Heading out camping without the right kind of grill can add inconvenience to your whole camping experience. No matter how expert you are in grilling and how perfect your recipe is; the secret to tempting steaks and juicy hamburgers is a grill that cooks with even distribution of heat and accurate temperature. There are plenty of choices in the market when it comes to camping grills. They come in different types, depending on the fuel they use, in different sizes and with features that make them unique from each other. Before you get confused, let’s see what factors must be considered before you buy a camping grill.
Type of Grills:
Generally, camping grills are available in two types, charcoal and gas grills. Charcoal grills consist of a large steel bowl with charcoal in it. It produces high heat but takes time to heat up and can be a challenge to cook evenly. A charcoal grill is easy to use and very convenient when it comes to camping. Although it requires frequent change of charcoal and extensive cleaning (due to the ash), it is still easy to carry around. Charcoal grills are also a favorite amongst those who like smoky barbeque flavor and aroma in their meat and vegetables. Of course, you have to carry with you enough charcoal for the grill to last your trip.
Unlike the charcoal grill, a gas grill gives even heat distribution and you can easily manage and control the heating temperature. It’s easy to use and clean with less mess. Gas grills offer a fast cooking time, so you can grill more food in less time. Some gas grills also allow roasting, baking, and frying, which can be a plus point. Also, the propane tank can last for several grilling sessions.
Key factors to consider:
Size: The ideal grill size depends on the number of people you wish to cook for and the type of food you most prefer. Seafood cooks instantly and doesn’t require high heat temperature whereas meat takes more time to cook evenly so you may require a grill that has a high temperature.
Camping grills are measured in two dimensions:
- Primary Square Inches determines the grilling/cooking surface. Higher primary square inches or larger this area means more food on the grill for direct cooking.
- Secondary Square Inches is used to specify the dimensions of warming racks and side burners, where you can place your vegetables, buns, and food that requires slight warming.
Portability: Camping grills ought to be light in weight so that you can conveniently carry it wherever you go. Heavy grills are not recommended if your camping area is hilly or on uneven surfaces. If you are a small group, grill basket or other options to cook over a campfire can be a convenient and portable choice that is small and very handy.
Grates: Camping grills come with stainless steel, iron or aluminum grates. Most camping grills are made up of a stainless-steel grate. Cast iron grate adds a lot of weight to the grill but offers great durability. Aluminum, on the other hand, is not very durable but certainly light in weight and convenient to carry around.
Other essentials to consider:
- If you are looking for a portable camping grill, make sure the one you choose has wheels, foldable, sturdy legs, and light in weight
- It consists of an easy-to-flame, on/off ignition button to save your time
- The grates are easy to clean and rust proof
- It has a temperature control/gauge for steaks, hot dogs and sausages
Best Camping Grills
Coleman is known for outdoor camping equipment and this portable propane gas Coleman Road Trip grill makes its way on top of the list for its durability and lightweight. Ideal for tailgating, picnics, and camping, it has an instant start button which needs no lighter or matchbox, two adjustable burners, and 2 temperature control variations.
The interchangeable swap top allows you to cook on stove or grill on grill grates with convenience and perfection. What makes it one of the best choices it is the easy-to-setup system with no hassle or installation. The size is so perfect; it folds into a compact size and fits into nearly all car trunks easily.
- Cooking space: 285 square inch
- Power: 20,000 BTUs
- Made of cast-iron and porcelain-coated surfaces
- Includes removable grease tray
Convenient, portable and affordable is what you call the Blackstone table top camping grill. The stainless steel H burner is meant to give fast heat and equal heat distribution in the toughest winds. With an electric igniter, it also features a grease catcher and a tabletop gas griddle that gives convenient cooking and easy cleaning with just a paper towel wipe.
While others may claim to be light in weight, Blackstone camping grill weighs only 25 pounds; manageable to carry frequently.
- Cooking space: 260 square inches
- Power: 12,000 BTUs
- Includes 1 zone heating control
- Built-in grease catcher and electric ignition
- Available in 17 and 22-inch gas griddle
Cuisinart is yet another brand that makes stylish, portable and durable kitchen appliances including grills for camping. Unlike many other grills, CGG-180T isn’t a double-decker in features but certainly worth a small family of 2-3 persons.
With a briefcase style appearance, Cuisinart CGG-180T has a carrying handle, aluminum ski-style legs, a stainless steel burner with porcelain enameled grate and an integrated lock to give you even heat and secure grilling experience.
- Cooking space: 145-square-inch
- Power: 5,500 BTU
- Can cook up to 8 burgers, 8 steaks, 6 to 10 chicken breasts, or 4 pounds of fish
- Foldable aluminum legs
This stainless steel and aluminum constructed grill is portable, easy to use and super convenient to clean every time you go camping. The grill comes with a detachable handle which has a comfortable safe grip that doesn’t heat during grilling. Ideal for 3-4 persons, this grill is simple but very handy and useful.
Unlike other propane gas grills, you can use WolfWise on multiple gases, charcoal, smoke, porcelain, infrared and other grill types. For a rough and tough surface, the grill features even-sized grill gaps with adjustable height and safety lock to give you delicious meals.
- Cooking surface: 11.8 x 9.4 x 2.4in
- Detachable handle
- Height adjustable legs
- Rust-proof stainless and aluminum construction
Weber camping grill is one of the sturdiest choices available in the market. Consisting of a porcelain-enameled bowl and cooking lid to save your food from winds and give even heat distribution. The lid-handle comes with a heat shield to prevent it from heating and an aluminum ash catcher that provides excellent ventilation.
With very easy set-up and very solid finishing material, Weber is capable of standing rough surfaces and tough weather conditions. Although it is very handy and portable, it misses on a cover/travel case to easily carry it around.
- Cooking space: 240 square inch
- Assembled dimensions 19.75-inch by 20.5-inch by 19.75-inch
- glass-reinforced nylon handle
- Rust-resistant aluminum dampers
- Ash catcher
If your grilled food is incomplete without charcoal, then your ultimate buy should be this Char-Broil Portable grill that uses charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal. A decent cooking space sufficient for a family of 2-3 persons and can make 6-8 burgers, steaks, and patties.
On a fair reasonable price, Char-Broil is made up durable steel, with chrome-plated cooking grates and heat-resistant handles. For regular use, this grill is easy to fold, takes less time to set-up and dismantle and most importantly, very easy to clean.
- Cooking space: 190 square inch
- Assembled dimensions: 20.5 X 15X 12.6 inches
- Rust-proof finishing
- chrome-plated steel wire cooking grates
Coleman Fold N Go camping grill isn’t just portable but ultra-portable. Ideal for single meals or 1-2 burgers and steaks, this is light enough to take some space in your car and travel along with you wherever you go.
The grill features adjustable horseshoe burner and PerfectFlow technology that gives even heat distribution and consistent temperature through-out all weather conditions. Along with portability, Coleman Fold N Go is also durable, easy to clean and light in weight to not be a hassle during your camping plans.
- Cooking space: 105 square inches
- Power: 6,000 BTUs
- Includes grease tray and removable water pan
- Size: 16.6″ x 14.5″ x 6.8″
Camp Chef Big Gas is a solid and powerful outdoor grill that comes with 3 burner stoves. With its removable legs and folding shelf, the grill appears to be highly portable and convenient for outdoor purposes. It’s easy to assemble and the burners light up quickly as compared to other camping grills.
For perfectly grilled meat, fish and poultry, Camp Chef features a heat diffusion system and a pre-seasoned cast iron grill grate that gives even flame distribution. One of the added features of Camp Chef that is rare to be found in others is its versatility. Remove the BBQ box and you can use the burners to cook your breakfast simply preheat your sandwiches.
- Power: 30,000 BTU
- Dimensions: 16″ x 38″
- Cooking space: 608 sq in
- Adjustable heat-control knobs
This is a very basic yet very effective heavy-duty camping grill that can be used as a platform over an open fire. The grill is made up of welded steel and comes with a steel-mesh grill top that doesn’t rust easily.
While this basic grill is portable to take along anywhere, it is also very sturdy and stable. The foldable legs easily angle out and stay firm on uneven surfaces. Moreover, the diamond-shaped metal mesh on the grill is designed to safely hold all kinds of heavy pots and pans without being flimsy.
- Dimensions: 16.1 x 11.8 x 6.7 inches
- High-quality welded steel with a steel-mesh grill top
- Foldable legs
- 1-year warranty
The Volcano Grill is a versatile, all-rounder grill that works efficiently with propane, charcoal and wood fuel. It comes with foldable legs that can collapse down up to 5inches to be placed on any high surface or ground.
The carrying case and handle is another plus point that makes this easy to transport, store and hold. Although Volcano Grill is very safe to use, it is not at all recommended for indoor purposes. You can use it as an oven or a grill but only outdoors with a large open-air space. Let you children roast marshmallows, grill veggies, and fish or heat your subs, Volcano Grill can cook, bake and wok almost all kinds of foods.
- Power: 19,500 BTU
- 3-Fuels: Propane, Charcoal, or Wood
- Includes a storage bag
- Multipurpose for grilling, prepping, tailgating and emergency’s
Camping is about experiences and experiments. Your time with yourself, friends and loved ones will be enhanced with a great meal. A portable grill for camping is more like a one-time investment and all-time camping partner that will be worth the investment.