Summer is here. And for most countries, it’s the season of outdoors, grills, frills, fire, and flavours. That’s the reason why we dedicated this post to Portable Grills. But before we let you in on our choices, let’s help you make the right buying decisions. Here are what to look for before selection a portable grill.
What to Look for in a Portable Grill?
Let’s be real – full-sized grills aren’t for everyone.
Maybe you live in an apartment or lack the patio space. Maybe it costs too much for something you won’t use as often.
Or maybe you are considering it for your next camping trips or beach getaways and need an option to take along on family visits. Then you need a portable grill.
Yes, there are portable grills and there are portable grills! But that doesn’t mean all portable grills are small enough to fit into the back of your car! You might need to look out for anyone the fit your transportation needs. But if you’ve got a conventional car, make sure the grill will fit your trunk’s unique size and shape.
Each fuel type has its advantages and disadvantages. You can probably find charcoal en route to your destination, while you might consider the addition of a gas cylinder for a gas grill, especially if you are taking the grill for your camping trip. Electric grills don’t require you to make space for a heavy bag of charcoal or gas cylinder, but you’re not likely to find an electric outlet at the beach or camp. So a gas grill or a charcoal grill are still your best options when going on a short trip away from home.
- Gas grills are extremely convenient, as they’re easy to start, heat up quickly, and hold a steady temperature.
- Charcoal grills give food a distinct smoky flavor that so many people love.
- Electric grills are the easiest, most convenient grills,if you have access to an electrical outlet.
If you’re going to be carrying your grill with you in the trunk of your car, how easy is it to pack it up when you’re done? Will you need to clean it thoroughly, or can you close it up and contain the mess until you get home? This is worth considering.
Best Portable Grills in the Market
Best Budget Portable Gas Grill
Cuisinart Petit Gourmet Tabletop Portable Gas Grill
The Cuisinart gas grill is definitely lighter and a bit more portable than most portable grills. It also feels slightly less sturdy while grilling, but is not flimsy by any means. It is equally easy to assemble. At its price, it is the best portable grill on a budget — especially if you don’t plan to use it more than a handful of times per summer. The Cuisinart portable grill also runs on any small propane tank you can find at camping or hardware stores.
This portable gas grill from trusty kitchen brand Cuisinart has foldable legs and a twist start ignition. It has a decently sized 145 square inches of grilling surface with an easy-to-clean porcelain grilling grate (which is a lot handier than having to buy new grates). It uses natural gas tanks and ignites quickly with a steady and consistent flame. However, it was ultimately less powerful than the Weber (just 5,500 BTUs), topping out around 450 degrees (F). It didn’t maintain its heat quite as well but wasn’t terrible in that regard either.
Due to its size, the Cuisinart is well-suited for those with limited space or who aren’t cooking for more than 2 or 3.
Overall, the Cuisinart is a good option for those who favor simplicity. There is hardly any assembly involved, it’s easy to pack up and carry, and by just screwing on a propane tank you’re all set to go.
Best Budget Portable Charcoal Grill
Weber Jumbo Joe
This Weber Jumbo Joe strikes the best balance of affordability, features, and ease of use when it comes to portable charcoal grills. It’s big enough at 18.5 inches in diameter and small enough that you’ll still have room in the trunk for a cooler and camping supplies.
It’s one of the most versatile grills in the market—grilling, barbecuing, and smoking, you can do it all with ease. Thanks to its dual-vent system (one at the bottom, one at the top), you get the same fine-grained level of temperature control you’ll find in Weber’s full-size kettles.
It weighs 22 pounds and has a handle with a bar that fits over the top that keeps the kettle and lid together for easy carrying.
Best Portable Stovetop Grill
Lodge Kitchen Cast Iron Reversible Grill Griddle
If you’re looking for something simple and reliable to achieve a grill-like experience but while still using your stovetop as a heat source, then this cast iron griddle from Lodge, comes in handy. This griddle works wonders when you have steaks and burgers to grill but no outdoor space to fire up a traditional grill. Cast iron gets scorching hot and retains heat exceedingly well, so you’ll be able to mimic the grill marks and sear of an open-flame situation. Plus, it’s a steal at just $45.
Weber Q 2400 1-Burner Portable Electric Grill
If you have access to an electrical outlet, you can also opt for an electric grill, like the Weber Q 2400 Portable Grill. This grill offers 189 square inches of cooking space and a 6-foot grounded cord, letting you cook for a crowd wherever you go.
This electric grill features porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates, as well as a cast aluminum lid and body. You can adjust the temperature via the infinite heat control settings, and the unit is easy to move around thanks to its ergonomic side handles. Many reviewers say this Weber electric grill performs just as well as gas models, making it an unbeatable option for those who live in condos or apartments where only electric grills are allowed.
Best Portable Indoor Electric Grill
Hamilton Beach Electric Indoor Grill
This small electric grill is perfect for indoor use, or for campers and tailgaters with access to electricity. It’s simple and straightforward and gets the job done for marinated grilled chicken breasts or burgers. It won’t give you the high heat sear you’ll get from a real fire, of course, or even some of the more powerful electric grills like the Kenyon. But for the kind of grill master who wields their firepower with the steady control of the lid, this stainless steel indoor countertop grill does bring the satisfaction of looking like an outdoor grill with grates and all. This model also has a large easy-to-clean grease tray and doesn’t take up a lot of space.
Best for Road Trips
Cuisinart CGG-049 Searin’ Sphere 10,000 BTU Portable Gas Grill
This grill is so different from any of the others in our list, it really stands out for the crazy spherical shape but it’s a great choice if you need something extra small and easy to use.
The Sphere offers a single 10,000 BTU burner, a push button ignition and the cooking grate is even dishwasher safe, so cleaning is really as simple as a quick rinse before loading it up for a wash.
It also only requires a 1lb canister, so the Sphere easy to take along on any road trip adventure without a hefty propane tank to lug with you.
Weber 54060001 Q2200 Gas Grill
If you’re willing to spend a little more on a portable grill, you won’t be disappointed in the Weber Q2200 Propane Gas Grill, which is easy to use and features a large cooking grate and unbeatable heat output.
This gas grill has a 280 square inch porcelain-enameled, cast-iron cooking grate and delivers 12,000 BTUs of heat per hour when connected to a 14.1-ounce or 16.4-ounce liquid propane cylinder. It comes with a push-button starter and removable catch pan, and it’s even compatible with the 1000-series Weber griddle (sold separately). Two folding work tables provide extra space for prepping and serving, while the ergonomic side handles ensure easy transport.