Although the pandemic disrupted most of our plans and prevented us from having fun with friends and family, private BBQs or tailgate parties can still save the day. However, these activities will require a portable grill, and we’ve got you covered.
We analyzed and tested dozens of models to separate the best from the rest. Ultimately, we narrowed it down to the top 10 portable grills money can buy in 2021.
In addition, here’s a quick buyer’s guide to help you find the best portable grills for your needs and preferences.
Before you splash the cash on a new portable grill for your on-the-go adventures, consider the following aspects. By doing so, you’ll make an informed decision and get the best bang for your buck.
Start by looking at the shape and size to see if the unit offers sufficient mobility and ease of use. Nowadays, various designs are at our disposal, but not every model will suit your specific needs. Even though aesthetics are not crucial, the looks can affect functionality, so double-check this element to buy a practical and convenient portable grill.
Since we haul these units to various locations, portable grills must handle plenty of wear and tear. Thus, it’s essential to look for models with premium materials and well-built elements like handles, legs, and covers. If you notice any weaknesses in these areas, consider buying something sturdier and more durable.
Most people think of propane gas grills when we mention portable BBQs, but there are other options as well. Primarily, charcoal grills can be an attractive proposition, and in some areas, you can opt for electric-powered models. So, evaluate the pros and cons of each type to choose the most effective and the most convenient heat source for preparing smoke-filled meals.
Finally, we should mention that high-quality portable grills are not necessarily the most expensive ones. Moreover, budget-friendly grills and BBQs can be equally effective as long as the models in question meet your needs. Then again, renowned manufacturers and their top-tier models will ask for a higher price, but you’ll get high-end features in return.
If you know anything about the US grill-making industry, you also know about Weber. After all, this Chicago-based company is the global leader with more than five decades of experience. Believe it or not, this barbecue brand appeared in 1952, and as they say, the rest is history. Over the years, Weber created plenty of iconic products, and the portable Weber Q 2200 Gas Grill is up there with the best.
So, what makes it a top-rated portable grill? Well, the compact design is the first thing you’ll notice, but this model also offers a massive cast-iron cooking area of 280 square inches. In essence, this porcelain-enameled grilling surface can fit up to twelve burgers at once. In addition, the folding side tables provide a convenient spot for keeping the dishes, seasonings, or accessories within reach.
Weber Q 2200 gas grill has electronic ignition, and the burner delivers up to 12,000 BTU per hour. Of course, you can buy liquid propane cylinders in almost every store in the US. Also, we should mention that the dome-shaped lid comes equipped with a handy thermometer.
Overall, Weber Q 2200 offers excellent performances thanks to optimized heat distribution, easy cleanup, and a massive grilling surface. Plus, you can carry it anywhere and prepare delicious meals in no time.
Since we started the list in style, it’s best to continue in the same tempo. For that reason, the following candidate for the best portable grill comes from another renowned barbecue brand. After all, Cuisinart has been around since 1973, with a motto to “savor the good life.” Nowadays, Cuisinart offers a full-blown culinary experience with a comprehensive spectrum of products, but the cool-looking Cuisinart Petite Gourmet Gas Grill deserves extra attention.
Namely, this model comes in a combo with the so-called VersaStand, an integrated adjustable base. So, by adjusting the telescoping legs, users can set the desired height and make grilling a pleasant experience. Meanwhile, a stainless-steel burner will deliver up to 5,500 BTU per hour to heat the porcelain-enameled grate.
As the name says, the petite Cuisinart Gourmet Portable Gas Grill is a compact unit with 145 square inches of grilling surface. Nonetheless, this area will allow you to cook family meals with no hassle, and the grill rate holds up to eight hamburgers simultaneously. Best of all, it heats up quickly, reducing gas consumption and bridging food to the table much faster than most grills.
Of course, as a portable grill, this model also offers top-notch convenience. More precisely, you can fold the legs or remove the stand to fit the Petite Gourmet grill in the trunk.
If you liked the history behind the previous two manufacturers, you should enjoy the following product on our list. After all, Coleman is an American brand with 120 years of tradition, and they created their first camping stove in 1942 for WWII soldiers. Over the years, Coleman gained global recognition, becoming one of the leaders in the barbecue industry. So, here’s one of their flagships, the portable Coleman Roadtrip 285 Propane Grill.
Again, we have a standup grill with sturdy and entirely adjustable legs. However, Coleman Roadtrip 285 takes the game to a new level by introducing durable wheels for effortless mobility. For instance, the wheels help take the grill to a tailgate or a camping trip. We should also mention the locking lid feature for secure transport.
Besides portability, the high-quality Coleman Roadtrip 285 exceeds expectations for grilling power. Namely, this propane-powered unit delivers up to 20,000 BTUs per hour thanks to three independent burners. Thus, you can adjust the temperature on each burner and even turn off one or two if not necessary.
Overall, Coleman Roadtrip 285 propane grill offers 285 square inches of cooking area. In addition, the built-in thermometer enables accurate temperature monitoring. If that’s not enough, this portable grill also comes equipped with InstaStart ignition and two spacious side tables.
If you need a tabletop grill, the following entry on this list should be right up your alley. And even though the Camp Chef brand is younger than the companies listed above, it has plenty to offer. More precisely, this Utah-based barbecue brand appeared in 1990. Over the years, it created a decent-sized portfolio of cooking systems, grills, ovens, and accessories.
Essentially, the convenient Camp Chef Portable BBQ Grill will allow you to prepare delicious meals just about anywhere. Under the hood, this unit features a 12,000 BTU tube burner, which delivers more than enough power to the nickel-plated grill grates. But, of course, the cooking area also has a porcelain-coated base.
As a result, this model can handle everything: from grilling your favorite burgers, smoking the ribs, to preparing tasty marinated chicken. Best of all, Camp Chef Portable BBQ Grill’s compact body allows you to place the device on tables, countertops, or even apartment balconies. Yes, this small-sized grill is the best option for apartment dwellers and anyone lacking backyard space for barbecue parties.
From what we’ve seen, the Camp Chef Portable BBQ Grill strikes a balance between affordability and ease of use. Overall, this model weighs 22 pounds and offers 200 square inches of grilling surface. As expected from a propane-powered grill, it also features matchless ignition.
Since we mentioned apartment dwellers, here’s another portable grill for balconies and patios. As the name says, the small-sized George Foreman 4-Serving Removable Plate Grill and Panini is a multi-practical device capable of handling various tasks. Promoted by the boxing champion George Foreman, this lean, mean, fat-reducing machine gained iconic status since its introduction in 1994.
Of course, a few tweaks have improved the product, and the modern version of the George Foreman 4-Serving Portable Grill looks excellent and works even better. For instance, the curved and elegant body is also as durable as you might expect from such a popular product.
Thanks to an advanced formula, the non-stick coating can handle plenty of wear and tear, allowing you and your family to enjoy tasty meals for years. Likewise, the George Foreman grill features dishwasher-safe, removable plates. As a result, this convenient kitchen appliance is easy to clean and maintain.
We should also mention that the portable George Foreman Panini-style grill comes equipped with a dishwasher-safe drip tray. So, even the juiciest steaks and burgers will be no match for this handy device.
Admittedly, the George Foreman grill doesn’t offer the largest grilling surface with only 60 square inches of cooking area. Nonetheless, this model should effortlessly satisfy the needs of families with four members.
If small-sized grills and BBQs are not your cups of tea, the following entry on our list should be a better fit. Namely, we are going back to Weber, the global leader in the barbecue industry, to check out the famous Weber Traveler Portable Gas Grill.
As the name suggests, the Traveler is all about mobility and adventure. To make this possible, Weber has equipped the grill with two rubber wheels and an adjustable handle. Moreover, the oversized wheels can handle rough and inhospitable terrain, making the Traveler the best camping grill in 2021.
Besides unmatched mobility, the eye-catching Weber Traveler Portable Gas Grill also earns top marks for cooking performances. After all, this model offers a jaw-dropping 320 square inches of grilling surface. Thus, this massive cooking area will hold up to 15 burgers at once. And don’t worry about heat distribution because the Traveler grill comes with a 13,000 BTU burner wrapped around the entire grilling surface.
Because of its state-of-the-art infrastructure, this portable grill can generate up to 500 ℉ in about five minutes. Simultaneously, Weber Traveler Portable Grill optimizes gas consumption and offers a long-lasting grilling experience. Plus, an adapter hose will allow you to attach a 20-lb gas tank.
Although gas-powered models dominate the portable grill segment, other options can be equally attractive. One such example is the innovative BioLite FirePit+, wood and charcoal burning fire pit. If you are not familiar with the name, we should mention that BioLite is a relatively young brand focused on sustainability and energy efficiency. Many of their products harness the sun’s energy, while others cut fuel consumption and reduce the emissions of toxins.
For the second generation of the cool-looking FirePit, BioLite again opted for premium material. Likewise, the company has upgraded the enamel coating to improve heat retention, durability, and ease of cleaning. Most importantly, the newest version of this high-tech grill features an upgraded 12,800 mAh battery.
Yes, you’ve heard it right—this model is all about modern technologies and innovation, including battery-powered fans for heat regulation. To be precise, the patented airflow system and X-Ray mesh body create a hyper-efficient, hibachi-style grilling experience.
In addition, we should mention that the portable BioLite FirePit+ comes equipped with sturdy handles for convenient transport. So, if you need a conversation starter for your next barbecue party, this cutting-edge grill should do the trick.
What if we told you that a portable grill could be so small that it fits comfortably into a standard-sized backpack? Well, the GoBQ Ultimate Portable Grill goes for this seemingly impossible goal and succeeds! Yes, this revolutionary grill will take your social skills to the next level since you’ll be able to have picnics and barbecue parties anywhere and at any time.
Essentially, the philosophy behind the innovative GoBQ model is to use heat resistant fabric and create a foldable grill. As a result, the GoBQ Portable Charcoal Grill comes folded and compressed into a compact unit. Upon arriving at your destination, you can unfold it in a camping-chair style and set the grill grate over the fire area.
Arguably, the best thing about this model is the weight, given that the GoBQ Grill weighs only 9 pounds. Likewise, the effortless setup shouldn’t take more than 20 seconds. The same goes for packing, and GoBQ claims that this grill’s base and body will cold down seven times faster than metal.
Overall, this lightweight grill can be the perfect option for beach parties or camping trips. Also, GoBQ comes at an affordable price, ranking it among the best budget-friendly portable grills on the market.
To continue with the ultimate portability style, we are happy to introduce the following model. After all, the nomadiQ portable gas grill is one of the lightest models out there, with a compact body and a convenient folding system. So, although nomadiQ might not be one of the big-time names in the barbecue industry right now, it undoubtedly has massive potential.
Speaking of portability, we should note that the nomadiQ grill weighs only 12.3 pounds. In addition, it comes with an extra-comfortable carrying strap for effortless transportation. For instance, the shoulder strap will let you ride a bicycle and carry the lightweight nomadiQ grill with no hassle.
More precisely, this small-sized grill is 14 inches high and 16 inches wide, making it one of the smallest portable grills out there. However, the double-sided grilling surface offers 226 square inches of grilling surface, enough to fit approximately ten hamburgers.
Unlike most portable grills, the nomadiQ model comprises two independent areas with dual temperature control. Each burner delivers 4,600 BTUs per hour, so the combined output is around 9,200 BTU per hour. As expected, the nomadiQ portable grill features ceramic-coated non-stick grates and an electronic ignition system.
Finally, the last entry on our list also deserves attention because it comes from a reputable barbecue brand. Namely, Char-Broil has decades of experience under its belt, given that they released their first charcoal grill in 1948. Over the years, this company grabbed multiple awards for the world’s best BBQ grills, and one of their flagships is the X200 model.
Most importantly, this sturdy-looking grill is one of the toughest out there. Everything about the Char-Broil X200 screams ruggedness and readiness for outdoor adventures. As a result, this model is on the heavier side. The X200 weighs 23.7 pounds when assembled, but it remains a portable and travel-friendly unit.
Likewise, we should mention the TRU-infrared cooking technology that makes the Char-Broil x200 grill one of the most efficient portable grills in 2021. This system eliminates flare-ups and delivers equal temperature to all areas of the grilling surface. Also, to keep the heat trapped, the X200 model features a cast-aluminum firebox and a durable lid with stainless steel latches. The same philosophy applies to the lower regions of this portable grill, with an impact-resistant frame and adjustable legs.
Of course, the Char-Broil X200 TRU-Infrared Portable Gas Grill provides more than enough heat to cook and grill various food types. Namely, the burner delivers 9500 BTU per hour, and you can monitor the temperature with the built-in gauge on the lid. All in all, buying a Char-Broil is always a good idea, especially if you are passionate about preparing the best barbecues in the neighborhood.
And there you have it, the best portable grills in 2021, in no particular order. These models are the cream of the crop, and each will get the job done. However, most will agree that WEBER Q 2200 gas grill is the king of the portable grills segment, closely followed by BioLite Firepit and the Coleman Roadtrip.
In any case, any of these ten portable grills are a safe bet for anyone looking to prepare in advance for beach BBQ, backyard parties, or any other summer showdowns you prefer.
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