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7 Amazing Grills and Smokers Under $500

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.

Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

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

 

Comprehensive Temperature Magnet With 80+ Important Temps

Amazingribs.com temperature magnet
Winner of the National BBQ Association’s product of the year award. This 8.5″ x 11″ magnet contains more that 80 benchmark temperatures for meats (both USDA recommended temps as well as the temps chefs recommend), fats and oils, sugars, sous vide, eggs, collagens, wood combustion, breads, and more. Although it is not certified as all-weather, we have tested it outdoors in Chicago weather and it has not delaminated in three years, but there is minor fading.

Click here to order.


The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One


The Good-One Open Range is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.

Click here to read our complete review


Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker


This is the first propane smoker with a thermostat, making this baby foolproof. Set ThermoTemp’s dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin’.

Click here to read our detailed review


GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone


GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, kill hotspots, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke.

Click here for more about what makes these grates so special


Grilla Pellet Smoker proves good things come in small packages

We always liked Grilla. The small 31.5″ x 29.5″ footprint makes it ideal for use where BBQ space is limited, as on a condo patio.
Click here for our review on this unique smoker


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


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

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