In the heat of summer you can’t get much better than cooking up a feast in your backyard. Even better when you can find a barbecue at a good price. We took a look at the best gas grills under $500 to help you find a great barbecue to enjoy those cookouts on.
Table Of Contents
- What is a gas grill?
- How does a gas grill work?
- Grill Burners and Grill space
- Direct and indirect barbecue
- Do I need a side burner?
- How long does a gas cylinder last?
- How long does it take to preheat a gas grill?
- What is the life of a gas barbecue?
- Are the Best Gas Grills Under $500?
- View Top 5 Best Gas Grills Under $500
Gas grills are becoming increasingly popular because they have many advantages over a classic charcoal grill. The main advantage of a gas grill is that within minutes the grill is ready for use. With charcoal you have to heat the grill always a while before. The functioning of a gas grill is not very difficult to understand, but we thought we would outline it for you.
What is a gas grill?
Quite simply said, a gas grill is a device with which one brings meat or all other food for frying. The heat is generated by burning gas . In other types of grill, the heat is generated by other substances. In the case of charcoal, by burning wood, in electric grills by the electricity.
How does a gas grill work?
A gas grill consists of different parts:
- A gas bottle
- A hose system with pressure reducer
- One or more burners
- A barbecue area
In the gas cylinder is usually butane or propane , in liquid form. The gas is liquid because of the very high pressure in the bottle. Via a pressure reducer , the gas flows from the gas cylinder and becomes gaseous. The now gaseous gas is led to the burner via the hose system. The pressure is not high anymore.
Depending on what it is for a gas grill, he has only one or more burners . Most high quality models have multiple burners, so it’s worth a gas grill comparison . With a high-quality gas grill, the temperature can be adjusted differently via the different flames and produce several temperature zones on the grill. Also, the high-quality models often have lava stones , which should save the heat a little.
The burner and the lava stones heat the grilling surface and on this the meat can be grilled.
Grill Burners and Grill space
The more burners that are available, the more possibilities you will have when grilling, as you can use different temperature zones. High-priced models are therefore definitely in the advantage. The heat emanating from the gas flame can be distributed in different ways in the grill or under the grate, depending on the particular construction. In some models lava stones are installed, which store the heat and then release it long after the extinguishment of the gas flame.
There are also devices with a simple pipe system that produces several small flames under the grill. So that the dripping grease can not harm the system, it is protected by a metal profile. In most gas grills this is located below the burner. The grease collates in this drip tray, which is filled with water, so it is easier to dispose of the fat later on.
As soon as the lid of the gas grill is closed, the temperature reached can be read on a thermometer. The temperature can then be influenced at any time by regulating the amount of gas. This can take some time at first, but you will quickly develop the appropriate instinct for it.
Direct and indirect barbecue
If you have a grill with a lid, you can grill directly and indirectly.
When directly grilling the food is located directly above the flame and is exposed to a lot of heat. The food will cook very fast and it will form a nice crust. This approach of direct barbecuing is especially suitable for steaks and fillets.
Indirect grilling is beneficial for thicker cuts of meat allowing for a more gradual cook, with the heat coming from all sides, hence it is important that the lid is kept closed. It is also important to ensure that your grill is on a small flame because otherwise you are back to direct grilling.
Do I need a side burner?
For traditional grilling of steaks or sausages you do not need a side burner. However, this is necessary if you want to organize a real barbecue, where you want to prepare various sauces or keep food warm.
How long does a gas cylinder last?
As a rule, a gas grill consumes approximately 0.08 kg of propane gas per kilowatt and operating hour. So if you use a 11 kg propane cylinder in a 9 kW gas grill, you can use it for about 15 hours .
The calculation is: 11 kg / 0.72 kg / h = 15 hours.
How long does it take to preheat a gas grill?
The gas grill needs unlike the charcoal grill barely preheating. Normally, 10 minutes are enough to reach the right temperature.
What is the life of a gas barbecue?
If you choose a high-quality grill, which is made of stainless steel and high quality processed, you will enjoy the barbecue for a long time. Of course, care also plays a crucial role here. If you clean the grill properly and thoroughly after each use, then nothing stands in the way of long-term use.
For more info on maintaining you gas grill, take a look at our guide on how to clean a gas grill.
Are the Best Gas Grills Under $500?
Top of the range gas grills can cost well above $500, however not all of us have the need or desire to spend that much money on a gas grill. Thats why we decided to take a look at the best gas grills under $500, because you can still get a quality barbecue at a decent price.
View Top 5 Best Gas Grills Under $500
3 cast aluminium 30,000 BTU burners on this gas grill, giving you 90,000 BTU. Camp Chef have designed the heat diffusers to convert the flames into infrared heat helping to reduce grease drippings.
To control the heat and help with flavouring your food, there is a lid damper valve along with a lid temperature gauge.
The Camp Chef Big Gas grill is versatile useful as either a gas grill or gas stove, boasting a surface area of 608 square inches.
A well known name for quality in the world of barbecues is Weber and this propane gas grill does not let the side down. Smaller than your usual backyard gas grill this nice and compact grill can easily be useful on a balcony as well as a backyard.
Both the lid (which sports a built in thermometer) and the cookbox are are made of rustproof porcelain-enamel. This also makes it pretty easy to clean. The surface area for this compact gas grill is 360 square inches (adding a warming rack stretches this to 450 inches) .
The cabinet has space for the 20lb liquid propane tank. On top there are 2 stainless steel burners with porcelain enabled grates giving you a solid 26,500 BTU. Another bonus are the durable heavy caster wheels making it simple to move this gas grill across the patio or on grass.
With a striking stainless steel design the Char-Broil 463377319 Performance stands out from the crowd. It has 4 burners and delivers heat up to 36,000 BTU.
The cooking area is 425 square inches, with rust resistant highly durable porcelain coated iron grates, because of these you get that traditional grill line across your meat.
For cooking up sides/sauces this gas grill comes with a10,000 BTU lidded side burner. With a removable grease pan (helpful for easy cleaning) and side shelves for prep work, you’ll find it hard to go wrong with this gas grill.
Unsurprisingly there is another Weber on the list and our penultimate best gas grill under $500. The Weber 45010001 Black Spirit II E-310 Propane Gas Grill with 3 burners each kicking out 30,000 BTU this is another quality gas grill from Weber.
A sizeable 529 inches of cooking space here along with the Weber designed grease management system helps both make this gas grill easy to clean and clear from grease. Also the Weber created “Flavorizer bars” designed to add that smoky taste to your grilled food.
You can get this propane gas grill in one of four different colours from classic black to striking sapphire.
Top Tip: Due to the ignition placement its better to light from the left side of the grill.
At the number one position this well built Gas Grill from Blackstone. This 36 inch Gas Grill is huge due to its 720 square inches of cooking space.
With the flat top you can cook anything on here from eggs, steak, quesadillas, you name it can cook it.
A simple electric push button ignition gets you up and cooking, are you have individual control of each of the 4 15,0000 BTU burners . There is also a side shelf to allow for cutting and chopping, as well as strong caster wheels and fold away legs for transportation.
With it powder coated Black Steel frame and stainless Steel burners this gas grill is one of the best gas grills under $500 we have come across.