Holds a Master’s degree in Linguistics, loves traveling and learning new languages. Fluent in Spanish, is learning French and Czech at the moment. Enjoys exploring national cuisines every time he visits new countries.
Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous online and offline grilling masterclasses runs his own BBQ accessories shop.
Last updated: December 27, 2020
GrillGuru is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
With summer fast approaching, it’s natural to yearn for the days when you can get on your boat, set sail and drift off into the sunset. You might have your boat, life jacket, and companions picked out, but what about the best boat grill? Most water voyages will last for a few hours and you’re bound to get hungry out on the water. You can could pack a lunch of stale sandwiches, or you could treat yourself to meat right off the grill. The choice is yours.
When looking for the best boat grill, it’s important to get an idea of what products are out there. The primary cooking area of the grill dedicated to food is one of the most important features to consider as it will determine how many people can partake in your grilling adventure. Likewise, the dimensions of the grill are important as you might have limited space on board your boat. The amount of BTUs will inform you on the grill’s overall power. Whatever you envision, though, there will be a boat grill for you.
To help with your search for the best boat BBQ grill, we’ve combed through the available options and have settled on five the best ones. We consulted manufacturer information, online reviews and relied on our personal experiences to compile this list. Our picks are listed in a handy comparison table, followed by more in-depth reviews. There is also a buying guide that explains more of the boat grill features as well as answers some questions you might have left.
Our Editor’s Choice for best boat grill comes from Magma. This stylish grill is made from polished stainless steel that is marine-grade. No matter what kind of sea water gets sprayed, you can easily clean it off and not have to worry about rust or corrosion. The construction is further impressive thanks to its hinged handle that won’t slam shut, no matter how windy it gets. The handle also has “stay cool” technology so even when your burgers are piping hot, you don’t have to worry about your hands.
If you’re worried about gusty weather, the Magma Products A10-918-2GS is prepared. You can actually swivel the bowl and lid so that they are placed away from the wind. Then, no gusts of wind will blow smoke in your face, or worse, interrupt your cooking time.
As for practicalities, the primary cooking area is a respectable 162 square inches. While not one of the largest products on our list, this is more than enough space to handle all your grilling needs.
The burner uses both radiant and convection technology and the heat distribution is nice and even. At an 11,200 BTU capacity, you can quickly bring this grill up to temperature and know that there won’t be any cold spots on your meat.
The Magma Products A10-918-2GS weighs 20 pounds which is light to carry, but solid enough not to blow away. It is able to mount to your boat, but the installation package is sold separately.
Our Budget Pick for best boat grill happens to be one of the best rated boat grills, according to Amazon. The Smoke Hollow 205 Stainless Steel TableTop Propane Gas Grill is, as its name suggests, made for placing on top of a table or any other surface you cook on. It is very portable and can be placed everywhere. The only downside is that as a table top grill, you will want to make sure it is in a safe part of the boat. If you are sailing through choppier waters, it might be a good idea to leave the grilling for later.
However, the Smoke Hollow 205 Stainless Steel TableTop Propane Gas Grill is still top notch when it comes to the yum factor. It has a very impressive primary cooking area of 205 square inches which leaves ample room for all your grilling favorites. There is a warming rack and a stainless steel drip tray which leaves to easy cleanup.
As for the features, the Smoke Hollow 205 Stainless Steel TableTop Propane Gas Grill has a temperature gauge which allows you to create the perfect sear on your next steak. There are also foldable stainless steel legs which make it even more portable than first realized. With dimensions of 16 x 27 x 12 inches, you can easily store this grill in your car, transport it to the boat, and even keep it on board at all times.
For grilling purposes, the heat can reach a whopping 10,000 BTUs. This is perfect for just about anything you fancy. For those on a budget but who are still looking for a quality boat grill, you can’t go wrong with the Smoke Hollow 205 Stainless Steel TableTop Propane Gas Grill.
What we liked:
Large primary grilling space
Compact and very portable
Very budget friendly
What could be better:
Needs some surface to be kept on; can’t be mounted
For those that want to combine their love of the open water with their love of a good meal, look no further than the Extreme Marine Products Cuisinart Grill. While some products on our list are grills that can be used on a boat, this item is meant for it.
The Extreme Marine Products Cuisinart Grill has pre-installed brackets that allow you to mount the grill onto any pontoon boat railing. This is the safest option for having a grill on a boat. You don’t have to worry about the grill shifting on choppy waters, or worse, being blown overboard after a steep turn. No matter the situation, you can keep grilling on your boat with the Extreme Marine Products Cuisinart Grill.
If you’re wondering about installation, have no fears. Everything about this grill was built to be easy. Most users have commented how much they love their boat grill and look forward to using it every season. It is definitely one of the best pontoon boat grills on the market today.
As for grilling capabilities, the primary cooking area is a respectable 145 square inches, perfect for any chef concoctions. Cuisinart itself is a reputable grill brand, so you get exactly what you would expect from it.
The only downside with the Extreme Marine Products Cuisinart Grill is that there have been reports of the burner taking a few pushes to start. If this does become an issue, be sure to contact customer support right away while the grill is still under warranty.
Sometimes you need a large enough boat grill to feed all your guests. Luckily, the Giantex Propane Tabletop Gas Grill has you covered. With 267 square inches of primary cooking area, this is by far the largest grill on our list. There are two burners with individual temperature controls, so you can cook a multitude of dishes. No matter what your guests are craving, you can provide for them.
The construction of the Giantex Propane Tabletop Gas Grill is really nice. It is made from stainless steel which makes the grill impressively durable. There is also a drip tray that is easy to remove and clean. It is not made from marine-grade stainless steel, however, so this grill is best used below decks or during calm weather and not where the elements and sea water can get to it. If, however, it’s not that easy to do on your boat, be sure to wipe off the grill after each use.
What makes this one of the best portable grills is that the legs are foldable. The lid is also lockable. No matter where you take the Giantex Propane Tabletop Gas Grill, you can rest easy knowing that it is safely locked away. You can use this grill for home use, boat use, or even camping use, which makes it very versatile.
The Giantex Propane Tabletop Gas Grill has a whopping 20,000 BTU output and two ignition burners that use “push and turn” technology. The grill is easy to set up and is definitely one of the best propane boat grills.
Blending together the elements of budget-friendly, portability, and sea worthiness, the Kuuma Camco Stow N’ Go 125 Gas Grill is a mix of everything. While it doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as other boat grills on our list, it is practical and efficient.
The Kuuma Camco Stow N’ Go 125 Gas Grill may look like a simple grill, but it is actually quite impressive. Not only can it be used as a table top grill, or for camping, but it is also capable of being mounted on a boat. You will need to purchase separate brackets, but it easily attaches to a pontoon rail. The construction also lends itself well to the water as it is made out of marine-grade stainless steel. Whether it’s exposed to the wind or the water, you can trust that the Kuuma Camco Stow N’ Go 125 Gas Grill will last.
The 9,000 BTU output is respectable and will meet all your grilling needs. The primary cooking area is 125 square inches which, while it is the smallest on our list, is still adequate for all the fixings for an intimate dinner.
Thankfully, the Kuuma Camco Stow N’ Go 125 Gas Grill comes fully assembled so if you’re not into DIY, this is the perfect grill for you.
What we liked:
Easily clamps to the railing of a boat
What could be better:
Smaller cooking area than other products
Things to Сonsider
Your next boat grill should help you create the perfect atmosphere while on the water. To make sure that your next purchase meets your needs, we’ve put together this buying guide. Here you’ll find all the features to consider for a boat grill as well as some answers to questions you might still have.
Features to consider while choosing a boat grill
For those unfamiliar with boat grills, purchasing your first one can be a bit overwhelming. There are so many features to be aware of and completely new terminology to understand. The features listed below are important to understand and be aware of when comparing products.
Primary cooking area
There are two measurements that you need to be aware of for a boat grill. The overall dimensions are what the entire grill measures. The primary cooking area is the surface of the grill itself. This is the area that has direct heat under it. A warming rack should not be included in the primary cooking area because there is no heat source under it.
The boat grills on our list range from a primary cooking area of 125 square inches for the Kuuma Camco Stow N’ Go 125 Gas Grill to 266 square inches for the Giantex Propane Tabletop Gas Grill. While you can certainly feed as many people as you would like with a grill, the larger the cooking area is, the less time it will take to cook enough food to feed everyone.
If there’s a warming rack
A warming rack is ideal if you want to toast a few hamburger buns or re-heat a side dish. If you want to serve all your meat at the same time, but don’t have the primary cooking space for everything, a warming rack will allow you to keep your food warm while cooking the rest of the meal. A warming rack is not usually a deal breaker, but it is definitely a bonus feature.
Number of burners
The number of burners on a boat grill is usually one or two max. While full size BBQs have four or even six burners, a boat grill is much more compact, and similar to small gas grills in size. However, a 2 burner gas grill (like the Giantex Propane Tabletop Gas Grill) is still adequate for your needs as it gives you the option of two different temperatures. So, if you want to cook steaks and veggies at the same time, you can control the two sides of your grill and cook everything perfectly.
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit and in simple terms, measures how much heat output there is. The higher the number, the more amount of heat is produced. Now, you might be thinking that you definitely want a boat grill with the highest BTUs. However, keep in mind that you won’t be wanting to char every piece of food that goes on the grill. So, while a high BTU level is impressive, you can certainly cook a lot of food with a smaller level. For our list, the Giantex Propane Tabletop Gas Grill is the most powerful at 20,000 BTUs.
Mounting kits included/available for purchase
There are two types of boat grills: those that sit on a surface, similar to a patio BBQ, and those that are attached directly to the boat. Which you choose will be dependent on the type of boat trips you plan on taking and the type of boat you have. For those that plan on sailing through choppier waters, a mounting kit is essential. The Extreme Marine Products Cuisinart Grill mounts to any pontoon and comes with brackets attached to the grill.
The dimensions of a boat grill refer to how large the entire unit is. These measurements are different from the primary cooking area, which is only the grill space where the food is placed. The dimensions of a grill are really important as boat space is often limited. Unlike a kitchen or backyard, which have more flexible space, a boat is very contained.
Be sure to check the dimensions of your boat grill and the area that you envision the grill being placed. You might also want to check if the grill will fit in your car if you plan on transporting your it around.
How much a boat grill weighs is important for a number of reasons. First, you’ll have to carry the grill. It may be that once the grill is on the boat it will remain there for the season. Or, it may be the case that you need to remove it every time you disembark. Whatever the case may be, make sure that the boat grill you purchase is adequate to your lifting needs.
In addition to the weight of carrying it, be sure that your boat can support the extra weight of a grill. Remember: boats will sink if there is too much weight in them. While none of the grills on our list are too heavy, even the addition of a grill might offset the balance of a small boat.
There’s nothing worse than having a product you love suddenly break and being on the hook for both its initial cost and a replacement. Warranties help you when a product breaks or malfunctions. With technical items like boat grills, a good warranty is essential.
There are other features to consider with the purchase of a new boat grill. Common material is stainless steel. Marine-grade stainless steel is important to have, especially if the grill will be exposed to any water. Temperature gauges help determine how hot your grill is running and will ensure the best cook possible. The more features a boat grill has, the better it will work for your needs.
It’s really best to install a grill before you head out. You never know what tools you might need or what issues may arise. Plan ahead and install your boat grill ahead of time to ensure a relaxing day on the water.
LPG stands for liquified petroleum gas while CNG stands for compressed natural gas. Both are good options when you are short on space but want to grill for a long time. Magma Products A10-918-2GS is your best bet to adapt your boat grill to either of these systems.
After each use it’s important to clean your grill thoroughly. Using a heavy duty brush, remove any leftover food bits. If your grill has a grease trap, be sure to remove and clean it.
Once you have finished boating for the day, give the outside of your grill a good wipe down. While all of the grills use strong mechanics, water, especially sea water, can be corrosive. Cleaning the outside of a grill might not seem practical when you’re doing it, but if you want to prevent rust and corrosion, take good care of all the parts of your grill.
At the end of the boating and grilling season, take apart your boat grill and make sure all the parts are in working order. Check your burners and gas line to ensure there are no cracks or breaks. Store your boat grill in a cool, dry area. If it comes with a cover, be sure to use it. Alternately a clean drop cloth will work well.
When the new boating season begins, take out your boat grill and do a complete inspection before taking it out to the boat. It’s best to inspect the grill a few weeks before its first use to see if there are any issues to fix.
Finding the best boat grill means you can enjoy your time on the water while eating your favorite foods. The best pontoon boat grill, in our opinion, is the Extreme Marine Products Cuisinart Grill. It can be easily attached to a boat railing and provides superior cooking.
Finally, your search for the best boat grill should include the Magma Products A10-918-2GS. Our Editor’s Choice ticks all the boxes and you will have a truly memorable experience out on the boat with this grill.