By Mike Larson
It should go without saying that a quality reliable grill in a mandatory item for all lake house owners. Even if you are not planning on having a full blone outdoor kitchen, a wonderful grill is a must. If you are a BBQ connoisseur then you know that the traditional charcoal grill is a great way to cook food. The only challenge is that as much as people enjoy cooking on a charcoal grill they tend to be messy, particularly if one uses them a lot.
Getting rid of the ashes can be messy, of course there is also the potential fire hazard anytime you use charcoal and the lighter fluid needed to get your fire started. For that and many other reasons many lake house owners are turning to gas grills.
Simply for ease of use and manageability, nothing beats the Gas grills. It can easily be used year round without the hassle of running out of lighter fluid, starting charcoal and waiting for the coals to get ready. A gas grill at your lake home is quick and convenient.
There is no messy ash that needs to be dumped constantly and you don’t have to worry about the wind floating burning embers around your yard. As long as you have propane in the tank you are ready to go anytime you choose.
At 4theLake.com we have reviewed the best gas grills under $500 so you will be ready to heat up a quick afternoon snack or plan an entire dinner, anytime you are ready. Gas grills in this price range are usually made of stainless steel and give you the ability to be flexible and fast even after a long day on the lake.
From searing steaks, cooking hamburger to frying hash browns for breakfast- you can accomplish this quickly and easily with any of these top rated gas grills.
Editor’s Choice: The 7 Best Gas Grills to Invest in 2022
To make your job easier, we did an extensive research for more than 11 hours to find the best rated gas grill for you. These gas grills were selected based on their build quality, heating performance and thousands of user reviews, many from lake home owners like you.
So, without further adieu, lets get started…
|PRODUCT NAME||BTU||COOKING AREA||RATINGS|
|1. Weber Spirit E310 Grill|
|32,000||424 & 105 sq. inch||4.9|
|2. Char-Broil Signature 525 Grill||13,000||525 & 200 sq inch||4.5|
|3. Dyna-Glo DGE Series Propane Grill||62,000||708 sq inch||4.3|
|4. Blackstone 36 inch Flat Top Grill|
|60,000||720 sq inch||4.6|
|5. Char-Griller 3001 Grillin’ Pro|
|40,800||438 & 192 sq inch||4.7|
|6. Royal Gourmet Classic 6-Burner Grill||71,000||776 & 586 sq inch||4.2|
|7. Camp Chef Flat Top Grill||12,000||604 & 501 sq inch||4.8|
1. Weber Spirit E310 Liquid Propane Gas Grill – (Our Top Pick)
This grill is the most expensive, however we believe it is well worth the extra money for a quality and stylish grill. Weber grills have been synonymous with seamless performance, quality and durability since ages. Their line of E310 gas grills is undoubtedly one of their most popular products and for all the right reasons. Its electronic ignition system makes lighting the burner a breeze.
But what is more attractive is the crossover ignition system which lets you lit up the other burners without having to press the ignition switch again.
The 3-burner gas grill has adequate cooking space for average-sized families and side tables for serving trays. It also features porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grates that bring beautiful grill marks on your food.
The central mounted thermometer and control knobs let you precisely control the temperature for your various cooking experiments. We also loved the inclusion of the built-in fuel gauge that lets you keep an eye on the amount of gas in the tank.
- 424 inches of primary grilling space
- Porcelain-enameled, cast iron cooking grates
- Crossover ignition system
- Precise temperature control
- Has a maximum output of 32,000 BTU per hour.
This propane gas grill is a perfect family grill for the laske. You can easily feed up to six people at a time because of the Char-Broil Signature 525 has a primary grilling area of 525 square inches. The unique feature of this grill is modern porcelain-coated, cast iron grates to get the cool looking charred marks on your food.
The top-ported 443 stainless steel burners allow you to crank up the heat higher or lower it and evenly distribute the heat across the cooking grate for the best cook possible.
Its patented Infrared cooking technology prevents hot and cold spots in your food by further ensuring a uniform dispersion of heat. It also allows you a greater control over the temperature so that you can grill your meat and veggies to perfection. A very high quality grill that will last you for many years.
- TRU infrared cooking system
- Stainless steel burners allow for precise temp adjustments
- 525 square inch of grilling area
- Fuel-saving design
The main burners can crank up a heat output of 60,000 BTU which is more than what most home cooks could ever need. Perfect party grill that will grill up to two dozen burger patties at the same time. The Dyna-Glo Series Proane Grill is very much like a standard 5-burner gas grill but features a bonus internal burner and side burner. This is a very spacious grill perfect for enterntaining.
Thanks to the electronic ignition system, you can up your grilling performance with just a touch of a button. During out test it took the propane gas grill only
3 1/2 minutes to reach 500 degrees.
Another feature that greatly impressed us is the pull-out propane tank. This makes mounting and dismounting the propane tank a super easy. Many users love the fact that the side burners allow you to stir fry veggies or the side dish of your choice while grilling your meat of choice.
- 60,000 BTU max heat output from main burners
- 12,000 BTU output from side burner
- Electronic ignition
- Pull-out tank feature
- Gas grill with side burner adds extra cooking space
4. Blackstone 36 inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill – (Budget Pick)
Take your grilling performance up a notch with this amazing 4-burner gas grill from Blackstone. It is the simplicity of this unit that makes it one of our top picks and provides great value for your investment.
With this griddle cooking surface, not only you get a wide grilling area but the food also gets evenly cooked in a short time. We have friends that use this to cook pankakes every morning when at their lake house.
Plus, cooking on a griddle station adds a Waffle House WOW factor to your dishes. This is probably due to the flavorizing property the cast iron grates developed during the course of cooking. Perfect for hashbrowns, steak, whatever you decide you want to prepare.
Using the huge cooking space of 720 inches, you can cook up a feast for your full family or group of up to 100 guests in an less than an hour.
If you are on a tight budget, then you will be pleased to have this one because it can normally be purchased for under $350.00 and get the work done as fine as others grills.
- 720-inches of cooking space
- Griddle cooking surface
- Easy heat adjustments
- Hassle-free assembly
- Cleans up in a jiffy
If you are a grill masters you will love the facet this model gets real hot real quick. An experienced hand can precisely control the temperature according to the dish at the first attempt.
If you are serious about grilling or thinking about upgrading your old grill model, this could give you a great bang for the buck. However, on the downside, be prepared because it took our guys almost 2 hours to assemble the gas grill.
Although, once it is done, you will realize that it boasts of a fairly sturdy and durable build. It also includes a popular side burner which allows you to fry up eggs, bacon, veggies and other side dishes to go with your meal.
- Solid caster wheels for the ease of portability
- Side burner
- Reaches high temp quickly
- Fuss-free maintenance
If you are a seasoned grill master and looking for a gas grill for professional use, your search might just end here. Including the 586 sq.in. primary cooking area and 190 sq.in. of secondary cooking space in the warming rack, you get total 776 inches of cooking space.
The grilling area gets pretty hot quickly. Setting up the parts weren’t nearly as difficult as the previous product for us.
With the help of the built-in thermometer, you can accurately preheat and set different temp for different dishes. However, the absence of a close lid at the back makes outdoor cooking difficult on windy days.
- 776 inches of cooking space
- Double layered, stainless steel lid for effective heat retention
- Built-in thermometer
- Double metal slide shelves maximize prep space
- Electronic ignition
The Camp Chef Flat Top Grill can double up as a griddle and a boiler. By removing the griddle, you will expose a massive grill underneath with 501 square inches of primary cooking space. With this much capacity, you can easily prepare a feast for 50+ folks in an hour. With the griddle on, you can maximize the cooking space up to 604 square inches.
To prevent hot spots in your burger, steaks, and pancakes, the large griddle evenly distributes the heat all over the grill. You can easily slide in the grease catcher tray using the side shelves. Last but not the least, you won’t be needing any special tools to set up the machine.
- Easy setup
- 604 square inch of fully utilizable cooking space.
- Even distribution of heat.
- Large griddle.
- The flat top is specially designed for making grilled cheese sandwich and pancakes for breakfast.
How to Buy a Gas Grill?
- Fuel Type – Natural Gas or Propane?
Perhaps deciding the fuel type you prefer is one of the most important, if not the most important aspect of choosing a gas grill. Both propane and natural gas have their advantages. It is your call to make regarding which ones you prefer.
Propane: If you want to add portability to your gas grill, you might try out propane as your fuel type. It will be easier for you to set it up in the garden during your parties and take it back inside after it is done. This will allow your guests to participate in the cooking and allow you to spend more time with them. You can actually enjoy the party instead of slaving away in the kitchen.
Propane Gas: It is also widely available and all you need is a gas cylinder that you exchange when it is emptied for a filled one. This is easily done in several hardware stores, gas stations, and virtually every grocery stores. A cylinder usually weighs 20lb, and it will be a bit difficult to carry. It is better if you ask someone to help you with it.
Natural Gas: If you think that lugging around a gas cylinder before every party is not your cup of tea, simply use the natural gas that you use for heating. You can have a party anytime you wish to without worrying about whether you are out of gas. It is also probably a more economical option as well.
However, you will have to set up a permanent place for your gas grill and connect it with the gas plumbing of your home. You can’t really move it around or enjoy cooking outside if you set it up in your kitchen. This is preferable if you grill on a regular basis for everyday dinners or have your guests over frequently.
You have probably heard a lot of advice regarding BTU or British Thermal Unit when you decided to get a gas grill. A common mistake is to measure the heat produced by the grill with BTU. However, BTU is merely a unit for calculating the fuel that the gas grill consumes. This is different from how much heat it produces.
The BTU of your gas grill is only one factor in measuring the heat produced by the grill, along with the nearness of the source of the heat to the cooking grid. Most importantly, the construction of the grill determines how much heat is effectively used by the grill.
While you have to know the BTU before buying the grill, it is only an estimate of its capability. A poorly designed grill will lose a lot of its heat. Preheating and cooking the food will take longer and the food might not even have the desired taste.
You have to choose your gas grill prior to making your purchase and look up every single feature, including its construction and design. This way you will be ensured that the design of the gas grill supports the BTU it claims to produce.
- Grill Size
Even if you have a large guest list, you wouldn’t like to stand in front of the gas grill and cook batch after batch. You would probably want to finish it as soon as possible and enjoy the party yourself as well. However, to do this, it is important to decide the cooking space that your grill offers so that you know the amount that can be cooked in one batch. If you primary use of the lake house grill is to feed your family or entertaining large groups is really the first question you should ask yourself before deciding on the best grill for your situation.
While the amount you can cook at a time is important, it is also important to consider the space that you can make available for your gas grill. Whether it is placed in your garden or in your kitchen space might be an issue for you.
If you want to focus on the amount that the grill can cook at once, you might prefer one of the larger varieties. They have more storage, better quality burners, thick grates and gliding drawers.
Of course, you need to be prepared for the space that this will consume. It is better to use this one outside and set it up permanently. Grills that are a little smaller are more widely used. They still have sufficient storage and some extra features without consuming as much space as the larger ones take up.
Small grills are meant for your kitchen or if you have limited patio space. These are non-portable but have shelves that can be folded to decrease the space it takes up when not in use. If you want to carry your grills to picnic or take it back inside after your party is over, you might prefer a portable grill.
Perhaps you might want to measure the space available on your kitchen slab or your patio and compare it with the dimensions of the grill before you place your order. This way, you won’t have to adjust or move any other furniture or appliance to make space.
The Bottom Line
Choosing the best gas grill for around $500 can be tricky, especially for the beginners. This range of gas grills not only offers a great flexibility in terms of cooking but they are built to last as well. Shelling out a couple of extra bucks can even get you additional useful features such as side burners and rotisserie is an option you may want to consider.
We have attempted to covered the other important factors to take into account when buying a gas grill for your lake house. I hope it helped.