10 Of The Best Gas Grills Under $300 Reviewed In 2020

Gas grills are prized for their convenience, and ease of cleaning. As you start approaching the $300 price point the field gets rich with attractive options. Still, there’s been more than a time or two when I sank some serious money into a gas grill under $300, just to be disappointed with it later down the road.

To find the best gas grill under $300 takes a discerning, and arguably experienced eye. Little things in material selection and design can translate into major successes or big, frustrating failures.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best gas grills under $300, as well as how to pick a winner out from a field of questionable competitors.

Products

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Price

Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 325 2-Burner Cabinet Liquid Propane Gas Grill

An impressive 2-burner grill from a reliable manufacturer making the most out of cutting-edge infrared grilling technology.

Char-Broil Performance 300 2-Burner Cabinet Liquid Propane Gas Grill 

A 300 square inch two burner grill with thoughtful storage and quality materials.

Char-Broil 463370719 Performance TRU-Infrared 3-Burner Cart Style Gas Grill

Another infrared grill with a large grill grate that lets you prepare food for the whole family.

Cuisinart CGG-7400 Full Size Gas Grill, Four-Burner

A large gas grill with a lot of valuable features and enough square inches to prepare a staggering amount of food at one time.

Dyna-Glo DGB390SNP-D Smart Space Living Stainless Steel Gas Grill

A well-designed gas grill with high-quality stainless steel where you want it most.

Weber 54060001 Q2200 Liquid Propane Grill

A well-designed four burner natural gas grill that delivers the heat you need to make an excellent grilled meal.

Weber 65010001 Genesis II E-210 Natural Gas Grill

A manufacturer with a decades-long reputation for making quality products including this lightweight portable gas grill.

Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill

A portable gas grill that condenses down into a mobile cart that’s perfect for tailgating.

Durable Outdoor Barbeque & Burger Gas/Charcoal Grill Combo

This combination charcoal and gas grill can make great barbecue as well as direct heat grilling.

Char-Broil Performance 475 4-Burner Cart Liquid Propane Gas Grill

A large four-burner gas grill with a tastefully disguised side burner for making side dishes without having to run back to the kitchen.

Blackstone 1554 Station-4-burner-Propane Gas Griddle

A large gas griddle from an industry leader, that’s been engineered for versatility and performance.

The 10 Best Gas Grill Under $300 In 2020

  • 1: Overall Best : Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 325 2-Burner Liquid Propane Gas Grill
  • 2: Best Two Burner: Char-Broil Performance 300 2-Burner Liquid Propane Gas Grill
  • 3: Best 3 Burner: ​Char-Broil 463370719 Performance TRU-Infrared 3-Burner Cart Style Gas Grill
  • 4: Four Burner Gas Grill : Cuisinart CGG-7400 Full Size Gas Grill, Four-Burner
  • 5: Best Stainless Steel: Dyna-Glo DGB390SNP-D Smart Space Living Stainless Steel Gas Grill
  • 6: Best Portable: Weber 54060001 Q2200 Liquid Propane Grill 
  • 7: Best For Tailgating: Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill
  • 8: Best For Barbecue: Durable Outdoor Barbeque & Burger Gas/Charcoal Grill Combo
  • 9: Gas Grill With A Side Burner: Char-Broil Performance 475 4-Burner Liquid Propane Gas Grill
  • 10: Best Gas Grill With A Griddle: Blackstone 1554 Station-4-burner-Propane Gas Griddle

Infrared grilling is taking the world by storm, as it increases in popularity every year.

This is thanks in part to the way infrared heat cooks the meat without disturbing its natural moisture boundary, to help it retain more of its natural juices.

At the same time, infrared is capable of attaining a much higher heat threshold than propane or natural gas flame.

The Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 325 is set up with two stainless steel propane burners, which heat a special infrared element.

This gives it the potential to produce 18,000 BTUs per hour. Char-Broil also offers a very affordable natural gas conversion kit for this grill, for households that have a municipal natural gas supply line. The burner elements are lit by a convenient “Sure Fire” electric ignition system.

The Char-Broil TRU Infrared system’s element is designed to reduce overall airflow. This gives it superior energy efficiency, while reducing flareups, while also vaporizing drippings to add a little extra smoky flavor. It also spreads the heat evenly across the grill grate with astonishing consistency.

The primary grill grate is made from durable cast iron, which can absorb a massive amount of heat energy for a superior sear.

It also has a porcelain coating which gives them nonstick properties, as well as making the grates easy to scrape clean. There’s also a 125 square inch warming rack.

The cabinet base has room to hold a 25-pound propane tank, as well as some extra grill tools. The sturdy side shelves conveniently fold down to reduce the overall footprint on your patio when you aren’t using it.

If you are looking to explore the potential of cutting-edge outdoor cooking, with the sleek look of stainless steel, then the Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 325 is one of the best overall gas grills under $300.

What We Liked

  • The infrared element does a great job of evenly distributing the heat across primary grill grates
  • The 325 square inch grill grates are large enough to cook for up to four people.
  • The heavy-duty cast iron of the grates produces a powerful sear and helps with heat retention.
  • The natural gas conversion kit for this grill is also a very nice touch. 

What We Don’t Like

  • The dripping’s pan is a little on the small side.
  • It can sometimes be a little too hot for things like hybrid grilling thick cuts of meat like chicken leg quarters. 

2: The Best Two Burner: Char-Broil Performance 300 2-Burner Cabinet Liquid Propane Gas Grill

The Char-Broil Performance shares some key features with other successful grills in their line.

This includes things like a stable cabinet base to conveniently store the propane tank, as well as two folding side tables to reduce its size on your deck.

The base also has four locking casters for times when you might want to move it.

Inside the firebox, you will find two stainless steel propane burner elements. 

Each is ignited by an electronic ignition system and can be operated independently to produce 12,000 BTUs per or 24,000 BTUs total.

Just note that the top mounted element doesn’t have any heat tents. This means that foods that produce a lot of drippings or that have a lot of excess marinades can potentially clog a flame port.

If you have a port or two that doesn’t burn itself open again, you’ll have to use a bamboo grill skewer to clear it after you are done grilling.

There is also a large dripping pan under the firebox, which is easy to remove to pour away unwanted grease. It also helps with a speedy clean up after you are done grilling.

The 300 square inch grill grates are made from impressively thick cast iron with a porcelain coating. This gives them the heat retention to sear meat with impressive grill marks, while also having the kind of nonstick properties that make for easy cleanup. There’s also a 100 square inch swing-away warming rack.

The lid has a built-in thermometer which is relatively accurate. It also has enough internal height to accommodate tall dishes like a beer can chicken or even a bone-in prime rib roast.

Thoughtful design and quality materials like stainless steel help make the Char-Broil Performance one of the best 2 burner gas grill you can buy under $300 price range.

What We Liked

  • The porcelain coating on the grill grates makes it handy to scrape down.
  • The nonstick porcelain coating is thick enough to handle the rigors of being aggressively scraped down by a steel grill brush.
  • The 12,000 BTU per hour burners are very hot.
  • The cast iron of the grill grates also does a great job of absorbing heat and helps with preheating.

What We Don’t Like

  • The top-mounted burner doesn’t have the protection of conventional heat tents.
  • The burner can sometimes be prone to clogged flame ports.
  • The four locking casters on the bottom of the pedestal base are relatively small, and tough to move.

3: The Best 3 Burner: Char-Broil 463370719 Performance TRU-Infrared 3-Burner Cart Style Gas Grill 

The performance line of Char-Broil’s grills features superior material selection and engineering.

You see this literally shine through with the stainless steel gleam of the Char-Broil 463370719 Performance TRU-Infrared 3-Burner Cart Style Gas Grill.

Char-Broil’s TRU infrared using a gas-powered flame to heat a special infrared emitter. As it heats infrared heat is projected out to the cast iron grill grates.

As the grates absorb heat and the emitter reaches its full thermal potential the heat is evenly distributed across the entire 450 square inch, porcelain coated grill surface.

The two propane burners each produce 12,000 BTUs of heat, for a combined total of 24,000 BTUs. This is near the top end of the thermal range for any gas grill under $300. Each burner element is linked to Char-Broil’s push-start electronic ignition system.

Char-Broil is so proud of the materials and engineering used in the TRU infrared system that they warrant the burner for a full five years.

The cabinet base of the Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared 3-Burner Gas Grill provides you with convenient storage for a propane tank and a convenient place to stow some of your grill accessories.

There are also four locking casters at the bottom in case you need to move this grill that weighs in over 100 pounds.

One of the side shelves also has an accessory burner built into it. When you want to use it, you simply flip open the flush top lid and fire it up.

The burner has its own independent control. It lets you make side dishes right at the grill side, where your attention is needed most.

The impressive stainless steel gleam, the side burner, and infrared grilling system make the Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared one of the best 3-Burner gas grill under $300.

What We Liked

  • The five-year warranty coverage on the TRU infrared burner system makes a statement on its overall quality.
  • The accessory burner tied into the side shelf is handy for making side dishes.
  • The burner is flush-mounted and tucks discreetly under the lid.
  • The cast iron grill grates help with heat retention and producing an impressive sear.
  • The nonstick protective coating of porcelain makes for easy cleanup and release. 

What We Don’t Like

  • The four small casters make this grill hard to move across a cobblestone patio or across deck boards.
  • The warming rack can also get in the way sometimes if you want to grill tall foods.

4: Best Four Burner: Cuisinart CGG-7400 Full Size Gas Grill, Four-Burner

Cuisinart’s presence in the grill market might be relatively new. Yet they have spent decades producing high-quality indoor cooking appliances, and they bring that same methodology with them to the realm of outdoor cooking.

At first glance the Cuisinart CGG-7400 is large, but even if you’re just cooking for you and a significant other it’s not too large.

Each of the 11,000 BTU stainless steel propane burner element has its own independent control with the twist-start ignition system.

This means if you just want to grill up a pair of chicken breasts for a Tuesday night supper, you can just fire up one or two of the burner elements. 

Then if you want to have “The Guys” over to watch the big game, you’ve got enough cooking real estate to feed many hungry mouths.

The primary grill grate is made from cast iron, which absorbs for a superior sear and even helps redistribute the heat across the 443 square inch surface. There’s also a large 167 square inch warming rack for holding over pieces of meat that get done early.

The exterior of the Cuisinart CGG-7400 is made largely from stainless steel and protective heat resistant powder coat.

The lid has a thermometer built-in, and there’s even a convenient bottle opener. The cart itself is sturdy with two flared and stable feet as well as two wheels to let you wheel it around.

If you are looking for a grill that can cook up a pair of chicken breasts for a weeknight supper, yet can also pump out a ton of burger patties on the weekend, then the Cuisinart CGG-7400 is one of the best four-burner gas grill for under $300.

What We Liked

  • The four independently controlled 11,000 BTU propane burners let you create dual heat zones.
  • You can only fire up part of the grill to cook for a smaller number of people if necessary.
  • With a wood chip tray, you could even multi-task the 444 square inch grill grate to replicate classic smoky barbecue. 

What We Don’t Like

  • The cart base doesn’t have any sort of cabinet door for added storage.
  • There’s no dedicated rack for a liquid propane tank.
  • The 72-pound grill is too heavy to put together safely on your own.
  • This grill has the size to accommodate a rotisserie, but it wasn’t designed to be compatible with one.
  • There isn’t a side burner, which  you find in many of the direct competitors this size.

5: The Best Stainless Steel: Dyna-Glo DGB390SNP-D Smart Space Living Stainless Steel Gas Grill

Dyna-Glo as a company has a history going back nearly a century in fireplace and glass construction.

They have since evolved to provide high-quality grills, with thoughtful engineering. Today they are one of the stronger names in the grill industry, yet they still don’t factor their brand name into the overall price of the units they offer.

 The Dyna-Glo DGB390SNP-D Smart Space Living features extensive stainless steel construction. This includes a stainless steel double-walled lid, for superior heat retention. It also has a built-in, accurate thermometer.

It also has a cabinet base with a stainless steel door for conveniently storing a propane tank as well as stainless steel controls with chrome accents. The side shelves also fold down easily and lock firmly in place.

Inside the stainless steel firebox, there are three independently controlled stainless steel propane burners.

Each is rated to produce up to 12,000 BTUs per hour, which is on the high end of heat potential in this class, with a total of 36,000 BTUs. Each is protected by a stainless steel heat tent, with a protective porcelain coating.

The grill grates are made from heavy-duty cast iron for superior heat retention and searing. They also have a protective coating of nonstick porcelain.

Any drippings that make it past the grates and heat tents pass into the internal grease management system to be deposited in the stainless steel droppings tray.

The engineering and thoughtful design along with the copious use of protective porcelain coating helps make the Dyna-Glo DGB390SNP-D Smart Space Living one of the best stainless steel gas grills for under $300.

What We Liked

  • There’s a lot of thoughtful design in this stainless steel gas grill.
  • The double-walled lid provides superior heat retention, while also housing an accurate thermometer.
  • The 12,000 BTU burners are hot and perfect for this size grill.
  • The three independently controlled stainless steel burners let you create multiple heat zones.
  • The nonstick porcelain coating on the grill grates makes for easy cleanup
  • The heat tents also have a nonstick porcelain coating
  • The stainless steel drippings pan is easy to remove and pour off.

What We Don’t Like

  • The four locking casters are relatively small, which isn’t ideal for moving them across deck boards or a bumpy patio.
  • The assembly instructions are a little bit tricky.
  • The grill also weighs over 75-pounds, so you might want to recruit a friend to help you put it together.

6: The Best Portable Gas Grill For Under $300: Weber 54060001 Q2200 Liquid Propane Grill 

Portable grills are extremely popular for things like trips to the beach, tailgating, and camping.

Weber is one of the premium manufacturers in the grill industry, so it’s no surprise that they offer a high-quality portable gas grill like the Weber Q2200.

This compact gas grill was designed to be easily portable. The side tables fold under the cast aluminum lid to reduce its overall storage and transport size.

The structure of the handles and other components is made from lightweight glass-reinforced nylon. It’s also designed to run on a 1-pound propane cylinder, which spares you having to haul a large liquid propane tank with you.

The 280 square inch cast iron grill grates do add a little bit to the overall weight, but they help with heat retention and searing meat. They also have a heavy-duty coating of nonstick porcelain.

Below the grates is a single 12,000 BTU propane burner, which is astonishingly hot for a small compact grill.

The contours of the lower cast aluminum firebox help drain grease and other drippings to the catchment pan that fits into a slot under the grill body.

You can’t argue with Weber’s reputation for quality in materials and engineering, which shines through making the Q2200 one of the best portable gas grills for under $300.

What We Liked

  • The lightweight materials and compact design make it easy to transport, yet it also folds out and is ready to go in under a minute.
  • The 12,000 BTU propane burner is very hot for a small portable grill.

What We Don’t Like

  • The dripping’s pan fits into a tight little slot under the grill.
  • The aluminum sides of the drippings pan bend which can make it hard to comfortably slide it back into place.
  • The impressive 12,000 BTU burner goes through the small propane cylinder very quickly.

7: Best For Tailgating: Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill

Coleman made their name producing high-quality gas lanterns and camping gear. They have since expanded their line to include all kinds of outdoor equipment and cooking devices, including their very popular “RoadTrip” line of portable gas grills.

The Coleman RoadTrip 285 was designed to collapse down into a very portable and mobile wheeled cart. It also has a locking lid with a built-in thermometer and expanding side tables to let you set up a fully functional grill station once you get to where you’re going.

The Coleman RoadTrip 285 has three independently controlled propane burners which produce a total of 20,000 BTUs per hour.

The burners are also linked to an electric ignition system, which spares you having to play around with a stick lighter.

It comes set up to run on a one-pound gas cylinder but can also be adapted to run off a larger tank. Though this hose and regulator combo is an additional cost.

The grill grates measure in at an impressive 285 square inches which is pretty big for a portable tailgating grill.

Coleman also sells an accessory griddle that is specifically designed to work with the 285. It lets you do things like fry bacon and eggs, sauteing vegetables, or even make pancakes.

If you are looking for a gas grill that’s capable of living on your deck, but also taking with you to the game, the beach, or to the campsite, then the Coleman RoadTrip 285 is one of the best tailgating gas grills under $300.

What We Liked

  • It comes with three years of warranty coverage.
  • The 285 square inch grill grates are very large for a tailgating gas grill.
  • The whole unit collapses down into an easy-to-move cart with large wheels that are capable of traveling over rough surfaces.

What We Don’t Like

  • The vertical space under the lid is very shallow.
  • You must register the warranty with the manufacturer shortly after the initial purchase to activate it.

8: Best For Barbecue: Durable Outdoor Barbeque & Burger Gas/Charcoal Grill Combo 

The debate of charcoal versus gas has long raged between purists to the point that brands like Durable Outdoors have stepped up to offer a combination unit capable of doing both.

This grill has both a propane grill side as well as a charcoal grill firebox side and even a small side burner that’s flush-mounted into the side table.

The propane grill side offers a 295 square inch primary grill gate made from cast iron with a nonstick coating of porcelain.

It also has a 99 square inch warming rack built into the lid, with a thermometer.

 Inside the firebox are three independently controlled propane burner elements that are each rated to produce up to 8,000 BTUs of heat per hour.

To barbecue with the propane side, you simply turn one burner on low, then place a metal wood chips box over it. The meat you want to smoke goes on the other side of the grill grate. You then close the lid and let the highly accurate thermometer guide you.

The porcelain-coated, cast iron grill grates on the charcoal side measure in at 262 square inches, with an 89 square inch warming rack built into the lid.

Both fireboxes are fused together and supported by a very stable cart base. It has two large wheels that make it easy to move as well as extra shelf storage for grill tools and a 25-pound propane tank. There is also a 12,000 BTU side burner built into the righthand side shelf.

If you are in the market for a grill that can give you both the convenience of propane and the flavor of charcoal, then the Durable Outdoor Barbeque & Burger Gas/charcoal Grill Combo may just be the best barbecue gas grill under $300.

What We Liked

  • The ability to use both charcoal or propane or even both at the same time lets you choose which one is best for what you’re cooking.
  • The side burner is also nice for making side dishes right at the grill side.
  • This grill will accommodate a rotisserie. 

What We Don’t Like

  • The square inches under both lids are a little bit on the limited side.
  • There is no rotisserie included in the original purchase.
  • This grill is also pretty heavy and not the sort of thing you are going to put together easily by yourself.

9: Best With A Side Burner: Char-Broil Performance 475 4-Burner Cart Liquid Propane Gas Grill  

The Char-Broil Performance line was designed to appeal to people who love the look of stainless steel, as well as durable construction and versatility.

This particular model is installed onto a mobile cart base with a pair of six-inch wheels. This lets you store it near your home or in your garage to easily move it out to save distance when you want to use it.

The Char-Broil Performance 475 comes with 4 stainless steel propane elements installed in the firebox. Over each one sits a stainless steel heat tent.

Not only does this help evenly distribute the heat across the 475 square inch primary grill grate, but it also prevents drippings from clogging up flame ports.

Grease and other drippings that land on the heat tents vaporizes, which gives off added smoky aroma and flavor. There’s also a large 175 square inch warming rack.

Each of the four burners is rated to produce up to 9,000 BTUs for a total of 36,000 BTUs per hour. There’s also a flush-mounted side burner hidden inside the left-hand side table that is rated to produce up to 10,000 BTUs.

This is especially handy if you are hosting guests around the grill, or your grill station is too far from the kitchen to safely cook a side dish at the same time.

Under the propane burners, the lower portions of the firebox are contoured to channel any drippings that make it past the heat tents toward an easy to remove grease pan. This along with the porcelain coating on the grill grates make the Char-Broil Performance 475 very easy to clean up.  

Being able to stay grill-side while preparing your side dishes is very handy. Especially if you don’t have someone you trust to cook in the kitchen. This and the quality stainless steel construction make the Char-Broil Performance 475 one of the best gas grills with a side burner under $300.

What We Liked

  • The built-in electric ignition system built lets you fire up all four grill burners and the side burner without need for fiddly matches.
  • The 10,000 BTU side burner is always a nice touch.
  • The ability to tuck the flush-mounted burner into the side table lets you use it for holding platters when you need to.

What We Don’t Like

  • The steel heat tents don’t have a porcelain coating and could be vulnerable to corrosion issues.
  • The drippings tray is a little bit tricky to pull out and pour away.

10:Best With A Griddle: Blackstone 1554 Station-4-burner-Propane Gas Griddle

Griddles of all sizes are becoming increasingly popular. Not only are they versatile for being able to prepare breakfast foods as well as other supper-time dishes, but they also tend to make very flavorful hamburgers, steaks, and chops just as well as a traditional gas grill.

This is thanks in part to the seasoning layer that develops overtime on a griddle’s surface.

Every time you use it, microscopic hydrocarbons impregnates the microscopic contours of the griddle’s surface. This gives it nonstick properties, while also enhancing the flavor. The trick is in having a good grease management system and making sure to never use water to clean it.

Fortunately, Blackstone is one of the premium manufacturers of gas griddles in North America. They offer units of all sizes with quality materials and tested engineering features like the Blackstone 1554 4-burner Propane Gas Griddle.

Each 15,000 BTU propane burner element has its own independent control knob and is connected to the built-in electric ignition system.

This means you can dial one side of the griddle down to low heat for doing things like holding over sautéed vegetables.

While still being able to dial up the heat on the other side of the 720 square inch griddle top to sear burgers, chops, and steak sandwiches.

The Blackstone 1554 4-burner Propane Gas Griddle also has a built-in grease management system. This lets you divert any unwanted excess grease and drippings away from the cold-rolled steel for just the right level of ambient fat. It also makes cleanup easier.

This gas griddle is installed in a mobile cart base, which makes it relatively easy to move the 120-pounds unit around. It also offers a lot of storage under the griddle top.

If you are ready to embrace the exciting world of outdoor griddle cooking, then the Blackstone 1554 4-burner is one of the best gas griddles under $300.

What We Liked

  • The 720-square griddle top is large enough for many people.
  • The cold-rolled steel griddle top can develop a long-lasting seasoning layer.
  • The four independently controlled propane elements can produce multiple heat zones.
  • 15,000 BTUs per hour each burner for 60,000 total.
  • The drippings slot at the back and is large enough to handle griddle scraps without clogging.
  • The grease management system is easy to pour out.

What We Don’t Like

  • The seasoning layer needs to be properly maintained after every cooking session.
  • Multiple heat zones will eventually fade over time.
  • Heavy and awkward to assemble on your own.

Buyers Guide

The $300 price range is right at that line where a grill starts opening up to a few special features, yet doesn’t go over the deep end with bells and whistles.

At the same time, this is also that price range where you might accidentally overpay for a grill that looks great on paper but falls short over the long haul on your deck.

Believe me, I’ve had a time or two when I invested in a gas grill under $300 that over-promised on the screen, but undelivered in the real-world.

If you are going to avoid a nasty case of “Buyer’s Remorse” you need to develop a discerning eye. Fortunately, I’ve managed to take a lot of the guesswork out of the process for you, by turning a now more experienced eye on the gas grill marketplace.

How Did I Choose These Under $300 Gas Grills?

My approach to filtering through the broad field of gas grills under $300 called for setting up some important criteria.

Well-Known Manufacturers

First. I tried to stick to tried and true grill manufacturers like Char-Broil, Weber, Dyna-Glo, Cuisinart, Coleman, and Blackstone.

These are the big players, who know their reputation is at stake in this all-too-competitive marketplace.

They’ve also had decades to work out any potential manufacturing glitches, and they have the kind of margins to let them source quality materials at a more reasonable price.

Material Selection

Some manufacturers have specific materials that they use as part of their brand images. In some cases, they are superior materials like porcelain-coated cast iron grill grates.

Though there are some manufacturers who stubbornly hold onto older materials like chrome-plated grates or expanded metal, that is no longer on the cutting edge of materials and manufacturing.

Whenever possible I gave preference to a grill with superior material selection. If I did allow a grill past this filter with a slightly lesser material for the grates or a minor component like wheel casters, it was because there was some other overriding feature that made it a good deal. 

Ease To Clean

Let’s face it, if you are going to pull a major amount of money like $300 out of your bank account, you don’t want a grill that is a total headache to clean.

Things like a built-in grease management system, heat tents to protect burner ports, large drippings pans, and nonstick porcelain coatings on grill grates were all things that earned a particular grill the points it needed to move up the list.

Special Features

There are some grills that the manufacturer designs to cater to a specific niche. This might include a collapsing base for a portable grill with easy to move wheels.

If it’s a large grill meant to spend its life on your deck, then a side burner lets you stay present at the grill side, without having to risk an overdone steak, just to run into the kitchen for sautéed onions.

It wasn’t just the presence of a special feature in and of itself that mattered.

I also wanted to make sure that a particularly special feature like folding side shelves integrated with the niche role the grill was intended to play.

How Did I Test?

Once I filtered through some of the most important qualities of each grill and manufacturer, I then start to apply many of the same principles you see in a professional test kitchen setting.

This involved grilling up common cuts of meat like bone-in, skin-on cuts of chicken, inexpensive pork tenderloins, hamburger patties, and hot dogs.

The overall performance on these dishes directly translates into how each grill will perform in a broader sense. Of course, it’s also the next step in determining just how easy or difficult that grill was to clean. 

FAQ

What Are The Benefits Of Infrared Grilling?

As you’ve likely noticed there are a few gas-fired grills in this price range to power an infrared heating element.

This is indeed the same time of radiation you feel when you step outside and feel the warmth of the sun.

Fortunately, this type of radiation isn’t harmful to you or your food. In fact, foods with a high moisture content like meat and many vegetables like asparagus actually benefit from infrared cooking over an open flame.

You see the infrared wavelength of light penetrates food in a way that doesn’t directly interrupt its natural moisture boundary layer. Which means the food being grilled retains more of its natural juices and flavor.

Infrared emitters can also generate some astonishingly high temperatures. This invokes something called the “Maillard Reaction,” which is the same chemical process that makes toast taste so much better than dry bread.

When exposed to the kind of high heat that infrared is capable of, meats take on a more flavorful sear as the Maillard Reaction transforms amino acids into powerful flavor molecules. 

How Long Will One Pound Of Propane Burn?

Some of the smaller grills on this list are designed to run off a DOT 39 1-pound gas grill or a similar size liquid propane cylinder.

With a larger liquid propane tank, you have a lot more of a reserve, and can better gauge how much propane is left.

With a one-pound gas cylinder, it can help to keep track of time and usage to determine the remaining volume.

You see one pound of liquid propane is generated to produce 21,600 BTUs. You should be able to get about 80 to 90% of that out before reaching the minimum pressure threshold.

If you anticipate 20,000 and the gas grill’s burner is rated to produce 10,000 BTUs per hour, you could run that grill at the max for 2 hours on a single 1-pound propane cylinder.

If you write down how long each grilling session lasts, you’ll be better able to gauge when you are about to run out.

This will spare you the headache of trying to change cylinders in the middle of a grilling session or running out of flame without a spare on hand.

Is Nonstick Porcelain Really That Important?

In the past, stainless steel, expanded metal, and chrome-plated steel were the most common grill grate materials.

While they may have looked nice when they were new, these grates need to be meticulously maintained to prevent severe corrosion issues.

After all, the last thing you want is for the rust on your grates from the previous session to stick to the meat you are grilling today.

Special porcelain coatings represent the cutting edge in grill grate manufacturing. This material is more common overtop of heavy-duty cast iron but can be found on many other types of grates as well.

It has a nonstick property which minimizes cleanup time. Even if something like caramelized marinade sticks to it, you can simply soak the dirty grate in warm soapy water. The porcelain will protect the metal from rusting.

Ultimately, this simple, inexpensive protective coating not only makes the grates easier to use, but it also prolongs the value of your investment. 

Conclusion

As you can see by the scope of this review article, there are quite a few gas grills under $300 that are worthy of your investment.

Finding the one that is right for you should start with thinking about how you are most likely to use it.

If you love grilling out at the beach or tailgating before a big game, then portable features like a wheeled base, and/or lightweight construction might be your top priorities. With these grills, you also need to think about cleanup.

After all, nothing spills a great meal at the beach like a cup of smoky grease spilling in the back of your SUV!

If you are looking for a gas grill under $300 to feed your family of four, you might want to prioritize units that have a lot of square inches across the primary grill grate.

Other things like a large warming rack, the ability to accommodate a rotisserie and independent burner controls for dual heat zones might also be important.

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