Best Camping Grill in 2020 for Outdoor Cooking

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camping grill for outdoor cooking

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Aside from catching glimpses of wildlife, breathing in fresh air, and enjoying a wide variety of outdoor sports, there’s no better perk to camping than grilling up some good food.

You can never overestimate the value of sitting around the fire for a hot meal. That’s why we’ve decided to create this guide on how to find the best camping grill.

Camping grills are great because unlike regular grills, they’re sturdy and portable, so easy to travel with.

Best Camping BBQ Grill

We get it; finding an outdoor grill is no walk in the park, even with all the variety of options available.

In fact, the myriad of available options is that makes it difficult for most to find a camping grill that works for them. I mean, how do you know which one to pick?

Well, not to worry because we did all the research and testing for you so you won’t have to.

Here are our picks of the best camping grills you can lay your hands on, with options for different users and budgets.

1. Char-Broil Grill2Go X200

The Char-Broil Grill2Go x200 is probably the most budget-friendly grill we’ve come across thus far. It features an aluminum case with a hot burner that comes on as soon as you click on the piezo igniter.

It has an average carry weight and size which is quite surprising considering the generous grill surface area. This grill is perfect for doing hot dogs and burgers on the go, and it’ll blacken your vegetables and bring the juice out of seared meats.

But, what makes the Char-Broil Grill2Go the best camping BBQ grill is the fact that it’s so versatile. With that said, it doesn’t have the slow cooking setting that allows you to slow cook stews and meat for that fall-off-the-bone texture.

Otherwise, if you have no intention of slow cooking anything, then this grill is perfect for you because it offers great value for money and is very well-made.

Pros
  • Easy to travel with
  • Burns hot
  • Offers infrared style grilling
  • 200 square inches of grilling grate
Cons
  • It doesn’t do low-heat cooking well

2. Napoleon TravelQ TQ285-BL-1 Propane Gas Grill

The TravelQ 285 from Napoleon isn’t only a sight for sore eyes but a beast when it comes to cooking your favorite fireside meals. It’s one that Hank from King of the Hill would be proud of because it’s powered by propane. Although it’s highly portable, it has the capacity to prepare meals for up to six people at once.

You can regulate the temperature as you like for slow-cooking or crank it all the way up to sear some sizzling steak. The grill has different heat zones so you can cook different items at the same time, and the auto-igniter from Napoleon works seamlessly every single time.

But, as with all good things, this grill isn’t cheap. In addition to being pricey, it doesn’t allow for rolling cart use and tabletop use. You can only pick one of those configurations and it’ll be its main setting or style for life.

The great thing about a portable grill is that you can use it for more than just outdoor activities. It can really come in handy in small apartments where you only have a small balcony for outdoor cooking, and it works great for tailgating too. All in all, this is the best propane camping grill from Napoleon.

Pros
  • It’s lightweight and portable
  • Easy to setup
  • Controlled and even temperature distribution
  • Super grilling performance
Cons
  • It has been shown to blow out in high winds

3. Bitty Big Q Stainless Steel Camping Grill

Our review of top grills on the market wouldn’t be complete without the Bitty Big Q grill. This grill ticks all the boxes of what you should look for in a portable camping grill.

Not only is it lightweight but it comes with a built-in table for easy setup. When it’s folded, you can easily wheel it around like a suitcase to get from point A to point B, which adds to that portability we talked about.

The included table is quite spacious and since it’s removable you can swap it for a range flat top or a stovetop if you like.

In addition to being versatile, this Bitty Big Q grill is easy to clean and is made from durable materials that can handle exposure to the elements, such as steel and ceramic. You can confidently take it on any camping spot and know that it’ll perform as advertised.

Pros
  • It’s constructed from a combination of ceramic and steel
  • Very well priced considering its performance and build
  • One-button ignition for easy setup
  • Foldable and easy to store and move around with the included wheels
Cons
  • It doesn’t have a lot of accessories

4. Solaire SOL-EV17A Propane Gas Grill

The Solaire Everywhere is in our opinion the best portable camp grill that money can buy. Although it’s portable and compact, it’s certainly not lacking in the performance category.

It operates according to a “flameless” burner that’s located underneath the well-placed V-shaped cooking bars. This makes it perfect for cooking all of your favorite tailgating classics like steaks and burgers. That’s because it has a high heat output.

This unique infrared grill does have its own downsides, however, such as a lack of specialization in some areas. For one thing, it has a small grill top that can only handle one or two pieces of meat at a time.

It’s also quite pricey considering how small it is. It doesn’t have a low-heat setting which means you can’t slow-cook any meals on it.

Pros
  • Compact and portable
  • Works fast
  • High heat output
  • 140 square inches grilling area
  • Push-button ignition
Cons
  • No slow cooking setting
  • It doesn’t come with a lid

5. Coleman Roadtrip X-Cursion Propane Grill

This Coleman Roadtrip propane grill is a solid option with a lot of great features like a rolling design with durable wheels that can take on any terrain, great burners, and a comfortable height that makes it easy to work with.

You’ll find that setting this grill up is super easy and you can easily get it to your desired temperature quite quickly compared to other grills. It comes with two independently adjustable burners which means that you can cook slow on one side and fast on the others.

There are even side shelves that slide into the grill for you to store your food before cooking or after to get ready for serving.

The only downside with this grill is that it has an awkwardly shaped handle that can be difficult to figure out for some. But, it makes up for that with its affordable price tag.

Pros
  • A grill that’s compatible with different cooktops
  • Although pricey, it’s still more affordable than similar models
  • Easy to fold up and wheel around from one place to another
Cons
  • It comes with an awkwardly shaped handle

6. CUISINART CGG-180T CGG180T Portable Propane

This small yet mighty gas grill has a lot going for it. You can place it on any tabletop because it’s so lightweight. Its legs are high and very stable so you don’t have to worry about it wobbling about.

You can even place it on grassy or rocky surfaces and it won’t budge. Once you’re done, simply fold it up at the legs and take it to your car or the next camping spot.

One burner has a 5500 BTU burning capacity which is quite low and allows you to enjoy slow-cooked meals away from home. It also has 145 inches of cooking space which is more than enough for the whole family.

However, the low setting can be too slow so be sure to keep an eye on it so you don’t end up with soggy food. Otherwise, it’s one of the best car camping grills here.

Pros
  • It’s easy to store it safely away from surfaces
  • Adjustable legs
  • Portable and lightweight
  • It only weighs 13.5 pounds
Cons
  • This grill feels overpriced for its size

7. Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill

Pitmasters rejoice! This portable Weber charcoal grill is your ticket to getting your grill on no matter where you are. Like most other Weber grills this is very well-made and comes in a classic enamel and cast-iron design, only in a smaller size.

It has a rectangular-shaped basin that’s designed to evenly spread the coal for even cooking. The top is constructed from plated steel which you can take in and out through the deep-seated insets in order to adjust the heat and make sure that each cooking zone has the amount of heat that you want it to. This is a great way to avoid burning food or accidentally dropping it into the coals.

This outdoor camping grill is super impressive for its ability to put out the same amount of heat as gas-powered models, granted you’re the type of pitmaster to bring that out of your grill.

It will take some time to get used to operating this baby. But with sufficient practice, it’s pretty easy to get the most out of it, especially the different heat zones.

Pros
  • Offers great accuracy
  • Charcoal cooking better than gas
  • Made from well-insulated cast iron
  • Budget-friendly
  • Features a generously sized coal bed
Cons
  • It’s difficult to adjust the vents without the use of gloves
  • It’s rather bulky

8. Coleman Fold N Go Propane Grill

If portable and easy to use is what you’re looking for then the Coleman Fold N Go propane grill is for you. It only weighs a little over 10 pounds and even comes with its own branded carrying case sold separately.

All of your meals are cooked on the porcelain-coated grate which comes with non-stick protection to minimize cleaning. Just don’t take the porcelain chips or else you’ll lose its non-stick quality.

Not only is it great for beginners and avid campers, but the Fold N Go is the best camping gas grill for anyone who’s shopping on a budget.

Pros
  • Comes with a griddle cooktop
  • Lightweight
  • Offers great value for money
Cons
  • It doesn’t come with an ignition button

How to Pick the Best Camping Grill

In addition to knowing that your options are, the key to finding the best camping grill for your needs in case you don’t want to make your own box oven is to consider the following features and factors that go into determining grill quality and capacity.

Gauge

For the most part, it’s not that hard to keep an eye on your food if you only have a small batch going at any given point in time.

Things like burgers, hot dogs, and sausages all cook quickly so they shouldn’t be difficult to avoid burning.

But, if you want to cook something a bit more complex like ribs then you’ll need a temperature gauge to regulate the temperature throughout the longer cooking cycle.

Grilling Surface

A grill’s cooking surface is what’s going to determine your capacity to cook for the number of people that you want to cook for.

Grill cooking surface is usually measured in square inches.

The larger the cooking surface, the more fuel it’s going to require to cook all the food you want to prepare. A small cooking surface, on the other hand, can only cater for couples and families.

Size

You definitely need to have a portable camping grill to keep near your hammock.

Think about it; what happens when you have to unload it from the car or take it from your vehicle to your camping spot or from the camping spot to its carrying bag?

All of these steps are made easier by having a lightweight and portable grill that can handle different types of terrain and elements.

Grill Tops

A cook plate or cooktop will come in handy when it comes to ensuring that your food comes out perfect every time.

This feature is especially important for beginners who’ve never used outdoor grills before. It’ll make things so much easier.

Ignition Button

Most grills come with no-flame ignitions which makes them easy to switch on and use.

Maintenance

The key to a useful grill is to keep it clean, so you want one that’s easy to clean and maintain.

Be sure to keep a scrub bristle brush on hand so you can remove any caked-on grease or gunk after it’s cooled down after cooking.

Safety Tips

Open flames are nothing to play with so you want to make sure that you have some safety practices that you apply when working with your grill.

These are just a few things that you maybe haven’t considered before, on how to safely set up and use your grill safely.

  • Keep your grill at least 12 feet away from the closest camping tables or hanging branches. If you can’t figure out what this distance amounts to, ask a friend to look at you while standing under the branch. The distance between you should double your height. If you have a tape measure on hand, then you can just use that to make sure that you’re safe to start grilling.
  • Make sure that your grill is set on a stable platform. While it’s practically impossible to find a perfectly level surface out in nature, you can stomp the topsoil with your feet to try and clear it and make it as stable as possible. Get rid of any twigs or leaves on the area where you plan to place your grill to avoid any unexpected tip-overs.
  • Always keep your grill and RV pipes clean as this will affect the taste and quality of the food you produce from it. Not only that, but a clean grill will help to avoid the production of excess smoke and flames which might go up into the air, causing unwanted fires.
  • Observe the five-minute rule. This means that if your grill ever switches off out of the blue, wait for five minutes before switching it on manually again. That’s because within those five minutes, you allow any gas pockets that are lingering in the air to dissipate and this will help to prevent unwanted fires again.
  • For at least 30 minutes after use, the grill zone should be off-limits to everyone. This is even after you’ve switched it off and had your dinner. That’s because if someone accidentally tips your grill over within that time frame, a bush fire is highly likely to happen.
  • Always have a fire extinguisher close by when working with a grill because you never know. A fire might still happen despite all of your efforts to avoid it. Ideally, your extinguisher should be kept five to six feet away, and within sight.

Final Thoughts

Of all the things you should have at your disposal when outdoors, a grill is one of the most essential. It will allow you to prepare delicious food and enjoy hearty meals around the fire with your camping mates all throughout the trip.

If you’re fishing, you can use it to cook what you catch and make unforgettable memories. We highly recommend the versatile Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 which is budget-friendly, portable, and easy to travel with.

It burns hot and uses infrared technology to blacken vegetables and sear meat to perfection. It’s the grill to take with you if you want to prepare different meals. However, it does have a high cooking point and its temperature cannot be reduced to a low setting.

Otherwise, it’s the best camping grill in our opinion because it’s well-made and offers great value for money.

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