If you’ve got enough scratch to be looking at premium gas grills, then you’re in luck. Why? Because the under $1000 range, down to about $800, is one of the sweet spots for gas grills. You’ll get a lot of features for the price in a solid, long-lasting grill.
As you’ll see at the bottom of the page, we’re aiming to discuss grills priced between $800 and $1000. Getting the best value grill in that price range is going to narrow things down a bit. Truthfully, the $800-$1000 range is under served. There should be more companies making grills in the range. But as you can see by the list above, it’s pretty limited. So without further adieu, here is our pick…
The Genesis II E-410 is a great grill. It’s got an excellent balance of solid build, great grilling capability and some nice features that make it an excellent buy for the price. While its retail price might be just a bit over, you’ll be able to find this best rated gas grill for under $1000 in many places.
Why is it so great?
First up, the build:
Four burners is nice, giving the grill a bit of space to work with. 646 sq inches isn’t massive, but you’ll notice that in the under $1000 range, it’s on the larger side.
Stainless steel everything is great, but the associated costs with building an all stainless grill will shoot it out of this price range. The Genesis uses a mix of porcelain-enameled cast iron (solid, cost-effective choice) and stainless steel. Kinda the best of both worlds.
One nice thing about the E-410 is it is iGrill 3 ready. Meaning you can buy the $100 dollar plus Bluetooth temperature gauge, put it on your grill and have the data from the temperature probes show up on your phone.
Another thing we like is the open cart design. While it might not look as nice as doors, in theory it’s easier to build, allowing Weber to put the money elsewhere in the grill. Plus, it makes it much easier to get to stuff under the grill.
Keep in mind – at this price range, you’re not getting an entirely stainless steel grill. The frame and lid will have cast aluminum or iron. Weber claims a welded tube frame, as opposed to rivets, which should lend a fair amount of stability over the years.
One thing we like to take a look at: the warranty. Weber warranties the cookbox, lid assembly, burners, ignition system and grease management system for 10 years in regards to no rust-through or burn-through. The Flavorizer bars and grate are for 5 years and everything else for 2.
A note – the grease management system. Props to Weber for trying something even though it looks decidedly lo-tech. Any drippings are guided down into the drip pan at the bottom. Easy to get to, no muss, no fuss.
Some people have reported wind issues. Unknown if they were grilling in a wind tunnel as the pan is supposed to lock in place fairly well.
The bigger issues – bugs and animals. Perhaps the random dog or cat that really likes the drippings of what you’re cooking. Being open like it is, you’ll need to keep an eye on it.
Barring that one issue, the Weber Genesis II E-410 is a fantastic choice.
Up next is a non-Weber grill. I mention that because Weber seems to have a lock on so many awesome grills at so many price points.
But there’s competition.
The Saber Cast 500 is a solid grill. The major difference it has with the Genesis II E-410 is the Saber Cast is an infrared grill.
Yup, this $1000 bad boy is an infrared grill, meaning we don’t fully understand the science behind it. I mean, we would, but here’s the important thing – it cooks awesomely.
Okay, a little science – infrared cooking means the food isn’t being cooked directly over a flame. The burners are each in their own little stainless steel box. They direct their heat at a perforated sheet of stainless steel, which is directly under the grates.
If it sounds like they’re putting an uncessary extra step in the process, you’d be half wrong. There is an extra step, but for infrared cooking, it’s crucial.
But here’s the great thing about infrared cooking: no flareups. Because the food is not directly over a flame there are no flareups. The hot grates allow you to sear a steak and get decent grill marks. Also, because the heat is radiating upwards towards the food, as opposed to hot air and flames in regular grilling, the food will dry out much slower, resulting in juicier steaks, shrimp, hot dogs, chicken, etc.
Is it perfect? No. It’s still a fairly simple grill. And if infrared was such a perfect way of cooking, it would have overtaken the grill market, but it hasn’t. Some people like the old ways.
I’ll put it this way – my next grill, I’m going to take a hard look at an infrared gas grill. If it will produce moister food, with less flareups and make everything easier, I’m all for it.
Oh, and they claim it uses 30% less fuel. Which is kinda sweet.
Here are the specs:
Only issues that seem to come up are these: If you leave it outside and uncovered rain can roll down the lid and get into the drip pan. Solution: don’t leave your $1000 grill outside and uncovered. Either get a cover for it, bring it inside, or stand over it lovingly with an umbrella. Also, some people have reported trouble with low temperatures. Your mileage, as they say, may vary.
Last point – the warranty. Stainless steel (except grates and burners) are lifetime for structural integrity. Meaning they may look bad, but if they’re not falling apart, then they just look bad. Burners are ten years, grates are five and everything else is two. If it falls under warranty, they’ll replace it, but you’re on the hook for installation. All in all, a decent warranty.
Check prices on the Saber Cast 500 at Amazon
“Hold on,” you might be saying. “That’s a dinky little grill for the price.”
You might be right. Or, like that little kid who knocked me out in high school (Hi, Matt!) the Genesis II LX E-240 just might be punching above its weight.
The obvious question is why does a grill this small cost this much?
The answer is simple: build.
Let’s take a look at some specs.
That right there at the bottom is the reason for a two-burner grill to come in just under $1000. The Weber Genesis II e-410 is a physically larger grill with 4 burners, but its grates and Flavorizer bars are made out of porcelain coated ceramic. While the Genesis II LX E-240 only has two burners, it has more stainless steel where it counts.
Bonus points for being iGrill3 compatible as well as including a light (although that light is… small).
If you’re looking for a great quality smaller grill constructed with upgraded materials, the LX E-240 is a grill to look at. However, if you simply need a larger grilling area, the other grills here, like the Genesis II E-410, the Saber Cast 500 or the Broil King Regal S490, might be a better match for you. Otherwise, this compact gas grill might be exactly what you’re looking for.
Check prices on the Weber Genesis II LX E-240 at Amazon
Remember all the stuff we said about balancing features with build quality?
It all gets thrown out the window when it comes to the Broil King Regal S490 Pro
4 burners? Check. Side burner? Yup. Rotisserie included? Bird yes. More stainless steel than you can shake a grill mop at? Yes, yes and yes. Made in the USA? You bet.
Honestly, we don’t know how Broil King does it. They pack more features into a grill in this price range than any other company.
Which makes us pause. If it’s too good to be true… Yeah, we can’t say that’s the case with the Regal S490 Pro, but we’re wary.
The one thing that starts to make us pause is the warranty. The cookbox has a limited lifetime warranty with the burners and rotisserie burner getting a ten year guarantee. The Flav-R-Wave cooking system, grates and other stainless cart components all get 5 years with everything else (including the paint) coming in at 2 years. Honestly, that’s a little slim. And makes us wonder if it was built better, might the warranty also be better?
That’s the main reason we don’t put this grill as our top pick. If Broil King had an amazing reputation of making fantastic grills that last for years and they backed it up with a warranty to rival Weber or Saber Cast, we’d put it in the top spot.
While they’ve got a decent reputation, their warranty doesn’t instill a lot of confidence for the long haul. But, that’s us.
If you really need a rotisserie or the 4 burner size, then have at it. Or, if you’ve got no problem with plunking down another grand for a grill sooner rather than later, then take a shot on the Broil King Regal S490 Pro. Just make sure you know what you’re getting.
Check prices on the Broil King Regal S490 Pro at Amazon
The $800 – $1000 range of premium gas grills is, in our opinion, a great price range to be shopping for a grill. While most grills in this range won’t have as many bells and whistles as the higher priced luxury grills, you’ll walk away with a solidly built grill for your hard-earned money.
Does that mean all the grills in this price range are fantastic? Heck no! That’s the purpose for this whole article. We’re pointing out a few of the models we think stand out at this price point.
What should you look for?
Honestly, no frills.
Generally, the fancier the grill gets, the quality of the product will drop comparatively. Meaning you’ll get a fancy grill that likely won’t last that long. Or that will be more expensive than the price range we’re looking at here.
You’re not going to find an all-stainless steel grill that is built well with good quality steel for under $1000 that’s going to last ten years. As much as we’d all like it to happen, it’s just not.
In other words, avoid the built-in things. The refrigerators, the ovens, the islands: avoid those. Rotisseries, maybe. Look for a grill that cooks and cooks well. Yes, there will be stainless steel. But I’d try to stay away from it as much as you can. Why? It costs the manufacturer more. And to come in under a certain price point, they’ll scrimp elsewhere.
Make sure you read the warranty. See what it covers and compare it to other grills you’re looking at buying. Once purchased, make sure you register it. Grills from major manufacturers will streamline the warranty and repair process. Store brands, and some other major brands, too, may not stand behind their products as much. Weber, Broil King and other major brands have reputations to uphold and will stand behind their products as long as they’re taken care of.
The under $1000 gas grill market is a great price range because you are able to find grills with some decent quality features. The top-selling, top-rated brand in this range is the Weber for a good reason – they make a great grill. There are others, of course. We’ve listed some below. But as always, be wary of grills from unknown or less than reliable manufacturers. Check the warranty carefully. And don’t forget to focus on the most important function of all in a grill – how well it cooks.
A few things to note:
If you’re not quite ready to spend a thousand bucks on a shiny new gas grill, here are a few posts you might want to take a look at:
Buying A New Gas Grill? Check Out These Best Rated Gas Grills
Best Rated Gas Grills Under $300
Best Rated Gas Grills Under $500
Best Rated Gas Grills Under $800
Portable Gas Grills – Best Of Both Worlds
Good Luck! Oh, and stop on by again and tell us what you think.
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In many ways portable gas grills represent the best compromise in terms of convenience and flavor. While of course not as full featured as their bigger brothers they can do a fairly respectable job of grilling up some good food (assuming you’ve got the requisite skills). Add in the fact that you can take them far more places and store them in spaces that you can’t even begin to think of putting a full size gas grill and you’ve got a winning combination.
Portable Gas Grills vs Portable Charcoal Grills
While we do have a love for portable charcoal grills (see here) the fine folks here at LTB do know that sometimes gas is just so much easier than charcoal it isn’t even funny. Yes, charcoal does produce a better flavor on some foods (but not all). Yes there is a traditionalist/classical aspect to charcoal that can’t be ignored. But if you factor in the portability of the grill then portable charcoal grills, while awesome, can start to lose points quickly when compared to portable gas grills.
Places And Situations Where A Portable Gas Grill Can Shine
While they aren’t going to win over the “charcoal rules” crowd anytime soon, if you’re looking for a grill that is easy to transport, easy to setup and less messy, then here are some situations where the gas grill might win out:
So when does a portable charcoal grill win out? Whenever you are willing or able to deal with lugging the briquettes around, hassle with the charcoal cleanup and are allowed to by whatever group governs where you are going to be grilling.
What To Look For
First thing is going to be fuel source. Most portable gas bbqs are going to run off of the standard 14 ounce gas canister that you can find pretty much anywhere. Make sure you can find them in your area, can order plenty to keep on hand, or can get them in the place you plan on going to. If your grill does not utilize the standard size canister, is there an adapter? Will you be able to get ahold of the canisters they require the next time you want to do some grilling? What about a few years down the road?
A fair number of these propane powered grills will have adapter hoses and connectors that allow them to be used with larger 20 pound propane tanks and canisters. Some can even be hooked up to the propane connectors on RVs. If that’s something you’re interested in or may be interested in, find out before you buy the grill, not after.
Next up is going to be cooking ability matched with what you are likely to cook. Most portable grills are going to do fine with hamburgers, hotdogs, kebabs, steaks, chicken pieces and the like. Standard grilling fare. Expect much more than this and you might be disappointed. If there is a special item you know you’re going to be cooking you might want to do some research specifically for that kind of food on the grills you look at. Other than that, take a look at reviews for the grill, make sure it can get high enough heat to do what you want and the design of it is a good one.
Finally you’ll be looking at the portability vs build quality balancing act. Making something lightweight and easy to carry is good, but if it doesn’t stand up to the rigors of your particular transport style and method, its not going to be a good purchase. When considering these things, keep the size of the grill in mind as well. Although great, you probably don’t need a Napoleon Freestyle gas grill if you’re just cooking for you and your honey down on the beach. While an awesome grill, you might be better suited with something smaller, lighter and far less expensive. However if you’re looking for something portable and compact but high quality with a warming area, the same Napoleon Freestyle might make an excellent choice.
Some of the Portable Gas Grills That We Like
We’re going to do a quick roundup of the grills we like the looks of or have heard good things about. We’ll be going in depth on many of these a bit down the road.
Weber Q Series and Go-Anywhere.
The Weber Q series of gas grills are pretty awesome. No, they aren’t cheap and there’s a reason for that – they are quality grills. They currently come in 4 flavors – the Q100, Q120, Q200 and Q220. They differ in a few areas, size and BTU output being the two major ones. While the Q100 does not come with folding side tables, all the others do. The Q100 and Q200 come with a push-button ignition – the others have electric. Like most Weber grills there are a plethora of accessories – covers, griddles, carts, etc. They also come with decent warranty as well as a backlog of available spare parts. If you haven’t picked up yet on the fact that LTB is a fan of most things Weber, then let’s spell it out – we’re fans of all things Weber.
Another Weber contender is the Go-Anywhere gas grill. A nice little rectangular grill, it cooks fine, is compact and more importantly, is inexpensive. While it may not have many bells or whistles and kinda looks like something your dear old dad may have owned, it’s a solid little grill. Underestimate it at your peril.
Cuisinart Portable Gas Grills
Cuisinart has a long reputation for making quality kitchen appliances and recently they’ve started putting out some portable gas grills that do fairly well. The three we here at LTB like are the Petit Gourmet, Everyday and All-Foods. The Petit Gourmet is a nice little grill in an attractive package that is fairly well designed and easy to transport. The Everyday and the All-Foods are more utilitarian in their look and less easy to transport. However they are bigger and as a result offer larger cooking areas; 240 sq. inches for both the Everyday and the All-Foods as opposed to 145 for the Petit Gourmet. The Cuisinart Everyday has a taller hood that can possibly fit a chicken under while the All-Foods has a more streamlined hood that pretty much rules out cooking taller foods. All three can be connected to a larger propane tank with attachments that are of course sold separately. Reviews and ratings of these grills are complimentary and speak highly of them.
One final note on the Cuisinart grills – the Petit Gourmet model is sold as a tabletop grill and also with an attached folding “Versi-Stand” for about 20 bucks more. The All-Foods offers a similar situation with the base model being tabletop and also available attached to a collapsible rolling cart, also for about 20 bucks more. Cuisinart also sells a stand for around 50 bucks that can also hold a propane tank. The Everyday seems to be only a tabletop model, so if you’ve got your heart set on it, but want a stand, you have an option or two.
Coleman RoadTrip Series
Coleman makes a number of gas grills and frankly the lineup is a bit confusing. We’ll sort it all out in a later post but basically you’ll probably be looking at the RoadTrip series, specifically the RoadTrip LX, LXE and LXX. They all are nice little grills that come with built in folding stands, some with wheels, some without. What’s the difference? Not much. We’ll get into it more in another post, but most people seem to like these decent little grills. Not everyone, but most. There are some problems that people have run into (warping lid mostly) that can usually be prevented by reading up about them and not doing the things that made the problems for other people (cover down, heat on high). Basically the LXE is the standard model. It is red and has wheels. The LXX is black with a built-in thermometor in the lid. It also has wheels. The LXE is blue, has no wheels and no thermomoeter. All three have the same cooking area – 285 sq. inches. All three put out 20,000 BTUs on 2 burners, except the LXX which puts out 22,000 (really? does that make much of a difference?).
Basically if you want wheels (and we recommend you get one with wheels – the beasts weigh about 40-45 pounds or so) then you’ve got the choice of red (LXE) or black (LXX). If you don’t care about the wheels or really really like blue, go for the LX.
Napoleon Freestyle Gas Grill
Napoleon is another favorite company around the Love That Barbecue headquarters because they generally make pretty awesome grills (at pretty awesomely large prices). Luckily for the portable gas grill seeking crowd, they also make a portable gas grill – the Freestyle Gas Grill (not to be confused with the Freestyle Electric Grill). The Napoleon Freestyle is all stainless steel, has a 215 sq. inch main cooking area and a 105 sq. inch warming area. Yup – a portable grill with a warming area. This little devil cranks out 14,000 BTUs, can be hooked up to bigger propane tanks and has a whole handful of different mounting options if you don’t dig the tabletop design. It’s a sweet grill that comes in on the top end of both quality and price – a shade under 300 bucks. Spendy for a portable grill.And if you want the infrared heating model, expect to pay in the mid 300s. Yes, they offer a portable grill with infrared heating. Now are you starting to understand why we like Napoleon?
Aside from the Webers, the Cuisinarts, the Colemans and the Napoleons of the world, there are a lot of other companies making portable grills. Some of the ones that we’ve heard mixed reviews on are Solaire, Holland and Magma. Solaire produces the Anywhere and Everywhere grills. They get good reviews but customers have had mixed experiences. Made in the USA but some have complained about the lack of decent customer service. Just sayin’. Holland is another brand that gets good reviews from professional reviewers but really mixed by customers – people either love it or hate it. Their Companion is probably their most famous/infamous grill. The last in the honorable mention category is the grills made by Magma. Stainless grills that cater to boaters and RVers, they have been American made for 30 years and running. We’ll be digging in to Magma grills a bit down the road because they seem to have a very devoted (almost fanatical) following. Prices are on par with what you’d expect for an American made stainless product.
There you have it – the Love That Barbecue roundup of portable gas grills. Go ahead and check them out and if you take a swing on one, let us know how it turns out.
One last thing – if a portable gas grill doesn’t float your boat and you’re looking for something a little more sizable, here are a few posts you might want to take a look at:
Good Luck! Check out any of our other posts and let us know what you think.
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