Top Portable Grills For Camping Reviewed
Enjoying time outdoors is always gratifying, whether with friends or family. And being able to prepare an amazing meal can bring a whole new level of appreciation to your adventures in the open air. Good food is even better when enjoyed outside.
That’s why we bring you our take on the best portable grill for camping. We know that rocking the grill in the great outdoors will crank-up the fun dial.
When you spend a day on the water or in the woods, firing up your portable grill back at camp is a huge asset. You can cook a huge variety of food on a grill, and make some truly mouth-watering meals.
Which grill will work for you will depend on how you want to use it. What you want to cook, and how many people you want to cook for are just a couple things to consider.
There are some other important considerations to make, and we cover all the details in our portable grill reviews below. But you can look at our comparison chart below for quick info as well as our top choice.
Best Portable Grill Benefits
- Heat Output – Even large grills can be a real disappointment if you end up waiting around for your grill to get hot. For certain cuts you need to be able to accomplish high temperatures to get a nice char and crust on your meat. Finding a portable grill that can really bring the heat is going to open an ability to cook to a much high quality standard.
- Weight – Realistically, portable grills need to be somewhat easy to move around. Getting your camping gear to the campsite is a snap when you are driving it there in a vehicle. But once you get to your site, your portable grill has to be an effective tool that you can lift and move into an ideal position by hand.
- Cooking Surface – One of the biggest factors you’ll need to consider is how many mouths you want to feed. Larger groups are going to require a larger cooking surface and maybe even a couple rounds of cooking. But if you want larger cooking surface, that might translate into a larger grill. Of course, if you don’t want a large grill due to portability reasons, then you’ll need to find that balance between cooking surface and grill size that will work best for you.
Top Portable Grills Comparison
Best Portable Grills For Camping
When Coleman was developing the RoadTrip LXE Portable Gas Grill, they wanted to create a product that would work in practically any outdoor environment.
What’s interesting is that Coleman doesn’t market the LXE solely as a camping grill – it’s also for RV living too. But you can easily see how much more convenient the unit makes staying under canvas, thanks to its large grilling surface and even heat distribution.
The RoadTrip LXE doesn’t require a lighter or a match to fire up. Instead, it uses an inbuilt sparking mechanism and pilot light to ignite the burner.
The size of the grill means that it’s probably only suitable for camping on a fixed plot, not wild camping, but the fact that you don’t need to light it yourself manually means that you’re able to grill even in poor weather conditions. With the LXE you can still “glamp” so long as you’ve got adequate shelter.
Collapsibility was crucial for Coleman on this product. The company markets the LXE as a product that you can take with you on a road trip – so it wanted to make something that would fold away in the trunk neatly. For campers hauling the grill across fields, the collapsibility and convenient carrying handle make it easy to take out of the car and move to your tent pitch.
The grill comes with an easy-clean porcelain-coated grilling surface. So long as you take precautions and use porcelain-friendly cooking utensils, the low-stick surface should remain intact, leading to less washing up – always a good thing on camp.
There’s no doubt that the RoadTrip LXE is a heavy-duty camping grill. It is not a portable charcoal grill. It is a product for people who want luxury and flexibility under canvas, and don’t want to fiddle around with matches in the wet.
- Portable propane grill ideal for tailgating, picnicking, and camping
- Delivers 20,000 BTUs of heat across 285 square inches of grilling surface
- Swaptop interchangeable cooktops allow you to switch grill grates out for griddle and stove grates (sold separately)
- Instastart button ignites grill without the need for a match or lighter
- Collapsible design is easy to transport and fits into most car trunks
The Weber Q1200 Portable Grill takes the idea of portability a step further than the RoadTrip LXE. Instead of mounting the central grill unit on a set of collapsible legs, the Q1200 prioritizes a small form factor instead.
The grill does come with legs of a sort, but they support the grill while it’s on the ground or a table. You can’t cook with it standing up unless you purchase the accessory cart which you can see here.
Whether this is a good or a bad thing depends on your perspective. For those with limited trunk space, an ultra-compact grill is a godsend: you can pack it along with the rest of your camping gear, and you’ll hardly notice it taking up any additional space. The bad news is that if you do decide to opt for this grill, you’ll have to cook crouched down unless you buy Weber’s detachable stand or a table which will take up additional space in your boot.
Like the RoadTrip LXE, Weber includes an easy-start ignition on the Q1200. While lighting a fire can be fun in the summer when the weather and kindling are dry, the Weber is for people who want to camp out-of-season or don’t want to go to the trouble of having to light a fire by hand. The grill fires up instantly, putting out more than 8500 BTUs per hour.
There’s a considerable amount to say about the Weber Q1200 grill, but the main takeaway is that this is a product for those who want to camp with the convenience of a grill, but don’t want the thing taking up all their trunk space. The Weber comes with a quality hood and in-built grease management.
- One stainless steel burner produces 8500 BTU-per-hour to heat 189 square-inch total cooking area
- Porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates and cast aluminum lid and body
- Dimensions - lid closed and tables out (inches): 15.5H x 40.9W x 16.5D inches. Fully assembled out of box. Uses disposable 14.1 or 16.4 oz. LP cylinder (sold separately)
- Easy-start electronic ignition and infinite control burner valve settings
- Care instructions: Handling the brass material on this product exposes you to lead, a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. (Wash hands after handling this product.)
Cuisinart clearly understood the limitations of current portable grills before coming up with the concept of their Petit Gourmet. The company recognized that existing grill stands were too big for the needs of most campers and people needed a smaller, more compact alternative.
The Cuisinart Petit isn’t the largest grill on the market, as you might guess from the name, with a grilling area of 160 square inches. But it is one of the most innovative.
The grill comes with foldable, detachable legs which allow you to set it up for either standing or table-top cooking. There’s also a large, briefcase-style carrying handle that pops up and will enable you to lug the grill from your car to your pitch without a hassle.
While the grill comes with a host of portability advantages, it’s not the largest. Although Cuisinart claims you can make food for up to eight at a time, realistically you’ll struggle to cook for more than around five people at a time due to the limited surface area of the grill.
Not uncommon to camping grills, there are no ‘keep-warm’ plates. So once you’ve finished cooking you’ll have to figure out some way to keep the food warm which can be an inconvenience if you’re cooking for multiple people or doing more than one round of cooking.
On the plus side, the small size of the grill means that it heats up rapidly, allowing you to get on with cooking quickly, without having to wait for the heat to distribute evenly throughout the unit. While some might see a lack of accessories compared to a large grill, others will find exactly what they need in this streamlined portable grill.
Overall, this grill is for those who want a grill that is not only budget-friendly, but that also gives them plenty of extra trunk space. With that said, it’s not ideal for larger parties.
- 160-SQUARE-INCH PORCELAIN ENAMELED COOKING GRATE: 160-square-inches of porcelain enameled grates give you a spacious cooking surface is able accommodate lots of food at one time while still distributing heat evenly and efficiently.
- 5,500 BTU BURNER: Features a 5,500 BTU burner, a twist to start electric ignition and precision temperature gauge to give you the ultimate temperature control.
- COMPACT ENOUGH TO TAKE ANYWHERE: The grill measures 19 x 11.5 x 10 inches and with stand. The grill weighs only 17 lbs., making it easy for transport and ideal for decks, patios and balconies, camping, tailgating and more.
- USE AS A FREESTANDING OR TABLETOP GRILL: Unique design that allows you to use the grill as a freestanding or tabletop grill Accommodates from 4 to 6 people at once; holds grill at ideal cooking height and telescoping stand
- FAST AND EASY SETUP AND BREAKDOWN: integrated lid lock keeps lid secure Pronounced briefcase-style carrying handle Stand sets up and packs away in seconds The grill requires no assembly and can be set up and ready for grilling in under 10 minutes without the need for tools or matches
The Giantex propane tabletop gas grill stands out from the crowd, thanks to its full stainless steel design. It looks like a piece of kit you’d expect to find in a professional kitchen, not a campsite.
With that said, it makes sense to choose stainless steel for outdoor use: it can resist corrosion and the rain. Stainless steel doesn’t rust, and it doesn’t harbor the growth of bacteria which could damage your health.
The most impressive thing about the Giantex is not the fact that it has stainless steel construction, but the fact that the firm managed to keep the price down. The unit is considerably more affordable compared to other full stainless steel products on the market, making it a more compelling purchase.
The quality and the fact that this grill is easy to clean, make it ideal for camping, although Giantex doesn’t really market it as such. Campers will love the fact that a simple wipe down is enough to ensure the cleanliness of the product before packing it away and bringing it under shelter.
Are there any disadvantages? The main issue with the grill is the lack of extendable legs. The unit does come with four legs, but they’re short and not extendable, meaning you’ll either have to put it on a table or perch it on the floor.
The other issue is the size of the grill. It’s just about large enough to cook for four people, but you’ll have to cook in batches if you have more people than that in your party.
So who is this grill for? Giantex market the grill as the kind of thing you’d take with you to the park for a BBQ. But it doubles up perfectly as a camping grill, thanks to the all-stainless steel construction (including the grill) and its portability. Be warned, however: if you want to cook standing up, you’ll need to bring your own table.
- 【Giantex Tabletop Grill】: Giantex 2-Burner stainless steel tabletop grill is built for the BBQ-grillers, Construct of 430 stainless steel offers durability and easy-to-clean surfaces.
- 【Easy To Operate】: Two push-and-turn ignition burners for quick and easy start-ups. It offers 20,000 total BTUs and reaches high temperatures quickly with each burner independently adjustable.
- 【Foldable Design】: Foldable legs and lockable lid for portable transport and storage. Also make it more easily transportion or storage.It is perfect for dinner party and camping.
- 【Light-weight & Safety Use】: CSA standard approved gas grills. Light-weight and with locking hood for transport and storage.
- 【Widely Use】: Perfect for tailgating, camping, picnics, boating or anywhere your travels take you. Overall dimensions: 22" x 18" x 15" (L x W x H) is suitable for home using, Easy assemble is required with all hardware packed in the package.
The Smoke Hollow 205 is another stainless steel camping grill, attempting to appeal to the outdoor market in general. The grill has a stainless steel hood and body, and steel clips which keep it closed while you carry it.
The 205 is not strictly a camping grill. And given the high weight of the product at 20.5 pounds, Smoke Hollow clearly designed it for use on your tailgate or a picnic table at the campsite.
With that said, the 205 does come with all of the portability features you’d expect from a grill designed for use at camp. There’s a large handle on the hood, the hood itself is lockable, and the unit’s small legs fold away neatly underneath, allowing you to carry and transport the whole thing a little bit like a suitcase.
The standout feature of the 205, however, is the temperature gauge on the outside of the grill. What’s nice about the indicator is that it takes some of the guesswork out of cooking while camping. You could almost follow a recipe with this grill, without having to cook everything by eye. The gauge tells you the ideal grilling temperature for various types and cuts of meat.
Smoke Hollow also included a helpful secondary grill above the cooking surface for keeping items warm before plating up. The storage space isn’t enormous, but it’s enough for keeping eight patties or a dozen corn cobs.
Are there any downsides? Aside from the fact that you’ll need a table if you want to grill standing, the 205 doesn’t come out of the box with propane gas; you’ll need to buy that separately. But other than that, it’s unlikely that the Smoke Hollow will disappoint. It comes with practically every feature that a camper would need, without explicitly marketing itself as the best camping grill. It also comes with a removable grate pan.
- 205 sq. in. primary stainless steel cooking area 105 sq. in. chrome-plated warming rack
- 10,000 BTU stainless steel "U" burner
- Fold-able stainless steel legs; Uses 16oz. disposable cylinder
- Stainless steel drip tray; Temperature gauge
- Assembled Size: 19 L x 32 W x 33.5 H inches
Here is a comparison of our top two picks for best portable grill:
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