Portable camping grill

The Best Camping Grills (For Every Budget)

Have you ever showed up at a campground, counting on using their camping grill, only to find out the campground doesn’t have grills or that it is a rusty mess? You can always check with the campground before reserving your site, but what if you are boondocking or traveling and show up without reservations? You need your own camping grill! That solves the problem of missing grills and rusty, yucky messes.

Let’s check out the best camping grills in this post. I am not including camping stoves or griddles like many others do. I think they are different enough for their own posts, although I know some people put grill toppers on their camping stoves.

This post contains affiliate links. You can read my disclosure here.

If you want to skip all the product info and just get a grill, this best selling camping grill is a camper favorite.

The Best Propane Camping Grills

Propane camping grills are a popular option with many campers. Propane grills heat up quickly and there is no dirty charcoal ash to clean. They aren’t mess free though. Many have drip pans that will need to be emptied before storing.

I think one if the biggest complaints with portable, propane camping grills is poor temperature control and faulty regulators. Some people install after market regulators if it is compatible with the grill they have purchased.

Propane camping grills are a great option if you are camping somewhere that doesn’t have fire rings or doesn’t allow any kind of fire etc. due to burn bans.

Pssst… Most of these pictures are clickable if you want more product info.

Char-Broil Propane Camping Grills

Char Broil is a pioneer in grill manufacturing. They introduced one of the first charcoal grills in 1948 and have continued to expand their offerings in modern grilling with propane and even oil free turkey fryers.

✅This Char Broil portable grill is my top pick for propane camping grills.

Why did I pick one of the least expensive, portable propane grills on the market? There is a lot to be said for simplicity, plus the price can’t be beat.

  • It weighs only 10 pounds
  • Grill measures 24″ L x 12″D x 15″H
  • Provides 190 square inches of cooking surface
  • 11,000 BTU burner
  • Ignitor button
  • Chrome plated cooking grate
  • Legs fold over the top of grill, locking the lid in place. No flimsy lid lock to break!

Don’t get me wrong – there are some great portable propane grills, and we are going to cover them. But I have to be honest – I think this camping grill is the best bang for your buck, especially if you are on a budget.

If you want an even better priced grill (yes, cheaper than this one!) look for the standard model. It doesn’t have the ignitor button.

Char-Broil Grill2Go

If you want a propane camping grill with more features check out the CharBroil Grill2Go. Char-Broil offers their TRU-Infrared cooking system in a portable grill.

This grill has a cast aluminum firebox and lid with stainless steel latches (not just clips). It has a lid mounted temperature gauge, and one of its neat features is the push button ignitor that is located inside the front leg to prevent it from getting damaged.

It has 200 square inches of cooking space and a 9,500 BTU burner with a special stainless steel grate. It is a sturdy 20 pounds – not too heavy but not flimsy either.

This grill uses 1 pound propane bottles but can be easily converted for use with a 20 pound tank. You can also purchase a nice carry bag specifically for this grill.

Okay a few cons with this grill:

  • The grate is part of the TRU Infrared system and provides even cooking and less flare ups but requires more detailed cleaning with the included brush.
  • This grill gets hot! Some users add this control valve for any easy fix for better temperature control

Weber Propane Grills for Camping

Weber was founded by George Stephen, the inventor of the kettle grill which debuted in 1952. Not only do they make awesome backyard grills, Weber produces some of the best selling, propane camping grills.

Weber Q1200 Propane Grill

This best selling, portable propane grill boasts a 4.8 out of 5 star rating. Check out these reviews!

Some favorite features of the Weber Q1200 are the porcelain – enameled cast iron grates, battery powered ignitor button, and handy side tables. The rounded lid provides ample room for food other than burgers. It also is available in six different colors.

You can save about $30.00 and go with the Q1000. It does not have the side tables or the built in thermometer on the lid.

Need more cooking area? Choose the Q2200 for about $60.00 more and get a 280 square inch cooking area instead of 189 square inches with the Q1200.

Griddle tops, replacement grates, carry bags, a stand, and other replacement parts are available for the Q series grills.

Coleman Camping Grills

Coleman and camping go together, and Coleman made some of the first camping stoves and portable grills. Other grill manufactures, like those mentioned in this post, have arrived on the camping grill scene, but I couldn’t leave out the Coleman brand!

Coleman Road Trip 285 Portable Grill

Coleman is no stranger to the camping scene with products ranging from sleeping bags to camping stoves and grills. The Coleman Road Trip 285 is another popular camping grill.

Coleman Road Trip 285 Pros:

  • Up to 20,000 BTUs
  • Three adjustable burners
  • Swappable cooktops – griddle or stove grate
  • On legs/stand so a table is not needed if one is not available for a table top grill

Coleman Road Trip 285 Cons:

  • Flimsy lid latch
  • Handles riveted on and can break
  • Messy water pan (although some people love it)
  • May be bulky and heavy ( 46 pounds) to transport

If you prefer a table top grill without a stand, check out the Road Trip 225. It is smaller than the 285 and has only two burners.

Coleman Fold N Go Portable Grill

This little tabletop grill is perfect for a few burgers or steaks for a couple of people. Like the name implies, you can fold it shut, latch it and go!

The Coleman Fold N Go has a 105 inches of grilling space, delivering up to 6,000 BTUs. It has a handle for carrying, although you may prefer the grill case available for the Fold N Go – it even has room for propane canisters. Some people complain about weak latches on this grill so the carry case would solve that problem too.

This model has an InstaStart button ignitor, but if you want to save some money ( like $40.00! ) you can get this one that does not have an ignitor button.

The Best Charcoal Grills for Camping

We are big fans of charcoal grilling in my family. Sure it takes a little longer for the charcoal to be ready to grill over, but I just get my meat and other food prepared for the grill while I wait. I love one of these to save time and to “hurry up” the process.

Campground grills use charcoal, but many campers want to use their own grill even if campground grills are available. Also campground grills do not have lids. Grilling with a lid can improve the flavor of your food and cooking time – although that is open for debate among the “lid on or the lid off” grill masters!

If you are camping somewhere that has fire rings or allows you to make your own fire ring, these grates are an easy option for cooking over charcoal.

Weber Go Anywhere Grill

If you are looking for a grill that is easy to store and transport, the Weber Go Anywhere just may be the charcoal camping grill for you.

Its rectangle shape makes it easy to fit in RV storage areas or car trunks, and is perfect for storing on shelves in the garage or basement between camping trips. The legs fold over the top, securing the lid while traveling or carrying the grill.

The plated steel grate provides 160 square inches of cooking space, and built in lid hangers let you hang the lid on the side of the grill. Be careful as the lid and lid handle can get very hot!

A couple of concerns to know about this grill:

  • The bottom vents can be difficult to open and close, especially after they get hot.
  • This grill is not very deep and coals are spread in a single layer. Because it is shallow you may think the coals are too close to your food.

Weber Jumbo Joe Portable Grill

The kettle grill goes camping with the Jumbo Joe portable grill. The Jumbo Joe is a little bigger than most other portable camping grills, giving you enough room to cook up to eight burgers or even a small roast, brisket, or whole chicken.

Weber’s Tuck-N-Carry lid lock also provides a lid holder so you don’t have to find somewhere to set the hot lid when checking your food.

The lid handle has a heat shield, which helps keep the lid handle from getting so hot it burns you.

The newer model has a few different features like the lid handle heat shield.

Weber Smoky Joe Portable Grill

If you are looking for a smaller, 14 inch camping grill, check out the Weber Smokey Joe.

The Smoky Joe is similar to the Jumbo Joe but smaller and minus the lid lock and lid holder. It is also about half the price of the Jumbo Joe!

If not having a locking lid for transport is not a deal breaker for you, this little grill is a great bargain!

Things to Consider When Purchasing a Grill for Camping

  • What kind of camping are you going to be doing? If you are car camping and driving right up to your campsite, most of these grills will work fine. Some would be a pain to load and transport in your car with all your other gear, but may store great in your RV. The grills in this post would not be good for backpacking (duh!).
  • How much does the grill weigh? Because the grills in this post are portable, most are light weight enough to carry.
  • What shape is the camping grill? Rectangle grills are easy to store – they fit nicely on shelves, in RV storage areas, and in cars.
  • Does the grill have lid latches? Some portable grills do not have lid latches, so you would either have to carefully carry and store it, or rig up a way to hold the lid on.
  • How many people will you be cooking for? If you have a large family or cook for other campers, you will obviously want a camping grill big enough to cook more than two burgers!
  • Do you want to use gas or charcoal? Propane grills heat up quicker than charcoal, but some people prefer the taste of charcoal grilling. I’m also cautious cooking with propane – you can read more about that in my post Cooking at Camp.
  • What brand specific accessories are available? Some camping grills like the Weber Q series have griddle tops, carry bags, stands, replacement grates, and other parts available.
  • What is your budget? Your budget will probably be a big factor in your choice. Many portable grills costs hundreds of dollars. If you are on a tight budget or just don’t want to spend alot on your grill, consider one of the cheaper camping grills in this post.

If you are having a hard time choosing between a charcoal or propane camping grill, you could always buy one or the other this year then add a second grill to your camping cooking equipment later!

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Related Camp Cooking Posts:

The Best Dutch Ovens for Camping

The Campfire Cooking Equipment of Your Dreams

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