Best Gas Grills Under $150: Full Flavors At Low Costs
The chances are that if you have found yourself reading this article, you are on the lookout for a new gas grill. Either that or you want to pat yourself on the back for already purchasing one of our award-winning models.
In this article, we are specifically targeting the best gas grills under $150 because we all know that it’s possible to buy some pretty epic grills like this Char-Broil model if you want to fork out the big bucks. However, we are here to highlight that there are still affordable gas grills on the market that will have you flipping burgers and searing steaks all summer long (read as flipping tofu and searing cauliflower for the vegans out there).
Benefits of Gas Grills
Though we know plenty of women that can cook a dozen burgers at once to perfection, in our house growing up, firing up the grill meant dad was cooking. Yep, that word is intentionally underlined and in italics because mom did all the shopping, prepping, marinating, salad spinning, and plating before sitting back with a smirk and watching dad get all of the accolades. Even as a kid, this seemed ridiculous.
What mom did know was that a gas grill came with a whole host of benefits, beyond getting dad actually to help out with preparing a meal. Here are a few of the primary reasons that we love a gas grill:
Speed – Yep, cooking over charcoal or wood tastes excellent, but it is incredibly time-consuming. You have to light the fire at least an hour previously and tend it like a tropical houseplant. With a gas grill, you can push an ignition button, wait a couple of minutes for it to heat up, and BAM – you’re cooking on gas.
Cost – In the long run, cooking with propane is a lot cheaper than cooking with charcoal. This might help you justify buying a bigger steak to throw on.
Temperature control – Not only is it easier to control the temperature with a gas grill, but it is easier to adjust the temperature as you cook. Many gas grills also come with a thermostat built-in so that you can use your grill like an oven.
Cleaner – Gas burns much cleaner than charcoal, so you won’t have ash to deal with carting away. You also won’t have to purchase, transport and store a big bag of dirty charcoal. Additionally, since you use a gas grill outside, it frees up your kitchen from a lot of the mess and smells associated with the cooking process.
Convenience – Grilling is synonymous with summer. Yet, lighting a gas grill is quick and easy, so if you have a covered deck, there is no reason why you couldn’t be out grilling in the middle of winter, come rain, snow or sleet.
Safety – There is no doubt that a gas grill is generally safer than using charcoal. You don’t need to worry about sparks flying or embers dropping and burning your house down. While all grills are obviously hot, a charcoal grill is much more dangerous if it is tipped or bumped.
If I got my mother to make this list, she would inevitably add that a benefit of gas grills is that it got my Dad out her hair for a while to get some peace and quiet…
The Best Gas Grills under $150 – Full Reviews
If you’re looking for an all-round gas grill that won’t have you needing to get a bank loan to purchase, then this Master Cook model is a sure-fire winner. It is relatively straightforward to put together by one person if you follow the step by step directions, that is.
This Master Cook model has three separate burner areas and a warming rack. There’s even an easy-to-read thermometer mounted on the lid so you can bake a lasagna in there, which is a winner in summer when you don’t want to heat your house.
We aren’t so keen on the starter/lighter function as it often doesn’t light on the first, second, or even third attempt. This is easily rectified with a rechargeable USB lighter that is incredibly handy in its own right. The grease trap is also relatively ineffective, so we would recommend keeping greaseproof paper or a board underneath, especially if you intend to move it.
In addition to having one of the largest cooking areas in this price class, the Master Cook Gas Grill has two collapsible side tables, making this ideal for small decks, patios, and balconies. The only problem is that your nosy neighbors will likely be peeking around the corner once they smell the delicious aroma of your next batch of Honey Chipotle Ribs.
|3 separate grilling areas||The starter/lighter can be finicky|
|Has convenient foldable shelves on both sides||The grease trap is not very effective|
|340 square inch cooking area (at least 8 burgers)|
|133 square inch warming rack|
|2 x 6-inch wheels for easy movability|
|Great value for money|
Let’s first offer a reminder that we voted the Master Cook Classic as the best overall gas grill under $150. In no way are we saying that it is the best on the market or that there couldn’t be some minor improvements, but this gas grill is undoubtedly hard to beat for the price point.
It’s a tremendous all-around grill, with a large surface area and handy extras that make grill cooking more convenient. With this grill on your deck, we reckon you’ll be outdoor cooking as much as possible.
From the start, we have noticed the price of the Char-Broil Classic 280 seems to fluctuate a lot, so if you are interested in purchasing it, you might want to watch it for a while. For anything less than $100, we consider this unit to be fantastic value for money; however, if the price is eking up beyond that, we certainly think you should rather spend a few more pennies on our overall best grill, the Master Cook Classic Liquid Propane Gas Grill.
The assembly and number of parts are rather daunting at first glance, and it certainly takes a degree of patience to maneuver through the 1,595,392 steps. Expect that it will take two people to put together; however, like steering a canoe, make sure just one person is in charge; otherwise, you might find yourself going around in circles until you eventually die of starvation.
Assuming you’ve managed to get the Char-Broil Classic 280 to the point where you can cook something on it, then this grill works perfectly. It has a deceptively large amount of grilling space and is straightforward to clean. It doesn’t have any fancy extras, but if you are after a basic grill for occasional use, then this is a winner.
|2 separate grilling areas||It takes extreme patience to assemble|
|280 square inches cooking area||It doesn’t get to a high heat for charring foods|
|Lightweight and easy to move|
|Easy to clean|
We have given the Char-Broil Classic 280 our award for Best Value; however, this is assuming it maintains about a $100 price point. With that consideration, we don’t mind that it isn’t overly robust and takes almost an entire day to assemble.
We’ve warned you that this grill comes in a billion pieces, so if you end up divorced after trying to put this grill together, don’t blame us. Once over the assembly hurdle, though, this grill works a charm.
The Royal Gourmet SG3001 is a fantastic piece of outdoor kit, but you’ll only realize this once you manage to put the [insert expletive] thing together. Indeed, don’t make finding missing parts into a drinking game, or you will never be sober again. If you are looking for a project or enjoyed making finicky model airplanes as a kid, then this grill is fantastic, especially for the price.
Once together, the Royal Gourmet SG3001 is a robust grill with plenty of cooking space for a family or group to get together. The added side burner is one of those features that you never knew you needed until you get it, and then you can’t imagine living without it ever again. It’s ideal for keeping a side dish of corn on the cob or mac n cheese warm or for the gorgeous smell of frying onions.
The temperature gauge on the lid is convenient for using your grill as an oven. You might wonder why you need this if you already have an oven; however, remember that propane is cheap, and a BBQ won’t leave your house hot in summer. Once you get used to it, there are loads more things that you can use your grill for than burgers and steaks.
The Royal Gourmet SG3001 does have a large footprint, so it isn’t great for smaller patios or apartments, but this unit is a winner if you have space. It’s tough, durable, and easy to clean so that you will be finding reasons to BBQ all year long.
|39,000 BTU in total||Tricky and time consuming to assemble|
|3 grill burners|
|Side burner for pots, frying, or warming|
|Easy to move or transport|
|Excellent value for money|
The Royal Gourmet SG3001 has a load of features that are often only found on grills that are double the price. It is a fantastic buy at this price point and can make anything from just two burgers to feeding a large family all in one sitting.
The main drawback to this grill is how much of a pain it is to put together; luckily, that only has to be done once. After that, you’ll likely have no complaints about this grill and will be using it year-round.
The Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 is obviously sold as a portable grill, and there is no doubt that it is ideal for camping, picnics, and tailgate parties. However, we think that they are limiting themselves by stopping there.
This grill is fantastic for smaller decks and patios and would make an ideal addition to any household, even if you are a hermit and intend to only cook at home. You can attach either a 1lb or 20lb propane tank.
As this grill is built for portability, it’s not surprising that we give it high marks for this aspect. It has a durable frame with stable legs and sturdy handles and comes in at only 20lbs. The base doesn’t get overly hot despite the cooking temperature, and the latches are strong enough to keep it shut in bumpy conditions.
The Char-Broil Grill2Go is incredibly easy to clean. The pull-out grease tray can be wiped clean, so you don’t need to worry about messy, oily spills in the car on the way home. The grill should always be seasoned and you should burn off any excess moisture after use. We aren’t going to put this as a ‘con’ as it should just be done as regular maintenance
|Incredibly portable with carrying handles||It can be tricky to cook in windy conditions|
|Robust frame and legs for durability||It tends to cook very hot, so it is best used with a regulator (sold separately)|
|200 square inches of cooking area|
|Built-in temperature gauge|
|Compatible with 1 lb. easy-to-find propane tanks|
|Easy to clean|
We love this grill. It would make an ideal present for any camping, grilling, or tailgating fan (me, me, me!). The Char-Broil Grill2Go is also fantastic for quick cooking at home since it gets up to temperature quickly and can fit about eight burgers at a go. Clean-up is even easier than most full-sized grills.
The main fault of this grill is that it gets literally searing hot. While this might be wonderful for steaks, it’s not so great when the inside of your food is raw. Expect to fork out for an additional regulator, and then you’ll overcome this hurdle—all in all, a fantastic purchase.
To start with, we will admit that the Camp Chef Explorer 2 Burner Stove isn’t precisely a grill in its base form. However, we put our foot down and believe this to be some damn fine cooking equipment that can be adapted to be used as a grill.
But in addition to being used as a grill, you can also use this two-burner cooking system with pots, pans, griddles, and more, but you’ll need to fork out for all of those items separately and Camp Chef has a range of compatible products.
It’s incredibly quick to put the Camp Chef Explorer together and a fantastic bit of kit for having on hand in case of a power cut or for general outdoor cooking and tailgating. We’ve even seen folks incorporate this into an enviable outdoor kitchen set-up.
The 14-inch burners are large, which is excellent for use with a grill, griddle, or large pan but not so fantastic for items with a smaller footprint like kettles as the flames tend to wrap around.
|Removable and adjustable legs||It will need an additional grill plate to use as a grill|
|Simple, durable design||Distance from the burner to the pot makes it inefficient for using smaller pots and pans|
|Easy to set up||Adjustable winged bolts and feet of the legs are plastic|
|Large surface area to cook on both burners at once|
|Multi-purpose – pots, grill, griddle (sold separately)|
|Excellent heat control|
The Camp Chef Explorer Double Burner Stove isn’t ideal if you are need a grill under $150 since once you add on the Camp Chef Grill Box accessory, you will blow your budget. However, if you are into outdoor cooking and tailgating, then this will be a fantastic addition.
It can be customized later on with a variety of accessories, including an artisan pizza oven or griddle. The Camp Chef Explorer is portable and easy to use and durable enough to stand up to years of continuous use.
Gas Grills: A Quick Buyer’s Guide
When buying a gas grill, there are several features to look out for beyond merely the price. After all, if your grill isn’t convenient or functional to cook on, you won’t end up using it, and it would be a waste of cash regardless of how great the deal.
Below are a few features to consider before forking out the bucks for a gas grill:
Assembly – Many less expensive gas grills require assembly. If you don’t have the time, energy, ability or inclination, then move on or spend more to get a model that comes ready out of the box.
Cooking Area – The bigger the surface area, the more that you can cook at once. While this might be obvious, what people often don’t consider is that larger grills use more gas, so if you are only ever cooking for one or two people, then bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better.
Ignition – Push button igniters are standard on most gas grills, but regardless of how convenient it might be, we recommend taking this feature with a grain of salt. Igniters seem to break even on expensive gas grills, so rather, ensure that the grill will be easy to light manually.
Warming Tray – This can be a handy feature for toasted buns, warming bread, or keeping grilled foods warm. It also can be used to keep foods further away from the direct heat and increase the overall cooking area.
BTU – British Thermal Units Per Hour – This number will tell you how much gas the grill uses and the associated heat it can make. While it might seem that it should equate to how hot the grill can get, this is not always the case. In addition, smaller grills will use less BTU but still cook up a mean sirloin.
Safety – Look for a gas grill that is sturdy and steady on its feet. You don’t want one that might tip over or roll away, nor do you want a model where the handles could burn you, or the edges could graze you.
Grate Material – Look out for quality grates that are ideally stainless steel or coated cast iron. These will produce more even grilling temps and limit rusting. Porcelain-coated grill grates are wonderful for cooking but require more attention when cleaning to keep them in condition.
Side Burner – The extra outdoor cooking capacity of a side burner is incredibly handy for keeping food warm or making a side dish. It also means that you can cook smelly foods outdoors without stinking up your house and being yelled at by your spouse.
Once you get into high-end models, you might be able to find rotisseries, fuel gauges, or LED-lit knobs but don’t expect to get this on gas grills under $150. Instead, look out for a robust appliance that is convenient to use and clean.
What’s the difference between a cheap and expensive gas grill?
Like any consumer product, it can be easy to get tempted into spending more money once you start looking at the different models and features of gas grills. But what really is the difference between a cheap and expensive gas grill, and is the extra money worth it?
Whether you consider the additional money ‘worth it’ is subjective. Buying a $100 grill every year and throwing it away might be more of a pain than buying a $1000 grill that lasts a decade. If you BBQ almost every day, regardless of the weather, or tend to entertain a lot, then an expensive showstopper of a grill might be considered necessary in your home.
For the rest of us that are pinching every penny wherever possible, it can be harder to justify spending more money if it isn’t needed. Here’s what you get when you spend the big bucks:
Size – More money doesn’t always equate to a larger size (no pun intended) but helps. Cheaper grills usually are limited to about 400 square inches or less of cooking surface, whereas the pricier models can be triple that.
Quality – More expensive models of gas grills are generally made with better materials. Cheaper models are often made of thinner metal, painted with plastic parts. In contrast, expensive models are heavy stainless steel throughout. Naturally, a quality product is more likely to last longer.
Features – It can be tempting to splurge on a load of features, but really think about which ones you will use. It’s a lot cheaper to run to Costco for a rotisserie chicken every few weeks rather than spending hundreds more on this feature if you aren’t going to use it often. Other elements might be more about aesthetics and ultimately just showing off.
Warranty – Warranties, in general, can be challenging to understand the fine print. More expensive models from brands known for quality will generally have a more comprehensive warranty. Double-check if this requires professional assembly or installation and for which parts.
You can spend the same amount on a gas grill as a second-hand car if you really want to. We are here to show you that you don’t have to, though and can get a decent quality gas grill for less than $150. Now please don’t buy a second-hand car for $150 just to prove a point.
How to get the most out of a gas grill
Just because you buy excellent cooking equipment doesn’t mean that you’ll get a great result if the chef doesn’t have a clue what to do with it. Cooking on a grill is a skill unlike mastering the stovetop or oven, but once you get the knack for it, you’ll be outside regardless of the weather.
Check out a few of our tips for getting the most out of your gas grill, and then like anything, practice makes perfect.
Season your grill – Before you cook, ensure that you add a thin layer of cooking oil to your cooking surface with an oil-soaked paper towel. Then get in the habit of doing this after you clean the grill. This will help limit any rust and prevent sticking.
Preheat your grill – Turn your grill on about 10-20 minutes before you intend to start cooking. This will help keep your food from annoyingly sticking to the grill and ensure that you get that delicious and Instagram-worthy sear on your meat and veggies.
Use the lid – Once you get the hang of it, your grill can easily double up as an outdoor oven. In addition to making a perfectly cooked steak, you can even start to make casseroles or bake potatoes by using indirect heat. A built-in thermometer is ideal but don’t forget the benefits of purchasing a meat thermometer for perfect roasts and steaks.
Marinade – You can have so much fun with marinades, so don’t always go for the old standby. There are thousands of options out there, so jazz up your cooking with Indian tikka or Jamaican Jerk. Just be sure to leave food marinating for a few hours to intensify the flavor.
Seasoning – Every great chef will bang on about the importance of seasoning your food. If you are going to be throwing down some Wagyu beef or ribeye, then don’t ruin this spiritual moment by under seasoning it. Chuck on a liberal dousing throughout the cooking process, but don’t salt it early or you’ll strip your food of needed moisture.
Getting a good quality gas grill for less than $150 is certainly possible. Whether you live in an apartment, a camper, or in a cave, there’s no reason that you can’t be enjoying the flavor and pastime of outdoor cooking. You just might need to put together 10,995,859,298 parts first, so ensure you’ve not got people coming over the same day and expecting to eat.