Hey good lookin’, what’s cookin’? With a grill like this, quite a bit!
Gas grills are a great way to get a taste of outdoors. These handy devices are as portable as the propane container that they hook to. Large or small, gas grills are a household favorite for outdoor barbecuing on decks, while camping, at a tailgate party, and even on a boat.
Grills can come with a number of different features, including smokers, attachments for tools and griddles, stands, a gas grill with lava rocks, and more. They can be portable or large and fixed.
You can choose between a 6 burner gas grill, 5 burner gas grill, 4 burner gas grill, 3 burner gas grill, 2 burner gas grill, and a single burner grill.
But how do you choose the best grill for you, especially on a budget?
Discover their features for themselves, and see what you consider to be the best gas grill under $300.
The Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill LXE is one little piece that makes everybody want to look twice. Its candy apple red enamel design and oval shape make it unique, and coming from Coleman, you know it’s a brand that specializes in camping and grilling. If you are someone who goes for the most attractive version of something and is constantly frustrated that you must choose between beauty and functionality, this grill was made for you (and your constantly frustrated partner who must use adorable but sub-par items).
This piece is portable enough to bring on a camping trip yet big enough to have on an apartment patio deck for a small barbecue with friends. With switchable grill tops and rolling wheels, you get the cooking space of a standalone grill with the portability of a tabletop.
Easy to assemble
Switchable cook tops make it really versatile
Spacious cooking surface for the portability
No tabletop needed
Eye-catching design makes it a fun outdoor design piece
Legs are plastic and require appropriate care to be long-lasting
Cooking on high with the lid down for long periods is not recommended on a grill with low clearance like this
Blackstone does here what it does best – brings you reliable options at a lower price point than the competition.
This is in no way a fancy stove. At the time of this writing, it on sale on Amazon for just under $85. However, it has over 100 five-star ratings because it’s a good stove that doesn’t cost a lot. It’s portable and no-frills reliable. If that’s all you really need, then there’s everything to love about this little grill.
While the grill itself is small and convenient it’s super easy to install. Large plates, 2 griddle surfaces available – the rest is up to you! Make fresh grilled hot dogs and veggies as easy as 1-2-3. Blackstone Dash Portable Grill will do the rest!
An old-school design for those in love with retro. Does it make the cut?
The Char-Broil Classic 280 2-Burner Gas Grill is a lot like the grill your dad, neighbor, uncle, or friend’s parents used each summer to cook for the block party. It features a classic design, good heat for two burners, and comes with an optional side burner if you want to simmer sauces on your shelf.
Char-Broil is not the most powerful or the biggest grill, it’s in the middle. Not a bad choice if you want to be the next family grillmaster.
Easy to clean
Perfect size for up to 4 people
Side burner is optional for convenience and budget consciousness
Two wheels on the legs allow for portability and stability
This shiny little grill is a good choice if your budget and your grill space are limited, but you want something that does the reliable outdoor tabletop cooking. It’s pretty reliable on burgers, dogs, and veggies. Some trouble with more finicky steaks and fish make it a great choice for simple foods, but maybe not a gourmet’s dream.
Not bad for the cost, overall durable and practical.
Heats and cools quickly
Drip tray and stainless design makes for easy cleanup
This is not the grill to use when you’re having your entire neighborhood over for backyard burgers and steaks. Instead, it’s better for a romantic pairing, a getaway under the stars, or four chicken breasts for you, the spouse, and your favorite pair of friends or kids. Best of all, the stainless design makes it non-corrosive to ocean air if you want to bring it on a sailboat or power cruiser.
Those are a lot of benefits in one tiny package.
Well-built and durable with a stainless body
Heats to 600 degrees in ten minutes
Comes with minimal setup needed
Tabletop grill is safe to use without risk to the table below
Great for picnics, camping, and boating
Shallow dome means you can't cook tall foods like a ham
Because it warms and cools quickly, checking meat often will extend cooking time
If you want a grill that is small and cheap, light and portable, this will fit the bill. It is simple, but it does the job for what it is. It is an excellent device to bring with you tailgating, camping, or boating. And when you’re done, storage is a snap.
Not a bad little device!
Can use with disposable or refillable propane tanks
Small, compact, portable
Durable materials that are easy to clean
Small cooking surface and lower BTUs means it's better for cooking smaller foods
Heating and cooling rapidly mean it's better for fast cooking at high heat than long, slow cooking of grilled foods
This small, round patio gas grill with a smoker is great for smaller apartment balconies and similar areas. The Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio Bistro Gas Grill, Black offers infrared cooking technology for high-temperature even heating with reduced risk of burning. Infrared technology is one of the easiest ways to learn grilling and to take the next step toward MasterChef quality meals. A great little grill for your apartment deck!
Great, easy cooking for most foods
Not great for big meals
The paint may bubble on the outside under very high temperatures
It sits very near the cost limit of $300, which is a much higher price point than many of the other grills on the list. Saying that, if you really want a $500-600 grill but can only afford $300, and if space and portability are not factors for you, you really can’t do much better than this.
Stainless body and porcelain grates mean long-lasting performance
Infrared cooking technology for even heating and easy learning curves
Infrared cooks with less heat and gas used
Drip container for easy cleanup
Some customers have reported delivery issues
Requires protection when kept outside to keep it maintained for a long period of time
It has the power you need to have a grill full of hot dogs brewing with a pot of chili simmering on the side tray. This powerhouse cooks like a grill many times its price range and is one of the best overall deals in this category.
Great for patio grilling
Simmer a side sauce while grilling on high
Stainless design is chic, easy to clean, and durable
High BTU for heavy-duty cooking
Comes mostly assembled
Too large for portable locations like boats
Can be heavy to carry
How do I know I’m getting the best? There are several things to consider when looking for a great gas grill for boat, RV, or home. Quality depends on a few important factors:
What kinds of grills should I consider?
Materials: Choose something durable. Enamel-coated steel and stainless are the most weather-resistant and longest lasting.
Features: At the price range of $300 and under, choose only the features you need. Too many features will likely begin to sacrifice overall quality.
Portability: Look to see if you can carry it if you can store it and if there is an adapter that works with your RV or fuel of choice.
Warranty: A good rule of thumb is that a quality company usually stands by this work with a quality warranty.
All types of grills
When looking for a gas grill, there are two main types, portable and fixed. Fixed, stand-up grills are usually full-sized and cannot be broken down to store. They typically need covers or must be wheeled in the garage in between uses.
Stand-up grills and outdoor griddles have a larger cooking surface and will last as long as you keep them safe from the elements. These grills are the most likely to have additional features, like a gas grill with charcoal, gas grill with rotisserie, a side burner for sauces, or a gas grill with lava rocks.
Portable grills are typically tabletop varieties but can function like standalone fixed grills with longer legs. Tabletop grills are designed to heat and cool very fast, have very tiny cooking surfaces, and must be able to keep from burning the table they’re sitting on while cooking. They’re great for portability but not for slow cooking, as they don’t hold heat well and use a lot of gas for that purpose. Their compact size limits the space for extra features, too.
Gas grill table
Griddle tables, also called Hibachi tables, are tables with a grilling surface built right in. These can be gas-powered, making them gas grill tables.
These innovative pieces of furniture can be a fun way to allow everyone to sit together and cook their own food to their liking. Some outdoor breakfast places will use them to pass out pitchers of pancake batter and allow customers to make pancakes to their liking.
Gas grill cover
Gas grill covers are a good idea for any grill that will not be stored indoors. This protects your grill from the elements. It can keep rain and mold, dirt and dust, leaves and other flammable debris off of your grill and keep your cooking surfaces as clean as possible.
If you’re not using a shed or garage to hold your large, fixed gas grill, this item is an absolute must. Some grills at higher price ranges come with covers, but it is less common at this price point.
Depending on the grill you purchase, an assembly may be required. The bigger the grill, the more likely it is that you’ll be doing some work with an instruction book before firing it up for the first time.
Assembly can be as simple as taking cardboard off the grill plates and putting them in again or it may require some serious time. If this is a concern, do your homework before purchase, or consider a service that a company like Amazon offers, where they’ll put it together for you for an additional surcharge.
Different grillers may need different designs. Here are a few design questions to consider when choosing your grill:
Material: An outdoor grill or one near saltwater will fare better and last longer if made of stainless steel. Covered grills and those stored indoors can do with enamel-coated or powder-coated steels.
Ease of gas hookup: Adding and changing bottles should be simple.
The thickness of metal: Thicker metal holds heat for longer. This is great for all-day cooking like smoking and slow-roasting, not for tabletop grills that need to be cool enough to put away quickly.
Hood clearance: Consider the biggest thing you’re going to grill. If it’s a 22 lb turkey, you need to make sure there’s ample clearance for air above the turkey.
Specialty features: Rotisseries, smokers, and other special features should be considered before purchase as you can’t add them later.
Cleaning and Care
Care and maintenance is pretty simple. To begin with, the metal grill surfaces are easiest to clean when oiled. Let the grill get hot and lightly brush some oil over the grill plate surfaces. This will keep it from sticking to your meat.
Be careful not to drip and cause the flame. It can keep rain and mold, dirt and dust, leaves and other flammable debris off of your grill and keep your cooking surfaces as clean as possible.
When you’re done grilling, brush your grill surfaces with a wire brush while still warm, and any food should come right off. If you wash your grill plates with soap and water, they should be well-rinsed and then re-oiled to prevent rust before returning them to the grill. Treat them like cast iron.
Turn off or detach your gas for safety while storing. Finally, cover or keep the grill in an indoor location between uses.
Gas grills are relatively safe to use. You must watch for two things with them, however. Flammable items that get too near the grill can combust. This includes too much oil dripping into a burner. It also means that you need to keep enough space between your grill and your home and foliage to prevent any burning.
Second, keep your nose attuned for gas leaks. Never use your gas grill indoors, as the combustion products can be dangerous when inhaled inside.
Warranties vary on grills based on the company more than the model or style. Limited warranties may be on items more likely to break like push-button igniters. Other companies might cover big, safety-related items like gas lines.
Overall, you’ll find that there is a short return period of 30-90 days where you can give it back without an explanation and a longer warranty period to fix large defects. To learn more, go to the website of your favorite brand and read their warranty policies.
If you have a natural gas hookup at your home and don’t want a portable grill, then consider a grill with the right hookup to connect. Otherwise, propane gives you the most versatility, though it’s a bit more costly.
Look honestly at how you’re going to be using your grill. If you’re someone who already does sauces with meats or wants to roast something on a spit, these are great features. But if you’re just going to use the main grill, spend more on quality and less on bells and whistles.
With multiple categories, it can be hard to choose, so we looked for a winner that ticked the most boxes of things to want.
There is a wide variety of features and quality considerations when looking for the best gas grill under $300. Those looking to purchase here need something between quick, cheap and portable to something having the functions of a fixed, large backyard grill that fetches two or three times the cost. Because of this, we couldn’t cover everyone’s needs and have narrowed it down to a few key factors.
Our favorite grill will be useful to the highest number of people in the categories of home grilling in large and small spaces and portable camp grilling. We considered the quality reputations of different brands. We considered design aesthetic and the desire to have a grill of this type in the yard. And finally, we considered the number and percentage of positive reviews received by each grill, as a good idea, in theory, is not the same thing as a quality product.
Looking at all this, the Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill LXE was at the top of our list. As the only grill to work for both outdoor home grillers and campers, we saw it as the most versatile choice. It wins extra points for style and attractiveness.
Additional points were won because of the sterling reputation that Coleman has for grills and camping accessories. (No matter whose grill you get, you’ll likely use their fuel if you use disposable bottles).
Bonus points were offered due to the ability to switch your grill plates to become a flat top grill or griddle, or even put stove burners on to cook a coffee pot or other dish. While this is probably not the best choice for those looking for a large-surface backyard grill, it’s a solid choice that will make the majority of searchers happy.