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 already own a full-sized grill and need an option to take along on family visits, camping trips, beach getaways, and tailgating.
That’s where a portable grill can come in handy. Generally smaller, cheaper, and easier to store than a full-sized grill, the portable grill is a great alternative for the family that needs a perfectly seared steak or burger without the commitment.
No matter your preference, I’ve compiled a list of the 10 best portable grills for your mobile grilling needs.
Just because you’re on road doesn’t mean you can’t feel at home. This grill, known for its reliability and at-home experience, doesn’t sacrifice functionality for its portability. Be the star at your tailgate when you pull this one out and grill just as well as you would on your own patio.
With up to 20,000 BTUs of grilling power and 285 square inches of cooking area, the Coleman RoadTrip makes a great option for people on the go. Its size means you can grill a lot of food at the same time, perfect for picnics or family vacations.
It also has three independently adjustable burners, compared to most portable grills that only offer one or two. It also has an integrated thermometer for regulating the temperature to achieve that perfect sear. Also useful is the Coleman’s push-button ignition that lights the grill without matches; just one less thing to worry about when you’re packing for a trip.
As any camper knows, one of the most important aspects in a portable grill is that it’s easy to clean. The RoadTrip has a water pan to catch cooking grease, which is removable for hassle-free cleaning.
Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you should feel cramped in your grilling set-up. The Coleman RoadTrip has two side tables that slide out for your utensils and drinks so it really offers that great portable kitchen experience.
What I really love about the Coleman is that it’s sturdy. Just because something is portable doesn’t mean I want it to feel like it could collapse mid-barbecue.
But that’s exactly what it can do: when you’re done grilling and cleaning up, the Coleman folds right up and can be stored upright to fit tight spaces until your next trip. From there, it’s easily portable on its two wheels. The scissor legs mean you can just fold it up and roll it out like a suitcase. Easiest ever.
Want all the ease of travel as a portable grill combined with the size of a regular grill? The Napoleon TravelQ should be a serious contender. When unfolded, the Napoleon stands up to waist height and lets you enjoy basically the same grilling experience you’d have at home. The side tables help expand your space for food prep or utensils.
When it’s time to pack up, this grill is super compact to enhance portability. The Napoleon has a locking lid, legs, and side handles, and comes with a cart to let you wrap this thing up and go.
The Napoleon is also powerful for a portable grill. Two stainless steel burners let you do both direct and indirect grilling with a total of 12,000 BTUs. It’s not as strong as some of the other grills on the list, but the size, power, and dual burner system give you a little bit more temperature control, as opposed to some other portable grills that are known for getting too hot too fast.
A major issue with portable grills is that it’s hard to get an even heat across the surface. Not a problem with the Napoleon. The Napoleon’s heavy-duty porcelain-coated “wave” cooking grids and 285 square inches of cooking area let you achieve the perfect grill while away from home. It distributes heat evenly across your food and provides a non-stick surface.
This particular grill operates on portable propane cylinders, but can be converted to use a 20 pound propane tank like a regular sized grill. However, the conversion kit does need to be purchased separately.
I need my grills to be sturdy above all else, especially when I travel and want to set up and take down cooking gear quickly. Sometimes they just take a beating. The Napoleon is made with stainless steel and aluminum, so this grill can handle some bumps and bruises while you’re on the road.
The Smoke Hollow advertises itself as the only smoking tabletop grill on the market, which makes it an easy choice for anyone who wants smoking capability on the fly. No sweat if you don’t usually smoke your food – the Smoke Hollow is still a great choice as a typically operating portable grill as well.
At 16 inches tall, 19.5 inches wide, and 25.5 inches deep, the Smoke Hollow is small enough to store in your RV or apartment. It doesn’t stand up independently like our #1 or #2 picks, but it’s great for setting on a heat-resistant tabletop at a cookout or camping trip and won’t take up much space.
The Smoke Hollow features a whopping 367 square inches of cooking area. That’s big enough to smoke up your steaks or pork tenderloins (or both at once!). You can also use flavored woodchips in the Smoke Hollow’s porcelain-coated woodchip pan for a little extra zest.
The smoke tray burner smokes at 3,500 BTUs, and the Smoke Hollow also has two 6,500 stainless steel vector burners. The three burner system gives this little guy great versatility in switching between smoking and grilling needs. You can operate the grill from 175° to 600°.
I always prefer not having to carry as much propane with me when I’m on the road. The grill design uses convection-style cooking for better fuel efficiency.
While I’m traveling, I want my gear to fold up quickly and easily to minimize packing time. The Smoke Hollow stands on three legs that fold in and a locking hood for convenient transport and storage.
The wire cooking grids are porcelain coated for even heating and simple cleanup. The Smoke Hollow also includes a chrome-plated wire warming rack, which is something many portable grills don’t feature.
Unlike some of the other portable grills on the list, this grill requires a fair bit of assembly. However, it’s worth it to have a reliable smoker that you can take on the road.
Got a need for speed? This grill uses infrared technology to heat up in just three minutes. The Solaire gets HOT!
When I’m on a camping trip, I often have better things to do than wait for dinner to cook. The heat of this grill makes it perfect for searing on the go. Its fast, intense heat lets you grill up that perfect steak in very little time.
The high heat also means that the Solaire stays clean, since any residue basically gets incinerated into ash. How convenient is that?
It’s also ideal for someone who doesn’t want the hassle of assembly. All you need to do is attach the handles and bolts, and you’re done; the Solaire is made for travel.
The Solaire is on the smaller end of products on our list, so it’s better suited to individuals or couples that love traveling. It can be used for large groups since it does cook so fast, but it’s more work on your part to keep the food moving.
The downside is that its price tag is a little steeper than some of the other grills with more bells and whistles, but it consistently provides high-quality, fast sears, and a small size makes it easier to travel with.
If you love the infrared technology of the Solaire, but not the price tag, then the Char-Broil Grill2Go might be the perfect alternative.
The Char-Broil boasts an infrared, no flare-up cooking system. It has one burner with 9,500 BTUs, this does make temperature control a little harder, but the tradeoff is its powerful punch when grilling. Even for its small size, the Char-Broil still offers 200 square inches of grilling space on a stainless steel grate for easy cleaning.
The Char-Broil folds down easily and is highly portable. It has two heat-resistant side handles for easy pick up and moving, as well as a main handle and latches that allow you to carry the grill around like a briefcase.
It weighs less than 20 pounds, but is as durable as it looks with a high-impact frame and aluminum lid. You can lug it around from tailgate to camping trip to a friend’s house without worrying about damaging delicate parts.
This grill combines great features from others on this list: easy carrying handle, small size, and durable stainless steel design. The stainless steel makes the grill heavier but also sturdier. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – sturdiness is important when it comes to grills you’ll be carrying around a lot!
The Smoke Hollow 205 has a fairly large cooking space with 205 square inches as well as a 105 square inch warming rack, giving you more functionality in cooking your meals. It’s also relatively powerful, with a 10,000 BTU stainless steel burner and electronic ignition.
Like the other Smoke Hollow grill on this list, the 205 functions as a grill AND a smoker. This model is slightly smaller and only has one burner instead of three, so consider whether the tradeoff in size for power is important to you.
The legs on this grill fold up for easy setup and take-down, and the whole thing latches up for convenient transportation.
It also has a stainless steel drip tray to make cleaning fast and simple.
This compact grill easily becomes multi-purpose if you buy the (separate) griddle or stove grates to swap out for the grill, giving you a pretty great range of functionality in one small item.
The Coleman NXT Lite delivers 8,500 BTUs across 168 square inches, meaning it can get hot relatively quickly. The Coleman has one burner, so you there is a little less temperature control as with the others. It does not have an inbuilt thermometer, so you’ll need to monitor temperature by using your own.
The Coleman also has a removable drip tray and porcelain-coated steel grates for easy cleaning. Like the others on this list, it also features a push-start ignition.
The Coleman is compact and powerful enough without the bells and whistles. It comes in at the lower end of price points on our list, so if you’re looking for good value, this is a reliable, wallet-friendly pick.
This grill is small but efficient. Only 16.5 inches wide, 16 inches deep and 13 inches tall and weighing just 13.5 pounds, even though it looks like a cute little Panini press, the Cuisinart nonetheless has a cooking surface of 145 square inches. It’s best for grillers who are really space-sensitive in their grilling needs.
It has one 5,500 BTU burner and a porcelain-enameled grate. That makes the heat less powerful than some other grills on the list, but for its size will get the job done.
The legs fold in and the grill has a handle for easy, briefcase-style carrying.
Propane cylinders are not included, but it connects with either a screw-on tank or a regular-sized propane tank if you use a hose (also not included).
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.
Like its name suggests, the Coleman Camp is designed for campers. Its main draw is that it has a 2-in-1 grill and stove design for quick but versatile food preparation. You can grill and cook at the same time – road-tripping is no reason not to have a full foodie level meal!
Two panels on the side of the grill fold up and down, so they can be either wind blockers to protect the burners from the elements or little side tables for prep.
The Coleman Camp Propane Grill/Stove gets up to 20,000 BTUs, making it as powerful as some of the large portable grills on the list. The stove side fits a 10-inch pan, while the grill space is 130 square inches.
Like other grills on this list, the Coleman Camp has a removable drip tray for cleaning on the go.
We recommend being careful not to put pots and pans on the grill, as this will damage the metal of the grill grates. Also note that burner adjustability is limited, so you may not have as much temperature control as you would with the other grills.
The whole kit folds up and latches for portability so you can just toss it in the trunk next to your ice chest and head out.
This two-burner Pit Boss grill might look small, but actually features 275 square inches of cooking surface, that’s getting up there with the big boys! The two burners offer 10,000 BTUs each for 20,000 BTUs of total power.
In terms of portability, the Pit Boss Grill has folding legs and a latching hood. It doesn’t have a carrying handle, but it’s lightweight enough at 27 pounds to pick up and carry when cool.
Like the other grills, the Pit Boss has a push-turn ignition. It also includes an inbuilt thermometer.
What’s more: this thing is pretty! With a stainless steel exterior and cooking grids, the Pit Boss is a great option for those that value design even while on the road.
The Coleman Sportster is a roomy little grill that’s highly affordable and offers just enough of the basics to give you a satisfying grill experience away from home.
The Sportster falls toward the higher end in size for a portable grill, coming in at 225 square inches with 11,000 total BTUs of power. Like most of the others, it also has an easy push-button ignition system.
This is one of my favorite picks for tailgating as it is just the right size for a group of friends and family but it has the great lock and latch system so it is easy to transport and stow away after use.
It also comes on a collapsible stand so you can set it up right next to your car, no table or extra surface needed. When folded up, the legs act as a pull handle, making it as easy to move around as a rolling suitcase in the airport.
I really love the sleek, slim look of this little tabletop grill. It falls into the higher end category for our list and it’s small size makes it highly portable. This is a great pick for larger cuts of meet and a more finely-tuned grilling experience.
With a speedy under 10 minute heat up time (impressive for a mini grill without infrared tech), and 2 burners with 20,000 BTUs of power, this is one of the more impressive little grills on the list.
It offers a twist-start ignition and a built-in thermometer so there is no guesswork involved. The stainless steel cooking grate is top quality and the overall cooking space is one of the highest on the list at 276 square inches.
I’m also a fan of the generous use of stainless steel for maximum durability. When a grill is portable, the better the materials, the longer it’s lifetime will be.
The only minor downside is this little beast doesn’t come with it’s own stand, just mini fold down legs to sit on a table or other surface.
This grill is SO different from any of the others on 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.
This list just wouldn’t be complete without a Weber to round out our top picks! This is a great choice for the beach, camping or even if you have a small backyard space to work with.
The Q1200 offers a respectable 189 square inches of grill space, with 8,5000 BTUs of power. It also comes with an easy electronic ignition system.
This version does not come with the built in hood thermometer but it does have two pop up side shelves and a cast aluminum lid and body. You can also choose to add on a collapsible stand in case you won’t always have a table-top handy.
The Q1200 is part of a whole series of Weber grills so if you miss the addition of the thermometer or you want to see some extra power, you can upgrade to the Q2200 or Q1200 with the same look and style, just more bells and whistles, and a slightly steeper price tag.
The Camco is a great pick for all the RV lovers out there as this little beast will connect up to your low-pressure supply and comes with a mounting bracket and table top legs.
It offers 180 square inches of cooking pace with a single burner and 12,000 BTUs of power. The Camco also features a Piezo electric igniter, which is good for a crazy 20,000 sparks and is primarily made of stainless steel, which makes me a happy camper because that means it is going to survive at least a few seasons of road time.
This grill is also a great option for those who don’t RV as it can be adapted to work with just about any size propane tank and doesn’t have to be hooked up to your vehicle.
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I am a grill freak! It's hard to pick my favorite thing to grill, but if I had to choose... it is still a tie between pork ribs and a juicy beef burger. I am currently grilling on a Weber S210(I live in a small space) but my dream grill is definitely a summit. Those things are bad ass. Anyways I would love to hear from you, leave a comment or question below!