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How to Buy a Portable Grill

When you want to take your grilling on the go, you need the best portable grill available, no matter what fuel source you prefer. Fortunately, today’s portable grills bring the heat, with plenty of fuel options, versatility, and the tough materials you need to weather anything from a beach party to a serious camping expedition. Let’s take a look!

  1. Cuisinart CGG-200 All-Foods 12,000-BTU Tabletop Gas Grill
  2. Camco 57305 Olympian 5500 Stainless Steel Portable Grill
  3. Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Portable Grill2Go Gas Grill
  4. Coleman RoadTrip LXX Grill
  5. Coleman Fold N Go Instastart Grill
  6. Coleman 9941-768 Road Trip Grill LX (Blue)
  7. Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill LXE
  8. Weber 54060001 Q2200 Liquid Propane Grill
  9. George Foreman GGR50B 15-Serving Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill, Silver
  10. Portable Charcoal Barbeque Mini Grill with Cooler and Carrybag Perfect for Camping and Tailgating by Moskus Gear
  11. Cuisinart CCG-190RB Portable Charcoal Grill, 14-Inch, Red
  12. Kingsford OGD2001901-KF Outdoor Charcoal Kettle Grill, 22.5-Inch
  13. Camp Solutions BBQ Grill, Charcoal grill, Foldable and Portable Outdoor Grill, A Perfect Gift for Barbecue Lovers
  14. Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill
  15. Onlyfire Heavy Duty Adjustable Outdoor Camping Rotisserie Grill System and Spit Kit with Portable DC 3V Motor and 29 Inch Hexagon Spit Rod
  16. Nexgrill 5-Burner Delivering 62,000 BTU Total Propane Gas Grill with Powerful Side Burner
  17. Blackstone 36 inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station – 4-burner – Propane Fueled – Restaurant Grade – Professional Quality
  18. Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill, Red
  19. Grill Boss Stainless Steel Outdoor LP Gas Barbecue Grill
  20. Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill LXE
  21. Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill LXE
  22. Blackstone 28 inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station – 2-burner – Propane Fueled – Restaurant Grade – Professional Quality
  23. PK Grills The Original PK Grill & Smoker, Classic Silver (PK99740)
  24. Stok Gridiron Portable Gas Grill
  25. Smoke Hollow 205 Stainless Steel, Portable TableTop Propane Gas Grill. Perfect for Camping, Tailgating, Picnics or any outdoor use. 305 sq inches of Cooking Surface 11.25″x 18.5″ With warming rack
  26. Char-Broil TRU Infrared Patio Bistro 180 Portable Gas Grill
  27. Pit Boss Grills 305 sq in Stainless Steel Portable Grill
  28. Blackstone Portable Table Top Camp Griddle, Gas Grill for Outdoors, Camping, Tailgating
  29. UniFlame 15,000 BTUs LP Gas Tailgating Tailgate Grill
  30. Weber 1141001 Go-Anywhere Gas Grill
  31. Weber 51010001 Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill, Black

Barbecuing is one of America’s great summertime traditions. When the temperature rises, 85% of Americans prefer cooking out and putting some steaks, burgers, and hot dogs on the grill to cooking indoors, according to a 2012 survey by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA).

As the weather gets warmer, other outdoor activities become more viable as well: Camping, weekends at the beach or lake, or even tailgate parties are popular activities that many people can enjoy. Perhaps it’s no surprise that many people enjoy both grilling and outdoor activities in tandem, and portable grills make it all possible.

With a portable grill, barbecuing is possible almost anywhere and at any time. They come in a wide range of styles, sizes and features, so deciding which portable grill to buy can be a challenge. This guide aims to provide the necessary information for purchasing portable grills by examining the various types of grills available, and by looking at where and how to purchase them.

Why Buy a Portable Grill?

Portable grills may seem like a waste of time and money to some, especially when there are many non-portable models out there that can cost as much as some portable models. However, portable grills do have their own advantages.


Portable grills are not just for outdoor activities because they can be used anywhere. They can be set up at home in the patio or backyard for an afternoon cookout, or for camping in the woods. Unlike freestanding grills, which are meant to stay in one place, portable grills can either be packed away and brought on trips or set up permanently at home.


Large grills need a lot of space for both setup and storage. Portable grills need only a small space, which makes them ideal for apartment balconies, small patios, and other small spaces. Cleanup is also easy thanks to their relatively small size. After use, they can easily be stored away in a closet or a small corner, taking up very little storage space.

Cost Effective

Aside from being less expensive than large grills, portable grills can also save buyers a great deal of money on maintenance and use. Portable grills are the perfect size for a couple or a small family who may only need a small cooking surface to cook two to three steaks or hamburgers at a time.

Due to their compact size, they use a smaller amount of propane or charcoal than freestanding grills, thus cooking a small amount of food more efficiently than a larger grill would.

Choosing a Portable Grill

Portable grills come in a wide range of models, designs, shapes, and sizes. When selecting the right type of grill, a few factors should be considered; namely, fuel source, size, and the additional features that some grills possess.

Fuel Source

Portable grills are typically either charcoal- or gas-fueled. Charcoal vs. gas is a hotly-debated topic among grill enthusiasts. Portable gas grills are convenient and easy to start, as they are powered by a portable propane gas tank attached to the grill. They burn at a constant temperature and can cook food evenly as a result. Cleanup is as easy as turning off the gas and brushing off the grates.

Charcoal grills require starting a fire with kerosene and wood, and then burning lump charcoal or briquettes. The resulting ash can make for a difficult cleanup. However, the combination of smoke, fire, and the fragrance from the burning wood can give meats a smoky flavor that just can’t be duplicated by gas grills. Electric grills are also another type of portable grill.

These grills have metal coils or surfaces which radiate heat. However, many grill enthusiasts don’t consider them authentic grills since cooking on electric grills is similar to cooking on a pan or hot plate. Also, since this type of grill needs to be plugged into a wall socket, it may not be as portable as the other types of grills are.


Grill size is determined by the cooking surface, usually measured in square inches. Portable grills usually have under 300 square inches of cooking surface. A grill that’s about 190 square inches should be perfect for cooking six large hamburgers (approximately one-third pound each) or steaks at the same time.

For gas grills, BTUs are another measurement that’s important to consider. BTUs (or British Thermal Units) measure the amount of heat produced by a grill. Portable grills should be around 5,000 BTUs. Too little heat, and the grill may not cook the food properly; too much heat, and the grill may waste too much fuel.

However, it’s also important to note that the actual size and weight of the entire grill should be considered. Since this is a portable grill, it should be lightweight, easy to carry, and easy to store.

Additional Features

Different features can add to the convenience and versatility of a portable grill, however they can also add to its price. A basic gas grill typically has a burner, a cooking grid, gas valves and hoses, and a gas tank. Most portable gas grills can be set up as-is on a tabletop or can have foldable legs.

The Element Portable Gas Grill by Fuego features a compact design and a handle that makes it easy to carry around like a briefcase. The Napoleon Prestige II includes a warming rack to help keep food fresh and hot. The Cuisineart All Foods Gas Grill has a single tubular burner for even heating, plus a vegetable tray.

The most basic portable charcoal grills usually have a grate, a charcoal pit, and a stand. A locking lid can be a good feature to look for, as it can also function as a handle as in the case of the Weber Smokey Joe Gold Grill. The Bodum Frykat portable charcoal grill has vents to control the airflow (and therefore the heat) to the charcoal.

There are many retailers that sell portable grills, but the best places to start are brick and mortar stores and online sites like eBay.

Buying Portable Grills at Stores

Camping specialty stores are a good place to start, as they sell portable grills and cookers which are meant to be used in the great outdoors. Outdoor retailers also employ salespeople with specialized knowledge about camping and outdoor lifestyles, making them a resource for those with questions about purchasing the right grill.

Big superstores tend to have a wide range of choices, however they may not have knowledgeable salespeople who can answer specific questions pertaining to particular grills.

For those who prefer to do their own research and want a wide range of choices, buying a portable grill on a website like eBay may be the preferred option.

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