Juicy steak. Corn on the cob. Burgers. Just about everything tastes better when it’s cooked on the grill. It’s twice as good cooked on a camp grill under the stars.
Cooking over a campfire is nice in theory, but when it comes down to keeping the fire burning and cooking your food evenly, it’s not the best.
Camping grills offer the perfect solution for campers who want to cook wherever the journey takes them. Make your campsite feel more like home with a reliable, effective camping grill.
Before you buy, put in your due diligence to ensure the campfire grill you purchase will meet your al fresco dining needs and last for a long time. Below, we’re offering a buyer’s guide to find the best camping grill for you in 2020. There’s a good price range, from high to low, to meet every budget.
We’ll be going over the types of outdoor grills available, the benefits you can expect from them, and what’s most important to look for when buying an outdoor grill, so you know the information you need to cook the best meals in camp!
Types of Grills
There are three main kinds of portable camping grills to choose from: charcoal, propane/gas, and hybrid. In addition, there are also wood grills, alcohol grills, solar grills, and white gas grills.
Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so choose wisely based on your own needs. For example, a benefit of wood-burning or solar grills is the fact that you won’t need to carry or purchase any fuel power or fuel receptacles. On the other hand, gas powered types don’t have the utility or convenience others are looking for, especially if bad weather is in the mix. You’ll also want to think about environmental factors that can cause poor cooking performance, including freezing temperatures and wind.
Within the gas-powered grill category, there are two main types: butane and propane. You’ll notice that many portabl grills are run by gas since it’s lightweight, easy to use, and compact.
Butane and propane are both non-toxic, safe, and clean-burning fuels that occur as a result of oil refining and natural gas processing. Both are pretty similar options, but they have different boiling points. If you want the gas to work correctly, you’ll need to heat it above its boiling point. Propane’s boiling temperature is -43.6°F while butane is higher at 28.4°F.
So, what does this mean? Propane will be more effective for cook outs in colder temperatures, and certainly more reliable. Campers that are out and about during the winter should consider looking at this type of camping grill specifically.
Benefits of Camping Grills
Wondering if you’ll really benefit from investing in a portable grill or outdoor grill for your camping adventures?
They’re a great idea for those who always seem to be on the move and spending time in nature. Whether you’re headed for a camping trip, beach party, or even a tailgate, you’ll love the convenience that a portable camp grill provides. Additionally, they’re good to have for anyone as a backup cooking option in case of a power outage.
If you decide to add a camping stove to your collection of outdoor equipment, here are some of the top benefits you’ll reap:
- Cooks food evenly, unlike fire
- Easy to ignite even in tough conditions such as wind or rain
- Easy to use because it’s similar to cooking with a gas stove at home
- You can change the heat setting to your ideal temperature by controlling the rate at which your gas is burning
What to Look For When Buying
Don’t be duped by marketing ploys. Make sure you’re buying your camping grill based on its important features and offerings. To guide your search, keep the following in mind:
To be sure your camping grill will be able to get hot enough, check for the BTU output. You’re ideally going to see something between 60 and 100 BTW per square inch. That would mean a 300 square inch grill should have a minimum of 18,000 BTU to work well.
On that note, it’s important to understand that hotter isn’t always best. You want a grill that will heat things evenly so you don’t burn or dry out the food you’re trying to cook. If the BTU level seems off, you should be concerned. This may be advertised as an advantage, but there will be drawbacks when it comes time to cook.
Another important quality to consider is the material used for construction. For a product that will tag along on all your camping adventures for years to come, look for one that’s primarily made of stainless steel. This material is durable but lightweight and has a relatively low level of conductivity.
Some grills are made with aluminum, which is incredibly lightweight and affordable. However, it conducts heat more than stainless steel which can lead to issues keeping the grill warm.
As for the cooktop, ceramic materials seem to fare best for portable grilling. Ceramic is great at heating up evenly, retaining its heat during cook time, and quickly cooling off after.
If you’re looking for a grill that can offer you a little more than a one-serving meal, check the product you like the look of for additional features, accessories, or capacity. If you want to cook a greater variety of foods well, look for a rangetop. This means you can cook eggs and foods that would otherwise fall apart or lose moisture over a grill flame. Plus, it’s always nice to have space for extra burners so you can cook more than one thing at a time.
As with any appliance you buy, look for a warranty. These types of machinery typically offer a warranty on the parts and performance of the grill. If you’re planning to travel with the grill, this is especially important. Knowing that you have a warranty should anything unfortunate occur can give you that much-needed peace of mind after buying a product.
Ease of Use
You’re going to be using and cleaning your portable gas grill a lot at the campsite, so you’ll want to know just how easy it will be. The last thing you want is something that you can’t get the hang of or that takes an hour to clean. No, you want your camping grill to look good and cook well! Check out reviews for input from actual customers on how easy it is to use and clean your potential products.
Top 10 Camping Grills Available 2020
|BEST BUY! - Blackstone Table Top Grill||$$||1||12,000||Gas||Check price|
|Coleman Gas Camping Stove||$||2||20,000||Gas||Check price|
|Cuisinart CGG-180T Gas Grill||$$||1||5,500||Gas||Check price|
|Camp Chef Explorer Double Burner Stove||$$$||2||30,000||Gas||Check price|
|Cuisinart CCG190RB Portable Charcoal Grill||$||N/A||N/A||Charcoal||Check price|
|Giantex Propane Tabletop Gas Grill||$$||2||20,000||Gas||Check price|
|Texsport Heavy Duty Over Fire Camp Grill||$||N/A||N/A||Camp fire||Check price|
|George Foreman GP200GM||$$||1||N/A||Gas||Check price|
|Royal Gourmet PD1300||$$||3||27,000||Gas||Check price|
|Coleman Portable Butane Stove||$||1||7,650||Gas||Check price|
This is a great tabletop griddle for cooking while camping. It doesn’t come with its own stand so it’s best used on a table, but it’s easy to transport and performs well.
This grill has a 12,000 BTU burner which is great for its size. This creates a strong heating surface across its 260 square inches of heating space.
Some may argue that it’s not an actual grill but a griddle. While that technicality may be true, you can still cook just about anything on a griddle that you would on a grill – plus, space is not as limited.
This tabletop grill comes at a great price and won’t take up a ton of space on your campsite. The one thing we would like to see improved slightly is the grill’s construction. Other than that, it’s hard to find a better grill than the Blackstone Table Top Grill.
- Griddle top for versatile cooking
- Lightweight and easy to move
This powerful camping grill boasts up to 20,000 total BTUs for fast, even cooking every time. The Coleman Gas Camping Grill features two adjustable burners for the most precision in controlling your temperatures. You’ll also love the pressure-control technology that maintains consistent performance even through some of the most extreme conditions.
An hour-long runtime means you’ll be able to do all of the cooking that you need without having to replace your propane cylinder. Every purchase comes along with a 2-year limited warranty to protect you should anything happen to your grill.
- Heats up quickly
- Easy to assemble
- Fuel canisters are affordable
- Easy to clean – just wipe it off
- Compact storage but large working area
- Some heat dissipation and hot spots
This portable gas grill has 145 square inches of grilling area with foldaway legs for easy storage and quick set-up. Cooking for a crowd at the campsite? You can cook 6-10 chicken breasts, 4 pounds of fish, 8 burgers, or 8 steaks on this grill all at the same time!
Thanks to a powerful 5,500 BTU stainless steel burner and a porcelain enameled grate, you’ll get even heating every time. Legs made from aluminum and special stabilized feet design gets the grill up and running in seconds while the integrated lid lock keeps everything secure. Finally, this Cuisinart’s briefcase-style carrying handle makes it easy to carry the 13.5 lb grill.
- Great size for two
- Works in any environment
- Easy to carry, lightweight
- Versatility – can be used as a free-standing grill or tabletop option
- Lid may pop open when carrying it around
- Plastic handle
The Camp Chef Explorer stove offers versatile cooking options to adapt with your changing needs. You’ll get a large cooking surface, durable cast-aluminum cooking burners with appliance-like control dials, and a windscreen to protect the integrity of your cooking even in bad weather.
Not one but two burners at 30,000 BTU each are perfect for hunting, camping, scouting, fishing, or any of your various campfire cooking needs. You’ll love that the aluminum burners keep rust away and keep your grill light and portable. With a rugged construction and high-quality materials, this is in the ranks of the best portable gas grills you’ll find.
- Portability – easy to carry
- Uses ceramic heating stones for even heating
- Easy to set up, clean up, and tear down
- Flexibility – can switch between griddle, burner, and grill
- Windscreen concentrates the heating power on your food
- Control dials don’t have much heat protection, can get hot to the touch
You’ll love the 150 square-inch chrome plated grate on the cooking rack for lots of room to cook different dishes all at once. That, along with the dual venting system keep the cook surface hot and controlled, just as you like it. There are three secure lid lock to ensure a safe and easy transport every time.
Frequent campers will love that this camping grill is compact enough to take anywhere at just 2 lbs. Take it from your balcony to the tailgate and more!
This tabletop grill is perfect for grilling up a meal for a small family or group of friends. Cook three burgers and three hot dogs at once, or get crazy and throw on 6 burgers at a time. This is a versatile, portable option for an individual, a couple, or even a small family.
- Protective layer of enamel
- Stable, tri-leg base
- Durable ash catcher
- Legs are connected
- Grill clamps on the side are a bit weak
- Grates are sticky
You can enjoy tasty food in just minutes thanks to the max heating power of the Giantex Propane Tabletop grill. This machine is a combination of great design and powerful grilling performance, complete with certification by CSA. Get a fast and efficient cooking surface with over 20,000 BTUs of power and independently adjustable burners.
Get grilling and enjoy the outdoors with the Giantex Propane Tabletop outdoor grill. It’s easy to set up and get using, has a large grilling capacity for groups, and is incredibly easy to pack up and take with you when the cooking is done.
- Gorgeous looking
- Large cooking area
- Double burners
- Quality stainless steel
- Burners are wide
- Not great in windy conditions
Sometimes, you just want to cook things the old fashioned way, and that’s fine. If you’re more of an over-the-fire griller yourself, then look no further than the Texsport Heavy Duty Over Fire Camp Grill. This simple yet efficient grill design makes it easy to grill your outdoor feasts no matter where you’re at. All you need is a burning fire.
This portable 16-by-12-inch grilling surface is made of heavy-duty steel that has been welded for durability and designed for ease. You’ll love how easy it is to fold up the legs of the grill when you’re done for proper storage.
- Easy to fold for storage
- Big enough for four people
- Not great for backpacking, as it’s a little heavy
Want to take your biggest grills to-go? Give the George Foreman GP200GM a try. This propane-powered George Foreman outdoor grill comes complete with a cooking surface big enough for 12 servings. When you’ve got a group to feed, it doesn’t get much better than that.
Use the non-stick surface to cook all types of food, such as hot dogs and burgers. Then, flip the plate over and take advantage of the flat griddle side for all your favorite breakfast foods.
Adjust the angle of your grill to capture excess fat while cooking, or keep it flat for an even cooking surface. Are you a griller who loves all the bells and whistles? You’ll enjoy this camping grill’s push-to-start function, heat regulating temperature control knob, and detachable strap for carrying.
- Truly portable – lightweight with a great carrying strap
- Versatile – change the angle or grilling surface for all kinds of meals
- Set up can be tricky
Frustrated with bulky and heavy backyard griddles? Looking to upgrade to something fit for a real grill master? Give the Royal Gourmet Portable 3-burner Gas Griddle a go. This griddle features 3 separate stainless steel burners which offer a combined 27,000 BTU output. The griddle top is coated with enamel for easy clean up and even heating across 325.9 square inches of cooking space.
The Piezo ignition system and stainless steel control panel makes it easy to control your barbecue and get the perfect sear or sizzle. Take advantage of the versatile cooking surface and make eggs, toast, steaks, burgers, or just about anything you can think of.
The best part? It’s ultra-portable and is great to tote along to tailgates, block parties, and more.
- Large cooking surface great for large meals
- Easy ignition
- Three burners allow for different temperatures all at once
- Doesn’t come with any covering during weather or storage
- Small grease trap hole
One-the-run cooking has never been easier than with the Coleman Portable Butane Stove complete with its own carrying case. Go from hiking to cooking in just moments with the quick-setup outdoor tabletop grill. Support a 10-inch pan and make a big meal in no time thanks to the 7,650 BTU of power that can provide up to 1.25 hours of cooking time.
Don’t worry about bad weather – wind shields will ensure your flame doesn’t go out or get wet in tough conditions. With a large, stable base, you won’t run into issues trying to stir or mash anything while cooking.
The best part is how long a Coleman portable butane stove can last. Bring it with you on camping trips for years to come thanks to porcelain-coated grates, an aluminum burner that’s resistant to rust, and an enameled steel exterior.
- Small and stylish with powerful heating capabilities
- Stable enough to cook with cast-iron skillet without anything toppling over
- Versatile – great for camping or as part of your hurricane emergency supplies
- Carrying case could be made of higher quality materials
The Blackstone Table Top Grill earned its #1 spot on our list because of its convenience, no-hassle clean up, fast and even heating, and massively spacious surface for cooking. We reached this verdict with careful consideration as to the type of grill, benefits it offers, and features that make it so great.
Find the camping grill you’ve been looking for by clicking the links for any of the top 10 camping grills listed above!