Best Camping Grills: A Must-Have To Your Camping Trips

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Our Top Choice...

Key Features

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    Perfect for tailgating, picnicking, and camping
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    Design is easy to transport and fits into most car trunks
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    Easy to use and store
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    Solid and quality construction
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    Great value for your money

topcampinggrill

Grilling and camping are two things that go together hand in hand. If you want hot food it’s just about the only way to get it, and certainly by far the best in my opinion. The type and quality of your grill can make or break a camping experience, making the difference between a mediocre meal and a memorable one for you and your family and friends, or even other people around the campsite; good food is made to be shared after all.

I made this guide to help narrow down the search for a great grill a bit, by giving you a list of some of the most popular I can find to kick off your search, along with a list of “do’s and don’t’s” for picking a grill, helping you to know what to look for and make your own judgments.


10 Best Camping Grills Reviews

 Coleman Propane Grill | RoadTrip LXE Portable Gas Grill

This is a great grill that comes with everything we just talked about wanting in a camping grill. It’s lightweight and easily portable, while coming with its own built-in table (probably my favorite feature). In its folded up from it can be rolled around a lot like a wheeled suitcase, making it very easy to haul wherever you need it to.

The table is relatively spacious as is the grill top for a portable grill, and is capable of swapping out the grill top for a stove or range flat top, making it very versatile.

Its easy to clean, durable ceramic and steel construction makes it the perfect rugged cooking device for taking to remote campsites and dragging up and down hills and over rocks and what have you. All in all an excellent camping grill and for a surprisingly reasonable price.

What We Liked

  • Construction: A steel frame and ceramic cooktop makes for a great combination of materials for a grill of this type, providing excellent durability and great heat conduction for evenly cooking anything you throw onto it.
  • Portability: The folding nature of this grill makes it super easy to move around, and I like the collapsing design with the bottom stand forming a handle and making the back wheels easily roll on most surfaces.
  • Ignition: Easy one button ignition makes firing up this grill a snap, and the temperature is easily changed with the knobs on the front.
  • Price: This grill comes at a great price for its performance and if you’re planning to go camping a lot, it’s well worth what it’s going to run you.

What We Didn't Like

  • Lack of Accessories: This grill is compatible with many accessories (like different cooktops) but doesn’t come with any of them. A minor gripe, but it would have been quite nice to have them.

Cuisinart CGG-180T

This is an absolutely tiny gas grill designed to be used on any tabletop outdoors. It has high, stable legs to prevent the grill from scorching the surface you use it on, and keeps it level and usable on anything, even uneven grassy ground. The legs also fold away for easy storage and transport, with a nice and convenient briefcase style handle on the top of the safety locking lid.

It provides 5500 BTU on one burner, unfortunately a bit low even for its fairly small 145 square inches of cooking space; this mean the grill will cook your meals quite slowly and may end up making some food (particularly vegetables like asparagus) soggy by the end of cooking.

This grill isn’t particularly bad, but I feel unfortunately overpriced for what it offers; I’d much prefer either the Smokey Joe Weber or the Blackstone Griddle, both of which are far cheaper than this gas grill, and I feel perform significantly better for the price asked.

What We Liked

  • Lightweight and Portable: At only 13.5 lbs, this grill is a breeze to carry, made more so by its collapsible and adjustable legs, locking lid, and briefcase style handle. Just fold everything up, lock it, grab it, and go!
  • Legs: Legs telescope and are adjustable, putting the grill a safe distance above any surface. They are sturdy in almost any terrain (though are made for tabletops) and lock in place.

What We Didn't Like

  • Burner: A single 5500 BTU burner is simply not enough to reasonably service a 145 square inch grill; you’re looking for close to double that at a minimum in a grill of this size.
  • Size: Speaking of size, this grill is far too small, especially for the price. While not absurd, it’s definitely high for what it provides, being about twice the asking price of the Smokey joe charcoal grill above.

 Camp Chef Explorer

This is an excellent modular stove you can set up at the campsite of your choice. Fully mechanical with no worry of running out of electricity, this runs on pretty much any size propane tank and provides 2 high quality burners for you to use.

The stove top is wide and spacious in every direction, giving you plenty of room to do what you will with it. It can hold up to two large pots (great for stews or skillet meals), but is also designed so a  griddle top can be added and used to cook all sorts of things.

It has great wind protection, a very comfortable working height, and is overall easy and comfortable to use.

The main drawback is that it’s a bit hard to transport; it’s heavy and needs to be disassembled. It also doesn’t work as a traditional grill in any capacity as there is no safe way to funnel the grease the way the burners are set up.

Still it’s good and quite inexpensive, so makes a perfect accompaniment to your camping experience, especially for long trips where you need something that can work as a regular stove so you don’t get tired of grilled foods.

What We Liked

  • Stovetop: 448 square inches is plenty to cook pretty much anything you want, and the 60, 000 BTU output between the 2 burners is plenty good for grilling (and a lot more than that).
  • Sturdy: A combination of cast iron (for the cooktops) and cast aluminum (for the body) leaves this camp stove as being quite durable for any terrain.

What We Didn't Like

  • Awkward: The stove isn’t all that heavy, being about 36 lbs, but it’s awkward to carry with its size. Moreover it needs to be disassembled to properly move (the legs screw off), and it can be a bit wobbly  with the stiff  and straight legs not dealing well with uneven terrain.

Coleman Roadtrip

Another in the Coleman Roadtrip series, and another pretty solid grill. There’s a total of 3 of these here and they’re all solid. This one is the second best of the bunch by my estimate. It has great burners, the same convenient rolling design as the other 2, a comfortable height for cooking with and everything else that makes the others good choices.

The wheels roll well on most terrain and it’s easy to start up and use, getting to a high temperature quickly and easily, with two independently adjustable burners. The side shelves sliding into the grill is a great touch.

Interchangeable cooktops like the others is great, and the only real gripe I have is the handle is a bit awkward compared to our winner. If you’re looking for a cheap alternative to the RoadTrip LXE above this is an excellent choice.

What We Liked

  • Portability: The grill folds up into a compact and thin package which is easily rolled around. The combination of wheels and a stiff leg makes it comfortable on many different terrains, which is what you’re looking for when camping.
  • Price: This grill is still pricey, but much less so than the RoadTrip LXE, making it a great budget option.
  • Versatility: This grill is compatible with many different cooktops and puts out an excellent amount of heat.

What We Didn't Like

  • Handle: Handle is a bit awkward. It could stand to be a bit more of a ring shape so it’s easier to move without having to hunch over.
  • Accessories: While compatible with a lot, this grill doesn’t come with any of the accessories that elevate it above a normal grill, making its price somewhat misleading.

Blackstone Table Top

This is a nice little tabletop griddle for camping. While it doesn’t come with its own stand (and doesn’t do too well just sitting on the ground due to the little feet it has) it’s lightweight, easily portable, and performs excellently. It uses a single H shaped 12, 000 BTU burner to great effect, providing even and quite good heating to its 260 square inches of cooking space.

While  not great as an actual grill, if I had to choose between a grill that is only a grill or a griddle that is only a griddle while camping, I’ll take the latter every time (ones that do both are obviously better than either). You can cook pretty much anything on a griddle, where dedicated grills are a lot more limited.

It doesn’t have a bad price either, being about a quarter of what our winner will run you, and takes up considerably less space. I especially like the easy ignition and adjustability.

If I had to level one complaint at it it’s the basic construction. It’s quite rough and liable to get snagged on things in storage, and the top not actually attaching to the frame when in storage doesn’t help matters for it being a bit of a pain to move sometimes.

What We Liked

  • Griddle: I love griddle tops for their unparalleled versatility in cooking, and this is no exception. It performs well, heats evenly, and can cook pretty much anything in a snap. There’s nothing like home made pancakes at a campsite.
  • Portable: It’s lightweight and easy to move for the most part, making it great for camping. Not half bad for intermittent home use either; there’s no reason to chuck it in a box and forget about it once you’re home.

What We Didn't Like

  • Construction: The way it’s made is rough and ugly, but more importantly makes it easy to drop the griddle top on the ground if you’re not careful. It may be best to buy a dedicated storage bag for this griddle.

Coleman RoadTrip 285

A lesser version of our winner is still pretty darn good. It has a lot of the same stats, actually. 20, 000 BTUs across 3 burners is great and evenly distributed heat (especially with the nice oval shaped burners). The cooktop is still a nice ceramic, which channels heat well and cools down fairly quickly,  and the top snaps tightly over it. One start ignition and three easy to use knobs make turning the grill on and adjusting heat quite easy.

Where this unit stumbles is the way it folds up. The wheels are significantly worse (a little stickier, a little less traction) and the handle is likewise inferior, and is less steady on even slightly inclined ground. Mind you this is a relatively minor drawback for what is a close to $100 drop in price, making this an excellent budget version of our winning grill.

What We Liked

  • Burners: 3 separately adjustable burners adding up to a 20, 000 BTU maximum is nothing to sneeze at, and is great for cooking pretty much anything you could think of.
  • Cooktop: It comes with an excellent ceramic grill top, and can exchange for a griddle or stove top as well, making it a versatile and easy to use grill for any scenario. Unfortunately neither comes included, which is one of the few marks against this grill.
  • Portable: While not lightweight, the folding nature of this grill makes it very easy to move around, though as mentioned the wheels are a bit worse.

What We Didn't Like

  • Overall Quality: While not bad, there is a marked reduction in quality between this and our winner (the Coleman RoadTrip LXE) that mars the experience a bit. I really dislike this style of hard plastic wheel because I find they stick a lot and don’t rotate very well. The more uncomfortable handles and wobbly right side stand are marks against it as a reliable and comfortable to use grill.

Weber 10020 Smokey Joe

Weber is a top notch brand for grills and smokers; one of my personal favorites in fact. This simple grill represents that quality well, though it’s not much to look at. It’s the style of kettle grill designed to be used with charcoal or wood that you can find pretty much anywhere, and its strength primarily lies in the quality of its materials and construction.

This 14 inch diameter package (roughly) provides around 205 square inches of grilling space, plenty for most small outings (it makes about 5 burgers at a time). All of the materials are top notch, with a ceramic coating over the solid steel construction providing extra insulation and a glossy finish which should not peel or chip over time.

The tripod is steady without adding over much to the weight (it comes in at a total of 9.5 lbs) and the grease drip is perfectly situated and easy to remove and clean when necessary.

Throw in good dampers, a great handle, and a super low price and you have yourself a real winner.

What We Liked

  • Simple: This is the perfect no frills charcoal and wood camp grill. It cooks food using naturally available fuels and it does it well without any superfluous extra junk.
  • Materials: Solid steel and heat retaining ceramic are an iconic duo and represent Weber’s perfect marriage of low prices and good materials on well made products.
  • Design: Design is simple, sturdy, doesn’t wobble, and retains heat perfectly. The domed lid traps enough heat and smoke for flavor while allowing the smoke to rise enough before passing through the dampers that it doesn’t leave food feeling sooty.

What We Didn't Like

  • Lack of Accessories: While simplicity is this grill’s main virtue, it’s also a slight weakness; it doesn’t have any side tables attached or compatibility with griddle tops or anything like that. It’s just a charcoal kettle grill.

Coleman Gas Stove

This is an incredibly cheap and simple grill, but it’s certainly appealing as a portable cooking device. Costing a bit less than a sixth of our winning grill, it’s an incredible budget option for those who just want a quick and dirty option.

While billed as a stove, it works equally well as a propane grill with the addition of a cheap and simple grate. It has two burners, with a total 20, 000 BTUs of heat, plenty enough to quickly, thoroughly, and evenly cook pretty much anything around.

The stove is wind shielded and has very good ventilation, so you don’t need to worry about a nasty gas flavor to your food.

It’s not the best unit on the market, but you get what you pay for, and I don’t have very many actual gripes about the product, save the chrome plating on the grate; it adds little and will likely flake off quickly.

What We Liked

  • Burners: Dual burners fit a 10 inch and 12 inch pan in its stove top, giving you plenty of space to cook. Each are individually adjustable up to a maximum heat output of 20, 000 BTUs and are easily tweaked to the perfect temperature.
  • Portable: The unit snaps up into a very small package and weighs only about 12 lbs, making it incredibly easy to move around. It tucks under a single arm and can fit pretty much anywhere you want to store it, even under the seat of a car.
  • Construction: Construction is sturdy steel and has an excellent hard top which folds out into an equally good wind break. Ventilation is good as well, making this stove work in pretty much any weather without making your food taste weird.

What We Didn't Like

  • Chrome Plating: Plating does nothing of value but make the grate shinier and more likely to flake over time. Not as bad as paint, but still not great for something that needs to withstand high heat for long periods of time.

Weber 50060001

This grill is a mixed bag. I like this type of grill quite a lot, and Weber makes very good examples of it with this similar design. This one though…it’s just a little too meh at everything to truly recommend. It has a decent size (189 square inches), but it’s not great.

It has a good design, but is a little too small to really take advantage of it. It’s easy to move, because it’s made of relatively poor but lightweight materials. Its heat is just a little bit below what I’d want for a 189 square inch grill, and so on and so on.

It wouldn’t be so bad if this grill was about half the price, but it’s hard to justify a thoroughly mediocre grill that shares a similar price bracket with the Coleman Road Trip 285, which is a contender for second best grill on this list. Much like everything else about the grill, the price is just a little too off to truly recommend it.

What We Liked

  • Compact: Overall design is smushed into a satisfyingly small package, making it very easy to store and transport among all your other gear or put away in storage once back at home.  The sides provide a solid and easy grip, making this grill easy to lift and move despite its surprising weightiness for a grill of this size.
  • Ignition: One touch ignition is always nice to have, along with infinite control burners. It makes the grill easy to use and start up fast, which you always want when camping.

What We Didn't Like

  • Weight: The grill weighs around 27 lbs, which is pretty heavy for something of this small size. It has a lot of grip on it and is small so it’s still easy to move around, but it’s way heavier than it should be for cast aluminum.
  • Heat: The grill has a bit less heat than what it should really be putting out. For a 189 square inch grill, it puts out 8500 BTU of heat. This isn’t terrible, but it’s only about 45 BTU per square inch, only about 75% of our 60 per square inch baseline.

Masterbuilt MB20030619

I want to like this grill. It looks nice and has quite a lot going for it by appearances. It’s easy to ignite with the twist of a knob and to adjust temperature with the others. It has excellent heat retention and quite spacious folding side tables, with a great lid and it’s easy to open with the heat resistant handle.

The sturdy stainless steel construction makes it great at retaining heat and very durable for the long haul; this is clearly designed to be a camp grill you keep with you for years or even a lifetime.

Unfortunately the interior is where it falls apart a bit. The grills has an amazing amount of space for a camp grill; 345 square inches, as large as a full sized grill (even larger than some) with superior grates to most we’ve seen (porcelain coated for non-stick and easy cleaning). The burners, however, are far, far too weak for the size. You’re getting little over 30 BTUs per square inch, about half of what is the minimum I’d recommend. As a result, despite the excellent construction, it’s impossible to recommend this grill.

What We Liked

  • Construction: The steel and porcelain construction is perfect for this kind of grill and gives it excellent heat retention with a solid and durable shell.
  • Size: The grill is spacious but compact and fairly easy to move (it’s a bit heavy at around 40 lbs, but not exorbitantly so).

What We Didn't Like

  • Heat: Unfortunately everything great about this grill is moot; is simply does not get hot enough to properly cook the food placed on it evenly in any reasonable length of time.

Final Verdict

 Coleman Propane Grill | RoadTrip LXE Portable Gas Grill

Camping grills are kind of a mixed bag. They fall into 2 main categories: true grills and stoves (with griddle and grilling options). Of the true grills, the Coleman RoadTrip models (especially the LXE and X-Cursion) and Weber Smokey Joe stand out as the best, depending on what you want. Of the stoves, I really like the Blackstone Tabletop griddle and Camp Chef models the best; the former is excellent for short trips and use at home, while the latter is great for people who basically live from campground to campground.

These 4 to 5 models are the best on the list for the most part, and are largely what I would stick to.

How To Pick The Best Portable Camping Grills

Choosing a good grill is surprisingly simple, and a camping grill only slightly more complex. The things you look for in any grill is how hot it gets and how evenly it cooks first and foremost, with its durability a close second.

A camp grill adds the necessity of it being portable, relatively inexpensive, and versatile (the best camping grill won’t JUST be a grill). As with any product, you also want to look for a good warranty.

Heat

A good grill should have a high BTU (British Thermal Units) output. Roughly you’re looking at somewhere between 60 and 100 BTU per square inch of the grill. So a 300 square inch grill needs to have at least 18, 000 BTU.

Heat isn’t everything, and how EVENLY it heats the cooking surface is also important. It is also, obviously, possible to have overkill. Beware of grills that boast a BTU grossly out of these guidelines as it can easily burn or dry out whatever you try to cook on it. Having too high of a BTU is a huge drawback packaged as an advantage, and probably implies other quality control issues since the heat regulation is obviously borked.

Construction

Steel is a particularly good material to construct the grill out of, being the perfect confluence of lightweight, durable, and having a relatively low conductivity. Aluminum is definitely lightweight, and cheap, but conducts heat a bit too well so it has issues with keeping the grill warm.

While steel is good for the cooktop, ceramic tends to be better, heating up evenly and retaining heat well while cooling off quickly once the grill is turned off.

Versatility

A grill that is just a grill is fine for home use, but you want something that can do a little more for camping, especially if you’re camping for more than just a weekend.

A rangetop is pretty much a necessity for these kinds of grills, making it possible to cook a huge variety more of foods. It makes it possible to cook eggs, easier to cook fish and similar foods that have a tendency to fall apart or lose most of their moisture on a grill.

It’s also nice just to have multiple burners so you can cook one thing on one side and something different on the other.

Warranty

With any grill (or other appliance for that matter) a warranty is important. This goes double for anything you plan to travel around with, especially to backwoods campsites and other places where any number of things could happen to your grill. Being able to get it repaired or replaced is a godsend if some disaster happens.

Power Source

Propane is preferred here. Wood can sometimes be hard to come by that’s fit for cooking and electricity is out for the most part, but propane works perfectly for a camping grill. As a a corollary to that, you want to be sure it ignites easily, with a single button press preferably. Fiddling with pilot lights is never fun, especially when you’re out in the middle of nowhere.