The barbecuing culture is growing with each passing day with more people taking up to grilling as one of the ways for preparing their meals. This has witnessed an increase in the demand for grills with homeowners looking for the perfect appliance for preparing the meals.
When buying your grill, there are a few things to look and the price is one of them. If you have money to spend and want a proper unit, then you should opt for one of the best grills for under $500. Cooking devices in this price category have all the features that you need to cook delicious and juicy meals for your family and friends. Here are 3 of them that I picked as the best, see why.
|Weber 45010001 Spirit II E-310 3-Burner Liquid Propane Grill, Black||Check Latest Price|
|PK Grills SSB-X Original PKTX Outdoor Portable Aluminum Charcoal Grill and Smoker, Silver||Check Latest Price|
|Char-Broil 463375919 Performance Stainless Steel 4-Burner Cabinet Style Liquid Propane Gas Grill||Check Latest Price|
Which are the Best Grills under $500?
I focused on different sources of fuel so you can choose a grill that you prefer. All three models are made of reputable brands and have grilling features that will ease your cookouts each time you prepare food for your loved ones and here they are.
Weber 45010001 Spirit II E-310 3-Burner Liquid Propane Grill
This Weber model runs on liquid propane and has 3 burners. It has 529 square inches of cooking space with the left table down that measures 42 inches in width. The device has the GS4 grilling system with improved infinity ignition, burners, porcelain-enameled glamorizer bars, and grease management system that was uniquely designed for ease-of-use and to provide an unequaled satisfaction to your backyard cooking experience.
The cooking grates are made of cast iron material that is porcelain-enameled. It features 30,000 BTU of power. It has a built-in lid thermometer for monitoring the temperature inside. Six tool hooks are great for hanging utensils and folding side tables and under-cart design underneath the grilling surface to place your cooking tools and food.
Portability and usability
It is portable and easy to transport as it has two wheels on one side. It also has a warming rack (105 sq. inches) where you can place your grilled food. With the easy-to-read fuel gauge, you will see how much fuel has left in the tank. It is iGrill 3 compatible.
PK Grills SSB-X Original PKTX Outdoor Portable Aluminum Charcoal Grill and Smoker
This is a charcoal-smoker combination grill that comes from PK Grills. With the unique capsule design and 4 vents, you will be able to grill and smoke with style. The unit has a cast-aluminum construction that is rust-proof, durable, lightweight, and conducts heat 4x more efficiently than steel charcoal grills. The capsule has an airtight seal that maximizes temperature control. The device can get between 180-750F. You can choose between three colors.
It is covered against rust, burnout, or breakage for a full decade like any other PK grill. You can fold the PKTX and transport it easily, also due to the 2 wheels it has. It has 300 square inches of a cooking surface so you will be able to prepare burgers and smoke the turkey with ease. The device has a durable side shelf with a cup holder. It got the Pitmaster award in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.
Char-Broil 463375919 Performance Stainless Steel Liquid Propane Gas Grill
This Char-Broil gas grill is made of stainless steel and measures 24.5″ x 53.1″ x 45″. It features 4 burners that are stainless steel top-ported. The device delivers 36,000 BTU of power and has a 425 square inch cooking surface. The primary cooking surface measures 23-inches wide by 18.5-inches deep and has porcelain-coated cast-iron grates. The grates are rust-resistant and will help to prevent the food from sticking to them.
The device has an electronic ignition system for fast and reliable startups with the push of a button. It has two side-shelves for placing food and utensils on. You will be able to put 20 burgers on at the same time to cook. It has a removable grease tray and a pan that simplifies the cleanup. The propane tank and cooking accessories can be stored inside the closet underneath the grilling surface.
The swing-away warming rack presents the secondary cooking area (150 sq. in.) that is perfect for sides or toasting buns. It measures 20.2-in wide x 7.4-in deep. A lidded side burner (10,000 BTU) comes handy since you are able to make sauces for the main dish or prepare vegetables as a side dish. Its lid can be closed while not in use so you can use it as a side table.
What should you look for when buying a grill?
When buying a new grill that will cost you a few hundreds of dollars you are getting a unit that has a large cooking area, technologies that ease the cooking process, and great features that will help you to cook and monitor the whole process. Its features are the most important to look when getting a new grill, no matter which type you opt for.
Grill grates 101
You are getting a grill that can cook plenty of foods at the same time because you will be preparing meals for a family and a bunch of friends that will come over. Will every large grill cook the same? No, of course not. What type of grill grates do grills have?
In general, they have two types of cooking grates – cast iron or stainless steel and I will explain each of them in more detail.
Cast iron grates
Cast iron is a material that retains a lot of heat, and the food won’t stick to it so quickly, that’s for sure. Its manufacturers like to coat it with enamel or porcelain to make sure the grates won’t rust. The coating also helps to make cleaning the grates easier.
However, you should take care of such grates as the coating can get damaged easily if they fall on hard ground. Porcelain and enamel easily cracks and will make the grates more prone to rust and also won’t retain heat as they supposed to.
Stainless steel grates
Stainless steel has good heat retention and is more resilient and durable than cast iron. They could get darker through time but that is not a problem as you just use a grill brush to clean them.
They don’t need special care as the cast iron that needs to be oiled after the cleaning. The grates won’t rust or corrode. So, if you don’t want much work with the grates then you should opt for those that are made of stainless steel.
The fuel source
Other than the price of the appliances, the other thing that you should think about when buying a grill is the availability of the fuel source that the device runs on. If you are looking to buy a pellet model or charcoal one, you should make sure that you can access the coal and pellets easily to make it easy for you to cook your meals.
If you want a gas model, you should make sure that you can easily refill your tank when you run out of gas. Unable to do so could cause a lot of frustration and people unhappy and hungry.
The usability of the device is also important, don’t you agree? What do you want in a grill to perform the best it can? When buying one consider where you will be cooking. Will you use it in your backyard or will you take it in the camp?
A backyard unit can be large and luxurious if you have a spacious yard. However, if you intend to cook in a camp, you need a smaller and portable unit (with wheels) that you will transport with ease.
Type of fuel
The next thing to consider is the type of fuel. Do you have time to cook or are you in a hurry and need to prepare a meal fast? Are you a fan of smoky-flavor foods and seared marks on your steaks? Ask yourself what do you want in a grill.
Charcoal grills are the best when it comes to flavor and smokiness. You can use charcoal briquettes or different types of wood to spice things up. This type of grill is for you if you like the smoky flavor and if you have time to cook because the wood or briquettes need time to heat for the cooking.
Gas grills heat faster than charcoal ones as they use gas as a fuel. You will need a gas tank to work. These ones won’t give you that smoky flavor but you will be able to have good control over the fire since you can control the heat with the button.
People opt for electric units if they are in the apartment (cooking on their balconies) or having little space to cook. They need a connection to electricity to work.
When buying a grill that will cost you a few hundreds of dollars you want a luxurious device that will make your cookouts easy and food tasty. With a large cooking space, you will be able to feed the crowd without waiting for the next round of food.
I advise you to consider your cooking needs and the features that will help you to serve delicious food to your guests and make your grill cleaning as simple as possible. Also, think about the cooking grates and the durability of the device so you won’t need to buy a new one soon after you purchased the first one.