The 8 Best Portable Grills of 2021

Gas, charcoal, or electric—you can take these anywhere

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Our Top Picks
Best Overall:
Weber Q 2200 at Amazon
"This gas grill delivers the most “bang for your buck,” as it’s easy to assemble and heats up quickly and evenly."
"The compact design is easy to bring to a sporting event or out camping, as it converts into a tabletop model in seconds."
Best for Tailgating:
Coleman RoadTrip 285 at Amazon
"Its legs fold up quickly for fast storage, and you can wheel it behind you for easy transport."
"Reviewers say it's every bit as capable as Weber's full-sized (and cult-favorite) version."
"This folding grill delivers 6,000 BTUs of heat via its 105 square inch cooking surface, and its PerfectFlow technology ensures consistent performance."
Best Electric:
Weber Q 2400 at Amazon
"Reviewers say it's an unbeatable option for those who live in condos or apartments where only electric grills are allowed."
"It can get up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and holds up to 5 pounds of wood pellets in its built-in hopper."
"This stove has a number of useful features, including a pressure-regulator for consistent performance in extreme conditions."

Ever wish you could get your grill on beyond your backyard? Maybe you want to enjoy grilled meats or vegetables on your next camping trip or picnic, or you're looking for that smoky flavor on your burgers at the next tailgate party. Or perhaps you live in the city and all you've got is a balcony or a small kitchen.

It would be difficult to get a full-size grill to work comfortably in these scenarios, but luckily, there are plenty of portable electric, charcoal, and gas grills available on the market depending on your needs or living environment. From folding grills that can fit in a backpack to larger models, we list our picks of the best portable grills to help you decide.

Best Overall: Weber Q 2200 Gas Grill

Weber Q2200 Liquid Propane Grill
What We Like
  • Extremely easy to set up and operate

  • Spacious cooking area

  • Heavy-duty porcelain-enameled cast iron grates

  • Large folding side tables

What We Don't Like
  • Somewhat heavy for a portable grill

  • Problems with catch pan

Gas grills are extremely convenient, as they’re easy to start, heat up quickly, and hold a steady temperature. 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 propane 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. 

Reviewers say this propane grill delivers the most “bang for your buck,” as it’s easy to assemble and heats up quickly and evenly. However, is to be expected of any smaller grill, it’s not recommended for anything with a long cook time (both because of its smaller surface, and limited gas tank). If you want to extend the grill’s cook time, we recommend connecting a larger propane cylinder with a separate adapter hose.

What Our Testers Say

"I was really impressed at the heat put out by the grill’s 12,000 BTU burner." — Camryn Rabideau, Product Tester

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Cuisinart Petit Gourmet Gas Grill With VersaStand

Petit Gourmet Gas Grill
What We Like
  • Compact design

  • Decent size surface area

  • Transitions from tabletop to ground use

  • Nice grill lines

What We Don't Like
  • A little wobbly

  • No temperature gauge

  • Lid kept latching

  • One burner

There’s so much to love about this lightweight, versatile portable gas grill. The Cuisinart Petit Gourmet Portable Gas Grill stands out from the crowd thanks to its unique design, which converts from a freestanding model into a tabletop model in seconds. The compact design is easy to bring to a sporting event or out camping, yet the porcelain-enameled cooking grate can still fit up to eight burgers at a time. 

This Cuisinart grill features a 5,500-BTU burner, a twist-start electric ignition, and a temperature gauge. The grate gives you 160 square inches of cooking space, accommodating four to six people at once. What makes this grill special is that the telescoping VersaStand holds the grill at ideal cooking height, yet backs aways for easy transport and storage. The whole unit weighs just 17 pounds, and it gets top marks from reviewers who say it’s well-built and heats up quickly.

What Our Testers Say

"The burgers and chicken thighs had beautiful grill lines, and the veggies were perfectly charred on the outside.Thanks to the porcelain-coated grill grates, the food came right off without any sticking (and minimal to no oiling)." Lindsay Boyers, Product Tester

Best for Tailgating: Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill

Coleman Portable Grill
What We Like
  • Three burners deliver 20,000 BTU per hour

  • Folding design with wheels

  • Durable cast iron grates

What We Don't Like
  • Lid lock is flimsy

  • Poorly designed water tray

Get excited for the big game with the Coleman RoadTrip Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill. This model has a number of features that make it ideal for tailgating, such as its quick-fold legs, rugged wheels, and swappable cooktops. It has a large grilling area of 285 square inches, and it delivers up to 20,000 BTUs when connected to a 16.4-ounce propane cylinder (not included).

This grill will become a staple at sporting events thanks to its sliding side tables, three precise temperature zones, and improved burner technology. Its legs fold up quickly for fast storage, and you can wheel it behind you for easy transport. The grill has a push-button ignition, and if desired, you can purchase separate griddles and stove grates to swap in, letting you cook all sorts of essential tailgating recipes with ease.

Best Charcoal: Weber Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill

Weber Smokey Joe
What We Like
  • Portable

  • Can be assembled in less than 15 minutes

  • Very affordable

What We Don't Like
  • No side handles

  • Not much airflow with cover on

Charcoal grills give food a distinct smoky flavor that so many people love, which is why the Weber Smokey Joe Portable Grill is such a popular product. This compact grill is basically a miniature version of Weber’s cult-favorite charcoal grill, and it’s the perfect cooking device to take on the road with you. 

The Smokey Joe Portable Charcoal Grill is 14 inches wide and has 147 square inches of grilling surface on its steel grate. There are four vents to regulate airflow, as well as an aluminum ash catcher down below. This portable grill comes with a 10-year warranty, and reviewers swear by it, saying it’s every bit as capable as a full-size model and worth every penny of its affordable price.

Best Budget: Coleman Fold N Go Propane Grill

What We Like
  • Inexpensive

  • Compact and portable

  • Dishwasher-safe cooking surface and grease tray

What We Don't Like
  • Latch doesn't close properly

  • Grates can peel over time

If you don’t want to invest too much in a portable grill, the Coleman Fold N Go Propane Grill is the perfect model for you. While inexpensive and compact, this grill will still get the job done, cooking your steaks, burgers, and other dishes with ease. 

This folding grill delivers 6,000 BTUs of heat via its 105 square inch cooking surface, and its PerfectFlow technology ensures consistent performance—no hot spots here! It requires a 16.4-ounce propane cylinder (sold separately) and can last for up to 3.5 hours on high, making it ideal for camping. Plus, when you’re done cooking, the grate and grease tray can both be removed for easy cleaning in the dishwasher.

Best Electric: Weber Q 2400 Electric Grill

Weber Q2400
What We Like
  • Large cooking area

  • Porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates

  • 6-foot power cord

What We Don't Like
  • No lid thermometer

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 280 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 Pellet Grill: Country Smokers 18" Wood Pellet Grill

Country Smokers Wood Pellet Grill
What We Like
  • Large cooking area with removable upper rack

  • Easy to control via digital dial

  • Delicious flavor from wood pellets

What We Don't Like
  • Heavy for a portable grill

  • Small sear area

For those who love the taste of wood pellet grilled and smoked food, the Frontier Series Traveler Country Smokers Wood Pellet Grill is a must-have. The portable model works as both a grill and smoker, and it can hold up to 5 pounds of wood pellets in its built-in hopper. The grill features 256 square inches of cooking surface, and it can be used to bake, seat, roast, braise, grill, and smoke all sorts of foods on the go.

The wood pellet grill can get up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and in addition to its main grilling area, it also has a removable upper rack. You can control the grill via its digital dial, and while the model is compact, keep in mind it weighs 42 pounds. According to reviewers, this is an unbeatable wood pellet grill and smoker to keep in your RV or camper, as it’s spacious and works amazingly, no matter what you’re cooking.

Best for Camping: Coleman Gas Camping Stove

Gas Camping Stove
What We Like
  • Affordable and basic

  • Two burners deliver up to 20,000 BTU

  • Built-in wind panels

What We Don't Like
  • Control knobs can be sticky

  • Recessed handle is hard to carry

What’s better than whipping up dinner in the great outdoors? You can easily grill up your favorite foods while camping using the Coleman Gas Camping Stove, which has a number of useful features. This grill runs on 16.4-ounce propane cylinders (not included), and it has two adjustable burners that let you cook two dishes at once. 

This grill delivers cooking power up to 20,000 BTU, and it has a pressure-regulator for consistent performance, even in extreme conditions. It also has built-in wind panels to keep your flame going on blustery days. Reviewers say this classic stove is easy to light and works well with cast iron pans, but several say the control knobs are a bit sticky.

Final Verdict

Our top pick is the Weber Q2200 Liquid Propane Grill (view at Amazon) because of its quick and even heating and easy assembly. Plus, its ergonomic design makes transporting it a breeze. Looking to grill on your camping trip? Try the Coleman Gas Camping Stove (view at Amazon): It comes with a pressure regulator and built-in wind panels.

What to Look for in a Portable Grill

Size

Yes, these grills are all portable, but that doesn’t mean they’ll all fit your transportation needs. If you’ll be tossing the grill in the back of a pickup truck, any of these models will work. But if you’ve got a conventional car, make sure the grill will fit your trunk’s unique size and shape.

Fuel Type

Each fuel type has its advantages and disadvantages. You can probably find charcoal en route to your destination, while propane might take slightly longer to locate. Electric grills don’t require you to make space for a heavy bag of charcoal, but you’re not likely to find an electric outlet at the beach.

Cleaning

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?

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Camryn Rabideau is a freelance writer who has written almost a dozen roundups on grilling for The Spruce Eats, including the best grills for tailgating, the best gas grills for under $200, and more.

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