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What is the Best Camping Grill? Your Options for a Portable Grill and Stove (2021)

by Outdoor Cooking Pros May 10, 2021

What is the Best Camping Grill? Your Options for a Portable Grill and Stove (2021)

Camping and grilling have pretty much become synonymous and for good reason! Imagine sitting around flames eating a hot meal.

Camping grills let you do this because they're durable, portable, andjust plainAWESOME.

But what's the best camping grill? Find out below, thanks to our experts.

Reviews of the Best Camping Grills

1. Coleman Roadtrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill

Coleman RoadTrip 285 

Tons of reviews have hailed the Coleman Roadtrip 285 as one of the best camping grills you can find today and for good reason!

EVERYTHING YOU NEED, from the stand, slide-out side tables, and wheels are all attached to this grill so you don't need to worry about assembling anything.

The beauty of it is that when you're done, it all folds down until you're just left with a suitcase-sized rolling grill!

The push-button ignition makes it easy to start, so you don't have to freak out if you leave your lighter or matches at home!

Pros

  • Built-in table and wheels for convenience
  • Push to ignite
  • Other cooktops available

 Cons

  • Uneven heat when on high
  • Not as small as a tabletop option 

2. Cuisinart Petit Gourmet Portable Gas Grill

Cuisinart Petit Gourmet Portable Gas Grill

Cuisinart is well-known when it comes to food appliances. This Cuisinart model gives you a big grill surface area that can cook up to 8 burgers, while still being light at only 13 pounds. 

Its folding design lets you easily adjust the legs to keep you comfortable while grilling.

Rest assured, the 4 legs will keep this camping grill from toppling over when you put it on top of ANY TABLE. And when you're done, it's easy to just fold the legs away!

The Petit Gourmet is an extremely portable option that makes it one of the best portable grill options available.

Pros

  • Adjustable height
  • Folding legs
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Small drip pan
  • Plastic components

3. Cuisinart Portable Charcoal Grill

Cuisinart Portable Charcoal Grill

If that smoky taste from charcoal grills is important to you, this Cuisinart grill is the answer to your cooking dreams.

It even looks just like a charcoal grill, EXCEPT MINIATURIZED. The shorter legs are just over a foot high and the whole thing is 5 pounds, making this one of the best portable charcoal grills!

The chrome-plated cooking grate is of excellent value at this price. It even has an enamel-coated firebox so you can safely turn up those flames, as well as an ash catcher.

Dual vents let you control the heat, whether you intend to char broil or sizzle!

Pros

  • Built-in clamps secure lid
  • Temperature control
  • Affordable
  • Chrome grill grate 

Cons

  • Not compatible with propane canisters

4. Primus Kuchoma Camping Grill

Primus Kuchoma Camping Grill

For staying at a campground or car camping, this Primus Kuchoma camping grill is one of the best gas grills for you.

With an easily replaceable propane tank, you can fire up anything.

For its size, it produces incredibly high heat (up to 8500 BTUs!).

The grilling surface is made of a nonstick ceramic so you're sure to get a durable propane gas grill. This, along with the stainless steel drip tray, is dishwasher-safe, making for an easy clean-up.

 Pros

  • High heat output
  • Easy to clean

 Cons

  • Not the most portable

5. Coleman Fold N Go Portable Grill

Coleman Fold N Go Portable Grill

If you're looking for the most portable and inexpensive folding grills, this is for you. Coleman is a trusted brand for all things camping.

They don't disappoint either with their Fold N Go Portable Gas Grill.

True to its name, this just weighs a little over 10 pounds. It all folds into a carrying case (sold separately) so you can easily carry or stow it when car camping.

The porcelain-coated cooking space is easy to clean, though you should take care NOT to chip or flake the porcelain.

On top of its portability, this is also versatile! You can opt to get a griddle cooktop if a flat iron isn't enough for you.

Pros 

  • Lightweight
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Porcelain coating can chip
  • No ignition button

6. BioLite Basecamp Grill

BioLite Basecamp Grill

If you're looking at wood-burning camping grills, worry no more! This BioLite grill has a unique design that makes it look like a birdbath.

You can burn wood in the column base, while the circular grate on top extends to give you enough cooking space to feed up to 8 people.

Yes, 8! Everyone can gather around this camp stove to cook their hotdogs (or smores)!

Want to know what else this has? A lithium-ion battery! This lets you charge through USB, using excess heat. Neat, right? The built-in light even works the same way!

 Pros

  • Doubles as a charger
  • Built-in light
  • Large grill top

 Cons

  • Requires wood
  • No lid or cover
  • Expensive

7. Adjust-a-Grill Camping Grill

Adjust-a-Grill Camping Grill

If you plan to do your cooking on open flames or charcoal, the Adjust-A-Grill is one of the options for you.

While it doesn't have burners, it's a grill grate with a rotating design that makes it easy to handle on a campfire. Bye-bye steep learning curve!

You just have to drive the 2-foot stake next to your fire, adjust the height, load your meal up on the cooking surface and easily transfer it on and off the flames.

We love how much cooking you can do on its huge 16 x 16 grill grate, making it one of the best portable camping grills today.

Pros

  • Great for open flames and charcoal
  • Safe to use
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Storage bag

 Cons

  • No burners

8. Weber Q1200 Titanium Propane Grill

Weber Q1200 Titanium Propane Grill

If you have the budget to splurge and get the top-of-the-line camping grill with the best features, you're looking at it.

Weber is one of the MOST TRUSTED names in this business, and their Q1200 is no exception.

Some of its features include a quick-heat option so you don't have to wait for it to heat up when you're starving at the end of a long day, even if it's windy!

It also has an angled grease tray and catches pan for all that fat.

Pros

  • Built-in thermometer
  • Easy to clean
  • Fold-in side tables for prepping
  • Cast iron
  • Wheeled stand option (sold separately) 

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy

9. Bitty Big Q Compact Retractable Grill

Bitty Big Q Compact Retractable Grill

If you're looking for the lightest and smallest portable charcoal grill, you should consider this one from Bitty Big Q.

At only 1.77 lbs., this is the LIGHTEST you can get. It even packs neatly into a tough carry case that's as small as a bottle. Plus, this camp grill is a no-brainer to set up and disassemble!

You can use this on top of flames or charcoal with its 3 different heights. And when you're at home, you can even use this as a roasting or cooling rack!

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Super light
  • Most portable
  • Self-cleans

 Cons

  • Small

10. Country Smokers Gas Griddle

Country Smokers Gas Griddle

With its pre-seasoned griddle and 373 square-inch cooktops, you're sure to get a lot of cooking done on one of the best portable grills on the market.

It may not be the lightest, but at 30 pounds you still get a lot of conveniences, including foldable legs and foam carrying handles.

The Country Smokers griddle is great for vegetables, steaks, burgers, and eggs. And what's going to soak all the grease up?

Well, a bucket goes underneath to CATCH ALL that greasy nonsense.

Pros

  • Large cooktop
  • Durable

 Cons

  • Heavy

Camping Grills Buyer’s Guide

When choosing between models, it's easy to get confused and overwhelmed with all the details. Plus, the best camping grill is largely dependent on your personal needs, preferences, and intended use.

Below are some things you should consider when choosing the right one for you.

Design and Build

The overall design and build of any camping grill will affect several things: its cooking surface, features, versatility, durability, and expected lifespan.

Everyone knows that the better the design, construction, and materials, the longer anything will last, right?

Look around for the features that some camping grills have. 

grilling while camping

For example:

  • Does it have a drip tray to catch the oils and fats from what you're cooking?
  • Does it give you side tables that easily fold away or extend to give you a prep area for cooking?
  • Are there adjustable legs that let you customize the height of the grill so you don't break your back while cooking?
  • How about a pressure regulator or different heat zones?

Moreover, consider the materials used throughout the grill, including its accessories. These added features are great, but if they're made of non-durable materials or are badly built, they WON'T LAST you very long.

Size and Construction

Are you using it in your backyard or out in the woods?

The size of your cooking area on your camping grill is a BIG consideration. Good luck using a tiny grill if you plan to use it for BBQ parties for a group of 10!

grill in the woods

And if you just plan to use it for you or a small group OR to cook a few burgers now and again, there's no point spending extra to get a grill that's too big for you.

You should also consider WHAT the grate is made of. 

For example, our team advises to check if the grate has a NONSTICK COATING for easier cleanup. If you want a camping grill that's more versatile for cooking a variety of foods, check whether it has 2 sides (i.e., griddle and flatiron).

  • Stainless steel grates are easier to clean and are resistant to rusting, so it's a great place to start.
  • But if you have the budget, high-end portable grills use porcelain-enameled and/or cast-iron grates, which are more durable and better for heat retention, though they may be harder to take care of. 

clean up

Portability

There's a reason you're getting a CAMPING grill, and not a regular grill: portability. How "portable" a grill is for you will depend on the following:

  • Size of your vehicle or camper
  • Weight of the grill (and how much walking you'll do)
  • Size of the grill when disassembled/packed
  • Packaging

The size of your vehicle matters if you get a sizable grill, since it may not fit in the back of the trunk.

Its weight AFFECTS how tired you'll get from carrying it around, especially if you're planning to hike a lot. Remember: the lighter it is, the further you can comfortably carry it.

Its size when it's stowed away ALSO MATTERS because this consumes space in your vehicle/backpack.

grill size

And finally, HOW it disassembles matters. The best one should fold neatly into its own "suitcase", with all the loose parts (i.e., legs) having their own compartments inside

That being said, don't forget WHAT you're getting it for.

  • Is it to cook for a large group? You'll have to give in to a bigger camping grill, then.
  • If it's just for you, then you can get the smallest and lightest one possible.

 Fuel Type

Different camping grills use a lot of fuel types. The most common of these are wood, butane[1], alcohol, solar, and white gas (aka Coleman fuel or petroleum naphtha).

  • The majority use PROPANE to cook your food. Propane canisters are convenient because you can just purchase the canisters. They're also EASIER to store and transport. The disadvantage? They're heavier and less portable than others.
  • Non-propane options are great for the environment and give your food that characteristic char you can't get with propane. Usually, these are also more lightweight and portable. However, it can be more inconvenient to refill them.

 fuel type

Keep in mind: Some fuel types have unique features/uses you won't find elsewhere.

For instance, a charcoal grill can double as a fire pit so you can fulfill your dream of smoking your meats. It also gives you that characteristic charcoal taste.

A wood burner is great for infusing certain woods into your meat. Then there's white fuel, which is the only one that can operate in frigid temperatures without any trouble.

So think about what conditions you plan to use the grill in to see if a particular fuel type is better for you.

Temperature Control

As with any kind of cooking, the ability to control what temperature you're using is CRITICAL.

temperature control

Otherwise, you may just end up with chicken that's black on the bottom and raw in the middle. Not the best sight.

These portable grills should have some kind of temperature control.

The more accurate the adjustments, the better it is. Also, some have built-in thermometers you can use to check on your food without lifting the hood up and letting that heat and smoke escape.

Power Output

Now that you've checked out the type of fuel you need, ask yourself this: how much cooking do I plan to do with this? 

power out

This depends on how much food and how many people you intend to cook for. Based on this, look for certain features, such as more burners and how many BTUs you need.

Price and Warranty

No one considers buying something without first figuring out their budget.

This can severely restrict the best options available to you. That being said, there are some out there that can give you excellent value for money, even if they don't have all the bells and whistles you'll find in the top models.

grill setup

Remember that the BRAND you're purchasing from will also affect the price, but you get the benefit of buying from a reputable and well-trusted outdoor brand that can give you that extra peace of mind.

Another thing you should consider is the WARRANTY of the grill. Look at how long it lasts and what its coverage is. This may just keep you from spending a few extra hundred bucks on repairs down the line.

Our Top Pick For a Camping Grill: Coleman Roadtrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Burner Gill

 Coleman Roadtrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Burner Gill

 

The Coleman Roadtrip 285 is still considered one of the best camping grills you can get today, according to our team of pros. It looks and works EXACTLY like a grill you'd use in your backyard, but in a more compact design!

It's easy to transport, versatile, and comes with an adjustable burner. If you're looking to get the best portable grill available, this is it!

Looking for an exciting home appliance for your outdoor kitchen? Then, you can check our review of wood fired pizza oven and gas pizza oven here. Read next! 

Outdoor Cooking Pros
Outdoor Cooking Pros


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