Best portable grills for camping are very popular with people going to grill on a trip, in a camp or grilling on a backyard. While you may take a lot of time preparing or choosing the foods you serve, 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 meals outside whenever you want. Amateur grillers and top chefs alike can pick the various types of grills suitable for any event. Easy to clean and durable, portable camp grills 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 on your backyard, a portable grill 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?
Top 10 Best Portable Grills For Camping Under $300
|Weber Smokey Joe Portable Grill||15.6 x 15.6 x 9 inches||$||4.7/5|
|Coleman Road Trip Portable Grill LXE||19 x 35 x 32 inches||$$||4.4/5|
|Cuisinart CGG-200 Tabletop Gas Grill||19-4/5 by 27-4/5 by 12-4/5 inches||$$||4.4/5|
|Cuisinart CGG-180T Portable Gas Grill||16.5 x 16 x 13 inches||$$||4.2/5|
|Char-Broil Portable Gas Grill||15 x 12 x 24 inches||$||3.6/5|
|Smoke Hollow Tabletop LP Gas Grill||16.5 x 12.25 x 26.5 inches||$||4.2/5|
|Coleman RoadTrip LXX Grill||19.1 x 34 x 13.6 inches||$$||4.3/5|
|Char-Broil Portable Gas Grill||23.7"W x 15.7"D x 13.6"H inches||$$||4.1/5|
|Camco Olympian Portable Grill||24.2 x 14.6 x 11.6 inches||$$||4.1/5|
|Blackstone Portable Gas Grill||16 x 17.3 x 8.5 inches||$||4.7/5|
Here is a low down on the various types available plus their merits and demerits.
Types of Best Portable Grills for Camping
Portable charcoal grills are a classic option; they add that genuine barbecue flavor to any food you grill. Unlike gas grills, they do not have many moving parts that can hinder you from getting those great grill marks. The only problem with most portable outdoor charcoal grills is that sometimes it is 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: Takes time to set it up (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 constrain by various fire regulations set by various apartment managements and city authorities. So if you are a grill master and you want to enjoy a perfectly grilled burger or brat while still staying within the confines of the law, lean towards electric outdoor grills.
Best For: Those who live in the city in apartments that do not allow charcoal or gas as a fuel source.
Con: Do not offer the original barbeque flavor.
Natural Gas Grills
These types of portable outdoor grills require 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 grill is usually a 2-step process.
In the first step, the gas is burned so as 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, these types of grills can also be used for other food related activities. For instance some models allow users to fry, bake, braise and roast.
Ideal for: Impatient grill masters looking to easily and quickly set it up and do what they love. It is also ideal for people who do not want to worry about clean up and the preparation.
Con: 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 grills 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 people who are looking for something that does not involve the extra expenses of charcoal and natural gas. Easy and quick installation, plus easy clean up, also make it a great choice for inpatient chefs who enjoy well grilled meals and do not mind about 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 grill 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 pellet grills use wood pellets as their fuel and offer most of the advantages of both gas and charcoal grills. 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 the wood 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 grills.
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 we will not try to solve it all here. We will just stick to the basics.
Charcoal grills are ideal for people who like the slow and low type of grilling which provides the authentic BBQ flavor. Gas grills 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 do not allow propane grills outdoors.
Things to Consider When Buying Best Portable Grills for Camping
This could be cast iron, cast aluminum, stainless steel or ceramics, but many prefer steel because it is easy to clean and does not rust. Ceramics are also great because they keep the food tasty and juicy, and offer a unique cooking experience outdoors.
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 grills.
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
The Final Word
Investing in the best portable grill for camping is a great choice for people who like grilling outdoors. Most portable 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. There are also some models that are attached to trailers and you can hook up to your car and pull them, which makes them ideal for tailgating events and caterers.