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Whether you’re picnicking in the park or camping out in the backwoods, having a reliable grill can turn a meal you make for sustenance into something you’ll actually savor. Of course, the best kind of grill for this kind of adventure is one that you can actually take on the go. A portable grill can be packed up and easily carried or conveniently stored in your car.
Just like full-size backyard grills, portable grills vary widely in terms of fuel source. One of the most popular options is liquid propane. Propane makes the fire easy to control and reduces clean-up time, but gas grills tend to be more expensive, and you have to ensure you have the right canisters.
If you prefer to keep it classic, you can get a charcoal grill, including a smaller version of the iconic Weber kettle grill or sleek modern options like the Everdure. Charcoal can be found at pretty much any grocery store, but prep and clean-up is more time-consuming, and charcoal is ultimately less economical because it doesn’t last as long. The reason this debate is still fiery (pardon the pun) is that both gas and charcoal have clear benefits and drawbacks, so it’s ultimately up to you to find what suits your needs.
Another option is an electric grill, which plugs into a regular wall outlet. These are designed to be smokeless, so while they obviously won’t get as much of a smoky flavor as you would with a traditional grill, they can be a great option for off-season grilling or anyone who doesn’t have the outdoor space to accommodate a regular grill. And of course, you don’t have to worry about buying fuel or charcoal.
We’ve rounded up some of the best portable grills, which are perfect for camping, park or beach cookouts. Living in an apartment in the city? These small grills make your balcony backyard BBQ ready — and they bring a whole new meaning to fire escape. These are the best grills to buy online.
1. Weber Q2200 Liquid Propane Grill
Weber is one of — if not the — most iconic grill brands, having popularized the classic kettle charcoal grill. They also make a great gas grill, like the Q2200. It has an easy electronic ignition, and the 12,000 BTU-per-hour heating power and built-in thermometer allow you to quickly get to the right temperature and stay there for more even results that satisfy every time. The two handy tables on the side give you extra working area while grilling.
2. PKGO Grill & Smoker
If you’re looking for a premium charcoal grill (and are willing to pay a premium), this PKGO grill is a worthy splurge. The grill comes with a cast iron cooking surface and two-zone cooking to ensure more even heating. The grill can even be flipped over to expose another cooking surface for Hibachi-style grilling.
3. Eureka SPRK Camp Grill
BEST FOR CAMPING
Built with camping in mind, the Eureka SPRK grill is a compact option that allows you to whip up delicious grilled meats and veggies, wherever you are. It provides up to 90 minutes of cooking time, and it relies on a butane canister for fuel. Like most options on this list, the necessary canisters are not included, so you’ll need to buy your own.
4. Weber 14 in. Smokey Joe Charcoal Grill Black
For a smaller version of a true icon, this mini Weber grill is great for taking to the beach or park BBQs. It doesn’t have folding legs, and the awkward shape would make it hard to pack, so it may not be ideal for camping trips where you need something you can carry on your back. But for casual beach days, it’s a great option.
5. Zojirushi Indoor Grill
BEST INDOOR GRILL
Don’t let wet weather stop you from BBQing — the Zojirushi grill is a great option that can be safely used indoors. The easy temperature control ensures your meat will have a tasty char, without being burnt. The components come apart for easy cleaning, while the low profile makes the grill easy to store.
6. Everdure By Heston Blumenthal CUBE 17″
Admittedly expensive for a charcoal grill but undeniably stylish, the Everdure CUBE features a sizable cooking area in a compact shape. The chrome handles are meant to stay cool after cooking, so you can easily carry the grill once the cookout is over. A bamboo prep tray gives you extra working room, while the porcelain enamel firebox provides durability.
7. Char-Broil 1 burner Liquid Propane Grill Black
Looking for an easy and inexpensive propane grill? This option from Char-Broil combines the affordability of a charcoal grill with the convenience of gas. The legs fold over the lid to store it securely for easy carrying, and the porcelain-coated grates are made to be easier to clean.
8. Bella – Pro Series Indoor Smokeless Grill
Looking to bring some summer cheer to the cold months? This grill from Bella lets you keep BBQing all year long because it’s an indoor option that relies on a regular electrical outlet. The large 12″ x 16″ cooking area lets you cook for a big group, and easy temperature control allows you to get that perfect char, without accidentally burning your food.