What is the Best Grill for the Money

In Featured Articles, Grilling Basics by marketninjas

Grill manufacturers in the United States made over $6 billion last year. That’s a lot of people buying grills, and a lot of options to consider.

If you’re thinking of adding one to your home, it may be difficult to find the best BBQ grill for your budget.

We’ve gathered a list of some of the best grills by type so you can quickly find the right one for you. Keep reading below to learn more.  We’ll even talk about the total cost of ownership of a grill (like a vehicle) which is important in your selection.

You don’t just have the upfront costs.  If you’re really wanting the best grill for the money you need to think of how long your grill will last too.  (click that link for a great article on how long propane grills should last)

Below is a quick list of the top grills from all grill types to include: Gas, Propane, Electric and Charcoal.

For the full lists from each type, check out our pages on:

Okay, on to the list of the best grills for your money!

Best Electric Grill

If you love grilling meat but don’t have a lot of yard space, the George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill may be the best BBQ grill for you.

Electric grills don’t give off smoke like charcoal or dangerous gas fumes like propane or natural gas grills. They also don’t heat the area around them as much as other types of grills, so they’re safe to use indoors.

Pros:

  • Removable stand allows you to switch from patio to countertop
  • Non-stick coating makes this grill easy to clean plus you don’t need butter or oil
  • Sloped grilling surface removes up to 42 percent of fat
  • Thermostat lets you cook to the exact correct temperature

Cons:

  • The grill stand can be unsteady
  • It can be slow when cooking thicker meat

This grill works well in a small space but can still serve up to 15 people. Although it’s not the cheapest on the market, it’s worth the extra investment for all the great features it comes with.

Best Charcoal Grill

Do you feel like your yard is missing something? How about a classic charcoal grill? We recommend the Weber Original Kettle Grill.

Many serious grillers prefer charcoal because of the flavors it adds to the meat. You can also use temperature variances to ensure that different foods get cooked properly. Just put the thicker meats over the hotter coals.

Pros:

  • One-touch cleaning system provides hassle-free cleanup of ashes
  • Hinged grilling surface makes it easy to add extra charcoal while grilling
  • Shields handle from heat prevent your lid handle from getting too hot
  • Built-in lid thermometer to help maintain the right temperature

Cons:

  • Might be too short for tall people
  • Can become unbalanced while moving

Be sure to check out our complete guide on how to BBQ with charcoal for more information on cooking with these grills.

Featured Grill

Fuego F21C-H Element Hinged Propane Gas Grill

• Upgraded 22,000 BTU/hr. dual zone burner system
• 500F in just 5 minutes
• Compact 21″ x 21″ footprint, perfect for the small patio/balcony.
• 346 sq. in. cast iron grilling grate

Best Natural Gas Grill

If you prefer using natural gas when grilling, then the Napoleon Grills Prestige 500 will be the perfect fit for you. It does so much more than grill, which makes it worth every penny.

This model pulls out all the stops, so in addition to grilling, you can also cook side dishes or use it as a smoker. Because of everything it does and the level of quality it comes with, it makes our list.

Pros:

  • One-touch cleaning system provides hassle-free cleanup of ashes
  • Hinged grilling surface makes it easy to add extra charcoal while grilling
  • Shields handle from heat prevent your lid handle from getting too hot
  • Built-in lid thermometer to help maintain the right temperature

Cons:

  • Might be too short for tall people
  • Can become unbalanced while moving

Be sure to check out our complete guide on how to BBQ with charcoal for more information on cooking with these grills.

Best Propane Grill

When it comes to propane grills, we have the perfect match for you. We’re talking about the Weber Spirit Outdoor Gas Grill. It boasts some cool features that you’re sure to love.

Propane grills have a number of advantages that lead people to choose them over other types. For one thing, they warm up far faster, especially compared to charcoal. They also hold a steadier temperature to ensure proper cooking.

Pros:  

  • Comes with free professional assembly
  • Reversible grill plates for a variety of foods
  • Over 500 square inches of grilling space
  • 10-year, 100 percent warranty

Cons:

  • Can be difficult to move due to the collapsible tray on the left side
  • No ledge in front or back

Which Is the Best BBQ Grill for the Money?

There are four factors to consider when deciding which BBQ grill is the most cost-effective. Let’s take a quick look at these to help you decide which one is best for you.

The Four Cost Factors to Consider When Buying a Grill:

  1. Initial Purchase Cost
  2. Initial Fuel
  3. Repairs/Parts Replacement
  4. Fuel Grill Replacement

Initial Purchase

This is the factor that most customers look at first, and many forget to move past it. Although you certainly have to consider how much it’s going to cost to bring your grill home, don’t forget about the rest of the items on this list.

If the initial cost gives you a kind of “sticker shock” but you know you’ve found the best grill for your needs, we recommend looking for simple ways to save money and getting what you want.

Purchasing a grill you don’t like or won’t use will only cost you more in the end!

Fuel

Electric grills run on electricity. Charcoal grills require charcoal, among other things. The cost will vary depending on how often you grill and where you get your fuel, but you have to think about how you’ll be running your grill.

After all, if a charcoal grill is going to cost 10 times as much to run as an electric one, you may find you’ll save money in the long run by going with the electric model.

Gas and propane also vary in price depending on where you live due to it’s availability.  If you have a gas hookup at your home and have the option to run a fuel line directly into your gas grill that will likely be the most cost effective choice between gas and propane.

Repairs/Part Replacement

Sooner or later, you’re going to need to replace something on your grill. Typically, with a higher quality grill, the parts will last longer, so you can save money on repairs.

Replacement cost vary by type of grill too!  We recommend doing research on what the replacement cost for at least the heat plates and grates of your grill type.  

Full Grill Replacement

This works similarly to the previous point. By getting a high-quality grill in the first place, you can keep your grill for many more years.

Consider a $100 grill versus a $300 grill. Although it sounds like the first one is a better deal, it may only last one season. Now imagine the $300 grill lasts 10 seasons.

At the end of that time, you would have spent $1,000 replacing the cheaper one. For that reason, we only recommended high-quality grills on this list.

When considering the best grill for the money you need to take all of these into account.  Think of it like total cost of ownership of a vehicle.  You have the initial cost of the car, plus insurance, plus fuel cost and then maintenance costs. 

The most expensive cars, especially foreign cars (due to shipping and availability of parts) typically have higher maintenance costs.  They might be fuel efficient but in the long run you’ll end up paying for more.  

Buying a new grill and getting the most out of your money is no different.  Some grills, like propane and gas grills, burn hotter too.  This will cause you to need to replace the heating plates more quickly whereas with a charcoal grill you won’t have that maintenance item.  

Want to Know What to Cook in Your New BBQ Grill?

You now have everything you need to know about the best BBQ grill by type. As you can see, it’s essential to understand what features are you looking for in a grill so you make the right choice.

On Steel Campfire we also have a series of recipes and advice for cooking.  Check out our section on Delicious BBQ Recipes.

If you’re looking for some menu ideas for your next backyard grill party, we recommend checking out our easy BBQ party menu. There is a ton of information about menu options to satisfy your guests!

Check out our Recent Posts

Z Grills Review

Z Grills Review

If you’re looking for a grill that will last, Z Grills is the way to go. Z grills are made of the best quality materials...

Read More