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Best Camping Grill – 9 Top Models Fueled by Gas, Charcoal or Wood

One of the greatest joys of camping has got to be the cooking. You get a break from the same old flavors of home, and your taste buds have a chance to savor something different. To get the best out of your meals, you will want the best camping grill you can possibly find.

While many people use the terms camping grill and camping stove interchangeably, these outdoor kitchen appliances are entirely different.

A camping stove requires the use of some form of cookware—such a pan or pot—to cook your food in. Stoves come in handy when you want to prepare food that can’t be placed directly onto a flame. Think bacon, scrambled eggs, pancakes, or beans.

With a camping grill, food is placed on a griddle or grate, and it’s cooked by the flames. You can grill veggies, steak and hot dogs over the fire.

Close up of a camping grill, with a blurred background of a family camping

This article is the result of our search for the best camping grill. We take a good look at what you should look for when buying – and what to avoid – before taking a detailed look at what are, in our opinion, the top models available today.

Let’s begin…

At a Glance: Our Recommendations for Best Camping Grill in 2019

Note: Clicking the above links will take you to further information, current prices and customer reviews on Amazon or Home Depot.

Best Camping Grill — Our Top Recommendations for 2019

Picking the first grill you come across means it is highly unlikely it’s the best one for your or your camping group’s specific needs.

You will need to ascertain what type of fuel source you’re most comfortable with. Are you looking for the authentic flavor that comes with charcoal or wood-burning grills? Or are you looking for the clean cooking that is more associated with gas?

We’ve separated this section into three parts, and will be sampling some of the best camping grills under gas, charcoal, and wood-burning fuel sources for you.

For each fuel source, we’ll recommend several grills that we believe are the best models suitable for camping.

Best Camping Gas Grill – Our Top 4 Choices

As most gas camping grills rely on propane as their fuel source, we’ve concentrated on this type in our review.

Propane is clean, efficient, and takes less time to start up compared to charcoal or wood-burning grills. So you’ll spend less time cooking and more time enjoying the great outdoors.

Let’s dive into what we consider to be some of the very best gas camping grills on the market.

Coleman Road Trip Lxe Portable Propane Grill

Coleman Propane Grill | RoadTrip LXE Portable Gas Grill

This versatile grill, that also features in our roundup of the best portable gas grills on the market, is perfect for camping trips. The comprehensive assembly instructions mean you’ll be cooking in no time. It’s handy wheels and folding legs keep it off the ground, making it portable and easy to use.

It offers you plenty of cooking space with two independent and adjustable burners. It also comes with dual sliding side tables, with plenty of room to work on. The Road Trip LXE conveniently comes with a removable tray to catch any grease drippings.

The manufacturers have made it more versatile by building sturdy cast iron grates that can be interchanged with other cooktops, and they’re pretty easy to clean as well. All in all, Coleman did not compromise on building materials, so you can definitely expect durability from this model.

It offers you 20,000 BTUs of heat and is suitable for three to four people. Another amazing feature of this model is that it folds down into a compact design which will fit into your car with no trouble at all.

Features

  • It boasts an InstaStart matchless ignition.
  • Comes with a towing handle, wrench, SwapTop grilling halves, and user manual.
  • The interchangeable cooktops allow you to cook different foods at the same time.
  • Additional accessories are available, like a full griddle, half griddle, and half stove grate, to enhance your overall cooking experience.
  • It comes in a range of colors, from black to green, blue, purple, maroon, red, orange, and silver.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Number of Burners:
  • BTUs: 20,000.
  • Cooking Area: 285 square inches.
  • Fuel Type: 4-ounce propane cylinder.
  • Ignition: Instastart electronic ignition.
  • Dimensions: 33 x 19 x 14 (closed); 47 inches by 34 inches by 19 inches (open).
  • Weight: 47 pounds.
  • Warranty: Limited 3-year warranty.

What We Like

  • Instant start button.
  • Compact size when folded.
  • Folding legs.
  • Large cooking area with extra space on the side trays.
  • PerfectFlow pressure system that provides consistent heat even in extreme conditions.

What We Don’t Like

  • The hood is shallow so you won’t be able to roast fowl or large cuts of meat.
  • The carry handle does not extend.
  • No thermometer.

Summary

If you’re looking for a gas grill that offers tons of space while remaining compact when not in use, then this might be the model for you. The Coleman RoadTrip LXE is designed with convenience in mind, giving you more time to enjoy the outdoors.

To know more about this product and get the latest price, click on this link.

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Weber 51060001 Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill

Weber 51060001 Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill

Coming from a family of well-performing grills, the award-winning, porcelain-enameled Weber Q1200 definitely holds its own. It heats up effortlessly with the simple push of a button and, more importantly, grills your food evenly.

It comes with a control burner valve that allows you to adjust the flame with ease. The temperature gauge is built in—giving you greater temperature control. With the Q1200, you get 189 square inches of primary cooking space. You also get two folding side work tables, perfect for holding your spices and sauces.

It is sturdy and offers you 8,500 BTUs. Its heavy-duty construction means it will be a while before you have to go shopping for a replacement. The flipside though, is that this very sturdy construction makes it quite heavy. You may find it hard to cover long distances on foot with this bad boy in tow.

Features

  • Electronic ignition.
  • Porcelain-enameled finish, cast-iron cooking grates.
  • Cast aluminum body and lid.
  • Glass-reinforced nylon frame.
  • Built-in lid thermometer.
  • Infinite control burner.
  • Folding side work tables.
  • Removable catch pan.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Number of Burners: 1
  • BTUs: 8,500.
  • Cooking Area: 189 square inches.
  • Fuel Type: 1 or 16.4-ounce propane cylinder.
  • Ignition: Electronic ignition.
  • Dimensions: 5 inches by 40.9 inches by 24.6 inches high (15.5 inches high with lid closed).
  • Weight: 30 pounds.
  • Warranty: 2 years, with 5-year warranty on some on the parts.

What We Like

  • Durable and easy to clean.
  • Built-in thermometer
  • Can grill huge chunks of meat or bird.
  • Side tables are sturdy.
  • Comes in a range of colors.
  • Can comfortably cook food for two or three people.

What We Don’t Like

  • It is quite heavy for such a small product.
  • No legs to raise it off the ground.

Summary

It has a sleek, sexy look, with great temperature control and an excellent build. It cleans up real nice and would a perfect addition to your camping experience.

For more info and the latest prices, take a look here.

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Cuisinart Cgg-180t Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill

Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill, Red

When it comes to a compact and easy-to-carry grill, the Cuisinart CGG 180 is definitely a strong contender in this list. It’s easy to set up, move, clean, and store. You can literally take it anywhere—right from the beach to your favorite campsite, then to tailgating parties and picnics.

The CGG 180 can serve up to six people at any one time. It will comfortably cook a large number of steaks, hamburgers, chicken breasts, and fish, so the gang is well fed.

This grill is designed to heat up very fast. Its 145 square inches of cooking space doesn’t waste heat or gas either which makes it very efficient.

Features

  • Stainless steel burner with a porcelain-enameled grate.
  • Gas control knob that comes with a built-in ignition.
  • 145 square inches of total cooking surface.
  • Drip tray to catch run-offs and grease as well as a lid latch.
  • Folding table base.
  • Propane canister adapter.
  • Available in three colors—red, black, and stainless steel.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Number of Burners: 1
  • BTUs: 5,500.
  • Cooking Area: 145 square inches.
  • Fuel Type: 1 or 16.4-ounce propane cylinder.
  • Ignition: Twist-start ignition.
  • Dimensions:5 inches by 16 inches by 13 inches
  • Weight: 5 pounds.
  • Warranty: 1-year.

What We Like

  • Easy to clean.
  • Compact and lightweight—making it a breeze to carry.
  • Can be easily set up anywhere.
  • Can be set up as a tabletop as well as a free-standing grill.

What We Don’t Like

  • Some users have complained about the plastic handle melting.

Summary

This product is perfect for a camper looking for a grill that’s easy to carry and set up. The folding legs make it even smaller for storing and traveling.

If you’d like to know more about the Cuisinart CGG 180, click on this link.

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Smoke Hollow 205 Stainless Steel Tabletop Propane Gas Grill

Masterbuilt 205 Stainless Steel Gas Grill, Tabletop (Old Version)

The Smoke Hollow 205 is a great choice for BBQ enthusiasts and campers who need an on-the-go type of grill. The stainless steel construction makes it not only easy to clean but durable as well. You don’t have to worry about rust if stored for some time.

A great selling point with this product is its portability. It’s locking latch keeps the lid shut, while the legs fold in. This allows you to carry it like a suitcase.

The Smoke Hollow 205 will comfortably allow you to serve up to four people. So grab this grill anytime you want to go camping, picnicking, tailgating, boating, or hanging out in your backyard.

The U-shaped burner provides even distribution of heat to ensure your hot dogs and burgers are well cooked. As far as size is concerned, you can easily fit six to eight burgers on it in one go.

The warming rack offers the perfect finish for nearly done burgers or if you want to slow cook your peppers. It’s designed to keep your food warm for extended periods of time.

Features

  • Replaceable U-shaped burner.
  • Stainless steel construction.
  • Legs fold for portability.
  • Locking hood for extra safety as well as easy storage and transportation.
  • Temperature gauge.
  • Chrome-plated warming rack.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Number of Burners: 1
  • BTUs: 10,000.
  • Cooking Area: 205 square inches, plus 105 square-inch warming rack.
  • Fuel Type: 1-pound propane cylinder.
  • Ignition:
  • Dimensions: 32 inches by 19 inches by 33.5 inches
  • Weight:5 pounds
  • Warranty: 1 year.

What We Like

  • Easy to clean.
  • Rust-free body.
  • Foldable legs that can be set up anywhere.
  • Chrome-plated warming rack.

What We Don’t Like

  • Even at low cooking heat, the body tends to get very hot.
  • The igniter sometimes requires a couple of tries before it lights a flame.

Summary

Looking for an on-the-go grill that’s ideal for camping, picnics, and impromptu cookouts? This is one product you should definitely consider.

For more information on this product, including the latest price, click here.

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Best Camping Charcoal Grill – A Look at Our Top 3 Choices

There is a reason why charcoal lovers adore these grills. It’s in the challenge that comes with lighting up these babies, controlling the heat through fire management, and of course the flavor. Charcoal brings out a distinct and authentic flavor in food that simply can’t be achieved with gas grills.

Let’s look at some of the best charcoal camping grills in 2019.

Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill

Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill

This Weber product also topped our roundup of the best portable charcoal grills. It is a super cool rectangular shaped charcoal grill that can go anywhere, literally. And it’s compact which means you can store it with ease when you’re not using it.

Additionally, the plated steel foldable legs pivot to lock the lid in place during travel. This ensures that you can carry it around securely.

The grill’s ventilation system is comprised of two vents on the top and two vents on the sides. These allow you a very workable and decent way to adjust the temperature while you’re grilling. And when you’re done and need to extinguish the coals, simply close these vents and the lid.

The size of the girll and the number of vents also allow you to cook food indirectly, or to do some low n slow smoking quite successfully. I personally own one, and love this fact more than anything.

This product is quite heavy for its compact size which speaks of the build quality and good materials used.

Speaking of size, it doesn’t require a lot of fuel to heat up. It is, however, only large enough to cook food for two to four people. You can fit in six average-sized burgers or a couple of large steaks.

With grates made from nickel-coated steel and a porcelain-enameled steel lid, it is easy to clean and durable too.

Features

  • Porcelain coated finish.
  • Weatherproof
  • Foldable legs pivot to lock the lid in place

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Cooking Area: 160 square inches.
  • Dimensions: 2 inches by 21 inches by 14.5 inches
  • Weight:5 pounds
  • Warranty: 10-year limited. Warranty varies for individual parts.

What We Like

  • Durable
  • Has a large cooking surface.
  • Great for small gatherings.
  • Delivers great results.

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s pretty heavy for its size.

Summary

Weber quality ensures this grill delivers excellent results for anyone looking for the traditional charcoal flavor in their food. For a more in depth take on this wonderful grill, please see my Weber Go-Anywhere charcoal grill review.

If you like what you’ve seen and want to know more about this model, just click on this link.

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

 

Cuisinart CCG-100 Gratelifter Portable Charcoal Grill

Cuisinart CCG-100 GrateLifter Portable Charcoal Grill

Coming from a family of world-famous kitchen products, the Cuisinart CCG-100 is simply a work of art. It feels like the manufacturers analyzed BBQ-enthusiast problems and came up with this fantastic product as a solution.

One of the most outstanding features of the Cuisinart CCG-100 is the GrateLifter. Whether you are rearranging coals or adding more charcoal to the charcoal bed, you simply engage the lift. Once engaged, the grate raises effortlessly allowing you access to the charcoal bed without getting your hands covered in grease.

The lift feature also makes it easy to clean out the ash from the charcoal bed. This grill comes with an ash collection bin that makes the cleaning up process so much easier and safer.

With 240 square inches of cooking surface, the grill offers plenty of space to cook a good amount of food all at once for the whole family. An optional extra purchase is two side tables, giving you extra working space.

You don’t have to worry about temperature regulation. The integrated precision temperature gauge displays internal temperatures which allows you to manage your cooking without much hassle.

This grill is portable, compact, and provides a superior campsite cooking experience. It is absolutely ideal for a large family or group of friends.

Features

  • Built-in temperature gauge.
  • The unique grill lift system allows you to access the charcoal bed without having to touch the cooking grate.
  • Precision air flow system for accurate temperature management.
  • Spacious cooking surface.
  • Ash collection bin for convenient cleaning.
  • Cast iron cooking gate.
  • Porcelain-enameled lid.
  • Table stand for tabletop usage.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Cooking Area: 240 square inches.
  • Dimensions: 27 inches by 16 inches by 15.5 inches
  • Weight: 28 pounds
  • Warranty: 3 years.

What We Like

  • The grill lift system.
  • Lightweight
  • Large cooking surface with extra working space from the side tables.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Ash collection bin.

What We Don’t Like

  • The pins on the grate lift may need some tightening.
  • Side tables must be purchased

Summary

The Cuisinart CCG-100 is well thought out, durable, and nothing short of ideal if you have a lot of hungry mouths to feed.

If you’re looking for something that’s going to last, and you’d like more information on this grill, click here.

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Lodge Cast Iron Hibachi Style Sportman’s Grill


Are you into rugged-looking wonders? Then the Lodge L410 Hibachi Style grill may be the perfect addition to your outdoor equipment. Made purely from cast iron, it is incredibly durable and can last for decades if you take good care of it.

The cast-iron construction also means it possesses superior heat retention capabilities that will see you save on fuel. While the grill can’t handle too much at a time, it will leave the perfect sear on all your meats.

This product is all about direct heat, so small quantities of quick-cooking foods will work best. It’s ideal for grilling burgers, steak, and pieces of chicken, and can serve up to four people.

It has a front door that allows you to rearrange or add coals without interfering with the cooking grate. Right below the door is an adjustable air intake opening that makes it easy to control the heat while you’re cooking.

At 32 pounds, it is quite heavy, but takes up only a small amount of storage space. You should be able to fit it in your car or camper without any trouble.

Cleanliness and care are of utmost importance, though. Cast iron doesn’t handle moisture or weather elements well, and it’s also prone to rust. Be sure to clean it up thoroughly after using it, then add some seasoning, and store it in a dry place.

Features

  • Cast iron construction.
  • Front door access to the fire and coals.
  • Nickel plated steel grate.
  • Sliding bottom vent that enables temperature adjustment.
  • Two adjustable heights for the cooking grates.
  • Pre-seasoned cooking grates.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Cooking Area: 150 square inches.
  • Dimensions: 20 inches by 8.1 inches by 10.4 inches
  • Weight: 32 pounds
  • Warranty: Manufacturer offers a limited lifetime warranty

What We Like

  • Adjustable heights.
  • Durable
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Pre-seasoned.
  • Good heat regulation.

What We Don’t Like

  • Requires extra care to prevent rusting.
  • No lid.

Summary

The Lodge L410 is an efficient charcoal burning grill that has been designed to last for many years. It is perfect for outdoor lovers looking for that authentic taste in their food.

To learn more about this product including the latest price, click here.

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Home Depot

 

Best Wood Burning Camping Grill

Just like their charcoal burning counterparts, wood burning camping grills bring out a rich, smoky flavor in every meal. They are also hotter than gas, and you can regulate the heat to suit your cooking needs.

Let’s look at some of the best wood burning camping grills in 2019.

Biolite Basecamp Wood Burning Stove System

BioLite Basecamp Wood Burning Stove

This grill seamlessly combines bygone years with tomorrow. The wood burning aspect connects you to the days when campers relied solely on firewood.

A USB light provides additional illumination when you’re cooking your meals in the dark. Furthermore, the grill’s device charging capabilities allow you to keep your mobile devices charged and connected with the world.

The grill is fuel efficient and uses natural fuels such as branches, twigs, and wood. Once the fire is lit, it starts to heat the thermoelectric generator, which then converts this heat to electric power, which is stored in the attached power bank.

As electricity is generated, it powers a small fan which in turn feeds into the furnace producing near-smokeless fire. It also generates more heat—and the hotter the grill, the faster your food will cook.

The Biolite BaseCamp Stove comes with 138 square inches of cooking area which allows you to cook plenty of food at a time. You can have up to eight burgers cooking on this grill at the same time. You can also use it for boiling a pot, by simply flipping a switch.

With an exterior made of stainless steel and an interior lined with cast iron, this grill has durability written all over it.

Features

  • Fuel rack to hold firewood that is too long to fit inside the grill.
  • Fire starters.
  • Smokeless flames.
  • Gooseneck USB-powered light.
  • 5W power output for charging mobile devices.
  • Grill-to-boil lever allowing you to transform the flame by flipping a switch.
  • Ash catching tray.
  • Folding legs.
  • Carry pack or pizza dome available at an additional cost.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Cooking Area: 138 square inches.
  • Dimensions: 1 inches by 13.2 inches by 23 inches
  • Weight: 18 pounds
  • Warranty: 1 year limited warranty
  • Battery: Lithium-ion battery, 2,200 mAmp-hour.

What We Like

  • Stainless steel and cast-iron construction make it durable.
  • Can charge electrical devices.
  • USB lighting offers better illumination.
  • The smart dashboard allows you to control the power.

What We Don’t Like

  • It is a little too large for a solo traveler.
  • Some users complain about the need to change the battery every year.

Summary

This product boasts a sturdy structure, a heat-monitoring dashboard, smart design, and a fancy USB lighting system among other fun features. It is an excellent option for a camper looking for a combination of new and old. To know more about this grill, its great features, and the latest price, click on this link.

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Cook-Air Ep-3620bk Wood Fired Portable Grill, Black

Cook-Air EP-3620BK Wood Fired Portable Grill, Black

A portable powerhouse, it can reach temperatures of 1100 degrees within just five minutes of being lit. Its advanced technology allows you to grill your food on high heat within a short time.

Start the grill by using the firestarter sticks or a wad of paper and a piece of wood. Once the fire is lit, turn the fan to one, and after a minute or so, crank it up to three.

By this time the wood is fully ignited, you can turn the fan to five, attaining temperatures of well above 700 degrees Fahrenheit. The more wood you place into it, the hotter it gets.

This model has a round stainless steel cooking grate that can hold six to eight burgers, four steaks, or eight to ten chicken drumsticks. It is ideal for a small group of friends or family.

Environmentally conscious BBQ enthusiasts will be happy to know that this grill burns 99.6 percent of its gases. It is quite the ecologically friendly product!

Features

  • Stainless steel construction.
  • 5-speed fan.
  • Reaches temperatures of 1100 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Includes 120V electrical adaptor, and automobile adaptor.
  • Comes with a cooking grid handle, cleaning brush, and carry bag.
  • Three color options availableblack, gray, and red.

Manufacturer’s Specs

  • Cooking Area: 14 inches in diameter.
  • Dimensions: 17 inches by 15 inches by 15 inches.
  • Weight: 17 pounds
  • Power: AC adaptor, 12V adaptor (both included), or 8 “D” batteries (batteries not included)
  • Grill power: Equivalent to 65,000 BTUs.
  • Warranty: 1 year limited warranty

What We Like

  • Lights up very fast.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Environmentally friendly.

What We Don’t Like

  • Susceptible to rust.
  • Some users have mentioned that the fan stops working after some time.

Summary

This product is perfect for campers and grill lovers keen on enjoying the outdoors more than spending their time cooking.

To learn more about the Cook-Air wood-fired portable grill, or to find the latest price on it, click here.

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

What to Look for When Shortlisting Options

Camping grills come in many shapes and sizes, and their fuel sources are just as varied. Some use charcoal, while others use gas. You will also find some that use wood or electricity. It really boils down to safety and your personal preference.

That said, there other qualities you should look for when shopping for the best camping grill on the market. We have listed a few of these to keep in mind before making a purchase.

Compactness and Ease of Packing Away/Transportation Features

Any camper will know how valuable space is. The smaller grills that are well-loved by backpackers are fairly compact and will fit into a small space. However, these may not be practical for a family or a large group of friends who are camping together.

That said, the best camping grill should still fold up easily and fit into a relatively small space. The square-ish types may work better if you need to secure them to roof racks or slide them into your trunk.

Additionally, look for a product that is easy to use and safe to maneuver. You don’t want to waste your time spending hours trying to figure out how it works—setting it up or folding it down. By then, your guests will probably have gone to find the nearest fast food drive-thru!

Size

The size you choose should be dictated by the number of campers typically on your team.

A family of four will not have the same needs as a group of ten friends hanging out. Think about keeping a pack of happy, full campers and how much food you’ll need to fit on your grill at any one time.

While you may not want a supersized camping grill, a small model will greatly inconvenience a large group of hungry people.

Temperature Control

Your campers may not mind lightly charred food, but burned or raw food is not something they’ll thank you for. If you’re considering a gas grill, make sure there are dials to control the temperature with ease. Otherwise, it might be an idea to purchase a thermometer separately.

Charcoal lovers should look for a product that has vents both on top and at the bottom to facilitate the free flow of air, but that you can control.

The more the air flows easily through the grill, the higher the temperature gets, and the more you restrict the airflow, the lower the temperature gets.

In other words, top and bottom vents are your temperature controls on a charcoal grill so you want to make sure your choice of product has them!

Design and Features

The overall design will also play a key role in how well you’ll cook. Think about the features you would like to have in a grill.

For example, some designs have a snug-fitting lid which allows you to roast, or smoke low n slow, as well as grill.

You can find grills that fold down into a neatly rolled luggage-style apparatus, which can be convenient, and space saving too. Perhaps you’re looking for an easy-to-clean model or one made from specific materials like stainless steel, brass, cast aluminum, or cast iron.

There are camping grills that have side tables to facilitate easy food preparation. Others have legs that help keep the fire and heat above the ground. You can also find camping grills that allow you the option of baking or frying your foods.

It boils down to what extras you are looking for, while also being realistic of what can be achieved in a small portable unit.

Quality of Construction and Durability

Don’t cut corners when it comes to the quality of construction, regardless of size. Your camping grill may very well be exposed to harsh conditions—be it weather or fire. Therefore, just because you’re looking for a small, portable grill doesn’t mean you should compromise on quality and opt for something that will only last 3 camping trips.

Check the surfaces and working areas for sharp or ‘unfinished’ edges. These can easily cut you or snag on clothing.

To know how stable the grill is, gently push against it from all angles to see how it withstands slight knocks.

Cast iron is durable but it’s also bulky and heavy, and it can easily rust. Aluminum, on the other hand, is lightweight, easy to ferry around, but may burn out.

Look for a grill whose build can withstand excessive heat and last longer than just one season.

Accessories or Bonuses

We all like extras. Sometimes manufacturers will throw in some fun, useful accessories or bonuses. While they may not come with accessories such as BBQ utensils or tools, you never know what you might find out there, so it’s worth shopping around.

Something we like—we’ve seen some grills on the market that come with their own carrying bags. This makes it easy to transport. A bonus could be an extended warranty, or a free recipe book, for example.

For Gas Grills Specifically

Essentially, gas comes in two forms—natural gas and liquid petroleum gas (LPG). Natural gas comes from an underground source and is piped into your home’s main gas supply. Because of this, they cannot be portable and aren’t made for camping. (Though if you’re interested, you can check out our guide to the best natural gas grills here.)

LPG is filtered, treated, and packed into portable cylinders.

Camping grills, being portable, will use one of two types of LPG: butane or propane. The cylinders for these are, generally, not interchangeable, with most using propane gas.

If you’re in the market for a gas grill in particular, look out for the following:

Btus

BTUs stands for British thermal units, and these are used to ascertain the amount of heat a grill can produce.

Naturally, most people want to reach for models that have a higher number of BTU. Why? Well, you’d think that the higher the number, the hotter the grill will get, cooking your food more quickly or thoroughly.

But this is not necessarily true.

Unfortunately, manufacturers are known to oversell on BTUs. They will usually do this by bundling all of the burner output ratings to make it look like a more impressive number.

It’s recommended that you look for 80 to 100 BTUs per square inch of cooking area. By comparing usable cooking space to BTUs, you’ll have a much clearer idea of how much heat your grill is capable of producing.

Remember—cooking surface here does not include side burners, rotisserie burners, warming trays, and the like.

Grills with high BTUs should be made of high-quality materials. Otherwise you will lose a lot of that heat. Besides, models with more BTUs burn fuel faster, meaning you will be spending more.

Number of Burners

A grill with more burners allows you to cook different food items at different heat levels at the same time. You could be searing a juicy steak over high heat on one burner, while roasting peppers over low heat on another part of the grill.

Many full sized grills come with two or three burners, but you can also find some with four, or even six. Some also have side burners, which are great for warming up food, while others may come with a rotisserie.

So, how many burners do you want? Well, we’re talking about a camping grill here, so overall size would be my main concern, rather than number of burners.

Most portable gas grills have only the one burner. This is because of size constraints. You will see some people state you need 2 burners at an absolute minimum, and three would be even better for temperature control and to be able to do ‘indirect heat cooking and roasting!’ But then the grill would be so large, it could hardly be considered suitable for camping. So in my opinion, you’re going to have to accept a single burner, or 2 at most. Either is fine.

Ignition

Today’s grills usually come with spark ignitions. Some run on a battery, while others use a push button or a dial to start up. It’s important for you to look for one with a lighting system that’s easy to start up.

While you’re at it, look at the manual ignition operation and how it works too. You may need to use it if and when the starter fails or becomes worn out.

Conclusion

Finding the best camping grill for you will undoubtedly take a bit of work, especially with so many brands and variations available, with many of them quality meaning there’s just so many to choose from.

You will first need to decide what your needs and preferences are before picking the right grill for you, and we hope our look at top models above has helped you in some way.

Out of all the above, we do have 2 favorites—the ones that we feel that top the list. Drum roll, please…

The winner for best camping gas grill for us is the Coleman Road Trip LXE portable propane grill. It outperforms other grills, with its durable construction, and easy-to-clean and light-up features. Let’s also not forget its ability to accommodate large chunks of meat.

And the winner for best camping charcoal grill is the weber go anywhere. It’s the one that I, Mark, personally own and use…and I really cannot fault it.

If you have anything to add, any questions or feedback, please do drop us a message below. We’d love to hear from you and we’ll answer every comment.

Happy camping!

 

Product image credits: © Amazon.com

Mark Jenner

Hi. I'm Mark Jenner, owner and creator of FoodFireFriends.com. I grill and smoke food outdoors at least three days a week on a wide range of equipment, have done so for years, and love nothing more than cooking good food, over live fire, enjoying it with friends. The aim of this site is to educate and help others to do the same.

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