Camping and grilling go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly, and if you want to be able to cook some delicious food to enjoy during an outdoor escape with friends and family, you need a quality camping grill. When you’re on the road, it might be a bit difficult to enjoy hamburgers or ribs cooked to perfection. We looked at the best camping grill on the market to find the best choices out there for those who don’t want to compromise quality for portability.
We reviewed 34 camping grill and came to the conclusion the Cuisinart CGG-180T is the best option for most grilling aficionados, and as such we featured it as our editor’s choice. This grill is a small, but mighty one, and we liked that you can easily transport it. We also included nine other camping grills so you can easily find one that best suits your needs and preferences.
Top 10 Camping Grills Review 2020
When reviewing the camping grills, we looked at numerous factors, all of which contribute to the quality of the meals you can cook on the grill, as well as to the ease of use. Some of these factors include type of fuel, cooking area, materials, dimensions, and weight. You’ll find all the information we gathered in the comparison table below, which is followed by in-depth reviews of the best camping grills that made it to our top. Finally, the buying guide at the end is there to help you make an informed choice for your next camping adventure. Now let’s have a closer look at the best camping grills out there.
We chose the Cuisinart CGG-180T as our top pick because this petite grill is very easy to transport while making absolutely no compromise on the quality of the food you can obtain with it. Fueled by propane, this small grill is actually advertised as a tabletop cooking device, but we found that it delivers excellent results while being perfectly sized for people who don’t have a lot of storage space.
This little grill is an excellent choice for camping trips, family picnics and tailgate parties, but you can also use it on an apartment patio, so versatility is clearly one of its strong suits. The Cuisinart CGG-180T has extendable legs, which means that you can place it safely in a lot of places. The briefcase-style carrying handle makes the grill very comfortable to transport, and the table base is very easy to fold when you’re done cooking.
The Cuisinart CGG-180T is not the grill for you if you intend to cook large quantities of food. However, if you want a quick and easy way to cook a couple of burgers or hot dogs to perfection, this is one of the best choices on the market. The functionality of the grill is outstanding and it even comes in multiple different colors. Users particularly liked the porcelain enameled trays that aren’t sticky, but also mentioned the grease tray is very small, but that’s to be expected in a grill with these dimensions.
A camping grill that offers excellent value for money, the Masterbuilt 205 Stainless Steel Gas Grill comes complete with a stainless steel ‘U’-shaped burner. It is also rather lightweight at 20.3 lbs, and it sports folding legs for stability and easy storage. We liked the compact design of this grill and the design of the stainless-steel dip tray, which handles the oils and greases excellently.
Users who tried and reviewed the Masterbuilt 205 Stainless Steel Gas Grill mentioned that the grill is very easy to maintain and clean and that the 10,000 BTU delivers a lot of cooking power even for things such as steaks. In addition to the main grill surface, the grill comes with a warming rack, something that is not always easy to find in a portable grill.
What we liked about the Masterbuilt 205 Stainless Steel Gas Grill is that it has a smoker function, which is again not something omnipresent in portable grills for camping. The heat consistency of this grill is also remarkable, but the Masterbuilt 205 doesn’t come with a meat thermometer, so you will need to use your own if you want to make sure you’re not burning your meat. The warranty period for the Masterbuilt 205 grill is three years.
Hibachi grills are inspired from Japanese designs, and they generally consist of a cylindrical cooking unit made of clay where the charcoal goes. The Marsh Allen 30052AMZ is no exception to the rule, and features the traditional Japanese design that allows you place a flat griddle over the clay unit to recreate the authentic Hibachi taste. Besides enriching the taste of the meat with remarkable flavors, the Marsh Allen 30052AMZ is also budget-friendly, which is why we selected it as our budget pick.
The traditional rustic design of this grill is immediately visible, but this grill is not about beautiful, sleek lines, but about functionality instead. The cast-iron used is of very high-quality and is bound to last you for years to come. In fact, this type of grill is known to last even for decades. The cast-iron grates come with handles for easy use and the good thing about them is the fact that they don’t get hot.
Many of the users who tested the Marsh Allen 30052AMZ liked the temperatures it reaches and the ease of use, but some weren’t impressed with the grease leaks that happen from time to time. Given that this is a camping grill under $100, the cooking surface and build quality you get are outstanding. You can grill at up to 500 degrees on the Marsh Allen 30052AMZ, but you should also be prepared to wait for up to 10 minutes for the grates to reach the optimal temperature.
If you want lots of cooking power from your portable camping grill, the Coleman RoadTrip 285 is one of the best choices around. Sporting 20,000 BTU, this grill heats up extremely quickly for a portable model, which means that you’ll be able to start cooking in no time. The three burner controls the grill comes equipped with allow you to achieve the exact temperature you desire for a particular type of food.
We liked that the Coleman RoadTrip 285 grills comes loaded with features, including an integrated thermometer, interchangeable grates to suit various types of food you may want to cook on a grill, and collapsible legs that make it very easy to store the grill. Users also liked the InstaStart ignition that works in a snap while taking the guesswork out of starting the grill, as well as the large 285 sq.in cooking area. This is more than enough to allow you to cook food for the entire party in one go.
The Coleman RoadTrip 285 has a water pan that is easy to remove and that catches any drippings or grease so the grill stays clean no matter what you decide to cook on it. The grill is also collapsible and highly portable, as it features wheels to make it easy to transport it when tailgating or over a campsite.
Three independent burners
Easy to transport like a suitcase on wheels
You need to remove the grates before folding up the grill
Just because you’re going camping, it doesn’t mean that a tabletop grill is a bad idea. In fact, this type of grill offers lots of versatility when it comes to breakfast, as it allows you to cook eggs on it. The Blackstone Table Top Grill is easy to set up on a picnic table and it is powered by a one-pound propane tank. Because of its plates, the grill lets you make eggs, sausages, pancakes and more, and it also works well for burgers, steaks, grilled cheese sandwiches, sautéed mushrooms and so much more. You can basically use it for anything you would make at home on the stovetop.
The Blackstone Table Top Grill comes with a wealth of other features, including rubber feet that keep it in place, a built-in drip cup to catch the grease, and an adjustable heat controller. The igniter is built in, so you don’t have to worry about using matches. The propane container can hold 1 lb. of fuel and the entire things is very compact and has a sleek design. Some users mentioned that it can even double down as a kitchen grill, as it can easily sit on a countertop and is very easy to store.
We also liked the surface of the griddle, which transfers heat fast and evenly, and it will become more non-stick as you use it. You don’t have to wait much for the grill to heat up, which is something that received a lot of praise from users.
The Volcano grill is a very portable grill that you can use with multiple types of fuel, including charcoal, wood, and propane. Moreover, the grill is compatible with a wide variety of accessories that allow you to fry, smoke, barbecue, and even bake your food. It is indeed a highly versatile grill that you can use to coo your favorite food not only when camping, but also at home in the backyard.
According to many of the users who tested and reviewed it, the Volcano grill heats up fast no matter what type of fuel you decide to use. The shape of the grill works together with the vents to create an optimal airflow. You don’t have much control over the airflow, even though an air-control vent is located on the base of the grill. Because the Volcano grill has a double-wall design, the heat transfer to the outside is diminished, but you still need to be careful, as the walls of the grill are still going to be hot.
The Volcano grill has a cooking surface of 144 square inches, which is enough for a small family. We liked that the grill is packable and comes with a zippered carrying case for easy transport. The propane burner offers 19,500 BTU of cooking power and you can use a 1 lb. propane bottle for the grill, or connect it to a larger tank via the propane connection provided.
The ISUMER Charcoal Grill is our recommendation for those who are looking for a high-quality Hibachi grill that is portable, yet provides an expansive cooking area. Featuring four detachable legs that make it easy to transport and store, this grill is constructed from thick stainless steel that is solid and long-lasting, while also being resistant to rust. Even though it may look a bit big at first sight, the ISUMER Charcoal Grill is actually very easy to set up and most importantly, the grill’s surface is very easy to clean.
The grill features convenient handles that make it very easy to manipulate and transport. It is an excellent choice for tailgate parties, camping, backpacking, trailers, and even grilling in your own backyard. The grill received a lot of praise from users for its air ventilation, as it is able to create even air circulation for better cooking.
The non-stick grill pan of the ISUMER Charcoal Grill is made from refined iron and is suitable for various types of foods, including chicken breasts, steaks, sandwiches, hamburgers, fish and even shrimp. The grill only takes a couple of minutes to assemble and is also very easy to clean. The generous cooking surface means that you can use it to cook food for four to six people at once. The four legs of the ISUMER Charcoal Grill are adjustable, so you can tweak the unit’s height to suit different cooks.
Offering a total cooking area of 360 sq in, the Megamaster 820-0065C is our choice for best design, and you can easily see why just by looking at it. The compact shape of the grill makes it suitable for any table, and the foldable legs make it incredibly easy to transport it. The grill has a total of 11,000 BTU cooking power and comes complete with a porcelain enamel cooking grate that is non-stick and heats up very quickly.
Ideal for those who don’t want to compromise taste for portability, the Megamaster 820-0065C is equipped with a stainless-steel burner that allows you to fire up the grill instantly. The built-in temperature gauge eliminated the guesswork from the cooking process, and the grill comes with a steel secondary cooking grid.
The Megamaster 820-0065C comes with all the information you need for easy installation, but some users mentioned that it may take a while to assemble it, especially before using it for the first time. The grill has received praise from reviewers for the way it is able to maintain a constant temperature, something that many portable camping grills have trouble with. The high setting of the grill is indeed very high, and you can easily adjust the temperature thanks to the integrated temperature gauge.
Weber is a household name in the world of grills, being renowned for the exceptional quality of their designs and the Weber 50060001 Q1000 is no exception. Featuring large handles and knobs that make it very easy to operate, the Weber 50060001 Q1000 weighs 26.6 lbs., which means that it is not very difficult to move around.
The grill has an electronic ignition, which means that you don’t have to worry about bringing the matches with you. According to the vast majority of the users who tested and reviewed the grill, this unit is capable of maintaining a constant temperature once you heat it up,. The 189 sq. in cooking surface makes it suitable for cooing up to six steaks. The Weber 50060001 Q1000 only has one burner, and assembling it is very easy, even for those who haven’t used this type of appliance before.
Even though the price tag of this grill is bit higher than some of the other models we reviewed, it is worth it in our opinion because you get a high-quality, durable unit that is also very easy to clean, mostly thanks to the aluminum coated with porcelain. The Weber 50060001 Q1000 is powered by liquid propane but keep in mind that you’ll need to purchase that separately.
If you’re on the market for a fry small, portable grill that packs completely flat, the UCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Grill is the unit for you. Taking just about 30 seconds to set up, this little camping grill can be used with both wood and charcoal and has an all stainless steel design. To get ready for barbeque, all you need to do is unfold the grill, place the grate on top and you’re done.
Most of the reviewers of the UCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Grill mentioned that the base is stable and that you can also use it as a firepit. The sides of the unit come in very handy when you want to grill in windy conditions. This grill is also budget-friendly, which makes it ideal for those who are looking for their first grill or don’t want to spend a lot on a camping grill.
We particularly liked that there is very little heat going downward when you use the grill. The construction of the grill allows users to throw in some twigs for a bit of wood smoke effect. Moreover, using just six or seven pieces of charcoal keeps the grill going for several hours. The UCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Grill folds down completely do you can take it with you in a backpack.
Folds down to fit in a backpack
Can be used in windy conditions
Small cooking area
A camping grill is an indispensable piece of equipment when you head out in the great outdoors. Whether you are choosing a new camping grill or are in the market to upgrade an existing one, there are lots of features to take into account to make sure your new grill fits your needs perfectly. This buying guide has all the information you need to pick up the perfect camping companion.
What is a camping grill?
A camping grill is portable grill that is fueled by propane, wood or charcoal and that is lightweight enough to take with you camping, by the beach, or tailgating. These grills are lightweight and many of them have wheels or can be completely folded down so you can carry with you in a backpack. The word of order when it comes to camping grills is portability, so you may expect every camping grill to be travel-friendly.
Features to consider while choosing a camping grill
Before choosing a portable camping grill, you need to ask yourself where you intend to use the grill the most and what type of food you want to cook on it. You should also consider the number of people you intend to grill for and the type of fuel you want to use for your grill. Other features that you may want to take into account when shopping for a camping grill are size, BTUs, cooking area, and ease of use and cleaning.
The main types of fuels you may expect to find in camping grills include propane, wood, and charcoal. Most of them use liquid propane canisters that are easy to transport and are readily available in many locations. However, you should keep in mind that propane camping grills are generally heavier and less portable than non-propane ones. On the other hand, grills that are fueled by wood or charcoal, are less expensive and more lightweight, but they may also take longer to get hot enough.
The cooking area of a camping grill is an essential factor to consider, and you should take into account the number of people you intend to cook for to determine whether the grate size is enough. Some models, such as the Masterbuilt 205 Stainless Steel Gas Grill have generous cooking surfaces of up to 300 square inches, whereas others only have a third of that, being suitable for just one or two persons.
The higher the BTU number, the more powerful the grill of your choice will be. The grills we reviewed for from 5,500 BTU, by Cuisinart CGG-180T, to 20,000 BTU for the Coleman RoadTrip 285. Opt for more power if you’re cooking for many people or if you’re interested in a grill that has the capacity to get very hot.
Size, weight and shape
The size and weight of the grill determine its portability, so look for a lightweight model if you don’t want something that you will struggle to carry from the car to the camping site. The UCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Grill, for example, folds down completely and you can even transport it in a backpack. Other models, such as the Coleman RoadTrip 285, are on the heavier side, but they fold down and you can use the wheels to carry them like a suitcase.
What it’s made of
Stainless steel and iron are two of the most common materials used for manufacturing camping grills. For the grates, you can get either stainless steel or cast-iron for materials.
Because you want the grates to be easy to clean while also allowing you to cook your food to perfection, it’s important to consider what they’re made of. Stainless steel grates are often present on lower-end models, and they will resist rust while being easy to clean. However, if you want a material that retains heat well and is highly durable, look for a grill with porcelain-enameled and/or cast-iron grates, as it is by Megamaster 820-0065C.
Ease of use
A good camping grill only takes minutes to set up, which is very important when you’re on the go, with Volcano Grills and UCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Grill being examples of such models. You should also look at how easy it is to ignite the grill and how long it would take to clean it after each use.
Some of the extra features that you may find in camping grills include adjustable legs for more comfort when cooking, extra shelving space to store food or utensils and drip trays that catch drips as you cook. Some grills also come with a carrying case for easy transportation.
The price of a camping grill varies from $40 to $200 and upwards. This generally depends on the size, brand, features, and quality of the materials used. Some models include the propane in the price, whereas for others you may need to purchase that separately.
Most camping grills come with a standard one-year warranty. You can also find models that offer up to five years of limited warranty, with the Weber 50060001 Q1000 being such an example.
You can generally use a camping grill in the rain or windy conditions, but you need to pay extra attention to safety. Many grills are designed with wind in mind, and even the small UCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Grill can be used on windy days.
It is not recommended to use a camping grill on a balcony because open flames are not safe for that particular type of environment. Camping grills emit sparks, which can cause a fire in a small space such as a balcony, or they may reach any nearby trees.
Some of the useful accessories you may want to use with a camping grill include a meat thermometer if the grill doesn’t already have one incorporates, a spatula to flip burgers or fish, a grill light of you intend to grill at night, and a grill brush to help you clean the grates after use.
After reviewing more than 30 camping grills, we concluded that the Cuisinart CGG-180T is the top option among the best camping grills. This grill combines an outstanding design and build quality with powerful cooking capabilities while also being very easy transport and clean. If you’re looking for a camping grill that offers excellent value for money, the Masterbuilt 205 Stainless Steel Gas Grill is your best bet. The grill has folding legs for stability and easy storage and doesn’t compromise on power at 10,000 BTU. Finally, if you are on a budget, the Marsh Allen 30052AMZ is a Hibachi grill that offers excellent results using charcoal as a fuel and it comes with a wallet-friendly price tag. When you decide which camping grill is the best for you, remember to consider the conditions you’ll be using it in and the number of people you intend to cook for.