In this popular price range you’ll find grills in every size, from portable to large. But don’t expect extra features. And though our testing shows that price isn’t a predictor of performance, it is often tied to quality of construction. So think twice about a large grill that costs just a few hundred bucks.

Construction

Love the look of stainless? You might not for long at this price range. That’s because not all stainless steel is created equal. To keep prices down, manufacturers tend to use thin-gauge stainless, which can make for a flimsy grill. Trading stainless for a well-made model that’s painted or porcelain-coated enameled steel might get you a longer-lasting grill.

Inspect the grill. The parts will usually be bolted together, not welded, so make sure connections are snug. The fewer the bolts, the better, because they can rust.

Heft the grates and check what they’re made of. Porcelain-coated cast iron can chip and rust. You don’t have to worry about chipping or scratching with stainless-steel grates. But both are better at searing and maintaining even temperatures than the lightweight wire grates we’ve seen on certain models (we mean you, small RevoAce grill).

Burners are the most frequently replaced part, according to industry data, and a warranty of a year or less is a tip-off that a grill might not be long for this world. In this price range, warranties usually last one to five years; go with the longest one you can find.

Convenience Features

It’s nice to have wheels or casters on all four legs. Some carts have two wheels and two feet, so you’d have to lift one side to move the grill.

Look for an electronic igniter, which relies on batteries to generate a spark that lights the flame. Electronic igniters are easier to light than rotary and push-button starters.

Before You Buy

Sturdiness varies among grills that are bolted together. Lift the lid halfway and force it side to side to see how much the frame twists. Check that the wheels are on tight.

Impressive Grills at This Price

Almost half of the more than 130 gas grills in our ratings cost $400 or less. Here are eight high-scoring grills, in order of least to most expensive by size.

Portable
Blue Rhino CrossFire GBT1508M, $110 

Small (room for up to 18 4-ounce burgers)
Huntington 665154, $200 
Char-Broil Signature 463675517, $300 

Midsized (room for 18 to 28 burgers)
RevoAce GBC1748WS, $150 
Even Embers GAS7540AS, $200 
Nexgrill 720-0830H, $270 
Nexgrill Deluxe 720-0896B, $370 
Char-Broil Signature 463348017 [Item 799960], $400



See our full gas grill ratings for many more options in this price range. Use the filter to narrow your selection by price, size, and brand, and brand-reliability info to help you choose. Our gas grill buying guide gets you started.


Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the June 2017 issue of Consumer Reprots magazine.