Let’s face it, one of the best parts of camping can be the hot meals you cook up, right?
Having the best camping grill lets you express all of your culinary ambitions with almost the same flair as in your home kitchen!
There are so many to choose from, but I’ve chosen the best of the best to make your choice easier.
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- TOP 13 Best Camping Grills 2021
- Weber Q2200 Liquid Propane Grill
- Coleman RoadTrip LXE Propane Grill
- Coleman Fold N Go Instastart Grill
- Napoleon Travel Q Portable Grill
- Smoke Hollow Table Top Propane Grill
- Primus Profile Dual Stove Grill
- Cuisinart Professional Table Top Gas Grill
- Solaire Everywhere Infrared Propane Gas Grill
- Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill
- Coleman 2 Burner Grill Stove Combo
- Blackstone Table Top Grill
- Char-Broil Portable Table Top Charcoal Grill
- Cook-Air Wood Fired Portable Grill
- Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Camping Grill
TOP 13 Best Camping Grills 2021
Weber Q2200 Liquid Propane Grill
Review: This grill competes for the top spot with the Coleman Roadtrip below. Deciding on a winner really comes down to preferences but as this article is focused on camping, the easy portability of the Weber nudged it ahead.
It is a table top design which means there are no legs to worry about, and if you want even more on-the-road convenience, there are smaller versions of this grill available that are lighter and slightly lower BTU.
- 12,000 BTUs.
- 280 square inch cooking space.
- Lightweight (44 lbs.)
- Excellent quality and durability.
- Requires some assembly out of the box.
Coleman RoadTrip LXE Propane Grill
Review: This is one extremely popular grill due to its fantastic balance of portability, heat output, and versatility.
It has one of the highest BTU ratings of portable grills (20,000) but at the same time allows for great heat control as you can switch to just using one burner if you wish.
- Freestanding design doesn’t require a table.
- 20,000 BTUs and 285 square inches of cooking space.
- Lightweight (47 lbs.) and portable.
- Option to use one burner at a time (10,000 BTU).
- Exterior paint chips and scratches easily.
Coleman Fold N Go Instastart Grill
Review: This grill is a great option for solo campers looking to get away for the weekend with minimal fuss but maximum grilling potential.
It’s the ideal size for one person with a good appetite or a couple, and it’s super lightweight and portable.
It’s also really quick to set up, and the lid closes while you’re cooking so you can keep the heat in for a more even, efficient cook.
- 6000 BTUs and 105 square inches of grill space.
- The grill surface and grease trays are removable and dishwasher safe.
- The temperature has a gradient control rather than an all or nothing deal.
- Weighs just 10.4 lbs.
- The lid latch is the weak point and might require some DIY skills to keep it closed while traveling.
Napoleon Travel Q Portable Grill
Review: This is another high quality, compact, tabletop grill option that scores top points for portability and performance.
It has a large cooking area that can comfortably cater for small groups while the whole thing is relatively lightweight at 30 lbs.
- 10,500 BTUs and 225 square inch cooking area.
- Comes in a convenient travel bag.
- Reliable push button ignition.
- Durable cast iron grate.
- The flame can blow out if things get really windy.
Smoke Hollow Table Top Propane Grill
Review: This is one of the most cost-effective grills on this list, being affordable but excellent quality.
It is made of durable stainless steel, has plenty of cooking area, and weighs just over 20 lbs. which is very light.
Finally, its legs conveniently fold away and its “U” shaped burner makes for even cooking.
- 10,000 BTU “U” shaped burner.
- 205 square inch grill area plus a 105 square inch warming plate.
- Foldable legs make for easy transportation.
- Easy to clean.
- No handles make it a little awkward to carry.
Primus Profile Dual Stove Grill
Review: This is a high-quality tabletop stove-grill combo for having a simmering pot of soup on the go at the same as your grilling.
The lid together with two side attachments create an excellent wind guard, both the grill and stove have variable temperature controls and the whole thing folds into a compact and easy to transport package.
- 10,000 BTU grill and 12,000 BTU stove.
- Extremely lightweight – 11.9 lbs.
- 176 square inches of grill space.
- Convenient Piezo ignition.
- The grill plate gets hot spots so some of your food may burn if you don’t keep an eye on it.
Cuisinart Professional Table Top Gas Grill
Review: This portable grill is for the home chefs out there who appreciate quality.
The two-burner setup is designed to cook large cuts of meat evenly, while the construction of the whole set up is well made and durable.
It’s also compatible with the larger 20 lbs. propane tank.
- 2 x 10,000 BTU burners.
- Weighs 22 lbs. which is reasonably lightweight.
- Electronic ignition and temperature control dials for each of the burners.
- There’s very little to fault with this grill, except for the very minor inconvenience that the lid is a shallow dome so a full ham won’t fit under it closed. But how often do you take a ham joint camping?
Solaire Everywhere Infrared Propane Gas Grill
Review: This grill is slightly different heating set up to the grills above, being an infrared propane grill.
Infrared is believed to be better than regular gas grills for its ability to reach really high temperatures and cook food faster and more evenly.
- Ceramic and stainless steel infrared burner gives out 14,000 BTUs.
- Heats up to cooking temperature in just 3 minutes.
- Reaches very higher temperatures.
- There is no grease tray so things can get a little messy.
- No temperature control, it’s very hot or nothing.
Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill
Review: If propane isn’t your thing, this charcoal grill makes a convenient alternative. It is well-made, easy to use and likely to last a long time.
There is also plenty of grilling space for larger meals with an 18” grill diameter, and the handy aluminum plate under the dome catches any ash that might fall out.
- Heavy steel grate.
- Ceramic-enameled outer for a more durable alternative to painted steel.
- Extremely lightweight at just 18 lbs.
- Lid locks securely and has a holder so you don’t have to put it on the ground and also doubles as a wind guard.
- Charcoal is more awkward to take camping with you than gas.
Coleman 2 Burner Grill Stove Combo
Review: If your ideal meal includes something simmering in a pot at the same time as the rest of your meal grilling, this is the portable grill for you.
It is a grill-stove combo with a single stove burner on the left and a grill plate on the right.
- Grill-stove combo.
- Wind blocking lid and sides create a sheltered and efficient cooking environment.
- 20,000 BTUs and 130 square inches of grill space plus the stove.
- No automatic lighter means you need to light it manually, but the grill holes are too close together to let a lighter though, so you need to use long matches.
Blackstone Table Top Grill
Review: This table top grill is really easy to use with an “H” shaped burner that heats up quickly and is also super quick to clean – just give it a quick wipe with a paper towel.
It has a built-in lighter and grease catcher and the handles make for easy carrying, so it really seems like there’s not much they haven’t thought of!
- Also comes in 22” and 36” options.
- Easy to clean by simply wiping up with a paper towel.
- Provides a huge 260 square inches of cooking space.
- The flat grilling surface is ideal for food like chopped veggies.
- The grilling surface needs to seasoned with oil before it can be used.
Char-Broil Portable Table Top Charcoal Grill
Review: This is a highly portable charcoal option that comes in at an incredibly low price and is by far the lightest option on this list.
This grill doesn’t come with any of the fancy features that you’d expect from a higher end grill, but at such a low cost, it’s an amazing grill.
- Very affordable.
- Weighs less than 8 lbs.
- Quick and easy to set up and fold away.
- 190 square inch cooking area.
- No temperature control.
Cook-Air Wood Fired Portable Grill
Review: This is an excellent little wood-fuelled portable grill that gets up to temperature in less than 5 minutes due to the incorporated wind blower.
The fan has 5 speeds so that you control the strength of the flames by introducing different amounts of oxygen, and the flavor of your meal can be customized depending on the type of wood you choose to cook with.
- Reaches 65,000 BTUs of heat output in just 5 minutes.
- 14” diameter cooking space.
- Comes with 12V car adaptor and AC plug.
- Includes an electric fan blower.
- Needs an electricity connection.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Camping Grill
Choosing the best grill depends heavily on your style of camping.
If you’re going backpacking, your only reasonable option for cooking is a backpacking stove.
Trust me on this, nothing kills a backpacking trip faster than having an overloaded backpack.
So, for the same reasons, using super lightweight backpacking cookware will also be essential. Backpacking stoves are so lightweight that using a regular pot would likely make it unstable and be an inefficient use of your gas too.
On the other hand, if you’re car camping (and this includes parking close enough to walk backward and forwards carrying your gear), then you will appreciate the luxury of using a larger, but still portable, camping grill.
There are a few key factors to consider when choosing the best grill for your camping and cooking style.
Broadly speaking, camping grills can be fuelled by propane gas, charcoal or wood.
Gas has the advantage of being easily transportable in a small gas cylinder that can last your whole camping trip.
It also gives you great control over temperature variations as the gas can usually be turned down pretty easily.
Charcoal and wood provide a great smoky flavor to your food, but the temperature can’t be regulated as easily and sacks of charcoal are heavy and take up space in your car.
Wood can be foraged for at camp but it may be hard to guarantee to find enough that is dry enough and the right hardness.
Heat Output (BTU)
Heat output is measured in BTUs or British Thermal Units. This is a measure of how much heat energy is required to heat 1 oz. of water by 1˚F.
The heat output you need does depend on the kind of cooking you’re doing.
More isn’t necessarily better if you’re looking for a slower cook. But, generally speaking, most people consider a higher BTU to be a good thing.
This depends on how many people you’re cooking for.
A larger cooking space will require more energy to heat so if you don’t need all of the space, it’s more efficient to go for something smaller.
But, if you’re cooking for a family or a small group, you’ll want to make sure you have enough cooking space for everyone’s food to be on the grill at the same time so you don’t have to eat in turns!
Portability is super important if you’re going to be carrying your gear any distance from your car.
But it’s also important that your grill doesn’t take up so much space in your car that you don’t have space for anything else.
Grills that fold up into a compact little package are the most convenient for camping.
And remember, less weight in your car uses less gas while you’re driving too!
This is mainly a convenience thing, but also a safety thing. Some grills can be pretty awkward to light if you have to reach through the grate with some kind of lighter and long match.
And it saves having to remember to bring a lighter with you if your grill can ignite itself!
Ease of Cleaning
Last but not least, a good grease tray and a grill grate that is easy to clean will make successive meals more enjoyable when you don’t want to waste time cleaning up from the previous meal before you start cooking!
And just one final note, if you’re looking at gas grills, I’m willing to bet you’re camping with other people… you should definitely check out my articles on the best cabin tents and the best instant tents if you haven’t already.
Cabin tents could actually be the best tents for group camping because of the amazing internal living space that they provide with steep walls and large windows.
Meanwhile, instant tents are amazing for young families. They can be put up really easily by 2 people, or sometimes just 1 person so that things don’t need to get stressful with tired and hungry or over-excited kids running around while you try and figure out the instructions!
Should You Cook Inside a Tent?
The safest answer is no… flames of any kind and fragile tent material are not a good combination, and even the most careful people can have accidents.
Then there is carbon monoxide poisoning to consider if you’re not careful enough to ventilate. 99.99% of the time, it’s better to just grill outside.
What is the Best Grill for Camping?
All of the grills on the list above are excellent choices. There is no number one grill that ticks all boxes for everyone, but Coleman and Weber grills are very popular and make excellent options.
Can You Grill in the Rain?
Most of the time, yes, you can cook it the rain. It will just take a little longer and the grill might not get as hot, or you’ll have to use more fuel.
Check the specific instructions for your grill type and if in doubt, find some shelter (but preferably not the inside of your tent).
Should I Cover My Outside Grill?
This is more applicable to people’s home grills but relevant to camping grills that you might leave out while you’re camping. Generally speaking, it’s best to cover all grills if they’re going to be outside and exposed to the elements.
Covering your grill will extend its lifespan significantly and protect it from corrosion or rusting.
Hopefully, you’re feeling inspired to cook up a storm on your new camping grill now.
All of the grills on this list are excellent choices.
It’s just a case of deciding on your priorities based on the factors above. Fuel type is the first thing to decide, then overall size, heat output, and budget.
There should be something on the list above for everyone. Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas below and don’t forget to download your free travel ebook!
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