The 10 best portable grills to take on the road whether it's a trip to the beach, a picnic or camping. These grills offer a wide variety of options from gas to charcoal with many great features. If you are in the market for a grill you can pack away until you need it, these are the units you should be looking at. Updated for 2012
The problem with many portable grills is that they just can't produce a good, high grilling temperature. How about a wood burning grill that can hit 1,000 degrees F.? The Cook-Air grill uses an internal fan to create a cyclone of air moving over the burning wood to accelerate the combustion making it quite possibly the hottest portable grill on the market. Better yet, because it is a wood burning grill, it makes wonderful amounts of smoke to flavor foods and actually make them taste like cooking over a campfire, which you are. Loaded with great features and powered either by a standard outlet, car adapter, or batteries, this is a very portable little grill with a good sized grilling space.
Weber-Stephen Products Company
This portable grill is a master of design. It packs up to be less than 32 inches long, yet its seven inch lid means this grill is big enough to cook a whole chicken. It uses standard 14 ounce propane tanks (not included) and has a 280 square-inch porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grate that's almost big enough to be called a full sized grill. At under $200 this grill has Weber's durability and a unique design that has won awards. Not only a great grill to cook on, it's cool looking too.
From the grill design team at Fuego comes this new, 15-pound portable gas grill. This little grill sells for $150USD and features a single 8,000 BTU stainless steel burner fed by either 16.4 or 14.1 disposable LP tanks. The whole unit folds up into a briefcase size with a large silicon band holding the whole thing together. The Element Portable has 159 square inches of cast iron cooking space, push button ignition, lock in place folding legs, and a shoulder strap for hands free carry. This in not a large portable, but then, that's the point. Carry this grill down to the beach or even take it hiking and you can grill up a couple of steaks or burgers. The power output is good and the cast iron cooking grates give excellent heat transfer.
Rasmussen Iron Works, Inc.
Imagine the power of an infrared grill in a portable. This 14,000 BTU infrared grill packs more heat than any other portable grill and at 20 pounds you can take it almost anywhere. All stainless steel construction you can even get this grill in marine quality steel with a railing mount for boating. 155 square inches of grilling area. Uses either disposable propane bottles or can be converted to a full 20 pound tank or even natural gas.
Weber-Stephen Products Company
In some parts of the world Weber means grill like Kleenex means tissue. The Weber Kettle is the most widely identified charcoal grill and now the 18 1/2-inch Weber grill comes in a portable size. With the same cooking grate as the full sized charcoal grill, the Jumbo Joe is big enough for a full sized cookout, in a portable container. Weighing 22 pounds and with a single hold handle, this just might be the perfect portable grill for when there is more than two people.
Son of Hibachi
The classic hibachi grill was about as easy a grill to use as anyone was going to find. A large cast iron pan was filled with charcoal and cooking grates could be adjusted over the fire for temperature control. Son of Hibachi still gives that great, open flame grilling style, but in a design that is completely revolutionary. The whole grill folds up into a briefcase style unit. In this position, charcoal can be added and lit, like a charcoal chimney. Once burning, simply open the unit up, put on the cooking grates and start cooking. Afterwards, it can be folded up while the coals are still burning and put out by pouring water into the unit, or better yet, snuffed out in a heat resistant, airtight carrying bag. This way the remaining charcoal can be used again.
Regarding BBQ, Inc.
A good portable gas grill should be sturdy, with good grilling characteristics, but also lightweight and easily transported. At 24 pounds and folding up into a briefcase sized grill the O-Grill is all these. The porcelain coated cast iron cooking grates are going to give good grilling characteristics from this single burner grill. This portable grill can be set up and lit in seconds and be ready to grill in a few minutes. One of the reasons that this portable is so lightweight is that the body is stamped steel, making it a little more fragile than ridged body grills, what what you would expect from a small, portable.
While very traditional in design this completely stainless steel portable gas grill heats quickly and evenly and is easy to clean. The relatively large cooking area and good heat output will give you very real grilling in a 15 pound portable. These units last forever and are easy to take care off. This unit has a good selection of accessories including extendable legs that bring it to 32 inches height and the option to switch to gas, charcoal or electric.
Cobb America, Inc.
The Cobb grill has been repeatedly praised as one of the most unique and versatile portable grills on the market. This unit will run on eight charcoal briquettes for up to three hours, will never flare-up, and can cook a whole chicken as easily as burgers. Light weight, easy to light and operate, this grill is perfect for virtually every outing. It doesn't even get hot on the exterior so you can pick it up while cooking to move it. The only real draw back is the relative small size. The cooking area is a little under 12 inches and doesn't give you a lot of space. Other than that this is a great little grill.
This well constructed 304 stainless steel portable gas grill from Napoleon isn't very creative in design but works great. The single bar burner puts out 14,000 BTUs (and burns through fuel pretty quickly) which gives the 215 square inches of primary cooking space plenty of heat. Primary cooking area? Yes, this is one portable with a fold up warming rack giving you a little extra space and versatility in your cooking. Of course you pay for this quality and versatility. At nearly $300USD this isn't the cheapest portable gas grill.