If you are a foodie or enjoy the luxury of consuming a variety of cuisines, you’re going to want to bring along a camping grill on your next trip. Sure, you can get by on pre-packaged non-perishables and a cooler full of beer, but having a portable camping grill in your arsenal will allow you to cook up some exceptional meals with ease.
It used to be that even the most lightweight camping grill would be a hassle to haul to your campsite, but new models are so portable and user-friendly that they enhance the camping experience rather than be a detriment to it.
Versatile camping grills can cook a wide variety of foods – from BBQ staples like hamburgers and hot dogs, to healthier options like corn and veggies. With the ability to add on to the grill using pots and pans, you have limitless possibilities. Some grills can even be used with a pizza oven!
These portable grills are not only great for camping trips, but they can be used for outdoor events like tailgating and block parties, or even on your patio / balcony.
Of course, there are plenty of camping grills to choose from, all with a different design and operation. By reading on, you will get a quick lesson in how these grills work and what they can offer you for your next outdoor trip.
Top 10 Best Camping Grills for Outdoors
1. Coleman Roadtrip 285 Standup Grill
Coming with a 3 year warranty, the Coleman Roadtrip 285 is a standup propane grill that transports by folding down and wheeling around like luggage, and is thought to be one of the best Coleman grills on the current market. For use with a 16.4 oz. gas cylinder, or a large tank with a separately purchased adapter, it has a push-button starter that fires up between 3,250 and 20,000 BTU’s of warmth.
Designed for even heat distribution, it provides 3 separate burners that range between 350 and 700 Fahrenheit, and they can be individually adjusted for precision. A thermometer is include on the outside of the unit to monitor levels, so you can cook low and slow, or hot and fast.
Structurally, it is built well and has high-end, porcelain-coated cast iron grill grates. Also provided are dual side tables that wing out when you set it up, and a large 285 square inch cooking surface ensures you have plenty of room to grill all your favorite foods. Coleman also makes this grill in various colors that you can choose from: black, blue, green, orange, and red.
- 285 Square Inch Grill With 3 Independent Burners
- Has Wheels And Transports Like Luggage
- 3 Year Warranty
2. Cuisinart CGG-180TS Tabletop Grill
Cuisinart’s tabletop gas grill is a small package that packs big punch. At 145 square inches of cooking space, it may be on the smaller side when compared to similar grills, but there is still enough space to fit 8 hamburgers on it at the same time, or any other configuration of grillable foods. This serves as a benefit being so compact and also the reason its a great tabletop grill, it can fit neatly into cooking stations and camping grill tables, without taking up too much space.
It is slightly heavy at 17 lbs., but the small footprint means that you can easily carry it. 5500 BTU’s of heat are evenly distributed and you can get about 6 grillings from a 16oz gas cylinder.
Additionally, with a separately purchased adapter, you can hook up a large-sized propane tank to the unit for more use. While other grills have higher BTU ratings, the heat on this model performs well in its consistency.
Cusinart makes sparking the grill easy with a provided Piezo twist knob, and you can cook for 3 or 4 people with the lid open or closed. Easy to clean, it sports fold-up legs to save storage space, the lid can be locked down during transport, and you can purchase it in stainless steel, red, or black models.
- Compact Grill With 5500 BTU’s
- Can Cook With The Lid On
- Can Use With Large Propane Tank (Adapter Not Included)
3. Coleman 2 Burner Grill Stove Combo
Coleman is a leading name for quality camping products. With this grill-and-stove combo camp cooker, you get a 2-in-1 food maker that is extremely versatile in providing a variety of foods.
It has two cooking surfaces that you can use independently and simultaneously: a 130 square inch grill, and a small stove that can accommodate a 10” pan. Heating the unit are dual 10,000 BTU burners, which provide even heat distribution from 2 adjustable knobs. They operate independent of each other so you can dial in precise temperatures for both surfaces.
Designed for consistent performance every time, it uses a 16 oz. gas cylinder, and is very efficient on fuel. It works even in extreme conditions, and Coleman provides 2 side panels that work with the open lid to shield your food from the wind.
Rubber feet not only prop up the unit, but also stabilize it for zero slippage, and cleaning is pretty easy with a removable tray catching a lot of the grease drip-off. Finally, a heavy duty clasp keeps the lid firmly locked down when you are transporting it to and from your campsite. All in all considered a very versatile propane camping grill within a reasonable budget.
- Dual-Surface Stove & Grill For Food Versatility
- Heats Evenly With Adjustable Dials For Precision
- Can Be Used In Extreme Weather Conditions
4. Weber Original Kettle 22” Charcoal Grill
Weber grills are world famous, and this standing charcoal grill is a prime example of why. It is a large cooker, standing almost 40” tall, weighing 33 lbs., and sporting 363 square inches of grilling surface – almost double what a lot of portable models offer. Designed to be relocated anywhere, two wheels allow you to move it with ease.
This grill also has excellent heat retention due to the porcelain-coated lid and bowl, and heat is distributed evenly throughout. This finish also prevents degradation of the unit, protecting it against the high temperatures. Controlling the temperature level is made possible using the dampers on the lid.
Placing food over coals or away from them gives you flexibility with direct or indirect cooking, and a durable steel plate grill holds plenty of food combinations. The handle is always cool to the touch as it has an included heat shield, and the lid is designed with a hook for hanging it off the grill so you always have it nearby.
An ash catcher underneath the bowl makes cleaning the unit quick and easy, and the airtight nature of this grill means you can reuse your charcoal multiple times before having to swap it out.
- Large 363 Square Inch Cooking Surface
- Durable Porcelain-Coated Lid & Bowl For Long Life
- Dampeners Provide Precision Temperature Control
5. Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill
Those that are looking for something to cook their food Hibachi-style might have the perfect choice in this cast iron camping grill from Lodge. When taken care of, the Sportsman’s Grill will most likely last forever with its impeccable craftsmanship providing excellent longevity. It weighs 27 lbs. and stands 19” x 8.2” x 10.2” for a small but mighty grill that you can cook plenty of food on at the same time.
This type of cooker is very versatile, and you can use it in many situations – be it tailgating, camping, or on your patio/balcony. It comes pre-seasoned so its ready to go right out of the box, and uses zero harmful chemicals in its construction.
Boasting an adjustable height for 2 grill positions, as well as a flip down door for accessing the coals, a separate draft door regulates the heat and you will use less coal due to its excellent heat retention.
Equipped with a carrying handle and a shelf for storing any utensils on, this grill is very easy to clean by using a nylon brush on the camping cooking grate and re-oiling it after each use. While it is marketed to be used with coals, many grill masters add wood to create a smokey flavor, and some will even use the grill as a fire pit late at night.
- Portable Hibachi-Style Cast Iron Grill
- High-Quality Construction & Versatility
- Should Last A Lifetime If Properly Cared For
6. Blackstone Table Top Grill
Designed for many outdoor situations, Blackstone offers this portable camping grill with griddle that you can use to create culinary masterpieces. This 17” model weighs 21 lbs., and has 268 square inches of surface space on its 17.5” x 18” x 8.5” frame.
Before use, it is recommended to season the grill, and we recommend seasoning it in your oven to ensure a uniform conditioning. A piezo ignition switch fires up 12,000 BTU’s of heat from an H-shaped burner, and the grill gets hot extremely quickly.
It has a stainless steel construction, using cold-rolled steel for the griddle’s surface. Additionally, the grill offers excellent cooking versatility – from burgers, to bacon and eggs, or even grilled cheese – and a 1 lb. gas cylinder provides plenty of fuel.
A separately purchased adapter can hook up a large gas tank to the grill if you desire. Cleaning the unit is very easy as it has a grease tray drawer for less mess. Investing in the proper cleaning tools and seasoning after every use will keep the surface in top shape. This Blackstone camping grill is also available in 22”, and is portable enough to bring camping, tailgating, or to any other outdoor adventure you may have.
- Large 268 Square Inch Grilling Area
- Well-Crafted With Plenty of Heat
- Portable and Versatile Option
7. Camp Chef Big Gas Grill
Camp Chef’s Big Gas Grill is a monster of a cooker, that is well-built, and offers a lot of versatility. Its a modular cooking system that provides a main grill along with a deluxe BBQ grill box. There is also an optional stone bottom pizza oven, or flat top griddle, both of which can be separately purchased as add-ons.
The camping gas grill is 49 lbs., 31” in height, and has a grilling area of 38” x 16”. It connects to a large propane tank with an included hose and regulator, allowing you to fire up triple burners with the electric ignition switch.
Each cast aluminum burner provides up to 30,000 BTU’s of flame, and they are all adjustable using individual temperature dials. A flip-out shelf is handy for keeping food and utensils nearby while you work, and the grill’s versatility means you can boil, steam, BBQ, cook, sear, bake, or deep fry to your heart’s content.
The Deluxe BBQ grill box rests on top of the main grill and has a 24” x 16” surface area of seasoned cast iron grate. It also sports a lid lock, temperature gauge, and dampers for controlling heat and smoke. Removable legs make this model easy to break down and transport anywhere you are looking to use a heavy duty cooker. Those that are searching for the ultimate grilling machine need look no further.
- Large & Versatile Option For All Kinds Of Food Prep
- Includes Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Grill Grate
- Hooks Up To Large Propane Tank For Endless Use
8. TeqHome Foldable Charcoal Grill
This charcoal camping grill from TeqHome has a pretty ingenious design, opening up from a slim and flat 1.18” sheet of metal to form an “X” shape, creating the basis of the grill. Standing 14.8” in height, this shape also makes it a stable unit that won’t fall over easily if accidentally bumped into.
For those that like to grill up a large variety of foods, the cooking surface is quite generous at 170 square inches, making a versatile option for group camping, tailgating, or even grilling on the balcony of your apartment.
TeqHome crafted this model from metal iron, ensuring it can resist high temperatures up to 300°C / 572°F. However, the unit can heat up so we advise investing in a fire-resistant grill mat that will protect your deck from grease and any embers that may escape.
Lightweight and portable, reminiscent of a disposable grills weight, it comes with a handle for easy transport, and its thin size means you can slip it easily into your car, as well as into any tight space for easy storage.
- Large Surface 170 Square Inch Charcoal Grill
- Extremely Portable and Lightweight Design
- Can Resist High Temperatures
9. Char-Broil Standard Portable Liquid Propane Gas Grill
This portable propane grill from Char-Broil can be used with either a 14.1 oz. or 16.4 oz. gas cylinder, and heats up quickly so you won’t be waiting long for your food. Measuring 24″ L x 12″ D x 15″ H, its a lightweight grill at 10lbs, making for easy transport to and from your campsite. With 188 square inches of grilling area, you have plenty of room to cook burgers, dogs, steaks and veggies all at the same time over 11,000 BTU’s of heat.
Char-Broil has crafted this little grill very well. Firing it up is made simple by incorporating a Piezo ignition button for a quick push-start, and the actual materials they’ve used are also worth mentioning.
Heat-resistant handles ensure you can replace and remove the lid safely, and the high-quality steel uses a similar finish that withstands high-temperatures. This makes for easy pack-up without needing a cool down period. Cleaning the chrome grate can be done by hand or in the dishwasher, and when you’re finished using it the legs fold up over the lid for a secure and compact companion.
- Large Surface For Grilling Multiple Items
- Plenty Of Heat At 11,000 BTU’s
- Heat-Resistant Materials Make It Cool To The Touch
10. Weber Q1000 Liquid Propane Grill
Easy to cook on and easy to clean, this liquid propane grill from Weber has a lot of great qualities to talk about. With 27” L x 12” W x 14.5” H dimensions, 26 lbs, it makes it a model that borders on heavy, but can be forgiven due to its high-quality construction. The lid and body are forged out of cast aluminum, while the cooking grates are porcelain-enameled cast iron for excellent performance and easy cleaning.
The grill has a large cooking surface of 189 square inches, and with 8,500 BTU’s pumping out of a single stainless steel burner, you get a large amount of heat that is evenly distributed for thorough grilling.
The amount of heat can also be controlled by an adjustable dial for precision temperature. Accommodating both 14 or 16 oz. gas canisters, the grill can also be used with a large BBQ tank via adapter (separately purchased), and a piezo push button makes firing it up a breeze. Cleaning the unit isn’t very difficult, and it comes with a removable grease pan with foil insert to make things even easier.
- High-Quality Cast Aluminum Body & Cast Iron Grates
- 189 Square Inches For Grilling Multiple Foods
- Can Use With Large Propane Tank (Adapter Not Included)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Camping Grill?
A camping grill is a portable grilling device that allows you to cook food while you are spending time outdoors. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, all having a different method for providing heat you can cook over.
What are the Different types of Camping Grills?
There are few variations of camping grills that are available. Most will have a combination of chrome or cast iron grilling grate, a bowl and lid that can help keep in smoke, and heat level adjustments. Some will even allow for add-ons like griddles and pizza ovens.
- Propane: These grills are very popular as they use propane cylinders as fuel. Most of these have a push-button ignition switch that allows for them to be fired up easily. Additionally, the majority of them can accommodate an adapter hose for use with a large BBQ, when you need more fuel. They are easy to clean and transport, making them the choice of most campers.
- Charcoal: Probably the second most popular type of grill, they use charcoal (like a BBQ) to provide the flame, and usually have a cast iron grate. Some people will also mix wood with the coals to provide a more smokey flavor to the food. While they are portable, they are usually a bit heavier to transport. However, a good cast iron charcoal grill can last forever if you take care of it. Cleaning them is easy, but they do require you to always have charcoal on hand. Fans of barbecuing should go for this option.
- Electric: These grills are less popular for outdoor use because you need a power source to plug them in. While they work well and you can cook plenty of food on them, they don’t provide a flame, which is essential if you want a true “BBQ” taste to your food. On the flip side, they have a very consistent and even heat distribution compared to grills that do require a flame. These grills can also be used indoors, whereas propane and charcoal grills are strictly for outdoor use.
How to Light a Camping Grill?
This depends on what type of grill it is. If it’s propane, open the lid and turn on the gas. A push-button ignition switch is usually included on these models and will spark the flame.
Charcoal grills can be lit a few different ways. The easiest is to use match light charcoal, which only needs to be ignited with a long BBQ lighter when the lid is open. You can also douse regular charcoal in lighter fluid and light it, or use a chimney starter with crumpled up newspaper as kindling.
Electric grills basically have a knob that just needs to be turned on to get the heat flowing.
How to Clean a Camping Grill?
Most grills can be cleaned with soap and warm water, and many will have a drip tray to catch grease that burns off the food and saves you cleaning a huge mess. If you have a cast iron or stainless steel grill, we recommend using a nylon brush on the grates/griddle, and always season them with oil (vegetable oil works well) after each use to restore it and increase the grill’s longevity.
What Food Can I Grill While Camping?
There are limitless options if you have versatile grill, but here are few that are the most popular:
- Hamburgers: Can be kept in a cooler, and cooked in a matter of minutes.
- Hot Dogs: Just as popular as hamburgers and can be cooked in under 5 minutes.
- Chicken: Easy to cook and season, but needs to be cooked immediately if you are without a cooler.
- Steak: For the camper with discerning tastes, takes a while to season and cook, but tastes great over a charcoal grill.
- Corn On The Cob: Can be stored for many days at room temperature, these are easy to grill and taste amazing with some butter and salt.
- Potatoes: These don’t require cooler storage and can be grilled in a tin foil packet.
- Vegetables: Can be grilled on the directly on the grates or in foil, but do require cooler storage as they will spoil within a few days.
Conclusion on Camping Grills
Camping grills can help create memories for you and your fellow bushwackers. They can provide warm food on cold days, and a communal feeling at every meal, adding to the bonding experience that camping provides.
Be it a propane grill, a charcoal grill, or an electric grill, you can get a lot of use out of these portable cookers, and investing in a durable and versatile model will be one of the smartest camping-related decisions you can make.