|Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Grill||4.5||Check Price||Read More|
|Weber 10020 Smokey Joe Grill||4.0||Check Price||Read More|
|Coleman RoadTrip Propane Grill||4.3||Check Price||Read More|
There was a time when you had to break out the old school 100 plus pounds grill just for a simple cookout, and sadly, you couldn’t even take it anywhere other than your yard, but not anymore! What was once a burden is now a breeze thanks to introducing portability to the grilling world. Now, you can easily pack your portable grill and carry it anywhere you wish!
From family gatherings, camping trips, and pool parties all the way to tailgating at beaches or sports events, you’ll no longer miss the grilled deliciousness. Even if you have limited space in your small city apartment, portable grills can be compact enough to fit anywhere. However, such mobility brings a lot of specs to choose from which often overwhelms potential users. Don’t you worry though, we’ve got your back!
After grilling loads of burgers, hot dogs, and chicken (lucky us), we present you with all the information you need to know before making a purchase along with our list of the best portable grills you can get your hands on.
- Gas Vs Charcoal Portable Grills
- What makes a good Portable Grill?
- How We Selected the Best Portable Grill?
- Top 3 Portable Grills
- Wrap Up
Gas Vs Charcoal Portable Grills
Generally, you’ll find portable grills to either run on gas or charcoal. Each type has its ups and downs that we’re gonna shed light on.
Gas grills, alternatively known as propane grills, are more suitable for people who are planning on frequent grilling, once or twice a week. This is because they ignite and preheat quickly with a press of a button, offering temperature dials to let you control the heat level easily. Such control reduces random flare-ups, under, and overcooking.
Since it uses gas, the whole burning process is clean and contained, you won’t be worrying about ash remnants, rouge embers or smoke. The firebox cools down in no time so there won’t be much waiting before you can pack it away.
Unfortunately, propane grills won’t give you that unique smokey taste, nor will it burn as hot as charcoal. They are more expensive and the gas cylinders aren’t disposable, you’ll have to return them to specialized facilities.
On the other hand, charcoal grills are for those seeking the traditional smokey flavor along with dark searing marks to nail the best small BBQ servings. They are more affordable and suited for occasional grilling, say on special events.
Such grills burn hotter, but charcoal gives off smoke which may be problematic for confined or small spaces. They are also quite messy leaving ash and grit behind, so it demands more clean up work.
What makes a good Portable Grill?
Depending on the type of grill you go for, there are certain aspects to consider in order to get the best portable grill.
There are a few options when it comes to the material of a propane grill. You have cast aluminum which is durable as well as corrosion-resistant. It does a fantastic job of even absorption and reflection of heat, so you don’t need to constantly watch over your BBQ meat in fear of excessive charring.
Cast iron is also available but adds extra weight for you to carry, however, the flavoring you receive might convince you to look past the added heaviness. You can find cast iron with a porcelain coating which does amazing searing.
Ease of Use
It’s no secret that the temptation of gas grills lies in their convenience, they are considered the more user-friendly among grill types thanks to the push-button firing and the temperature-control dial for quick use and adjustment.
It’s essential that your gas grill comes equipped with an accessible coupling for liquid propane canisters of 1 pound. Those are especially lightweight, affordable, and readily available at hardware stores. Dragging around a 30-pound cylinder really defies the whole portability cause.
Working with gas, it’s crucial that the heating elements and flame shields offer adequate protection with fewer risks of flare-ups resulting when fire catches grease drippings. This must be prevented furthermore given the very close proximity of the heating element and cooking grates on portable gas grills.
A clever design that funnels grease away from the fire, as well as steel inserts, can significantly avoid this issue.
Contrary to gas grills, you won’t find many options in this aspect. Commonly, they’re built with thin porcelainized steel and matching wire grilling grates. This contributes to the lower cost of charcoal grills.
Controlling the temperature is a direct responsibly of the ventilation system. Not only can’t you turn coal heat down, but also the airflow is what keeps coal burning. A vent placed at the top of the lid as well as the heart of the firefox creates the optimum circulation of air.
Avoid vents located at the bottom of the grill above the coal bed because such design limits airflow and could very well extinguish the fire mid-cooking.
Lids produce an oven-like effect, necessary for thick steaks and any bone-in meat to cook all the way through.
You want a spacious firebox to stay away from annoying flare-ups. The wider the distance between grilling grate and the coal bed, the less probability of charred food on your plate. It also means you can add more coal for a shorter cooking period. Maneuvering coal helps you create cold and hot spots for versatile cooking.
How We Selected the Best Portable Grill?
Deciding our best portable grills, we majorly took 3 things into consideration: the cooking area aka how much food you can grill, portability regarding weight, and of course, the price.
These specs range quite widely among portable grills. Taking the cooking area as an example, you can find grills starting from 100 square inches to ones 250 inches. This relates tightly to the weight of the grill ranging from under 10 pounds and reaching over 100 pounds. Price is another varying aspects as some grills won’t break the 100 dollar barrier, while others will just fly way over!
|Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Grill||160 sq. in.||14.5 lbs.||$$|
|Weber 10020 Smokey Joe Grill||147 sq. in.||9.5 lbs.||$|
|Coleman RoadTrip Propane Grill||285 sq. in.||46.7 lbs.||$$$|
Top 3 Portable Grills
While grills surpass each other in different areas, we’re confident our choices will lead you to one of the best portable grills.
- Porcelain-enameled lid and base
- Lid lock for secure portability
- Cooking area: 160 square inches
- Weight: 14.5 pounds
Weber is one of the most famous manufacturers of outdoor grills, their 121020 Go-Anywhere model is just proof of their deserved ranking among the best brands out there.
The design of this charcoal grill is pretty smart, with a compact rectangular box-like shape for facilitated portability. You even get a handle on the very top of the lid to securely carry it like you would a briefcase thanks to the Tuck-N-Carry lid lock. It also has side handles to aid movement when it’s hot.
The Go-Anywhere is lightweight and constructed using plated steel for grates and legs, with porcelain coatings on its lid and base to retain heat and resist corrosion. The cooking area is 160 square inches, enough to properly feed 2 or 3 people. Topping it off with a decent price tag, the Weber 121020 Charcoal Grill is a solid option for any grill lover.
- Compact design
- Tuck-N-Carry lid lock
- Easy to clean
- Uses less charcoal
- Decent serving size
- The cooking area can be bigger
- Handles may overheat
- Cooking area: 147square inches
- Porcelain-plated lid and bowl
- Rust-resistant aluminum dampers
- Weight: 9.5 pounds
One of the absolute classic designs of charcoal grills is represented by the Weber Smokey Joe. The rounded shape gives a traditional feel to your cooking experience.
At 147 square inches of cooking area, it’s not huge, but it surely can take a generous amount of meat up to 6 burgers at a time. The lid and bowl are porcelain plated to keep their heat and withstand rust and peel. There are aluminum dampers so you can control the temperature easier.
You do get a lid handle, but side handles are absent. The 14-inch diameter grill is made of strong yet light steel and its price hits the sweet spot of users on a budget looking for the best portable charcoal grill.
- Even heat distribution
- Lightweight at less than 10 pounds
- Small and fits 6 burgers
- No side handles
- No lid lock
- Lighter and maybe cheaper materials
- 20,000 BTU grilling power
- Cooking area: 285 square inches
- 3 independently adjustable burners
- 2 sliding side tables
- Instastart ignition
- Locking Lid
- Weight: 46.7 pounds
Our choice for a gas grill on our list goes to Coleman RoadTrip Stand-Up Grill as it offers both quality and performance.
Starting from its grilling power of 20,000 BTU maximum, you can definitely feel it bringing the heat. The 3 independently adjustable burners allow better control over the grill’s temperature. The lid can be tightly locked for secure transport anywhere. It’s also equipped with quick-fold legs and 2 rugged wheels, you can drag it around smoothly.
The RoadTrip features 2 sliding side tables which you can use for laying utensils, sauces, and fixings. There’s a removable water pan designated to catch cooking grease so you can stay worry-free about the flames catching the grease.
One issue that comes with such a large size is the heaviness that deems it not super portable. The Coleman RoadTrip Propane Grill is a real crowd-pleaser, an excellent choice for those who have more mouths to feed and have no problems spending the extra buck.
- Independently adjustable burner
- Tight lock for easy and secure transport
- Durable side tables
- Heavier compared to other portable grills
The moment of truth has arrived. The Best Overall portable grill award goes to none other than the Weber 10020 Smokey Joe Portable Charcoal Grill. Not only does it meet our standards of durable yet light material, but the ventilation is also superb with even heat spread for the perfect steak. Having an awesome price? Well, that’s a welcome bonus! For our choice of Best Value, we just had to give for the Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill. It’s a rather deserved spot thanks to its adequate cooking area, smart design tweaks of the lid and handles, and reliable porcelain plated material. All of which you get for a reasonable sum of money.