Imagine having a vegetable kebab, hamburger, or grilled steak under the night sky – perfect! When you are camping out, a portable, easy-to-use grill can be your best friend. Yes, you can opt to cook with a campfire, but having a camping grill would be a lot more convenient and give you a wider range of options for what you can cook.
The camping grills we’ve selected are all easy to use, portable, and cooks food evenly. If you are planning to head out this weekend and looking for the right camping grill for your trip, we can help you with that.
Types of Camping Grills
There are two general types of camping grills, and they each have their place.
• Charcoal Camping Grills – Even though it is harder to start, has a heavier and larger fuel and requires more work when it comes to clean-up, a charcoal grill gives a distinct flavor to the food that no other type of grill can. The food is infused with a smokey, rich flavor that we all love. This type of camping grill is more affordable as well. If you are planning on buying one of these, keep in mind that using a charcoal camping grill requires attention, skill, and more time.
• Propane/Gas Camping Grills – A propane grill has several advantages over a charcoal grill. It heats up pretty quickly, is compact, easy to light, and offers constant and steady heat. Two 16oz propane cylinders would be enough to cover a camping weekend. Plus, they’re still pretty affordable.
1. The Best Propane/Gas Camping Grill – Coleman RoadTrip LXE Portable Propane Camping Grill
Coleman has long been an excellent choice for camping gear and equipment as well as other outside activities. Their Roadtrip LXE is perfect for camping or tailgating. It rests on a wheel stand, has a 285 square inch cooking space and is easy to store in your vehicle because it folds flat. The grill head tips the scale at 24 pounds, while it weighs 41 pounds with the stand. Its two burners have a round design and produce 10,000 BTUs each. The oval heat diffuser covering the burners allows the heat to be evenly distributed across the cast-iron grates.
The Roadtrip LXE comes with additional cook surfaces that will fit either side. There is a round stove grate or griddle for pans and pots. The grill lid can also be removed if you are using bigger pots. The 16.4oz propane canisters are used to run this grill, and there is an available 20lb. LP tank adaptor. You won’t have to fret about bringing a lighter or match to light this grill up because it comes with push-button ignition. It also has slide-out tables, which can be useful as well. Its locking lid will allow you to observe the pressure gauge while making sure there are no damages or injuries around the grill. You can take this camping grill with you wherever you go for a one-time investment of about $250.
• Fairly priced
• Interchangeable cooktops
• Comes in various colors
• Easy to clean
• Paint can be easily damaged
• Uneven heat when on high
2. The Best Charcoal Camping Grill – Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill
The Weber brand was born in 1952 when George Stephen created the Weber kettle using a sheet of metal from Weber Brothers Metal Works where he worked. His Weber kettle became a hit, and he later bought out Weber Brothers. In the 1960s, Weber became a big name when it comes to barbecue grills, and they have been making excellent grills ever since.
Their Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill is great for camping because it is portable and lightweight. It has round legs that provide stability on sand, grass, a tailgate, or table. Although the legs are stable, it is not one of the strongest. If you want to use it with heavy cast iron, you might want to think again.
The Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill has a porcelain-enameled base and lid that retain heat and won’t peel or rust. It also comes with dampers that will allow you to control the temperature easily. It has a surface area of 160 square inches, and its plated steel grate is easy to clean and can retain heat as well. It also comes with carrying handles and Tuck-N-Carry lid lock, making it convenient to carry around. You can get a hold of this camping grill for approximately $55.
• Easy to clean
• Easy to store
• Not to be used for heavy cookware
• Grate height cannot be adjusted
3. Best Table Top Camping Grill – Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill
Another grill from Weber that is considered one of the best is the Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill. It comes with a variety of vibrant colors, from titanium, fuchsia, purple, black, and more. The cook box is made of cast aluminum, which can withstand high temperatures without a problem. It also has a shroud that allows proper heat circulation around the food.
The cooking grate comes in three materials: stainless steel, porcelain-enameled cast iron, and porcelain-enameled steel. Every type is able to sear food perfectly and retains heat evenly. The stainless-steel grate will leave beautiful sear marks on your food, can hold heat excellently, and is easy to clean. The porcelain-enameled steel grates are also easy to clean and durable. The porcelain-enameled cast-iron grates provide superior heat retention.
The burners of this grill are high-grade stainless steel, which is spaced to distribute heat across the whole grate evenly. These tubes have no welds, making them sturdier and resistant to burn-through and rust. It can be easily cleaned with a stainless-steel grill brush. The infinite control settings of the burner valve allow you to fine-tune heat levels. It also has an electronic ignition that is powered by AAA battery so that you can throw away that lighter and match. You can use a 14.1 or a 16.2 LP cylinder to start grilling up your food with this tabletop camping grill. Get a hold of this camping companion for approximately $210.
• Easy to clean
• Has a built-in thermometer
• Has side tables
• Gets hot quickly
• Does not heat up as quickly at high elevations
4. Camping Grill with the Best Value – Coleman Fold N’ Go InstaStart Grill
The Coleman Fold N’ Go InstaStart Grill has one of the most straightforward designs. Coleman created this super portable and straight-to-the-point grill, perfect when you need to get away by yourself. You can simply toss it in your vehicle, and you’re good to go. Its 105-square foot cooking area with 6,000 BTUs of heat can cook up to one steak, two burgers, and some single meals. The handle that comes with it makes carrying it easy and convenient.
The Fold N’ Go comes with a horseshoe burner that is adjustable for even heating and precise temperature control. You won’t need a match or lighter to ignite this baby because it has an InstaStart igniter button. The cooking surface is removable and is dishwasher safe. You can grill for up to 3.5 hours with a 16.4oz propane cylinder.
Plus, it only weighs 10 pounds, so you can easily carry it with just one hand. It also comes with a carrying case for much more comfortable handling and transport. If you are a beginner to camping and want something that is not complicated, the Coleman Fold N’ Go Portable Grill is perfect. You can order this grill for about $65.
• Minimalist and smart design
• Super lightweight
• Made with high-quality materials
• The porcelain coating chips
• Shaky propane tank piping
5. The Best Cast-Iron Camping Grill – Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s Camping Grill
Joseph Lodge is the founder of Lodge Manufacturing Company (originally named The Blacklock Foundry) way back 1896. Lodge continues to provide and develop a line of seasoned cast iron cookware. Their Cast Iron Sportsman’s Camping Grill is a hibachi-style and rugged grill best for picnics, camping, patio cooking, and tailgating.
It comes with a draft door that allows heat regulation, and the coals can be accessed through a flip-down door. It has an adjustable height as well. If you want a perfect sear on your food, this is for you. Lodge uses no chemicals or coatings for its cookware. They only use 100% vegetable oil to season them, which means the more you use your grill, the better tasting food you will get.
The durability of the Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s Camping Grill is unquestionable. It has a nickel-plated steel grate with a cooking space of 120 square inches. Considering that it is made with cast iron, you would expect it to be heavy, and it is, weighing in at 33 pounds. You can purchase this heavy-duty grill for about $85.
• Super durable
• Powerful and heats up quickly
• It can last for a lifetime
• Food has fantastic flavor and searing
• The cooking area is a little bit smaller than other grills
• Rust issues because of cast-iron
• Carrying it can be a challenge because of its heavy weight
What to Look for in a Camping Grill
If you’re still debating between the models above, here are some aspects to consider.
The durability of your camping grill is essential. If your travel time is going to be a little bit rugged, you’ll want your grill to be protected. You also want to be sure that your grill will remain stable over the course of many trips, especially while you are grilling.
Surface Cooking Area
This is one of the primary considerations you have to think of before purchasing a camping grill. How many are you cooking for? What food will you be grilling? You should be able to match the cooking area to your needs. If you will be camping with your family, a surface cooking area of approximately 180 to 200 square inches should suffice. For a larger group of people, a cooking area of at least 250 square inches would be best.
A camping grill that has a temperature control feature ensures that your food is cooked correctly and evenly. Temperature control can be a little more difficult for charcoal camping grills because you won’t have knobs to turn down the temperature. The best thing you can do is contain the amount of oxygen and placement of the charcoal.
If you want a gas camping grill, you might want to check out the burners. With two burners, you can cook food at different temperatures. You also have to check your gas grill’s BTUs. More BTUs means the temperature will be higher. A recommended figure is at least 8,000 on each burner.
This applies to gas camping grills. Get one that has a simple and easy ignition system. Some grills will require a lighter or match to ignite it. Others have a push-button ignition, which are much easier and safer to use but require batteries.
You can choose between stainless or cast iron. Most of the camping grills on the market have stainless steel grates, which are easy to clean, are great conductors, and are able to resist the grill’s heat. Cast iron grates, on the other hand, are heavier but offer better tasting food.
A camping grill that takes too long to assemble can easily ruin your camping trip. You should pick a grill that is easy to assemble and use so that you can grill your food immediately.
Your camping grill should be easy to clean so that you won’t have to spend too much time sanitizing it before you cook or cleaning it before you put it away. You might want to consider a grill with removable parts so that you can clean them separately. Also, look for a grill that has a drip tray which funnels oil, fat or lost food, making it easier to dispose of them.
You have to make sure that there will be enough space in your vehicle for your grill and other items and people you will be needing for the camping trip. It is tempting to go for a larger model, but it is better to be practical than carrying a bigger grill that will only be a burden in the end.
Safety and Weight
Camping grills can be dangerous when not used correctly. Before you light it up, make sure that everything is installed correctly. Make sure that you also have a stable base before you start grilling. You don’t want a heavy grill tipping because the stand was too flimsy.