The 8 Best Portable Grills of 2023

Whether tailgating, camping, or beaching, our favorite portable grills go where you go.

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Best Portable Grills

Better Homes & Gardens / David Hattan

When the days get longer and brighter, and the weather more cheery, one of the first things we inevitably want to do is get out and grill. If you like to take road trips or go camping, a portable grill will enable you to get your grill on anywhere you are. Portable grills are also convenient for those who have smaller gardens or only an apartment balcony to work with as they take up minimal space and can often be compactly stowed away after use. 

Since there are so many different portable grill models around, with different fuel types such as electric, propane gas, and wood pellets, we reached out to the experts to learn about the differences between them and what necessary factors to consider when shopping around for the best portable grill for various needs.

“Portable grills come in all prices and fuel types,” says Wesley Wright, the CEO of CookOut News. “You'll want to pick which fuel source you want first. The cheapest portable grills will be small charcoal kettles, while propane or pellet-fueled models are usually more expensive. My pick would be to go with a propane-powered grill. It will be the quickest and easiest to use, which you usually want when you're cooking away from home.” 

Other considerations to make a note of are the grill’s surface area (you’ll want a larger one if you’re cooking for larger groups), whether or not it has wheels so you can move it around easily (especially necessary with heavier grills), and how compactly it folds down (handy if you’re short on storage space). Now that you’re ready to hit the road, read on to find the perfect portable grill for your next adventure.

Best Overall

Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill

Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill


Why You Should Get It: It has a good amount of cooking space, handy wheels to roll it around on, and a folding stand for easy storage.

Keep in Mind: It’s not as lightweight as some other models.

The Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill is our overall pick for the best portable grill because it can accommodate a variety of needs. If you’ve got only a small outdoor space for grilling, this grill folds up to the size of a carry-on suitcase for compact storage. If you want to go on a road trip, you can easily put it in the trunk with plenty of room to spare. While it’s not the most lightweight grill on our list, it’s still light enough for most people to lift in and out of a trunk.

As far as features go, it’s definitely not lacking. It offers up to 20,000 BTUs of grilling power, and has three adjustable burners so you can customize your cooking. It offers ample grilling space at 285 square inches, so no one will be waiting around for their burgers. There’s a built-in thermometer on the inside of its lid so you can monitor the temperature, and a simple push-button ignition—no matches or lighter needed.

It requires a 16.4-ounce propane tank which will last for around two hours, but, if that’s not enough, the tanks are small enough (weighing just 1 pound) that you could easily pack a backup. There’s also an option with a grill hose and adaptor if you need it. If style is of the essence, this portable grill comes in five colorways, including red, orange, and green. What’s more, the manufacturer offers a three-year limited warranty.

Price at time of publish: $320

Product Details: Type: Propane | Dimensions: 45 x 19.5 x 35 inches (standing) | Cooking Space: 285 square inches | Weight: 52.58 pounds

Best Budget

Meco Americana Walk-A-Bout Portable Charcoal Grill

Meco Americana Walk-A-Bout Portable Charcoal Grill


Why You Should Get It: It’s a lightweight grill with impressive cooking space for its size and price.

Keep in Mind: You’ll also have to carry the charcoal with you and clean out the ash (once you’ve let it cool) before folding it away.

As our pick for the best portable grill for anyone on a budget, the Americana Walk-A-Bout Charcoal Grill not only comes pre-assembled so you can take it out of the box and get the cookout going, but it also has rolling wheels for easy maneuverability and folding legs to save storage space.

This affordable grill offers an impressive cooking space of 332 square inches—one of the largest surface cooking areas of all portable grills on our list, despite its much lower price tag and impressively low weight.

The affordable cost means it’s a pretty basic, no-frills grill—just good old charcoal cooking, which many feel is the only way to barbecue. That’s not to say it doesn’t come with any other perks. The Walk-A-Bout has a latch-locking steel hood that can withstand high temperatures and adjustable vents so you can control the cooking temperature. It also has a durable chrome-plated steel cooking grid that is also adjustable.

Its bowl is lockable to stay in place while cooking, and there’s a removable ash tray for easy cleanup. It folds and unfolds easily—simply lay it on its side, turn the pivot latch, and swing the legs out to open them up, like you would with a foldable chair, until you hear it click into the safety latch. Lift it up and you’re ready to go. To fold it back up, do the same thing backwards once it’s completely cooled and cleaned.

Price at time of publish: $90

Product Details: Type: Charcoal | Dimensions: 26.25 x 22 x 36 inches | Cooking Space: 332 square inches | Weight: 21.5 pounds

Best Splurge

Napoleon TravelQ PRO 285 Portable Gas Grill

Napoleon TravelQ PRO285 Portable Gas Grill


Why You Should Get It: In addition to being portable, it’s large and powerful enough to be used as a full-size home grill, too.

Keep in Mind: The included propane hose is short.

It might be expensive, but the Napoleon TravelQ PRO285 is large enough that it could be used as your full-time backyard grill. This gas grill has two stainless steel burners that offer up to 12,000 BTUs for both direct and indirect grilling, and two porcelain-coated cast iron grids that provide even cooking and great heat retention, as well as distinctive sear marks on your food. 

The grids are removable for easy cleaning, and the large cooking area of 285 square inches is big enough to cook 17 burgers at once. It has an internal temperature gauge that can give you an accurate temperature reading. The grill has small in-built legs that can be placed on any hard and stable surface, but there’s also the option to purchase the grill and foldable stand together.

It comes assembled so all you have to do is connect it to your propane source and start barbecuing. This high-end grill has durable stainless steel hardware components that are designed to last a long time, and the high-top cast aluminum lid is weather-proof, too. The grill is backed by the manufacturer’s impressive 10-year warranty, cementing its place as one of the best portable grills you can buy.

Price at time of publish: $520

Product Details: Type: Propane | Dimensions: 29 x 18.5 x 14.75 inches | Cooking Space: 285 square inches | Weight: 36 pounds 

Best Charcoal

Char-Griller Portable Charcoal Grill

Char-Griller 2-In-1 Portable Charcoal Grill


Why You Should Get It: It’s an affordable heavy-duty, highly durable grill, and it smokes, too!

Keep in Mind: It’s not foldable or as compact as some other models.

While it doesn’t fold down flat like some of the other portable grills on our list, the Char-Griller Portable Charcoal Grill only takes up 20 by 20 inches of space in a trunk or storage area and has handles on the side for easy portability. It’s made from heavy-duty powder coated steel that retains heat excellently, providing that delicious smoky charcoal flavor you’d get at your favorite steak house.

This compact grill will get plenty of use even when you’re not on the road. If you already have another Char-Griller full-size charcoal grill, you can use this portable one as a side fire box for smoking. Alternatively, if you’re only cooking for a small group, you don’t need to fire up your main grill as this little model can grill up to 10 burgers at a time thanks to its 250-square-inch cooking space.

There are adjustable dual dampers on the side so you can control the temperature, and a removable pan collects the ashes so you can effortlessly dump them when you’re done. Although this affordable portable grill is made from heavy-duty materials, and has a rather heavy look, it only weighs 38 pounds so can easily be carried wherever you need to take it. 

Price at time of publish: $90

Product Details: Type: Charcoal | Dimensions: 21 x 18 x 20 inches | Cooking Space: 250 square inches | Weight: 38 pounds

Best Electric

Weber Q 2400 Electric Grill

Weber Q2400 Portable Electric Grill


Why You Should Get It: You don’t need to carry around charcoal or gas tanks. 

Keep in Mind: The included 6-foot cord may not be long enough for every use-case.

With its sleek look, the Weber Q 2400 Electric Grill provides convenience, portability, and a practically effortless grilling experience. It offers 1,560 watts of cooking power, which is controllable via a single knob under the side carrying handle, and an aluminum-lined lid and bowl to efficiently insulate the grill. It has a 280-square-inch cooking space and porcelain-coated cast iron grates for easy cleanup and better heat retention.

This portable grill comes fully assembled so all you have to do is plug it in and get to grilling dinner. It comes with a 6-foot grounded cord which works well if you’re on a patio or a balcony with an outdoor outlet, otherwise, for grilling further out, you can use an outdoor extension cord. If you’re taking this baby on the road, you’ll need to bring a portable power source.

The durable body is made from cast aluminum which just needs a simple wipe-down to get clean. There’s also a removable, disposable drip pan to catch grease and food debris for even easier cleanup. While this model doesn’t come with a stand, it’s ready-to-use on any flat surface or tabletop, but you can purchase the compatible Weber Q Folding Cart separately for more portability.

Price at time of publish: $419

Product Details: Type: Electric | Dimensions: 31.5 x 19.5 x 14.5 inches | Cooking Space: 280 square inches | Weight: 41 pounds

Best Gas

Weber Q 1200 Portable Gas Grill

Weber Q 1200 Portable Gas Grill


Why You Should Get It: Foldable side tables add extra workspace to this compact propane grill.

Keep in Mind: To use with a larger propane tank, you’ll need to purchase a separate adapter hose.

Weber’s Q 1200 Gas Grill ticks all the boxes for a portable grill that’s durable with a high-end look and affordable price tag. It has a strong glass-reinforced nylon and cast aluminum frame, and a sturdy lid that doesn’t make the whole thing wobble when opened.

Its stainless steel burner emits up to 8,500 BTUs per hour, helping food cook thoroughly and evenly. Its oval shape is specially designed to expertly circulate heat, further adding to its ability to evenly grill fish, meat, and veggies.

It also features convenient side wings to hold your grilling tools and essentials. When not in use, the wings fold up neatly inside the grill once it’s cooled, but if you’d prefer not to have them, you’ll have to take them off by removing their screws with a wrench.

One of the best things about this portable grill is that it has a built-in thermometer that is visible externally so you don’t have to open up the lid and lose valuable heat in order to monitor the temperature of your meat.

The precision controls allow you to adjust the heat in infinite ways as you see fit, and an electronic ignition makes for effortless firing up every single time. Just note that the included propane hose only fits a 5-pound tank. For use with a 20-pound propane tank, you’ll have to purchase another adapter hose.

The portable grill comes in six different lid colors, from funky orange and bright red to the more minimal titanium white. The grill comes on its own mini legs for tabletop use, but if you’d rather have it as a freestanding unit, you can purchase the compatible portable cart.

Price at time of publish: $287

Product Details: Type: Propane | Dimensions: 40.9 x 20.5 x 24.6 inches | Cooking Space: 189 square inches | Weight: 31 pounds

Best for Camping

Coleman Fold N Go Propane Grill

Coleman Fold N Go Propane Grill


Why You Should Get It: It’s compact and lightweight and can even fit in a camping backpack.

Keep in Mind: You won’t really be able to cook for more than two people at a time.

The Coleman Fold N Go Propane Grill is definitely the best portable grill for both an active hiking trip or a laid-back car camping trip as it is only 13 inches in length. If you’re on foot or traveling around with public transport, this little grill can comfortably fit in a camping backpack and, at just 9.5 pounds, won’t cause much strain. It even has a built-in carry handle so you can carry it around your campsite.

No bigger than your average toaster, this unit runs on propane (adding a further pound to your luggage but providing 3.5 hours of cooking time with just a 16.4-ounce tank), and lights up quickly and effortlessly thanks to the InstaStart push button ignition. Under the cooking surface sits a horseshoe shaped burner that offers even heat to the whole grill, but there’s no thermometer or temperature control. 

It has a removable grease tray that’s easy to clean, and both the grates and the grease tray can be cleaned in the dishwasher once you’re back at home. If you’d rather not clean a grease tray while camping, you can always purchase a grill mat and cut it to size to fit in the grill tray; then, either dispose of it when you’re done, or, if it’s reusable, wipe it with a damp napkin to clean.

Price at time of publish: $110

Product Details: Type: Propane | Dimensions: 15.2 x 13.6 x 6.2 inches | Cooking Space: 105 square inches | Weight: 9.5 pounds

Best Flat Top

Blackstone Tabletop Griddle

Blackstone Tabletop Griddle


Why You Should Get It: It has a large cooking space of 339 square inches and is super easy to clean.

Keep in Mind: The warranty does not cover rusting.

Flat top grills, or griddles as they are otherwise known, are great for cooking a lot of food—and a lot of different varieties at once—as they usually have a large, flat surface that provides more versatility. For instance, you can even cook fried eggs and pancakes on them—something you definitely cannot do on a typical portable grill.

The Blackstone Tabletop Griddle provides a whopping 339 square inches of cooking space (enough for 30 hot dogs or 12 burgers), while maintaining a compact size that’s perfect for on-the-go use. It offers 24,000 BTUs of heat for thorough, quick cooking and two H-shaped burners for even heat distribution. 

Each burner has its own adjustable heat control knob and is independently operated and controlled, meaning you can cover low-heat requirements on one side of the grill and higher heats on the other. The burners even have their own built-in igniters.

As the best portable grill with a flat top, this model has a durable cold-rolled steel that can take its fair share of spatulas and tongs knocking it without getting damaged. The grill sports a heat-resistant handle so you can move it around safely and rubber feet that are height adjustable to avoid any instability. 

In addition to being able to cook whole meals at a time, this grill’s flat cooking surface makes it much easier to clean than the usual grill grate. There’s also a grease trap at the back to catch any oil and crumbs. The griddle top is made from cold rolled steel which is similar to cast iron, and should be treated as such (i.e., it requires seasoning to maintain its nonstick surface and prevent it from rusting—something that the warranty will not cover).

Price at time of publish: $200

Product Details: Type: Propane | Dimensions: 27.5 x 21 x 9 inches | Cooking Space: 361 square inches | Weight: 32 pounds

The Bottom Line

It may resemble an ironing board, but Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill is the best portable grill if you have a small outdoor space or like to grill while camping. Its foldable design makes it easy to transport and stow away, and it has a quick-start ignition, a built-in thermometer, and a large cooking surface to cook more in less time.

What to Know About Portable Grills Before Shopping

Dimensions and Weight

Portable grills come in many sizes and weights. They tend to vary between 9 and 50–60 pounds, and, in relation to dimensions, they can be anywhere from 9 to 40 inches in height, and 12 to 50 inches wide. Some portable grills come with foldable stands or removable legs which enable you to fit them in the trunk or store them away easier.

In order to find the best portable grill for your needs, Wright says you'll want to think about how you're going to use the grill and how many people you plan to feed off of it.

“While the bigger-is-better mantra usually applies to full-size grills, I'd pick a portable grill that will just fit the size needs of how many people I plan to cook for,” he advises. “As you'd expect, the bigger the grill, the more it's going to weigh, which takes away from the portability. If you know you'll need a portable grill on the larger end, look for a model that has a built-in cart.”

Keith Richardson, president at Arizona Fireplaces, in turn, suggests making a purchase that will fit nicely into your space. “If you only have a small balcony, it's okay if the portable grill is on the small side; grilling is a time for being social! It's okay if you have to make the meats in stages. Have a cold drink, gather round, and grill!”

With charcoal or gas grills, you’ll have to factor in some room for the gas tank and a bag of charcoal. As for electric models, you’ll need a generator or adequate power bank when on the go, or, if there is access to an electrical outlet, you’ll most likely need an outdoor extension cord. 

A propane tank of around 16 ounces is usually enough for one cookout as it can last two hours. To factor in trunk space, a tank like this typically measures around 12–15 inches and only weighs a pound, but you might want to have a few spares handy.

Cooking Space

Portable grills can have cooking areas of around 100 to 350 square inches. The cooking space of the portable grill will usually be reflected in its overall size but not always. Some larger grills, for instance, have smaller cooking spaces than more compact versions. If you prefer to get all the cooking done for a larger group in one go and not have to grill in stages, the best portable grill would be one with a larger cooking area.

Your Questions, Answered

How do you clean a portable grill?

Portable grills can be cleaned pretty much the same way you would clean any other type of grill. “I like to use a nylon brush and a wood scraper for the grates, and some all-natural grill cleaner for the rest of it,” says Wright. “I'd recommend cleaning a portable grill a little more than a full-size grill at home because you'll likely be transporting it in your car. Nobody wants food grease getting on their interior.”

Richardson suggests purchasing a good grill brush and cleaning the grates after they've heated up when it’s easier to get the grime off. “Wipe down the outside of the grill after it's cooled off with a simple solution of soap and water,” he says.

What are the benefits of a portable grill?

“Portable grills take the fun of outdoor cooking to the next level because you can enjoy cooking anywhere,” says Wright. “They also allow you to spend more time outdoors without being limited to eating cold cuts.”

But that’s not all. Some portable grills have extra features that you can do even more with. “Buy a grill that you can ‘grow’ into,” says Richardson. “Some grills have rotisserie features and other accessories that allow you to do other things in addition to grill meats, like bake or even make pizza, giving you more versatility.”

Are portable grills safe to use?

Portable grills are just as safe as grills at home, however, there are a few safety precautions that should be taken. “You need to let your grill cool down before transporting it,” says Wright. “That means planning ahead to pack it up safely.” Richardson notes that you should also ensure that the flame or fire feature is completely off and the fire is out and to never leave the grill unattended, especially if you're at a park or campsite.

Who We Are

This article was written by Kat de Naoum, who has more than 10 years of commerce writing experience. Kat is also the commerce editor-at-large at Thomas-Xometry, the leading U.S. online platform for supplier discovery and product sourcing. For this article, Kat reviewed multiple portable grills, researching factors such as each grill's dimensions, weight, cooking space, and value for money. She also spoke to Wesley Wright, CEO of CookOut News, and Keith Richardson, president of Arizona Fireplaces.

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