Grilling is one of the people’s favorite activity. You invite some friends over, you cook something delicious on the grill, and you drink a beer or two. It is an excellent way to spend some time with your friends and family, and have some fun. Not to mention that your stomach will be grateful as well. A grill is not necessarily an expensive piece of equipment. You can find excellent products at affordable prices. Sure, the big ones cost a small fortune, but you can find some of the best gas grills under 200$ easily.
The advantages and disadvantages of gas grills
As far as the source of the fire goes, many people choose gas over electric or charcoal. There are several reasons for that, and here are a few of them.
- It is fast – unlike charcoal, a gas grill can heat up almost instantly. That will allow you to grill a piece of steak without any prep work. If you decide at the last minute that you want some grilled meat, no problem. A gas grill makes that possible. I find it very convenient, unlike the charcoal grill. The latter requires a fire first, and then you have to wait for the perfect moment to cook the food. Also, there is no continuity.
- Control of the temperature – a gas grill has a switch that will allow you to control the intensity of the fire. Thus you can control the temperature. That way you can cook various kinds of meat and vegetables, and they will all come out perfect.
- Ease of cleaning – the fact that there is no ash left on the grill is a huge selling point, at least for me. After you are done, all you need is to clean the cooking surface and you are done.
For the sake of full disclosure, I feel obliged to tell you about the drawbacks as well. Here are the most notable.
- There may not be enough heat – usually, a gas grill can go up to 450º, which may prove to be insufficient to caramelize your meat. As you may know, color is essential when it comes to grilling. That is one of the ways how you know that your meat is done. However, with gas grills, that is not always the case.
- It is more expensive than the charcoal grill – since there is a heating system in place, it makes sense that it is more expensive than the charcoal grill. The gas grill is also more costly to maintain or repair. So keep that in mind before you make a purchase.
- They can be pretty dangerous – I believe everyone went through a flare-up at some point or another. Some people are left with severe burns, which is why you need to be extra careful. That is also why maintenance is significant in this case.
- Flavor – when you cook on a charcoal grill, the meat will also get smoked a bit, which adds an incredible However, you will not have that with the gas grill.
When you put into balance the things I mentioned above, I still believe that a gas grill is worth it. After all, all you want to do is burn some steaks and patties, not become a professional chef, right?
What to consider when looking for the best gas grill under 200$
I think it is self-explanatory that price is the first thing on your list. However, just because you cannot afford a 500$ gas grill, that does not mean you are not worthy of quality. Below you will find some tips on what to look at when you want to make a purchase.
- Propane vs. natural gas – each of those two have their own advantages and disadvantages. Propane is more available than natural gas, and it is the only option for a portable grill, but natural gas is cheaper in the long run. However, the gas grill requires you to install a gas line. There are propane grills that can convert to gas grills, but you need a conversion kit for that. Do not forget to consider the cost of conversion.
- Construction – since your grill will be used outdoors, the most important aspect to remember is that it needs to be safe from the elements. Your primary concern is rain. If the metal of the grill is not rust-resistant, it is not worth it. Your best choices are cast iron, cast aluminum or stainless steel. The cast iron gas grill is rust resistant, and will also keep its color and is very lightweight comparing to other metals. Stainless steel is the best option, but it is more expensive than the other metals. Whatever material you choose, maintenance is the key to a long- lasting gas grill.
- Cooking surface – the grates of the grill are made from various materials, but some are better than others. Try to avoid heavy wire, and instead go for cast iron, stainless steel or porcelain coated steel. Whichever one you choose, keep in mind that maintenance is again a key point. As long as you clean the grate properly, you should have no issues with it.
- Size – when it comes to size, it is all about preference. If you entertain a lot, then a large gas grill is required. But if you only cook for yourself and your family, a medium-sized gas grill is more than enough. The secret is not to buy a small gas grill. It can be frustrating if you have an additional plate on the table. Do not forget about the head space. When you look for the ideal gas grill, always keep in mind that you may roast a whole turkey in it and it has to fit. That is about all head space you need.
- Burners – the rule is simple. The larger the grill, the more burners you will need. That way, the heat inside the grill will be evenly distributed, and you will not end up with half of your meat raw. The most durable burners are the ones made of stainless steel or brass. The ones made of aluminum will burn out after a while, and the iron is prone to rust.
- Igniter – many people do not care about the igniter, but I find it very convenient to ignite the grill by simply pushing a button. This is called a push-button system, and it generates a spark. You may have one on your stovetop. There is also an electronic system of ignition, but that requires a battery. However, the latter is more reliable.
- Additional features – as long as your budget allows it, you can choose from a vast variety of other features. The ones I like the most are the side tables, which I find very convenient while I cook, and the wheels that make the grill easy to move. I do not know about you, but when winter comes, I like to move the grill into the garage. It would be a lot harder if it did not have the wheels.
What are the best gas grills under 200$?
If you feel confused about which gas grill to buy, here are three excellent suggestions that I hope will be helpful.
Char-Broil Classic 280 2-Burner Gas Grill
I have to admit that I have a weak spot for Char-Broil. The manufacturer manages to produce high-quality gas grills at incredibly affordable prices. For example, this is under 100$, but it has some pretty amazing features. It provides 280 square inches of cooking space, which is enough for 12 patties, and the grates are porcelain coated. That means cleaning will be easy, and the food will not get stuck on the grates. Also, rust will not be an issue.
The two burners are made of durable stainless steel, which means high performance and a long lifespan. You will not be changing the burnersanytime soon. Also, the steel lid and the firebox are porcelain coated as well, which means that the grill will withstand severe weather without risking rust and other damages.
The grill comes with two 12 x 13 inches metal side-shelves. That proves to be very convenient when you are cooking. They provide extra storage space and prep space. The piezo ignition system provides a fast and reliable start-up. The two 6-inch wheels make the grill easy to move around. This Char-Broil gas grill is designed to work on propane gas. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
Char-Broil Performance 300 2-Burner Cabinet Gas Grill
I told you that I have a weakness for Char-Broil, which is why my next choice is also a Char-Broil gas grill. However, this one has a better performance and a larger cooking area. It is a 24000 BTU gas grill that has two powerful and efficient stainless steel burners. The cooking surface measures 300 square inches, and just like the previous model, this one has porcelain-coated cast iron grates. It canaccommodate about 16 patties.
The Performance model features a 100 square inch swing-away rack that is also porcelain-coated. Rust will never be an issue, and cleaning is effortless. The stainless steel lid is highly durable and features a temperature gauge that provides temperature control. The ignition is electric, which means it is reliable and the start-up is instant. Cooking with this gas grill will be a pleasure.
Other features include two metal shelves that can be folded down when you do not use them. There is also a cabinet that provides storage space for your grilling equipment or whatever else you see fit. You can put the propane tank in there as well. The four casters provide mobility, but two of them can be locked into position for more stability. Underneath the grill, there is a grease pan that you can remove it whenever you want to clean it. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
Smoke Hollow 205 Stainless Steel Gas Grill
Leaving Char-Broil aside, the gas grill from Smoke Hollow will provide an excellent cooking experience. It is a 10000 BTU gas grill made of stainless steel. The ‘U’ burner is highly efficient and durable, and it will provide an even heat distribution. The cooking surface is 305 square inches, which means you have plenty of space to cook for 8 to 10 people at once.
One of the reasons I like this gas grill is that it is portable. It is a propane-fueled grill that you can take with you when you go camping, on picnics, tailgating, on boats, or wherever you may want to go. The grill is relatively lightweight, with only 20 pounds. Portability is also ensured by the fact that it has foldable legs.
The lid is lockable and features a gauge thermometer for temperature control. The fact that this product is made entirely of stainless steel makes it rust resistant, and it will withstand inclement weather without issues. There is also a warming rack that will allow you to keep the food warm, which is always a plus. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
I have to admit that every single gas grill I described are high-quality and will satisfy your needs. However, there must always be a winner. In this case, it is the Char-Broil Performance 300 2-Burner Cabinet Gas Grill. It comes as no surprise, but given the fact that it has such excellent features and is so well built makes me believe that it is one of the best gas grills under 200$ you can find. I trust Char-Broil products, which is why I highly recommend it.
Grilling will always be more pleasant if you have what to work with. A high-quality gas grill, just like the ones above, will always make cooking a pleasure. I am sure that whichever one you choose, you will be satisfied with your purchase. Click here to buy on Amazon
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