Whether you’re a true pitmaster or just a weekend warrior with a penchant for good meat (and/or veggies), grilling is one of the great summer pastimes.
If you don’t have money to burn, but still want to heat it up this season, these are the best grills under $500, regardless of your fuel preference. Without further ado, these are the best grills under $500, including charcoal, gas, and electric.
Best Charcoal Grills
This has been the grill of choice for the winning team at the Steak Grill Championship three years running (2015-2017). Portable Kitchen (PK) had almost faded into obscurity after a fire destroyed the business in the late 1970s. Fast forward two decades and a garage sale find spawns the revival of the iconic cast aluminum grill. Aluminum conducts heat four times more efficiently than steel and won’t succumb to rusting out like traditional steel grills.
This iconic style has been a backyard staple for over 60 years. The simple yet classic design offers the best combination of performance and price. The 22-inch kettle grill sports 363 square inches of grilling surface. While the Original may be $60 less than the Premium model, the deluxe ash catcher and integrated thermometer are worth the extra cost. This grill is also available in a larger 26-inch model for when the whole family is coming over.
Best Gas Grills
Cook for the family or the entire neighborhood on this beast. The cooktop features four independent heat controls and a whopping 60,000 BTUs. Three stainless steel dual-tube burners deliver superior and even heating in a compact design. The 400-square-inch cooking area is enhanced by heavy cast iron cooking grates and a porcelain-coated warming rack, which provides a total of 635 square inches of total cooking space. We haven’t placed this much meat on any grill in this roundup, but the company states it can hold up to 28 burgers or 72 hotdogs. And, if you aren’t able to get rid of your guests from the night before, you can fire it up in the morning and prepare a full breakfast spread on the same griddle.
Best Electric Grills
There’s a reason that the George Foreman line has been around so long. These grills are convenient, compact, and this particular model works indoors or out. Let’s face it, Mother Nature can ruin a backyard cookout. When others have to bail and come up with a Plan B, those with electric grills can continue the party indoors. This grill can be removed and from its outdoor stand and placed on the kitchen countertop. It features 240 square inches of grilling space and a nonstick coating for easy cleanup.
While best known for its charcoal line of grills, Weber has hit a home run with this electric grill for those restricted from charcoal or gas options. It may have the smallest grilling area on this list, but this mighty electric wonder is capable of reaching temperatures of over 600 degrees Fahrenheit. The compact and insulated design reduces the recovery time needed after lifting the lid.