Are Portable Grills Safe?

Portable Grills have been a great deal of convenience for all those who love to spend their spring evenings in the cool breeze, music and grilled meat. Much as this sound inviting, for many, their grilling experience may go wrong if the grill is not used in the right manner. Portable grills are widely accepted for being handy and easy to use, being safe is always important.

No matter how compact and portable the grill is, you can’t use it anywhere at home, at any given time. Portable grills too come with guideline’s that must be followed by beginners as well as professionals. Below are some simple yet very important precautionary rules that will help you have a safer and risk-free grilling time with your loved ones.

Note:  Always make sure that you follow your grill manufacturer safety guidelines.

  • Not all outdoor places are fit for grilling. There are many fire restricted areas that come with a fire danger rating, to tell whether the area has suitable weather and other conditions to light a grill.
  • Always keep your grill away from home, furniture, decks, railings and attics to avoid the risk of catching fire
  • Place your grill at least 3 feet away from pets and children.
  • Both propane gas and charcoal BBQ grill must not be used indoors.
  • Ensure that the upper lid of the grill is open at the time of lighting it.
  • Make sure the grill is clean and contains no old grease or fat residue. The grease and oil residues left in the grill can cause the flames to shoot high.
  • Do not ignore a leaking tank or defected part of the grill assuming it doesn’t matter. Most hazards are caused by minor faults in the grill or tank leakages.
  • Never keep the grill unattended or take a break in between grilling, even if it is a nature’s call.
  • When using a charcoal grill, light it either with a newspaper or charcoal starter fluid.
  • To avoid any risk or mishap, keep monitoring your grill during grilling.
  • Read the instruction manual, repeatedly and keep it with you when using the grill.

How to Choose the Best Portable Grill – Buying Guide

Type:

Portable grills come in two different categories, propane gas and charcoal. Propane gas grill is considered as a convenient option.  The new versions of propane gas grills come with an electronic ignition system that allows quick start and temperature control of the grill. While using a propane gas grill, you don’t have to worry about shooting flames or overcooking. Generally, this type of grill is also recommended for indoor use as it is easy and safe to use.

Charcoal grills, on the other hand, come with a hassle. Comparing it with a propane one, charcoal grills are cheaper but its smoky aroma and flavour are what food lovers wouldn’t want to compromise on.  You have to be constantly alert while grilling on charcoal to monitor the tenderness and flavour of the meat and wait a considerable time to let the coal heat and cool down once after grilled.

Alongside gas and charcoal grills, electric grills have also taken popularity in terms of convenience and portability. This type doesn’t require gas or coal and is best for places where the fire isn’t permitted. Electric grills can be used both indoors and outdoors; you will require a generator for outdoor spaces. Food lovers don’t really opt for electric grills because they lack the traditional taste and aroma that comes from gas and charcoal grills.

Fuel:

If you intend to frequently travel places with your grill, propane gas one comes with a lot of questions. How much gas would you need exactly? In the car, you will also have to take notice of carefully placing the tank in such a position that it is properly ventilated and doesn’t leak. On the other hand, if you are using a charcoal grill, all you need is a bag full of coal that can be dumped in the trunk of the car.

Airflow:

If you are using a Charcoal grill, you must look for large, open-air areas where there is ample ventilation and airflow so that the smoke from the coals can be vented out.  On the other hand, Propane gas temperature can be controlled and doesn’t require that much airflow or ventilation.

Material:

The safety of portable grills is also dependent on the quality of materials used in it. While you want to look for an option that is light, convenient and pocket-friendly, you must not compromise on the durability of the grill. Firebox made of cast aluminium is highly durable and resistant to rust, heat and reflection. When choosing the grate, you will find either porcelain-coated or stainless steel as common options. If you are looking to sear food to the right extent, prefer porcelain over stainless steel

Best Portable Grills

1. Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill

Cuisinart gas grill is not only portable but also compact in size and highly effective and consistent in results. You can either buy its tabletop version or opt for a full stand. It comes with a large grilling area that can make 8 burgers or steaks at one time. The grate is made of porcelain which gives even and through heating and the foldable legs are made of aluminium that remain stable even on rocky surfaces.

Features:

  • Powerful 5,500 BTU stainless-steel burner
  • Weight: 13.5 pounds
  • Grilling area: 145-square-inch
  • Briefcase-style carrying handle

2. Blackstone Table Top Grill

Blackstone is a simple and solid tabletop grill with a cast aluminium firebox and a lid with stainless steel latches. It is meant for rugged outdoor spaces and can easily grill large quantity of meals. It comes with an electric igniter that starts the grill without any hassle and a customized stainless steel ‘H’ burner that not only heats quickly but distributes even heat through the grill. Available in 17 and 22-inch gas griddle.

Features:

  • Fast cooking with 12,000 BTU heat output
  • Grilling area: 260 sq. Inches
  • Weight: 25 pounds
  • Includes 1 zone heating control, portable design, electric ignition, built in grease catcher

3. Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill

This hibachi-style grill comes with lifetime durability, versatility and high-quality materials. Made up of cast iron, it’s fueled by charcoal so taste and even heat regulation are nowhere any questions with this grill. The grill features a flip-down door and two adjustable heights for various surfaces. The only drawback of Lodge is its weight due to cast iron, therefore, it isn’t a convenient option if you wish to travel with your grill to different places.

Features:

  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 8.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Weight: 27 pounds
  • Contains no synthetic coatings or chemicals
  • Durable but heavy to carry.

4. George Foreman 15-Serving Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill, Silver, GGR50B

If you are looking for a quick and efficient grill, George Foreman it is. With five heat settings, this electric grill gets heated quickly and can be used both indoors and outdoors. The George Tough Nonstick Coating makes this grill easy to clean, durable and you don’t need additional butter or oil to cook the perfect meal. For daily use, the grill also features a drip tray, removable grill plate and a fat removing slope that keeps the grill in good condition all the time.

Features:

  • Grilling area: 240 square inches
  • Product dimensions: 2 x 20.5 x 13 inches
  • Weight: 4 pounds

5. Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill

This is a great treat for a small family.  Light in weight, classic in design and small in size are features that define this Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill by Weber. It comes with a heat and rust resistant Porcelain-enameled lid and base, with locks and dampers that retain the temperature and heat of the grill intact inside. Talk about easiness and you will find the cooking grate is made up of double plated steel, which is easy to clean and a nylon handle that stays cool no matter how hot the coals are.

Features:

  • Dimensions: 2 x 21 x 14.5 inches
  • Grilling area: 160 square inches
  • Weight: 98 pounds
  • Tuck-N-Carry Lid Lock

6. Hamilton Beach 25360 Indoor Searing Grill

This smokeless searing grill is meant to be used for indoor grilling but works equally well even outdoors. It features an indoor grill hood, removable plate and extra-large drip tray that is easy to clean and dishwasher safe. The adjustable temperature dial is helpful is searing up to 450 degrees while the preheat lights are add on feature to read the temperature without making any wild guesses.

 

Features:

  • Powerful 1200 watts
  • Dimensions: 12.4″ L x 16.7″ W x 6.8″ H
  • Weight: 14 pounds

Conclusion:

Portable grills aren’t labelled as unsafe or dangerous; however, they require safety precautions to avoid any life or assets risking threats. Both propane gas and charcoal grills have their pros and cons when in use. While you can control the flames in a propane gas grill, you have to be careful transporting them from one place to another to avoid gas leakage. Charcoal grills, on the other hand, give the best of grilled food but yes require practice and vigilance for the perfect meat.