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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
Extremely easy to set up and operate
Spacious cooking area
Heavy-duty porcelain-enameled cast iron grates
Large folding side tables
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.
"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
Decent size surface area
Transitions from tabletop to ground use
Nice grill lines
A little wobbly
No temperature gauge
Lid kept latching
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.
"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
Three burners deliver 20,000 BTU per hour
Folding design with wheels
Durable cast iron grates
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
Can be assembled in less than 15 minutes
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
Compact and portable
Dishwasher-safe cooking surface and grease tray
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
Large cooking area
Porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates
6-foot power cord
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
Large cooking area with removable upper rack
Easy to control via digital dial
Delicious flavor from wood pellets
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
Affordable and basic
Two burners deliver up to 20,000 BTU
Built-in wind panels
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.
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
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.
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.
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?