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: March 19, 2021
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While spending your day on a pontoon boat is already an enthralling feeling that can hardly be beaten, it gets even better when you’re grilling on it. That becomes truer when you remember that pontoon boats are designed for recreation much more than for anything else. It doesn’t matter if you are just unwinding or fishing exploring, the best pontoon boat grill will improve your boating experience and make it worth remembering.
Of course, with the versatility and functionality of pontoon boat grills, it’s needless to tell you that the market is saturated with different models. But even through that, we have scoured everywhere and picked the best five models, with the Smoke Hollow 205 Gas Grill being the best of them all. While it is neither the largest model on this list nor the most powerful, its incredible combination of all the most important features makes it an excellent pick that is suitable for almost all situations. It’s a model that you can’t go wrong with.
As is the custom, our selection was centered around some important factors. Some of them include the cooking area, BTUs, the mounting system, and dimensions. Obviously, these are important considerations that must not be taken lightly. Meanwhile, we’ve used the all-too-familiar structure – a comparison table, a product-review section, and a buying guide.
Despite being a reasonably priced grill, the Smoke Hollow 205 Gas Grill is our Editor’s Pick for the best pontoon boat grill, and we have a lot of reasons to justify our decision.
In terms of functionality, the Smoke Hollow 205 Stainless Steel TableTop Propane Gas Grill doesn’t have many peers. Its remarkable 205 square-inch primary cooking area is the first on this list. It’s large enough to help you cook all your favorite meals. It doesn’t stop there though – it also comes with a warming rack and a drip tray, with the former providing an extra space to cook and the latter making it easy to clean up. In terms of features, the machine comes with a temperature gauge that enables you to produce the perfect sear.
It also has foldable stainless-steel legs, making it a lot more portable than most models. Thanks to its compact and portable construction, it can be easily stored without any hassle. In terms of power, it produces 10,000 BTUs, which is impressive for a grill of this size. The power is enough to cook pretty much anything you want to cook in a very fast manner. In general, this grill is a perfect option if you’re looking for a reasonably priced but high-quality model you can use on your boat.
The Magma Marine Kettle Gas Grill can be your best friend when you are on your boat, but that’s only if you can afford it. Of course, even though it’s quite expensive, it effortlessly justifies its steep price. First, it has by far the largest primary cooking area on this list, measuring 706.9 square inches, which is enough to serve a lot of people. Secondly, it’s produced using lightweight stainless steel that offers enhanced rust protection, which subsequently means the unit is very lightweight.
However, the downside here is that it’s extremely thin and susceptible to bending and denting, which is unideal for boat conditions. However, you can take solace in the fact that it comes with a hinged dome, which will stay in place reliably and can double as a windshield when the grill is being lighted. While the burner is hardly two inches in diameter, it surprisingly cooks thoroughly, even if you’re cooking thick swine stakes. That may be in no small part to the unique, radiant plate.
You need to bear in mind that this boat grill is designed primarily for convection cooking also. And with its ability to put out 20,000 BTUs, it’s a powerful grill that can’t be ignored. However, we must also not forget to mention that regular grilling on this grill takes a very long time. Expectedly, you can use the grill with gas bottles or on-board propane systems, but sadly, the rail mount is a must.
Made from polished, marine-grade stainless steel, the Magma Products A10-918-2GS Grill exudes high quality. With the material with which it is constructed, you can clean it off without needing to worry about corrosion or rust, regardless of the type of sea water that comes in contact. The built is even more impressive due to its hinged handle that will not slam shut, regardless of the level of wind it gets. Besides, the handle has “stay cool” technology, so you won’t need to worry about getting burned.
Furthermore, the Magma Products A10-918-2GS Grill doesn’t get affected by gusty weather, which is another advantage. You can swivel the lid and bowl, which helps protect it from the wind. Subsequently, no wind can interrupt your cooking or blow your face with smoke. In terms of practicalities, the unit comes with a respectable primary cooking area of 162 square inches. Of course, this is not close to being the largest on our list, but it’s enough to handle most of your grilling needs.
The burner utilizes both convection and radiant technology and has an even heat distribution. On top of that, it produces 11,200 BTUs, which is enough to thoroughly cook your food without leaving any cold spot. It’s also worth adding that this unit has a lightweight construction, which makes it easy to move from one place to another. Despite its lightweight construction though, it is adequately solid to remain firm without being blown away by the wind. However, we think this unit is a bit overpriced as there’re many better models at cheaper costs.
What we liked:
“Stay cool” technology handle
The burner uses both convection and radiant technology
The Kuuma Stow and Go Propane Tabletop and Mountable Grill is a perfect example of a reliable budget-friendly pick. While you might not have heard much about its manufacturer, you will hear a lot about this unit in the nearest future, especially if you’re a grilling enthusiast. As the name implies, this grill utilizes propane and can be used with regular one-pound disposable bottles, which you have to separately buy. Of course, the 160 square inches of cooking area that this grill offers may not be the largest on our list, but it’s decent for a unit of this size.
For a rust-resistant, long-lasting lifespan, this unit is produced completely from stainless steel. Plus, it comes with a removable grease tray, which helps you to clean the mess up as soon as you are done grilling. In terms of assembly, you’ll like the fact that this grill doesn’t need any. While it’s compatible with a mount, none is included, so you have to purchase it separately as well. It’s also worth mentioning that for a fast-paced and efficient operation, this unit produces 13,000 BTUs.
Of course, this grill is not without some drawbacks, which isn’t surprising actually. The first of them is that it comes with no electronic ignition, which means you need to use matches or a lighter. There is also no temperature gauge, which means you will need to monitor the heat by yourself. While we admit that these features are not mandatory requirements, they are convenience-aiding perks to have.
If you love the open water and a good meal, the Extreme Marine Products Cuisinart Grill offers you a way to perfectly combine both. Some products that made our list are grills that can be used on a pontoon boat, but this model is specially designed for it. It comes with pre-installed brackets that enable you to mount the product onto any boat railing, which aids safety. Therefore, there is no need for you to worry about the equipment shifting on the waters.
Regardless of what the situation is, the Extreme Marine Products Cuisinart Grill allows you to keep grilling on your pontoon boat. It’s also worth noting that you don’t need to worry about installation issues as the grill is super-easy to install. Everything about it was designed to be easy. In terms of grilling capabilities, this boat grill has a decent performance, being one of the best models on the market nowadays. It comes with a respectable primary cooking area of 145 square inches, which is ideal for any chef concoctions.
Another important thing to note is that Cuisinart is a reputable brand when it comes to the manufacturing of grills, so you can expect all their products to be of high-quality. This model is made with premium-quality materials, which explains why it is very durable. The only major drawback with this machine is that the burner takes a couple of pushes to start sometimes, which is very inconvenient. If this becomes a problem, make sure you contact support immediately while the product is still covered by warranty.
What we liked:
Perfect for installing on a boat
Easy to install
High-quality materials used
Comes with pre-installed brackets
What could be better:
Takes a few pushes to start in some models
Small primary cooking area
Things to Consider
While shopping for a pontoon boat grill may look simple, there are actually lots of things that are involved. This means that apart from the reviews that you need to read, you also should know some other things to choose the ideal model for your needs. With that said, we have packed this section with all the tips you need in your shopping.
Features to consider while choosing a pontoon boat grill
In recent days, pontoon boat grills are gaining more popularity, but that also means it’s becoming more and more difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. Therefore, it is very important for buyers to pay attention to the likely features in a grill. To help you out, we have listed and explained some of the most important features that you need to take into consideration when choosing the ideal grill for your boat.
Primary cooking area
When choosing the ideal pontoon boat grill for yourself, there are two primary measurements that you have to pay close attention to. While the overall dimensions mean the measurement of the entire unit, the primary cooking area refers to the grill’s surface. The primary cooking area is the area under which there is direct heat. You shouldn’t include a warming rack in the primary cooking area as there is no direct heat source under a warming rack.
The pontoon boat grills included here range from a cooking area of 145 square inches for the Extreme Marine Products Cuisinart Grill to 706 square inches for the Magma Marine Kettle Gas Grill. Of course, you can surely feed any number of people you want with a grill, but the larger the primary cooking area, the less time cooking sufficient food for everyone will take.
If there’s a warming rack
If you are looking to reheat a side dish or toast a couple of hamburger buns, then you need to consider if the model you’re looking at comes with a warming rack. If you wish to serve all your meat simultaneously but do not have enough primary cooking area for everything, then a warming rack will enable you to ensure that your food is warm whilst cooking the rest of the food. While a warming rack is never a deal-breaker, it is an important bonus feature.
While there are lots of technical terms, we could use to explain the BTU, we will just keep it simple here. In simple terms, it stands for British Thermal Unit and measures the amount of heat that a unit can produce. Of course, the higher the BTU, the better it is. However, bear in mind that you will not want to burn every piece of food on the grill. Therefore, while it’s always impressive to have a high BTU, a lot of food can actually be cooked with a lower BTU level. With its 20,000 BTUs, the Magma Marine Kettle Gas Grill is the most powerful unit on our list.
Mounting kits included/available for purchase
How you plan to use the boat grill is another thing that you need to take into consideration prior to buying a pontoon grill. While some boat grills come with stands that enable them to independently stand, others need mounting to a rail or some other thing. Bear in mind that not every grill that comes with a stand can be utilized on a boat’s deck. Besides, you need to be aware that not every grill comes with necessary mounting hardware for rail mounting.
The dimensions basically refer to the size of a grill, and it is important to consider the dimensions of a grill before buying. You will want to get a pontoon boat grill that is sufficiently big to cook all the fish, pork steaks, hot dogs, and burgers that your family and friends will eat. Meanwhile, it’s also important not to go overboard. With that said, it’s worth noting that boat grills often come in different sizes.
Make sure you select a size that will fit your needs but remember that the bigger the boat grill, the more fuel temperature maintenance will require. Meanwhile, it’s also important to choose a grill that can server everybody at the same time, so you just need to weigh the pros and cons.
For a couple of reasons, it is important to consider the weight of a boat grill. First of all, you will need to be carrying the grill each time you disembark, which means you will be having a hard time if your unit is heavy. Well, you may not consider the weight if you intend to keep the grill on your boat permanently or for a long period of time.
Whatever the case is, ensure that the grill you buy is of the ideal weight for your needs. Apart from the weight of conveying it, make sure that your pontoon boat is capable of supporting the additional mass of a grill. Keep in mind that wills tend to sink when you put excess weight inside them. None of the units that made our list is too heavy, but even the weight of a grill may counterweight the balance of a little boat.
Pontoon boat grills are usually very expensive and valuable; therefore, you shouldn’t even consider buying a mode that is not backed by a warranty. This will prevent you from spending extra money on replacement parts that shouldn’t have broken at all. Our advice is that you should find a company that offers longer-term warranties as there are even some companies that offer about ten years.
The longer the period of the warranty, the better the equipment. Besides, a longer-term warranty will prevent you from stressing over the condition of the equipment all the time.
There are some other features you may consider when you’re buying a Pontoon boat grill. The most common material used to make these units is stainless steel, so make sure your unit is produced using stainless steel. If you want a rust-resistant model, it’s advisable to choose a model that’s made with marine-grade stainless steel. Also, find a model that comes with a temperature gauge, as it helps determine the temperature at which your equipment is running and will guarantee the best possible cook. In a nutshell, the more features your grill comes with, the better it’ll satisfy your needs.
Safety tips for grilling on your boat
While it may sound simple, grilling on your boat is not that simple, especially if you’re not used to it. If you want to avoid some hazards that may come with it, then you need to keep a few safety tips in mind when you want to grill on your pontoon boat. After all, it’s not the same thing as regular grilling, so it’s only normal that there are some tips for safety.
Always ensure that you follow all the recommendations of the manufacturer of the grill during grilling.
Before grilling, ensure that grilling is allowed at your Marina.
Don’t ever grill while your boat is underway.
During grilling, avoid leaving your grill unattended at any point in time.
Ensure that you carry out an inspection for safety before using your propane grill and after using it – pay special care to propane connections.
Never start your grill if you suspect that there is a leak.
Always remember to put out the equipment after cooking.
Allow the grill to cool off before you stow it away.
Don’t allow the embers to fall onto your boat.
Avoid using the grill around combustible materials.
Always keep a fire extinguisher around in case of fire hazards.
Ensure that your grill is always kept clean and in peak conditions.
Avoid using mounts that are not specifically designed for grills.
An infrared grill refers to a gas grill that utilizes infrared technology as either the primary heat source or an alternative burner. While the flame usually directly heats the grates in a normal gas grill, there is an infrared component between the flame and the grates in an infrared model. The gas then heats the infrared element, causing it to radiate powerful heat and even to your meal.
One fact about infrared grills is that they produce a lot higher temperatures than regular grills and are capable of heating up a lot faster. It is common to hear that they are capable of reaching surface temperatures well above 700 degrees Fahrenheit (370 degrees Celsius) in just seven minutes.
While mounting your grill on a one-inch pontoon railing is not likely to pose any danger, it may come with a lot of inconvenience. In this case, you need a mounting system specifically designed for your railing, they are sold separately.
While it’s at a distant second in terms of primary cooking area on this list, the Smoke Hollow 205 Gas Grill is still our Editor’s Pick and the best pontoon boat grill on our list. Apart from being reasonably priced, we also like the fact that this unit comes with a bit of everything. It’s powerful, has a decent primary cooking area, and comes with useful extras like a warming rack and a drip tray.
The Magma Marine Kettle Gas Grill has a case for the top spot, but it narrowly missed out on that, but just. It doesn’t only have the largest cooking area on our list, but it is also the most powerful. With all these, it leaves the Magma Products A10-918-2GS in its wake, at a distant third. Boasting a cooking area of 162 square inches and emitting 11,200 BTUs, the Magma Products A10-918-2GS is also a decent option.