Best Portable Grills For Tailgating & Camping

Best Portable Grill

Last Update: March, 2021

Going on camping trips and road-tripping can be difficult. Finding food and ways to cook them are not necessarily accessible. Bringing a portable grill with you when you are on a trip, or simply when you want to have a fun picnic at the park, can save you time and money.

These portable grills fold up into small, easily transportable pieces that can be unfolded. They’re ready to go in just a few seconds.

There are a few components to look for when deciding on a portable grill though. First, consider the places that you plan on using it. Wheels are not used in all models. However, that might be a vital part of accessibility for certain locations of use.

Do you want to have legs that give the grill height and stability, or would you prefer to use a table for that support? Some grills have grease trays that make messy cleanups a thing of the past. The surface area might also be a big deciding factor depending on who you plan on grilling out with.

And finally, there are a few features that set grills apart from each other. Some have inserts that can be interchangeable. Some can cook on two different temperatures at the same time.



Coleman Propane Grill RoadTrip LXE

Foldable and has a wide range of uses due to the cast iron two section grate that can be controlled for two different temperatures. At 285 square inches of surface cook space, this grill can be ideal for all sorts of gatherings.

Cuisinart CGG-180T

A tabletop grill with a surface area of 145 square inches. It easily folds up into the size of a toolbox or briefcase and can be carried anywhere.

Pit Boss Grills 75275

Much smaller, sleeker, and adaptable than others. The strong and durable construction of the outer shell keeps things cooking well on the inside, and the control of the two-section workspace adds even more adaptability.

Coleman 2000020947

Has the ability to fold up into a small, wheeling suitcase size. It is also easy to control the temperature, and has a large cooking area at 225 square inches.

Weber 50060001

The technology that is used for this grill is very well-known and functions very well. Easily portable and lightweight. Able to mount it to legs.


  • Transport is simple and easy with folding legs that form a suitcase-like wheelable grill
  • Two grill top temperatures for a variety
  • Cast iron design is heavy duty


  • Different types of grilling surfaces are not included, but available

More About The Coleman Propane Grill RoadTrip LXE

The Coleman Propane Grill is a cast-iron grill that is portable and easily transported. The opportunities are endless with this grill being great for barbequing, camping, picnicking, and partying. It is foldable and has wheels which make moving it around an easy task. When the grill is folded and ready for transport, it resembles a rolling suitcase.

On top of that, the Coleman Propane Grill has many different grill surfaces that can be interchanged and swapped out, depending on your preference. The surface is coated, easy to clean, and there is a grease tray that catches any messy oils that are produced during cooking.

The work surface, or grill top, is broken into two sections. Each of them can be controlled independently to reach different temperatures. This allows you to be creative in your preparation. This grill has 285 square inches of workspace and uses 20,000 BTU per hour.

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Cuisinart CGG-180

Coleman RoadTrip 285

Smoke Hollow 205

Martin Portable Propane BBQ


  • Small and easily transportable
  • It can cook like larger grills
  • There are ways to customize the grill for specific ways of grilling


  • Doesn’t have legs that make it full height

More About The Cuisinart CGG-180T

The Cuisinart CGG is a tabletop grill with one large surface to grill atop. The legs are sturdy and have rubber feet to prevent slipping. When you're ready for transport, you simply fold the legs under the grill. You’re then able to carry the grill like a toolbox or briefcase. This grill is perfect for family gatherings, camping, picnicking, and it can be taken anywhere.

The Cuisinart CGG has the ability to cook just like a full-sized grill except it has the perks of being smaller and transportable. There are also tools that are available to customize cooking for this grill. This grill has 145 square inches of workspace and heats up at 5,500 BTU per hour.

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Cuisinart CGG-180

Coleman RoadTrip 285

Smoke Hollow 205

Martin Portable Propane BBQ


  • Durable stainless steel keeps food hot and cooking well while maintaining a long life span
  • Two separate grill surfaces that can be controlled to different temperatures.
  • The legs and latch make transport fast and simple


  • Requires a table for cooking at full height

More About The Pit Boss Grills 75275

The Pit Boss Grill is a sleek and simple design that allows for two unique temperatures on the same cooking surface. Its stainless-steel design is durable, and the folding legs allow for the compact grill to be carried like a briefcase from one location to another.

Pit Boss grills come with the essentials that are needed to grill properly, as well as built-in thermometers to make sure that the temperature stays constant.

While this grill may look plain and simple on the outside, the unassuming design is made for durability, reliability, and perfect temperature control. It acts just like a full-sized grill without all the hassle of moving a large grill around. The two stainless steel burners use 10,000 BTU per hour and measure 276 square inches of workspace.

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Cuisinart CGG-180

Coleman RoadTrip 285

Smoke Hollow 205

Martin Portable Propane BBQ


  • Wheeled legs allow for easy travel and set up a system
  • It cooks and looks like a full grill, but transports and feels like a small portable grill
  • The large surface area can be used for family cookouts and events alike


  • Only one temperature control

More About The Coleman 2000020947

The Coleman Grill Sportster is ideal for grilling while traveling. Whether you're camping, picnicking, at a sports game, gathering outside with family, or having a party, this compact grill will do the job.

It has full-sized legs, so it appears to be the same height as most full-sized grills. There is a locking system that makes setup safe, swift, and secure. And packing it back up again is possible in just one movement. Then, it compacts down into a small, cubic, suitcase size.

This grill is large enough for gatherings and efficient enough for small parties as well. The grease tray underneath the cooking surface allows for a safe clean up and avoids the unpleasant messy cleanup that can come with grilling. This grill uses 11,000 BTU per hour on 225 square inches of workspace.

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Cuisinart CGG-180

Coleman RoadTrip 285

Smoke Hollow 205

Martin Portable Propane BBQ


  • No moving parts to constantly maintain
  • Sleek, modern design that stands out from the rest
  • The stainless-steel body and porcelain coated grates make cooking efficient


  • The Weber grill takes a little while to heat up fully

More About The Weber 50060001

This funky-looking the Weber Liquid portable grill is truly from the future of grilling technology. The rounded shape makes the temperature controlled and consistent. It uses porcelain coated grates for the grilling surface, plus a cast iron body.

Traveling with this grill is simple as there is no need to fold anything or secure parts for transit. The Weber is just compact as it is.

There are options for mounting it to legs, so that it is the full height for grilling. But otherwise, it’s just a simple table top design. Its stainless-steel burners produce 8500 BTU per hour on 189 square inches of workspace.

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Shop Related PRoducts

Cuisinart CGG-180

Coleman RoadTrip 285

Smoke Hollow 205

Martin Portable Propane BBQ

Features to Keep in Mind


Size is one of the first things you should think about before you even start your hunt for a portable grill. It's not enough for a grill to be portable; it also must be the proper size to fit in your vehicle.

If you’re using a small truck packed with sleeping bags, ready to get out to the campsite, you might not want a grill that requires a ton of space.

This is especially important if you’re driving a car. If you’re driving a conventional car on your road trip, you are going to need a small, portable grill that can easily fit in the back.

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Surface Area

Related to grill size is the surface area. If you're going to be cooking for a large number of people on your portable grill, you'll need to make sure the cooking area on the grill is large enough to accommodate the amount of food you need.

It’s no fun to be in the second or third group of people waiting for their food to be cooked.

In addition, the shelf surface area is also a major plus. If you're camping, you most likely aren't going to have a pantry or a place to store food.

A portable grill that has shelving to store food and set cooking equipment is going to really come in handy.

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Picture this: you head out on a camping trip with your brand-new portable grill that you’ve only used once or twice. However, when you get there, you realize that your grill is already starting to fall apart.

This situation would be a true nightmare, as you need a good, sturdy grill to be able to reliably cook on your trip,

That’s why it’s so important to make sure your portable grill is durable. Look for grills that have strong legs hinges, made of sturdy metals. When it comes to a portable grill, quality is one of the main things you should be looking at.

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 Portable grills primarily operate on one of three different fuel types: charcoal, electric, or propane. Propane is the most common actually.

For a small portable grill, you’ll need a small propane tank. However, while these propane tanks tend to be pretty cheap, they are not refillable.

Some portable grills can be hooked up to a large propane tank, but these are heavy and require an adapter to be used on a portable grill.

Charcoal is typically rather easy to find on the road, whereas electric is not.

Electric is a risky choice for camping because you are depending on your campsite to have an electric outlet.

Starting Up and Tearing Down

Finally, you'll want to look for a portable grill that is easy to set up, turn on and then take down later. Finding a grill that has a push-button start is a plus for setting up, and a grill that is easy to clean is vital to take down.

In addition, you may want to avoid a heavy grill. Loading a heavy grill into a car is difficult and can make getting out to the campsite and then leaving difficult.Click here

Knowing More About Grilling

Before you go out and buy a portable grill, there are a few things about grilling you should be familiar with. First, you should know the difference between the fuel types.

Using a propane tank is simple and convenient, but pro grillers love the smoky flavor that comes from grilling using charcoal. Grilling with charcoal does take some mastery, but many people love the results it gives.

Familiarizing yourself with your grill and what it is capable of is so important. When grilling, you need to think about the number of people you're trying to serve and the type of food you're going to be serving them.

If you're feeding a large group of people, you'll want to make sure your portable grill has a large surface area to hold a lot of food.

A large surface area is also important if you’re trying to cook the entire meal on the grill. This is a common scenario during camping trips when the only source of cooking is the grill.

Something you should definitely know if you’re getting into grilling is what a BTU is. BTU stands for British Thermal Unit.

Basically, it tells you how hot the grill is capable of getting. But it’s important to remember that it does not determine the grill’s heat output.

With that in mind, be aware that the higher the BTU does not necessarily mean the better the grill. For example, a small grill with a high BTU may be trying to deceive you for being a better grill when it may truly be made poorly or have gaps between the lid and body.learn more

Grilling Mistakes to be Aware Of

Buying the Wrong Size

This cannot be emphasized enough. Make sure the grill you buy is the right size for your needs. Think about where you will store it, how often you will travel with it, what vehicle you will use to do so and how you will use the grill when you get to your destination.

Not every grill is going to occupy the same space. One grill may not fit into the back of your car as well as another and one may not be able to fit in that designated spot in the garage. Making sure you have the right size is as important as the quality of the grill you buy.

Not Cleaning the Grill Top

Ideally, you should be cleaning your grill after every time you use it. While you may get away with skipping cleanings on your large home grill, that’s not going to go as well with a small grill.

Bits of food left on your grill will get stuck to the grates and will be difficult to get off after the days and weeks between uses. Getting those bits off while the grill is still slightly warm will make sure you get it all off.

Cleaning the grill after use will also make sure you're not starting with a dirty grill the next time you use it. It's no fun to cook on a dirty grill with bits of old food getting stuck to what you're cooking. It's gross, unsanitary and will make the quality of what you're cooking worse.

Using Too Much Heat

An amateur griller may have a tendency to bring up the heat while grilling, but this is not good for the cooking process. Using too high of a heat will result in uneven cooking. On this same note, placing food on a very hot grill will result in the outside burning before the inside is even cooked.

A good tip to remember is that cooking low and slow is better than high heat. Some seasoned grillers even like to make certain areas of their grills hotter than others to accommodate for certain foods and create different levels of cooking heat.learn more


Grilling is a fun staple of any camping trip, barbeque or tailgate. But many people don’t know that there is a lot more to grilling that what it seems. Grilling takes skill and knowledge. There is a lot you should know before buying your first portable grill.

Doing your research and considering your grilling needs is vital to buying the right portable grill. Consider your storage space, how you will be transporting the grill and how often you will use it. Reading up on grilling skills and getting the perfect grill will enhance your camping trip or party by creating a fun atmosphere and keeping everyone fed.

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