The 8 Best Gas Grills Under $250 for 2023

Quality and size make the American Gourmet Classic 360 a clear winner.

In This Article

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Best Gas Grills Under $250

Amazon

Shopping for a new grill can be challenging, especially if you’re budget conscious and have a ceiling on your spending. Yet, you can still find an excellent grill for $250 or less if you prioritize function over special features. Higher-priced models come with bells and whistles that you may not need. You’re also paying for their thick construction, which retains heat for hours. As the thinner construction of lower-priced grills means less heat retention, you want a grill that can generate a lot of heat, according to our experts, chefs Amy Brandwein and Brandon Boudet. In other words, you want a grill with a high BTU.

“The most important thing is getting the most BTUs for your money,” says Boudet. Indeed, the hotter a grill burns, the better the results for searing and even cooking. We took this advice and other feedback to find the best grills to fit this budget, ultimately naming the American Gourmet Classic 360 the best overall. Whether it’s a standalone grill, portable grill, or griddle you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered.

Best Overall

American Gourmet Char-Broil 463773717 Classic Series 3-Burner Gas Grill

4.8
American Gourmet Char-Broil 463773717 Classic Series 3-Burner Gas Grill

Amazon

Pros: Independent temperature control and heat retention top the list for us.

Cons: It’s a bit shaky, and assembly instructions could be more straightforward.

American Gourmet is an offshoot of Char-Broil, bringing its aesthetic and quality to a new line. The Classic 360 is a fan favorite, boasting 360 square inches of primary cooking space under three burners, with porcelain-coated grates for easy cleaning and resistance to sticking. The firebox and lid are also porcelain coated for long life and retain the 30,000 BTUs of cooking power. The three burners utilize a piezo ignition for easy lighting, allowing you to create multiple heat zones for direct and indirect cooking. There’s also a swing-away warming grate and two side tables for holding food, tools, or condiments. It’s a basic grill, lacking the “wow” features of more expensive models, but for cooking for a small crowd without breaking the bank, it delivers on its promise.

Price at time of publish: $193

  • Dimensions: 24 x 51 x 44 inches
  • Primary Cooking Area: 360 square inches
  • BTUs: 30,000
  • Weight: 49 pounds

Best Tabletop Portable

Weber Q1000 Propane Grill

Weber Q1000 Propane Grill

Amazon

Pros: It’s lightweight, easily stowed in a trunk or bin, and provides quick, even heat.

Cons: It’s expensive for its size and could use a better grease management system.

Whenever I encounter Weber’s Q series grills, I think of a scene from the film Men in Black wherein Will Smith is handed a tiny, ridiculously overpowered weapon to fight enemy aliens. These small grills are that – just not as destructive.

The Q1000 has a single circular burner for even coverage of its small cooking area, providing 8,500 BTUs of heat under the porcelain-coated grates. This grill can cook burgers for a small crowd but is also suited for more delicate tasks, like cooking fish fillets. It uses disposable LP gas cylinders for portability, but with an available adapter hose, it can work with a standard 20-pound cylinder instead. It’s an easily portable tabletop grill that delivers outstanding performance for its size.

 Price at time of publish: $229

  • Dimensions: 15 x 27 x 17 inches
  • Primary Cooking Area: 189 square inches
  • BTUs: 8,500
  • Weight: 29 pounds

Best Portable with Stand

Cuisinart CGG-180 Petite Gourmet Gas Grill With VersaStand

4.2
Cuisinart CGG-180 Petite Gourmet Gas Grill With VersaStand

Amazon

Pros: It’s compact with a respectable cooking area for a portable grill, and it delivers quick, even heat.

Cons: The stand is a little wobbly, so be sure to place it on a level surface. The single burner design is a little restrictive.

The Petite Gourmet is another tremendous portable grill, but it comes with telescoping legs, allowing it to function as a tabletop or freestanding grill. It pushes a respectable 5,500 BTUs for a small form, with a single burner under a porcelain enamel-coated grate. With the smaller burner size, the Petite Gourmet still provides quick, even heating and excellent heat retention, maximizing fuel efficiency. 

It gets high marks for ease of setup while coming up short on the cleanup ratings. The lockable lid is a nice touch for portability and packing. Unlike the Q1000, Petite Gourmet includes a drip tray for catching grease, which means no need to purchase disposable aluminum trays.

Price at time of publish: $179

  • Dimensions: 20 x 30 x 30 Inches
  • Primary Cooking Area: 145 square inches
  • BTUs: 5,500
  • Weight: 17 pounds

Best Two-Burner

Char-Broil Classic 2-Burner Propane Gas Grill

American Gourmet Char-Broil Classic 280 2-Burner Liquid Propane Gas Grill

Amazon

Pros: It's a great value for a grill, and it doesn’t require a lot of room.

Cons: It’s challenging to assemble.

The Classic 280 is a smaller version of the Classic 360, perfect for smaller grilling spaces. With the step down in size comes one less burner and lower BTUs. Still, the same design considerations, like the porcelain-enameled grates, coated firebox and lid for heat retention, and piezo ignition, carry through to this two-burner model. Individual controls still allow for creating separate heat zones, the side shelves provide extra working space, and the wheels enable you to move this lightweight grill easily. The 280 stands out for its weight, easy mobility thanks to its sturdy wheels, and easy cleaning. The downside is the assembly poses some difficulty. But after putting it together, it’s very straightforward to use.

Price at time of publish: $147

  • Dimensions: 24 x 46 x 42 inches
  • Primary Cooking Area: 280 square inches
  • BTUs: 20,000
  • Weight: 38 pounds

Best Three-Burner

Dyna-Glo 3-Burner Open Cart Propane Gas Grill

Dyna-Glo 3-Burner Open Cart Propane Gas Grill

Home Depot

Pros: It’s a good value for the price, and the setup is relatively easy.

Cons: There’s no thermometer, and it’s a little shaky.

Three individually controlled 8,000 BTU burners lend quite a bit of cooking power to the 310-square-inch main cooking space. The porcelain enameled grates and upper warming rack prevent food from sticking and make cleanup a more pleasant task. It scores well on heat distribution and retention, and setup is a comparatively easy task. Its smaller width, even considering the side tables, make this an excellent choice for limited cooking areas, and the wheels make moving it a non-issue. For its price and performance, the grill is a deal.

Price at time of publish: $179

  • Dimensions: 23 x 45 x 44 inches
  • Primary Cooking Area: 310 square inches
  • BTUs: 24,000
  • Weight: 47 pounds

Best Four-Burner

Nexgrill 4-Burner Propane Gas Grill

Nexgrill 4-Burner Gas Grill with Side Burner

Home Depot

Pros: It’s powerful for the price, and the side burner is a bonus.

Cons: Like several of the grills reviewed here, the assembly can be a test of your patience.

While lacking the “wow” of more expensive four-burner grills, you really can’t complain about what the Nexgrill delivers for the price. With 40,000 BTUs from the burners and an additional 12,000 from the side burner, this grill is powerful. It has enamel grates for longevity and stick resistance and an overhead warming shelf for slow cooking or keeping food warm. Casters and wheels make this an easy grill to relocate in your cooking area. Two side shelves, provided you’re not using one as a burner, allow plenty of extra prep space.

Price at time of publish: $299

  • Dimensions: 25 x 51 x 46 inches
  • Primary Cooking Area: 462 square inches
  • BTUs: 40,000
  • Weight: 73 pounds

Best Value

Char-Broil Classic 360 3-Burner Liquid Propane Gas Grill with Side Burner

Char-Broil Classic 360 3-Burner Gas Grill with Side Burner

Amazon

Pros: This grill's cooking power and heat retention are the strongest points.

Cons: Like many, this grill is challenging to assemble.

Char-Broil and its associated brands are getting a lot of face time here, but in a time of rapidly increasing prices, they’re delivering the proverbial bang for the buck. This grill delivers 30,000 BTUs in the main burners, with another 8,000 for the attached side burner. Offset cooking, high-heat grilling, and searing are all easily attainable tasks with separate controls for each burner. Again, there are porcelain enamel grates and enamel on the firebox and lid for heat retention and long life. Six-inch wheels make it easy to move, and two rigid legs keep the grill firmly in place. For heat distribution, retention, and longevity, the 360 provides value for your dollar spent.

Price at time of publish: $158

  • Dimensions: 24 x 51 x 44 inches
  • Primary Cooking Area: 360 square inches
  • BTUs: 30,000
  • Weight: 49 pounds

Best Griddle

Royal Gourmet PD1300 Portable 3-Burner Propane Gas Griddle

Royal Gourmet PD1300 Portable 3-Burner Propane Gas Griddle

Amazon

Pros: It’s powerful and easy to clean.

Cons: It’s a little heavy for a portable grill, and the sides could be higher to control splatters. 

For those who would prefer a griddle, or plancha for outdoor cooking use, to a char grill, the PD1300 provides good value for your dollar. The grill’s three adjustable burners allow for separate heat zones from slow cooking to searing. The combined 27,000 BTUs produce a respectable amount of heat for its 316-square-inch cooking area. At 20 pounds, it’s a perfect portable, or it can easily be moved for storage when not in use. The removable porcelain enamel cooktop and drip tray facilitate easy cleaning. This grill gets high marks for ease of assembly, cleanability, heat consistency, and control. 

Price at time of publish: $116

  • Dimensions: 18 x 18 x 9 inches
  • Primary Cooking Area: 316 square inches
  • BTUs: 27,000
  • Weight: 20 pounds

Our Favorite

When evaluating the cost, quality, and consistency of results, the American Gourmet Classic 360 was the clear winner, providing an excellent grilling experience for the money.

Factors to Consider

Size 

Your needs will dictate the size of the best grill for you. Finding a grill that fits your cooking style is essential, as is something that fits your available outdoor cooking space. A large grill in a small area presents dangers from heat contact and potential fire hazards and will ultimately become irritating for the user due to space occupied and working around the bulk of a larger grill. If you’re seeking a portable grill, both size and weight should be considered, as both transporting and carrying it can be an issue.

Cooking Area 

Brandwein recommends getting the most cooking area available in your grill. Not only because lower-cost grills can become gunked up easily if not cleaned thoroughly, but also because a larger cooking area gives you more flexibility in your cooking style. That flexibility allows you to build different heat zones, which broaden the scope of the foods you can cook on the grill.

Gas Connections

A good-quality gas line and regulator will spare you frustration and unnecessary expense, according to Boudet. “People throw their grills away [when they no longer burn hot], thinking they don’t work anymore when it’s really just a stuck regulator,” he says. By way of explanation, the gas line is self-explanatory, but the regulator opens and closes to release a steady stream of gas to the grill based on pressure in the tank and temperature.

The Research

For this article, we consulted Amy Brandwein, chef and owner of Centrolina Mercato e Osteria in Washington, D.C., and Brandon Boudet, chef and partner of Little Dom’s in Los Angeles and Little Dom’s Seafood in Carpinteria, Calif., to gather their insights into what they look for when purchasing a gas grill for under $250. We then combined their input with our expertise and evaluated numerous grills under several categories to find those with the qualities that the chefs and we were seeking.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How long should a gas grill last?

    Five years is a reasonable life expectancy for a grill, according to Brandwein. And, according to Boudet, cleaning and maintenance contribute to a longer lifespan. “If you don’t take care of it, you’ll get maybe five years. If you take care of it, I’ve seen them last 20 [years],” Boudet says. He cites family chats where members attempt to hand down long-lived gas grills as evidence to his claim, and we can’t argue that point at all.

  • Is it more efficient and cost-effective to grill with propane or natural gas?

    This depends on your grill, its connection type, and whether you already have a natural gas connection. Natural gas is cheaper, but a gas connection can cost upwards of $1,000, so the math might not work for you in terms of capital investment. But the cost of buying new or refilling propane tanks adds up over time. Propane, however, provides a more consistent pressure than a shared natural gas connection, according to Brandwein.

  • What is the best month to buy a grill?

    Our experts heavily advise against buying a grill between Memorial Day and Labor Day to find the best prices. Online shopping during the fall and winter months usually provides better deals.

Our Expertise


Greg Baker is an award-winning chef, restaurateur, and food writer with four decades of experience in the food industry. His written work appears in Food & Wine, Food Republic, and other publications.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles