Best Portable Grills For Camping Of 2021

Best portable grills for camping are very popular to use on a trip, in a camp, or cooking in a backyard. 

While you may take a lot of time preparing or choosing the foods you serve, the taste of the meal will be often boiled down to the type of grill you use.

From elaborate dinner parties to simple meals, with outdoor portable grills, you can enjoy preparing dishes outside whenever you want. 

Amateur cooks and top chefs alike can pick the various types of grills suitable for any event. Easy to clean and durable, portable camp cooking devices make preparing everyday meals entertaining and convenient.

Whether you want to head out for a picnic, a weekend camping trip or you just want to enjoy the evening in your backyard, a small cooking model is a great choice. 

With their compact architecture, they offer convenience and flexibility without compromising the quality of the food. 

Nonetheless, with so many brands available at a wide range of prices, how do you choose the right one? Let me help you.

Best Camping Grills

Here are these portable units and their features that you can easily use in your backyard, on the trip, or on a balcony.

Weber Q2200 Liquid Propane Grill

While many models produced by Weber might be maneuverable, you can find a couple of options from this brand that are surprisingly portable and user-friendly, just like this propane model.

Almost no assembly required

Don’t let the small design of this grill fool you because this small unit comes with many features.

First of all, this Weber model is going to be assembled when you receive it, you will just have to put some screws and some other parts in.

A 3D interactive assembly instructions for this product are available through the free BILT app if you will need help.

Features

It weighs 42.5 pounds. The grill is made of aluminum and has 280 square inches of cooking space. It has a stainless steel burner that can produce 12,000 BTU per hour.

The unit features a glass-reinforced nylon frame. Grates are made of cast iron that is coated with porcelain.

With a built-in thermometer, you will be able to monitor the temperature inside without lifting the lid.

This portable unit has 2 foldable working tables to put utensils and other stuff on. It also has an electronic ignition system, which means you don’t have to spend a lot of time trying to fire it up. 

The product has a removable catch pan and an infinite control burner valve. You can easily enjoy the ease of a one-touch ignition system that will make the cooking experience easier and more fun.

Pros
  • Straightforward and user-friendly
  • Electronic ignition system
  • Porcelain-coated aluminum body
  • Almost no assembling
  • Two folding work tables
Cons
  • Isn’t suitable for larger groups due to smaller cooking surface
Check Reviews On Amazon

Coleman RoadTrip LX Propane Grill

Another portable grill you must check out is Coleman RoadTrip LX. This model is designed for outdoor use and perfect for tailgating, picnicking, and camping. It weighs 50 pounds and is appropriate for 3-4 people.

Specifications

For those who don’t want a large device that consumes large space, the Coleman RoadTrip LX is a good option.

With the 285 square inches of cooking area, you will be able to cook for a small family (3-4 people). It has 2 independently adjustable burners that produce 20,000 BTU of power.

This unit features a flow technology that provides consistent performance, even in extreme conditions. You can put legs away and have a tabletop grill in seconds that is also easier to store and transport.

This model has the option to change the cooktops from grates to griddles or stove grates (you can buy them separately).

Pros
  • Powerful
  • Easy to transport
  • Consistent performance
  • Easy storage system
  • Use as a tabletop unit
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Not the easiest to clean
Check Reviews On Amazon

Napoleon TQ2225PO Travel Q Portable Grill

The Napoleon 225 TravelQ Portable BBQ Grill is a nice looking unit that wins when it comes to functionality and portability. 

Its compact size lets you transport it with you on the road while the generous size gives enough space for you to cook for the whole family at a time.

A nice clamshell design

It has a clamshell design that makes it convenient to hold as well as an optional stand that can be used for proper outdoor cooking. It is made of stainless steel and comes in a bright orange color. The product weighs 30 pounds.

Other features

The unit includes 225 square inches of total grilling area that will help you cook 14 hamburgers at once. It has a single stainless steel circular tube burner with 10,500 BTU’s.

The company’s iconic cast-iron cooking grids provide even heat, create beautifully distinctive sear marks on the meat, and prevent food from falling through.

Easy cleaning and transportation

While the Napoleon TQ2225PO model doesn’t produce heat or perform like a full-sized grill, the features it has are worth it. 

On top of that, it has a powder-covered steel body and a porcelain-coated cast-iron cooking grate for easier cleaning. Legs are foldable for easier storage and transportation.

Additional features

This small unit includes a Jetfire ignition system that fires up the burners with ease and double control knobs let you control each of them independently. 

The ergonomic handle increases its user-friendliness. The cover has a built-in temperature meter that allows you to check the temperature within the grill without needing to lift the cover.

Pros
  • Jetfire ignition system
  • Highly portable
  • Expansive cooking space
  • Very durable
  • Optional stand
Cons
  • Features can be limited
  • Heavy for a small unit
Check Reviews On Amazon

Camco Olympian 5500 Stainless Steel Portable Grill

If you a looking for a portable grill for under $200, then this could be the perfect unit for you. It has a mounting bracket that allows you to attach it to the mounting rail of an RV if you want.

A perfect RV grill

This unit also comes with a fast attaching low-pressure propane hose that could be placed to any RV’s fast attach propane outlet. 

But not only that, Camco Olympian 5500 also has collapsible legs which allow you to use it for tabletop cooking.

Other specs

The Camco Olympian 5500 is built entirely of stainless steel which includes its 12,000 BTU cooking grate and a burner. 

It comes completely assembled so you don’t have to do something else aside from attaching the propane tank. It offers 180 square inches of cooking surface and right below it is a cast-iron smoker plate.

It has a Piezo Electric Spark Starter that makes for easy ignition. Cleaning it shouldn’t be a problem.

Pros
  • Piezo electric spark starter
  • Mounting bracket and hose for attaching to the quick-connect propane outlet of RV
  • Fully assembled out of the box
  • Cast iron smoker plate
Cons
  • Can run a bit too hot
  • Requires adapters if you want to use a propane tank
  • Can’t perform a slow or low cooking
Check Reviews On Amazon

CUISINART CGG-608 Propane Grill

The Cuisinart CGG-306 is an outstanding unit for outdoor cooking. This grill comes with a 10,000 BTU burner and has 16.85 pounds.

Features

This cooking unit is made of stainless steel material. It features a 176 square inch cooking surface. You will find a built-in temperature gauge on the lid that is easy to read and control the heat.

The cooking grate is manufactured with high-end stainless steel that is easy to maintain and won’t rust.

It uses a 1 lb. propane canister to work. With its compact size and the locking hood handle the unit is easy to transport. It is made to wash in a dishwasher.

Pros
  • Easy to set up and assemble
  • High quality steel burners
  • Excellent electronic ignition
  • No lighters and ignition machines needed
Cons
  • Requires extra adapter
  • Heat gets lost when it is uncovered
Check Reviews On Amazon

Types of Best Portable Grills for Camping

Here is a low down on the various types available plus their merits and demerits.

Charcoal Grills

Portable charcoal grills are a classic option; they add that genuine barbecue flavor to any food you cook. Unlike gas units, they don’t have many moving parts that can hinder you from getting those great seared marks. 

The only problem with most outdoor charcoal grills is that sometimes it’s not easy to control and maintain the heat at a specific level.

They are ideal for: People who want a genuine and authentic flavor

Cons: Take time to start cooking (anywhere between 15 and 45 minutes). In addition, they also take time to clean.

Electric Outdoor Grills

Portable electric outdoor grills are ideal for people who are constrained by various fire regulations set by various apartment managements and city authorities. 

So, if you are a cooking master and you want to enjoy a perfectly grilled burger or brat while still staying within the confines of the law, choose an electric outdoor model.

Best For: Those who live in the city in apartments that don’t allow charcoal or gas cooking.

Con: Don’t offer the original barbeque flavor.

Natural Gas Grills

These types of portable outdoor units require the installation of a gas line. 

And even though they are a bit expensive to set up, natural gas grills usually have lower maintenance and fuel costs in the long run. 

Preparing food on a natural gas model is usually a 2-step process.

In the first step, the gas is burned to heat the porcelain briquettes or the coal, and then the heat produced is transferred to the cooking area of the tool. 

Unlike the traditional grill, this type can also be used for other cooking methods. For instance, some models allow users to fry, bake, braise, and roast.

natural gas grill model

Ideal for: Inpatient cooks looking to easily and quickly set it up and cook the food they love. It is also ideal for all of you who don’t want to worry about clean-up and preparation.

Cons: It doesn’t produce the authentic barbeque flavor. The price tag and installation can be a bit high.

Outdoor Propane Grills

They are one of the most popular choices, most probably because of their less clean up and easy to use features. You just have to turn the knob, press some buttons and voila, you are good to go.

Portable propane outdoor grills also come with additional options that most charcoal models don’t have. 

Some models also allow users to change their propane tool for natural gas and have access to various handy features like infrared burners and side burners.

Ideal For: People who are looking for a modern grill that is easy to use and has many selection features. 

It is also good for you who are looking for something that doesn’t involve the extra expenses of charcoal and natural gas. 

Easy and quick installation, plus the easy cleanup, also make it a great choice for inpatient chefs who enjoy well-grilled meals and love the authentic barbeque flavor.

Cons: Even though finding a place to refill the propane tank may be a problem, the real problem with this type of device is the possibility of running out of gas while cooking. 

But you can counter this by keeping an additional propane tank on hand.

Wood Pellet Outdoor Portable Grills

wood burning grills

Wood pellet grills use wood pellets as their fuel and offer most of the advantages of both gas and charcoal models. 

They use an automatic control mechanism to automatically shell out the required wood pellets into the burner based on your settings.

Most of them have an induction fun that pulls and circulates air inside the grill, creating a continuous cooking process. 

And since these pellets create smoke when they burn, the grilled food gains the barbeque flavor of charcoal.

Best for: People who are looking to accrue the benefits of both charcoal and gas devices.

Cons: Most of them are a bit pricey.

Which Way – Charcoal, Gas, or Electric?

There are a lot of arguments going on between grill masters about the advantages of gas versus charcoal grills, and I won’t try to solve it all here. I will just stick to the basics.

Charcoal models are ideal for people who like the slow and low type of grilling which provides the authentic BBQ flavor. 

Gas models on the other hand usually have less smoke with higher flames, while electric grills are the fastest but with very little barbeque flavor.

The type of grill you buy may also depend on the area where you reside or your city code. For instance, there are some cities that don’t allow propane grills outdoors.

Things to Consider When Buying Best Portable Grills for Camping

Construction Materials

This could be cast iron, cast aluminum, stainless steel, or ceramics, but many prefer steel because it is easy to clean and doesn’t rust. 

Ceramics are also great because they keep the food tasty and juicy, and offer a unique cooking experience outdoors.

Cost

Liquid propane or natural gas grills tend to have a higher short-term cost, but in the long run, the total fuel cost is far less than that of charcoal ones.

Help, Support and Maintenance

Make sure you inquire about the maintenance and clean up procedure of the tool you want to buy. 

In addition, going for a brand that has a high-quality customer care program, can go a long way in saving you money and days of frustration.

Top Portable Grill Examples

Coleman RoadTrip 285 Gas Grill

Weber Jumbo Joe Portable Grill

Cuisinart VersaStand Gas Grill

Make best camp meals ever

Investing in the best portable grill for camping is a great choice for you who like to spend your free time in nature and grill. 

Most easy to move grills are designed with casters which make them easier to move around.

In fact, there are some that have removable wheels and stands which make them easy to store even in limited spaces. 

Some models are attached to trailers and you can hook up to your car and pull them, which makes them ideal for tailgating events and caterers.

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