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Looking to improve your camping experience? We think one of the best ways to do this is with delicious food. The best way to take your camp-food game to the next level is with one of the best camping grills for summer. We’ve got all you need to know about portable grills here.
Let Camping Grills Do The Work.
40 million Americans head into the Great Outdoors for a camping trip each year. But what the term “camping” means has changed over the past few decades.
Nights spent sleeping on the cold, bumpy ground have given way to easy-to-setup air mattresses. Backpacking sleeping bags now prove more comfortable and warmer than ever before, and glamping continues to redefine “roughing it.”
When it comes to the fine balance between getting back to nature and staying comfortable, technology provides all sorts of innovative solutions. Especially when it comes to cooking away from home.
Check out our rundown of the best camping grill options on the market to ensure your next outdoor adventure comes with lots of finger-licking good eats.
Best Camping Grills 101: Features to Look For
Before we dive into an exploration of specific outdoor grill models worth taking a look at, let’s talk about the makings of a good grill. You’ll want to keep these factors in mind as you search for the perfect cooking machine for your next outing.
- Ease of cleaning
- When you’re hanging out in the woods, it’s hard enough keeping your fingernails clean let alone a grill. So, look for a unit that makes cleanup after a meal as painless as possible. You’ll thank me later.
- Cooking surface size
- Cooking surface will determine how many mouths you can feed and how quickly. The larger the cooking surface, the more food you can grill at one time, but bigger units also prove heavier and harder to stow.
- Temperature gauge
- Depending on the complexity of what you choose to cook, you may need a temperature gauge. For example, if ribs or rib-eye steak with fried potatoes are on the menu, then find a unit with a gauge that yields fast and accurate readings.
- Grill tops versus plates
- Additions such as a cooktop plate prove optional. But they guarantee a better cooking experience and can be used as a griddle or skillet, great for making pancakes.
- Portability & Price
- Last but not least, negotiate the amenities each grill boasts against portability and price. After all, if it’s too expensive or too heavy, you may end up leaving it at home.
7 Best Portable Grills for Camping 2019
Now let’s get to grillin’. These 7 camping grills are all great options for different reasons. We’ve rounded them up from the corners of the e-commerce universe to help you compare them in one place.
Without further ado, here are the best camping grills for your trip.
If you’re looking for a grill that proves both highly efficient and fiercely hot, then look no further than the Mr. Steak 1 Burner Infrared Portable Grill. It packs a solid propane punch at 14000 BTUs.
The infrared grill’s intense heat, some 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, and unique ceramic infrared burner mean you’ll enjoy steakhouse quality meat every time. What’s more, it takes just a few minutes for tasty perfection.
Heavy-duty construction means this grill will stand the test of time. It has a locking lid and folding legs for portability, and its stainless steel V-grate and removable grease tray allow you to cook juicy, greasy foods without worry.
Of course, you’ll pay for all of these amenities. This grill represents a serious investment, and it also proves a heavy one at 29.5 pounds.
For a high-quality grill that delivers delectable food every time, check out the Blackstone Portable Camping Grill Top. This grill allows for a quick cooking start time and even heating. So, there’s little mess and fuss after a day out hiking.
Better yet, clean up proves as simple as a paper towel. Just let the grill cool down and then use a paper towel to wipe it clean. Besides the easy cleanup, the grill boasts handles for a sturdy grip.
Although it weighs a total of 25 pounds, the weight is evenly distributed throughout the unit. This makes carrying it surprisingly easy.
Since the unit doesn’t have multiple burners, you avoid lots of mess, and you also get 260 square-inches of cooking space.
While this remains among the best small grills for camping, it has one major drawback — no cover, which could represent a safety or fire hazard.
The Smoke Hollow 205 model works great whether you’re camping at Yosemite or tailgating at a college football game. It features a 205 square-inch cooking surface and a temperature pressure gauge that provides quick and accurate readings.
The grill sits on foldable steel legs, which make storage a cinch. And its compact size means it fits easily under a bed.
It uses one-pound disposable propane canisters. You can change these out in the middle of cooking while keeping the heat on the grill. Finally, it features a U-shaped burner for even cooking.
When it comes to the drawbacks of this grill, they are few but significant depending on how many people you plan of feeding. At just 10,000 BTUs of propane power, don’t plan on cooking up food for the whole campground.
The front latches also prove somewhat unreliable.
As always, Coleman makes quality camping gear, and the Road Trip LXE proves no different. It features a massive 285 square-inch cooking surface yet remains portable and lightweight.
The 20000 BTU propane grill means you can cook a massive heap of food, yet the unit still proves surprisingly portable and lightweight. It is easy to clean and comes with interchangeable cooktops depending on the meal you have in store.
The clever design of this camping grill absolutely delights us. Can you make it any easier for us to have amazing food on the go?
In terms of problems, some customers have reported issues getting the ignition button to work on the first or second try. The paint also proves somewhat fragile. But the price is right if you’re looking for a good grill and don’t mind showing it a little extra TLC.
This tabletop grill means easy setup. Supplied by one-pound propane cylinders, just use a push button ignition to get it fired up and ready for meat and veggies. It offers a 189 square-inch cooking surface and 8500 BTUs.
It contains a built-in thermometer and an angled grease tray and catch pan, which makes it an excellent option for cooking foods notorious for dripping grease or juices.
That said, it feels more difficult to clean than some of the other models on this list. Why? Because its single burner, though great for cooking, leads to stuck-on grease buildup.
At 28 pounds it proves slightly heavier than other models such as the Blackstone. Should you wish to use larger tanks, it requires the purchase of an additional adapter hose.
For a truly unique and adaptable grill, check out the Gonzo Grill. About the size of a soup pot, the grill can hold up to four full-sized meat patties. The smaller size makes the grill easy to stash, but it could prove too small for some campers.
Fortunately, you’ve got options. Should you decide you need more grill space, just combine it with other Gonzo Grills. They prove compatible, which means a truly adaptable grilling experience.
Just pack what you need for the number of campers you anticipate feeding, and you’re good to go. That said, on its own, the grill size is underwhelming, and it proves pricier than many of the other products featured on this list.
If you’re looking for the best small grill for camping as a couple, then this diminutive number by Cuisinart represents a charming option. It weighs a light 13.5 pounds making it super convenient for travel.
It boasts a stylish design and set up remains as simple as plopping down on a flat surface. Because it’s designed with couples in mind, its cooking space proves small, just 155 square inches. In terms of power, it offers no more than 5500 BTU.
That said, it feels sturdy, and it offers the perfect accessory for a romantic night grilling by the light of the moon. Just don’t forget the bottle of wine.
When it comes to cons, the small cooking space and the lack of power won’t cut it for more than couples on the go.
The Delicious Way to Rough It
Who says you can’t enjoy a steak or ribs grilled to perfection during your next camping trip? With the selection above, you’re sure to find the ideal unit for your camping lifestyle and cooking needs.
With the advent of better camping gear, glamping, and increased interest in the RV lifestyle, you’ve never had more choices when it comes to crafting the outdoor experience of your dreams.
Finding the perfect camping grill represents another part of this recipe for outdoor success.
Whether you’re looking for an insanely hot grill that can render meat from raw to ready-to-eat in minutes like the Mr. Steak 1 or you want a romantic grill made for two like the Cuisinart Petit Gourmet, options abound.
Key Factors in Camping Grill Selection
To find the best camping grills for you, take into account how much food you’ll likely grill at a time. This will give you a better concept of what you’d like the cooking surface size to look like.
Don’t forget about other factors such as durability, portability, and affordability. For those with a gourmet flair, make sure you buy a grill with the capability of producing a first-rate meal with amenities such as a temperature gauge.
And don’t forget about practicality. Make sure you choose a grill that proves easy to clean.
Interested in more great tips to make your next camping trip downright delicious? Read on to learn about the best fillet knives of 2018.