Love to travel but unwilling to give up the comforts of home? Barbecue on the go with the best portable gas grill for your budget and space. But if you’re not sure which suits your needs, read on–this travel BBQ buyer’s guide is for you.
The allure of portable gas grills is hard to deny. Unlike charcoal, they fire up in seconds, are not messy, and allow you to have a great barbecue experience at any place and at any time. They’ll cook a steak just like home when you’re away from home.
Portable gas grills are also an excellent fit for people who do not have the space or budget to invest in a standard grill.
Got your tastebuds fired up? Well the next step is picking the right portable grill, and we’ve got a few solid recommendations to get you started.
Here’s a preview of the portable gas grill model we’ll cover below:
- Weber Q1200
- Weber Traveler
- Coleman RoadTrip 285
- Weber Q2200
- Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet
- Char-Broil Grill2Go X200
- NomadiQ Portable Gas Grill
- Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza Oven
- Broil King Porta-Chef 320
- TEC G-Sport FR
10 Best Portable Gas Grills for Any Taste or Budget
With so many different models on the market, choosing a small portable gas grill for your specific needs can be an arduous task. Luckily, we have done the heavy lifting for you.
The following are reviews of the best portable gas grills and griddles on the market today. We have also included a buyer’s guide to help you along.
The Weber 51010001 Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill is probably the best portable gas grill that money can buy overall.
To start you off, its body features robust yet lightweight cast aluminum, with a glass-reinforced nylon support frame. It also comes with two foldable side tables to help with storage and transit. However, Weber provides an optional cart stand that you may use to mount the Weber Q1200 on your deck or patio.
An 8,500 BTU propane burner resides inside the cast aluminum firebox, and Weber’s “Easy Start” electrical ignition will get you started. The grill is attached to a 1-pound propane cylinder, which burns efficiently for about two hours.
The cast aluminum firebox on the Weber Q1200 is designed to send drippings to a narrow gap at the bottom. Additionally, a removable aluminum drippings pan collects any runoff, grease, or slopping marinade. Its non-stick porcelain coating ensures your meat wont stick while making cleanup a breeze.
The Weber Q1200 offers you 189 sq. inches of cooking space, made up of thick cast iron grill grates. Thick cast iron allows for superior heat absorption, ensuring a better sear.
Finally, Weber also ships this unit with a 5-year warranty, which is one of the best guarantees in the portable gas grill niche.
The Traveler Portable Grill has a single burner that runs the length of the grill’s bottom. This is covered with a two-piece cast iron grill grate that is solid where it runs over the burner, acting as a heat diffuser and keeping the burner clean. Towards this end, it also includes a grease trap that slides out and is easy to empty.
The Traveler’s 13,000-BTU burner gets sufficiently hot and shines while searing, no matter how you measure it. Cooking for a crowd is easy with the 320-square-inch grilling surface. And with the built-in thermometer, you can easily monitor the heat for the perfect sear.
However, for a portable grill, the Weber Traveler is quite bulky. While it will still fit in the trunk of your car, it will take up a significant amount of room.
The Coleman RoadTrip 285 is one of the best portable gas grills for camping, due to its ease of transport and utility as a camp stove.
It comes with three propane elements that are separately controlled and can provide up to 20,000 BTUs per hour. These are powered by a 1-pound propane cylinder and a push-button igniter.
The 285 square inch cast iron grill grates spread the heat evenly. For the RoadTrip 285, Coleman also sells an optional griddle that can be used to make scrambled eggs, pancakes, or fried bacon for breakfast.
To break camp quickly, the Coleman RoadTrip 285 collapses into a small cart with two big wheels. It weighs 45 pounds, making it manageable for the typical individual to load into the back of an SUV by themselves. The Coleman RoadTrip 285 is one of the best portable gas grills for camping because of its easy-to-use collapsible stand and auxiliary griddle.
Like most any other Weber Q series portable gas grill, the Q2200 comes with a single burner that coils around the bottom of the cooking area. It runs on a disposable liquid propane cylinder (14.1 or 16.4 oz.) to produce 12,000 BTUs of heat per hour, allowing you to grill a wide array of foods.
Light it up with a single push of a button and regulate the heat with an infinitely variable control knob. A thermometer is incorporated inside the lid to measure temperatures, which is a feature not seen in many portable barbecues.
The porcelain-coated cast iron grate (actually two grates) has a cooking area of 280 sq. inches, which is on the larger side for a portable gas grill. According to Weber, you can cook 10 strip steaks at once, while other sources claim you can cook an entire chicken under the tall lid.
You can also add a griddle portion for cooking meals that aren’t suitable for the grill, such as pancakes, or use it for searing. The lid and body consist of cast aluminum, which aids heat retention and keeps corrosion at a minimum for long-term use.
Measuring 25.1 x 51.4 x 26 inches and weighing a chunky 42 pounds, the definition of “portable” depends on your physique. Nevertheless, the convenient side tables fold up and under the lid for easier transport and storage.
Cuisinart designed the CGG-180T Petite Gourmet gas grill to fit comfortably on a tabletop without melting tablecloths or burning wood. All of this while only weighing 17 pounds.
Although the locking cover is small, it still has enough capacity to carry a basic set of grilling implements. It also has folding feet that can lock in place to not only provide a stable foundation but also enhance the CGG-180T’s portability.
A 5,500 BTU propane burner with a twist-start ignition system is housed inside the firebox. The hose can be altered (with a separate purchase) to run off a larger propane tank, although it natively runs off a 1-pound propane cylinder.
While the 5,500 BTU might seem a tad underpowered, the CGG-180T sports a 145-square-inch cast-iron grill grate. This allows it to absorb a lot of heat energy, which it then passes on to the meat. The result is a cooking capacity that exceeds the burner’s theoretical capacity. Just make sure you pre-heat the grill for at least 10 to 12 minutes before placing a steak on it.
The Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 can withstand a lot of abuse and keep on grilling. In fact, Char-Broil designed a heavy-duty “Roadworthy Travel Case” with a high-impact frame and solid feet expressly for it. They also added heavy-duty latches to the case to keep everything together securely for safe storage and transportation.
Originally, the Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 was designed to work on a 1-pound gas cylinder. However, an optional propane pipe and regulator allow it to be adapted to run from a bigger 20-pound liquid propane tank.
The 9,500 BTU propane burner on the Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 is ignited by a reliable push-button electric ignition system. The resulting flame also ignites the X200’s TRU infrared emitter that facilitates the uniform distribution of heat across the 200-sq. inch grill grate. Flare-ups, which can be a huge pain when dealing with smaller portable gas barbecues, are also reduced.
The NomadiQ is a lightweight, compact, portable propane grill designed for modern-day grillers on the go.
In travel mode, the grill surface closes up in a clamshell movement, enclosed by the bottom of the grill akin to a waffle iron. This prevents grill grease from splattering all over the place while driving or carrying it on your back with the accompanying shoulder strap.
When you are ready to grill, the NomadiQ folds out to reveal two grill sides, each with its own temperature control, allowing you to cook different food types simultaneously. Each side has its own push-button ignitor for enhanced convenience, and both grills are easily removable for cleaning.
Despite its small size, the NomadiQ has a decent 226 sq. inches of cooking surface, which is enough to place up to 10 burgers on it at once, making it ideal for cozy settings. It has twin stainless-steel 4,600 BTU burners and non-stick grates that distribute heat evenly.
This grill is tiny enough to fit on any deck or tabletop, yet it folds up like a suitcase and has a shoulder strap for easy transportation. A 1-pound propane tank powers this grill to give you around 3 hours of cooking time.
The Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza Oven is your best choice if you want a genuine classic Italian pizza flavor on the go–no delivery required!
With its edge-adjustable temperature control function and ability to distribute heat uniformly, this pizza maker replicates the performance of a transition wood-fired brick oven.
This portable pizza maker reaches temperatures of up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing you to produce a delicious pizza in little time. And to improve the heating performance, the Camp Chef Italia has a double-walled structure and an innovative ventilation system. You will also find a built-in ignition mechanism with a micro-adjustment valve for precise flame control.
For quick access to your pizza, the oven door has an ergonomic handle. Additionally, this unit is made of high-quality stainless steel, ensuring long-term durability and easy cleaning. And yeah, its quite a looker.
The Broil King Porta-Chef 320 can be taken on a picnic and used to cook on the spot. Despite its compact size, the portable barbecue allows you to cook entire meals. A total of 295 square feet is available for cooking, while the warming rack has a surface area of 135 sq. inches.
It comes with a Flav-R-Wave cooking system with two cast-iron grilles for equal heat and steam dispersion. And its three stainless steel burners produce a total of 18,000 BTU. For such a little grill, these are fantastic marks.
The drip tray may be simply removed to clear it of grease. The Porta Chef 320 is made of solid metal, so it shouldn’t need to be replaced all that often.
You will be impressed by the Tec G-Sport FR‘s heavy-duty design, which ensures great performance and minimum maintenance right out of the box. Apart from that, you will also appreciate its broad compatibility with a variety of cook tops.
Unlike typical grills that require dedicated places for installation, you can simply set it on a countertop or an outdoor island. It may also be used on flammable materials such as wood, which is not always possible with other grills.
Therefore, if you want to take your cooking outside, this grill will let you do so without a lot of hassle. Aside from that, cleaning it is a breeze, owing to the self-cleaning surface, which eliminates nasty post-cook sessions.
But the accompanying pedestal base, which keeps it securely planted, is what makes this unit truly convenient. Furthermore, the towel bars on the side that also double as handles make it very easy to carry and move.
Portable Tabletop Gas Grill: Buyer’s Guide
How can you choose the ideal portable gas grill for your needs when there are so many options to choose from? Let’s look at some of the most important features to look out for when comparing different models.
The benefit of larger and robust home grills is that if something goes wrong with the unit, you have the option of rushing out to a nearby store to acquire the spare part you need, or you may have the equipment you need in the garage to help you rig together a temporary fix.
However, you do not have that luxury when grilling away from home. As such, your portable gas grill needs to feature quality construction to allow it to take a beating and keep on grilling.
Make sure that the grill you pick has a solid build, sturdy hinges, and a lid that aligns with the firebox.
Because you’ll be transporting it frequently, make sure any handles are securely attached, sturdy, and capable of supporting the weight of the grill. Watch out for any sharp edges that could grab your clothes or pierce your skin.
The lid and firebox should be thick enough to retain the heat while remaining light enough to keep the barbecue from becoming too heavy. An excellent option is cast aluminum.
On any barbecue, the grill grate gets the most use of all the pieces. Therefore, ensure that the grill grate material under the lid is high-quality.
- Cheaper grills frequently have chrome-plated grates. Needless to say, they are hardly the best choice of material. They do not hold heat well due to being thin and light, and after the coating has worn away, they rust fast.
- For effective heat distribution, rust resistance, and ease of cleaning, a cast iron cooking grate coated with porcelain is the ideal option. However, cast-iron grates are heavy and can chip if banged around.
- Stainless steel grill grates are a popular choice for grill grates, and for a good reason: they last a long time, are lighter than cast iron yet retain heat well, are highly resilient, and easy to clean.
Also, keep in mind that this is an outdoor appliance. Therefore, even if you keep it indoors between uses, it will still be exposed to the elements. As such, you want the grill’s exterior to be made of a corrosion-resistant material.
Finally, have a look at the materials used in the burner. Brass or stainless steel are excellent materials, as they are highly durable, corrosion-resistant, and do not burn out.
Do not accept aluminum or other low-cost materials because they will not last.
While some portable gas barbecues lack sufficient cooking power, you can rest assured that none of the grills featured in this list are. Nonetheless, it is beneficial to understand how heat output is measured.
The industry standard for measuring how powerful a gas barbecue is is BTUs. It’s a bit of a misnomer because BTUs are directly related to how much fuel they burn, not how much heat they generate.
However, because the BTU rating and the maximum temperature a grill can reach are highly related, it’s a realistic and widely accepted method of determining the cooking power of a gas burner. The higher the BTUs, the hotter it can get in general.
In addition, the higher the BTU amount, the faster the grill will heat up and reach cooking temperature, something that is critical in our fast-paced, time-constrained world!
The overall temperature regulation of the grill follows naturally from the BTU value.
Gas burner controls should have at least a few settings but ideally should be infinitely customizable, allowing you to control how hot it gets within your grill precisely.
If you’re used to two-zone grilling, you will have to compromise with a portable gas grill because they typically just have one burner. However, some of our favorites do have two!
Cooking Surface Area
Since we are looking for portable gas barbecues, compactness is vital. However, that does not mean you want the smallest unit out there.
Therefore, before you go shopping, figure out how many people you’ll be cooking for regularly, as that is what will determine how much grilling space you will need.
Will it just be you and your partner? Maybe a four-person family? Or perhaps a proper cookout of six or more people?
It is reasonable to expect to cook for parties in shifts, cooking food for two or three people at a time if you want steak and sides, while ten burgers may certainly be made at once.
A 100 square inch grill can cook 2 to 3 ten ounce steaks or 5 to 6 burgers to give you an idea. From there, multiply to get the size you require.
Because portable grills are meant to be used outdoors, they should be wind resistant. And all of this boils down to having a good lid. Any grill you buy should come with a cover so you can close it to keep the heat in and cook at more consistent temperatures.
However, it is not as simple as having or not having a cover.
If you can tolerate the extra size, you will want a unit with a large lid; one with enough space to allow you to roast whole chickens or small roasting joints, especially if you get a 2-burner portable barbecue with multiple heat zones.
Related Reading: 3 Essential Grilling Tips
A solid guarantee is significantly more crucial for portable electronics that get bashed around than for products that sit in the house safely.
Please read the warranty terms carefully to learn how long it lasts, what it does not cover, and what your responsibilities as a consumer are. The minimum coverage should be a year.
Portable Gas Grills: Conclusion
That concludes this list of reviews for the best portable gas grill, any of which could be the proper fit for you. Each one caters to a unique set of needs. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution.
Having said that, the Weber Q1200 is our pick for the best portable gas barbecue from this class. It features Weber’s legendary quality, substantial working space, and a great warranty.
Have fun out there with whatever portable gas barbecue you select. On a lovely day out with friends or family, nothing beats a wonderful lunch straight off the grill.
Do you agree with our top pick? What has your experience been with Weber products? Let us know in the comments section.