Get Cooking With The Best Camping Grills In 2022
There’s nothing quite like a steak or vegetable kebab under the stars. And there’s nothing like bringing a portable grill along on your next car camping trip. You’ll be everyone’s best friend when you’re flipping burgers for the whole crew all weekend.
Cooking inconsistently over a campfire is just a pain in the a**. And you can’t get the same vibe just cooking over a camp stove. Camping grills offer mouthwatering smoke flavor and even cooking, and they’re portable and easy to use. Plus, they offer a great place for everyone to gather, drinking a delicious cold bevvy and reminiscing about the good times.
Heading out camping this weekend? Before you go, check out our list of the best camping grills to take your camping trip to the next level.
- Best Charcoal Portable Grill: Biolite Firepit + Wood & Charcoal Burning Fire Pit
- Best Propane Grill: Weber Q1000 Liquid Propane Grill
- Best Budget Portable Grill: Coleman Fold N’ Go Portable Grill
- Best Portable Griddle: Royal Gourmet PD1202R Propane Gas Grill Griddle
- Best Stove/Grill Combo: Coleman Gas Camping Grill/Stove
- Best Tabletop Gas Grill: Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Portable Gas Grill
- Best Temp-Regulating Camping Grill: Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill
- Best High Heat Camping Grill: Blackstone 1814 Grill
The Best Camping Grill
The Biolite Firepit+ is an awesome portable charcoal grill that doubles as a fire pit. The whole thing is easy to take with you on your next camping trip — either carry it with the attached handles or pack everything into the canvas carry bag to carry over your shoulder. The whole unit is about the size of a large microwave, with adjustable legs, and the fire pit itself fits standard-size firewood. The coolest part about this firepit/grill combo is the rechargeable battery-powered fan that controls the heat of your grill/fire. Plus, you can charge your phone off of the battery.
To turn the Biolite Firepit+ from the fire pit into a portable grill, just lift the metal grate up and hook it at the top of the fire pit. Then add charcoal and light, turning the fan to low. Slide the included grill grate across the top, and wait for the charcoal to create coals. Then adjust the heat by using the fan (higher = more heat). Add the Firepit griddle to cook anything that won’t fit on the rack. I found this portable camping grill great, but slightly challenging to learn how to use. It took a while to get it going, and it wasn’t the most convenient way to cook food, but if you’re looking for a multipurpose tool and a unique way to go about camp cooking, this is a great option.
Fire pit/grill combo with folding legs
Charcoal or wood powered
4 fan speeds control flame
Rechargeable via USB (or solar carry cover)
- Weight0.317 Ounces
Versatile two-in-one product with lots of accessories
Designed to have no smoke in fire mode (with proper techniques)
Easy Bluetooth control
Hard to figure out at first
If you prefer to cook with gas, the Weber Q1000 grill is one of the best portable camping grills that use propane. It starts up with a push button ignition, and the stainless steel burner produces 8500 BTU-per-hour to heat 189 square inches of cooking area. The porcelain enameled cast iron grate fits up to 6 burgers. The size and shape of this grill make it great for both camping and small spaces like apartments or patios.
The cast aluminum lid provides good heat retention. Use standard camping propane canisters, or buy an adapter hose to use with a larger propane tank. For an included thermometer in the hood, you’ll need to upgrade to a slightly more expensive version, the Q1200 (which we also review in this guide). You may also be interested in some of the best cooking tripods from our list, so check them out.
Easy use with disposable cylinders for liquid propane
8500 BTU of heat per 189sq. in. cooking area
Porcelain-enameled, cast-iron cooking grates
- Weight28 Pounds
Compact enough to go wherever you go
Easy and quick to get it super-hot
Single burner gives even heat throughout the process
Adapter hose for larger tanks requires an additional purchase
Slightly harder to clean than other popular portable grills
If you’re just cooking for one or two, it could feel like a waste to lug around a larger grill on your camping trips or even just waste space on a small patio or porch with a full-sized grill. This compact grill is the perfect size for a dinner for two (105 square inches of cooking space) and is also much cheaper than some of the more complex offerings on this list. It starts up quickly with a push-button ignition, and the flame is adjustable. Reviewers say you rarely need to turn it up past medium to get a nice char on your burger. Just close the lid and wait for your BBQ. Coleman says it should last up to 3.5 hours on one 16.4-ounce propane canister (not included).
It’s also easy to take with you and clean when you get home. The locking lid design allows you to carry it by the handle without everything falling out, although some reviewers have had issues with the manufacturer latch. However, an aftermarket latch seems to be much more secure if your unit has that issue. Plus, the removable grease tray and grate are dishwashable, making cleanup a breeze. Hands down, the best portable grill for folks on a budget. For more great grilling options, check out our guide to the top pellet grills.
6,000 BTUs of heat across 105 sq. in. of grilling area
Adjustable burner for precise temperature control
Removable dishwasher-safe cooking surface
Up to 3.5 hours on high on one 16.4-oz. propane cylinder
- Weight10.4 Pounds
Great value for money grill
Small and highly portable
Ideal for one to two people and small spaces
Some reviewers have issues with the latch
Some units seem to have an issue with a very sharp edge
Even when you’re camping you can create delicious gourmet meals; there’s no reason to limit yourself to burnt burgers and lukewarm cans of soup! The Royal Gourmet PD1202R is a great way to take your outdoor cooking to the next level. The 221-square-inch griddle allows you to cook more than your average grill. In the morning, have fun cooking pancakes and bacon on the porcelain enamel griddle, and then simply empty the stainless steel drip tray. In the evenings, cook 8 patties at once for all your friends and family.
Powered by standard small propane bottles, it puts out an impressive 12,000 BTU of heat once you click the piezo ignition. The heat is distributed quickly and evenly, so you don’t end up with cool spots on the griddle. It also has a clever system for collecting the grease, so the washing up is minimized after you’ve eaten. If you’re serious about cooking delicious meals outdoors, this is one of the best camping grills on the market. Here are some of the top-rated camping utensils you can find. Be sure to browse them.
8-inch porcelain-enameled cooking surface
12,000 BTUs per 221 sq. in. griddle top
Powered by 1lb propane bottles (not included)
Grease collection tray
Detachable griddle top
- BrandRoyal Gourmet
- Weight23.9 Pounds
Evenly distributed heat
Large area for cooking
Needs looking after carefully or it will rust
The welds are not of the greatest quality
The Coleman Gas Camping Grill/Stove is one of the most versatile camping grills on this list as it doubles as a cookstove. It has a 130 sq. in. grilling area and a stove that can fit a 10-inch pan. Half the grill is covered with a grill grate, while the other half includes a standard burner. You can also buy a griddle plate that is interchangeable with the grill grate. However, unlike some grills on our list, you can’t close the lid on this one while you’re cooking like you can on a traditional grill.
With 20,000 BTUs of cooking power, this portable grill is one of the most powerful we’ve featured. It’s powered by propane cylinders, and you can control the heat using the two adjustable burners. Another feature we like is the wind-proof side panels. We all know that the weather can be unpredictable when you’re out camping, and these panels make it possible to cook when it’s windy.
2-in-1 design, grill and stove
20,000 BTU output per 130 sq. in. grilling surface
2 adjustable burners
Powered by propane
Wind-proof side panels
- Weight8 Pounds
Cooks multiple things at once
Easy to cook in the wind
Can use large propane canisters
Not the most durable model
Prone to rusting
This small tabletop grill is another gas-powered option from Cuisinart. It provides 5,500 British thermal units to heat a 145-square-inch cooktop space. The twist to start ignition mimics those on most home gas stoves. That’s enough room for eight burgers, eight steaks, six to ten chicken breasts, or four pounds of fish, according to Cuisinart. So while it’s small, that’s plenty of room to cook for the family or a few friends while camping!
Weighing only 13.5 pounds, this small grill is easy to carry or stow away in your storage space. Carry the grill briefcase style, and then let the folding legs snap out for stability on whatever surface you’re grilling on. All around, a great little gas grill and one of the best portable grills in this price range.
5,500 BTU per 45 sq. in. cooktop space
Ceramic coated grate
Integrated lid lock
Briefcase-style carrying handle
- Weight2.2 Pounds
Compact, perfect for camping or small garden patios
Excellent price with stylish design
Lightweight (13.5lbs) for easy travel
The lowest BTU rating on our list with only 5,500
Not the most durable construction
If you’re planning on cooking a gourmet feast for your camping buddies, you’re going to need the right tools. The Weber Q1200 is the next level up from another Weber grill on our list and it includes plenty of space for cooking.
It features one stainless steel burner with a total output of 8,500 BTU, which heats the 189 sq. in. porcelain-covered cast iron grates quickly and evenly. And, unlike other cheaper camping grills on this list, the Q12000 allows you to shut the shroud, which helps with retaining heat and cooking your food all the way through faster. There’s also no need to open and check on your food thanks to the built-in lid thermometer. This awesome little tabletop gas grill also comes in several fun color options to match your style.
8,500 BTU per 189 sq. in. cook area
One stainless steel burner
Folding side tables
Built-in lid thermometer
Grease management system
- Weight26 Pounds
Powerful burner, cooks evenly
Thermometer lets you cook with precision
Side tables are perfect for preparing
Some problems with the gas valve
This portable grill comes in either a 17-inch or 22-inch size, so you can pick what’s best for your needs. 12,000 BTUs on the 17-inch or 24,000 BTUs on the 22-inch model provide plenty of heat to evenly heat the griddle. The “H” style burner provides even heat and excellent heat retention. The griddle style allows you to easily make eggs and bacon without dealing with grease running into your grill. And if the grease does slip through, the drip tray is easy to clean.
This portable grill uses propane. You can either use a one-pound propane canister or purchase the hose and regulator to hook it up to a larger propane tank. You can also purchase it with or without a lid, depending if you want to use it as a grill or more of a griddle. Just make sure to season the griddle before and after use to keep it non-stick. Be sure to also browse our list of the most popular camping mugs on the market.
12,000 BTUs per 268 sq. in. cook area
Stainless steel griddle
Options for lid or propane hose and regulator
Grease management tray
- Weight1 Pounds
Good for pancakes, eggs, and bacon
Large surface area for cooking
Easy to use
Needs to be seasoned a few times before using or food will stick
Heat distribution could be a bit better
Why Trust Us
I've spent a significant amount of time cooking on camp stoves and perfecting camp cooking. I know what is necessary for a camp stove or grill — reliability, ease, consistent heat, and portability. While living or traveling in my small van, having gear that fits in small spaces, is easy to carry around, and serves multiple purposes is key. I've brought my years of camping experience to testing out camping grills.
Who This Is For
If you spend time camping and want to improve your camp kitchen, this list of the best camping grills is for you. You're ready to feed the whole crew every night with a smorgasbord of burgers, hot dogs, kababs, veggies, and more. There's nothing better than portable camping grills to make everyone happy after a day of hiking, swimming, playing games, fishing, hunting, or hanging around camp.
How We Picked
We picked the best camping grills for this list by researching the best portable and tabletop grills currently on the market. Then we took some of the best ones out camping to test them out. We compiled this list of the best camping grills based on testing and research.
How We Tested
Testing camping grills is a whole lot of fun. I mean, you just get to go camping and eat food! We took some of the best camping grills out into the San Juan mountains to try them out. We tested for ease, portability and reliability. We cooked breakfast and dinner on them to test out different features.
Features To Look For In Camping Grills
There are a few major things to look out for when shopping for camping grills. From how much space there is for cooking, what surface it has, and how easy it is to clean, all these factors play a part in how good a camping grill will be for your needs specifically.
Cook surface - Usually referenced in square inches, the surface for cooking will determine how much you can cook at one time and how much it will cost to keep the flames going. The more grilling space you have, the more fuel you need to keep the fire going. Smaller cooking surfaces are ideal for those planning no more than four in their party while they’re camping.
Temperature gauge - These are a hit or miss for some. When it’s a small batch of food, you can generally keep your eye on it with little to no worry. Food items like sausage, hot dogs, and burgers just take a keen eye to keep under wraps. Trying your hand at ribs or something more complex? You may need your temperature gauge.
Transportation - If you're looking for camping grills, you want them to be portable, no questions asked. When you’re loading and unloading the car, wheeling it to your campsite, or storing it away, you'll want maximum mobility for minimum fatigue. Look for all-terrain wheels or lightweight carry models with handles.
Grill tops/plates - Want to ensure that your food comes out perfectly? You may need a griddle or cook plate addition with your unit to treat it like a skillet or griddle. If you’re a newcomer to the outdoor grilling scene, this will come in handy for you. Some of the models on this list come with griddles instead of grill plates.
Ease to clean - The last thing anyone wants is to buy something difficult to clean. Your camp grill needs to be easy to clean so that you can cook well and often. Stainless steel grates are really easy to clean and so is anything with a non-stick surface. Of course, it’s always best to have a scrub bristle brush for your grill, just to scrape off any caked-on grease or food after it cools down. Some of the models on our list are dishwashable, making them very easy to clean.
Ignition button - Quick, easy no-flame ignitions are what most grills are sporting these days. They make the job quick and easy; these are a must. Of course, even with the best portable charcoal grill, you will not be able to just push a button to ignite.
Safety Tips When Using An Outdoor Grill
We’re all aware that open flames are dangerous. We’re going over some basic safety practices and a few things you may not have thought of to give you a well-rounded view of how to set up your camping grill and what to look for when using it at camp.
- Avoid using your grill within proximity of any trees with branches that hang close to the ground (within 12 feet). The best way to measure this is by having your friend look at you standing beneath it and doubling your height. If you’re clear, grill away. A more decisive way would be to bring a tape measure along for the ride or to set up shop far away from overhanging branches.
- Stable footing. This may sound like child’s play, but trust us - this is one little feature that often gets overlooked. When you set up your grill, you need to check the ground around it first. If you can, ensure it’s as level as can be, and make sure to clear away leaves and twigs so there’s no chance of a wild wind pulling your camping grill away. It’s also helpful to avoid accidental tip-overs. Using a table, truck bed, or another flat surface off the ground also works well for camping grills.
- Keep the grill clean. Burgers and chops will taste better as a result, but that’s not the main reason - remember that overhanging branch issue I told you about? That’s generally only a concern when you have a dirty grill, and grease can send pillars of flame and smoke into the sky. Keep the grill clean, and you’ll avoid grease fires.
- Most grills will stay hot enough for at least an hour after use to start a brush fire if they get tipped over. Treat it as if the flame is live for long after you're done cooking, and you’ll have nothing to worry about.
Lastly, always be prepared to put out a fire at a moment’s notice. Keep water close at hand to put out the fire if need be (although water can mess up some grills, so be careful).
Camping Grill FAQ
Q: What’s the difference between camping grills and camping stoves?
A: Think of a gas range. There’s a burner and a controlled flame - that’s what a camping stove is. It resembles a regular, traditional stove like you’d find in anyone’s house. Camping grills are just smaller versions of large backyard grills, where you’re using either gas or charcoal to cook your food. Camping grills typically have a grill plate or griddle instead of burners.
Q: How to properly grill outdoors
A: If you’re new to the world of grilling at the campsite, don't worry, it's pretty easy to learn. Follow these steps, and you’ll be safely grilling up a storm.
- Inspect the Grill
You'll need to inspect the grill if you’re using it right out of the package. For charcoal grills, you should ensure all the ash is swept away. For gas grills, ensure you have a full tank and inspect the line for leaks (a lot can happen when you stow your unit away).
If you're using charcoal, fill the space with charcoal and then light. Cover and let the charcoal turn into coals. For a gas grill, either press a button to ignite or use a lighter. Charcoal or gas, you need to heat up your grill for at least 10 minutes. Avoid using lighter fluid on charcoal grills - it makes the food taste like chemicals. Your grilling area needs time to heat up so you’ll actually cook your food instead of staring at it, and to avoid light-outs (when your gas grill flame inexplicably goes out, and you have to wait five minutes to reignite it).
- The Cooking Process
Alright, ready for a slew of tips and tricks? You’ve inspected, prepped, and lit the grill - now let’s get ready to cook some food.
- Only flip your meats (ideally) one single time during the entire process. You place them on the grill on one side, await until it’s properly cooked, and flip it, then wait some more. This gives you consistent color on both sides.
- Get the same flavor and effects as a professional smoker by taking non-treated wood chips, soaking them in water for 15 minutes, and applying them to the basin (charcoal grills only). If your camping grill comes with a smoker, this is where you would use the chips.
- Keep your meats moist or keep the marinade on them by wrapping them entirely in tinfoil while cooking. This also keeps any sugar-rich marinades and/or sauces from caramelizing if you don’t want them to. Direct flame contact will practically candy your meats (if this is your intention, rock on).
Q: How to keep food fresh outdoors
A: The number one way to keep your food fresh is by using a cooler. We’re past the days of salting meats and curing foods, just use a cooler, and keep your food fresher for longer. Our top cooler for this particular task can keep your food and beverages cold for up to 72 hours - more than enough time to cook and enjoy your perishables out on the camping trail.
Q: What accessories should i bring for my camping grill?
A: Glad you asked. There are five basic things that you should never be without. These allow you to be at the ready, so nothing sneaks up on you. Avoid all those “Dammit!” moments by packing the following:
- Utensil Kit
This six-piece set includes everything you need, whether it’s a one-man show or a ten-person feast, you’ll be ready to go. It consists of a spatula, barbeque brush, and other tools that you’ll find invaluable. There’s even a bonus with this purchase: a miniature charcoal grill, perfect for firing up for a single medium-sized saucepan when you’re cooking sides.
Laying out the dishes in an orderly fashion? Take it buffet style and serve up the dishes as they come off the grill, allowing your mates to grab and go. This folds up really small and pops up to provide a bunch of surface area. It comes with a nice carrying case to avoid damages.
Gloves keep you from burning yourself while you're going in for the burger flip or adding more charcoal to the grill.
This killer kit includes cutlery and dishware that’s intended to be used outside. Super durable, super easy to clean, and ready to use whenever.
- Dish Wash Basin
Look, nobody wants to pack up a dirty grill, greasy utensils, and filthy plates when they’re leaving. This wash basin allows you to clear everything before you leave, so you return home the same way you left.
Q: Can i use camping grills on my apartment terrace?
A: That depends on your apartment's rules! Many of these grills are the perfect size to use on an apartment terrace or small patio. But some apartment complexes don't allow things to be left out on porches, so make sure to check the rules for your apartment. If you do live in a small space where you are allowed to keep a grill on your deck, these camping grills are the ideal size.
- Grilling Safety - NFPA