7 Best Portable Grills for Camping: Gas, Charcoal, Weber…

There’s no camping trip without a cookout. Cooking over an open fire with some pots and pans is one option, but nothing can beat a grill.

best portable grills camping

Grilling and camping are some of the best combinations for a relaxing and enjoyable time. You can make burgers and hot-dogs in the great outdoors being surrounded by a beautiful landscape while having peace and quiet.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re going camping in an RV or boat, tailgating, on the beach, or you just love the open road, there’s the best portable grill for everyone here.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at these 7 best portable grills for camping.

7 Best Portable Camping Grills

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

What Are the Best Portable Grills?

What Is the Best Grill for Camping?

What Is the Best Portable Propane Grill?

What Is the Best Portable Grill for Tailgating?

What Is the Best Portable Charcoal Grill?

Reviews

Take a look at my reviews of the most appropriate grills for camping to get a quick look at the best of what is offered on the market for this summer.

Weber Go-Anywhere Gas Grill

This lightweight, single stainless steel burner Weber gas grill is perfect for 2-4 people on your travels.

Small Enough to Carry With One Hand, Yet Big Enough to Feed the Whole Camp

Weighing at only 13.5 lbs, you can carry this grill like a suitcase with ease. But don’t let its compact size fool you. Despite its small stature, you can make up to 7 burgers at once on its 160 square inch large grates.

Durable Grate

The grate is porcelain-enameled which provides even heat distribution and fewer flare-ups.

It’s Hot

It has one 6,500 BTU burner that extends along its entire length. This design feature greatly reduces hot and colds spots.

Foldable Legs for an Even Easier Transport

The legs are foldable and when you fold them, they lock up the grill. Nice. When you carry it around, there’s zero chance of the grill opening itself all of a sudden.

Small or Big Propane Tank, You Be the Judge

This grill uses the small 1 lb propane tank by default but if that’s not enough you can convert it to hold a 20 lb tank.

If you camp alone, then the small tank is more than enough for you. But if you fo to the beach with your friends and family than it’s a better idea to use the larger tank. Get someone to help you carry the tank, though, as carrying both the tank and the grill is not a pleasant experience.

Don’t Use It in the Wind

This baby cooks like a charm when there’s no wind but at the slightest breeze, its cooking potential drops significantly. Either wait until the wind blows over or find yourself some cover.

Final Verdict

Being susceptible to winds is an issue most portable grills have so saying don’t buy it because of this is just plain wrong. For the price, this grill is compact, lightweight, durable, and pretty hot. I used it once when I went tailgating, and I’ll use it again.

Pros
  • Easy to carry and store
  • Convenient – less messy than charcoal and less preparation time
  • Even cooking
  • 6,500 BTU
  • Compact
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Wind sensitive
  • Hard to clean because of its compact design
See Reviews

Cuisinart Petit Gourmet Gas Grill

This powerful Cuisinart grill with its 5.500 BTU burner features a stylish chrome plated look with a locking lid and a generous cooking surface of 145 square inches.

Cast Iron Grates

The cooking grate is porcelain coated cast iron over stainless steel burners.

Take It to the Beach, Tailgating, Hiking, Fishing, or Camping

With its compact size and light design, this unit can easily travel with you anywhere.

Other Great Features:

  • Durable and foldable legs
  • Briefcase-like design
  • Lid latch and spill resistant drip tray
  • Twist to start electric ignition

Generous Cooking Surface

Although small and compact, you can cook either:

  • 8 steaks
  • 8 hamburgers
  • 6 – 10 chicken breasts
  • 4 lbs of fish

at once with ease. Feed your whole family as easy as 1-2-3.

Its Dirty Little Secret

Some of the parts are made from plastic which will melt with time. I don’t know if this was intentional or a design issue but you should be aware of this.

Final Word

All things considered, it’s one of the best portable grills for camping you can get for the money at this price range. It’s big enough to feed the whole camping party yet small enough to be carried with one hand. But don’t expect it to last for years as most of the plastic will melt away.

Pros
  • Generous cooking area
  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Cooks fast and even
Cons
  • The lightweight construction includes some plastic components that may not be very durable
  • Flare-ups have been reported
See Reviews

Coleman Roadtrip 285

The Coleman family of outdoor products has long been known for its affordable and reliable grills. This 20,000 BTU portable stand-up propane grill from Coleman has some great features including a collapsible stand frame with wheels. Enjoy a large cooking surface with interchangeable cooktops for every type of cooking.

Portable Despite Its Weight

Granted, this one weighs much more than the 2 above (around 53 lbs) and most of us (including myself) can’t really carry it with getting back pain. The Coleman engineers agree with this and this is why they added wheels. When folded, this grill looks like airport baggage.

coleman roadtrip 285

The Closest You Can Get to a Large Grill

If you aren’t a fan of small grills but would like to barbecue in the middle of nowhere, then this one might just be the perfect solution. The Coleman Roadtrip 285 looks and feels like a backyard grill. It’s one of a few camping grills that have side shelves and such a large cooking area of 285 square inches.

Can Act as a Griddle and a Stove, Also

Want to wake up your friends at the campsite with pancakes and eggs in the morning? You can by swapping the grates with a griddle top.

If you bring along your best camping cookware, you can make soup and/or sauces along with your barbecue and have a complete breakfast, lunch, and dinner just like you would at home in just one unit.

Both the griddle top and stove grates need to be purchased separately and for this price, they could have included at least one of them.

The Low-Down

The lid lock latch in poorly made and if you aren’t gentle you just might break it.

Also, the grease/water tray is very shallow and the grill needs to be level. Otherwise, it will spill. The same goes if you move the grill around while cooking.

Summary

With its 3 independently adjustable burners than can reach up to 20,000 BTU, large cooking area, side shelves, and a built-in thermometer this grill can be as good as some backyard grills.

Pros
  • Reliable and safe electric lighting ignition
  • Convertible to a 20lb propane tank
  • Easy to set up, take down, and transport
  • Built-in thermometer
  • Grill, griddle, and stove all-in-one
Cons
  • Cast iron cooking grates can rust if not seasoned properly
  • Not easy to clean up
See Reviews

Camco Olympian Propane Grill

If you are looking for excellent special features with your portable grill, the Camco Olympian 4500 is the way to go. With solid stainless steel construction throughout the casing, burners, and legs, you can’t beat the level of durability in this grill.

The Best Portable Grill for RV and Trailer

It comes with an optional mounting rack and quick-connect hose for your RV’s low-pressure system and hooks up with a quick connect valve right to your trailer.

The Cooking Features

The Camco 5500 has one 12,000 BTU burner which lights up using the Piezo electric spark ignition system and on top of that a stainless steel cooking grate and a cast-iron smoker plate.

No Assembly Required

This grill is already completely assembled at the factory, so your only job is to lift it up from the box. This feature saves valuable time which today is a luxury.

Connect It to 1lb, 5lb, or 20lb Tanks

You can connect the grill to any of these three propane tanks provided you have the right adapters.

What’s in the Box

It’s Nice and Shiny, But

it has hot and cold spots. And wear gloves when opening the lid while cooking. You’ll burn your hands if you don’t.

My Two Cents

It’s not a perfect portable camping grill but if you have an RV or a trailer, try it. Some grills are hard to connect to an RV but with this one, you just connect the hose and off you go.

Pros
  • Powerful and durable construction
  • Includes a cast iron smoke plate option
  • Includes folding tabletop legs
  • RV and trailer connection fittings
  • Lightweight
  • Large cooking area
Cons
  • Very hot, even at low temperature
  • Hot and cold spots
  • Ignition system issues
See Reviews

Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill

The Weber Q1200 is the upgraded version of the Weber Go-anywhere above. It’s larger, hotter, and more durable.

Innovative Burner Design

The single 8,500 BTU burner is made from one piece stainless steel piece without any welds. This ensures that there are no weak spots, making the burner even more resilient to harm.

Durable and Lightweight

Instead of being made from the classic stainless steel, it’s made from cast aluminum. This feature makes it both durable and lightweight.

Also, aluminum is a greater heat conductor than steel, making the grill even more efficient at cooking.

Grate Made From 3 Different Materials

  • Porcelain-enameled steel
  • Stainless steel
  • Porcelain-enameled cast iron

Why steel? So your steaks and burgers get that steakhouse sear mark look.

It Has Just One Minor Issue

Most gas grills have this issue which is this: even at low temperatures, it’s still pretty hot. So barbecue lovers might avoid this one.

Final Decision

This grill is one of the few grills that doesn’t have any specific issues. It’s a Weber, of course. Great for camping, tailgating, beach and boat parties, and traveling in general, either going solo or in a group.

Pros
  • The cast-iron grates heat up well and cook well
  • Innovative design
  • The electronic ignition works perfectly
  • Super portable
  • Easy to clean
Cons
  • Hot even at low temperatues
See Reviews

Coleman PerfectFlow Gas Camping Grill/Stove

Another gas grill stove combo from Coleman. But unlike the Roadtrip 285, you don’t need to purchase the stove grate separately.

Make eggs, sausages, and coffee in the morning, and burgers for lunch without spending a dime more.

It Has Something Others Don’t

Wind is a serious issue of any grill, including portable ones. But not for this one. It has 2 wind-blocking panels, one on each side. When there’s no wind, you can use them as side shelves.

The Power

It has two 10,000 BTU stainless steel burners that are easily and independently controlled. Combined with the wind-blocking shelves, this baby can feed both you and your significant other fast.

Spacious Cooking Area

It has enough grilling space (130 square inches) to cook 4 burger patties and hold a 10-inch pan at the same time.

Griddle Compatible

You can swap the grill grates with a griddle top. You have to purchase it separately, though.

The Secret They Don’t Want You to Know

The Instastart matchless ignition system is faulty. Don’t bother calling in for a replacement as it will surely die out as well.

What Can I Say?

It’s a nice gas grill stove combo that’s lightweight, versatile, and compact. The faulty igniter is more of an annoyance than an issue. Campers always carry a cigarette lighter or at least a box of matches so I’m not really bothered by it. And you shouldn’t too. At least not for this price range.

Pros
  • Easy to clean and use
  • Grill and stove combo
  • Lightweight
  • Compact
Cons
  • Faulty ignition system
  • Not that durable
See Reviews

Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill

The last best portable grill for camping of this list, but not the least: Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill. The only charcoal grill on this list. Most portable grills are gas because they’re more convenient. Also, the canisters are small and lightweight as opposed to clunky bags of charcoal.

But there are some hardcore charcoal grilling campers out there and Weber made this one just for them.

A Portable Behemoth

This 18″ grill has a very generous cooking area of around 240 square inches. It’s big enough for 15 burgers, making it ideal for tailgating and beach parties where there’s a lot of hungry mouths to feed in a short time.

Other Features Worth Mentioning

  • Plated steel cooking grate
  • Porcelain-enameled bowl and lid
  • Rust-resistant aluminum dampers
  • Rust-resistant aluminum ash catcher
  • Glass-reinforced nylon handle
  • Tuck-N-Carry lid lock allows for carrying and doubles as a lid holder

You’ve Seen the Good, Now for the Bad and the Ugly

The plastic lid handle is a joke. If you’re lucky, it won’t brake when you lift the lid during cooking when it’s hot, but during cleaning when it’s cold.

What was Weber thinking?

Final Say

Despite the aforementioned plastic handle, this is a nice charcoal grill with a few bells and whistles that every griller/camper who loves charcoal grilling more than anything should try.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy
  • Resistant to rust
  • The lid lock is very secure
  • Nice size for family cooking
  • Easy to put together
Cons
  • Cheap lid handle
  • No thermometer
See Reviews

Know Your Needs When Choosing the Best Portable Grill for Camping

It is best to know what your specific needs are for a road trip grill before you start shopping. Ask yourself these questions before you start to help you narrow down your choices:

  • How often will I be using a grill?
  • How many people am I looking to feed?
  • Do I need a portable grill that is easily transportable?
  • What is the price range that I am looking to shop in?
  • How easy can I store a portable grill?

Chances are that if you are looking to use your grill on a regular basis, you want something that is solidly built, easy to move, and small enough to store comfortably in any vehicle. Grill setups range from anywhere to a moveable stand with the grill attached to smaller tabletop models.

The size of your cooking area is an important specification. If you are just feeding 1-2 people you can look at some of the smaller more compact tabletop options. But, if you are looking to entertain a group of folks your choices will fall under some of the larger models with multiple cooking surfaces as an option.

More people = larger cooking area

No matter what size of the grill you may be looking for, it is still important that you purchase a product that will be durable and solidly made. Stainless steel burners are preferred over cast iron or aluminum that can eventually rust and flake.

Which Is Better Stainless Steel or Cast Iron Grill Grates?

Cast iron is the choice of cooking grate. It will hold the heat longer and cook more evenly than other materials. Although the cast iron may add weight to your unit, the durability and cooking quality can’t be beaten with weaker materials.

What Is the Difference Between the Coleman Roadtrip Grills?

Coleman Roadtrip Grill Comparison Table

LXE LX X-Cursion LXX 225 285
Image
BTUs 20,000 20,000 20,000 20,000 11,000 20,000
Cooking Space [square inch] 285 285 285 285 225 285
No. of Burners 2 2 2 2 2 3
Weight [lbs] 44 50 43.2 52 29 52.5
Size [inches] 32 x 35 x 19 36 x 13 x 22 32.1 x 19.1 x 12.6 19.1 x 34 x 13.6 28.8 x 18.3 x 10.6 45.6 x 19.5 x 35
Thermometer

Grilling and Camping Made Easy

The market for recreational equipment can be flooded with different models and endless features that can make it difficult to choose from. Consider your grilling needs, and keep in mind that you almost always get what you pay for.

Find the best portable grill that is right for you within your price range and choose among brands that are known for their reliability and well-built equipment.

It’s time to go outdoors and cook delicious camping meals for your family and friends.

What’s your favorite outdoor grilled food? Share your recipes in the comment section below.

About Mario 110 Articles
I am the owner of the Kitchen Guru Ideas. I've set up this site so I can share my kitchen tips and hacks that have been passed on to me from my parents and grandparents and show you how a wonderful experience cooking is and not just a way to save money. Even in this hectic lifestyle, there is time to prepare and most important enjoy a home-cooked meal.

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