BBQ On the Go: Best Portable Grill of 2017

by | Aug 24, 2017 | Grill

I have always been smitten by portable grills. Truthfully speaking, I have leaned on them heavily for camping and tailgating parties. It took me a while to realize that if you buy the best ones out there, they will last forever. And, if you take the cheap road, the items will end up in the garage sale sooner or later. Well, it might seem that I am echoing all the guys who were left with empty feelings after blowing away their hard earned money on inferior grills. On the surface, that’s right. However, I am pleased to death to lay my hands on some high-quality portable grills as well. So, let me introduce you to the best ones out there.

Summary Tables

Rank#1#2#3#4#5
Product


Weber

121020


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Blackstone

Griddle


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Green Mountain

Davy Crockett


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Coleman

Road Trip


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Weber

Q1200


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Price$$$$$$$$$
Rating4.6 Stars4.7 Stars4.3 Stars4.4 Stars4.6 Stars
Weight14.5 lbs21 lbs57.3 lbs51.2 lbs29.5 lbs
Grilling Area160 sq/in260 Sq/in225 sq/inch285 sq/in189 Sq/in

Summary Tables

Best Portable Grilling Options of 2017!

1. Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill

Our Rating:  4.6 Stars (4.6/5)
Grilling Area 160 sq/in
Plated Steel Legs  
Weight 14.5 lbs

The Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill could prove to be the ‘Eureka’ moment grill. Yes, this is not of those flimsy units that will crumble in your hands before you could achieve any kitchen milestone with the unit. The Weber 121020 grill is built for furious performance. Before we bask in the glory of this product, let me tell you that it has some minor drawbacks as well. So, let’s dive into it. Hold on! Let me take you through the product features first.

Product Features:

It’s a well-designed portable charcoal grill that provides 160 square inches of grilling surface area. It’s nicely engineered to retain heat, so it cooks food pretty fast. Also, it hardly takes any time to fire up. The lower vents are thoughtfully implanted on the sides to make sure that the ashes don’t fall from the bottom. Furthermore, it has porcelain coating to ensure that the significant portion of one’s investment does not go waste. Basically, it’s well-built to last for years to come. By all means, it’s a great traveling grill. Now, let’s find out how it treated me.

In Use:

Here’s my first impression about the product. “The small size comes with a deceptive feature.” Believe it or not, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I could cook on this compact unit. It can easily hold 6 to 8 burgers depending on the size. Yes, it’s small enough to carry and large enough to cook. Better yet, it cooks food evenly without any flare up. Nothing that came out of this unit was hard to swallow. It’s a breeze to regulate temperature on this unit. My family often comments on how the food tastes so much better.

Also, I found the cooking grates to be of better quality than the $300 plus charcoal grills that I have owned in the past. Moreover, I like the fact that the unit packs up pretty quickly after use. All you need to do is close all the air vents, and this will suffocate the fire almost immediately. I have been using this portable charcoal grill for nearly two years now, and it’s yet to show first signs of rust.

Pros:

Almost no assembling is required on this unit. So, this unit cuts off virtually any time needed for putting together a grill. It also folds up nicely for easy storage. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t even carry a nasty attitude. Yes, it’s pretty easy to use this charcoal grill. Moreover, it can be effortlessly cleaned in any sink. Pretty much, it’s heavy enough to be classified as a real grill and light enough to make it ultra-portable. So, this portable grill does live up to its hype.

Cons:

The unit is adequate for a small family but not for a crowd. So, don’t expect to be a crowd-pleaser with this unit. Also, the handle on the top can get a little hot. It’s bearable though. That being said, it’s hard to find more faults with this affordable grill. Frankly speaking, this is one of those affordable grills that you can purchase against your wife or mom’s wishes and show them that you are not always wrong. At least, I did the same!

2. Blackstone Portable Camp Griddle

Our Rating: 4.7 Stars (4.7/5)
Grilling Area 260 Sq/in
12,000 BTU  
Weight 21 lbs

When it comes to outdoor cooking, the Blackstone Portable Table Top Camp Griddle is one of the coolest products to own. It’s a game-changer outdoor grill. It has everything that an affordable grill generally lacks. Let’s get to the product features to know more about it. I will also highlight the pros and cons of the product.

Product Features:

This grilling product provides 12,000 BTU and 260 square inches of cooking space. It features a stainless steel “H” burner. The “H” style burner is a class on its own. It ensures fast and efficient cooking by retaining and evenly distributing heat to the food under the hood. This unit features electric ignition as well. Has this grill been able to explode my backyard or outdoor cooking experience exponentially? Let’s find out in a moment.

In Use:

When it arrived, I could tell that it was bigger than what I expected. It didn’t take much for the product to remind me of the restaurant grills that I love so much. The flavor, aroma, and taste was right on the money. I have made some of the best burgers of my life on this unit. Better yet, the cooking space is enough to feed a small army of people. What more can you expect from a portable grill? For anyone who owns a food truck, this product would prove to be a blessing as well.

Believe it or not, the more you use the grill surface, the better the food tastes. Having used this grill on countless occasions, I can tell the difference between the foods that come out today and when it was newly purchased. The difference is not like night and day, but it’s noticeable for a foodie like me. So, use this unit more to get tastier foods.

Pros:                        

You won’t struggle to clean this unit. A simple towel wipe will do the trick over here. The grill is easy to clean and maintain. Not to undermine the fact that it’s easy to store as well. Moreover, it’s well-built. I expect it to serve me for years to come. Furthermore, the product is seemingly low-priced for its features and usability. The company could easily get away charging twice for this unit.

Cons:

Although it gets the job done like a pro, it does use a little bit more propane than the other expensive units that I own. Also, there is some degree of gap between the cooker and the griddle plate.  So, heavy wind can sometimes be a problem. I use some object to block the wind, and the unit works perfectly. Overall, this affordable unit is perfect for outdoor gatherings.

3. Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett

Our Rating: 4.3 Stars (4.3/5)
Grilling Area 225 sq/inch
Open Flame Technology  
Weight 57.3 lbs

Not only are you going to experience some of the best-grilled foods you have ever tasted, but you will also have a great deal of fun cooking them. That’s the magic part about this Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill. My mom gave me this extremely efficient bad boy as a Christmas gift. Let’s go over the features of this tailgater grill.

Product Features:

This grill is perforated to work with open flame technology. It features a thermal sensor that helps one constantly monitor the temperature under the hood. So, you won’t have to stab your meat a bunch of times to gauge the temperature. Since its WIFI enabled, your phone can alert you about the temperature on the go with the Green Mountain App. So, this could prove to be a major overhaul to your cooking style. As such, the unit can be powered by a 12V battery or with a regular AC power.

In Use:

It’s easy to setup this grill, and to cook on it. I use it at least once in a week. Once you fire it up, it barely takes 5-10 minutes to reach the temperature set on it. I love the rest of the operation. I simply threw the meat in, and handle everything else with my phone. It holds the heat very well, and it throws out a decent amount of smoke. The food that comes out of the hood tastes good as well. It tastes way better than a charcoal or wood smoker. I have thoroughly enjoyed cooking meat and fish on this unit. I have had passerby campers stop and ask me all kinds of questions about this grill.

Pros:

The mobile app lets you have full control on the grill from anywhere. The cooking surface is adequate for a meal of at least six people, if not more. Yet, it’s portable enough to fit into your truck or hatchback easily. Previous users love this unit for its comfort and convenience factor. The built quality is nice as well, so one can expect long-term relationship with this unit.

Cons:

The price of this portable grill is a bit on the higher side of the spectrum. Also, if you are using a WIFI enabled grill for the first time, there would be a little bit of learning curve involved. After you grill a few times, you should feel like a pro. Overall, this is an excellent all round smoker. I use it at home and also for a lot of camping/tailgating trips. All thanks to my sweet mom. I love her and this masterpiece gift too.

4. Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill

Our Rating: 4.4 Stars (4.4/5)
Cooking Area 285 sq/in
Instastart ignition system  
weight 51.2 lbs

This Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill LXE could prove to be a happiness tool for all the grill lovers out there. It’s one of the highly rated portable grills on the market today. Truthfully speaking, it’s brimming with positive reviews. It’s a gem in its class that arrives without the extra digits in the end. So, it’s affordable too. You can simply stop believing all the manufactured nonsense found on the net and run with this unit. Let’s get to the product details to know more about it.

Product Features:

The small size of this unit can be deceptive. It’s a small Hercules in its class. Yes, it comes with 20,000 BTU to provide heat to 285 square inches of cooking surface. Also, it’s an extremely stylish unit that folds up nicely for easy transportation. The PerfectFlow technology used in this grill keeps the heat steady for consistent cooking results, even when subjected to extreme conditions. Furthermore, it includes sliding side tables for the sake of convenience to keep handy ingredients within one’s reach. It makes cooking a hell lot easier.

In Use:

This unit has been my companion on quite a few picnic, camping, and tailgating events. Whenever I am ready to leave, I fold it down and place it on the back of my car. It fits nicely into my car trunk and accompanies me to my favorite cooking spot without throwing any tantrums. Yes, it’s compact enough to fit in my car trunk and miraculously roomy enough to feed a large family. It cooks great food. I have tested it on one-day outing to one-week outing. It has provided multiple meals to 4 to 8 hungry people on our outings. Therefore, I have high-regards for this portable grill.

Pros:

I was able to assemble this unit in less than 15 minutes. So, assembling this unit won’t prove to be a science project. This unit can set one up for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Moreover, it can be wiped clean with very little effort on your part. The construction is good enough to last for years to come. I do recommend getting a cover to protect your investment.

Cons:

The grease tray is a little small. Whenever you are up for a larger job, you will have to empty the tray before going for another round of cooking. I am used to this, so I don’t find it a hassle anymore. Overall, this unit is a tailgate and a picnic hero in my eyes. There is absolutely nothing out there that can match this portable grill for its price point. I will gladly reorder a second unit, whenever the need arises.

5. Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Portable Grill

Our Rating: 4.6 Stars (4.6/5)
Griling Area 189 Sq/in
8,500 BTUs  
Weight 29.5 lbs

If you have been itching for a small grill, the Weber 51010001 Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill could prove to be an excellent choice over here. It’s one of the perfect travel model grills out there on the market today. It offers plenty of cooking space for all your grilling needs. It’s truly a ‘quality’ piece. Let’s tap into the product features to know more about this portable grill.

Product Features:

Its high-quality stainless steel burner generates 8500 BTU per hour to heat the cooking surface of 189 square inches. The construction of this grill is pretty solid. The body and the lid are made from cast aluminum. Furthermore, the cooking grates have a porcelain-enameled coating for rust prevention. It also features a disposable drip pan for easy dumping of grease. Another winning feature is the easy-start electronic ignition. Now, let’s see how this unit treated me.

In Use:

The unit arrived fully assembled. So, it didn’t kill our leisure time. It started almost immediately with the push of a single button. After waiting for a while to let it heat, I threw in some onions and cheeseburgers. The results were impressive for a unit as small and affordable as this one. So, here’s the verdict. The grill uses fairly less propane, and the food tastes juicy as well. Also, it doesn’t get messy like a crime scene. Therefore, the unit requires minimal care and maintenance. My kids often comment that this masterpiece has improved my barbequing. I have been using this grill for over 8 months now, and it still looks like a showroom piece.

Pros:

Unlike other compact units that lack power, this unit has the soul to cook food rapidly. It can easily reach the desired temperature to cook food evenly, no matter where you place the food on the cooking surface. It’s an ideal camping size grill. It’s lightweight, and it’s available in many different colors. You might feel like a kid in a toy store. Moreover, it’s not a Hong Kong or Taiwan-made unit. This little beauty is made in the USA.

Cons:                                                                               

I miss the smoke flavor on this unit. With propane, that’s pretty much expected. I also noticed that the flames are not even. Make no mistake, there are no flare-ups, but the burner throws out big and small flames rather than uniform flare-ups. Well, if you can live with these small issues, this unit can serve you faithfully for years to come. Overall, it’s a cute, functional, portable, and powerful outdoor grill that could please you till death.

Final thoughts

To wrap things up, let me give you guys a quick overview of all the recommended products. So, you should be less worried about reading the whole thing from top to bottom. Let’s get to the summary.

If you are a fan of charcoal cooking, and you want something that’s light, affordable, and portable, you are highly recommended to consider the Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill. This unit would prove to be a satisfaction bomb by all means.

The Blackstone Portable Table Top Camp Griddle is perfect for carrying with you at the beach, park, or a camping trip. Although it uses more propane than the other units, it’s quite affordable, functional, and durable for its asking price. Expect pro-level service from this unit.

If you want perfect meals at the touch of your smartphone, then the best option for you is the Wi-Fi enabled Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill. This unit takes the cooking experience to a whole new level. You will surely enjoy cooking on this grill.

Coleman 9949-750 Road Trip Grill LXE is undoubtedly one of the most popular and functional grills out there on the market today. If you need a portable grill that has been road-tested by boatloads of people, this unit is meant for you. It’s a tailgating and picnic hero.

Weber 51010001 Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill is another great travel- friendly unit that’s easy to cook on and clean as well. If you don’t want to drag your bigger grill out in the open, you can consider bringing home this unit.

Billy StewartBilly Stewart

Founder of BarbequeSmoked.com

My dad is a true mans man, and has owned a number of grills. Ranging from gas to charcoal. Growing up with him allowed me to see what different types of rubs, spices, brines, etc went into making the best BBQ. Although my dad was a truck driver, and I had a degree in Information Technology I knew that I wanted to do something about grilling and our recipes.  That’s where Barbeque Smoked comes in.

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