One of the best parts about a camping trip is firing up your trusty grill and getting some sausages on the go. A portable grill is an almost essential tool for anyone who’s into outdoor pursuits and being able to cook up some hot food after a long day on the trail is always a great feeling. In this article, we’re going to go through some of the finest grill options on the market and let you know what we think is the best portable grill money can buy.
Don’t worry if you don’t know your propane tank from your barbeque glove – we’re going to be explaining everything you need to know about a portable grill in our buyer’s guide at the end. Read on to discover your next portable cooker that will transform your camping trips for the better.
The Top 10 Best Portable Grills
1. Coleman Roadtrip Tabletop Propane Grill
Weight: 26 pounds | Fuel Type: Propane | Capacity: 225 sq. in.
The first option on this list of grills is the Coleman Roadtrip Tabletop Propane Grill. This grill is a classic gas-powered device that has some cool features built-in that help it stand out from the competition. Firstly, the cooking surface has two different temperature zones. This means you can cook two different things at once, even if they require different temperatures. This can save a load of time and make the whole cooking process way easier.
This propane grill has one of the easiest setups we’ve seen. It works straight out of the box and just needs some portable propane to get started. A big advantage of a gas grill is that you hardly have to wait any time at all for it to get up to temperature – you’ll be ready to get cooking almost instantly.
Finally, the grill comes with swappable cooktops for different situations. The regular cast iron grill grates can be swapped out for metal stove grates for boiling water or heating soup. This level of versatility is something we don’t often see on a cooker like this, and it is a big plus for this Coleman propane grill.
2. Coleman Roadtrip Stand Up Propane Grill
Weight: 47 Pounds | Fuel Type: Propane | Capacity: 285 sq. in.
The Coleman Roadtrip Stand Up Propane Grill is very similar to the tabletop version we’ve just reviewed. The difference is that this model comes with a full-size stand that brings the grill up to around waist height. This grill still has all the high quality cast iron parts, dual temperature cooling area, and interchangeable grates.
Obviously, this grill is nowhere near as transportable as the tabletop grill, so it’s safe to assume that this is designed for camping trips where you can get your car pretty close to where you’re staying. You can also use bigger propane gas tanks with this cooker so it’s a better choice if you’re going away for an extended break.
This grill has up to 20000 BTUs of grilling power that stretches across an impressive 285 square inches of cooking area. This also shows that this grill is slightly larger than the other version.
3. Weber Q 1200 Liquid Gas Grill
Weight: 29 Pounds | Fuel Type: Propane | Capacity: 189 Sq. In.
The Weber Q 1200 Liquid Gas Grill is our next recommendation if you’re looking for one of the best propane grills around. This grill has Weber’s classic styling that has made the brand iconic in the barbeque and cooking equipment scene. Weber grills are usually characterized by their round shape and high build quality.
The Weber Q 1200 makes use of a single stainless steel burner which provides plenty of heat for 189 square inches of cooking. This is a pretty decent size but it is still small enough to be extremely easy to carry around. The cast-iron cooking grates feel extremely well built, which is what we would expect from a Weber product.
A useful feature of the Weber Q 1200 is the built-in thermometer on the lid. This is great for when you’re cooking a few different types of food and need to work out when to put everything onto the grill. Additionally, the barbeque also has a quick start, push-button ignition, so that you don’t have to spend ages fiddling with the gas tank.
4. Kenyon B70590 Frontier Electric Grill
Weight: 33 Pounds | Fuel Type: Electric | Capacity: 230 Sq. In.
Our first electric grill on this list comes in the form of the Kenyon Frontier, a unique cooker that is primarily designed with the professional chef in mind. This is truly a no-nonsense machine that is highly practical and perfect for the person who likes to get the job done in the most efficient way possible.
The grill has an attractive stainless steel and aluminum design that looks like it has come straight out of a professional kitchen. Everything on this device serves a purpose, from the easy-open lid to the built-in kitchen timer. The overall design of the grill means that it can be used safely indoors and outdoors without any issues at all.
Maybe the best part about this grill is how easy it is to clean up. All you have to do is run a wet paper towel over the grill to take off any grime and dirt.
5. GoBQ Portable Charcoal Grill
Weight: 9 Pounds | Fuel Type: Charcoal | Capacity: 196 Sq. In.
The GoBQ Portable Charcoal Grill probably has the most unique design of any grill on this list. This barbeque has a fold-up design which makes it absolutely ideal for camping trips and it can easily be thrown into a backpack to be transported around.
When the grill is fully unfolded, you have access to the grate and base that are stored inside. Setting the barbeque up is super easy, just set the base down, lay the main body on top, and unfurl the roll-up grate to get cooking! The grill itself is made out of a fireproof fabric, so you can be sure it’s going to be ultra-safe.
This grill is absolutely ideal for family camping trips, hiking expeditions, or even some tailgating with your friends. This portable charcoal grill really takes portability to the next level.
6. Coleman Fold N Go Propane Grill
Weight: 8.5 Pounds| Fuel Type: Propane | Capacity: 105 Sq. In.
Here we have another option from Coleman, this time their Fold ‘n’ Go gas grill. This grill is one of Coleman’s most easy to use products that they offer and is also one of the best portable grills around thanks to its well thought out and effective design.
The Fold ‘n’ Go has a simple fold-up design that could really not be any simpler. The grill gets up to temperature in seconds as soon as you connect up a gas tank. When you’re cooking, the heat can be easily and precisely adjusted using the horseshoe burner.
The grill has a removable grate that can be thrown in the dishwasher after use. The included grease tray and ash catcher also make the clean-up that bit more simple and stress-free. This grill is definitely a good option for anyone who needs a reliable and easy to use camping cooker.
7. Cuisinart CGG-180TS Petit Gas Grill
Weight: 17 Pounds | Fuel Type: Gas | Capacity: 145 Sq. In.
The CGG-180TS Petit Gas Grill is a mean-looking grilling machine. Its striking looks are matched with some excellent features and functionality that make this grill right at home in this list of the best grills around. Being a gas grill, we already know that the CGG-180TS is going to be extremely easy to use. This grill makes the process even easier though thanks to its simple twist to start ignition.
The grill stands on a pair of solid legs that fold underneath the main body to make the cooker very easy to transport. This is helped by the fact that the grill only weighs around 17 pounds, which is actually pretty lightweight for a cooker that is this substantial.
The cooking grate offers 145 square inches of grilling space, which is more than enough for plenty of food for a group. The burner is also effective at spreading the heat evenly across the whole cooking space so that you aren’t left with overcooked or undercooked food.
8. Weber Smoky Joe Charcoal Grill
Weight: 10 Pounds | Fuel Type: Charcoal| Capacity: 150 Sq. In.
Here we have another grill for those barbeque purists who are always chasing that lovely smoked taste to their grilled food. Charcoal grills always make meat and veg taste amazing, and being able to get that flavor from a device this small is definitely impressive.
The Weber Smoky Joe comes with a protective carry case that makes the cooker extremely easy to transport and move. The grill is nice and compact and is fairly lightweight considering the quality of materials that have been used to construct it. Overall, this Weber grill seems like it has been well thought through and designed.
You’ll have around 150 square inches of grilling space if you do decide to pick up this grill, which is plenty for a small group of friends or a family. This grill is ideal for taking round to someone’s house, to a tailgate event, or even on a camping trip.
9. Char-Griller E06614 Charcoal Grill
Weight: 37 Pounds | Fuel Type: Coal| Capacity: 153 Sq. In.
The penultimate option on this list of the best grills is the E06614 Grill from Char-Griller. This grill probably has the coolest look out of every product on this list, with an attractive egg-shaped design and colorful finish. This grill isn’t all about the looks though and the unique shape actually functions to provide even heating to everything that is being cooked inside the grill.
The grill also holds heat impressively which means you can cook quicker and for longer. This is achieved thanks to the high-grade materials that have been used in the grill’s construction. You can really feel the quality of this cooker as soon as you get it out of the box.
As far as grilling space goes, you’ll have around 150 square inches of cooking room to work with. This is more than enough for a few burgers and vegetable skewers, and since the grill holds heat so well, you’ll be able to do multiple batches before the coals start to cool.
10. Weber Q2400 Electric Grill
Weight: 42 Pounds | Fuel Type: Electric | Capacity: 280 Sq. In.
The final product on our list is the Weber Q2400. Although Weber is best known for their coal-powered grills, they also make some excellent electric cookers that shouldn’t be forgotten. This particular cooker has a 1500 watt heating system that provides even heat to an impressive 280 square inches of grilling area.
Like all Weber products, all the materials used in this grill are of a very high standard. The cast-iron cooking grates are particularly nice and are a true pleasure to cook on. The exterior of the grill is also built in a way that a lot of the heat can be retained inside the grill. This is ideal if you’re cooking for a lot of people and need to cook multiple batches of your food items.
The grill plugs straight into a standard wall socket which provides heat to the grill almost instantly. This is undoubtedly one of the easiest cookers to use on this list, which is a factor that should never be overlooked.
Buyer’s Guide to Portable Grills
When you’re trying to buy a new portable cooker, sometimes the amount of choice on offer can be pretty overwhelming. The only way to deal with this is to narrow down your search and get down to the products that are suitable for you. This section should help you decide on what your priorities are and let you get more specific with your portable grill shopping.
We’d recommend treating the following categories as a checklist. Go through each one and decide what the most important factors are to you. This will drastically increase the chance that the grill you finally buy will be the absolute perfect one for you.
Portable grills come in a few different types, all with their unique advantages and drawbacks. No one type is really any better than the others, but some may be more suited to what you need than the rest. We’ll quickly go over each type and let you know what situation they are best used for.
If you picture a classic beach barbeque scene from the movies, then a charcoal grill is probably what springs to mind. These are the stylish sphere-shaped grills that always look super cool when you get them going. The most well-known manufacturer of charcoal grills is probably Weber, but there are loads of newer brands that make similar grills that are just as good.
Many people think a charcoal grill gives the best flavor to food that’s being cooked on it. This is because it often gets quite smoky and so transfers some of this beautiful flavor to your meat or vegetables. It all comes down to personal preference though and whilst some people love this smoked flavor, others prefer the more neutral tones of gas or electric cooked food.
Getting a charcoal grill going can also be a little complicated. Most charcoal barbeques will include a chimney which has to be used to get the charcoal nice and hot before it is poured into the base of the grill. This is different from other types of grills that you can just turn on and off as you please.
Gas grills are probably the most popular type of grill on the market. This is down to a few reasons. Firstly, they are very reliable and easy to use. All you’ve got to do is hook up a propane bottle and you’re good to go. There’s no waiting around for the grill to get hot and you can even use some temperature control whilst you’re grilling.
Another reason that they are so popular is that they are usually pretty portable. The grills often fold down to a pretty small size which means they can fit into a backpack. This is perfect for people who go on camping or hiking trips and want to be able to cook up some hot food on the trail.
However, propane gas grills do have a couple of problems. One of these is that you have to carry around propane bottles if you want to use them. Propane bottles are usually pretty light if you get a small one but they can take up a lot of room in your backpack. This can be quite annoying when you’re trying to pack efficiently. Gas barbeques can also be more dangerous than others if used recklessly.
Electric grills have become very popular in recent years since they take the best parts of gas cookers but get rid of the annoying propane tank. Having said that, electric cookers do have their own problems and often aren’t as reliable as gas or charcoal powered options.
Electic cookers usually give the chef a lot of choices when it comes to temperature control and different cooking options. They get up to temperature almost instantly which means you can get down to grilling up some burgers straight away. Many also have fold-out side tables for food preparation and slicing, but there are also plenty of propane grill and charcoal grill options that have this feature as well.
The final type of portable grill is the camping stove. Camping stoves are more of an all-in-one cooker than a dedicated grill, so you have plenty of options when it comes to cooking. A camping cooker can be thought of as a small portable gas grill since they usually use a propane tank to get their heat going.
Camping stoves usually don’t offer a large cooking surface, instead prioritizing portability. These cookers usually fold into themselves like Russian dolls – the pans, burner, and tripod all fit together into one neat package. If you’re going on a camping and hiking trip, then a camping stove is probably the best portable grill choice for you.
Seeing as this article is all about the best portable grill, it makes sense to discuss portability. For some people, portability will be the most important thing that they are interested in, especially if they are going on camping or hiking trips and need to be able to fit all their gear into a single backpack.
When you’re looking for a portable grill there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, grills that fold up to a smaller size will always be the most portable options. This means they can have cool features like side tables but still be able to fold down into a size that can be easily transported and carried.
Grills that have a lot of extra parts will also be less portable and harder to move around. A portable gas grill that needs a big gas tank is an example of this. It isn’t just the grill itself that takes up space in a backpack, but all the other things that you need to get it working.
Ease of Use
Many people underestimate the importance of buying a portable grill that is easy to use. There’s nothing worse than settling down after a long day’s hike only to spend loads of time fiddling with a grill to get it working. The best portable grills will either be able to switch on easily or have a simple process to get them up and running.
Another thing that makes a grill easy or difficult to use is its temperature control. Being able to accurately change the temperature is obviously important when you’re cooking, and a grill with bad temperature controls can be really difficult to use. Gas and electric grills usually have the best temperature controls, but there are some portable charcoal grills that also have ways to regulate the heat.
The final thing to look for is how easy the grill is to clean. The clean up is always the worst thing about a barbeque, so it’s always great to have a grill that is super easy to wipe down and clean. Check the cooking surface, side panels, and cooking grate to try and work out how easy it’s going to be to clean.
Like any product you invest in, you need to make sure that you’re buying a grill that will last for a long time. A good portable grill can be quite expensive so you definitely don’t want to be replacing it after a couple of uses. Grills have a lot of different parts and therefore a lot of things that can go wrong. Therefore it is usually the simpler designs that end up being more reliable.
The best way to find out how reliable and durable a product is to investigate customer reviews. Customers are always way more honest than manufacturers when it comes to build quality, so make sure to read through a couple before you part with any hard-earned cash.
The extra features are the little things that make a grill stand out from the competition. Things like cast-iron grates, fold-out tables, and places to hang your cooking tools will all come in useful during your cooking experiences. They can really add a bit of luxury to your camping trip and make you feel not so far from your real kitchen.
However, it’s important to bear in mind that the more extra features you add, the heavier the grill is going to be. If you’re on a hiking or camping trip then you’ll have to carry this weight around, so always check that you’re going to be able to manage it before getting carried away with the extra features.
1. What is the best grill for camping?
Since there are so many portable grills out there on the market, it is really hard to say which is the best one. In fact, a grill that is perfect for one person might be absolutely horrible for the next. It all comes down to personal preferences and what you need the grill to be able to do. If you need help narrowing down your search, be sure to read through the buyer’s guide above. Here you’ll find some tips about how to pick out the perfect grill for you.
Having said all that, every grill we discussed in our review section are all great and we can almost guarantee that you’ll be happy with any of them. It is still better to do some research and find what you like, but if you are really stuck for time then anything from our list is a good pick.
2. What should I look for in a portable grill?
There are quite a few things to look for if you’re after one of the best cookers around. The main thing to think about is what kind of grill you need. You can get charcoal, electric, gas, and other versions, all of which have their own benefits.
Other things to consider are portability, ease of use, and durability. For more information about all of these considerations, be sure to read through our buyer’s guide above. It’s packed with information about what to look out for and what kind of thing makes a great grill.