9 Best Boat Grill Options Tested and Reviewed for 2020

    Last Updated on August 29, 2020

    OUR TOP CHOICE

    OUR TOP CHOICE

    Key Features

     12,000 BTUs

     Stainless steel burner

     280 square inches of cooking space

     Infinite control burner valve

     Built-in tool hooks

     Integrated thermometer on lid


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    When you’re taking your boat out for a beautiful day on the water, the last thing you want to do is head back inside to the kitchen for every meal. Why not take your meal preparation onto the deck with you, by using the amazing complement to boating life that a grill offers?

    Grilling on a boat isn’t as simple as slapping your backyard grill onto the deck, though — it requires a little more consideration put into your fuel choice, safety measures, and the overall design of the grill.

    So why have we taken the time and effort necessary to test and review every major boat grill brand out there? All to bring you this guide to the best boat grill options around. 

    We’ll be covering everything you need to know about how to choose the right grill for your boat, and featuring 9 grills that fit every possible budget and grilling style.

    Whenever you’re ready to decide on the perfect boat grill, let’s get started!


    Here are the best boat grill you can buy:

    For the complete product list, please continue reading…


    Top 9 Best Boat Grill (2020 Reviews)

    1. Best Overall – Weber Q 2200 Portable Propane Gas Grill

    Pros:

     Excellent heating power
     Stainless steel construction is rust-resistant and long-lasting
     Stable design with a low base that’s perfect for cooking on a boat
     Plenty of storage space for tools and cooking implements
     Large grilling surface

    Cons:

     Even the lowest heat setting is very hot
     Somewhat difficult to clean grease drips from

    Specifications:

      • 12,000 BTUs
      • Stainless steel burner
      • 280 square inches of cooking space
      • Infinite control burner valve
      • Two folding work tables
      • Built-in tool hooks
      • Integrated thermometer on lid

    When you’re looking for a boat grill, there are a lot of features that can make or break your decision on a product. Is it powerful enough? Large enough? Portable enough? How stable is it on deck?

    While many grills can answer one or more of these questions positively, the Weber Q 2200 is the only grill we tested that does it all — at a great price, too. It boasts an impressive 12,000 BTU heat output housed within a corrosion-resistant body, with two generously sized fold-out work tables and easy temperature control. 

    Add all of that to a design that’s easily modified to your boat’s handrail, and it’s easy to see why this grill is our pick for the best boat grill around.


    2. Runner Up – Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Tabletop Gas Grill

    Pros:

     Perfect size for 2-4 people
     Good power for the price
     Extremely easy to set up and use
     Easy to clean
     Easily modified to attach to handrails

    Cons:

     One of the smaller grilling surfaces we’ve seen
     Doesn’t produce the best sear marks on steaks

    Specifications:

      • 5,500 BTUs
      • Easy 5-minute assembly
      • Produces temperatures up to 500 degrees F
      • 151 square inches of cooking space
      • Enamel-coated steel cooking grate
      • Stainless steel body
      • Weighs 19 pounds

    Small but mighty, this portable grill from Cuisinart is an affordable and user-friendly option for anyone who only needs a boat grill for light use. It’s as easy to set up as it is to use, and weighs so little that you can easily carry it with one hand. 

    The 5,500 BTU max heat output is nothing to write home about, but given the small and safely enclosed lid design it will still get the job done — just don’t expect to sear any 16-oz pork chops on it. Once you’re done cooking, cleanup is easy thanks to the enamel-coated cooking grate and removable drip tray.

    In short, the CGG-180T is a fantastic alternative to our top choice for anyone whose grilling needs trend more towards burgers and hot dogs rather than steaks and chops.


    3. Best Value – Cuisinart CGG-059 Grillster Portable Tabletop Gas Grill

    Pros:

     Extremely lightweight and portable
     Takes up barely any space on your boat
     Easy to clean
     Fast and simple setup and breakdown
     Locking lid encloses cooking, protecting it from wind
     Stable, low-profile design

    Cons:

     Small grilling surface
     Low maximum heat output

    Specifications:

      • 146 square inches of grilling space
      • Weighs just 10 pounds
      • 7,000 BTUs
      • Hinged lid and 3-wall design for wind protection
      • Push button ignition
      • Reaches temperatures up to 600 degrees F
      • 5-minute assembly

    As the most lightweight and easily portable boat grill that we tested, the Cuisinart CGG-059 “Grillster” may just become your favorite grill to throw on your boat at the last minute. It makes an excellent tabletop grill at home, and is stable enough to do double-duty at sea as well.

    Given its small 146 square inch grilling surface, the CGG-059 packs a powerful 7,000 BTU heat output — easily enough to get up to 600 degrees F. We love the hinged lid, with its 3-walled design and locking mechanism for complete wind protection.

    If you’re looking for a boat grill on a budget that still has plenty of heating power, we recommend choosing the Grillster.


    4. Premium Choice – Blaze Professional Marine Grade Portable Propane Gas Grill

    Pros:

     High-grade stainless steel is highly resistant to saltwater corrosion
     Heavy-duty lid locks prevent spills while in motion
     Designed to be mounted on handrails
     Stainless steel grilling grate makes great sear marks
     Flame tamer helps to evenly distribute heat

    Cons:

     On the expensive side
     Decent grilling surface area, but could be better

    Specifications:

      • 12,000 BTUs
      • Stainless steel H-shaped burner
      • 316L stainless steel exterior
      • Push and turn flame-thrower ignition
      • Two front-facing lid lock clasps
      • 201 square inches of cooking area

    When nothing but the best will do for your boat, a grill that’s designed specifically for seafaring is the only way to go. Blaze Professional has put together an amazing Marine Grade propane grill with unstoppable heating power and durability — but it’s offered at a price that’s certainly not for the faint of heart.

    Much of the magic of the Blaze Professional marine grade boat grill lies in its combination of high BTUs and stainless steel construction that’s designed specifically to resist saltwater corrosion. The H-shaped burner distributes 12,000 BTUs of heat evenly across the entire surface of the grill — which, at just over 200 square inches, we wish was just a bit bigger.

    Two locking clasps on the lid round out the boating-specific features of this grill. Overall, we recommend it for anyone who’s dedicated to grilling on their boat and wants the most long-lasting and durable option available.


    5. Best for Grilling Steaks – Napoleon TravelQ 285 Portable Propane Gas Grill

    Pros:

     Best power output of any boat grill makes for perfectly seared steaks
     Huge grilling area can feed 6-8 people
     Jetfire ignition is fast, easy, and extremely reliable
     Cleanup is fast and easy thanks to a removable drip tray
     Integrated thermometer lets you monitor your cooking without opening the lid

    Cons:

     Quite expensive
     No options for attaching to boat handrails

    Specifications:

      • 12,000 BTUs
      • 285 square inches of grilling space
      • Jetfire ignition system
      • Porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grids
      • Dual stainless steel burners
      • Fold-away legs
      • Removable aluminum grease tray
      • Built-in lid thermometer

    When size matters — for your grill, that is — you should consider the Napoleon TravelQ 285. Its best-in-class 285 square inches of cooking surface put it leagues beyond most of the competition when it comes to how many people you can cook for. And with cast-iron cores in an enamel-coated grill top, you’ll find it easy to get perfect sear marks on your steak every time.

    We’re also big fans of the Napoleon’s double burner system, powered by a Jetfire ignition system that’s one of the most reliable on the market. Also featuring a low-profile design that’s perfect for stability, it’s equipped with a removable grease tray for fast and easy cleanup.

    In short, the TravelQ 285 is a fantastic grill to choose when you know you’ll be cooking for crowds on your boat, and its a great grill for camping as well — but be warned that it has a similarly large price to match its grilling area.


    6. Best Heating Capacity – Cuisinart CGG-306 Chef’s Style Portable Tabletop Grill

    Pros:

     All stainless-steel construction is incredibly resistant to saltwater corrosion
     Amazing heating power from two 10,000 BTU burners
     Fast and easy setup
     Simple and quick cleanup
     Locking lid for added safety on the water
     Big grilling area can feed up to 8 people

    Cons:

     On the expensive side
     Not easily modified for mounting on a boat

    Specifications:

      • Two 10,000 BTU stainless steel burners
      • 275 square inches of cooking space
      • Easy 5-minute assembly with no tools required
      • 100% stainless steel construction
      • Weighs 29 pounds

    Let’s be honest: We love just about every grill in Cuisinart’s repertoire. Two of their grills have already taken our top spots, and we have one more impressive option to share with you: The CGG-306, a Chef’s Style portable tabletop grill. It’s the most powerful grill out of any we tested — and gets so hot that you’ll have to work quick to keep burgers and dogs from getting too charred!

    The all stainless-steel construction for this Cuisinart grill makes it naturally seaworthy, and resistant to saltwater corrosion. This goes doubly for its two stainless steel burners: With each producing 10,000 BTUs of heat, you’ll have a combined output that’s nearly double most other grills we tested.

    While it’s definitely on the expensive side, we recommend the CGG-306 for experienced grill masters who really know how to work a hot grill. If that’s you, then you’ll be amazed out how consistently this Cuisinart grill delivers amazing results.


    7. Best Electric Grill for Boats – Americana by Meco Lock-N-Go Portable Electric Grill

    Pros:

     Small, lightweight, and inexpensive
     Convenient option for anyone with an on-board generator or other electricity source
     Locking lid for added safety while boating
     Fast and easy setup and cleanup

    Cons:

     Takes a long time to preheat
     Won’t get perfect sear marks like other grills in our review

    Specifications:

      • 176 square inches of cooking space
      • Plugs into standard outlets
      • 1650-watt heating element
      • Adjustable heat control
      • Double hood vents and wooden hood handle
      • Interlocking hood and bowl
      • Reflector pan for even heat distribution
      • Weighs 12 pounds

    Electric grills hold a certain appeal for the minimalism that’s often required while boating. Requiring nothing more than a generator and a few tools, they can be a small and portable option that does away with the requirements for fuel of many other grills.

    Among electric grills, the Americana by Meco is easily our top pick. Featuring an ultra-compact design and locking lid for added boating safety, it’s a convenient option for small dinners that is only hampered by its long preheating time.

    We recommend choosing this electric grill from Americana by Meco if you’re looking to save space, and don’t require maximum grilling temperatures for perfect sear marks.


    8. Best Infrared Boat Grill – Solaire Everywhere Portable Infrared Propane Gas Grill

    Pros:

     Excellent grilling power
     Easy setup and fast cleanup
     Locking lid with spring-loaded latches for added safety
     Infrared burner style prevents dangerous flare-ups

    Cons:

     Quite expensive
     Fairly small grilling area

    Specifications:

      • 14,000 BTU infrared burner
      • 304 grade, 24-gauge stainless steel construction
      • 140 square inches of cooking space
      • Weighs 15 pounds
      • Stainless steel v-shaped grill grates
      • Push-button ignition
      • Spring loaded latches

    While infrared grills have never achieved the same popularity as their more conventional gas-powered cousins, examples like the Solaire Everywhere portable infrared grill really show the safety and utility of this heating style. 

    A great choice for boating due to its completely wind-resistant design, this infrared grill is sure to impress long-time grillers and boaters alike. Lightweight yet made of an ultra-durable 304 grade stainless steel, it’s an easy to carry option that’s built to last. If it had a larger cooking surface area, it could easily have been in the running for our top pick.


    9. Best Authentic BBQ Flavor – Traeger Scout Portable Tabletop Wood Pellet Grill

    Pros:

     Amazing versatility as a smoker and grill in one package
     Great maximum heating power
     Rubber feet and latching hood make it stable and safe for use on a boat
     Powder coated steel exterior is corrosion-resistant

    Cons:

     Added need for pellet fuel can be inconvenient
     Fuel source won’t last for long (2 hours at maximum temperatures)

    Specifications:

      • 16,000 BTUs
      • 184 square inch cooking area
      • Doubles as a smoker while grilling
      • Digital Pro temperature controller with 25-degree increments
      • Allows temperatures from 165 degrees F to 450 degrees F
      • 4 pound capacity pellet hopper
      • Rubber feet
      • Latching hood

    If you’re a die-hard smoky charcoal flavor fan — but know that it’s not a safe option for grilling while boating — there is another option out there for you. Traeger’s “Scout” is a portable, tabletop grill that’s powered by electricity and wood pellets, giving food a rich and smoky flavor that’s impossible to duplicate with other fuel sources.

    Depending on how long you’ll be out boating for, a pellet grill can be a good option for achieving authentic BBQ flavor. We’re not big fans of its requirement for two sources of power, but can be convinced to look the other way after considering its excellent heat output and decent grilling surface area.


    Final Verdict

    Weber Q 2200

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    It’s hard to deny the appeal of a propane grill for boating. They’re fast, efficient, lightweight, and their fuel requirements save valuable space on board. 

     

    That’s why we’ve chosen the Weber Q 2200 Portable Propane Gas Grill as our top pick: It’s a top-of-the-line propane grill that performs far beyond its reasonable price point. We recommend that any boater strongly consider it for all their on-deck grilling needs.

    If you’re only on the water infrequently and don’t want to spend more money on a larger grill, the Cuisinart CGG-059 Grillster Portable Tabletop Gas Grill is a fantastic alternative to our top pick. It’s even smaller and lighter than Weber’s propane grill, and comes in at a much lower price. While it may not impress you with perfect sear marks every time, it’s a great little grill for occasional cook-outs.

    Which boat grill do you think is best for you? After reading through this buyer’s guide, we’re confident that you’ll be able to choose the perfect grill for your needs. Happy sailing!


    How to Choose the Best Boat Grill

    Choosing the best boat grill for your needs comes down to understanding the features that you’re looking for, and what type of grill will deliver the results you want. Let’s take a look at both of these topics in more detail:

    What to Look for In A Boat Grill

    Five things differentiate a great boat grill from one that is just so-so. Familiarize yourself with all five to help yourself choose a great quality grill:

    1. Stability is the first factor you should consider when looking for a boat grill. We prefer models that are closer to the ground, making them less vulnerable to tipping over. Some grills can also be adapted to install on hand railings, making them a more permanent solution.
    2. Heating capacity, no matter the grill’s fuel source, will determine how quickly you can cook and how well your meals will turn out. Avoid wimpy gas or electric stoves that take forever to preheat.
    3. Fuel efficiency is more important for longer boating trips, but also a major convenience even for short trips. Electric grills offer great efficiency but less power, while charcoal grills produce extreme heat but are not a safe option for use on boats. Propane grills fall right in the middle, with good heating and compact fuel.
    4. Wind resistant design is the second factor in determining your grilling success, right after heating capacity. If a grill doesn’t have a securely fitted lid, it’s not worth trying to use on a boat.
    5. Durability of construction and design will be the biggest factor in how much you get out of your grilling investment. We especially like grills that are coated to prevent rust, as this is the most common problem for boat grills due to exposure to salt air.

    Types of Grills for Boating

    Since charcoal grills aren’t really safe or suitable for boating, that leaves us with three main types of grills to use while on the water. Each type has its own relative strengths and weaknesses, so let’s take a closer look at what every grill has to offer:

    1. Electric grills offer the convenience of not packing an extra fuel source, as well as usually featuring large grilling surfaces and easy cleanup. They take longer to preheat, however, and generally produce a less robustly grilled flavor.
    2. Propane grills heat quicker, cook hotter, and often cost less than similarly sized electric grills. You’ll need to always keep extra fuel on hand, though, which can be inconvenient for already-crowded storage on boats.
    3. Pellet grills offer a fine combination of wood-fired flavor and electric convenience, but are more expensive and require a fair amount of bulkier fuel. They’re a great option for anyone who just can’t give up the taste of charcoal, but wants to keep their grilling boating-safe.