Host the perfect cookout anywhere with the best portable grills

·Contributing Writer
·7 min read

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A black portable grill for outdoor
A black portable grill for outdoor

Nothing brings people together better than a good old-fashioned BBQ cookout. Lighting a grill, tossing some meats and even veggies on it, and hosting a delicious cookout or tailgating experience is sure to make wonderful memories with friends and family.

But when you’re limited to a giant home grill, those great cookouts stay confined to the yard. Portable grills allow you to take the show on the road and enjoy fantastic food no matter where you go! Look through our picks for the highest-rated portable grills in 2022 to find the perfect option to make your grilling dreams a reality.

Top Picks

Best overall: Cuisinart CCG-190 Portable Charcoal Grill

A portable charcoal grill from Cuisinart
A portable charcoal grill from Cuisinart

This portable grill by Cuisinart is one of the best options available, whether you’re a seasoned griller or hosting your first on-the-go cookout. It’s a charcoal grill like many found in backyards, so you can still apply all of your grilling tricks to this one, just on a smaller scale. But don’t worry — this pick features plenty of cooking space for burgers, hotdogs, and more. One of its main selling points is its lightweight and three-lock system, ensuring you can easily and safely transport it.

Key Features:

  • Available in three colors

  • Dual venting system

  • Enamel-coated firebox and ash catcher1

  • 50 square inches of cooking space

  • Only weighs 2 pounds

Best for newbies: Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 Portable Gas Grill

A portable liquid propane gas grill
A portable liquid propane gas grill

Portable grilling isn’t just for people with years of barbequing experience. Even if you're a newbie, you can hit the road and make the most out of a great grill with this pick from Char-Broil. All you have to do is attach a 1-pound propane tank and the grill will take care of all of the “set up” for you! There’s a quick ignition button on it, so you can just light it up within seconds, throw the meat on and cook it effortlessly. With plenty of cooking space, you can quickly cook around eight burgers, so it’s great for family outings.

Key Features:

  • Cast aluminum firebox

  • Secure stainless steel latches

  • Features lid-mounted temperature gauge

  • TRU-Infrared cooking system

  • 200 square inches of cooking space

  • Weighs 20 pounds

Best for large families: Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Propane Grill

A portable stand-up propane grill
A portable stand-up propane grill

Portable doesn’t have to mean small and the Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Propane Grill is proof of that! Where most portable grills need a tabletop to be easily accessible, this one has sturdy quick-fold legs and wheels, so you can set it up to a comfortable height and use the wheels to move it around however you want. With lots of cooking space and two side tables to hold tools and ingredients, everyone in the family can enjoy their grilled food at the same time. The three different temperature zones allow you to cook the mains and the sides together without worrying about burning or undercooking anything. This is great for families with different dietary preferences too, as you can cook all foods at once regardless of their required cooking time.

Key Features:

  • Available in five colors

  • Comes with three adjustable burners

  • Matchless ignition

  • Porcelain-coated grills

  • 285 square inches of cooking space

  • Weighs 47 pounds

Best for long travels: Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill

A portable charcoal grill from Weber
A portable charcoal grill from Weber

When going on a long trip that requires lots of packing, you don’t want to have to transport a massive grill. The goal is to travel as compact as possible. The Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill is perfect for just that! It’s small enough to easily fit in any trunk without a problem. The tuck-and-hold handle allows you to pick it up and take it wherever you want, so it shouldn't be a problem, even if the grilling site is a bit of a hike. But the lightweight doesn’t compromise on the grill itself. It can still provide a tremendous amount of heat throughout the grill to cook up to six burgers at once.

Key Features:

  • Porcelain-enameled lid and base

  • Durable plated steel cooking grate and legs

  • Heavy-duty grill locks

  • 160 square inches of cooking space

  • Weighs 13.4 pounds

Best for tailgating: Pit Boss Grills 75275 Two-Burner Portable Grill

A stainless steel two-burner portable grill
A stainless steel two-burner portable grill

Pit Boss Grills figured out a way to make a portable grill small and large at the same time. This grill has enough cooking space to cook dozens of hotdogs at once and still has space leftover. The extra-tall cooking compartment means you aren’t just limited to hotdogs, steaks, and burgers, but you can even grill things like ribs or a whole rotisserie chicken — all while still remaining easy to carry and use. This option uses propane gas and is perfect for tailgate barbeques to celebrate your favorite sports teams.

Key Features:

  • Two 10,000 BTU burners

  • Folding legs and latching hood

  • Push-and-turn ignition

  • Built-in dome thermometer

  • 274 square inches of cooking space

  • Weighs 27 pounds

Buying guide: Portable grills

Even though all of the options we’ve covered above are great, you’re not going to need several portable grills at once. To ensure that you’re getting the right one for your needs, we assembled a comprehensive buying guide with must-have information on portable grills.

What to look for in a portable grill

Here are some of the main things you should consider when trying to find your perfect portable grill:

1. Portability

The first thing you need to figure out is how portable you want your grill to be. Do you need it to be the lightest grill possible so you can carry it while going hiking? Or would a slightly heavier one be fine too? Are you someone that doesn’t like lifting things and would prefer one with wheels? The level of portability you want will determine the type of grill you should get.

2. Type of grill gates

Not all grills are the same. Each type of grill will have its own unique grill gate. Some are made out of stainless steel, which is super lightweight and usually the most affordable option. There are also cast iron grill grates that take much longer to heat up and are on the heavier side, but it’s much easier to cook on them. These are just two types, though; there are several others to choose from, depending on your grilling needs.

3. Cleaning

One thing people can forget about is considering how a grill will clean. Just because the grill is portable doesn’t necessarily mean it will be easy to clean. Consider choosing one that has removable parts and can be washed in a simple way. The more complicated the cleaning process is, the less likely you’ll be able or want to use it every time you travel.

4. Price

Finally, make sure that the type of grill you want falls in your price range. If it doesn’t, check out all the other types available to see if you can still get the use you wish for a lower price because there’s an option out there for everyone!

People also asked

Q: How does a portable electric grill work?

A: Portable electric grills must be plugged into an outlet to produce heat and grill food.

Q: How do you attach a propane tank to a grill?

A: Fit the nozzle on the propane tank onto the grill's gas line and twist it so everything locks into place. Make sure there are no leaks before firing up the grill.

Q: How do you light a portable gas grill?

A: Open the grill lid and ensure there isn’t a gas leak. Then, turn the knob to let the tiniest bit of gas out and light the grill using a lighter or matchstick. If you’re unable to light it, turn it off and try again after a couple of minutes.

Q: Is it easy to clean a portable grill?

A: Yes. Most portable grills are designed to fully come apart so you can remove all the pieces, soak them and rinse them to clean properly.

Q: Can you boil water on a portable grill?

A: Yes, but you will need a pot or kettle for it. Fill up the container with water and place it on the grill. If the pot is small enough to fit inside the grill, you could close the lid, too, to make the water boil a lot faster.