BioLite Stove with Grill Attachment from 12 Portable Grills
12 Portable Grills
BioLite Stove with Grill Attachment
Leave your fuel at home. All you need are some twigs to fire up this surprisingly hot camp stove, which converts excess heat to electricity. That electricity powers a fan that increases airflow to the flames, and there's enough left over to charge your phone—a nice touch for campers short on outlets. The reason the BioLite made our list is the brand-new grill attachment. On its 55 square inches of grilling surface are medium and hot zones, and all you have to do to add more fuel is pop open a lid. The legs fold for storage and there’s a plastic cover (which doubles as a plate) to keep the unwashed grill from griming up your bag or car.
$60 for grill attachment & $130 for stove on BioLiteStove.com
Esbit Foldable BBQ Box
If you‘re looking for a truly miniature, lightweight grill to cook for one or two, German company Esbit (manufacturers of a similar folding camp stove) makes a folding barbecue box that holds a small charcoal carry bag and slips into a nylon pouch with shoulder strap. The stainless steel grate can be adjusted to three levels so you have some control over heat. It weighs 5 pounds, 4 ounces and has a grilling area of approximately 100 square inches. Esbit makes an even smaller version that’s not available in the United States.
$81 on Amazon
EcoQue Portable Stainless Steel Grill
Seattle-based EcoQue have brought back the defunct, once-beloved Pyromid under a new name. This ultra-portable charcoal grill—the small one collapses down to 12 inches by 12 inches by 1 inch and weighs less than 8 pounds—is so efficient, it only requires nine charcoal briquettes to cook for four, say the manufacturers, and it also works with twigs, wood chips and other burnable biomass. (Online reviewers confirm this.) It’s easy to clean—more so if you buy the foil liners—and cools quickly. Because the entire grill is enclosed and raised off the ground, EcoQue says it’s safe in areas with a high fire risk. This advice is questionable, if only for safety reasons, but the design does make it good for grilling in snow or areas where building a fire is otherwise difficult, provided you bring the necessary (but small) amount of fuel.
$100 (small) and $140 (large) on Amazon
Volcano 3 Collapsible Grill
Versatility is the word on this cleverly designed grill. It cooks with charcoal, wood or propane and collapses like a camping cup down to a cylinder 19 inches in diameter and 5 inches deep (carry bag included). To expand, all you have to do is jerk the handle upwards. The cooking surface is 144 square inches—not big, but suitable for two or three people at a time. The lid, which made of a heat-resistant fabric, is sold separately ($24 on Amazon). One note for propane users: you must buy a separate adapter to use a 1-pound bottle.
$140 on Amazon
Lodge Sportsman's Grill
This pre-seasoned hibachi-style grill is almost like having a portable cast-iron stove. It has a flip-down side door for adjusting the coals and a draft door for air flow. There’s enough grilling surface to cook for up to four people, say users, and it grills steaks, burgers and veggies particularly well. On the portability front, the Sportsman’s Grill is a winner for size, but weighs over 30 pounds (cast iron is heavy) and reviewers say its handle isn’t especially helpful for carrying. It also lacks a grill cover, so users suggest flipping over a Dutch oven or a large cast-iron pan for roasting.
$61 on Amazon
Cook-Air Wood-Fired Grill
Ever think you could sear steaks on a portable grill? Cook-Air’s portable wood-fired grill heats up to a blistering 1,100 degrees with the help of a battery-powered fan (there are also car and AC adapters for tailgaters and car campers). It gets going with starter paper (or newspaper if you don’t have any handy) and uses either the included wood pucks or any other untreated hardwood chips. The Cook-Air burns so hot, there’s almost no cleanup, just a bit of ash. It has a lid for smoking, which reviewers say only takes a minute, and a roasting rack. The whole package weighs 17 pounds, accessories and all, and fits into a carry bag.
$195 on Amazon
Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill
For a simple, straightforward portable charcoal grill, Weber’s Go-Anywhere model is a great choice. It’s a small boxy version of Weber’s best-selling kettle-shaped grills, but with folding legs that secure the lid on tight when carrying. It’s only 15 pounds and boasts 160 square inches of cooking area—enough to feed three or four people, or more depending on what you’re cooking. Weber also makes a gas version of this grill, but many users report finicky behavior.
$50 on Amazon
Coleman PerfectFlow Instastart Portable Grill
This compact little gas grill, which carries like a suitcase when closed, is the same size and shape as Coleman’s top-selling two-burner camp stoves. Its 180-square-inch cooking area heats evenly, say reviewers, and wind screens make it useable even in windswept parking lots. One drawback: the stove can’t be closed while cooking, although one Amazon reviewer suggests using a baking pan as a temporary lid. Users also suggest lining the bottom with foil for easy cleaning. A slightly cheaper version comes without the push-button ignition.
$80 on Amazon
Pro-Iroda O-Grill 3000/Napoleon TravelQ
Although the two clamshell gas grills listed above are sold by different companies and different names, they are exactly the same. The circular burner cooks evenly at a powerful 10,500 BTU on the generous 225-square-inch cast-iron cooking surface. It ignites with the push of a button and uses standard propane cylinders. Its 24 pounds don’t make it the lightest grill out there, but it can stand upright for ease of storage and carrying short distances, and has folding legs for propping up at your campsite, on your tailgate or in your back yard.
$190 on Pro-Iroda.com (O-Grill) & $199 on Amazon (TravelQ)
Cuisinart GrateLifter Portable Charcoal Grill
This isn’t the cheapest portable charcoal grill on the market, but users say it’s one of the best. Its key feature is superior temperature control: the grill itself can be raised for arranging and adding coals while cooking, and there are dual vents and a lid-mounted thermometer for extra precision. The 240-square-inch cooking surface is one of the largest on this list and yet it’s a reasonably portable 23 pounds with an 18-inch by 19-inch footprint. Cuisinart also sells a similarly sized propane grill that customers rate highly.
$123.49 on Amazon
The Q series of portable grills by Weber are some of the best portable gas grills on the market—although the “portable” aspect depends on the vehicle you carry them in. The Q220, the medium-sized grill in the line, has 280 square inches of cooking area on a cast-iron grate, infinitely adjustable flame, push-button ignition, built-in thermometer and removeable side tables. It’s big enough to be your patio grill, but can go with you to the game if you have a pickup or extra trunk space. At 45 pounds, it’s a test to carry without an extra pair of hands. If portability is your main concern, there’s the smaller Q120 or Q100 (minus the thermometer). Rolling cart sold separately.
$229 on Amazon
Coleman Roadtrip Grill LXE
Portability means different things to different people. When set up and ready to cook, the propane-powered Coleman Roadtrip LXE would look decently sized even in your backyard, let alone the campsite or stadium parking lot. The legs collapse so that it can fit in a large trunk (or any pickup bed) and it rolls easily enough with built-in wheels and tow handle. What you get in return for the bulky size are 285 square inches to cook with, two separately adjustable 10,000-BTU burners, two removeable side tables and the ability to add a cast-iron griddle (sold separately) so you can grill breakfast sausages on one side and make pancakes on the other.
$141 on Amazon