more importantly, our prized grills.

It was at a recent cookout, when we were all admiring one of these impressive grills, that I was surprised to find it cost less than 300 dollars.

Really, can you honestly buy a quality gas grill for that little? I always thought that this price range was reserved for mobile or charcoal grills?!

Well I was wrong. And in this guide, we’re going to look at some of the top contenders for the best gas grill under 300 dollars, many of which are truly capable grills.

Beefburgers cooking on a gas grill outdoors

We look at the features and qualities that make a gas grill great, both what to look for and what to avoid. And we end the article by looking at what are, in our opinion, 8 of the best models available today that fall into this price bracket.

It was indeed an education for me, and I hope it will be for you too.

At a Glance: Our Recommendations for Best Gas Grills Under 300 Dollars

Note: Clicking the above links will take you to further information, current prices and customer reviews on either Home Depot, BBQGuys or Wayfair.

Best Gas Grills Under 300 Dollars – A Detailed Look at Our Top Recommendations

So, which are the top models available for less than 300 bucks? I was certainly keen to find out.

After many hours of research, in my opinion, the products listed below are a fine representation of the quality you can find, to achieve that outdoor cooking flavor we all love so much, costing less than $300.

Note: For the best models available at other price points, check out our companion guides:

Best Overall – Char-Broil Performance 4-Burner LPG Grill

Char broil performance 4 burner gas grill isolated on white

Char-Broil is one the most reputable manufacturers on the market that produce one great product after another. This Char-Broil Performance 4-burner gas grill offers incredible value for money, with a large 425-square-inch cooking surface, four main burners, and a side burner too.

What’s in the Box

This cart-style gas grill arrives with the main grill body already assembled. Assembly is quite easy, with just a Phillips screwdriver needed, and about an hour of your time. You may need an extra pair of hands though, due to the almost 100 pounds shipping weight.

Stainless steel is used for the lid and handle, the front mounted control panel and the four burners. Rust-resistant, porcelain-coated cast iron grates are included for a non-stick cooking surface. A cart and the side shelves are made from stylish matte black painted steel.

Specifications

  • Fuel Type: Propane only.
  • Number of Main Burners: 4
  • Secondary Burners: 1 lidded side burner. 10,000 BTU.
  • Ignition Type: Battery operated electronic.
  • BTU: 36,000
  • Heat Flux: 85
  • Primary Cooking Area (sq.in): 425
  • Secondary Cooking Area (sq.in): 150
  • Total Cooking Area (sq.in): 575
  • Build Materials: Stainless steel.
  • Dimensions: 3′ 9” H x 4′ 2 13/32” W x 2′ 1 13/16” D
  • Warranty (Years): 5

This Grill is for You if…

For people who enjoy entertaining smaller gatherings at the weekend, this is one of the largest grills you will find under $300. Four main burners and a side burner should be ample for those neighborhood parties.

Another Model Might Be Better for You if…

When you only need a grill for midweek family meals, a grill of this size may be overwhelming. Consider whether you really need this much space or if it will even fit on your patio comfortably. If space is limited, a more compact grill, like the Fuego Element would be more suitable.

What We Like

  • The 4-burner design will heat up much quicker than most grills under $300.
  • Large cooking area of 425 square inches is enough for 18 burgers.
  • Stainless steel burners feature heat tents for protection and better heat transfer.
  • Rust-resistant, porcelain-coated cast iron grates.
  • Stainless-steel grill lid will withstand the elements.
  • Temperature gauge mounted in the lid.
  • Lidded side burner and durable metal side shelves.
  • Propane tank is hidden but easily accessible under the cart.
  • 5-year warranty on the burners.

What We Don’t Like

  • Cheaper plastic used on the wheels, backboard and side-burner knob.
  • The lid handle isn’t heatproof and can get very hot.
  • No side handles for moving the grill about, the metal shelf will soon weaken if used for pulling the grill.

Summary

This Char-Broil product is my favorite gas grill under $300, for its larger than average cooking surface and quality stainless-steel build. A solid performance from the burners and quality grates ensure perfectly cooked food every time.

It may have a few minor design flaws, especially the cheap plastic wheels, but it’s nothing you can’t live with or easily replace. For more details on the latest availability or price of this value for money gas grill, click here.

 

Buy on Wayfair

 

Runner up – Dyna-Glo Dgb390snp-D Smart Space Living 3-Burner Lp Gas Grill


This Dyna-Glo gas grill from the Smart Space Living range has been designed to fit on smaller decks or patios without sacrificing performance. Dyna Glo has managed to squeeze a 390-square-inch cooking surface into this grill, with side folding shelves for when space is even more limited.

What’s in the Box

Although the user guide recommends two people for the building of this grill, at just 76 pounds in weight, most average users should manage by themselves. A double-walled stainless-steel lid has been aluminized inside for better heat retention, and is the heaviest component.

Assembly is pretty easy with detailed instructions on how to construct the cabinet and cart, which use painted steel materials. At the base of the unit, four casters are pre-attached for easier relocation of the grill.

Specifications

  • Fuel Type: Propane only.
  • Number of Main Burners: 3
  • Ignition Type: Electro-pulse.
  • BTU: 36,000
  • Heat Flux:30
  • Primary Cooking Area (sq.in): 390
  • Secondary Cooking Area (sq.in): 115
  • Total Cooking Area (sq.in): 507
  • Build Materials: Stainless steel.
  • Dimensions:82 x 49.14 x 45.05 inches.
  • Warranty (Years): 1

This Grill is for You if…

When space is more limited on your patio, or even an apartment balcony, this compact grill still allows for easy cooking for four or five people. With the shelves folded down, it can look like a full-sized grill, but squeeze into tighter spaces.

Another Model Might Be Better for You if…

Although 390 square inches may be ideal for your family, you may struggle to cope with larger backyard parties. A grill like the Char-Broil Performance 475 offers extra space and a side burner for more versatility at your parties.

What We Like

  • Compact design, only 29 inches wide with side shelves folded down.
  • Durable metal housing available in a choice of stainless steel finish or burnished bronze.
  • The stainless-steel lid is double-walled for better heat retention.
  • Firebox is made of porcelain and coated in steel.
  • Near perfect heat flux ratio of 92 BTUs per square inch for hotter temperatures.
  • Cast iron, porcelain-coated grill ensures even cooking and is easy to clean.
  • Towel holder and hooks for cooking tools on the shelves.
  • Chrome plated Infinite Control knobs for locking in a temperature.
  • Easy to move, with two 360-degree rotating casters and two lockable casters.

What We Don’t Like

  • The lid will need at least 7 inches of clearance behind it—a tight fit for narrow balconies.
  • The steel of the cabinet can feel quite flimsy, especially when pushing the grill around.
  • Many users complain of the paint chipping and the grill quickly rusting.

Summary

The Dyna-Glo Smart Space Living grill offers a good compromise between the physical footprint of a gas grill and the cooking surface it provides. 390 square inches should be more than enough for the average family meal.

Unfortunately, the reports of rusting and some of the cheaper steel used prevented this from being our top choice. If you choose this grill, definitely invest in a cover. For more details on this compact grill with a stunning performance, click here.
 

Buy on Home Depot

 

Other Notable Contenders

We couldn’t just look at three options, there’s plenty of choice in the under $300 market now. Any of the following five gas grills could be a good choice if the top three don’t quite meet your requirements.

Char-Broil Performance 2-Burner Cabinet Liquid Propane Gas Grill

char broil performance 2 burner gas grill isolated on white

If the Char-Broil Performance 4-burner seemed like overkill for your grilling needs, this smaller 2-burner grill may be the answer. Although it looks a great deal smaller, it still offers 300 square inches of cooking space for you and your family, with all the little extras you need to get by.

What’s in the Box

A steel grill body and stainless steel fascia of the control panel attach to a matte black painted steel cart in a simple assembly procedure. Most users state it takes between 45 minutes and 2 hours to build this grill—be warned though, there are plenty of components.

The cabinet sits on top of four casters, two of which lock, for easier portability. Also included in the box are two porcelain-coated cast iron grates and a steel “swing away” warming rack.

Specifications

  • Fuel Type: Propane only.
  • Number of Main Burners: 2
  • Ignition Type: Battery operated electronic.
  • BTU: 24,000
  • Heat Flux: 80
  • Primary Cooking Area (sq.in): 300
  • Secondary Cooking Area (sq.in): 100
  • Total Cooking Area (sq.in): 400
  • Build Materials: Steel with stainless steel details.
  • Dimensions: 3′ 9” H x 3′ 7 11/16” W x 2′ 1 13/16” D
  • Warranty (Years): 5

This Grill is for You if…

If you want a reliable brand like Char-Broil but don’t have space for one of their larger models, this is the ideal choice. It’s a similar size to the Dyna-Glo Living Space grill although it features a much smaller grilling surface.

However, with only two burners and less BTUs, it will be more energy efficient—just what you need when cooking for smaller groups.

Note: We have a more in depth look at this unti in our Char Broil Performance 300 2-Burner Cabinet Gas Grill Review.

Another Model Might Be Better for You if…

This really is a gas grill for those much smaller cookouts. If you want to cater for larger groups, even just having a few neighbors over, you would be better choosing a grill like the Char-Broil Performance 4-burner for its superior capacity—assuming you have space.

What We Like

  • Stylish and durable design.
  • Two efficient stainless-steel burners.
  • Porcelain-coated cast iron grills.
  • Metal side shelves are sturdy and fold down for storage.
  • Built-in thermometer in the lid.
  • Removable grease pan for easy cleanup.
  • Easier mobility with four casters rather than just two wheels.

What We Don’t Like

  • No flavorizer bars over the burners can result in flare-ups or clogged up burners.
  • Relatively small cooking area.

Summary

This smaller grill from Char-Broil combines elegance and performance for a great addition to smaller patios or decks. The four caster wheels, two of which are lockable makes it easy to move around your patio with the propane tank safely tucked away in the cabinet.

Electronic ignition and large temperature controls make this one of the most simple gas grills to use for you and your family. Just don’t invite too many guests to your next cookout, as the smaller cooking surface won’t cope.

For more details on this stylish and compact grill, click here.

 

Buy on Wayfair

 

Megamaster 720-0982 Propane Gas Grill


From one of the smallest cooking surfaces in this guide, we move to the largest, with over 640 square inches total cooking surface. When fully ignited, it offers an impressive 54,000 BTUs, which equates to a heat flux of 78 BTUs per square inch for decent grilling power.

What’s in the Box

The stylish black with red highlight aesthetics of this grill almost shouts out what a bad-ass grill it is. It’s certainly large and imposing at 4.5-foot in length. A simple wheelbarrow-style cart design features a porcelain-enameled lid in the center.

You can easily move the cart when it cools down, with the two heavy-duty cart-style wheels. Although it has many components for construction, most users found it no harder than your average IKEA construction, despite the less detailed instructions.

Specifications

  • Fuel Type: Propane only.
  • Number of Main Burners: 5
  • Ignition Type: Battery operated electronic.
  • BTU: 50,000
  • Heat Flux: 78
  • Primary Cooking Area (sq.in): 640.5
  • Build Materials: Steel / Cast Iron
  • Dimensions: 55 x 23.5 x 45.75 inches.
  • Warranty (Years): 1

This Grill is for You if…

Normally, for a gas grill which offers this size cooking area, you would be looking at much more than $300. When the local sports team drops by for a burger or two, 54,000 BTUs of grilling power and the huge cooking surface will be able to keep up with demand.

Another Model Might Be Better for You if…

This grill is BIG—the oversized shelves at either end don’t fold down for storage or when space is limited. Most experts would recommend 2-foot clearance either side of a grill for safety, which means you need almost 8.5 feet of space when using this grill.

For larger gatherings, but with limited patio space, you may have to compromise with a grill like the Char-Broil 475. Or you could look at expanding your budget a little for a more premium grill which will offer similar capacity but in a more ergonomic design.

What We Like

  • Vast cooking surface—more square inches per buck than other gas grills we have looked at.
  • Excellent heat retention, with thick porcelain-enameled cast iron grates.
  • Porcelain flame tamers prevent flare-ups, protect the burners and improve heat distribution across the vast surface.
  • Large 13.5-inch wide shelves either end of the cart.
  • Built-in thermometer for more accurate temperature control.
  • Cart features a tank hole with tank lock for secure, but easy access.
  • Sleek and modern design.

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s very gas hungry, especially with all the burners ignited.
  • No side burner, normally found on larger grills.
  • It will take up a lot of space on your patio and may be hard to store.
  • Powder-coated steel main body construction isn’t as durable as the stainless steel or aluminum construction of some other budget grills.

Summary

If you have the extra space in your backyard and a huge cooking surface is a must, there aren’t too many other options at under $300. This five-burner gas grill with enamel porcelain lid will definitely offer both the size and power for those larger get-togethers.

For its size though, the Megamaster is quite light, and you do have to question the durability of the materials used.

For more details and the latest price on this absolutely huge gas grill click here.
 

Buy on Home Depot

 

Weber Q2200 Liquid Propane Grill


Weber isn’t really known for its affordable grills, and you’re limited when choosing a Weber under $300. This aluminum grill, weighing in at 42.35 pounds, is perfect for use when tailgating or on a short camping trip.

What’s in the Box

The main body of this grill arrives already assembled, but the internal burners, grates, and thermometer need to be attached. A porcelain cast iron grate uses a design which allows for half the surface to be replaced with a griddle-style cooking area.

A cast aluminum lid and body has side folding shelves which tuck away into the grill body when not in use, for easier storage and more portability. The grill isn’t supplied with a trolley, but there are many third-party ones available, as well as the official Weber one.

Specifications

  • Fuel Type: Propane only.
  • Number of Main Burners: 1
  • Ignition Type: Battery operated electronic.
  • BTU: 12,000
  • Heat Flux: 85
  • Primary Cooking Area (sq.in): 280
  • Secondary Cooking Area (sq.in): 0
  • Total Cooking Area (sq.in): 280
  • Build Materials: Cast Aluminum.
  • Dimensions: 5 x 51.4 x 19.5 inches.
  • Warranty (Years): 5

This Grill is for You if…

The compact size, lightweight and easy-to-carry design of this grill makes it the go-to grill when on the move. It’s a perfect choice for tailgating, with the 280 square inches offering enough space for about eight burgers at a time. A griddle and grill style combo would make it great for cooking those early morning breakfasts when camping.

Another Model Might Be Better for You if…

Although it can be used at home too, the smaller cooking area will limit the size of your backyard gatherings. There’s no warming rack, no side burners, and you’re going to need a solid, heatproof surface to place the grill on.

If space is an issue at home, you may be better looking for a small cabinet or cart-style gas grill, like the Dyna-Glo Living Space grill, or a compact two burner grill.

What We Like

  • Compact and needs very little space to use.
  • Aluminum design is lightweight and easy to carry or store.
  • Quickstart battery operated ignition.
  • Porcelain cast iron grates for consistent cooking, despite the smaller size.
  • Accessories include a unique grill/griddle combination grate.
  • A disposable drip tray is easy to clean and maintain.
  • Smaller 1-pound disposable gas tanks are cheap and easier for carrying.
  • An optional hose attachment allows for connecting standard 20-pound propane cylinders.
  • Folding shelves with glass-reinforced nylon frame for more durability.
  • Infinite control burner valve is simple to control.
  • Heatproof handle on the lid and also a sturdy grip handle for carrying at the side.
  • Weber offers full parts and labor warranty for 5 years on this budget grill.

What We Don’t Like

  • The low 12,000 BTU and heat flux of just 40 BTU per square inch will stop it from cooking some recipes. It’s hard to achieve a great sear on a steak with this grill.
  • Without a cart, moving it around on your patio can be problematic.
  • Only about 2 hours grilling time from a 1-pound cylinder—designed for occasional use rather than full-time patio grill.

Summary

This compact grill from Weber is designed to last, like all Weber products, and features a cast aluminum lid and body for a rugged design. On shorter outdoor adventures, a compact grill like this could be your best friend, with the griddle attachment making it ultra versatile.

The cooking space of 280 square inches would be enough for a small family gathering on your patio, but don’t plan any big parties.

If you have that wanderlust bug and love the idea of this dinky gas grill as much as I do, click here for more details.
 

Buy on Home Depot

 

Char-Griller 3001 Grillin’ Pro 40,800-Btu Gas Grill

Char griller 3001 isolated on white

The Char-Griller 3001 uses a design which will look very familiar to anybody making the upgrade from a charcoal grill. Perhaps the reason is Char-Griller have taken their largest charcoal grill and replaced the coal grates with three stainless steel burners for a powerful 40,800 BTU gas grill.

What’s in the Box

Supplied unassembled, this Char-Grill uses an open cart design, made of durable steel, construction. All parts, including the steel barrel, have been powder-coated black, which absorbs 92 percent of the heat for reduced fuel consumption. The cart has a shelf hidden behind a steel sheet screwed on to a tubular frame.

With over 24 parts to assemble and nuts and bolts to tighten, some users have found assembly can take some time. The user guide recommends two people to build this grill too.

Specifications

  • Fuel Type: Propane only.
  • Number of Main Burners: 3
  • Secondary Burners: 1 side burner. 12,000 BTU.
  • Ignition Type: Battery operated electronic.
  • BTU: 40,800
  • Heat Flux: 15
  • Primary Cooking Area (sq.in): 438
  • Secondary Cooking Area (sq.in): 192
  • Total Cooking Area (sq.in): 630
  • Build Materials:
  • Dimensions: 48 x 28 x 48 inches.
  • Warranty (Years): 5

This Grill is for You if…

With a large 438 square inches of primary cooking surface and a considerable warming rack area, this is another excellent choice for those larger outdoor parties.

A powerful side burner, combined with the primary 40,800 BTUs of the primary burner adds more relevance to that old phrase “cooking on gas.”

Another Model Might Be Better for You if…

Being similar to many charcoal grills, the heavy-duty steel materials used are quite heavy for the size of the grill. If you want something which is easy to wheel around your patio, don’t even consider this grill. And don’t plan on taking it on the road either, unless you have a flatbed truck, as the design is quite bulky.

if you want something which is easier to move, a better grill with similar cooking capacity would be our top choice, the Char Grill Performance 475.

What We Like

  • The heavy-duty steel used for the body will be tough and stand up to more abuse.
  • Large space for cooking offers a generous warming grill area too.
  • Heat-resistant handles on the hood.
  • Large height of the hood allows for larger cuts or whole poultry to be cooked.
  • Three burners are easy to control with separate valves and offer temperatures up to 650 degrees Fahrenheit, for better searing of steaks and burgers.
  • Cast iron porcelain-coated grill grates offer a more even heat.
  • Double-sided grates, one side for searing, one for grilling.
  • Good insulation lets the grill heat up very quickly—500 degrees in just 5 minutes.
  • Powerful 12,000 BTU side burner.
  • Side shelves for more preparation area, including a lid over the burner.
  • Smoker attachment available, with dual stacks for smoke flow adjustment.

What We Don’t Like

  • The steel used isn’t stainless and will rust if the paint should chip or flake off.
  • This grill can be very hot even on lower settings, making it difficult to cook more delicate dishes, like fish.

Summary

This gas grill is a very manly grill similar to those cast iron grills you often see at outdoor festivals. With its large cooking area, three powerful burners and a side burner too, you’ll soon be holding your own backyard festivals.

Just be warned, it does get very hot, sometimes too hot, and holds that heat for a long time.

If you need an extra hot grill for those burger and steak searing sessions, click here for the latest prices and more details.

 

Buy on Char-Griller

 

Up to $300 Gets a Good, Entry-Level Grill

I like to consider myself an expert on outdoor grills and BBQs, I have certainly owned my fair share in the past and keep a good collection today. Some of the very best gas grills I have looked at or recommended in the past have often cost upwards of a couple of thousand bucks.

However, when looking at gas grills nowadays, $300 or less will get you an excellent medium-sized grill with some nice features. Huge grills for feeding the local football team may be out of the question, but you should still find one suitable for most of your backyard entertaining.

Some may not always have the best construction or highest quality materials, and they may be missing some more advanced features. However, all the grills I look at below will be capable of producing great food, with some of those high-end features, but at under $300.

Questions to Ask of the Best Gas Grills Under $300

Many of these factors will relate to any gas grill, but they can be even more important when choosing a grill under $300.

The budget of $300 will limit some of the choices you make, and you’ll have to decide which is most important to you.

Btu Level / Heat Flux:

How hot the grill will get and how much gas it will use is a good place to start. However, the importance of BTU ratings has been overestimated in the past. Here comes the science part—I will try to keep it brief.

Do More Btus Make a Better Gas Grill?

Many grill chefs assume more powerful burners will mean a hotter grill. BTUs or British Thermal Units are often mentioned as a measure of heat output. You will see large figures, like 40,000 BTUs per hour, boasted in many manufacturer’s specifications.

BTUs, however, don’t measure the heat given off, but the amount of gas the burner uses. A gallon of propane contains 91,600 BTUs, with a standard 20-pound propane tank containing 4.72 gallons, or 431,613 BTUs of energy. Dividing that figure by the BTU rating of a grill will tell you how many hours grilling a tank will provide.

What is Heat Flux?

A more accurate measurement of the heat a gas grill will reach is the heat flux. Dividing the BTU rating by the primary cooking surface will tell you how many BTUs, or energy, there is per square inch. Obviously, the higher the heat flux, the more heat there will be across the cooking surface.

In an ideal world, the heat flux of a grill should be about 80–100 BTUs per square inch. However, modern grills are more efficient than older models and may have design features, like tight fitting or angled hoods, which keep more of the heat in.

Cooking Area Size

How many people do you intend to cook for? Are you looking for a smaller grill for midweek family meals, or do you want to cook for larger parties of eight or more at the weekends?

A pretty good rule of thumb is the 24 square-inch rule, the space required by an average chicken breast or typical New York steak. This also allows for clearance around the food, you don’t want to overcrowd a grill, which makes flipping the food more difficult.

A grill of about 300 square inches should be enough for most family entertaining. For larger parties, you will need somewhere above 450 to 500 square inches, or enough for about 24 burger patties at 20.25 inches. Secondary cooking areas, like a warming shelf, can be used for keeping more food warm.

The Physical Size of the Grill

The size of the cooking surface will also affect the footprint of the grill. Do you have the space required in the backyard? A gas grill will need a level surface to stand on and plenty of clearance for the smoke—don’t plan on putting them under a low roof.

Apartment dwellers with smaller balconies or those with limited space on the patio may want to consider a compact upright grill, or one of the best small gas grills from our guide. These will often feature designs which allow for the most grilling area they can fit for feeding the crowds, but without compromising quality.

Does it Have Automatic Ignition?

The whole point of a gas grill is how easy it is to light. If you wanted to mess about with matches or lighters, you would have just bought a charcoal grill. Apart from the mess, of course, all those fumes and the leftover ashes to clean up every time!

At the most basic, an electronic ignition will be a piezo system like those clickers you may have in the kitchen to light older stoves. Piezo uses a manual hammer and quartz crystal to create a spark, with repeated use eventually leading to ignition fatigue and failure.

A much better system is the battery operated ignition, which can now be found on the better sub $300 grills. This offers the advantage of a repeated spark when the button is pressed and a hotter spark that lights first time more frequently.

Does it Have a Good, Spacious Lid?

The lid of a gas grill will be just as crucial for how fast and how well your food cooks as the BTU level. With a charcoal grill, removing the lid increases airflow for the charcoal to burn much hotter. With a gas grill, it just enables heat to escape.

When cooking anything larger than steaks or burgers, a good tight-fitting hood is essential. Some lids, even at this price point, will use a double-walled design for better insulation. Handles that are cool to touch will also be an advantage, to prevent burns.

A large spacious hood is better if you want to cook whole poultry or larger joints of meat. A favorite recipe of mine which impresses the guests is beer-can chicken, which needs a taller hood.

Number of Burners

Another cooking method which needs a good fitting hood is indirect cooking. Multiple burners will allow you to set up different heat zones and, when the lid is closed, create a convection effect.

More burners will also enable the grill to hit temperature quicker and cook a wider variety of foods at the same time. You could be searing a steak at one end while gently slow roasting a chicken at the other end.

At the under 300 dollars price mark, you’re unlikely to get the six or more burners you often see on more expensive grills. However, even just two or three burners will allow for different heat zones on a smaller grill.

Side Burners, Rotisserie, Warming Rack?

Do you want to cook side dishes at the same time as grilling your meat or fish? A side burner could be used for keeping the vegetables warm or cooking up some pasta or rice to go with the main event.

Does the grill include a rotisserie or is it rotisserie ready? Some grills will have fittings which enable a rotisserie to be attached for chicken which bastes itself while slowly spit-roasting.

Secondary cooking surfaces can be misleading, as they sometimes refer to a warming rack. This rack will typically be used for keeping foods warm while you cook more, and can compensate for a smaller cooking surface. At the very least, you can keep your buns warm as the burgers cook.

Easy Access to Gas Tanks

Does the grill feature easy access to the tank? It’s no good hanging on a hook at the back if you can’t get to it without moving the whole, and often hot, grill. Many gas grills will have a cabinet underneath the main firebox, with easy access doors for the tank.

Under $300 you’re unlikely to find a natural gas grill, although many can be converted, often with a kit from the manufacturer. Normally, though, you will be using standard 20-pound tanks of propane, which are readily available almost everywhere.

Flavorizer Bars

Heat diffusing bars over the burners are often referred to as flavorizer bars. They can take the form of a steel tent which will act as a barrier between your food and the flames of the burner.

Any juices or drippings which fall from the meat will be caught by the flavorizer bars and prevent flare-ups. The burners will be much easier to clean if protected by a flavorizer bar, and fewer flare-ups will prevent burnt food.

Flavorizer bars are not just about protecting the burners. As the name suggests, they add flavor too. They will encourage a more even heat distribution for better-cooked food and drippings vaporize into smoke for that true BBQ taste.

Quality Grill Grates

Many grill enthusiasts would argue that, after the burners, the cooking grates are the most important component of your grill. There’s certainly a huge market for third-party replacement grates which offer better quality. How good are the grates that a gas grill under $300 includes as standard?

You should only ever consider a grill which uses either stainless steel or cast iron grates. Cheap, flimsy grates won’t last as long and won’t produce the best-cooked food either.

Stainless steel grates are much easier to clean than cast iron, but won’t hold the heat as well. For the best grill grates, you should look for enameled cast iron, which offers better heat retention and an easy-to-clean surface.

Shelving and Storage Space

Your gas grill will normally be at the center of your outdoor kitchen. You’re going to need cooking implements, extra accessories and often seasonings or other ingredients nearby. Does the grill offer a cabinet or side shelves where you can store these things?

Side shelves can also be handy for cutting, seasoning or marinating your meat as you grill. Sometimes the side burner may feature a lid which allows it to be used as a prep area—just make sure it’s switched off first.

If space is limited, look for a grill which features fold-down side shelves or ones that can be removed. A cabinet under the grill will also add more storage space without increasing the physical footprint of the grill.

Materials and Build Quality

Gas grills will be left outdoors most of the time, and you want something which is going to last and withstand the elements. Stainless steel or cast aluminum construction will be less prone to rust.

Some grills may feature cheaper or thinner materials which won’t be as durable and won’t keep as much heat in. It’s all very well having thousands of BTUs but no good if they’re just heating up the area surrounding the grill as they pass through the cheap metals.

A well-constructed grill should last many years if looked after correctly. A good measure of how long a grill or its burners will last is the length of the manufacturer’s warranty— the best gas grills will offer anywhere between five and 10 years.

For extra longevity, you can invest in one of the best grill covers from our list of recommendations.

Portability – if You Wish to Move It

Some of the grills we look at in the guide aren’t just big, but also heavy too, especially if made with heavy duty metals. Does the grill feature sturdy wheels on its cart for easier moving? Will it take more than one of you to move the monstrous grill?

Your grill will definitely last longer if moved indoors when not used for long periods, so choose one that you can easily move. If you intend to take your gas grill on a weekend camping trip, check it’s compact and light enough to fit in the trunk of your car or truck, or check out our guide to the best portable gas grills for other options.

Conclusion

Choosing a gas grill under $300 doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your favorite features. All the models I have looked at above will offer a high level of performance at a price that is friendly to your wallet.

For the best gas grill under $300, I would have to recommend the Char-Broil Performance 4-Burner LPG Grill. It beats many of the other models in both style and functionality. The large 425 square inches of cooking space and side burner should be enough to cope with all but the very largest of backyard soirees.

If you have any comments to add or questions to ask, feel free to leave a comment below and we will answer every one.

Happy grilling!

Mark Jenner

Hi. I'm Mark Jenner, owner and creator of FoodFireFriends.com. I grill and smoke food outdoors at least three days a week on a wide range of equipment, have done so for years, and love nothing more than cooking good food, over live fire, enjoying it with friends. The aim of this site is to educate and help others to do the same.

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