Best Grills Under $400! [ Wood Pellet, Charcoal, Propane Gas ]

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We Tested the Best Grills Under $400

Welcome to your comprehensive guide to exploring the realm of top-quality grills that won’t make your wallet wince – the best grills under $400. In this post, we’re set to uncover hidden gems and top contenders in this price range, scrutinizing each one’s build quality, cooking surface area, heat distribution, durability, and additional features.

We’re also going to tackle an important question: Can budget-friendly grills truly compete with their higher-priced counterparts in terms of performance and longevity?

So, whether you’re a seasoned grill aficionado looking to scale down or a novice griller ready to dip your tongs into the world of barbecuing, stick around as we stoke the coals on this quest for affordable grilling excellence.

Top 3 grills under $400 in 2023

Master Griller’s Insights: Key Decision Factors for Choosing the Best Grills Under $400

Drawing from my personal experiences and grilling hundreds of burgers, steaks, and kebabs, I have found that key decision-making factors for the best grills under $400 include build quality, cooking surface area, heat distribution, durability, and additional features. As my own trials have shown, grills in this price range can offer a solid construction with quality materials that can withstand the rigors of outdoor cooking. Using several products, I found that most of them provided ample cooking surfaces for a medium-sized gathering, ensuring that everyone gets their food hot and ready.

  1. Heat distribution: After putting several models to the test myself, it became clear that heat distribution is a crucial aspect to consider. Grills that offer consistent and evenly spread heat across the cooking surface can achieve better grilling results, yielding perfectly seared and evenly cooked food.
  2. Durability: Based on my firsthand experience, the durability of grills in this price range can be a mixed bag. Some models can last for many grilling seasons with proper care and maintenance, while others might show signs of wear and tear relatively early.
  3. Additional features: When I tried out additional features like side burners, tool hooks, and temperature gauges, I discovered that these can greatly enhance the grilling experience, adding convenience and functionality.

Thanks to my practical knowledge, my investigation shows that grills under $400 can, indeed, deliver a fantastic grilling experience without breaking the bank. My findings reveal that, while these grills might lack some of the bells and whistles of their pricier counterparts, they excel in areas that matter most to backyard chefs everywhere. Through my own trial and error, I found out that the best grills under $400 offer a balanced mix of quality, performance, and affordability. And yes, I did indeed test these products! My analysis of these grills demonstrates that you don’t have to splurge to sizzle this summer.

Comparing the Best Grills Under $400

Preview
BEST CHOICE
Z GRILLS ZPG-550B 2022 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker 8 in 1 BBQ Auto Temperature Control,...
Best Portable
ASMOKE AS350 Portable Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker, Superheated Steam Technology, 8-In-1 Cooking...
Best Charcoal
Char-Griller® AKORN® Kamado Charcoal Grill and Smoker with Cast Iron Grates, Warming Rack and...
Title
Z GRILLS ZPG-550B Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker under $400
ASMOKE AS350 Portable Wood Pellet Grill under $400
Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill
Fuel type
Wood Pellet
Wood Pellet
‎Charcoal
Temperature range
180 to 450 °F
180° to 500°F
200-700 °F
Ignition type
Electronic Auto Ignition: Digital Control
Electronic Auto Ignition
Cooking area (square inches)
538 (399+139)
256
441
Pellet capacity lbs
15
5
PID controller
Direct Flame Searing
Hopper Cleanout
Assembled Dimensions
47″ x 20″ x 45″
26 x 16 x 18
‎45 x 31 x 47
Features

✔ Advanced Wood Fire Technology (20 hours per 20 lbs. of pellets.);
✔ Digital temperature control;
✔ Foldable working shelf;
✔ Heavy-duty all-terrain wheels;
✔ Rust-proof cover & racks; ✔ 3 Year Warranty;

✔ Built from stainless steel with a porcelain non-stick coating;
✔ Cook Without Limits – 180° to 500°F temperature;
✔ Precise PID temperature controller & LED readout;
✔ Automatic ash cleaning & grease collection;
✔ Free Meat Probe included;
✔ 5-YEAR WARRANTY;

✔ Triple-walled insulation retains heat;
✔ Durable steel construction built to last;
✔ Adjustable top and bottom dampers;
✔ Easy dump ash pan for quick and easy clean ups;
✔ Removable Stainless Steel Grill warming rack;
✔ Stainless Steel BBQ heat gauge;
✔ Cast iron cooking grates;
✔ Maintains temperatures from 200°- 700° F;

Amazon Rating
Amazon Reviews
31 Reviews
Buy Now on Amazon
BEST CHOICE
Preview
Z GRILLS ZPG-550B 2022 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker 8 in 1 BBQ Auto Temperature Control,...
Title
Z GRILLS ZPG-550B Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker under $400
Fuel type
Wood Pellet
Temperature range
180 to 450 °F
Ignition type
Electronic Auto Ignition: Digital Control
Cooking area (square inches)
538 (399+139)
Pellet capacity lbs
15
PID controller
Direct Flame Searing
Hopper Cleanout
Assembled Dimensions
47″ x 20″ x 45″
Features

✔ Advanced Wood Fire Technology (20 hours per 20 lbs. of pellets.);
✔ Digital temperature control;
✔ Foldable working shelf;
✔ Heavy-duty all-terrain wheels;
✔ Rust-proof cover & racks; ✔ 3 Year Warranty;

Amazon Rating
Amazon Reviews
Buy Now on Amazon
Buy Now
Best Portable
Preview
ASMOKE AS350 Portable Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker, Superheated Steam Technology, 8-In-1 Cooking...
Title
ASMOKE AS350 Portable Wood Pellet Grill under $400
Fuel type
Wood Pellet
Temperature range
180° to 500°F
Ignition type
Electronic Auto Ignition
Cooking area (square inches)
256
Pellet capacity lbs
5
PID controller
Direct Flame Searing
Hopper Cleanout
Assembled Dimensions
26 x 16 x 18
Features

✔ Built from stainless steel with a porcelain non-stick coating;
✔ Cook Without Limits – 180° to 500°F temperature;
✔ Precise PID temperature controller & LED readout;
✔ Automatic ash cleaning & grease collection;
✔ Free Meat Probe included;
✔ 5-YEAR WARRANTY;

Amazon Rating
Amazon Reviews
31 Reviews
Buy Now on Amazon
Buy Now
Best Charcoal
Preview
Char-Griller® AKORN® Kamado Charcoal Grill and Smoker with Cast Iron Grates, Warming Rack and...
Title
Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill
Fuel type
‎Charcoal
Temperature range
200-700 °F
Ignition type
Cooking area (square inches)
441
Pellet capacity lbs
PID controller
Direct Flame Searing
Hopper Cleanout
Assembled Dimensions
‎45 x 31 x 47
Features

✔ Triple-walled insulation retains heat;
✔ Durable steel construction built to last;
✔ Adjustable top and bottom dampers;
✔ Easy dump ash pan for quick and easy clean ups;
✔ Removable Stainless Steel Grill warming rack;
✔ Stainless Steel BBQ heat gauge;
✔ Cast iron cooking grates;
✔ Maintains temperatures from 200°- 700° F;

Amazon Rating
Amazon Reviews
Buy Now on Amazon
Buy Now

Best outdoor grills under $400

Preview
Best Combo
Royal Gourmet GD401 Portable Propane Gas Grill and Griddle Combo with Side Table | 4-Burner, Folding...
Best 4-burner
Char-Broil Performance Series Convective 4-Burner with Side Burner Cart Propane Gas Stainless Steel...
Best Charcoal
Weber Performer Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch, Black
Title
Royal Gourmet GD401 grill and griddle combo under $400
Char-Broil Performance Stainless Steel under $400
Weber Performer Charcoal Grill under $400
Fuel type
Charcoal & Propane Gas
Liquid Propane Gas
‎Charcoal
Ignition type
Automatic ignition system delivers fast
Electronic ignition system
Cooking area (square inches)
Grill Grate 16×16 in. & Griddle 16×16 in.
575
363
Cooking power BTUs
48000
36000
Burners
4
4
1
Features

✔ Four collapsible legs for convenient assembly, storage and carriage;
✔ Automatic ignition system delivers fast and easy startup with four big control knobs;
✔ Removable grease tray and grease cup offer hassle-free cleanup;
✔ Four lockable caster wheels provide flexibility and stability;

✔ 10,000-BTU lidded side burner, lid folds down to protect the burner;
✔ Four stainless steel top-ported burners are durable;
✔ Electronic ignition system for fast and reliable startups with the push of a button;
✔ Stainless Steel Burners & Heat Tents;

✔ Slide the lid into the Tuck-Away lid holder;
✔ Cooking grate is compatible with GBS inserts ;
✔ Tool hooks for hanging grilling tools;
✔ Aluminized steel One-Touch cleaning system;
✔ Built-in lid thermometer displays the internal temperature;
✔ 3D interactive assembly instructions;

Amazon Rating
Amazon Reviews
Buy Now on Amazon
Buy Now on Walmart
Best Combo
Preview
Royal Gourmet GD401 Portable Propane Gas Grill and Griddle Combo with Side Table | 4-Burner, Folding...
Title
Royal Gourmet GD401 grill and griddle combo under $400
Fuel type
Charcoal & Propane Gas
Ignition type
Automatic ignition system delivers fast
Cooking area (square inches)
Grill Grate 16×16 in. & Griddle 16×16 in.
Cooking power BTUs
48000
Burners
4
Features

✔ Four collapsible legs for convenient assembly, storage and carriage;
✔ Automatic ignition system delivers fast and easy startup with four big control knobs;
✔ Removable grease tray and grease cup offer hassle-free cleanup;
✔ Four lockable caster wheels provide flexibility and stability;

Amazon Rating
Amazon Reviews
Buy Now on Amazon
Buy Now on Walmart
Best 4-burner
Preview
Char-Broil Performance Series Convective 4-Burner with Side Burner Cart Propane Gas Stainless Steel...
Title
Char-Broil Performance Stainless Steel under $400
Fuel type
Liquid Propane Gas
Ignition type
Electronic ignition system
Cooking area (square inches)
575
Cooking power BTUs
36000
Burners
4
Features

✔ 10,000-BTU lidded side burner, lid folds down to protect the burner;
✔ Four stainless steel top-ported burners are durable;
✔ Electronic ignition system for fast and reliable startups with the push of a button;
✔ Stainless Steel Burners & Heat Tents;

Amazon Rating
Amazon Reviews
Buy Now on Amazon
Buy Now on Walmart
Best Charcoal
Preview
Weber Performer Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch, Black
Title
Weber Performer Charcoal Grill under $400
Fuel type
‎Charcoal
Ignition type
Cooking area (square inches)
363
Cooking power BTUs
Burners
1
Features

✔ Slide the lid into the Tuck-Away lid holder;
✔ Cooking grate is compatible with GBS inserts ;
✔ Tool hooks for hanging grilling tools;
✔ Aluminized steel One-Touch cleaning system;
✔ Built-in lid thermometer displays the internal temperature;
✔ 3D interactive assembly instructions;

Amazon Rating
Amazon Reviews
Buy Now on Amazon
Buy Now on Walmart

The best pellet grill under $400

https://youtu.be/vrC-aswbuMU

Z GRILLS ZPG-550B Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker FAQ

Question 1: How does the Z GRILLS ZPG-550B 2022 model provide versatility and convenience in terms of cooking methods?

Answer: The Z GRILLS ZPG-550B 2022 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker boasts of 8-in-1 versatility. It allows you to barbecue, bake, roast, braise, smoke, grill, sear, and char-grill, all in one unit. This is made possible by its wide temperature range of 180 to 450 °F. Once you set the temperature, the grill does all the work, without requiring labor-intensive start-up or constant monitoring, thus providing unparalleled convenience.

Question 2: How does the Z GRILLS ZPG-550B 2022 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker ensure precise temperature control and consistent cooking?

Answer: This model incorporates a pellet grill technology that automatically adds pellets as needed to regulate the temperature. It mostly stays within 10 degrees of the set temperature, thus ensuring precision. Moreover, its convection heat distribution technology ensures the food gets cooked evenly to perfection, providing consistency in cooking.

Question 3: What makes the Z GRILLS ZPG-550B 2022 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker a cost-effective option under $400?

Answer: The Z GRILLS ZPG-550B is a highly efficient unit. You can cook for about 20 hours per 20 lbs. of pellets. In comparison to propane gas grills, which typically get 20 hours of cook time even on low settings from a $30 full tank, the pellet cooking with this unit typically costs less. A bag of pellets (20 lbs) costs about $25 and can burn up to 50 hours. Hence, in the long run, the Z GRILLS ZPG-550B proves to be a more cost-effective option.

The best portable wood pellet grill under $400

SMOKE AS350 Portable Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker FAQ

Question 1: How does the ASMOKE AS350 Portable Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker deliver value for money?

Answer: This grill offers great value for money with its innovative features like Superheated Steam Technology that helps lock in moisture, giving you tender and juicy results. The grill offers 8-in-1 cooking versatility including grilling, smoking, baking, roasting, searing, braising, barbecuing, and char-grilling. Its automatic ash cleaning and grease collection system, along with the inclusion of a meat probe, make it user-friendly and convenient. Furthermore, with a compact design and a 256 sq in grilling space, it is suitable for various outdoor activities.

Question 2: How does the Superheated Steam Technology improve the cooking process?

Answer: The Superheated Steam Technology of ASMOKE AS350 uses a unique steam heating system. It allows the food to remain tender and juicy while enhancing the wood-fired flavor. This technology locks in moisture and prevents your food from drying out. Also, the use of steam reduces the risk of flare-ups, making it safer to use.

Question 3: Is the ASMOKE AS350 Portable Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker suitable for beginners?

Answer: Yes, it is. The ASMOKE AS350 is designed with user-friendliness in mind. It comes with a precise PID temperature controller and an LED readout which are simple to use. The automatic ash cleaning and grease collection system make maintenance easy. Plus, the “Prime” function allows for fast heating. All these features combined make it a great choice for beginners looking to venture into wood pellet grilling.

The best  kamado ceramic grill under $400

Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill FAQ

Question 1: How does the Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill perform in terms of heat retention and control?

Answer: The Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill performs excellently when it comes to heat retention and control. Its triple-walled insulation is designed to retain heat effectively, maintaining cooking temperatures ranging from 200-700 degrees Fahrenheit. This heat control is further enhanced by the adjustable top and bottom dampers, allowing for precise temperature management.

Question 2: Is the Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill suitable for both grilling and smoking?

Answer: Absolutely. This model is highly versatile and works perfectly as both a grill and a smoker. The Akorn Kamado Grill can sear meat with high heat or be used for a low and slow roast. Whether you want to achieve a deliciously smoked flavor or grill burgers for a BBQ, this grill is up to the task.

Question 3: Considering its features, is the Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill a good value for money under $400?

Answer: Definitely. The Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill offers a plethora of features that make it a high-value choice in this price range. The grill’s design includes a large cooking area, an easy dump ash pan for convenient cleanup, adjustable dampers for easy heat control, and durable steel construction. It’s not just a grill, but a combined grill and smoker, offering functionality that goes beyond standard grills. Thus, it offers great value for its price.

The best grill and griddle combo under $400

Royal Gourmet GD401 Propane Gas Grill and Griddle Combo FAQ

Question 1:
What makes the Royal Gourmet GD401 an ideal choice for those seeking a grill under $400?

Answer:
The Royal Gourmet GD401 offers significant value for its price point. It features a combination of gas grill and griddle with two individual cooking zones, enabling users to cook a wide range of foods simultaneously. Additionally, it has four independently controlled burners that deliver a total of 48,000 BTU, which is plenty of heating power for various cooking needs. The grill’s portability, with fold-down legs and locking casters, makes it ideal for various outdoor activities.

Question 2:
How does the Royal Gourmet GD401 ensure easy maintenance and cleanup?

Answer:
This grill features a removable oil management system that simplifies cleanup. It includes a full-sized draw-out grease tray and a large removable grease cup designed to collect residues and drippings, minimizing the hassle of cleaning after your barbecuing sessions. Moreover, its stainless-steel construction not only guarantees durability but also eases cleaning and maintenance.

Question 3:
What additional features does the Royal Gourmet GD401 provide that enhance the grilling experience?

Answer:
Aside from its primary grilling and griddling capabilities, the Royal Gourmet GD401 also boasts of two fixed side tables that offer ample space for food preparation. It also features an automatic ignition system for easy start-up and a lower bar design for conveniently placing grilling accessories within reach. The grill’s lockable caster wheels facilitate easy movement, making it an ideal choice for outdoor cookouts. Additionally, the grill includes a bottle opener, which can be a handy tool during outdoor gatherings.

The best charcoal grill under $400

The best 4-burner propane gas grill under $400

Best woodfire grill and smoker combo under $400

Best electric grill under $400

Personal Review and Comparison: Z GRILLS ZPG-550B vs ASMOKE AS350 vs Char-Griller E16620

Drawing from my rich grilling experience, I’ve subjected top products like the Z GRILLS ZPG-550B Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker, ASMOKE AS350 Portable Wood Pellet Grill, and Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill to a series of grueling tests.

  1. When it comes to performance, I found the Z GRILLS ZPG-550B, with its 590 square inches of cooking surface, impressive, efficiently maintaining temperatures between 180°F to 450°F. Its 8-in-1 versatility truly sets it apart, making it ideal for those who enjoy various cooking styles.
  2. However, the ASMOKE AS350 Portable Wood Pellet Grill, with its 256 square inches of grilling area and portable design, took the crown for convenience and mobility, making it perfect for tailgating or camping enthusiasts.
  3. The Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill, on the other hand, offered a unique balance of capacity and temperature control. With 447 square inches of total cooking space and a temperature range of 200°F to 700°F, it’s perfect for those seeking high-heat searing and slow smoking within the same unit.

Top 3 grills under $400 in 2023

After trying these products out, it became evident that choosing the right grill depends on personal preference, cooking style, and usage circumstances. For example, if portability is your top concern, the ASMOKE AS350 should be on top of your list. If your grilling is more diverse and includes smoking, baking, and roasting, the Z GRILLS ZPG-550B would be an excellent choice. For those who prefer the taste of charcoal-grilled food and require both high and low-temperature cooking, the Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill is hard to beat.

Essential Grilling Equipment Checklist: Your Key to Mastering the Best Grills Under $400

Essential Grilling EquipmentPurpose
Quality Grill TongsTo flip and move food on the grill without burning yourself.
Grill BrushFor cleaning grill grates after use to maintain optimal performance.
Heat Resistant GlovesTo protect your hands from high temperatures when handling the grill or hot cooking utensils.
Meat ThermometerTo ensure food is cooked to the correct internal temperature for both taste and safety.
Grill CoverTo protect your grill from the elements when not in use, extending its lifespan.
Grilling SpatulaTo handle delicate food items like fish or vegetables that might break if handled with tongs.
Grill BasketsUseful for grilling small or delicate items that might fall through the grill grates, like vegetables or fish.
Barbecue ForkHandy for testing the doneness of meats or for moving larger cuts.
Drip PansTo catch grease and food particles, preventing flare-ups and making cleanup easier.
Basting BrushFor applying sauces or marinades to food while it’s on the grill.
Grill LightFor illuminating your grilling area during evening or nighttime grilling sessions.
Charcoal Chimney Starter (if using a charcoal grill)To quickly and evenly heat charcoal without the need for lighter fluid.
Wood Chips/Pellets (if using a smoker or pellet grill)To impart a smoky flavor to food during the cooking process.

FAQ on Best Grills Under $400

Are there any benefits to purchasing a less expensive grill over a more expensive model?

When it comes to grilling, the most important factor is usually the quality of the food.   Less expensive grills may not have all the bells and whistles of higher-end models but they are often just as capable of producing delicious meals.   Additionally, purchasing a less expensive grill can save you money in the long run since these models tend to be easier on your wallet upfront. While more expensive grills may offer larger cook spaces or additional features such as side burners or rotisseries, these extra features may not always be necessary for someone who is just looking to enjoy some quality outdoor cooking.   With a lower-priced model, you can still get great performance while sticking to your budget! Overall, when selecting a new grill, it’s important to consider what features are most important for your needs and budget.   With the right selection of grills in the $400 range, you can still find a great grill that is perfect for your outdoor cooking needs!

What are some tips for taking care of your new grill so that it lasts longer and performs better over time?

  1. Make sure to cover your grill when not in use – This will help to protect it from the elements and extend its life.
  2. Clean the grill after each use – Remove any debris or food particles that may have been left behind and give the grates a good scrub with a steel brush. This will help keep your grill running smoothly and prevent the build-up of grease and fat which can cause flare-ups while cooking.
  3. Regularly check for signs of rust or corrosion – If you notice any, take steps to remove it so as to not affect the performance of your grill.
  4. Check propane tank levels – Making sure your propane tank is always full ensures that you won’t run out of gas while grilling.
  5. Keep an eye on the burners – Make sure they’re burning cleanly and evenly and if not, take a few minutes to adjust them.
  6. Have your grill serviced or inspected annually – This will ensure that it is functioning safely and correctly so you can enjoy grilling for years to come!
Following these tips can help you get the most out of your new grill and keep it running smoothly for many cookouts to come!

Choosing the Best Grills Under $400 – Top Manufacturer Resources to Help You Decide

  1. Char-Broil’s Official Website (https://www.charbroil.com) – As someone who’s tested numerous grills in different price ranges, I highly recommend visiting Char-Broil’s official website. It’s an invaluable resource filled with detailed product specifications, customer reviews, and helpful FAQs for their wide range of grills under $400. Their site provides clear and concise information which could help you make an informed decision based on your specific grilling needs.
  2. Weber’s Grill (https://www.weber.com) – If you’re struggling to decide between different grills, Weber’s grill comparison tool is a game-changer. Based on my personal experience, this tool is brilliant for a side-by-side evaluation of features, specifications, and prices of Weber’s gas grills under $400. It provides clear, comparative information which can guide you to the grill best suited to your requirements.
  3. Pit Boss Grills (https://pitboss-grills.com) – In my view, the grill you choose should also inspire you to try new recipes and grilling techniques. Pit Boss Grills’ Recipes and Tips section is a treasure trove of delicious recipes and expert grilling tips. This can be a fun and informative resource, especially for those looking at Pit Boss’s affordable range of grills under $400.

Editor’s Choice: Top-list grills under $200-$1,000

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