As summer draws closer, so does the long-awaited barbecue season. Who can say no to delicious home-made burgers in good company? Whether you are a generous host or a sole grill enthusiast, there is one thing that will define the quality of your food and your time, and it’s a reliable outdoor gas grill.
And since not everyone can afford restaurant-grade cooking stations for their modest backyards, leading camping and outdoor goods manufacturers have made it possible for any family operating under budget to enjoy a durable and high-quality gas grill with many benefits of a top-end grilling station.
Gas grills that go under $200 are, of course, less versatile than their high-end counterparts, but when chosen right, these affordable cooktops are capable of delivering just as consistently for their price.
Things to Consider When Buying a Gas Grill
It’s natural to assume that budget grills, especially models under $200, are not as flexible, but today’s market is brimming with a multitude of options for almost every style of outdoor grilling. The key to getting the right grill for your needs is in establishing which grill functions play the most important part in your cooking.
This covers not only the general dimensions of the grills’ frame, including height and width (with the side tables, if they are available), but also the size of the main cooking surface. Depending on how often you cook and for how many persons, the optimal cook-top size will vary between about 150 square inches and 630 square inches. Larger grills are best suited for backyard parties or stationary campsites, while smaller and more portable grills are a good choice for solo travelers or couples who prefer car camping.
Though the number of burners often is reflective of the heat power level of the entire grill, some models pack immense power in two-burner or three-burner grills. Again, if you plan to cook several dishes simultaneously or need to serve large groups of people at once, it’s best to choose grills with three or more burners, for example, three-burner models with side grills.
More portable units with single burners are also powerful enough for their purpose as they produce enough power to service two or three people. It’s always a good idea to look for grills with electronic ignitions that don’t require the use of matches, but keep in mind that you will always be able to light one with a lighter or match if the sparkler fails at some point in the future.
If you plan to cook primarily in open nature and while on the move, try to pick a grill that is both light and durable. Aluminium grills with cast-iron and stainless-steel elements are especially good for this kind of camping.
Those who want to simply set up their grill in the yard or on their porch for the summer can go for fully cast-iron grills or griddles. However, most top brand gas grills of this kind include stainless steel burners or porcelain-coated grates to ensure the entire unit will last for a long time even under the relentless onslaught of the elements.
What is the best gas grill to buy?
While technically any off-brand gas grill might fulfil your basic requirements for backyard cooking, it is generally recommended to go for grills from trusted manufacturers. Each user needs something different from their gas grill, so there is no universally superior model for everyone. That being said, it is best to focus on grills from such acclaimed brands as Coleman, Char-Broil, Blackstone, or Weber.
What is a good gas grill for under $200?
One of the best mid-range grills for under $200 is unsurprisingly made by Char-Broil. The Char-Broil Classic 360 is a three-burner grilling station with an extra side burner and prep table. It balances reasonable pricing with high-quality design and reliability of operation, making it a good choice for all your backyard grilling purposes.
What is a good inexpensive gas grill?
Every sub-category of gas grills has its own top performers, so there is a wide range of good inexpensive gas grills for every setting, from portable camping grills to large backyard stations.
Among the best inexpensive portable gas grills you will see many models from Coleman and Weber, with one of the top choices being Weber Q1200 that runs on disposable cylinders. It is easy to move and set up wherever you go, though of crouse increased mobility means smaller cooking surface.
For larger grate area you may turn to Char-Broil Classic 280 which combines a slightly lighter frame and smaller design (compared to Char-Broil 360, for instance) but retains a significant cooking surface area.
What is the best cheap grill?
Any gas grill under $200 can be considered cheap, but only those tested by time can be considered reliable and worthy of investment. Smaller Blackstone griddles, such as Blackstone 28 inch Outdoor Flat Top, can actually be a better use of your money than most cheap grill stations since these griddles allow you to considerably expand your menu and work on other cooking techniques.
If, however, you are a fan of classic grated grills, your best pick among cheaper models would be one of the aforementioned Char-Broil grills or even the large and powerful Char-Griller E3001 Grillin’ Pro that boasts the superior heat output and even includes a side burner.
Review of the Best Gas Grills Under $200
The Best Choice
Best portable grills
Stainless steel burners resist rust
|MASTER COOK Classic Liquid Grill|
This cooking station by Blackstone is more than a regular gas grill: at 28 inches, the griddle flat top is able to take on large amounts of food at once and provide even heat distribution, delivering well-cooked meals each time as well as making grease maintenance much easier.
- Dimensions: 44.5” x 19.5” x 33.5”
- Cooking area: 470 square inches
- Number of burners: 2
- Power: 30,000 BTU
- Weight: 75 pounds
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Built for longevity in any weather
- Heavy-duty construction
- Versatile cooking surface
- Extra bottom shelf for utensils and gas tanks
- Side table expands work area
- Two side wheels for mobility
As a full-size griddle, this gas grill station significantly expands your menu options. The flat-top allows you to add more intricate breakfast food recipes to your daily diets, such as omelettes, scrambled eggs, grilled cheese, French toast, quesadillas, and much more.
In terms of traditional party foods, you will be able to enjoy making juicy steaks and other meats as well as your favorite Mexican recipes, hash browns, corn, and Japanese-style grilled snacks.
This Blackstone griddle uses standard 20-pound propane tanks and features two separate heat control knobs on the front panel, allowing you to regulate each burner individually. The total output of dual burners reaches up to 30,000 BTUs, making it a powerful yet flexible griddle top. You don’t need any matches to start the grill since the ignition is automatic.
As per Blackstone tradition, the flat-top is made of cold-rolled steel made to withstand long years of use, while the frame is reinforced with powder-coated black steel made to power through any outdoor conditions. The burners are made from stainless steel for extra protection from premature rust and deterioration.
If what you look for in a grill—besides attractive pricing, of course—is the impressive work area, then this particularly spacious Char-Griller is an ideal choice for you and your family. Amounting to 630 square inches of cooking surface in total, the E3001 Grillin’ Pro separates the grates into the main area and the warming rack thus widening your meal choices and providing enough portions for a larger amount of people.
- Dimensions: 49” x 28” x 49”
- Cooking area: 630 square inches
- Number of burners: 3 + 1 on the side
- Power: 40,800 BTU
- Weight: 88 pounds
- Ignition starts electronically
- Porcelain-enameled grates reduce sticking
- Powder-coated body increases protection from elements
- Extended cooking surface
- Weighs less than 100 pounds
The 438-square inch grill top is supported by three powerful burners with the total output of 40,800 BTUS of which the extra side burner located in one of the side tables delivers 12,000 BTUs. Set right above the main surface, the warming section offers 192 square inches of space to help you warm or lightly roast vegetables, toast, and delicate meats.
Made from incredibly strong steel, this gas grill station includes durable stainless steel burners and cast-iron grates with porcelain coating for extra protection from rust. In addition to the side burner, the main surface also adds a side table to give you more freedom of doing prep on the spot.
Two side wheels make this construction more mobile—an essential quality of any backyard grill—while the built-in lid thermometer and bottom gas tank shelf give this cart-style cooking station a serious advantage in terms of ease of use.
This medium-sized gas grill by Char-Broil combines all classic elements of a durable and powerful backyard grill: plenty of space for cooking and prep, quality materials, reliable burners, and improved movability.
- Dimensions: 16.9” x 26” x 17.7”
- Cooking area: 280 square inches
- Number of burners: 2
- Power: 20,000 BTU
- Weight: 43 pounds
- Incorporates durable metal side tables
- Quick start-up
- Stainless steel lid
- Sufficient anti-rust cooking surface
- Two strong wheels
- Fits up to 12 burgers in one go
Though the Classic 280 is not one of Char-Broil’s largest grills, it delivers enough heating power to service a large backyard party or provide consistent meals at a campsite.
Measuring 20 by 14 inches, the cook-top spans 280 square inches in total and includes anti-stick grates with a porcelain coating which makes them also easier to maintain.
In addition to the sturdy frame and reinforced surface, the grill is further strengthened with the stainless steel burners that resist the effects of time for much longer. Both burners can be controlled separately from the front panel. What’s even handier, the Piezo ignition system allows you to create the spark automatically with a button instead of matches or lighters.
To make this gas grill more flexible in terms of set up, the two fixed legs are paired with movable legs equipped with 6-inch caster wheels, allowing you to transport the station with greater ease.
Arguably among the best portable grills on the market, the Q1200 by Weber is both lightweight and highly durable as it is able to withstand intense weather conditions while taking up a minimal amount of space in your trunk.
- Dimensions: 20.5” x 40.9” x 24.6”
- Cooking area: 189 square inches
- Number of burners: 1
- Power: 8,500 BTU
- Weight: 29 pounds
- Quick matchless ignition
- Light but sturdy frame
- Cast-iron cook-top with extra protection
- Easy to install
- Works well for car camping and tailgating
The construction of this compact gas grill is perfect for any camping enthusiast as it includes durable aluminum in both the body and the lid with nylon frame and glass reinforcement, allowing for effortless transportation of the entire unit. Weighing around 29 pounds, the grill is easy to move and set up in almost any outdoor setting, whether it’s a roadside picnic or a more permanent campground situation.
To top it off, the cooking surface uses strong cast-iron grates with porcelain protective layer to ensure a faster cleaning. The single burner of this portable grill is made of stainless steel and puts out around 8.500 BTU to provide even heating for all 189 square inches of cooking surface.
The Q1200 runs on disposable cylinders but it can be adapted to 20-pound propane tanks with the appropriate hose and connector. The unit requires no additional assembly, so you can start using it straight out of the box.
A size upgrade from Char-Broil 280, this three-burner Char-Broil 360 gas grill offers not only a larger cooking surface but also adds a convenient side burner and a warming rack to maximize its heat power potential.
- Dimensions: 24.1” x 51.2” x 43.5”
- Cooking area: 360 square inches
- Number of burners: 3 + 1 on the side
- Power: 30,000 BTU
- Weight: 48.5 pounds
- Side shelves measure 12” wide by 13.5” deep
- Stainless steel burners and porcelain-coated details
- Quick start system
- Durable six-inch wheels
- Slick modern design
At 360 square inches of the main cook top, this model allows you to grill a larger number of portions at once while also doing the sides on the 170-square inch swing-a-way warming rack. Thanks to the extra side burner, you can also cook your sauce or dips simultaneously.
The main three stainless steel burners generate up to 30,000 BTU, with the side burner delivering 8,000 BTU. All grates are made of strong cast-iron with the top layer of porcelain to aide the cooking and cleaning process.
The steel lid is also porcelain-coated and able to withstand harsh outdoor conditions throughout years of extensive usage. The durable frame and body are made more mobile with the addition of two wheels, though the two stationary legs provide the required stability and balance.
Like other Char-Broil propane grills, this model comes with the quick-start Piezo ignition that takes only one simple push of a button to activate any burner. On either side of the grill, you will find two solid metal racks meant to give you more space for handling the ingredients or storing utensils.
MASTER COOK Classic Liquid Grill
Another amply sized cooking station operating on liquid propane, this stainless steel Master Cook Classic grill combines all necessary features of a high-quality backyard grill: side tables, large cook-top, and quick piezoelectric ignition.
- Dimensions: 30” x 20” x 41”
- Cooking area: 473 square inches
- Number of burners: 3
- Power: 30,000 BTU
- Weight: 46 pounds
- Can fit up to 15 burgers at once
- Side tables can be put down to make the grill more portable
- Stainless steel burners resist rust
- Cart-like design keeps propane tanks away from the flame
The pairing of the powder-coated steel of the lid and the cart with the smooth stainless steel front panel not only adds to the durability of the entire construction but also optimizes your cleaning and maintenance options.
In addition to the 340 square inches of the main cooking surface, this grill offers an additional 133 square inches of space on the warming rack that can be hidden when not in use. To reduce the risk of your food sticking to the grates, each cast-iron rack is coated with porcelain which also makes it easier to clean after each cooking session.
The total output of three stainless steel burners amounts to 30,000 BTUs, providing both power and even distribution of heat for every food batch you cook. On top of the neat fordable side tables, the gas grill incorporates two sturdy wheels for mobility and a push-button start system.
Even if your options are slightly limited by your budget, it is perfectly possible to find an affordable gas grill with a well-engineered construction and sufficient heating power. Of course, you can’t have all of the latest tech tricks that many high-end models offer, but a $200 gas grill from a reliable brand is able to satisfy most of your needs when it comes to outdoor grilling, from multi-burner cook-tops to quick ignition systems. And though you might have to sacrifice some features in favor of functionality when choosing among cheaper grills, as long as you choose wisely, the end result will be extremely satisfying for you and your guests.