10 Best Portable Camping BBQ Grills for 2021

by Chris Johns | Updated: July 15, 2021

Best Portable Camping Grills

Portable camping grills make life in the campground a lot more enjoyable for a grilling fan.

Even when you’re miles away from home (and your backyard grill), with no electricity or natural gas connections, you can still enjoy the pleasure of grilling up delicious barbecue for your family.

These fun little beauties are lightweight, powerful (enough), and pretty versatile.

Depending on which one you choose, it can be used as a grill, griddle, or burner. There’s even an infrared model to choose from!

So if you’re looking for the best camping grill for your collection, read on. There’s a lot of great options to choose from.

The 10 Best Portable Camping Grills for 2021

Here is my list of the ten best camping grills of 2021. I’ll start with the five best overall choices, but if you’d like to see the entire list, you can jump ahead by clicking here.

Best Portable Camping Grill Reviews

Here are the full 10 best portable camping grill reviews. I start with my favorite all-around choice (the Weber Q1200), then go through nine other fantastic options based on functions and size.

1. Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill – Best Overall Choice #1

Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill

View on Amazon

The Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill may be cute, but it is one of the best portable grills on the market.

I frequently travel in a ‘65 Serro Scotty Sportsman canned ham. The exterior has an orange stripe which complements the drapes and upholstery inside. There is a point to this story!

After more than five decades of use, the interior stove finally gave up the ghost and replaced it with this Weber camp grill.

I chose the Q1200 not only because it came with an orange finish – and looks fantastic! – but also because it’s a road-worthy cooking machine.

This unit is simple to use, compact, yet efficient on the road. It features a single 8,500 BTU stainless steel burner and gives me 189 square inches to cook on. That’s plenty.

Extras include porcelain-enameled cast-iron grates and a cast aluminum lid and body.

This unit is ready to use out of the box. No tools are necessary. Just unbox, hook up your propane grill cylinder, and get to work.

I also like the built-in lid thermometer, a rarity on even the best portable grills.

If you’re looking for an extended lifespan, you’re going to get it: The burner tubes are made of a singular piece of steel. There aren’t any welds, so they’re strong, rust-resistant, and won’t burn through.

I also like having Weber’s signature grease management system – and I was pleasantly surprised that they included it with a portable grill. This system funnels grease and grit down into the angled grease tray and catch pan and away from my burners.

The result: a cleaner, safer cooking experience.

I should also mention that this unit comes in six colors: black, orange, red, titanium, blue, and green.

If you enjoy a pop of color and are looking for a cleaner, safer cooking experience on the road, take a look at the Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill.

On Sale
Weber, Orange 51190001 Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill
  • One stainless steel burner produces 8500 BTU-per-hour to heat 189 square-inch total cooking area
  • Porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates and cast aluminum lid and body
  • Fully assembled out of box and built-in lid thermometer, serves 2 to 3 people

2. Coleman Classic Propane Camping Stove – Best Overall Choice #2

Coleman Classic Propane Camping Stove

View on Amazon

I’ve been camping for most of my life, and I still have my first portable grill: a Coleman Classic Propane Camping Stove. This was the same grill my grandfather used, and guest what? It still fires up every time I take it on the road. True story.

Not much has changed over the decades. The cast aluminum shell may be a touch thinner and my old stove uses a rubber hose instead of a metal propane attachment stand. My grandfather also fashioned wood burner knobs to replace the plastic ones. That said, Coleman is essentially using the same design – and why wouldn’t they? It works!

This portable tabletop grill is as simple as they come. It features two 20,000 British Thermal Units burners and gives you enough room to accommodate 10” and 12” pans simultaneously.

This Coleman road trip grill is entirely self-contained and highly portable.

The adjustable burners are housed in the aluminum steel body. When I want to use this portable grill, all I have to do is flip open the lid, secure the wind-blocking panels, attach my disposable propane tank, and light the burners. That’s all there is to it.

This unit is also efficient and easy on propane. I can get more than an hour of continuous use from one 16-ounce propane cylinder when using both burners at peak temperature.

You don’t have to baby this portable grill. It’s designed for use and abuse on the road – and my grandfather’s classic green grill is a testament to Coleman’s quality.

So buy with confidence and enjoy your camping trip knowing that this unit is backed by a three-year warranty that you’ll most likely never cash in on.

The Coleman Classic Propane Camping Stove is one of the best portable camping BBQ grills on the market. It’s simple, rugged, affordable, road-ready, and designed for years (or several decades!) of adventure.

On Sale
Coleman Gas Camping Stove | Classic Propane Stove, 2 Burner, 4.1 x 21.9 x 13.7 Inches
17,459 Reviews
Coleman Gas Camping Stove | Classic Propane Stove, 2 Burner, 4.1 x 21.9 x 13.7 Inches
  • Cooking power: Up to 20,000 total BTUs. Fits a 12-inch and 10-inch pan at the same time
  • 2 adjustable burners: For precise temperature control
  • Wind-blocking panels: Shield burners from wind

3. Camp Chef Explorer Two-Burner Camp Stove

Camp Chef Explorer Two-Burner Camp Stove

View on Amazon

The Camp Chef Explorer Two-Burner Camp Stove is a beautifully simple cooking machine.

This 30,000 BTU portable grill is rugged, easy to set up and stow, and just as intuitive to use. The beauty of this small camping grill lies in its versatility.

Want to keep it stripped down, simple, and lightweight for camping? Stick to the two-burner system. Want to indulge on the road with artisan-style pizzas or transform it into a flat top or grill box?

Camp Chef offers four unique add-on accessories that allow you to cook just about anything, anywhere.

Unlike other gas grills, this one is designed specifically for the outdoors. So portability is no problem. The legs attach without fuss (or tools), and the three-sided windscreen deters wind, ensuring that you achieve maximum cooking power regardless of the weather.

This compact grill gives you a 464 square-inch grilling surface, two cast-aluminum burners, appliance-style temperature controls, and infinite possibility.

Aesthetically, there’s nothing especially eye-catching about this portable grill – and that’s a deliberate design choice.

This is a rugged portable grill. It’s designed to cook – not wow with flashy bells and whistles. And that’s why I love it. This unit won’t dent, cave, or deteriorate in bad weather.

It runs off a standard propane tank, but I like to keep my load light using disposable propane canisters. This portable gas grill only weighs 30 pounds, so it’s a feather-light travel companion.

When mounted to the detachable legs, this gas grill stands 29” tall. The beauty is that it works just as well without the legs, so feel free to safely use it as a tabletop grill.

If you’re looking for a simple, rugged design, extreme portability,  and ease of use, give the Camp Chef Explorer Two-Burner Camp Stove a look.

Camp Chef Explorer, Two Burner Stove, Two 30,000 BTU's cast-aluminum burners, Cooking Dimensions: 14 in. x 32 in
  • Includes 3 ft. hose and regulator
  • Includes detachable steel legs and 3-sided wind screen
  • Compatible with most 14 in. Camp Chef accessories

4. Camp Chef Deluxe Barbecue Grill Box

Camp Chef Deluxe Barbecue Grill Box

View on Amazon

The Camp Chef Deluxe Barbecue Grill Box is the perfect companion piece to your Camp Chef Explorer Two-Burner Camp Stove.

This box attaches to 14” Camp Chef portable grills, elevating your standard burner system into a robust, easy-to-use system that will make you feel like you’re standing behind your patio rig.

To use it, set up your 14” Camp Chef two-burner, grab your grill box and place it on one of the burners, fire up your grill, and get to work.

But what makes this gas grill add-on so great?

Well, it features a patented heat diffuser system that elevates your cooking experience by minimizing hot spots and converting flames into infrared heat. This system vaporizes grease drippings and distributes that flavor back into your food.

The result: a cleaner, safer, tastier cooking experience.

This portable grill add-on features pre-seasoned cast-iron grates that heat evenly, are easy to clean, and resist sticking and rust.

A bonus is that this unit comes with a hinged lid, carry handle, and a mounted temperature gauge. The lid locks in heat and flavor – and I rarely have to open it to check on my cooking progress. Instead, I simply keep an eye on the thermometer.

This unit increases your grilling surface, too, giving you 14” X 16” to cook on. At only 19 pounds, it is also lightweight.

I also like having a sturdy metal lid lock. No plastic is to be found here. When I’m done, I close the hood and lock the lid for easy stow and go.

If you want to increase your cooking flexibility, the Camp Chef Deluxe Barbecue Grill Box is a fantastic add-on for any 14” Camp Chef portable gas grills. It’s affordable, well-built, and will give you a cleaner, safe cooking surface experience regardless of where the adventure takes you.

Camp Chef Deluxe BBQ Grill Box, Single Burner Accessory, Cooking Dimensions: 14 in. x 16 in
705 Reviews
Camp Chef Deluxe BBQ Grill Box, Single Burner Accessory, Cooking Dimensions: 14 in. x 16 in
  • Fits all Camp Chef 14 in. cook systems + Sidekick pellet grill attachment
  • Specially designed heat diffuser plates turn flame into infrared heat and instantly vaporizes grease drippings, Built in...
  • Hinged lid and lid handle for convenient opening and latch locks lid and grates down for transportation, Out of the box ready...

5. Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill

Weber Go-Anywhere Gas Grill

View on Amazon

The Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill is a no-fuss, no-frills portable charcoal grill. It’s affordable, intuitive to use, familiar, and possibly the best portable grill for camping on this list.

Weber has been producing this unit for years, and in that time, the design hasn’t changed. And why would it? It’s simple and effective.

This unit is designed to maximize portability, so it is featherlight (only 8.82 pounds) and features tuck-and-carry lid-locking construction. So leave your bungee cords at home; the lid isn’t going anywhere.

Here’s how it works: When you want to stow, set your lid, swing up those plated steel legs, and lock everything into place. This is a no-nonsense design that is durable and road-ready. No flimsy plastic latches here.

This portable grill gives you 160 square inches of cooking area that’s packed into a classic rectangular cook box. I love globe-shaped charcoal grills but know from years on the road that they don’t like to stow with the rest of my gear. This grill is boxy, so it tucks and stacks without any fuss.

Extras include a rugged porcelain-enameled lid and base that are rust and peel-resistant and durable plated-steel cooking grates. The grates are heavy-duty, easy to clean, and continue to serve me well after years of use.

This is a Weber, so you can rest assured knowing that the entire unit is backed by a generous 10-year warranty – but my instinct tells me that you’ll never end up using it.

The Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill is ideal for minimalists who enjoy rich charcoal grill flavor without the fuss – or the outrageous price tag.

Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill,Black,14.5' H x 21' W x 12.25' L
4,259 Reviews
Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill,Black,14.5" H x 21" W x 12.25" L
  • While spending most days on your way to somewhere else, the Go-Anywhere portable charcoal grill brings a taste of home...
  • Holds up to six burgers made with a Weber burger press
  • Compact and lightweight for grilling on the go

6. Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill

Char-Broil The Big Easy Tru-Infrared Smoker

View on Amazon

Want to travel anywhere and bring the taste of home with you? Then you’re going to need a little help from the Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill.

This unit allows you to smoke, roast, and grill – all with one unit. And at under 25 pounds and 36” tall, you’ll have no trouble moving this item around the campsite or stowing it in a compact vehicle.

This is a vertical barrel-style grill – and it’s unlike most portable grills on the market. It features Char-Broil’s TRU-Infrared cooking technology, which eliminates flare-ups and facilitates even cooking – regardless of what you cook.

And this is where The Big Easy shines. It works well for large cuts of meat because the interior cooking basket will accommodate a 21-pound bird. Plus, you have an infrared burner, sturdy grill grates, and 180 square inches of cooking area for steaks, burgers, chicken, or veggies.

The entire system runs off of a standard propane grill tank, and it puts out plenty of firepower. This unit boasts 18,000 BTUS of high heat.

This propane grill is also intuitive to use. All you have to do is attach your propane grills tank, turn on the knob, and turn the lighting knob to ignite. That’s it. You’re ready to cook.

One of my favorite features is the side-mounted smoker box, which can be accessed outside the grill. This allows you to add wood chips without ever opening the lid. As a result, rich flavor and heat stay locked in.

So here’s what you get with the Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill.

A three-in-one cooker, a smoking and roasting basket, a removable grease tray, a hose with a regulator, two shelves, a smoker box, and a thermometer.

Considering everything you get – and the cooking flexibility that comes with it – you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that this is one of the most affordable units on my list.

7. UCO Flatpack Portable Pit and Grill

UCO Flatpack Portable Pit and Grill

View on Amazon

At heart, I’m a minimalist.

There’s beauty in simplicity – and if we’re honest, that’s what camping is all about. UCO shares this sentiment, and the UCO Flatpack Portable Pit and Grill is proof of it.

This folding camp grill is one of the most beautifully simple grills on my list. Backpackers and minimalist campers without a lot of storage space will love it.

This portable pit grill looks a lot like an accordion-style magazine rack – except that it’s metal, fireproof, and designed for cooking.

To use it, simply unfold the 13.5” X 10” X 1.5” book-style body and set the legs. Now fill up the body with charcoal, woodchips, or whatever wood you can gather from around the campsite.

Now set your 6.75 square inch grates, light up, and get to work. There’s nothing more to it – and therein lies the beauty.

This portable charcoal grill is made from 1.5-inch thick stainless steel. It’s tough but weighs a mere three pounds. It’s easy to use and just as easy to set up and tear down. I can put this together in less than 30 seconds.

And when I’m done, all I have to do is fold it up and tuck it into the included canvas storage bag.

I’ve cooked fantastic meals on this unit. But I’ve also used it as a fire pit when backpacking in dry, desert climates where wildfires are a concern. This unit keeps hot coals off the ground – and because it is so compact, I’m forced to be judicious about adding fuel to the flame.

The UCO Flatpack Portable Pit and Grill is one of my favorite portable grills. It’s ridiculously affordable, lightweight, robust, and an ideal backpacking grill for those that want to keep their load to a minimum.

UCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Grill and Fire Pit
2,652 Reviews
UCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Grill and Fire Pit
  • Stainless steel grill folds to 1.5 inches thick and fits in a backpack; can be used as a fire pit; comes in regular or mini...
  • Regular size features 13 x 10-inch grilling area for up to 6 servings; mini features 9 x 6.75-inch grilling area for up to 3...
  • Stable base for safe grilling; quick 30-second setup; sides of grill serve as a wind-break

8. Weber 1211001 Jumbo Joe 18-inch Portable Grill

Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal 18-Inch Black Grill

View on Amazon

If you like a simple, classic design that is affordable, rugged, and intuitive to use, check out the Weber 1211001 Jumbo Joe 18-inch Portable Grill.

This charcoal grill features an 18-inch cooking area – and I appreciate the globe-style design. A circular cooking space allows me to access food from any angle without battling tight corners.

Extras include heavy-gauge steel grill plates and a porcelain-enameled bowl and lid. The grates are easy to clean, won’t rust, deteriorate, chip, or crack.

I also like having two dampers – one mounted to the lid and another build into the base of the charcoal grill. These allow me to dial in temperatures and increase airflow.

This grill weighs 18 pounds, which is a pleasant surprise.

Allow me to explain: When I lift this charcoal grill, I can feel the quality in the weight and the materials. The grill boxy is thicker than most – especially at this price point.

So go ahead and make this your primary travel cooker. It won’t rust, dent, crack or bend.

Considering the compact footprint, I continue to marvel at how much space I have to grill. I have an 18-inch radius to play with, so I can accommodate a family’s worth of brats and burgers. But when I want to sear steaks or cook delicate seafood, I have plenty of room to do it.

I also like having a lock-and-lift swivel bar. This mechanism keeps my lid in place during transportation. But what’s even more remarkable is that the tool pulls double-duty and acts as a lid holder. So my lid stays off to the side and off the dirty ground.

This is one of my favorite charcoal grills. If you like a classic design, an affordable price tag, and durability that’s backed by one of the best names in the business, check out the Weber 1211001 Jumbo Joe 18-inch Portable Grill.

On Sale
Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill 18 Inch Black
3,699 Reviews
Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill 18 Inch Black
  • Travel with taste, or grill up a quick meal on your patio with the Jumbo Joe portable charcoal grill. The compact size with...
  • Holds up to eight burgers made with a Weber burger press
  • Compact and lightweight for grilling on the go

9. NOMADIQ Collapsible Gas Grill

NOMADIQ Collapsible Gas Grill

View on Amazon

If money was no object and I had to choose only one portable grill for backpacking, it’d be the NOMADIQ Collapsible Gas Grill.

This portable grill looks like an ovular briefcase – except you can grill in it!

With the exception of the propane, every component is self-contained, so no assembly is required. To use it, simply prop the 12-pound grill up on its “spine,” unlock, unfold the two circular burner pads, ignite, and cook.

This is one of my favorite gas grills for backpacking and camping – not only because it is compact and convenient but also because it is equally durable.

This portable grill is made from heavy steel with a powder-coated finish. The portable gas grill burners are made from stainless steel, and the grates are manufactured from cast iron. Despite the quality building materials, this is one of the lightest, most transportable grills on my list of the best portable grills.

Incredibly, this portable model puts out nearly 10,000 BTUs of consistent heat and gives you 226 square inches of cooking space.

But this roadwarrior is just as capable of car camping as it is at home grilling. Extras include push-button ignition, a drip pan, a gas hose with a regulator, and a carrying strap.

It’s also worth mentioning that the grates are easily removable and are dishwasher safe and rust-resistant.

This is a mid-priced portable camping grill, and it’s worth every penny. This unit gets extra points for its ingenious design. The NOMADIQ Collapsible Gas Grill is adventure-ready right out of the box.

I’ve used many portable camping grills, but few are as rugged, compact, lightweight, and have the grilling space you get with this unit. If you’re a backpacker or camper with limited space and a big appetite, this may be the unit for you. There’s plenty of cooking area for a group.

On Sale
NOMADIQ Portable Propane Gas Grill | Small, Mini, Lightweight Tabletop BBQ | Perfect for Camping, Tailgating, Outdoor Cooking, RV, Boats, Travel
  • ✅ TRULY COMPACT AND PORTABLE GAS GRILL TO TAKE ON-THE-GO - Weighing ONLY 12 pounds, the nomadiQ grills are easy to...
  • ✅ 226 SQUARE INCH CERAMIC COATED NON-STICK GRATES - Boasting a huge cooking area, this portable propane grill has plenty of...
  • ✅ ALMOST 10,000 BTU WITH DUAL BURNERS - With 2 separate grilling sides, each encompassing almost 5,000 BTU, this BBQ grill...

10. Bitty Big Q Stainless Steel Lightweight Camping Grill

Bitty Big Q Stainless Steel Lightweight Camping Grill

View on Amazon

The Bitty Big Q Stainless Steel Lightweight Camping Grill claims to be the most compact, reliable, and lightweight camping grills on the market. From what I can tell, this may indeed be true.

The design is simple, compact, tough, and road-ready. To use it, simply remove it from the travel pouch, unfold the legs, set your height – you have three levels to choose from – and drop it over your fire pit. Now add your hot dogs, burgers, or anything else you want to cook. That’s it. There’s nothing else to it.

This portable grill grate is made from 316 medical-grade stainless steel that resists rust, corrosion, and sticking. So it’s tough yet light as a feather. I also like that this unit comes with a storage pouch.

In addition to being light, it is also compact. When fully open, you get a 16” X 10” cooking area that sets up in seconds. When collapsed, this unit is only 6.70” X 3.46” X 3.43”, so throw it in your backpack; you’ll forget it’s even there!

In my opinion, this is the best portable grill for backpacking or a minimalist camping trip – especially if you have to pack in/pack out all of your gear, food supplies, and trash.

I love the convenience I get with a portable propane grill. But when I’m backpacking, I prefer to do without the extra weight and waste of a disposable propane tank. This is essentially a fold-up grill plate, so there’s nothing to break – and I don’t have to rely on propane.

If you’re looking for an affordable, fool-proof set of stainless steel grates for your next backcountry adventure, leave your traditional grill at home and check out the Bitty Big Q Stainless Steel Lightweight Camping Grill. This unit is rugged, compact, and undoubtedly one of the best portable camping grills for adventurers.

On Sale
Bitty Big Q 316 Stainless Steel Ultra Compact Portable Lightweight Camping Grill
  • It is compact, retractable and lightweight, 1.7 lbs. perfect for outdoor open fire cooking. Great for kayak/canoe/RV camping,...
  • Unique PATENTED design - Fully open to a grill rack, grilling surface 16 x 10 inches. Easily serves 3-5 people. Fold it up...
  • 3 adjustable levels – choose perfect grill rack height above your fire

What to look for in a good portable camping grill

There are a few criteria to consider when choosing a portable grill, but the two most important are fuel source, size, and weight.

Fuel-Source

Camping grills are fueled by three primary sources – propane, charcoal, and electricity – and both have advantages. Propane is, above all, convenient. When you cook with propane, you have instant firepower. Plus, you’re not at the mercy of the weather or wind when you use it. But convenience always has limitations.

Propane tanks are bulky – and while you can use lightweight, disposable canisters, campers often shy away from them because they are not environmentally friendly.

I like charcoal for its unrivaled, smokey flavor. Charcoal may take longer to heat up, but you can significantly cut your prep time by purchasing a cheap charcoal chimney.

Charcoal is also extremely cheap, readily available, and biodegradable. That said, charcoal is messy, requires more attention, and isn’t always welcome in no-burn camping areas that are dry and isolated.

Electric grills are convenient but not always ideal for camping for an obvious reason: they rely on electricity! But finding electricity may not be an issue if you prefer RV resorts, full hook-up camping sites, or have a fancy solar rig. Those who like touring the nation’s national parks or hitting the backcountry are unlikely to benefit from an electric grill.

Size and weight

Are you a backpacker or a camper? Backpackers aim to keep their load as light as possible.

Propane tanks are out of the question for those tramping through the backcountry.

And while smaller, disposable propane cylinders are readily available, they aren’t entirely practical for backpacking, mostly because of weight and size.

Camping gives you a lot more wiggle room because you’re not carrying every piece of gear on your shoulders. If you’re a camper, your grill choice is only limited by the size of your vehicle.

Which is the best portable camping grill?

So what is the best portable camping grill on the market? That depends on your budget and needs, but if I have to select a single standout portable grill, it’d be the Camp Chef Explorer Two-Burner Camp Stove.

This portable grill offers 30,000 BTUs of high heat firepower and comes in a road-ready package.

The legs attach without fuss (or tools), and the three-sided windscreen deters wind, ensuring that you achieve maximum cooking power regardless of the weather.

I also like that Camp Chef designed this unit to accommodate unique add-on accessories like a pizza oven, griddle, and grill box.

This unit is compact, yet you still have a 464 square-inch cooking area, two cast-aluminum burners, appliance-style temperature controls, and infinite possibilities.

This is a well-built cooking machine, but at only 30 pounds, it’s also highly transportable.

If you’re looking for rugged design, extreme portability,  and want to ease the entire cooking process, give the Camp Chef Explorer Two-Burner Camp Stove a look.

I hope you found my best portable grill guide helpful.

Happy grilling – and enjoy your next camping trip!

Related content you might like:


Chris Johns is the founder of The BBQ Report® and has been an avid barbecue fan for over 20 years. His mission is to make grilling and smoking the best food possible easy for everyone. And each year, he continues to help more people with grilling, smoking, and barbecue recipe recommendations.