When you ask anyone to recall spring or summer memories, many will recall cookouts. The aroma of charring meat, sausages, vegetables, or fish on the grill goes perfectly with warm weather. Grilling doesn’t have to be limited to the backyard; portable grills allow you to bring the cookout to the pre-game tailgate, beach, lake, local park, or campground.
Best Portable Grills 2023
Portable grills are a convenient and versatile outdoor cooking option, ideal for tailgating, beach parties, and other events with limited space. These small and lightweight grills are easy to transport from one location to another. For added convenience, many portable grills are designed to be easily disassembled and packed into a carrying case or bag.
There are several fuel options for portable grills, including propane, charcoal, and electricity. Because they are simple to use and can be started with the push of a button, propane-powered portable grills are a popular choice. Charcoal grills provide a more traditional grilling experience and are known for their smoky flavor, but they can take longer to start and maintain. Electric grills are another option that are known for their ease of use and low maintenance, making them an excellent choice for those who live in an apartment or have limited outdoor space.
When purchasing a portable grill, it’s important to consider the grill’s size and weight, as well as the cooking surface and the number of burners. You should also consider the grill’s durability and materials, as well as any extra features it may have, such as a built-in thermometer or folding legs for easy storage.
Overall, portable grills are an excellent choice for those who enjoy cooking and entertaining outside but have limited space or require a grill that is easy to transport. There is a portable grill to suit every need and budget, with a wide range of fuel sources and sizes to choose from.
Read on to learn more about the best portable grills to buy in 2023:
Weber Q 1200
- Durable Construction
- Excellent Heat Retention
- Cast Iron Grilling Surface
- Convenient Side Tables
Weber has a reputation for creating grills that gracefully blend cooking performance and dependability, and the impressive Weber Q 1200 carries on that tradition in a portable package. Although it is not the most powerful in terms of output power alone, the design of this grill allows it to reach ideal searing temperatures within minutes of preheating.
The porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates, which comfortably retain the heat evenly distributed by the U-shaped stainless steel burner beneath, are the highlight of this high-quality construction. Simply put, this model provided us with greater precision, predictability, and control than the majority of the other models we purchased and tested.
Although this portable powerhouse easily reaches high temperatures, learning how to harness the heat of the grill surface for foods that require more low-and-slow cooking is more difficult. Though this model performs admirably on the tabletop or at the tailgate, its relatively heavy weight and bulky packed size, combined with the lack of a latching lid, make it less than ideal for cooking away from the car or campsite. However, if you want to grill delicious meals while on the road, the Weber Q 1200 is an affordable portable grill that will appeal to both novice and professional chefs.
- High Heat Output
It could be difficult to find a little grill that is more powerful than the Cuisinart Grillster for the price and size. In addition to being very fuel-efficient, this portable powerhouse reaches its maximum temperature shortly after pressing the piezo lighter. It can retain heat and prevent wind thanks to three insulating walls, a lightweight steel top, and the versatility to allow you to cook in less-than-ideal conditions. This type has a lockable lid, enough room to store one-pound gas canisters, and it cools almost as quickly as it heats up for a quick getaway. It also has a handle that is simple to carry.
The Grillster excels in searing steaks and other high-temperature cooking, but it is challenging to manage the grill’s full range. We rarely used anything other than the lowest gas setting unless we were going for charred chicken or blistered peppers. Although it is small and portable, the smaller grilling area comes at a cost. No of the setting, the Grillster is the ideal picnic companion for two because it is small and sure-footed.
Coleman Roadtrip 285
- Even Heat Distribution
- Easy Assembly
- Three Burner System
- Big Wheels
The Coleman Roadtrip 285 provides portable cooking capabilities comparable to a regular backyard grill. Three separate burners are present: one main burner that spans the grill from side to side, and two auxiliary burners, one on each side. The heat zones overlap in this arrangement because it was purposely constructed that way. As a result, there is excellent control and extraordinarily even heating. The Roadtrip 285 is simple to assemble because of its well-written directions and the inclusion of all necessary tools. Our preferred wheeled model for movement around has large wheels and a long handle that make it simple to switch between the transport and cooking modes.
The Coleman Roadtrip 285 is not the grill for you if you’re searching for a small model to fit in the trunk of a smaller car or one that will take up little room while it’s not in use. Compared to many other portable barbecues we’ve evaluated, this grill is large and heavily depends on its wheels for transportation. It’s not very enjoyable to lift it higher than the truck bed at 47 pounds. The weight and bulk definitely diminish its overall portability. However, this grill easily earns our recommendation for a large portable barbecue despite its portability shortcomings, thanks to its superior grilling performance.
Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal
- Affordable Price
- Sizable Coal Bed
- Charcoal Grilling Advantages Over Gas
- Well-Insulated, Cast Iron Construction
We recommend the Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill to any pit-cooking enthusiasts out there. This well-made barbecue incorporates the manufacturer’s cast-iron enameled structure into handy, small packaging. It is a creative variation of their traditional design. The coal bed can be both deep and evenly dispersed throughout the rectangular basin. Deep-seated insets cast into the grill frame help a plated steel top grate settle securely into position so you can easily modify heat zones without worrying about dropping your entire meal into the coals.
We can’t promise that the Go-Anywhere will provide as much heat as its gas-powered rivals; that depends on you and your coal-stoking skills. Although there is a learning curve to mastering various heat zones, cooking over charcoal may offer a level of accuracy unattainable when using gas. It is difficult to manipulate the tightly fitting vents without gloves, and it takes practice to control these modifications for ideal airflow expertly. However, we can guarantee that with some practice with this portable grill, you can perfect the skill of cooking over an open flame and make delectable food while doing so, even when on the road.
Camp Chef Portable Pellet
- Digital Controller
- Electric Ignition
- Dual Digital Temperature Probes
- 82 lbs. Weight
Pellet barbecues have become incredibly popular in recent years. The reason is obvious: while producing the flavor and texture of charcoal grills and wood smokers, pellet grills give the control of a home cooking oven. However, the Camp Chef Portable Pellet alters that. Traditionally, these are not the type of grill you’d want to bring along with you on an RV vacation or to tailgate the big game. This model shrinks to a size that can be wheeled about and brought into areas that are only a small portion of the size where conventional pellet grills can go, thanks to some ingenious design.
This grill’s digital controls let you choose the precise temperature you need for the cut you’re cooking. Two digital thermometer probes are included in case the controls weren’t precise enough to let you know when the interior temperature of your meat has reached the ideal level. Because the igniter on this grill is electronic, piezo buttons, a lighter, or starter fluid are not necessary.
The Camp Chef Portable Pellet has several strengths and some limitations, which are strongly related. The auger that pulls pellets from the hopper into the grill is also powered by electricity, which means that this grill needs to be hooked into an AC outlet. This isn’t a big deal if you’re at home, in an RV, or if you have a reliable power bank. However, this concept won’t work for people who choose to live fully off the grid. Pellet grills, like charcoal grills, require some time to heat up and get ready for cooking. The Camp Chef Portable Pellet is no exception.
Last but not least, this model is significantly heavier than the majority of the portable grills in our assessment. Although the wheels are useful, dragging this grill far from your car is not very enjoyable. Even so, we really like using this portable pellet barbecue for cooking; it’s a great addition to an RV setup.
- Fast Cook Times
- High Output Power
- Compact Design
- 15 lbs. Weight
One of our standout products is the Solaire Everywhere infrared grill, which excels in a few different categories. First of all, it is incredibly small and compact, has a tight-knit structure, and travels softly. Most notably, it cooks steaks better than any other appliance in our review thanks to a powerful ceramic “flameless” burner that is positioned below a specially made grate with v-shaped bars. Heat may travel quickly and at very high temperatures. This is the greatest portable barbecue on the market for those superb slices of red meat that only need a touch of heat.
This unwavering high-heat cooking performance does not come without certain disadvantages. Solaire Everywhere has a wide range of expertise. The grill top is small and can only accommodate one or two steaks at once. Next, the price is very high. Last but not least, and this is the worst problem, the low-heat performance is essentially nonexistent. Although the heat settings are changeable, “High” to “Extremely High” is the best way to describe them. Furthermore, you cannot close the lid while cooking; it is simply there for mobility. Other items are almost impossible to cook well, but steaks are done very, very neatly.
The KUDU Open Fire Grill
- Heavy Gauge Steel Construction
- Stainless Steel Grill Grate
- High Temperature Ceramic Coating
- Welded Core Construction
The Kudu has its origins in South African open-fire grilling architecture. Creating hot or cool zones for offset cooking is possible with the standard model’s cast-iron vessel at the base on which to establish and control the fire. Above the fire pit, two pole-mounted racks hang: one is for grilling, and the other is nominally for holding pots or pans but can be used for other things. The racks’ elevation bars allow for both vertical and horizontal movement so that they can be moved closer to or farther away from the fire’s direct heat.
The Kudu is a great choice for portable grills. Despite its weight, which may necessitate assistance when loading and unloading, the grill disassembles into manageable components that require minimal space for packing and are ready to cook after only a brief period of assembly. The beginning kit includes the base, two elevation bars, a seasoned cast iron pan, legs, and a grill grate. There are more attachments available, including a rotisserie.
In conclusion, the best portable grills are an excellent choice for those who enjoy cooking and entertaining outside but have limited space or require a grill that is easy to transport. There is a portable grill to suit every need and budget, with a variety of fuel sources and sizes, and features to choose from. A portable grill is a convenient and versatile option, whether you’re looking for a compact and lightweight option for tailgating or beach parties or a more traditional charcoal grill for backyard barbecues. So, if you enjoy grilling and appreciate the convenience and versatility of a portable option, think about purchasing a portable grill for all of your outdoor cooking needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different fuel sources for portable grills?
The most common fuel sources for portable grills are propane, charcoal, and electricity. Propane-powered grills are easy to use and have a quick start-up time, while charcoal grills offer a more traditional grilling experience and are known for their smoky flavor. Electric grills are a good choice for those who live in an apartment or have limited outdoor space.
How do I choose the right size and weight for a portable grill?
When choosing the size and weight of a portable grill, consider the number of people you will be cooking for and the space you have available for the grill. Larger grills with multiple burners may be more suitable for larger groups, while smaller grills with one or two burners may be more appropriate for smaller gatherings. Consider the weight of the grill as well, especially if you plan on transporting it frequently.
How do I care for and maintain my portable grill?
To keep your portable grill in good working condition, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s care and maintenance instructions. This may include cleaning the grates after each use, replacing the propane tank when it runs low and storing the grill in a dry, covered place when not in use. Regularly inspecting and replacing any worn or damaged parts will also help to extend the life of your grill.
Can I use a portable grill on my apartment balcony or patio?
It is important to check with your building management or homeowners association to determine if grilling is allowed on your balcony or patio. Some buildings may have specific rules or restrictions in place regarding the use of portable grills. Additionally, it is important to use caution when grilling on a balcony or patio, as the grill should not be placed near any flammable materials or used in an enclosed space.