If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to go through all the reviews and buying advice compiled by our researchers but you do want to find the best portable grill money can buy, this short paragraph should tell you everything you need to know. Being barbecue lovers ourselves, we have collected plenty of information about the various portable grills for sale by checking out comments and recommendations in actual owner feedback to compare with the claims made in expert review sites. Out of all the products we have looked at, we have thankfully been able to find what we believe is the best rated product in this specific category, the Coleman Road Trip LXE. Delivering an awesome 20,000 BTU of cooking power, this model is truly the best portable gas grill that efficiently employs propane as fuel to optimize the onboard PerfectFlow Pressure Control System that allows you to cook with steady heat, even in cold or extreme conditions. It is also one of the best portable grills for tailgating thanks to the collapsible stand with wheels that folds up easily for compact storage and hassle-free transport. If the Coleman Road Trip LXE is unavailable, we strongly recommend getting the second best option, the Weber 10020 Smokey Joe.
Whether you are a seasoned grill master looking to upgrade their existing grill or a first time buyer seeking to provide the best barbecue party experience for friends and family, getting a portable grill is far from easy. There are a variety of brands and models claiming to be the best portable charcoal grill on the market, which can make the buying experience trickier and more stressful. What do you want to see in a good quality portable grill?
Safety and versatility
You want the portable grill to be stable on its feet even when it’s on wheels. You won’t want to use a grill that is wobbly and has a tendency to tip over with red-hot coals in it. Do not get a grill with sharp metal edges and corners, which can be potential causes of injury. When you hold or grasp the handle/s in your hand, your fingers and knuckles should not be positioned extremely close to the lid, which can be quite dangerous when you have to check the food items on the grill frequently. Flame flares are normal, but you will still want the distance between the burners, flavorizer bars and the grates to be far enough to prevent frequent flare ups, which can be a bother and quite dangerous as well.
If you plan to cook more than just hotdogs and burgers for camping, you will want the portable grill to offer a wide range of temperature settings to accommodate sizzling steaks and even delicate fish. A varied range of temperature settings allows you to maintain a perfect cooking temperature for every food item you put on the grates. This is a sign of versatility. The more temperature range settings there are, the greater the variety of food you can work on. Some models even offer indirect cooking capability for roasting or slow cooking ribs, chicken or large and tough meat cuts. The meat is just positioned next to the fire and not over it, and the lid is closed to allow heat retention.
Convenient fuel source and reliable burners
You can select from electric, wood pellets, charcoal, logs and gas for the fuel type for your grill. Gas or charcoal models offer the capability to handle steak grilling and other red meats thanks to the high heat they can generate for searing. The most replaced parts of any grill are the burners, and for this component, a warranty of ten years should be enough to make the unit last longer than a basic steel burner. Infrared burners usually generate intense heat for searing and cooking food items, but different manufacturers offer various designs. To date, no infrared burner has been designed to be better than others or than standard burners.
Information on how much gas a grill employs and the amount of heat that can be generated are defined by the BTU/hr rating. However, higher BTU does not necessarily mean faster preheating. Nor does it indicate better cooking results. A more important aspect to consider is the grill’s’ primary cooking space size, which should match the number of servings it can handle. Be wary of manufacturers who include the searing burners and racks in the available cooking space. Grills with larger sizes do offer more convenience features and can come with stainless steel designs and most likely better builds. Performance, however, is not measured by those factors alone.
When figuring out grill cooking space size, you will want to factor in the amount of space the unit will eat up on the deck or patio. Check out the exterior grill dimensions from the product specifications. Portable grills are always perfect for tailgate or camping parties, and smaller patios or decks. You may also want the grill to accommodate a turkey for smoking so consider a grill boasting at least 12 inches of headspace between the inner aspect of the lid and the grates. Any warming rack should be removable for ease of use.
Heavy-duty construction and craftsmanship
Premium quality grills boast cast iron, powder-coated steel, steel bonded with vitreous enable, cast aluminum and high-grade stainless steel. For searing and maintenance of grilling temperatures, coated cast iron and stainless steel grates are top notch. You get greater durability from stainless grates, which, like cast iron, can withstand high heat nicely. Regular steel and cast iron are prone to corrosion, even when coated with high-quality heat-resilient paint.Regular steel and cast iron can rust. Even if painted with a high quality heat resistant paint, they are the least durable coatings since they chip and peel easily.
Some gas models have dual fuel valves or come with natural gas conversion kits, which can also be bought separately at option. Once the grill is linked to your home’s natural gas line, it will never run out of fuel and this will also eliminate the need to refill a propane tank regularly. Gas grills should have at least two burners but with three or four burners, you can opt for low, medium and hot zones.
You want tight lids and dampers on a portable grill with stand and cover. Those elements allow easy opening and closing for control of oxygen in the fire and also for heat control. Some charcoal grills allow raising and lowering of the coals in the pit. You’ll want the lid to close tightly for smoking. For smoking, the airflow should be easy to control. The cooking surface should produce uniform heat for even cooking results.
Furthermore, a portable grill should provide problem-free transportability. A wood chip- or charcoal-fed small foldaway unit should be perfect. Large, gas-fueled models are best for family use thanks to their larger cooking surface. There are even Coleman portable grills of this type that fit into a car trunk. Gas grills utilize an igniter or starter while electric models require a battery for the same purpose. Some models employ a dial or button to create a spark. In addition, there are crossover ignitions that work by switching on one burner first and the flame then crosses over to the other burners. You should always have long wooden matches handy in case of ignition failure.
Top rated portable grills in 2019
There are plenty of choices on portable grills, and this can easily complicate the shopping experience for the average consumer. We urge you to look at the information presented in the above buying guide to help you make a more informed decision. The best products have been showcased below for even more shopping assistance.
It comes as no surprise to see the current top rated portable grill reviews speak so highly and offer high marks to the Coleman 9949-750 Road Trip grill LXE model. With a modern and solid design, Coleman 9949-750 36-inch collapsible propane grill is ideal for home usage or outdoor activities such mountain trips, camping. The model has an impressive 285-square inches cooking area, porcelain-coated, cast iron grates that ensure a long life span, durability to its components and also an easy cleaning process. The meat, vegetables or fish can be cooked over the 2 powerful 10.000 BTU straight burners that deliver a uniform fire.
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Among the different portable grills from Weber, this is definitely the best choice thanks to its ability to handle everything from pork chops to bratwurst to Cornish hens. Offering the perfect barbecue solution for tailgate partying, cookouts and car camping, this model boasts a wide enough grate measuring 14 ½ inches in diameter to handle up to six burgers at a time with enough space between the food items for even cooking results. The bowl and lid are porcelain-coated to effectively keep away rust while ensuring consistent delivery and retention of heat. A 31-page comprehensive owner’s guide completes the package so you’ll have valuable cooking tips and classic grilling recipes to try out. The glass-reinforced nylon handle enables easy opening of the lid and even removal when needed.
Buy from Amazon for ($34.99)
Designed to be the ideal companion for tailgate and camping parties, the Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere boasts a porcelain-enameled coating that prevents fading and corrosion for lasting use. The pivoting legs deliver extra safety by locking the lid in place. Providing up to 160 square inches of cooking space, this grill is solidly engineered with no nuts or bolts. The lid and base are constructed of premium grade steel coated with porcelain enamel both inside and out to ensure durability and easy clean ups. The glass-reinforced nylon handle is designed to withstand the elements for the life of the grill. Fitting nicely into a tight space, this grill has a no-rust aluminum damper on either side of the handle for adjusting the amount of heat the charcoal creates in the base.
Buy from Amazon for ($54.99)
Searching for an efficient and professionally designed portable propane gas grill can be difficult given the high number of products currently available on the market and their distinct features. One of the best portable grills in 2019, according to the latest technical studies and online user feedback, only on Amazon there are 155 reviews, is Cuisinart CGG-200 All-foods table top propane gas grill. With a solid 12.000-BTU power, carefully designed stainless-steel burner and modular grill surface system, Cuisinart CGG-200 portable gas grill is the answer to all your outdoor culinary desires.
Buy from Amazon for ($148.99)
Considered one of the best portable grills in 2019, Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet portable tabletop model is ideal for people that go out camping and need a reliable and efficient cooking instrument that won’t let them down. The grill has a large 145-square-inch cooking area and also foldaway legs which is more than enough for any cook to test his limits and prepare high quality food. Cuisinart CGG-180T can cook by up to 8 burgers or stakes, chicken wings, fish or vegetable with ease due to the 5.500 BTU stainless steel burners and the advanced uniform heating system of the porcelain enamelled grates.
Buy from Amazon for ($96.53)
Products that are no longer available
Weber 386002 Q 100
Considered one of the best portable grills in 2019, Weber 386002 Q 100 Portable liquid-propane gas model allows the user to prepare good quality food within any context and occasion. With an impressive 189-aquare-inch cooking area and a powerful 8.500 BTU stainless steel burner, the Weber 386002 has a compact and strong structure made out of cast aluminum with painted finish and also glass-reinforced nylon frame. You should also know that the Weber Q 100 portable grill is weather resistant and runs on 14.1-ounce or 16.4-ounce LP cylinder without causing problems or any other related issues with the heat or general control.
Weber 516501 Q 120
The current top rated portable grills reviews underline the efficiency and solid built of the Weber 516501 Q 120 model, equipped with a powerful 8500-BTU liquid-propane gas grill and made out of cast aluminum with solid glass-reinforced nylon frame and also a carefully designed painted finish. This model has a porcelain-enamelled cast-iron cooking grate, a reliable electronic ignition system, solid adjustable burner valve and a built-in thermometer. This is the ideal portable gas grill for camping trips or any other outdoor activities that involve delicious food.