Today, we are looking at a different type of gas grill. While some of the ones we have previously showcased can be up for consideration given the size and weight, this new guide will hopefully get you up to speed on some of the best portable gas grills in the market.
One of the most important criteria we are going to look for is definitely portability. As the definition says, the models that qualify are those that can be brought along on for the ride. There are those that have telescopic legs that can fold down, while others are shorter and can be placed on top tables or other non-combustible surfaces.
What Makes A Portable Gas Grill Great?
It should be obvious by the description, that portability is the trait we are looking for. These types of cooking equipment are perfectly engineered to be great for cooking wherever you want. Therefore, expect these to be your future go-to favorite when camping, tailgating, or when you want to grill on the patio or balcony with limited space. For the latter, be sure to check if the building owner allows its usage just to be safe.
Being able to take along a gas grill wherever you go is perhaps the best perk of owning a portable model. As long as you have access to a propane tank with enough space and ventilation, you can be good to go in just a few minutes. Nevertheless, just to set your expectations properly, these types of grills have a smaller cook box, limited cooking surfaces, but there are a few exceptions that we will feature in our list. If you are fine with these caveats, then let’s get started.
Important Points To Consider Before Making Your Purchase
Just like its bigger cousins, the best material that offers superior durability and heat retention is stainless steel. However, keep in mind that some portable gas grills will use thinner panels to keep the weight down, which is what makes it easy to transport from one location to another.
Depending on the manufacturer, the size of your portable gas grill can range from a model that can cook for a few people, to a full-size design for a big group. Consider the number of folks that you normally serve to help you select the appropriate size that can handle the task.
Considering that the budget is not a factor, we will be including options that can range from the affordable to downright premium. To sum it all up, we will be going for the product that offers the best value for the amount you will be spending.
Thus, what ends up earning our recommendation might not exactly be what you need. Worry not, because our reviews will include all the stuff that we loved about the portable gas grill model, as well as those that will have us think twice about its purchase.
Burners And BTU Output
While full-size gas grill can boast jaw-dropping heating performance. Make it a point to compare the output rating listed against the total cooking area available. A burner with a lower BTU but is paired with a compact grilling space will heat up more quickly and cook food much quicker.
Since we are working with models that have a compact footprint, expect to see at least one burner with others sporting two to three at most. Take time to carefully inspect the build quality of the burners since these are the components that undergo the most abuse.
Those with more than one burner might appear to have multiple temperature zones, but the limited space normally do not include heat zone separators. It will be a little tricky to find the best spot that can maintain a specific amount of heat to grill different items at the same time.
Learning The Basics And Proper Care
Due to the portable nature of the equipment, it will require proper handling and care to keep it in working order for a while. Don’t rush and ensure that you read the manual or view the how-to videos normally available online. Those that are uploaded by the manufacturer should be a top priority. However, there are others from experts that might be more comprehensive than the official sources.
Grilling various ingredients will absolutely produce drippings and juices that drop down into the cook box. Unlike regular gas grills, the smaller size does not leave enough space for flame tamers. Therefore, some brands design the cooking grids with areas that do not feature cutouts to direct the liquids away from the where the burners are.
Learn the nuances of the model you will be working with to make the setup and storage process practically hassle-free. Don’t forget to regularly clean the grill grates, grease tray, lid, and other surfaces that normally come in contact with your food. Don’t neglect the exterior because food that is sizzling on the cooking grids will throw grease outward as well.
Don’t hesitate to purchase a commercial cleaner which is precisely formulated to cut through grease and debris without corroding the materials. Another option is the use of homemade cleaning solutions to strip off all the gunk that might damage the structure if left alone for extended periods of time. Moisture is the enemy of certain materials so keep it dry by wiping down excess liquids from your cleaning fluid of choice.
Keep An Eye Out For The Temperature
Overall, using a portable gas grill should be almost the same as regular freestanding variants. However, it will be more challenging when it comes to temperature control. Most of the models under this classification feature removable lids. While there are a few exceptions, the majority do not have a built-in thermometer on the cover.
This means that owners will need to use a cooking thermometer to properly regulate the burners. You can go for the traditional types or if you are a tech-savvy owner, wireless digital versions can make it more convenient.
Another problem that might crop up is the flare-ups that can leave your food burnt to a crisp is left alone. Portable gas grills with flame tamers are uncommon, therefore keeping a close watch should keep everything in tip-top shape for cooking great meals.
It might seem daunting at first, but once you get the hang of how your portable gas grill performs, you should be able to nail it down in succeeding attempts. Don’t hesitate to test it out, because, after a couple of failures, you should be grilling like a master wherever and whenever you want to.
Wind Guards Are Your Best Friend
This might not necessarily be exclusive to portable gas grills, but being in areas with wide-open spaces will create a new set of problems. Strong wind or persistent breezes can mess up the performance of your cooking equipment. A proper solution would be to install wind guards or deflectors.
These can be purchased separately, but some companies do include one specifically designed to attach to your gas grill. Since we are talking about portability, choose the ones that can fold down for easy storage. Wind guards are regularly exposed to high heat, hence these are fashioned out of metal such as stainless steel
If you are going for a third-party brand, compare the measurements listed by the manufacturer so that there is enough space to open or detach the lid. To be sure that you get one that matches our grill flawlessly, check with the company and select the wind guard specifically crafted for the model that you have.
Side Shelves Or Lower
Just like the wind guards we talked about above, side shelves will make it even easier to grill anywhere. Unless you are planning to cook somewhere with a kitchen counter or table nearby, having another surface for food preparation will be handy
It depends on the design and size of the portable gas grill, but if you can go for the ones with side shelves you will thank us for it. These can be detachable or integrated with a fold-down/up mechanism. Some brands even come with a bottom shelf that can collapse along with the legs.
Buyers can mostly spot these on models that can assemble into freestanding structures. Likewise, an alternative would be to purchase third-party attachments that add more shelves to hold ingredients, seasonings, and grilling tools.
Nobody wants to see their portable gas grill fail to ignite when they need it the most. The most common ignition system used by compact cooking equipment such as these are piezoelectric starters. This does not require a battery to generate a spark and is usually activated with the knob-turn motion.
Electronic ignition systems are another popular option, but it requires batteries. The majority of models you will encounter while shopping for your portable gas grill use any of the two. Another convenient add-on would be a flash tube that will light up the burners when all else fails.
Review of The 5 Best Portable Gas Grills
1. Weber Q2200 – $269
- Stainless-steel burner
- 12,000-BTU rated heating performance
- Folding side shelves on each side
- Built-in lid thermometer
- Electronic ignition system
- Lightweight glass-reinforced nylon frame and side shelves
- Excellent warranty coverage
- No warming rack
- Portable stand sold separately as an optional add-on accessory
- Single temperature zone
- Cast iron grill grates with porcelain enamel not as durable as stainless steel
For superior and dependable grilling performance consumers can never go wrong with a Weber. Our other gas grill guides have featured various models from the brand and this time we’re looking at what it offers when it comes to portability. The Q2200 is shaping up to be an interesting choice with great features to make your cookout enjoyable.
With everything completely set up and ready for use, this portable gas grill measures 15.5 inches tall, 51.4 inches wide, and 19.5 inches deep. This model is designed to sit on the ground or a non-combustible surface if you need it at an ideal level as to not stoop down to cook. Nevertheless, we can see ourselves using it at the beach, camping, and other outdoor excursions.
The Q220 features a single 12,000-BTU stainless-steel burner paired with an electronic ignition system that uses AAA batteries. The cook box and lid are made out of cast aluminum to keep it lightweight and durable enough to withstand corrosion. Meanwhile, it’s great that Weber threw in an integrated thermometer on the cover.
Keeping everything together is glass-reinforced nylon, which is a popular heavy-duty material with excellent heat-resistant properties. Plus, it is chemically inert which is great when you’re dealing with food. Plus, the included side shelves are likewise molded out of the same thing. These can fold out when you next extra surfaces for food preparation and fold inward after use and sit under the lid for easy storage.
It provides 280 square inches of cooking space, which is enough to grill up to 12 burgers at the same time. The grids are crafted with porcelain-coated cast iron and uses a liquid propane cylinder. Overall, it’s great to see portable gas grills of its size with two side shelves included. The only thing missing that would have completed the package is a folding stand. Anyway, it is available as an optional add-on accessory.
2. Coleman Roadtrip 225 Portable Stand-Up – $219.99
- 11,000-BTU heating power
- Two 5,500-BTU burners
- A quick-fold mechanism for easy setup and storage
- Two wheels for mobility
- Integrate side shelf for food preparation
- Lid-lock system for added safety during transportation
- Interchangeable cooktop with stove grate or griddle
- Piezoelectric ignition system
- Fixed side shelf
- No built-in thermometer
- Cast iron grill grates
- Porcelain enamel prone to wear over time
The Roadtrip 225 from Coleman is a prime example of a portable gas grill that manages to pack all the essentials in a compact and mobile assembly. It comes in two colors and features two 5,500-BTU burners (outer and inner for a total of 11,000 BTUs) so users can have a measure of control when it comes to heat distribution.
Since there are flame tamers, the grill grates have a section that does not have cutouts to keep liquids and debris from falling into burners below Owners have 225 square inches of cooking space to work with an integrated side shelf on the right for food preparation and more. It should be noted that this is fixed, thus it does not fold down or detach from the cook box.
The cooking grids are fashioned out of cast iron and coated with porcelain enamel for added durability and resistance to corrosion. Coleman gives owners the flexibility to swap out the interchangeable cooktops with a stove grate or griddle.
As the name suggests, the Roadtrip 225 Portable Stand-Up is a handy gas grill that uses a 1-pound propane cylinder for its fuel with a Instastart piezoelectric ignition system for match-less lighting. Cleanup should hassle-free thanks to the removable water pan that also collects grease and drippings. When the legs are fully extended, it stands 28.8 inches high, 18.3 inches wide, and 14.2 inches deep.
At 35.1 pounds the weight is actually quite manageable so it can tag along anywhere you want it to. The quick-fold mechanism of the stand takes only a few seconds to set up or take down, while the two wheels help with mobility. Don’t forget to lock the lid in place before you transport it using the ergonomic handle.
3. Napoleon TravelQ PRO285X – $449
- Robust scissor cart can be quickly folded down or extended
- Two side shelves with tool hooks and towel holders
- 12,000-BTU dual burners at 6,000-BTU each
- High-top cast aluminum lid with mounted thermometer
- Large industrial-grade wheels for mobility
- Great warranty coverage
- A unique cooking grid design
- No warming rack
- Piezoelectric ignition
- No flame tamers
For the TravelQ PRO285X it’s almost unbelievable how Napoleon was able to cram so many premium features usually found on full-sized freestanding grills. You’re looking at a portable gas grill that ships with a scissor cart add-on that keeps the cookbox elevated when you need it to be. It even sports two side shelves with tool hooks. Keep in the mind the only the one on the left side folds up at an angle during transportation.
It stands 39.75 inches tall, measures 44.25 inches wide, and 20,25 inches deep. Except for the height, its size is close to that of a non-portable model. Another SKU of this model only comes with the main assembly. The 12,000-BTU rating comes from two high-quality stainless-steel burners at 6,000-BTU each.
Meanwhile, the primary cooking space measures 285 square inches – good enough for grilling 17 burgers simultaneously. Grilling with Napoleon is the only time you will get those iconic sear marks from the Wave cooking grids exclusive to the brand. Unlike the stainless-steel grill grates of its freestanding options, this uses porcelain-coated cast iron.
It might be heavier but it’s a small price to pay for outstanding heat retention. Just be careful not to damage the enamel otherwise it will be susceptible to corrosion. In contrast, the cookbox and the cover are made of cast aluminum with an Accu-Probe temperature gauge. The high-top design allows owners to roast poultry such as whole chicken and turkey. The interior of the lid seems to be high enough for other bigger food items as well.
Firing up the grill should be as easy as turning on of the two control knobs and letting the Instant Jetfire ignition system handle the rest. Liquids dropping down the cook box are quickly collected by the easy-access aluminum grease tray to make disposal hassle-free. Upon closer inspection, you will notice a locking mechanism on the lid handle to secure it when the portable gas grill is moved around.
4. Cuisinart Dual Blaze CGG-522 – $169.99
- 20,000-BTU heating performance
- Two 7,000-BTU burners
- Lid-mounted thermal gauge
- Latching mechanism for securing the lid
- Cold rolled steel cookbox and components
- 243 square inches grilling space
- 3-year warranty only
- Cast iron cooking grids have no porcelain coating
- No side shelves
Cuisinart is a brand that is recognized for its wide range of kitchen appliances. Therefore, you can be sure that when it comes to food preparation and cooking, this company knows what consumers need. It stands 14 inches high, measures 23.3 inches wide, and 17 inches deep. The Dual Blaze CGG-522 offers a modest 243 square inches for the primary cooking space.
The name gives it away because this portable cooking equipment sports two 7,000-BTU burners for a combined heating power of 14,000 BTUs. The manufacturer claims that combined with the closed cover can go as high as up to 20,000 BTUs. Plus, the lid-mounted grilling thermometer lets users check the heat at a glance.
Lighting this portable gas grill is as easy as twisting the control knob to generate a spark. Just connect the included heavy-duty hose to a 20-lb propane tank and you should be good to go. Take advantage of the dual temperature zones and adjust the burners to cook your food according to what is needed.
The cast-iron grill grates provide excellent heat retention and caramelization for bold grill marks that would be a visual treat for everyone. Since there is no porcelain enamel or heat-resistant coating, just be mindful of the maintenance needed to keep it in tip-top grilling shape.
The Cusinart Dual Blaze CGG-522 seems like a great partner to have at impromptu outdoor cookouts, camping, or tailgating. It flaunts a bright red colorway mixes with back for a sleek design. Once you’re done using the grill, storage is quick and easy. The folding mechanism of the legs allows you to lock the lid in place to keep the contents safely secured during transportation.
While other portable gas grills sacrifice robust build quality to keep it lightweight, Cuisinart uses cold rolled steel for superior heat resistance and durability. Since this item does not come with an elevated support accessory, just make sure that the surface is non-combustible before setting it up.
5. Blaze Professional “Take It Or Leave It” – $899
- 316L marine-grade stainless-steel body
- 304 stainless-steel components
- Cast stainless-steel H-burner
- 12-gauge stainless-steel flame tamer
- Flamethrower ignition system
- 12,000-BTU output for a single burner
- Secure locking clasps made of metal
- Lid-mounted thermometer
- Capable of searing steaks
- No side shelves
- Pricey investment for its basic features
- Does not include portable stand
This perhaps is the most premium of the bunch that we are featuring in this guide. Blaze is a lauded brand when it comes to freestanding and built-in types, but it also delivers outstanding quality and performance when it comes to portable gas grills. One look at the “Take It Or Leave It” and we are floored by its durable construction and sleek design.
For comparison, some top-grade brands do not even come close to the type of materials the manufacturer used its cookbox and everything else. Since sunlight and moisture are the biggest contributors to corrosions, while high temperatures can add to the wear, it needs something that will be able to withstand the elements and heat.
Therefore, the “Take It Or Leave It” flaunts a marine-grade 316 stainless-steel body paired with other 304-grade stainless steel for its other components. A single 12,000-BTU cast stainless-steel H-burner sits within the robust cookbox alongside a 12-gauge stainless-steel flame tamer. In addition to everything is the flamethrower ignition system found on its built-in or freestanding cousins.
Among the ones we have previously talked about, this model comes with all good stuff that will keep the burners protected, prevent flare-ups, and vaporize drippings for more smoky and intense flavors when grilling you favorite food. On top of that, the 12-mm hex cast stainless-steel cooking grids should leave pronounced grill marks akin to that of commercial-grade models.
The high-profile marine-grade stainless-steel lid should be able to fit larger ingredients that most portable gas grills struggle to handle. Moreover, it touts a mounted thermometer on a visible angle for convenience. It is compatible with 1-lb propane cylinders or 20-lb propane tanks. To keep everything secure during transport, you have two front-facing clasps that latch on firmly. The assembly measures 15.125 inches tall, 27.125 inches wide, and 14.5 inches deep. We can just imagine how this well-built portable gas grill will perform even in the most demanding of cookouts.
Now here comes the hard part. Making the decision as to what model deserves our recognition as one of the best portable gas grills is not easy when you are presented with a great selection. If only the price was not a big issue, we would have gone for the Blaze Professional “Take It Or Leave It” but the lack of additional features for its cost ultimately made us think twice.
Since what we’re looking for a great value for the money you are spending, we felt that the Napoleon TravelQ PRO285X is clearly the winner in our book. It packs all the goodies that would make grilling almost anywhere convenient. There is an integrated scissor cart with heavy-duty wheels for great mobility.
Then there is the inclusion of two side shelves. Each one is equipped with a towel rack and tool hooks. Furthermore, it’s not often that one can find additional surfaces that can function as food preparation stations or hold containers and other grilling accessories.
Two stainless-steel burners capable of 12,000 BTUs are at your disposal. Meanwhile, the high-top cast aluminum lid can fit bigger food items such as turkey, chicken, and maybe a rack of ribs for amazing roasts. Moreover, the cover includes an Accu-Probe temperature gauge that is mounted at an angle for greater visibility.
Another awesome element is the porcelain-coated cast iron Wave cooking grids that impart unique grill marks that are exclusive to Napoleon gas grills. 285 square inches of cooking space is enough to handle up to 17 burgers sizzling over the flames at any given time.
Once you’re done and ready to pack, the interior of the cookbox is easily accessible, while the aluminum grease tray located at the bottom make it easy to dispose of debris and liquid waste. The collapsible structure is convenient for a quick takedown while the locking mechanism on the lid holds everything in place. The last step is transportation and storage. Finally, this portable gas grill is backed by a 10-year warranty, which speaks for its quality and durability.
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