Going camping with your friends is so much fun but hey, it can quickly turn into a backbreaking journey if you’re not traveling light. Food is one essential commodity you cannot do without while you’re out camping, and there’s no better way to prepare great meals than with a camping grill.
There are no specially designed grills for camping. Rather, you have the portable grills that are compact sized and lightweight and offer a good amount of cooking space. These types of grills are fit for use as camping grills.
We did our best to review some great camping grills. You’ll find a charcoal grill, an infrared grill, and a gas grill.
#1. Best Camping Grill – Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill
Lightweight, easy to use, very portable, sizeable cooking space – these are the four things that endeared us to this portable camping grill. In our buying guide section, we talked about these features in-depth.
Other features of the Weber 121020 Grill include 160 sq. inches of cooking space, good dampers for improved airflow, durable cooking grates, porcelain-enameled lid with lid locks, stainless steel finishing, and sturdy stay-cool handles.
Camping Grills Shopping Guide: What You Should Know
As we earlier mentioned, there aren’t specially designed camping grills. Instead, you have portable grills that can be used when camping. In the absence of a camping grill, what then do we consider when shopping?
One of the first things you’d like to consider is the location where the grill will be used and how many persons it will serve at a go.
If you’re going for a hike up a mountain and you’ll be camping on that mountain for a few hours or days, you certainly need a grill that is somewhat lightweight. This will make the journey a lot easier since you’re carrying light items.
Also, the location can influence whether you’re going to use a gas-powered or a charcoal-powered grill.
In addition to the location, the number of people the grill will serve should also be considered. You can go with two or more grills as the case may be if the need arises since a typical portable camping grill will feed just about 6 persons at a go – using a Weber Burger Grill as an instance.
You’re free to choose between gas and charcoal fuels. However, you should bear in mind that each has its own advantages and disadvantages. For the charcoal-powered grills, you’ll need the charcoal briquettes whilst you’ll need to carry a propane tank if you prefer a gas model.
If temperature control is important to you, the gas models offer better control than the charcoal models. They also tend to have integrated thermometers to help you keep an eye on the food you’re cooking.
Some gas-powered grills are versatile. By versatile, I mean they have burners that can be used for cooking meals on pots. A typical example is the side burner you’ll find on some large gas grills. If you don’t mind the size, and you need to cook with pots, get a grill with a side burner.
Cooking Space & Cooking Grates
Since you’re going camping, you have to compromise a bit on cooking space especially if you’re going to deep into the woods for camping – just giving an instance. Most portable camping grills offer cooking spaces less than 200 sq. inches given that they want to remain lightweight.
Aside from the cooking space, you should also consider the type of cooking grate the grill has. Most are made from stainless steel, cast iron materials as well as porcelain enameled materials. We prefer stainless steel grates because they are much easier to clean and will resist rust if properly taken care of after each use.
Don’t fail to take note of the weight of the camping grill you’re interested in buying. When going camping, you must travel as light as possible. Remember that the grill isn’t the only thing you’re taking along with you. Other items like a grill light, grilling gloves, and even a prep table will be part of the trip.
The construction quality should be top-notch because it determines the durability of the product. One way to know if it’s high quality is to read the reviews of others. Fortunately, most of the grills on the market are made from high-quality materials. And the only issue you may have with them is the hinge that attaches the lid to the body of the grill – it’s usually flimsy and damages in a short while on some grills.
These aren’t a must-have but having them on your grill is an added bonus because you never can tell when you might need any of it. They include an integrated temperature gauge, adjustable legs, warming rack, and some cooking accessories.
Camping Grills Reviewed
Here’s our take on some nice portable grills for camping.
#1. Best Camping Grill – Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill
Cooking Space: 160 sq. inches
Features: lightweight, compact-sized, great design, good build quality, made from porcelain and stainless steel materials, good dampers for enhanced control over airflow, etc.
The Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill has all that you can possibly want in a camping grill. Yes, it may be missing an integrated temperature gauge but we can easily buy it when next we go shopping for groceries.
It’s lightweight and weighs just about 14lbs and this is in addition to being compact-sized – you can carry it without feeling any sort of heaviness. Quite surprisingly, it weighs a tad more than the Igloo BMX 25 Quart Cooler we tested earlier.
The Weber 121020 has a great design – no doubt – and is made from a combination of materials like porcelain and stainless steel. It features a porcelain-enameled lid and stainless steel cooking grates and leg. The handle is covered in rubber material and doesn’t get hot when cooking.
With respect to cooking space, it offers about 160 sq. inches – large enough to hold about half a dozen burgers. The lid is removable and is locked in place by the legs when not in use. As for the legs, we still think they feel slightly flimsy, no pun intended.
Cooking Space: 190 sq. inches
Features: lightweight, completely foldable, easy to set up, made from stainless steel materials, comes with a carry bag, easy cleaning, locking tabs, sizeable cooking space.
The Shark BBQ Portable Charcoal Grill is a Hibachi-styled camping grill that offers a ton of flexibility for anyone traveling light. It is lightweight and completely foldable – certainly one of the few portable camping grills on the market that is completely foldable. With respect to weight, it weighs about 8lbs and is the lightest we’ve seen thus far.
Considering the fact that it’s foldable, we least expected it to have a large cooking space. We were wrong; the grill’s cooking space measures about 190 sq. inches. That is 30 sq. inches more than our top pick on this list.
The Shark BBQ grill is made from stainless steel materials. This means that it comes with a stainless steel cooking grate. With respect to cleaning, it’s a breeze, thanks to the stainless steel finishing.
Folding and unfolding the grill is as easy as ABC even though you’ll have to wait for it to get cold before folding. In fact, to aid your journey, you get a carrying bag along with the Shark BBQ Camping Grill that you’ve purchased.
Unfortunately, the Shark BBQ grill is missing an integrated temperature gauge. But that’s not much of a problem, or is it?
Cooking Space: 200 sq. inches
Features: lightweight, offers infrared grilling advantage on the go, has a carrying case, offers 200 sq. inches of cooking space, die-cast aluminum finishing, rugged design, integrated thermometer, etc.
The Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 Portable TRU-Infrared is a gas-powered infrared grill that offers the advantages of an infrared grill while you’re on the go. It is compact-sized and somewhat lightweight – it weighs just about 20lbs.
Given its size and design, it’s not surprising to see that it offers about 200 sq. inches of cooking space. The grill is made from die-cast aluminum materials and it feels sturdy and durable.
For cooking, it draws its power from a propane container that is attached to it via a hose. In turn, the energy is passed through the grill’s powerful 9500BTU burner to the TRU-infrared cooking grates to make cooking a lot faster and better.
The Char-Broil infrared grill features an integrated thermometer on the body to help you keep an eye on cooking temperature. This grill has a carrying case which is sold separately.
Cooking Space: 189 sq. inches
Features: ample cooking space, stainless steel burner, 189 sq. inches of cooking space, push-button ignition, powerful 8500 BTU burners, removable foldable portable legs.
Here’s yet another portable gas grill from Weber. If you’re a fan of Weber grills, you’ll definitely like this Weber 50060001 Q1000 Liquid Propane Grill. It’s a compact-sized propane grill with good features and weighs just about 27lbs.
The weight puts it in a position where we can’t really categorize it as a lightweight camping grill. However, if you don’t mind the weight, you can opt for it especially when you consider the 189 sq. inches of cooking space that it offers.
It also features a stainless steel burner with an 8500 BTU rating and this burner is powered by the push-button ignition on the grill. For easy movement, the grill has removable foldable legs that you have to purchase separately, otherwise, you’re stuck with using it as a tabletop model.
Save for the somewhat overweight nature of this grill, it would have been a good gas-powered portable camping grill.
Cooking Space: 285 sq. inches
Features: 285 sq. inches of cooking space, good build quality, multiple color options, comes with removable legs and side tables, 20000 BTU burner.
The Coleman Propane Grill | RoadTrip LXE Portable Gas Grill is our last pick for the best camping grills. It looks cool, is available in a variety of colors and, of course, has good build quality.
With the Coleman LXE, you get about 285 sq. inches of cooking space. So far this is the largest cooking space we’ve seen on this list. However, it comes with a price – weight. The Coleman LXE grill weighs 6 times the weight of the Shark BBQ Portable Charcoal Grill.
It does make up for it by including a rather unique design that folds the legs of the grill and allows you to pull it along as you would do to your traveling bag. It comes with sturdy wheels to make portability easy.
As for the cooking ability, you get a 20,000 BTU burner with this grill. And let’s not fail to mention that there are multiple color options available as well as interchangeable cooktops. This means you can swap out the grilling grates and add a stove grate for cooking.
We like the porcelain-enameled surface of the grill and how easy they are to clean.
Traveling light without leaving anything behind is one of the secrets of having a great camp time. There’s no need to buy food on the way when you can cook yours using a camping grill. Thankfully, we reviewed some models above and we’re certain they’ll meet your needs.