The Best Grills Under $300
While many expert reviewers and consumers swear by the fancy features, luxury designs, and long-term durability of top-end grills, those looking to partake in this beloved backyard ritual without burning thousands of dollars have plenty of options. Our research found a variety of outdoor grills — charcoal kettles, gas grills, portable grills, and even electric grills — that fall at or below the $300 mark, come with desirable features, and deliver solid performance for occasional use. We've also highlighted a couple of highly rated options that exceed our price limit but are worth the investment if you're serious about grilling or smoking.
Price and availability are subject to change.
Our Top Pick
Nexgrill 4-Burner 720-0925 Review
$199 from Home Depot
- Temperature is easy to regulate and maintain, according to users, and there's plenty of heat.
- 4 stainless steel burners with 10,000-BTUs each.
- 562 square inches of cooking space (480 square inches plus a 159-square-inch warming rack).
- Porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grates.
- Convenience features including electric (battery) ignition, a temperature gauge, and side shelves.
- Several users complain of missing or damaged parts.
- Assembly can be a bit tricky and time consuming, according to some owners.
Takeaway: There's a lot of value built into this budget-priced Nexgrill gas grill, according to reviewers. There's no side burner — a noted absence — but the four main burners and fairly large cooking area give grillers plenty of room to work with. While it may not be as sturdy or last as long as more expensive models, complaints are relatively few; in fact, the most common gripes refer to difficulty with assembly as opposed to flaws in performance. Given the incredibly low cost, the majority consensus is that this Nexgrill four-burner delivers pretty impressive results, and many owners say they don't regret stepping down from pricier brands they've used in the past. The stainless steel edging and front panel add a nice touch, too, lending this cheap gas grill a more high-end look. There's a five-year warranty on the burners and one year on the rest.
Weber 22" Original Kettle 741001 Review
$109 from Amazon
- Simple, effective, and time-tested; reviewers tell of excellent results with all kinds of foods, from burgers and hot dogs to pizza and turkey.
- 22-inch diameter provides a relatively generous 363 square inches of cooking space.
- Heavy-gauge steel grate for charcoal; plated steel grate for cooking.
- Porcelain-enameled bowl and lid with integrated holder; rust-resistant damper for oxygen flow.
- Removable ash catcher; One-Touch cleaning system.
- Easy to assemble and clean, users report; 2 wheels help with transport.
- 10-year warranty on the bowl and lid; 5 years on the cleaning system and plastic parts; 2 years on the remainder.
- Scattered grousing about rust spots and weakness in small components, like screws and handles.
- Occasional reports of missing parts in the packaging.
- Height of cooking grates cannot be adjusted.
- No temperature gauge.
Takeaway: An all-time favorite, the Weber 22-inch Original Kettle 741001 arguably sets the standard for charcoal grilling and is one of the best cheap grills around. It delivers top-level performance with straightforward operation and comes at a modest price. It's a must for old-time cookouts and can be used as a smoker, as well. Some users say the build quality has deteriorated compared with older units, but the vast majority wax enthusiastic over this no-frills Weber charcoal grill. If you're looking for a slightly lower price or larger cooking area, the same design is available in 18-inch and 26-inch sizes. Those who want a few more bells and whistles, or more color choices, might consider upscale Weber kettles like the Premium or the Weber Master-Touch.
$119 from Home Depot
- Even heating across the entire cooking surface.
- Small footprint ideal for patios and other tight outdoor spaces.
- 3 stainless steel burners with 8,000 BTUs each.
- 449 square inches of cooking space (310-square-inch main grille plus 139-square-inch warming rack).
- Porcelain-coated steel grates.
- Convenience features including electric (battery) ignition and side shelves.
- Some owners have found this 2-wheel grill awkward to move.
- A minority complain about poor fit and finish, or difficult assembly.
- No built-in thermometer.
Takeaway: If a compact size and low price are your priorities when grill shopping, reviewers say this Dyna-Glo propane grill fills the bill nicely. Like other cheap gas grills, this one lacks features like a side burner, and it's less powerful than other three-burner grills that cost more. But the burners distribute heat evenly and do a good job of direct and indirect cooking, according to the results of professional testing and owner feedback online (although a handful of users do complain that the grill doesn't get hot enough for their purposes). Like pricier grills, this Dyna-Glo model carries a five-year warranty on the burners, but the grate and firebox carry only a one-year warranty.
Nexgrill 5-Burner 720-0888S Review
$249 from Home Depot
- Quick preheating and decent heat consistency, according to experts.
- 5 stainless steel burners with 11,000-BTUs each, plus a 12,000-BTU side burner.
- Large cooking area totals 618 square inches.
- Porcelain-coated cast iron grill grates.
- Electric (battery) ignition.
- Some user and expert concern about build quality and long-term durability.
- Flare-ups and issues with food sticking to cooking grates in testing by Top Ten Reviews.
- Many owners complain about difficult assembly.
Takeaway: This Nexgrill liquid propane gas grill provides a lot of space for the price. Five main burners plus a side burner and stainless steel side table offer a range of meal-prep options, and both owners and expert reviewers laud the generous amount of cooking space, high heat output, and versatility of this grill. A stainless steel lid adds a sleek appearance to an already attractive package. At this cheap price, it's not a grill that's made to last forever, but most budget-minded consumers agree: If you're looking for a larger model that will serve for at least a few summers' worth of cookouts with the crew, and you don't want to spend more than $250, this Nexgrill is by far the best gas grill that fills that bill. It comes with a five-year warranty on the burners and one year on the remainder.
Char-Broil Performance Tru-Infrared 3-Burner 463280019 Review
$270 from Target
- Infrared cooking technology produces even, intense heat; prevents flare-ups; and keeps food moist.
- 3 stainless steel burners with 8,000 BTUs each, plus a 10,000-BTU side burner.
- Burners reach high heat quickly.
- Porcelain-coated cooking grates.
- Generous primary cooking area of 450 square inches; warming rack adds another 150 square inches.
- Convenience features including a built-in temperature gauge, electric (spark) ignition, and side work areas.
- Not many owner reviews for judging performance.
- Grates on similar models are hard to clean and prone to rusting, some users say.
Takeaway: Char-Broil has a loyal following for its relatively inexpensive yet reliable gas grills. Relatively few reviewers have weighed in on this liquid propane-fueled infrared model, but feedback was very strong for an older version, and we expect this grill to perform equally well. Char-Broil's proprietary infrared technology is praised by many outdoor cooks, some of whom say they've left charcoal grilling far behind after trying it out. Although the unique design is intended to minimize cleanup — juices are supposed to vaporize once hitting the grates — some owners of earlier models say grease and marinades accumulate in the grate troughs, interfere with cooking, and require lots of effort to remove. Still, owners like the efficiency and value price. The grill's warranty covers five years on the burners, two years on the lid and firebox, and one year on the remainder.
Char-Broil Kettleman 22.5" Tru-Infrared 16301878 Review
$150 from Amazon
- Retains heat well and cooks evenly, with impressive searing, no flare-ups, and speedy, tasty results, according to expert and user reviews.
- Infrared technology provides concentrated radiant heat for even cooking, moist food, less burning, and easy searing.
- Easily reaches high temperatures; uses charcoal efficiently.
- 22.5-inch diameter and 360 square inches of cooking surface on porcelain-coated grates.
- Hinged lid with temperature gauge and latch; adjustable charcoal grate; removable ash pan; 2 wheels for transport.
- 10-year warranty on the bowl and lid; 5 years on the ash pan; 2 years on the remainder.
- Oversize hood damper for controlling the heat is hard to adjust, according to reviews.
- Unique cooking system requires some acclimation to achieve best results.
- Design of the grate can make it hard to clean.
- A few reports of chipping and warping.
Takeaway: The Char-Broil Kettleman Tru-Infrared proves its mettle as both charcoal grill and smoker, reviewers write, producing lip-smacking meats, whether beef, poultry, or pork. While the infrared technology may take a bit of getting used to, many even say they prefer this product over vaunted Weber grills. Consumers love how quickly this grill heats up, faster than other charcoal models, and flare-ups are no worry at all. It also uses less charcoal when grilling than competitors. It's worth noting, however, that some otherwise-satisfied owners complain that the grill doesn't handle low temperatures particularly well and airflow control can be a bit difficult. Still, if you're intrigued by infrared technology, and don't want to pay a lot to try it out, this is one of the best cheap grills for infrared first-timers.
Weber 18" Jumbo Joe 1211001 Review
$75 from Amazon
- Good size for family meals and portability, with excellent searing and tender, moist results, reviewers say.
- 18-inch diameter with a generous cooking surface (240 square inches) for its small size.
- Plated steel cooking grate, porcelain-enameled bowl and lid, and heavy-gauge steel charcoal grate.
- 2 rust-resistant dampers for airflow.
- Removable ash catcher; One-Touch cleaning system.
- Heat-resistant handle and lock for the lid.
- 10-year warranty on the bowl and lid; 5 years on the cleaning system and plastic parts; 2 years on the remainder.
- No built-in temperature gauge.
- Some grousing about quality vs. previous Weber models.
Takeaway: The Weber Jumbo Joe is a compact, portable version of the brand's signature kettle grill. It's small enough to take to a picnic, a tailgate party, or campout, as well as a great option for people who want to grill at home but don't have the space for a full-size grill. Like its larger sibling, it has dampers to make it relatively easy (for a charcoal grill) to find and maintain the desired cooking temperature, although some reviewers say a good meat thermometer is a worthwhile investment, too. And while a handful of owners complain about build quality that's a bit flimsier than the full-size model, these small gripes are outweighed by the abundance of 4- and 5-star reviews. For grillers willing to sacrifice some of the versatility along with a good bit of cooking space, there's an even more demure, 14-inch version, the Weber Smokey Joe ($35 from Amazon).
Cuisinart Petit Gourmet CGG-180T Review
$115 from Amazon
- Surprisingly strong performance and generous cooking surface for small, portable grill, reviewers say.
- Stainless steel gas burner delivers 5,500 BTUs and heats to more than 500 degrees.
- Cooking area of 145 square inches is a good size to feed a family of four, users say.
- Designed for simple transport with folding legs, lid latch, and carry handle; sits easily on a picnic table.
- Porcelain-coated cast iron grill grates and porcelain-coated steel body.
- 3-year warranty is quite good for a cheap portable gas grill — many competitors top out at 90 days to a year.
- Scattered reports about clogged burners and electric-charge ignition that doesn't always catch (keep matches on hand).
- Can be a hassle to clean if food is very greasy, according to some users.
- Some grousing about lack of replacement parts.
Takeaway: This Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet tabletop gas grill is a dependable and practical choice for tailgating, picnicking, and camping, reviewers write, but they caution that the 13-pound grill may be a bit much to haul on hikes. Also, while many buyers are fans of the standard red version, some suggest that the black or stainless steel units might be a better bet, as the red lid is more prone to discoloration or chipping. Aesthetics aside, for those willing to pay just a bit more to avoid the smoke and comparative hassle of our top portable pick, the Weber Jumbo Joe 18" charcoal grill, we'd say the Cuisinart Petit Gourmet is the best portable gas grill for shoppers on a budget.
Char-Broil Patio Bistro 20602108 Review
$178 from Amazon
- Compact, convenient, and user-friendly electric alternative to a charcoal or gas grill.
- Infrared technology minimizes flare-ups and distributes heat evenly; leaves meat tender and well-seared, reviewers say.
- Steel lid, bowl, and V-shaped grates and grease tray are all porcelain-coated.
- Built-in temperature gauge; temperature-control knob lights up for easy reading.
- Warming rack, folding side shelves, storage rack, and 2 wheels for transport.
- Lower fire risk than a gas or charcoal grill.
- Relatively small 240 square inches of primary cooking surface.
- Takes a long time to heat, users report; some say it fails to reach levels sufficient for optimal grilling.
- Assembly and cleanup can be difficult, according to reviews.
- Short 2-year warranty on the fire box and lid, and just 1 year on all other parts.
Takeaway: The 1,750-watt Char-Broil Patio Bistro electric grill is a decent compromise for frugal consumers keen on outdoor grilling but prohibited from using or disinclined to use a gas or charcoal grill. Although the cooking performance may not compare to traditional grills, users appreciate its infrared technology, the savings on fuel, and how easy it is to use — just plug it in and go. Users particularly admire how well this grill prepares vegetables — not as easy a task on other models — and many are also drawn to the overall aesthetic and color choices: This model comes in graphite, black, and red, although graphite is most readily available.
Char-Griller Akorn Kamado 16620 Review
$299 at Home Depot
- Diminutive, 20-inch-diameter egg-shaped dome with 314 square inches of primary cooking surface and 133 square inches on a (removable) warming rack.
- Cast iron grates.
- Triple-wall steel shell with powder-coated exterior and porcelain-coated interior does an excellent job holding heat in, enthusiastic users say.
- Top and bottom adjustable dampers help with heat regulation.
- 2 folding side shelves, easy-dump ash pan, and 2 locking wheels in addition to a locking rear caster.
- More of a learning curve for heat control compared with traditional grills.
- Some complaints about build quality.
Takeaway: The Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Kooker is a good introduction to the world of kamado grills, which offer fuel efficiency, heightened charcoal flavor (natural lump charcoal only), and extreme heat range. This is a versatile outdoor cooker with very high heat for rapid grilling and searing and low heat for long, slow smoking — producing moist, tender results either way. Even better, while kamado grills typically cost far more than this version, some fans rank it on par with those high-end models. There's some grumbling about units that arrived with dents and dampers that are finicky (making it hard to regulate the heat), but overall this Char-Griller kamado satisfies users' hunger for smoked ribs, roast turkeys, and perfectly seared steaks. The manufacturer offers a five-year warranty on the fire box and one year on parts.
Pit Barrel Cooker Review
$350 from Ace Hardware
- Consistently delicious results with fire-it-up-and-forget-about-it operation, according to expert and user reviews.
- Option to use cooking grate or hang meats for more even cooking on all sides.
- 30-gallon steel drum with 18.5-inch diameter and porcelain enamel coating.
- Comes with 8 hooks, 2 hanging rods, charcoal basket, grill grate, hook remover, and stand.
- No assembly required.
- Hard to regulate temperature, some reviewers say.
- Scattered pushback on price for a product that could possibly be DIY.
- 1-year warranty is relatively short.
Takeaway: The 18.5-inch Pit Barrel Cooker isn't the cheapest or prettiest smoker on the market, but experts and the many consumers who give it 5-star ratings say it's one of the best. The design is virtually flawless, operation is pretty simple and straightforward, and meat turns out mouthwateringly juicy from top to bottom. And, while it's small enough to transport, it's meant to feed a crowd: The drum can handle a whole turkey, two pork butts, or eight slabs of ribs plus vegetables on the grill grates. True, the warranty period is pretty limited, but a product composed of little more than a metal drum with some rods and charcoal thrown in may not need as much coverage.
Weber Spirit II E-310 49010001 Review
$519 from Amazon
- Meets all expectations and then some, reviewers say, with solid performance, easy cleanup, and perfect results.
- 3 burners with 10,000 BTUs each and a heat diffuser to efficiently and evenly distribute heat.
- Porcelain-enameled "flavorizer" bars guard against flare-ups and impart smoky essences from drippings.
- Large 424-square-inch primary cooking area and 105-square-inch warming rack.
- Porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grate uniquely designed to tackle both large and small food items.
- Easy-access catch pan for grease/drippings.
- Convenience features including electrical (battery) ignition, built-in thermometer, 1 permanent side shelf and 1 fold-down shelf with utensil hooks, and 2 wheels for transport; 10-foot hose for gas hookup included.
- 10-year warranty on entire grill.
- Lifting arrangement using the side table as a handle is awkward, users report.
Takeaway: If you don't have the budget to shell out for a coveted Weber Genesis II grill, the entry-level Weber Spirit II line boasts some of the best gas grills around — at much more affordable prices. Weber Spirit II grills have several updated features, including a redesigned cook box with grease-management system, reversible cooking grates, a more robust ignition, and a longer warranty; not to mention the many color choices available. They're also compatible with an iGrill proprietary app-connected thermometer that monitors internal temperature and food readiness.The Weber Spirit II 49010001 is the natural gas version of the three-burner E-310, which is also available as a liquid propane grill. Natural gas grills may cost more for the initial setup but save money in the long-term and eliminate the need to constantly replace fuel tanks. They're also a little better for the environment. Reviews for this model indicate that users are thrilled with its performance, and experts agree that Weber seems to have gotten it right again — and gotten even better — with this series of comparatively inexpensive Spirit grills. Both the liquid propane (Weber Spirit II E-310 45010001) and natural gas models carry the same price tag, and they cost about $250 to $300 less than their upscale Weber Genesis II E-310 counterparts.
More From Cheapism
Your Birth Year's Minimum Wage
The federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 since 2009, not even...
Prepared Family Meals at Costco
People don’t just love shopping at Costco for the bulk goods. There...