Product Reviews

Welcome to Consumer Reports.

We’re so glad to have you as a member. You now have access to benefits that can help you choose right, be safe and stay informed.
A stainless steel gas grill
Photo: Jamie Chung

Best Gas Grills for $400 or Less

You don't have to spend a fortune to get a solid model

In this popular price range you’ll find grills in every size, from portable to large. Our tests of gas grills have shown that price isn’t a predictor of performance but is often tied to quality of construction (so think twice about a large grill that costs just a few hundred bucks) and certainly evident when it comes to features.

More on grills

"For $400 or less you won't see high-end finishing touches like LED task lighting, pull-out drawers, or trays for propane tanks," says Mark Allwood, the market analyst who oversees grills for Consumer Reports. "But if you're a first-time buyer, you can get a good grill for a great price—then next time decide if you want to trade up to a model with more features."

If you're just starting to shop for a grill, look over our gas grill buying guide. Then read the insights below for points to consider when shopping for a grill in this price range. CR members can read on to see our full list of the best gas grills for $400 or less.


Construction

Love the look of stainless steel? You might not for long at this price. That’s because not all stainless is created equal. To keep prices down, manufacturers tend to use thin-gauge stainless, which can make for a flimsy grill. Forgoing stainless for a well-made 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 bolts, the better (bolts can rust).

Heft the grates and check what they’re made of. Porcelain-coated cast iron can chip and rust. With stainless steel grates, you won’t have to worry about chipping or scratching. And both are better at searing and maintaining even temperatures than the lightweight wire grates we’ve seen on certain models.

Burners are the most frequently replaced part, according to industry data, and a warranty of a year or less is a tipoff 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 and lights more easily 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. Ensure that wheels are on tight. CR members can also check the sturdiness score in our comprehensive ratings of more than 100 models


Best Gas Grills for $400 or Less

Almost half of the models in our gas grill ratings cost $400 or less. Here are seven high-scoring grills, from least to most expensive, organized by size.

Best Portable Grill

Blue Rhino CrossFire GBT1508M
Price: $110
Overall score: 83
CR's take: We tested the Blue Rhino as a gas grill, but it gives you the option to use it as a charcoal grill as well. It's the only portable tested that scored high enough to be recommended. The Blue Rhino has just one burner, yet it offers a wide temperature range. And no matter where you put the food, the cooking temperature remains constant. This grill scored only Good in our preheating tests, so give it more than 10 minutes to get nice and hot. The single burner means it can't really be used for indirect cooking.

185
Gas grills in Our Ratings.
Current Gas grill Ratings

Recently Tested Grills

See our full list of Grill Ratings