Who doesn’t love a good barbecue! Nothing better than grilling your meats outdoors in the gorgeous sunshine, and sitting back to enjoy the fruits of your labours. And a good quality grill can make all the difference.
This generally means not opting for a cheap charcoal grill. With a gas grill you get more steam produced which gives the meat that bit more moisture. Nice and juicy. But don’t worry, you can get a really good grill for under $300. If your budget stretches a little further then you really need to check out our “Best Grills Under $500”
You may have noticed there’s a heck of a lot of grills out there to choose from in this price range, but we’ve done the hard work for you, and have some product reviews for you shortly, each with a summary of pros and cons.
If you’re still struggling to make your mind up, we also have a handy buying guide which covers all the bases.
Our winner after 35+ hours of research
Best Grills Under 300 – Comparison Table
Best Grills Under 300 – Our Reviews
#1. Our Overall Top Pick
We absolutely love this grill from Char-Broil – we can barely believe this great grill from a top big name brand comes under $300!
It may not look too big, but it actually accommodates large sized meals for the whole family, thanks to it’s 425 square inch cooking surface. And if you’re not filling it to the brim, you can use the extra space to turn food over more easily.
The primary grill has four independently operable stainless steel burners, which provide a wide temperature range with precise control. These burners provide 36,000 BTU’s of heat.
Speaking of temperature, there’s a lid mounted temperature gauge which allows you to keep check on the temperature, whilst also keeping the heat and moisture in.
There’s a fab little side burner on the left of the primary grill, which is perfect for doing things like preparing sauces while you’re grilling. Or if you don’t want to use it, simply put the lid down over it and use it for storage or food prep. There’s a stainless steel shelf on the other side of the primary grill too.
There’s even a swing away warming rack you can use too, adding a further 150 square inches. You can use it either as a secondary cooking area, or for warming sides or toasting buns.
The whole grill has a stylish stainless steel finish, which is also great for durability and hygiene. The grill grates however are porcelain-coated cast iron. But this is a good thing. They are rust resistant like stainless steel, but they also prevent your food from sticking, and are easy to clean to boot. To help with the clean up, there’s also a handy grease tray.
It may be propane fuelled, but the ignition system is electronic, which means you get a fast, reliable start up, just by pushing the button.
It’s portable, featuring 2 wheels on it’s left side, but when you’re ready to put it in place, there’s 2 feet on it’s other side to hold it firm.
- 425 square inch cooking surface on the primary grill
- Four independently operable burners
- Lid mounted temperature gauge
- Side burner
- Stainless steel shelves
- Warming rack
- Stylish stainless steel finish, for great durability and hygiene
- Porcelain-coated grill grates, to prevent food from sticking
- Handy grease tray
- Electronic ignition system
- Portable but also sturdy
- The cost of this grill will take up your full $300 budget, and you will have to pay more money out to get your propane fuel tank
#2. Runner Up
Here’s another great grill for one of our favorite brands, Char-Broil – and this one is super affordable.
It features a total of 405 square inches of cooking surface, giving you plenty of space to grill your family’s dinner.
This primary cooking space is further bumped up, thanks to it’s 190 square inch warming rack, which can provide a lovely toasting effect to your dishes. When not in use, it simply swings away.
It has 4 stainless steel in-line burners all together, all independently operable, to offer you not just strong cooking performance, but also precision and control in your cooking.
There are 2 good sized metal shelves, one on each side of the grill, and they’re super handy for resting your cooking tools or plating up food.
The Piezo ignition system is both fast and reliable.
It has a sleek black design, and the grill lid and firebox are made from porcelain-coated steel, and this means you don’t have to stash the grill away in your shed or garage. It’s tough enough to really stand up to the elements – you can leave it out in bad weather without having to worry about it.
Talking of porcelain coating, both the grill grate and the warming rack are also porcelain coated, and this we like, because it keeps food from sticking to the grill, making it super easy to clean.
We also like that it has two 6-inch wheels for easy portability, so you can move it into or out of the shade as you please, and it has two fixed legs to keep it in place when you set it down.
- Great brand
- 405 square inches of cooking surface
- 190 square inch warming rack
- 4 stainless steel in-line burners
- 2 super handy metal shelves, on either side of the grill
- Fast and reliable Piezo ignition system
- Sleek black design
- Stands up to weather and the elements
- Grill grate and warming rack are porcelain coated, food won’t stick to it
- The metal shelves on the sides don’t fold down
#3. Runner Up
Here’s another great grill from Char-Broil.
The stand out feature of this one is how much of a space saver it is compared with the other grills we have shown you. It’s very compact as it only has 2 burners on it, yet it still features plenty of cooking surface, 300 square inches altogether.
It has 2 metal side shelves, one on each side of the grill which will fold down when you don’t need them – really handy when storage space is an issue. When you need to take it out of storage, simply slide it along on it’s 4 castors and lock the wheels into place when you’re ready to set up.
With it’s 24,000 BTU and smaller cooking surface, your grilled food will be ready in no time at all.
In addition to the primary cooking area, there’s also a 100 square inch warming rack, which is handy for keeping food warm once it’s cooked while you grill yet more bits and pieces for the meal. The warming rack won’t get in the way of your grilling.
We also love it’s little cabinet which provides convenient storage for the propane tank, or anything else you might need for your cookout.
The grill is designed to be durable, with a stainless steel lid and UFC and stainless steel burners.
Other handy features include a lid mounted temperature gauge, fast reliable electronic ignition, and a removable easy to clean grease pan.
- Takes up very little storage space
- 2 fold away metal shelves
- Castors that lock for portability and sturdiness
- 300 square inches of cooking surface
- 100 square inch warming rack
- 24,000 BTU
- Enclosed cabinet
- Durable stainless steel construction
- Lid mounted temperature gauge
- Fast reliable electronic ignition
- Removable easy to clean grease pan
- Only 2 burners
- Not as much cooking surface as the other grills in our Top 5
#4. Runner Up
This is a nifty little grill from Weber that’s a major hit with customers!
What we love about it is just how portable it is. Normally you have to make do with a cheap charcoal grill for portability like this, but with this baby you get fantastic portability combined with the results you’ve come to expect from a liquid propane grill.
For something that looks so small, we think you’ll be surprised how much room you get for your food. Great for cooking sharing platters of chicken wings and such.
It’s even available in different colors (we like the blue one).
The stainless steel burner has a good BTU rating, coming in at 8500. And it only has to heat up a 189 square inch cooking area, so it will cook your food super quick. So handy for diners who want their food ASAP!
You can rely on the cast aluminum cookbox to be durable and efficient, and not need a lot of maintenance. It’s special shape means you get optimum circulation of heat around the food for even heating.
There’s porcelain enameling on the cooking grates for nice searing and easy cleaning.
Speaking of cleaning there’s a great grease management system whereby an angled grease tray, away from the burner tubes, chanels grease into a replaceable catch pan.
It also comes fully assembled out of the box which is great.
It has an easy start electronic ignition, so you can get it going no problem.
- Great brand
- Fantastic portability
- Available in different colors
- Quick cooking time, thanks to its good BTU rating
- Super easy to clean
- Comes fully assembled
- Easy start electronic ignition
- The stand (also referred to as a portable cart) has to be purchased separately
- Will cook you some delicious snacks for you and your partner, but isn’t big enough to feed a large family
- Only has one burner, so you can’t cook different foods at different temperatures
#5. Runner Up
Here’s a top notch grill from Cuisinart.
What we love about it is how you can take it anywhere. It’s so small and portable, and weighing less than 18 pounds, you can carry it like you would a suitcase anywhere you fancied a cookout.
Of course for such portability you have to compromise on cooking space. This grill has just the one burner for 176 square inches of cooking space. But on the flip side with 10,000 BTUs, you can bet your food will be ready super quick.
And you won’t need to carry around a huge heavy propane tank, a 1 lb canister will do the trick.
We love it’s built in temperature gauge and easy twist start ignition.
- Super portable, take it anywhere
- 10,000 BTUs, for quick grilling
- Can be powered by a 1lb propane canister
- Built in temperature gauge
- Easy twist start ignition
- Will only feed 2-3 people
Best Grills Under 300 – Buyers Guide
There’s an array of things to think about when buying a good grill, but hopefully this buying guide will help make things more straightforward for you.
Having enough cooking space is vital. You don’t want to end up having the family around, only having to find that you need to serve the dinner up in two or even three sittings. You want as much cooking space as your budget will allow, unless you don’t expect to be cooking for too many people on a regular basis.
This generally means, the higher the number of burners the better. Many grills can feature side burners which you can either use to grill more meat or use for some nice sauces or side dishes. These tend to be smaller than the primary burners and produce less heating power.
Total cooking space varies considerably from grill to grill, with smaller ones able to cook about 15 burgers in one session, while some larger gas grills can cook over 30.
BTU level and cooking space
The next most important thing to think about is the BTU level. The BTU level is basically a heat measurement which gives you a good indication of how fast your meat will cook once it’s placed on the grill.
A higher BTU will help towards a faster cooking time. However, there are also other factors that will influence the cooking time. These include the grill gate material, which we will look at more closely shortly, and how much space has to be heated at one time.
This basically means that a small grill with an average BTU rating will cook your burger or steaks quicker than a large grill with the same BTU rating. This is because the smaller grill will throw out the same level of heat but in a more concentrated area.
So if you needed to feed a group of hungry people in a hurry you may have to compromise on cooking space.
There are two important things to look out for when it comes to the grill gate, and that’s grill gate material and grill gate thickness.
When it comes to grill gate material, we strongly recommend that you opt for one with stainless steel. Not only is stainless steel hypoallergenic, and well suited for people with allergies, but it’s also corrosion resistant, which means you don’t have to worry about rust damage, and you’ll get a long life out of your grill.
Thicker grill grates generally provide greater heat retention, and this means that they’ll cook your meats more thoroughly and more quickly than their thinner counterparts.
Additionally, thicker grill grates will also give you better grill marks on your meats, which add to the aesthetic and really boost the flavor too.
Shelving and Storage
Having plenty of shelving and storage space is great. You can use it to stash anything from your cooking tools, serving trays, or sauces. Have a think about where you want your shelving.
Many models have shelves beneath the main cooking hood, while others might have side trays that can be extended out when in use, or folded up when not needed. The latter comes in really handy if you want to transfer hot meat straight onto a plate without having to step away from the grill.
Alternatively you might like a grill with hooks for all your cooking implements. If they don’t touch any surfaces you don’t risk any cross contamination between different meats. As well as keeping your cooking tools super accessible, having them hung up also helps to preserve them for longer.
OK, so the portability of a grill isn’t too important to everybody but it is worth a mention. If you want to store the grill in your shed and garage and just bring it out when you’re lucky enough to have good weather, then it can be handy then.
If you wanted to take your grill on some groovy camping trips, then portability becomes more important still. Larger grills aren’t so easy to move about, and smaller ones tend to be more lightweight.