While cooking over the campfire is a lifelong tradition, there’s always the risk of an uneven cook and lack of taste – this is where the best propane camping grills come in. Whether you’re tailgating, RV road tripping, or car camping, gas grills are a reliable way to go.
Scrumptious food is one of the best parts about camping, because you’re not expecting anything fancy, just something tasty and filling that is effortless to cook. Gas propane grills for camping let you cook steak and veg (and everything in between) with complete ease, while also enhancing the taste.
A charcoal grill or the age-old campfire often produces a lot of smoke, which not only can effect the taste, but also increase the carcinogens inside the food. You can find small propane tanks that won’t take up much space, plus you can control the temperature of propane gas much easier than a charcoal grill.
There’s no fumbling around with coals, accelerants or lighter fluid, and you don’t need to wait as long for things to heat up, so its no surprise these are consider some of the top camping grills around.
Now that you’ve got a rough idea about the benefits, keep reading to discover our list of the best camping gas grills on the market today. We’ve already written about regular camping grills, so head over there after this article to check out other options.
1. Snow Peak Grill Burner
The grill burner from Snow Peak is a top quality camp grill that is fuelled by an isobutane propane canister, providing 90 mins of grill time from an 8 ounce canister alone, pretty impressive in itself for a portable model. The fact it utilises an isobutane canister as opposed to regular butane is testament to the quality, as you’ll only usually find this fuel type in quality canisters.
Another quality addition is the cast iron griddle, allowing for slower cooking times and some tasty slow cooked meats for your campers. The whole grill slots and fits together really nicely, with space around each compartment. You can also just simply use the burner alone with a single canister, for a more lightweight and minimalistic approach, bringing out the iron griddle for special occasions.
Totally durable, made of steel to maximize longevity and the cast iron griddle has been coated with a heat resistant silicon paint, to prevent any wear and tear over months of slow cooking. Not the cheapest grill in our list by any means, however a free water pan is included to aid in cleaning up. There is also a binding band that holds the griddle, pan and burner parts together, to help store them in the compact case safely.
- 8oz Isobutane Canister gives a 90 Minute Burn Time
- Free Cast Iron Griddle for Slow Cooking
- Includes Burner, Water Pan, Binding Band, Griddle, Storage Case
- (Compatible with the Iron Grill Table System from Snow Peak)
2. Eureka Gonzo Grill
A familiar name on the tent scene, but Eureka also have an impressive line of grills on the market. However we chose this over their SPKR camp grill model for numerous reasons. First off, the versatility is greater. The SPKR functions as a camp grill singularly, the Gonzo Grill is a stove, a griddle and a camp grill all in one.
At 14.2 pounds it’s almost double the weight of the SPKR. However on the brighter side it has its own signature carry bag, which is sold separately and isn’t included with the steel lid, grill scraper and drip tray that is included with the Gonzo grill.
Like the Snow Peak burner, this also comes with a cast iron griddle which is perfect for cooking up some bacon or pancakes for example. The beauty of this model is you can turn the griddle over to reveal the cast iron grill, or use the stove grate below to cook some other camp delicacies up, 3 cooking methods are on hand.
For convenience the grill scraper helps you clean up easily afterwards, making maintenance a piece of cake. The Drip tray also keeps things tidy and is a cinch to keep clean as it’s dishwasher safe.
You’ll find that you get efficient use out of your canister too, this is due to the fact that there is a simmer control valve. This really helps to keep a focused cooking flame, conversing your propane for hours of cooking over your camping trip.
- 3 Cooking Methods, Griddle, Grill, Stove Grate
- Simple Cleaning Method
- Controlled Flame for Propane Conservation
3. Coleman RoadTrip Propane Camping Grill
Total BTUs: 20,000
Coleman are no stranger to camping equipment, and they’ve certainly done no wrong here. This neatly-designed model is ideal for car camping, picnics, and tailgating. It’s highly versatile in the sense that you can use it as a vertical grill with the stand, or pop it on a table if you don’t want to set up the stand.
With 285sq inches of space and 20,000 BTUs, this isn’t the most powerful cooker we’ve seen. That being said, it’s meant for smaller cookouts and is made to be portable. It’s also got the same features as some of the more powerful models out there, like the InstaStart ignition button, Perfect Flow technology that maintains steady heat, and interchangeable cooktops (which are sold separately).
The interchangeable cooktops are one of our favorite features, because it means you’re not limited to just one type of dish. Whip up some pancakes on the griddle for breakfast, boiled veggies in a pot on the stove grate for lunch, and some juicy burgers on the grill for dinner.
- Easily Detachable & Collapsible Stand for Tabletop Use
- Swaptop Option to Interchange Cooktops
- Convenient Side Benches for Storage
4. Blackstone Flat Top Propane Gas Camping Grill
Total BTUs: 30,000
Let’s start off with this model from Blackstone, which is a restaurant-grade version with a flat rectangular top measuring 470sq inches. It looks like a traditional barbecue in terms of the design, but a modern touch with wheels at the front for easy movement. For longevity, the frame is made from powder-coated steel, the burners are stainless steel, and the cooktop is a cold rolled steel.
The flat surface lets you fit quite a bit of food on at one time. We also like that there is a bottom shelf and dual side racks to store food, condiments, utensils, and so on. The dual racks are also handy for separating raw meat on one side, and cooked on the other.
Once hooked up to the gas tank, simply press the button for ignition. This makes for a fast and hassle-free process. In addition to the wheels, other portable elements include the detachable griddle top, and the foldable legs that disappear underneath the main body – making it more than half its size.
The BTU rating (which measures the total output of heat for each burner every hour) comes in at 15,000 BTU per burner, so with two burners you’re getting 30,000 BTUs. You can control the temperature from low to high, and it uses a standard tank of 20lbs.
- Durable Stainless Steel Burners for Versatile Cooking Zones
- One-Push Ignition Button
- Industrial-Strength Caster Wheels & Foldable Legs
5. Char-Griller E3001 Grillin’ Pro Propane Camping Grill
Total BTUs: 40,800
Char-Griller has given you a mammoth amount of power here, with the largest BTU level on our whole list. It’s also got a huge amount of space for cooking, with 438sq inches, plus an added stove grate burner on one of the side racks. The other rack gives space for putting items to the side, with 3 little hooks to hang utensils on.
Above the main grate, there is another one that is used for keeping food warm. All grates are cast iron and coated in porcelain for added longevity and simple cleanup. An electronic starter means you don’t have to sit around waiting for things to heat up.
Even though this model does weigh a little less than 100lbs, the wheels make it much easier to travel with. The hefty lift is opened and closed with a wide handle, giving you more seamless control. Constructed with heavy steel, this is made to last more than just a few cookouts.
- Large Main Cooking Space with 12,000 BTU Side Burner
- Powder-Coated Body Finish & Porcelain-Coated Grates
- Double Wheels for Transport
6. Camplux Propane Camping Grill
Total BTUs: 10,000
Next up is this appliance from Camplux, which isn’t what would usually pop in your mind when you think of a barbecue. The design is really contemporary, with almost a toaster-oven feel to it. Instead of a traditional flattop grill with a flip lid, this uses a retractable plate. This allows you to keep track of how the food is cooking.
In just 2 minutes, this model reaches temperatures up to 1600°F, which is ideal for cooking steaks. Made from stainless steel, it’s got a hard-wearing build, made to endure plenty of cookouts. While it is tough in construction, it manages to be lightweight, so you can pick it up and move it around in a cinch.
Much like the previous model, this one can also be used with a 20lb tank using a conversion adapter. Powered by pilot ignition, there is an Easy-Start feature which eliminates the need for several lighting attempts. Infrared technology not only helps it heat up quicker, but also gives a more even cook.
- Lightweight & Tough Stainless Steel with Easy-Start Ignition
- Flexible Temperature Control with Infrared Technology
- Fast Clean Up with Adjustable Trays
7. Cuisinart CGG-059 Propane Grill
Total BTUs: 8,000
We’ve chosen this next model as a super compact and portable option. While we’ve already covered the best portable camping grills, we thought we’d add in a couple ultra-compact designs in this article because they’re so perfect for camping trips.
146sq inches make up the enameled steel grate, which is safe to clean in the dishwasher. At 8,000 BTUs, it works with a gas tank of 1lb. Just one push from the ignition button is all it takes to get things started.
There is no assembly required for this appliance, as it’s all set up straight out of the box. At 10lbs it’s not heavy to carry or move around. To keep the cooking zone secure, there is a locking lid with a steel latch.
- Highly Compact 20.5”L x 12”W x 10.2”H
- Dishwasher-Safe Enameled Steel Grate
- Zero Assembly, Drip Tray & 1 Push Ignition
8. Char-Broil Classic 360 Propane Camping Grill
Total BTUs: 38,000
The Classic 360 from Char-Broil is as classic as they come in terms of traditional barbecue designs – but of course with the modern twist of portability. Dual wheels on one side of the legs make it a smooth transportation process, plus an entire steel construction adds durability.
For even heat distribution, you’ve got three stainless steel burners. We like the added feature of porcelain-coated heat tents, that basically protect the burners and help focus the heat in certain areas.
A porcelain-coating can also be found on the grates, making it easier to clean stuck-on food or built-up oils. One of the standout elements is the hidden side burner underneath one of the side shelves. It has a stove grate top with 8,000 BTUs, so it’s perfect for cooking side dishes with a pan or pot.
- Twin Wide Metal Side Shelves with Bonus Side Burner
- Rust-Resistant Porcelain-Coated Grate for Easy Cleanup
- Piezo One-Touch Button Ignition
9. Weber Q1000 Propane Camping Grill
Total BTUs: 8,500
For those looking for another ultra-compact version, this Weber model is a reliable choice to go with. It has tons of rave reviews online, gushing about its robust cast iron grate, humble size, and uniform cook. The entire frame is made up of glass-reinforced nylon, including a cast aluminum body and lid.
Starting it up is a breeze with one-push ignition, and you’ve got 189sq inches of space that is enough to fit around 6 burger patties. To catch all the grease, you’ll find a lower removable drip pan. It takes only 10 to 15 minutes to heat up at 8,500 BTUs.
Weighing almost 30lbs, it’s a bit heavier than some other models in the same range, so it’s more suited to RV, car camping, or even at-home use when you don’t want a massive barbecue. We like that it comes completely assembled, so you can pretty much start cooking right away.
- Porcelain-Enameled Cast Iron Construction
- Fast Warm Up Time of 10-15 Mins
- Infinite Control Burner Valve Settings
10. Cuisinart CGG-240 All Foods Propane Camping Grill
Total BTUs: 15,000
Finally, we’ve got the Roll-Away model from Cuisinart. It’s pretty much like a mini version of a regular sized barbecue, as it sits comfortably at waist-height. Equipped with a wheeled cart underneath the main grill, you can roll it around from your car or motorhome without hurting your back.
Even though it’s a compact model, you still get two side tables that fold out to keep things out of your way, but in quick reach. Another impressive feature, considering the small size, is that this can reach up to 15,000 BTUs of heat.
To light it up, there is a Twist-Start electric ignition that is user-friendly as well as secure. When it comes to packing up, it folds down just as effortlessly as it does assemble. It measures 44” x 23” x 21” when folded down, combined with a low-profile design, which makes it easier to store in your car or garage.
- Large Scale 245sq Inch Cast-Iron Grate & Temperature Gauge
- Streamlined Assembly System with Simple Lock-and-Go
- Double Stainless-Steel Side Storage Tables
11. Stansport 206-50 Propane Camping Stove and Grill
Total BTUs: 18,000
Even though this model doesn’t come with a stand, it’s rather the perfect option for tabletop cookouts. Almost every campsite has outdoor seating areas, where you can prop this mini barbecue on top of a table and cook away.
You’re given a stove and grill combo, with a stainless steel burner at 10,000 BTUs, and a stove burner at 8,000 BTUs. If you wanted a griddle as well, you could place one on the right side of the burner, but the transfer of heat may not work as well so you’re better off using a pan.
The controls are quite simple here – there are two knobs and a red ignition button at the front. Each burner comes with its own dial, where you can regulate the heat levels, and they’re clearly labelled with “on” and “off”. For effortless cleaning, there’s a polished drip pan that’s made from stainless steel for durability. A high-pressure regulator is included, which normalizes the pressure between the gas and the grill.
- Match-free Lighting with Piezo Ignition
- Stainless Steel Burner & Small Stove Grate for Multipurpose Cooking
- 13” x 10” Grill Space & Drip Pan for Easy Washing
12. Napoleon Propane Camping Grill
Total BTUs: 12,000
This model from Napoleon is another top choice for car camping and tailgating, but we think it’s also ideal for backyard cookouts when you don’t want a full-sized barbecue. It has quite a seamless design that feels modern with the fast-bending scissor cart.
By placing one foot on one end, and lifting up the same side with one hand, you can bend the stand upwards in seconds. It clicks into place, and is just as effortless to fold down afterwards. To move it around, there are two large wheels that distribute the weight evenly.
Two front knobs let you control the temperature with ease, and there are two side tables to store items at easy reach. A drip pan slides in and out for user-friendly cleaning. Even though this doesn’t have a super high BTU rating, it still gets the job done for a small to medium sized feast. It’s intended for use with a 1lb gas canister, but you can get a separate attachment to convert it for use with 20lb tanks.
- 285sq Inches of Grilling Space
- Robust Porcelain Cast Iron for Added Longevity
- One-Hand Movement with Folding Legs
How to Choose a Propane Camping Grill
You’ve got all the best ones on the market, but how about choosing the right one for you? Let’s take a look at some top tips for choosing the right grill.
One of the first things to consider is how and where you’ll be using the grill. How refers to what kind of things you enjoy cooking, as well as the amount of food you’ll be cooking.
While this will vary, a rough estimate will help – will you just be using it for camping with a 4-person family? Or will you need it for bigger groups? Also consider whether you prefer charcoal grilling, because that adds a different flavor.
Then there’s the where, which is pretty self-explanatory. Where will you be using it most? Some of the most common places include for camping, in a motorhome, at parks, on the beach, or simply at home. The where will affect the size of the model, because you want something that will suit the terrain, space, and outdoor conditions of the places you’ll most use it.
Types of Grates
Some models will come with several types of grates, or at least have the ability to change between different ones, while other models are only suitable for one type.
If you’re interested in using your barbecue to cook things like pancakes or scrambled eggs, then you’ll need a griddle – this is the flat surface that won’t let anything slip through, kind of like a pan.
Then there is a stove grate, which is used on traditional stoves to allow pots and pans to rest evenly.
Regular grates or grills are ideal for getting a nice charred effect on meat and vegetables. Depending on what kind of surface you’d like, choose a model that will accommodate to that.
This is definitely a major factor to look out for, because no one wants a hefty barbecue that is too heavy to even take out of the car. If you have more people to cook for, then going for a heavier portable model like the Char-Griller E3001 won’t be a hassle, because there are more hands on deck to
Some models are really compact, which is much more ideal for small car camping, or in an RV where space is precious. On slightly larger models, look for wheels to roll it around, or some collapsing legs where you can fold it down to a low-profile appliance.
Ease of Cleanup
Let’s be real here: no one wants to sit there for an hour trying to scrub off some stuck-on food. That’s why there are certain things to look out for when determining the effortlessness taken to clean the grill.
The type of surface of the grate or griddle is important, because it can make it easier, or harder, for you to clean. While not always necessary, a porcelain coating can cut down the cleaning time a lot.
Another feature is a drip pan. These are typically situated underneath the appliance, and collect dripping grease. Look for models where you can slide the pan out, as this will make it more effortless to wash.
A Propane Camping Grill Safety Guide (With Tips)
Gas grills can often be perceived as a much safer alternative to coal grills, since they’re faster to set up. However, camping gas grills need just as much attention and safety precautions than charcoal models. To have the best possible experience with your barbecue, here are some tips:
What to do:
- When lighting the propane gas burner, make sure you check the fittings for any leaks beforehand. If you’re not sure, try applying a solution of mild detergent and water on the hose. If there is a leak, bubbles will form.
- Ensure it has cooled down fully before closing it up.
- When it’s not in use, confirm that all the controls (like knobs, dials, and buttons) are switched off and that the lid is closed.
- Shut the tank valve off after use, and store it in an erect position. Also keep it away from heat starters like lighters and matches.
- Keep an eye out for any damage on the appliance, as well as any damage on the tank.
- Use it in a space that has plenty of airflow.
What not to do:
- Do NOT use any type of flame when checking for gas leaks, so no lighters or matches.
- Keep children and animals away from the appliance to avoid any tampering or accidents.
- Never smoke while around the propane tank.
- Don’t store the tank in an enclosed area, so keep it out of the garage or your car.
- Avoid storing, travelling or using a cylinder that has been exposed to a lot of heat and has reached a high temperature.
How to Store Your Camping Propane Safely
There’s one main rule of thumb here: never store the gas tank in an enclosed space. If you don’t have access to a wide open area, or if you need to store it in your car, the cylinder must receive a great deal of ventilation. Cylinders can start leaking gas if not stored correctly, and if they are kept in a non-ventilated area, then it can be very dangerous.
While travelling with one in your vehicle, keep the windows open, ensure the bottles are vertical, carry a fire extinguisher, make sure the valve is shut, and don’t smoke.
How to Dispose of You Propane Canisters Properly
- First step is to attach the cylinder to your grill and let any leftover gas release.
- It’s a good idea to write on it with permanent marker that it’s “used” or “empty”, as this will let others know (and remind you) that it’s ready to be disposed.
- Do some research on any recycling areas that take in used gas tanks.
- In the event that you can’t find a suitable place to drop it off, keep the tank in a bag and continue searching for the right location.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Use a Propane Grill?
- Lift the lid to stop any gas from building up.
- Turn the gas valve counter-clockwise to open it, and continue twisting until it stops.
- If there is an ignition button, turn burners all the way up and press the button.
- If there is no button, you can use a lighter wand or long match to ignite the preliminary burner.
- As soon as the burner is on, power on the other burners and close the lid to help the temperature climb to around 500-500°F. This is before you’ll adjust it to your desired temperature.
- Grill isn’t heating up properly? If it can only reach 300°F it could be that the regulator is preventing gas from flowing through. To fix, simply turn everything off including the tank, keep the lid open, take off the regulator from the tank and leave it disconnected for around 1 minute. Reconnect it and open the tank knob/valve slowly until it can’t twist anymore. Continue and relight as you did before.
- To finish: turn all the knobs so they are off, not forgetting the tank valve, and clean the grates while everything is still warm. This makes it a lot easier to remove food bits that are stuck.
- Quick bonus tip: we recommend getting a fuel gauge installed on your tank so you can see how much gas is left – they are simple to install and avoid any risk of zero gas for your next cook out.
How to Light a Propane Camping Grill?
- Check first if there is an ignition button that requires one-push to light it up. This kind of button means you don’t need to start the flame with an exterior source.
- Locate the valve on the gas tank, which is usually shaped like a little gear, and open it until it stops twisting.
- Next, locate the valve for the burner and turn that on. The flame shouldn’t be so low that it can’t light, but not too high either.
- Get a lighter or match and put the flame into the stream of gas. Otherwise, if there’s an ignition button, push that.
How to Attach Propane to a Camping Grill?
- Make sure the barbecue is on a flat surface to avoid any tips or falls.
- Check that all switches and knobs are off. Take the connector hose and attach it to the appliance, making sure that it’s a snug fit to prevent gas leaks from either end.
- Once all attachments are sealed, test for any leaks.
- Now that the risk of seepage is eliminated, you can turn on the gas.
Conclusion on Propane Camping Grills
With a propane camping grill from our list, and equipped with the plethora of tips and tricks from our guide, you’re all set to go for your next grand cooking venture. No matter if you’re planning to cook out in the wilderness, tailgate at the next game, or in the comforts of your own backyard, you’ve got the best of the best to choose from, with the knowledge to match.