Grilling season isn’t “just around the corner” as summer approaches.
Grilling season is ALL YEAR LONG.
You guys know exactly what I’m talking about: it could be -5 degrees outside, and you’d still find some way to grill because nothing pan-fried or oven-baked could ever replace the raw, masculine awesomeness of perfectly grilled food.
Now, thanks to portable grills, you can cook food inside your kitchen, on your covered deck, or even in your garage—anywhere, anytime, that’s what makes portable grills the best.
Below, we’ve collected a list of the absolute best portable grills for use at home or while camping. Trust me, you’ll love having one on hand, and everything you cook will taste that much better grilled.
Of course a Weber grill is at the top of our list. Weber has set the standard for portable grills, and the Q1200 is one of their top-of-the-line examples of what a compact grill can do if it’s designed right. With 8,500 BTUs per hour across 189 square inches of cooking space, you’ve got room enough to feed your entire family (fits up to 6 burgers). It’s even got little side tables you can extend for additional “counter” space, but stands just 15.5 inches tall—just the right size for fitting in the trunk of your sedan or inside a cargo box. Best of all, it’s backed by a 5-year warranty and Weber’s quality customer service.
Whether you’re cooking for yourself, a romantic meal for two, or a family of eight, this grill has got your back. Collapsible scissor legs make it easy to store in the trunk of a compact car but quickly get you set up and ready to cook. Thanks to the low-profile design, off-road wheels, and built-in handle, you can roll it across the roughest terrain with ease. Crank things up to max heat with up to 20,000 BTUs per hour, and trust that the 285 square inches of cooking space is more than adequate to cook all the steaks, brats, and burgers you want.
When you think Cuisinart, you typically think compact, elegant, in-home appliances. Once you try this grill, you’ll see they can make some pretty amazing outdoor appliances, too. Thanks to the telescoping legs, you can transition the grill between the table and the ground seamlessly, and it’s so compact you won’t ever worry about over-packing. Though it’s not the largest (145 square inches) or hottest grill on our list (just 5,500 BTUs per hour), it’s absolutely one of the best-designed and most convenient to take on your next outdoors trip.
The Smokey Joe line of portable grills is perfect for the true purist who wouldn’t be caught dead grilling their food with gas, but who ABSOLUTELY MUST have charcoal. Though small (147 square inches of cooking space, sized only for five burgers), it’s a beautifully lightweight grill that will never weigh you down. But it’s packed with some pretty epic features—porcelain-enameled bowl and lid to trap in heat, a lid handle that doubles as lid holder, dampers to regulate grill temperature, and an easy-to-clean plated steel cooking grate—that makes it worth far more than the amazingly low price tag.
Get a load of this: GoBQ grills are made out of FABRIC. What?! That’s right, these grills are made using a fire and heat-resistant fabric rather than metal, meaning they’re ultra-lightweight and insanely portable (literally fitting inside a backpack or drawer). Weighing just 9 pounds, they’re ready to go in just 20 seconds once unpacked, and cool down 7 times faster than metal so you can pack up and move on in a hurry after your meal. The 14-inch charcoal grill is sized just right to cook for a family or group of four, the perfect choice for picnics, camping, or tailgating.
Step up your cooking game with this portable fold-out, stand-mounted grill. Designed to be erected in a matter of seconds, it allows you to cook anywhere you go without the need for a table or bench, making it perfect for having a picnic, camping, or tailgating. 13,000 BTUs per hour spread across 320 inches of cooking space means you can whip up a hot, tasty meal in a hurry. Use the adaptor hose to connect it to a 20-lb fuel tank to make sure you never have to fuss with tiny iso-butane bottles again.
This portable grill is Japanese elegance at its absolute finest. Designed in Japan and made from hyper-tough stainless steel, the five-piece modular set is easy to pack, ultra-portable, and comes apart into individual pieces to make for easy packing and carrying. You’ll need a special add-on to cook with charcoal (making the already pricey grill even costlier), but once you get it set up and start cooking, you’ll fall in love with its design, durability, and versatility. You’ve got everything you need for the perfect grilled meal right in your hands with the Takibi.
As long as you’ve got a wood or metal picnic table handy for a countertop, you can always whip up a next-level grilled feast with this little grill. With 11,000 BTUs of heat output per hour and 347 square inches of grill space, you’ll find it’s a delight to cook anywhere, anytime. The push-and-turn ignition is a grillmaster’s best friend (it’ll work even on windy/rainy days), and the compact size and light weight (less than 20 lbs + 1 lb. propane tank) means you’ve always got room for it, no matter how much additional gear you’re packing.
It’s safe to say you’ve never used a grill like this BioLite. Rather than using gas or charcoal, the grill utilizes hyper-efficient electrically generated flames that minimize smoke and maximize warmth. Though it’s designed as a portable fire pit, it can be transformed into a grill (either electric or charcoal) with the various FirePit accessories BioLite sells. The built-in 12,800 mAh battery lasts for up to 7 hours on high, 14 hours on medium, or 30 hours on a low simmer, and you’ll love the ability to control your flame using the Bluetooth app (as well as the grill-mounted knob). Thanks to its heat-radiating body and high-temperature enamel coating, you get all the heat you want with far less smoke and minimal energy waste.
Let’s be honest: nothing can match the cooking power of cast iron. No stainless steel, ceramic, glass, or non-stick rubbish can ever infuse food with so much flavor like cast iron can. Which is exactly why you’re going to love this grill! The cooking surface is Lodge’s finest cast iron, meaning your steaks, burgers, and brats are cooked to perfection every time. The hibachi-style grill features a removable plate that’s easy to clean, packs down small enough to fit into any trunk, and is naturally seasoned so it’s ready to cook the perfect meals right out of the box. And I’m sure you’ll like the affordable price tag considering it’s cast iron.
You’ll never have to struggle to whip up a complete gourmet meal in the great outdoors with this bad boy in your car. The grill can generate up to 15,000 BTUs per hour, includes a fold-out food preparation shelf (complete with cutting board insert), and front controls that make it brilliantly easy to master your flames. Use it as a grill or a burner to heat up water/soup/stew/food in your favorite pot or pan—it does it all. The stainless steel firebox comes with a built-in wind deflector that protects your flames from even high winds or pouring rain. Thanks to the built-in grease collection system, you can leave your area as clean as when you arrived. It’s an RV camper or tailgater’s dream grill brought to life.
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