Best Portable Barbecue Grills For Tailgating and Camping Grills

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It’s summertime and there’s nothing better than a barbecue. This article will give you everything you need to know about how to choose the best portable barbecue grill. Learn what features to look for in a grill and to how to purchase a grill that is perfect for your needs. 

BBQ grills that are designed to be portable are compact, light-weight, and easy to set-up and carry. Moreover, these grills are designed to fit in most vehicles. Portable grills are ideal for camping, beach activities, picnics and more.

They come in many fuel types: gas, charcoal, electric, propane or pellets. Gas grills and charcoal grills are the most popular because they can be used anywhere.

Electric grills can be portable, but you have to have a power supply to use them, so they may not be the best choice for camping. Portable propane grills can be heavy, plus you need to transport the propane tank. 

Many people like portable charcoal grills because they are so easy to use. There are very few moving parts, so there are fewer things to go wrong. Learn about the pros and cons of each below to help you choose the best portable grill for your situation and needs.  

How to Choose the Best Portable Grill

Some things to consider before buying a portable grill are:

  • Why do you want it? Where do you plan to use it? 
  • How will you get it there?
  • Will anyone help you lift and carry the grill?
  • Will children be around the grill?
  • What type of fuel will you be comfortable using?
  • What type of fuel will you have access to?
  • How much you want to be able to grill at once
  • If there are certain features you want such as foldable side tables to hold the food
  • Your budget and the cost of the grill

What this means, of course, is the best portable grill will mean something different to each person. 

Portable BBQ Grill Styles

There are many styles of portable barbecues, and you can find one to fit into any budget. If you are just looking for something to go camping for a couple weekends, you can find these anywhere.

If you are looking for a grill that will last a long time, you will pay a little more for it, but you will create many memories around it.

Grill Safety

Another factor in choosing a portable grill is safety. Will children be running around playing while someone is grilling? According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), children under the age of 5 years old account for 39% of contact-type burns annually. These injuries typically occur when the child touched, bumped into or fell on the grill, parts of the grill or the hot coals. 

Best Portable Barbecue Grills

Grilling and barbecuing enthusiasts may want to take their talents on the road by BBQ-ing while they are on the go. The advantages of having a portable grill are plenty and it facilitates in preparing you favorite barbecued and grilled food almost anywhere.

Grill manufacturers have lines of portable grills as well as larger models meant to remain in place. The best portable barbecue grills are the perfect option for outdoor events like camping, picnic and enjoying the sun on the beach.

Due to the size and design of the grills, it can easily be carried on any vehicle or truck. Some of the portable grills are so lightweight that it can easily be carried on the back while hiking and camping in remote forests.

Portable Outdoor Grills

Portable Outdoor Grills
Portable Outdoor Grills

Portable outdoor barbecue grills

Are lightweight and can be fueled by electricity, charcoal, wood or propane. Portable grills often have limited grill space, but they are perfect for picnics, sports events and other outdoor activities and easy cleaning barbecue grill grates.

It’s great to consider alternate means of cooking, especially for emergency preparedness and prepping scenarios. Consider these as well: Best sun oven and Eco stove review

No matter your outdoor space, budget or taste preference, there is an outdoor barbecue grill that will satisfy you. The right grill will help you create delectable, healthy foods while you cook outside.

Portable Infrared Barbecue Grills

Portable infrared grill will give you all the heat and power of an infrared grill on the go. These are great if you do a lot of traveling and camping. They are also fairly inexpensive for an infrared grill.

There are many places where you can use a portable infrared grill. Many people use them for camping, but they are also great for tailgating.

If you live in a small place such as an apartment with a balcony, it’s a great way to have a good grill without taking up a lot of space with it.

You can do some searching for different types and find the perfect portable infrared grill for your situation. There are different sizes and options, but they will probably run about $500 dollars.

This may sound like a lot, but compared to full-sized infrared grills, they are a much more affordable option. Gas grills are also popular.

While Portable barbecue grills have parts that can break, a lot of people like the ability to just put a gas bottle on their barbecue and start grilling.

Portable Electric Barbecue Grill

Electric barbecue grill is a step further removed than charcoal options from the tradition method of cooking of a fire. They are also more expensive in general. In spite of this, they have become a significantly more popular choice.

This is for a number of reasons. The primary reason that people prefer an electric grill barbecue is due to the fact that they are significantly cleaner.

Charcoal styles create ashes which need to be regularly cleared. They are also much cleaner for the environment.

Just a regular amount of maintenance ensures that the optimal amount of energy efficiency possible will continue to be maintained.

An electric grill barbecue is also much safer than charcoal options. For that reason, charcoal grills may be banned by certain landlords while Portable electric Barbecue Grills are allowed. Learn how to light a charcoal grill safely.

Of course, the electric designs are a bit more complex. This is why they are more expensive. Learn about the best gas grill under 500

Essential Tailgating Accessories

Tailgating accessories are very important when living in a motor vehicle. It doesn’t matter if you’ll be living in it for a brief period such as in camping and vacations or living in it full-time. To be able to experience the amenities of a real home, you will need kitchen accessories.

If you’ve had experience with moving, you’ll realize that the most space-taking of all the things is not the appliances or the furniture, it’s the accessories, the little things we never knew we owned.

In a real home, we have the luxury to have random things hidden in drawers or cabinets but while tailgating, you need to have your things at a minimum. This is why accessories must be well-thought of. Common among is that the kitchen is small. You have to keep in mind the little space you have to work with.

When shopping for kitchen accessories that you will be tailgating with, take only those essential to you, things you really need to have to be able to make a meal. Appliances such as refrigerator and microwave or stove tops are a given, every tailgating must have one.

Cooking accessories for home chefs


You don’t need a professional set of knives. 3 or 4 knives are sufficient, enough to do the slicing, cutting and peeling.

Cutting Board

It’s preferable to have an over-the-sink or a pull-out cutting board. You only use it once in a while then need a quick way to store it.


In terms of quality, cast iron would be a good choice as it is heavy-duty and can be used on top of grills when worse comes to worst. A pot of cooking something with soup and another for frying would be sufficient. 2 to 4 pieces of cookware is enough since you won’t be cooking for a lot of people anyway.

The following are accessories for storage and organization. Working in a small space, you’ll have to keep everything organized to make it fit.

Plates and bowls

Living on paper plates is unacceptable. When buying plates and bowls, find a set that can easily be stacked.

Folding baskets or stackable baskets

For storing fruits or vegetables, bottles, chips or other foods that will be consumed easily. Folding or stackable ones can easily be kept.

Racks and hooks

These are important to save space. Add hooks on cabinet doors or additional racks inside cabinets to serve as a divider. Mentioned above are just a few tailgating kitchen accessories that one must have to enjoy a real kitchen despite the small space.

Whether you’re camping, tailgating, or in need of a quick fix for dinner tonight, there’s nothing like the convenience and efficiency of a portable grill.

See related:

What Size Grill Do I Need

Best Time to Buy a Grill

How to season a grill

Pellet grill vs gas grill

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