7 Amazing Grills and Smokers Under $500

7 Amazing Grills and Smokers Under $500

By:

Dave Joachim

Ready for a new rig? Believe it or not, a brand new, good quality gas grill, smoker, or pellet grill doesn’t have to break the bank. For many folks, the sweet spot is about 500 bucks. That kind of money, or even a little less, will buy you a very good piece of machinery that you can rely on for years to make steaks, burgers, chicken, brisket, ribs, pulled pork, and just about anything else you throw at it. These 7 grills and smokers are all winners of our highest honor, the AmazingRibs.com Platinum Medal for Best Value. These cookers have been tested, rated, and reviewed by Max Good, our full-time tester of outdoor cooking equipment, so you can be sure that you are getting a solid unit that is worth the money. To read the full reviews of these cookers, click the links below.

Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker Review

By:

Max Good

Vertical gas smokers are to easy to use. With Masterbuilt's ThermoTemp line, smoking on gas just got easier. Masterbuilt successfully offers groundbreaking use of thermostatic control on a gas smoker at an affordable price. We tested and reviewed their large XL model and award ThermoTemp our AmazingRibs.com Platinum Medal.

Green Mountain Davy Crockett Review

By:

Max Good

Read our review of Green Mountain's Davy Crockett. Green Mountain describes their small portable smoker as the Ultimate Tailgater Pellet Grill. It's also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it smoker to their BBQ arsenal. We tested Davy Crockett and award it our AmazingRibs.com Best Value Platinum Medal.

Weber Performer Deluxe 22″ Charcoal Grill Review

By:

Max Good

Read our review to learn why Weber kettles enjoy generation after generation of popularity and loyalty. They are affordable, cook just about anything and last forever. This AmazingRibs.com Platinum Medal winner is set in a large rolling cart with all the bells and whistles including gas ignition!

Char-Broil Commercial Stainless/Black 3 Burner Gas Grill Review

By:

Max Good

Lowe's calls this exclusive model the Char-Broil Commercial Stainless/Black 3-Burner Gas Grill. It was previously called TRU-Infrared. This AmazingRibs.com Platinum Medal winner has an inner double layer to keep in heat. We reviewed this model, it is capable of high enough heat for searing, and low enough for roasting.

Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker 18″ Review

By:

Meathead

We tested and reviewed this original, mid-size version of Weber's popular charcoal smoker. Weber Smokey Mountains are often seen competing head to head with large commercial cookers at practically every competition AND WINNING! Click here to learn all about this high quality, Best Value AmazingRibs.com Platinum Medal winner.

Napoleon TravelQ 285X with Cart Review

By:

Max Good

Napoleon’s new TravelQ TQ285X is one impressive little clam shell style portable gasser, with some unique features not found from competitors. We reviewed it and award this tailgater our AmazingRibs.com Best Value Platinum Medal. The fold out scissor cart is one of the most solid versions we've seen.

Blackstone Rangetop Combo With Deep Fryer Review

By:

Paul Sidoriak

Read our review of this cool combo cooker. With its ample cooking area, solid performance, and versatility for both griddle grilling and deep frying large amounts of food outdoors, the Blackstone Range Top Combo with Bonus Fryer easily earns a Platinum Medal.

Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker Review

By:

Max Good

Vertical gas smokers are to easy to use. With Masterbuilt's ThermoTemp line, smoking on gas just got easier. Masterbuilt successfully offers groundbreaking use of thermostatic control on a gas smoker at an affordable price. We tested and reviewed their large XL model and award ThermoTemp our AmazingRibs.com Platinum Medal.

Blackstone Rangetop Combo With Deep Fryer Review

By:

Paul Sidoriak

Read our review of this cool combo cooker. With its ample cooking area, solid performance, and versatility for both griddle grilling and deep frying large amounts of food outdoors, the Blackstone Range Top Combo with Bonus Fryer easily earns a Platinum Medal.

Char-Broil Commercial Stainless/Black 3 Burner Gas Grill Review

By:

Max Good

Lowe's calls this exclusive model the Char-Broil Commercial Stainless/Black 3-Burner Gas Grill. It was previously called TRU-Infrared. This AmazingRibs.com Platinum Medal winner has an inner double layer to keep in heat. We reviewed this model, it is capable of high enough heat for searing, and low enough for roasting.

Weber Performer Deluxe 22″ Charcoal Grill Review

By:

Max Good

Read our review to learn why Weber kettles enjoy generation after generation of popularity and loyalty. They are affordable, cook just about anything and last forever. This AmazingRibs.com Platinum Medal winner is set in a large rolling cart with all the bells and whistles including gas ignition!

Napoleon TravelQ 285X with Cart Review

By:

Max Good

Napoleon’s new TravelQ TQ285X is one impressive little clam shell style portable gasser, with some unique features not found from competitors. We reviewed it and award this tailgater our AmazingRibs.com Best Value Platinum Medal. The fold out scissor cart is one of the most solid versions we've seen.

Green Mountain Davy Crockett Review

By:

Max Good

Read our review of Green Mountain's Davy Crockett. Green Mountain describes their small portable smoker as the Ultimate Tailgater Pellet Grill. It's also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it smoker to their BBQ arsenal. We tested Davy Crockett and award it our AmazingRibs.com Best Value Platinum Medal.

Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker 18″ Review

By:

Meathead

We tested and reviewed this original, mid-size version of Weber's popular charcoal smoker. Weber Smokey Mountains are often seen competing head to head with large commercial cookers at practically every competition AND WINNING! Click here to learn all about this high quality, Best Value AmazingRibs.com Platinum Medal winner.

Published On: 7/1/2019 Last Modified: 4/23/2021


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Spotlight

These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

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A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs


The Undisputed Champion!


 
The Thermoworks Thermapen MK4 is considered by the pros, and our team, to be the single best instant read thermometer. The MK4 includes features that are common on high-end instruments: automatic backlight and rotating display. Don’t accept cheap substitutes.
Click here to read our comprehensive Platinum Medal review

Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet’s Dual Tube Burners


The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King’s proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Click here to read our complete review

Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

Fireboard Labs Product Photo Shoot. Kansas City Commercial Portrait and Wedding Photographers ©Kevin Ashley Photography

With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.
Click here to read our detailed review

Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker


Green Mountain’s portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it’s also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order


Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts

Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
Click here for our review of this superb smoker

The Pit Barrel Cooker May Be Too Easy


The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers because temperature control is so much easier.

Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them