Here is a review of the 12 best portable BBQ grills for 2018
Portable BBQ grills, whether they are charcoal grill or a propane grill, are a handy tool to have around.
They are great for the backyard if you have a small family or just need to grill a small meal. They also take up less storage space in the backyard or on your balcony if you live in an apartment.
Another significant benefit would be during a power outage. Even without electricity you can still cook food for your family.
A smaller grill means you use less charcoal or propane as compared to a 2, 3 or 4 burner grills. Less surface area means your food will cook faster and an easier clean-up for you.
Are you going camping or to the lake or to the beach? Portable BBQ grills work perfect for these trips. Nothing like grilling you just caught on a small grill while camping.
They will fit easily into the trunk of a car, back of an SUV or in the bed of your truck.
Planning on tailgating at the ball game? The portable BBQ grills reviewed here work great for that too.
Grilling offers other nutritional value over cooking on a stove. When cooking meats on a grill the excess fats drip down between the grates as opposed to setting in a pan. Searing meats or vegetables locks in flavor and nutrients.
For decades there has been a debate over which is the best way to grill food on a barbecue. Charcoal or gas? I think this is best left for the individuals taste in outdoor cooking. However, I do want add the fact that adding any of the various kind of wood chips to a charcoal fire enhances the flavor of whatever you are cooking.
Add to this that charcoal has a tendency to be able to sear meat better than a gas grill but gas grills heat up faster and are easier to clean than charcoal grills and you can see why there is such a great debate.
Warning: Even though they are small it is never a good idea to use a charcoal or wood grill indoors. A by product of the fuel burning is carbon monoxide which can be deadly. It is okay to use a propane grill inside as long as all the connections are good with no leaks. Propane is heavier than air and will pool on the ground.
Things to look for when buying a portable BBQ grill
Should you buy a charcoal or a gas grill?
– Charcoal grills are usually less expensive than gas grill but require more clean up when you are done cooking.
– A bottle or two of propane takes up less space than a bag of charcoal.
– A propane grill is easier to light and will be ready to cook and eats up faster than a charcoal grill.
– Both charcoal or propane portable grills come in different sizes. One thing to consider is how many people you will usually be cooking for. Another thing to consider is where will you be grilling. A large backyard will have plenty of space as opposed to the balcony of an apartment.
What is the body made out of?
– The body of a portable grill can be made of cast aluminum, sheet metal, cast iron or stainless steel.
– The cast aluminum and the sheet metal will be lightweight and easy to carry but will dent easier.
– The coated cast iron will be very durable but heavy. It can also rust if the porcelain or enamel coating becomes chipped.
– Stainless steel makes the best choice because it is durable, easy to clean and will not rust.
What are the grates made out of?
– There are several different types of material the actual barbecue grates can be made of.
– The best choice is stainless steel because of durability and heat retention.
– Another choice is porcelain or enamel coated cast iron. Cast iron retains heat really well but won’t last as long as stainless steel.
How sturdy are the legs?
– Some portable barbecues have fixed legs that will not collapse. The better type have fold able legs that make transporting a whole lot easier.
How easy is it to clean?
Believe it or not some barbecues are easier to clean than others. Choosing a barbecue made out stainless steel will be a lot easier to clean than one made out of cast iron.
– I have purposely only chosen BBQ grills that have an Amazon rating of 4 stars or better.
– In a 1 to 5 star rating system I believe a portable BBQ grill with a rating of at least 4 stars will be a good quality grill for anyone looking for a portable BBQ charcoal or propane grill.
– Here are 6 charcoal BBQ grills and 6 propane BBQ grills I believe are top quality and should fit your needs. Plus an exceptional one at the end that uses 3 different types of fuel.
Portable Charcoal BBQ Grills
Weber Smokey Joe BBQ Grill
– With my first choice we are going to start off with an inexpensive charcoal grill made by a company known for more expensive and better quality grills.
The actual grill size is 14 1/2″ in diameter which is big enough to hold 6 burgers or 3 T-bone steaks at a time.
– The outer housing is made out of baked on enameled porcelain which is actually fused to the steel. This helps to prevent rust and fading.
– The grate is triple nickel plated to withstand years of use.
– The handle is glass reinforced nylon which allows you to remove the lid with no worrying about burning your hand.
– Comes with a 10-year limited warranty.
– It has an incredible 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Weber grills are known worldwide for their quality and craftsmanship and this one is no exception. It will work for all of your backyard grilling needs plus picnics, camping and tailgating.
Sougem Portable, Foldable Charcoal Grill
– This is a solid well-made grill with many features.
– Its small size, 10″W x 15″L x 11″H, allows for convenient portability while giving you 150 square inches of cooking space. Easily enough for 6 hamburgers or 3 chicken breasts to fit on.
– This grill is made completely of stainless steel. Stainless steel will resist corrosion, excess heat and chemical damage and adds extra strength while weighing less than a grill made of other materials. Stainless steel also resists warping during high temperatures.
– The 10″ x 15″ stainless steel non-stick grate is adjustable in height to help control the temperature of your food.
– Another feature is that the whole bin that the charcoal goes into is completely removable for easy cleaning.
– It also has a silicone handle that resists heat.
– Collapses to 10″ x 15″ x 3.5″ for convenient carrying.
The Sougem portable charcoal BBQ grill is made of all premium quality stainless steel construction with a removable section to clean out the ashes and it will collapse to the size of a briefcase for portability. This barbecue has a lot of benefits at a low cost.
– Comes with a 100% guarantee from the seller and a whopping 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Char Broil Portable Table Top Grill
Here is another small table-top BBQ that will grill a lot of food and folds up into a small size for easy portability.
– Total dimensions are 20.5″W x 12.6″D x 15″H.
– The outer housing is made of a steel that comes with a heat-resistant finish.
– The cooking grates are chrome plated steel and measure 190 square inches. This is big enough to hold 8 hamburgers, 6 T-bones or 6 chicken breasts.
– Legs fold up and over the lid for easy transportation. The handles are heat-resistant with one located on the lid and two on each side.
– 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Quick Grill Large Portable Folding Charcoal Grill
Here is a great quality compact grill that is big enough to feed six to eight adults and yet small enough to take camping, picnicking, the beach or anywhere.
– It is made completely of stainless steel for heat retention, easy clean up and resists corrosion for long-lasting durability.
– Measures 17.7″L x 12.2″W x 8.3″H when open and yet fits into a 19 x 7.9 carrying case which is included.
If you are looking for a compact, fold able charcoal BBQ grill made out of stainless steel that can grill a lot of food at one time and you can take on any of your journeys this is the BBQ you need.
Dyna-Glo Portable Tabletop Charcoal Grill & Side Fire Box
Dyna-Glo consistently makes quality grills and this one is no exception. This heavy gauge steel grill is as basic as you can get but still offers many features.
– It states that the grill size is 287 square inches which is roughly going to be 14″ x 20″. That is big enough for grilling enough meat for a fair sized family or group of friends.
– The bottom trough slides out to the side for easy access to porcelain enameled charcoal tray section. This makes it very easy for you to add charcoal or wood chips and also when it is time for you to clean out the ashes.
– The spring-type handles remain cool to the touch.
– 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
This portable table-top grill also doubles as a side smoker box when attached to compatible Dyna-Glo charcoal grills.
Char-Griller Akorn Jr. Kamado Kooker
Here is a cute little grill that is big enough for backyard use and small enough to take on road trips. The Kamado Kooker style of grills are specifically designed to allow you to easily sear meats at a high heat or slow roast meats at a low heat.
– This BBQ measures 25.3″ tall by 21.5″ wide and is made out of a durable red enamel coated ceramic. One handle on the lid and two handles on the body.
– The cast iron grate is 14″ in diameter and is large enough for several cuts of meat.
– The insulated triple wall steel housing coated in ceramic works perfectly to hold heat in allowing you to cook faster with less charcoal.
– With an air damper on the top and the bottom it is very easy to regulate the temperature for grilling. The damper on the bottom used to regulate air to the charcoal and the damper on the top is used to help regulate the temperature of the grill while cooking.
– The lid also has a temperature gauge on it and can be locked for portability.
– 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
The Akorn Jr made by Char Griller is a durable, well-made charcoal grill designed for high temperature searing or low temperature roasting. Its red ceramic coating would look beautiful in your backyard.
Using Wood Chips with Charcoal or Propane Grills
Every experienced barbecue griller knows that adding wood chips to your BBQ when grilling adds a tremendous amount of flavor and taste to whatever you are cooking. In fact there are different types of BBQ’s that use only wood chips or chunks to cook with.
– The size of wood chips matters as to what you are cooking. When you are grilling something at a high temperature, say a rib-eye or a t-bone, choose a smaller chip.
When you are grilling something at a lower temperature for a longer time, like a pork tenderloin or a beef roast, you should use a larger chunk of wood chip.
-Either way when using charcoal all you have to do is lay the wood chips on the charcoal embers when you are ready to grill.
– With a gas grill you can use a Smoker Box. This is a stainless steel box that is either rectangular or Vee shaped. A better quality one made of thicker stainless steel has a less a chance of warping than thinner one.
– First soak the chips in water for a 1/2 an hour and then place the box under the grill grate and right on top of the burners
– While you can use wood chips from any type of tree there are several that the most popular. Each one adds a distinctive flavor to anything you are grilling.
Hickory wood chips
Oak wood chips
Mesquite wood chips
Pecan wood chips
Apple wood chips
Propane Gas BBQ Grills
Grill Boss LP Gas Barbecue Grill
Here is a great little propane grill that you can use in your backyard or for picnics or camping.
– All stainless steel construction provides long-lasting durability and even cooking temperatures.
– The porcelain coated grate is roughly 10″ x 26″. That is enough area to grill enough meat and vegetables for four people.
– The 10,000 BTU stainless steel burner starts easily with the push button ignition.
– It has a warming rack and temperature gauge built into the lid.
With foldable legs and a lockable lid this BBQ grill is made to carry on any adventure.
Char-Broil Grill 2 Go X200 Portable Propane Gas Grill
– This portable grill by Char-Broil is small enough to take with you anywhere and large enough to feed a family of four or more.
– Just one of the unique portable grills on the market that uses TRU-infrared technology. In infrared grilling there is an element between the flame and the grates.
– Using an infrared element to grill your food has several advantages. One of them being that the element helps to spread intense heat across the BBQ grates cooking your food more evenly, cooks faster and uses less propane.
– The second one being that since drippings, like grease or fat, do not come in contact with the grills flames there are no flare-ups.
– The actual firebox and lid are made of cast aluminum and have stainless steel latches. The lid also has a temperature gauge.
– The body, legs and handles are made of a heavy-duty composite material that resists heat and makes it easy for you to carry.
– The lid has a built-in temperature gauge.
– The grilling grate is made completely of stainless steel and measures 200 square inches which roughly 10″ x 20″.
– Your propane bottle is easy to attach and has a push button ignition to easily start your fire.
– 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
The Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 is a well-made grill designed for portability and plenty of use.
Smoke Hollow 205 Stainless Steel Table Top Propane Grill
The Smoke Hollow brand of portable grills offer well-made propane grill that works perfect for every outdoor event including boating.
– The housing, legs, latches lid, grates, warming rack and drip tray are all made out of stainless steel.
– The “U”shaped burner is also made of chrome plated stainless steel for extra durability.
– The main grate measures 205 square inches and the warming rack is 105 square inches.
– The measurements of this grill are 27″L x 17″W x 12″T making it one of the larger portable grills on the market.
– The “U” shaped burner puts out 10,000 BTU’s of heat. It can either use a standard 1 lb. propane bottle or can be attached to a 20 lb. bottle using an adapter (not included) and you can start it easily with the push button ignition.
– With a closable, lockable double layered lid and folding leg makes this grill easy for you to carry or store anywhere. Lid also has a builtin temperature gauge.
– It has 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
The Smoke Hollow 205 table-top grill is made completely of stainless steel and is big enough to grill a lot of your food at one time and yet small enough for you to take anywhere. Quality at this price is an amazing deal.
Blackstone Table Top Grill /Griddle
This grill /griddle can be used by you to cook your breakfast, lunch or dinner.
– The griddle’s heavy-duty cooking surface measures 17″L x 15.25″D which is large enough for you to cook eggs, bacon and pancakes at the same time.
– Comes with a built in grease catcher that removes easily for cleaning.
– It has a whopping 4.7 stars out of 5 on Amazon.
– This griddle has an “H” shaped burner that puts out 12,000 BTU’s of heat evenly across the surface for fast cooking. It also has a push button ignition.
– The griddle surface can be cleaned up easily with a paper towel and also can be conveniently turned over for transportation. Curing your griddle top with Flax seed oil or extra virgin olive oil is a very good idea to increase the longevity of your grill.
Imagine yourself going camping in the forest and waking up in the morning to bacon and eggs for breakfast. Then going fishing and having your catch for lunch. This is all possible with the Blackstone Table Top Grill /Griddle.
Giantex Table Top Gas Grill
This Giantex grill is made of 430 stainless steel. 430 stainless steel is known for its resistance to corrosion durability properties.
– The overall dimensions are 22″L x 18″W x 15″H making it one of the larger propane BBQ grills on the market and yet will fold up small enough to take with you anywhere.
– This grill comes with 2 “U” shaped burners that can reach a total output of 20,000 BTU’s. Setting on top of the burners are stainless steel covers that help distribute the flame evenly and also helps to prevent flare-ups.
– Ignition is achieved by pushing and turning either one of the temperature control knobs.
– This grill has the CSA standards of approval.
– The lockable lid has a temperature gauge and it has foldable legs.
– It has a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
The Giantex table-top gas grill is large enough to handle your backyard BBQ needs and yet small enough to take picnicking, camping, tailgating or boating.
Camp Chef Outdoor Camp Oven
This unique grill also doubles as an oven that can be used in your backyard or taken camping or to the ballgame.
– With the range lid up it measures 31″H x 24″W x 18″L and weighs 35 pounds.
– The internal oven dimensions are 11″D x 16″W x 9″H and will hold a 9 x 13 pan or dish.
– The range features 2 burners that will achieve 7500 BTU’s of heat each while the oven will achieve 3000 BTU’s (400 degrees F) and has a built-in thermostat. Both range and oven have matchless ignitors.
– Both the range and the oven can be used at high heat for 5 hours with a 16 oz. bottle of propane. Or it can be hooked up to a 5 gallon bottle with an adapter hose(sold separately).
– Comes with a 1-year limited warranty
– It has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
With the Camp Chef outdoor oven not only will this work great in your backyard for regular use but imagine you had a power outage for an extended period of time. As long as you have enough propane your cooking would not be affected.
Also imagine baking cookies or pies or roasting a meatloaf on an extended camping trip. Both things are possible with this very unique outdoor camp range/oven.
One More Unique Grill
Volcano Grill 3-Fuel Portable Camping Stove/ Fire Pit
Here is a very distinctive grill that might be the best one you can use on your camping trips.
– This grill has the capacity to use charcoal, wood or propane as a fuel source. Adapter for 20 lb. propane or 1 pound bottles sold separately.
– This versatile stove can be used as a grill, dutch oven, wok or to bake or to roast. Put a skillet on top and you can have eggs for breakfast. Another really great thing about it is it can also be used as a fire pit for cold nights and mornings when you are camping.
– It can easily collapse down to 5″ tall for you to take anywhere.
The Volcano Grill Camping Stove Is another great cooking option that can be used in your backyard or for camping or tailgating as well as extended RV trips. It can also be used for survival, prepping and emergency uses.
– 4.1 stars out of 5 on Amazon
A portable gas or charcoal grill is so handy and versatile to have around I think everyone should own one. Here you have a device that does not take up much room in your backyard and yet can grill you and your family and friends a succulent meal in no time. It is also something you can take camping, picnicking, tailgating or boating without taking up much room.
One more added benefit is that if you lose power for an extended period of time you will still have the ability to cook a meal for your family.
A portable BBQ grill is a very handy thing to have around and will give you years of great food and enjoyment.
I am an Amazon Affiliate and try my best to give the best possible advice and reviews I can give with the research I have available.
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