Share this article:
TopNotch Outdoor is independent – we research, test, and rate the top products to help you make the right buying choice. We sometimes use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on your purchase. Learn more…
There’s nothing quite like cooking a delicious meal outdoors, or making a fresh pot of coffee right outside the tent after a cold night of camping is there? I can smell the coffee now.
But which stove should you be using?
Which are the best buy(s)?
Which will give you the best bang for your buck?
Whether you’re on the beach, mountainside, campsite, or even your own patio, a great grill is essential. To help find the right stove for you, our team of tester chefs has tested 27 of the top gas grills, to find the top 10 best grills under a couple hundred bucks.
You’ll find out:
- which offer the best value for money
- how they perform when it comes to heat output
- user control
- cooking area
- and lots more…
- Best Small BBQ Grill For RV
- Best Cheap Gas Grill
- Best Backpacking Grill
- Best Gas Grill For Tailgating
- Best Small Gas Grill
- Best Wired Grill
- Best Stainless Steel Grill
- Best Portable Gas Grill
- Best 2 Burner Gas Grill
- Best Small Charcoal Grill
- Buyers Guide:
- How To Choose The Best Gas Grill Under $200.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Our Analysis, Comparisons & Test Results
- The Final Verdict: 10 Best Portable Gas Grills
- Conclusion: 10 Best Portable Gas Grills
Gas grills and camping stoves come in a range of sizes and prices and offer a variety of features. The smallest stoves are often designed simply to boil water, while larger stoves can be used to cook a meal fit for the whole family.
While cooking outdoors can be a challenge, a good gas grill can be a game-changer. With the right grill for you, cooking up your outdoor meal becomes an experience that everyone can enjoy.
There’ll only be one TopNotch grill for you – let’s dive right in and help you find it.
Best Small BBQ Grill For RV
1 – Grillerette Pro
- Hybrid technology to maximize heat flow
- 90% less smoke
- Great price
- Can be used indoors
- It’s electronic – so less durable than some other gas grills
- Lid not included and must be bought separately
- No parts are dishwasher safe
The Grillerette is an ingenious grill perfect for BBQ lovers! Its battery-powered technology maximizes heat from fewer charcoal bricks. The design isolates the coals underneath the grill and the fan then evenly spreads the heat.
90% less smoke, and perfectly grilled morsels as if cooked on a traditional charcoal grill.
You’re going to love how innovative this grill is, as well as the sheer portability of it. The Grillerette weighs in under 7 lbs and comes with its own travel bag so it’s easy to transport.
It’s also easy to use and to control the heat. The speed control lets you set your own temperature up to 450 degrees, allowing you to cook a greater variety of food.
We love it….
It’s super compact and lightweight, and can be used anywhere – even indoors! If you’re looking for an alternative to a gas bbq with hot plate, this might just be the grill for you.
At the end of the day, for the price, the Grillerette is extremely versatile, and packs in an impressive array of features.
Read Full Review:
Best Cheap Gas Grill
2 – Cuisinart CGG-059
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Push-button ignition, no match needed
- Built-in tabletop stand
- Very sharp vents
- Discoloration may happen on the lid
Cuisinart grills have been popular on our list – and for very good reason.
Like the CCG 306, the CGG-059 Grillster packs a serious punch. At just 10 lbs, this grill is seriously lightweight and highly portable. The locking lid and large handle make it easy to carry, and its collapsible legs make it easy to transport and store.
This super portable grill is perfect for taking on camping trips, or even just the patio table. No assembly is required, and set up is really easy so you’re good to grill from the get-go.
Cleaning is a doddle as well – it has a removable drip tray, and the grate is dishwasher safe.
At a very fair price, this might just be one of the best cheap gas grills we have ever seen.
Best Backpacking Grill
3 – MSR PocketRocket Deluxe
- Super light
- Works in the wind
- Great for simmering
- Unreliable piezo igniter
We love the PocketRocket Deluxe – and over the years it’s been an incredibly popular model for very good reason.
It can boil water impressively quickly and has great simmering and heat control capabilities. This opens up cooking possibilities on the trail, making it a great choice for backpacking.
The one thing that lets this stove down though is its stability, especially on uneven ground. The pot supports can be helpful to reduce the risk of tipping.
Alas, we found the piezo igniter can be a bit unreliable – not exactly what you want when you’re up a mountain needing sustenance.
That aside, at 3 oz, this is a super light and compact stove with impressive cooking capabilities. We can’t ignore the attractive price tag either.
Read Full Review:
Best Gas Grill For Tailgating
4 – Jet Boil MiniMo
- Fuel efficient
- Reliable piezoelectric lighter
- Simmer control
- Not windproof
The MiniMo cooking system was designed for backpackers. It’s an integrated canister style stove, powered by FluxRing technology. It can achieve a rolling boil in just over two minutes with half of the fuel consumption of traditional systems. Clearly this is a handy piece of kit.
The MiniMo also lets you make incremental heat adjustments from a light simmer to full boil. This pot and burner system boils faster and is also perfect for frying up veggies or simmering a sauce.
Which leads us to…
The reliable push-button igniter means you can start cooking instantly. Boil time for 1 liter is 4:06, and just a minute longer in the wind – although we found that strong gusts will blow the flame out.
Bottom line – at 14.6 oz, this is one of the lightest gas stoves in our review. We love the clever sideways burner storage design making it easier to pack and carry.
Best Small Gas Grill
5 – Soto Windmaster
- Works in the wind
- Reliable piezo lighter
- Very stable
- Not the most fuel-efficient
- Less control overheat
The Soto Windmaster is a great all-round canister stove. At just 3 oz, it’s an extremely lightweight gas stove, and it packs up nicely into its own stuff sack.
As standard, the stove comes with a smaller, three-pronged support. It also has a four-pronged support that can be clipped onto the stove which greatly improves stability. We found this is particularly useful when using larger pots with it.
It might not be the most fuel-efficient stove…
It has an impressive amount of wind resistance. It’ll boil a liter of water in under 5 minutes, and not much longer in a breeze either.
The reliable Piezo ignition also means you don’t need to worry about carrying other lighters.
One thing we noted…
The control valve doesn’t really allow for fine adjustments to the heat.
Despite that – for the price – this is one of the cheapest stoves on our list, and it packs a lot of value. We agreed we’d be more than happy to take this stove on our next backpacking trip.
Best Wired Grill
6 – Masterbuilt Gas Grill
- High heat output
- Chrome-plated warming rack
- Difficult to assemble
- Uneven cooking spots
- Unreliable burner
If you’re not looking especially for a canister stove, then a tabletop grill is perfect for many outdoor uses.
The Masterbuilt Smoke Hollow SH19030819 Tabletop Grill (PT300B) is one of our favorites. The compact design with locking lid, latches, and folding legs means you can take it wherever you want to grill.
One finding stood out:
With an ‘easy to use ignition’ button, this grill heats to a high temperature. It also provides an impressive cooking surface area: 305 square inches.
At less than 22 lbs, it’s also very portable. Somehow this lightweight and compact design still manages to pack in a chrome-plated warming rack!
However, we did think it took a bit of effort to assemble, and the single burner design resulted in some uneven cooking.
Nonetheless, this tabletop stainless steel grill is solid and durable and makes an easy job of BBQ and grilling. For the price, we think it offers great value and we love its versatility.SH19030819
Best Stainless Steel Grill
7 – Cuisinart CGG 180 All Foods Gas Grill
- Super compact
- Easy to carry and clean
- Fuel efficient
- Can be slightly unstable if not on a solid level surface
- Some plastic parts may melt at high temperatures
Of all the affordable gas grills we’ve looked at, the Petit Gourmet is an excellent choice. It’s as portable as the name suggests – it measures a petite 18.5 x 16 x 11.5in and weighs just 13lbs.
The grill heats up immediately and uses far less gas than a full-sized grill, making it a really economical choice.
With legs that fold in, a carry handle and lid lock to keep the lid secure, it’s also incredibly portable and very easy to carry. It may be small, but you can easily cook for an entire family – with room for 8 burgers, or 8 steaks – plenty of whatever you want to eat.
It doesn’t have the highest heat output of the grills on our list.
BTU isn’t everything – remember! This grill cooks evenly and efficiently, making it a sound choice for high-performance grilling.
We reckon it’s a solid and durable grill but alas it may not stand up so well to lots of use. It’s lightweight size and portability make it best suited for camping, picnicking and tailgating.
Best Portable Gas Grill
8 – Char-Broil Grill2Go X200
- High BTU
- Too hot for cooking some foods
The sturdy little Char Broil Grill2Go X200 is, as the name suggests, highly portable. This makes it a great choice for camping, tailgating and patio grilling.
It’s extremely easy to set up, and the electronic push-button ignition is very reliable, allowing you to get cooking in no time so those hungry mouths don’t wait too long.
The main burner boasts an impressive 9,500 BTU. With a cooking area of 200 square inches, we found there’s little this gas grill can’t handle.
The no flare-up TRU-Infrared cooking system cooks evenly, which is great for steaks and burgers.
The best bit?
We tested in a variety of locations and found it performs well even in the coldest of climates, making it even more of an all-rounder.
But its high heat can mean it cooks a little too hot for some foods. Even on the lowest setting, meat may char quickly before the inside is cooked through.
Despite that, we think it deserves its place on the best grills under two hundred bucks on the list.
Read Full Review: Char-Broil Grill (Grill2Go X200)
Best 2 Burner Gas Grill
9 – Cuisinart CGG-306
- 2 burner system
- Secure locking lid
- Large pull out grease tray
- Lightweight and easy to move
- Easy to assemble and set up
- Only works with 20 lb propane tanks
- Low-heat settings are difficult
If you’re into serious outdoor cooking, the Cuisinart CGG-306 could be a good choice. It’s a big tabletop grill, but at 22 lbs, it’s portable enough to be taken wherever you want to grill.
Firstly, this grill offers a two-burner system, with each burner providing a whopping 10,000 BTUs. With a total of 20,000 BTUs and 275 square inches of grilling surface, this grill will withstand some serious cooking.
The best part:
It heats up fast, but the two temperature control knobs for each burner means you can easily set and control different heat zones. This is a useful feature to allow you to cook food at different temperatures.
Secondly, it’s easy to set up and easy to use; it’s also fitted with a temperature gauge and a twist-start ignition for more precise cooking.
And here’s the kicker – the locking hood keeps it secure while it is in transit, and the legs also fold up to make it easy to move and store. If you want a more traditional grill, it comes with a stand which you can buy separately.
But be warned, the low heat settings can be tricky, especially for white meats.
Read Full Review:
Best Small Charcoal Grill
10 – Tacklife 22.5-inch Charcoal Grill
- Easily portable
- Excellent ventilation system with a top air vent
- Both direct and indirect grilling is possible
- Reinforced support frame and large wheels
- Difficult to carry for a long distance
So this isn’t a gas grill – but as far as the authentic grill experience goes, we love this charcoal grill!
With a large cooking area, the Tacklife Charcoal Grill will take 12 burgers at a time, making it easy to cook for more people. The large cooking bowl is a ‘plus’ – our testers noted that the heat control and retention are impressive.
It looks the part…
With its large cooking bowl, durable stainless steel framed large wheels (which also make moving it around effortless).
It is a bit complicated to assemble – but we like that it has a removable ash catcher which makes cleaning up afterward very easy. But at 24 lbs, you won’t want to carry this grill far.
It’s still one of the best cheap grills you can buy and accommodates cooking for up to 10 people. A sure winner for patio gatherings and summer garden parties!
Why Trust Us?
We’ve specifically chosen outdoor enthusiasts with decades of experience to put these products through rigorous testing regimes. Our findings are checked and verified – we sift through hundreds of critiques and customer reviews to bring you the best product recommendations.
This particular review is written by Alex Winters. As a seasoned camper, hiker and barbeque enthusiast herself, Alex spends a lot of time outdoors. She loves to cook, especially for her friends and family, which is why she is well qualified to tell you all about camping grills.
This isn’t just about cooking up some tasty steaks and burgers though. As a long-distance hiker, she knows that when it comes to preparing meals outdoors, your stove can make or break a whole trip.
That’s why with these reviews, we rate the products against a wide range of factors.
We know what makes a great grill, and we want you to be confident when choosing the one for you.
How To Choose The Best Gas Grill Under $200.
When it comes to portable stoves and grills, there are various types available to suit your needs.
Portable gas grills are convenient and versatile. They’re very transportable and are equally suitable on a patio as they are at the beach, on camping trips, or tailgating.
Gas grills don’t take much time to light and heat up. They can be single, double or triple burners. They can also come with features like warming racks and temperature gauges.
Gas grills are ideal for precision grilling as you can adjust the height and temperature of the flame.
This is exactly what you want for the perfectly grilled steak!
Double or triple burners mean you can have different grilling zones that allow you to cook different items simultaneously.
In this review, we created a shortlist of the best gas grills under $200 for you.
If you’re looking for an authentic BBQ experience, charcoal grills can be a great choice.
When hot, the coals provide the heat for cooking. They generally don’t flare up like open flame gas grills.
You need to know – Charcoal burns hotter than gas., and you have limited options for controlling the heat.
Camping stoves are generally a small stove that has a pot stand directly attached to the pressurized fuel canister.
They can be solid fuel, liquid fuel, or canister gas stoves. Canister gas stoves are the most common, which is our focus in this review. They’re lightweight, simple to use, and have good flame control. They’re great for hiking, but if you like a more camping bbq experience, you could be better off with a grill.
Grilling Surface Area
An important factor:
The size of the grilling area – how much space you have to cook.
Generally, a small gas grill will be enough for two people. Some small grills can even allow cooking for larger numbers. This makes them the ideal choice for campouts or tailgating. For larger families, gas grills with at least 300 square inches of cooking surface are ideal.
Camping stoves are suitable for 1-2 persons, and pot stands are available to increase cooking functionality.
It really depends on knowing how much you plan to cook. The more servings you need, the more square inches you should be considering.
Cooking performance should be your top factor to take into consideration after you’ve decided what type of grill or stove you’re looking for.
Bad design can cause poor cooking performance. Uneven heat distribution, inconsistent temperatures, and uncontrolled flare-ups are real problems when grilling.
The Masterbuilt Smoke Hollow Tabletop Grill could give an uneven cook. By contrast, the Grillerette was packed with features that allowed for a nice even cook.
Some grills are designed with features to minimize these differences and increase the overall quality of cooking.
Look for features like metal burner shields, and burner location being set lower in the grill. This aids even heat distribution.
You might also want to look for features that help reduce flare-ups, like a burner shield to shield it from falling grease.
The heating power of gas grills is measured by BTUs (British thermal units per hour). The higher the BTU is the more cooking power the grill has. BTU /hr also tells you how much gas a grill uses.
I should point something out:
Generally speaking, the higher the heat value is, the faster the grill heats up and the hotter it will be. Small and cheap gas grills will have lower BTU, which translates to longer cooking time.
Gas grills tend to run around 10,000 to 20,000 BTUs.
…it’s not the measure of better cooking. Some foods don’t suit fast or high-temperature cooking.
Choose the heat value for your cooking style. If you like your steak seared, a higher BTU value is better. If you like to cook slowly, the higher heat can burn food, while leaving it undercooked on the inside.
BTU power isn’t the only factor affecting grill performance.
Look for burner valves with settings like flame control, so you can fine-tune the heat levels.
In camping stoves, the simmering ability will make the stove more efficient.
It also means…
…less accidentally burnt pans and more flexibility in timing meals with different components.
Even if you don’t plan to cook complicated meals, simmering is a crucial aspect. Operating at low heat means better fuel efficiency, which also means better value for money.
One of the most important factors in a stove or a grill’s performance is wind resistance.
If the slightest breeze can blow out the flame, the grill is suddenly rendered useless. For some stoves, even the smallest bit of wind can drastically affect a flame and impact its efficiency or cooking time.
Understandably, this can make or break a cookout.
Some grills and stoves come with windscreens that are lightweight and flexible. They also provide a boost in performance on breezy days.
At their most basic, grills do a variety of cooking tasks for you. Having additional features is always an advantage for those willing to pay for extra value.
Let’s take a look at what else you can get with your grill!
Even some of the inexpensive gas grills can come with extras. These could be warming racks, extra gas elements, or a gas gauge to tell you how much gas you have left.
Some good cheap grills even include extra side burners where you can heat food pots and warm buns. This is especially great if you’re cooking for larger groups of people.
Some grills also include their own cooking and cleaning tools. You can always buy kits separately, but this can be an additional cost. If you can, have these included with the price of your gas grill.
Check out our FAQ…
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What’s the best BTU for gas grills?
A : When looking for a gas grill, they range typically from 5,000 to 20,000 BTUs. Be warned that 20,000 BTUs make for a very hot grill – we reckon around 10,000 BTUs is ideal.
Q. Are gas grills safe?
A : Always follow the instructions that come with your grill or propane tank. Grills are very safe if used properly. Make sure that your grill is placed in a sheltered area, out of direct wind, and away from walls. Keep your grill at least three feet away from your house or tent so that if there’s a fire, it won’t spread.
Q. Can a gas grill propane tank explode?
A : Used properly, propane tanks are very safe. Safety devices and mechanisms are in place to prevent explosions, accidents and tank ruptures. They come with safety instructions printed on the side. Always use or store cylinders safely in an upright, vertical position. Be sure to store them outdoors away from sources of ignition (i.e. heat, matches, or lighters).
The risk of explosion only comes if the tank gets too hot, or if there is gas buildup around the grill. After a propane tank runs out of gas, the pilot light on an appliance may go out, creating fire and explosion dangers. Always monitor the gas level in the tank.
Q. How long can I expect my grill to last?
A : How long your grill lasts is directly related to how well looked after it is and whether it’s protected from the weather.
Any gas grill that’s left outside uncovered will likely rust in less than 3 years and become unusable in less than five years. Typically you can expect your gas grill to last three years – longer if well looked after.
Camping stoves are designed to be very durable. The burners will usually last between five and ten years but are very easy to replace.
With so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which to buy.
At the end of the day, you need to know how you want to use your grill. The key is to think about the basics:
How big and how portable do you need the grill to be?
How many people are you cooking for?
Are all the additional fancy features worth it?
Consider all these factors when you’re looking for the best affordable gas grill for your budget.
There you have it. You have all the knowledge you need to buy that all-important Gas Grill with confidence.
We’ve done all the hard work for you researching testing and rating the best Gas Grills, we’ve left no stone unturned. Check out our ratings below…
We’ve included links to the Top 3 both at the beginning and the end of this review.
Think of us when you’re cooking your succulent steak on one of our Bad Boy Grills won’t you?…
Now let’s check out how each of the stoves performed against our ratings:
Our Analysis, Comparisons & Test Results
Let’s dive into the criteria we used to rate the grills and compare the different models against each other.
Value For Money
Without a doubt, one of the most critical factors to affect your choice of gas grill is going to be price. Value for money means getting the right balance of features and performance for the cost.
And if you are looking for cheap bbq grills, we certainly have you covered.
Grills come in all shapes, sizes, and costs – but that doesn’t mean that they’ll necessarily suit your needs.
Value For Money Rating
You only want a simple camping meal while you’re on the trail?
Then a single burner canister camping stove is probably best.
Which leads us to…
If you’re more into campouts and tailgating parties, then a larger tabletop double or triple burner might be better.
In this review, we’re looking for the best affordable grills on the market today.
Here are the ten best gas grills under $200.
Cost isn’t the only factor in deciding the best budget grills though.
So what else do you look for?
The power or heat of a grill is measured in BTUs – British Thermal Units. They’re a measure of the amount of heat that can be created by the burner of your gas grill. It also indicates how well the heat is handled and distributed by the grill.
In other words…
…how the grill is designed, and how much bang you’re getting for your buck.
Generally speaking, the more power a burner has, the better it boils and the more efficient it is.
Output Power Rating
But here’s the thing…
A higher rating of BTU doesn’t necessarily mean the grill is better at getting hot. So the best cheap propane grill might not have the highest BTU. Other factors like the materials used, grill size, and distance from the burner to grill are also important.
When you’re looking at output power, more is not necessarily more. A lower BTU doesn’t necessarily mean lower cook times if a stove is well designed.
And while a high BTU is great for searing meats, a lower BTU gives more control for slow cooking.
Temperature control is another important factor when choosing a grill. Cooking on high heat with little control may not just scorch your food – it can burn your pans and waste fuel.
The ideal outdoor experience isn’t always about firing up the grill to the highest temperature. It’s about controlling the temperature so you can control the cooking.
Gas grills come with controls that allow you to select different temperatures. With two or three burners, you can also choose different temperatures for different parts of the grill.
Lastly, charcoal grills don’t usually come with temperature controls. If you’re looking for a hot grill to sear your steaks, this might be a good choice for you.
Portability is another important factor when choosing a grill.
While all the grills in our review are by definition portable, they still come in a wide range of shapes, weights, and sizes.
Cooking on your patio?
Size and portability might not be an issue. But if you need to fit your stove and all the accessories in your backpack, size, weight, and portability will be much more of a factor.
We also looked for handy features like a carrying handle, secure clips, closing lids.
The grills in our review weighed anything from 3 oz for canister camping stoves, up to 24 lbs for the charcoal grill. We’re confident there’s a grill in this list for any requirement.
Another important factor is the size of the cooking area. This determines how much you can cook at any one time.
Let’s face it, no one wants a bunch of hungry teenagers waiting for their food.
We tested a range of grills and stoves in this review.
Cooking Area Rating
Everything from camping stoves to a small BBQ grill to larger gas grills to cook for more people. But to pick the right grill for you, you need to know what you’ll use the stove or grill for, and how much cooking you’ll do.
Camping stoves are ideal for 1-2 persons. They often come with accessories like pot stands which can support larger pans.
Gas grills and charcoal barbeques are larger, sporting anything from 146 sq in – to 400 sq in.
We consider wind resistance to be a pretty crucial factor which is why we’ve included it in our ratings.
Think about it:
Wind is the nemesis of outdoor cooking. If the smallest breeze repeatedly blows the flame out, it can quickly put an end to your cookout.
Wind Resistance Rating
Some grill models have windscreens built-in, and some are specifically designed to withstand higher wind speeds.
All of the models that we tested performed well in breezy conditions. But if you’re planning to cook windy places, consider investing in a separate windscreen for extra wind protection.
The Final Verdict:
10 Best Portable Gas Grills
So we made it to the end together – thanks for reading – here are the final results.
We’ve had a few burns (the food and us!) and even the odd tantrum but we’ve also “had our steak and eaten it” in the Great Outdoors.
As you can see we live to tell the tale of the very Best Gas Grills – for you!
Conclusion: 10 Best Portable Gas Grills
We’ve done the test – which grill is the best?
By now you’ll know we’ve looked in-depth at the best gas grills under $200. But ultimately, the best grill for you will be the one that meets your needs, for the right price.
Knowing what you want to grill, where you want to grill, and how many people you’re grilling for will help you decide on the perfect camping grill for you.
If you’re camping or backpacking, a canister stove is probably going to do the job best. If you prefer campouts, tailgate parties, or BBQs on the beach – a rugged tabletop grill will be a good place to start.
Luckily there’s plenty of good gas grills to choose from on our list.
As with any grill, look after it, keep it clean, covered or under shelter, and it’ll look after you – for years.
Here are our top 3 All-Time Best Cheap Gas Grills
We hope you enjoyed our review, Alex worked hard on it.
All that’s left is for the team here at TopNotch to wish you many happy hours of camping and many tasty meals with happy friends and lots of jovial banter in the Great Outdoors.
We’re all agreed, that’s where it’s at.