Whether I’m tailgating or camping, there are two things I can’t get over with: grilled delicacies and great outdoors. When I’m out camping, I like to enjoy some grilled delicacies as I enjoy the surroundings. And if you love the outdoors (like I do), you might be looking for the best portable gas grill. While charcoal and gas enthusiasts will stand by their preferred fuel choice, gas holds an undeniable edge when it comes to portability. Reason? A single pound of propane canisters is easier to lug around than a huge bag of briquettes.
With the momentum in grilling moving away from bulky grills towards lightweight, gas grills that are more compact and less messy, we reviewed what we consider to be the top 5 choices, to help you choose the best portable gas grill on the market.
Looking for a portable charcoal grill instead? Then read our other review article, The Best Portable Charcoal Grill.
Best Portable Gas Grill Buying Guide
As a rule of thumb, a good portable gas grill should be small and lightweight. However, there’s more that goes into buying a gas grill than the size and weight. Here are some of the attributes to consider when choosing a portable gas grill.
How To Choose The Best Portable Gas Grill
The Cooking Area
While it’s obvious that portable grills have a relatively small cooking area, it is important that you think about what you intend to grill. Most portable gas grill models come with a cooking area in the range of 100 to 300 square inches. You need to think about the amount of food you want to prepare and buy your model accordingly. Most portable gas grills have enough space to prepare food for the average family.
When it comes to gas grills, there are two popular igniter types; battery powered and electronic ignition. The battery powered push button ignition will often need regular battery replacement and could fail at low battery. The electronic ignition igniter, on the other hand, is considered more reliable than its battery counterpart.
The last thing you want in a grill is low-grade material. The firebox and lid should be thick enough to retain the heat but also thin enough to prevent the barbeque from getting too heavy. In this case, cast iron material is a great choice. Grates, on the other hand, are used the most in a grill so be sure to look for cast iron grate that’s coated with porcelain since it offers great heat distribution, rust resistance, and quick cleanup. Although you might need to store your grill indoors between users, you should remember that it is largely an outdoor product so you do not want it made from materials that rust easily.
A majority of gas grills are relatively portable. However, a grill ought to be a comfortable partner on the days when you’re looking to have some fun. For instance, a grill portable enough to retrieve from storage is enough for a house party but when you want to grill at an awesome picnic site, you will need a grill that fits well in your car. With this in mind, you can choose a grill that fits your space and lifestyle.
This attribute could be the most difficult for a newbie to understand, but could make a huge difference in their grilling experience. The burner surface and burner type indicate how heat is generated as well as spread inside the grill. Most grilling enthusiasts like even, consistent heating across the grill. Others prefer units that focus heat in a single area. This is a crucial aspect to understand since irregular hot spots could result in a disappointing grilling experience.
British Thermal Units (BTUs) are used to determine the output of gas required to heat up the grill. Theoretically, a higher BTU reading means the hotter the temperature gets. On grills, the BTU rating refers to the maximum heat output per burner or for the main grill area. It should be noted that BTU doesn’t cover warming trays, side burners, and rotisserie burners.
You should look closely at the BTU rating because some grill manufacturers lump burner output ratings all together to trick you into believing it is a larger number. BTU rating, however, is not the only factor in assessing how hot a burner gets. A unit made of thin materials which do not retain the heat could lose a lot of the thermal units.
Thin construction materials mean that you will require a model that has a higher BTU rating. A grill with a higher BTU rating for its average size could be trying to make up for the lightweight components. You should also bear in mind that a higher BTU means that you will burn through fuel faster. A higher BTU implies that you’ll spend more money on gas.
What Are The Advantages of Buying a Portable Gas Grill?
1. Gives You The Correct Grilling Temperature
The temperature output from a portable grill will always be consistent to cook any type of food. This is contrary to charcoal grills which need longer heating and eventually offer unsteady temperature. Besides, you can cook without much difficulty since the heat generated doesn’t cool down with time.
2. Simple to Carry Around
Another benefit of portable gas grills is that they are easy to carry around, something that’s almost unattainable with a conventional, full-sized grill. Most of the portable gas grills will easily fit in your car boot for transportation to your favorite picnic site. Setting up a gas grill is also incredibly straightforward.
3. Not As Messy as Charcoal Grills
By buying a portable gas grill, you save yourself from the agony of carrying bags of briquettes and cans of lighter fluids. With gas grills, all you need is the grill and the right size propane tank. However, you need to exercise caution when storing the propane tank. In most cases a cool area, free of vibrations will do the trick.
The 6 Best Portable Gas Grills 2019 Reviews
The Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 Gas Grill is a small unit, perfect for camping, road trips, and tailgating. Made mostly of cast iron, this solid grill is well-built and employs the trademark TRU-infrared design to give searing temps. It comes with a 200 sq. inch stainless steel grate that also acts as a radiant plate to concentrate heat from the single 9,500 BTU burner. And without an open flame, you do not have to worry about flare-ups.
The grill’s TRU-infrared design also helps reduce fuel consumption, featuring a small 16.4 oz. LP cylinder. The heavy cast iron firebox and aluminum lid won’t rust and will retain heat better than thin steel. The top lid snaps shut with two front lathes in addition to holding the grate in place so it won’t bang when carried around. Some other features we loved about this grill include the push button ignition as well as a lid-mounted temperature gauge.
- Small and lightweight
- Solid construction
- It produces high grilling temperatures
- No flare-ups
- Built to travel easy
- Limited temperature control
- Relatively low powered
If you’re looking for a grill that offers a powerful combination of great design and raw grilling performance, then the Giantex Propane Tabletop Gas Grill is what you need. With its box-like design and heavy-duty silver finish, this model can easily tackle most of your grilling needs. Standing on four foldable legs, this grill weighs 34 pounds, which is heavier than other models.
This grill packs a two-burner system, with each burner having a separate ignition system and control knob for easy startup. And for optimal grilling power, this model is capable of offering 20,000 total BTUs and achieves high temperatures in a short time, with every burner independently adjustable. Its stainless steel construction doubles up as a durable and easy-to-clean surface. And from camping and tailgating to picnics and boating, this grill could be widely used on the go.
- Two separately controlled burners offer flexibility
- Impressive BTU output
- You can set up dual zones for cooking and searing
- Heats up fast
- Easy to clean
- The temperature gauge is moisture prone
- Quite heavy compared to other models
If you’re looking for a grill that incorporates a simple design for easy grilling, then the Char-Broil 465133010 Portable Gas Grill should be the go-for unit. This model’s construction features a sleek black steel body coated with a high-temperature finish to prevent rusting. Better yet, its design incorporates chromed folding legs that make the unit compact and easy to store or carry around. The 190 sq. inch chrome plated grate provides space enough to cook 11 hamburgers in one sitting.
Compared to its size, this model is relatively powerful with 11,000 BTUs of power output. The grilling area below the lid is a porcelain-coated grate that sits right above the LP burner. This model works with 14.1 oz. or 16.4 oz. propane cylinders that are often sold separately. This grill comes with or without a push-button ignition, making it easy to fire up for a barbeque party. And weighing only 10 pounds, this grill is easy to carry to your next tailgate party or fishing trip.
- Made of quality steel
- High-temperature finish prevents rusting
- Heat-resistant handles
- Cooks evenly
- Easy to put together
- Very compact and portable
- Doesn’t generate enough heat
- Temperature control isn’t extremely accurate
- The heat plate should be replaced frequently
Barbeque lovers looking for a grill that doesn’t require an external power source should go for the Martin Portable Propane Gas Grill which features a piezo-ignition system. And besides featuring a 14,000 BTU tubular burner, this model also boasts a porcelain cooking grid and retractable stainless steel lid for even cooking of your food. With this grill, you’ll enjoy 354 Sq. inches of cooking area, which is enough for a mini-bbq party.
The folding support legs are also easy to deploy making it easy for you to set up your grill instantly when the need arises. The retractable warming rack means that you can pull it out to add food or clean. It also comes with a temperature control knob that makes it possible for you to adjust the temperature to cook different types of meats or vegetables. We also loved the quick clean grease pan that keeps the entire grilling area clean.
- Easy-to-clean grease pan
- Folding support legs are easy to deploy
- Adjustable temperature
- Easy to assemble
- Fast heating
- The warming rack doesn’t stay in place
- There’s no way to control heating without keeping the top open
- The metal feels thin
Do you want a pretty simple gas grill that you can set up in less than 10 minutes? The Cuisinart CGG-059 Grillster Portable Gas Grill would be a great choice. Weighing only 10 pounds, this unit is a streamlined, lightweight grill that you can carry around. This steel grill also features a large carrying handle, a locking lid, and folding legs which collapse neatly for storage. Its handsome design also features a porcelain enamel grate that distributes heat evenly over the 146 Sq. inch cooking area.
In terms of size, this grill has a small footprint that makes it great for use on small tables. Its hinged lid rotates out of the way for anyone to access the grate. Besides, 1 pound of propane canister is enough for a single grilling session. Although the 8,000 BTU burner isn’t as high as other models, it is just enough to prepare your favorite delicacies.
- Comes with a 3-year warranty
- Push-button ignition system
- Folds to carry
- Cooks great
- The pan is difficult to clean
- The grease trap is too small
Small yet mighty, the Smoke Hollow 205 Stainless Steel Grill is well-constructed with durable stainless steel that’s rust-resistant. And to ensure it is portable, this model is designed with a locking lid, foldable legs, and a carrying handle for easy transportation and storage. It also features an incredible 10,000 BTU burner, making it one of the more powerful options on our list. Although it is designed to mostly operate on the small, 1-pound disposable cylinders, it could be fitted with a hose to use the larger 20 lb. propane tanks.
Besides the 205 Sq. inches of cooking space, this unit also includes a 100 Sq. inch warming rack for cooking all your favorite sides. Cleaning the Smoke Hollow is incredibly easy all thanks to the removable drip tray that slides from the bottom after use. A push-button ignition enables reliable firing up in addition to a built-in gauge that aids in accurate temperature control.
- Offers shorter cooking times
- Handle is large enough for comfortable carrying
- Decent build quality
- Lid latches down well
- Easily removable accessories for cleaning
- Gets really hot even at low setting
- Out of control flame flare-ups
There you have it, the best portable gas grills of 2019! Hopefully, this article will help you choose the ideal portable gas grill for you. After all, our tastes and needs differ, so be sure to carefully consider yours prior to making the final purchase decision.
But which propane gas grill did we like most?
Among all above mentioned gas grills, the Giantex Propane Tabletop Gas Grill has definitely impressed us the most.
Although it is not as light as some of the other products on the list, it definitely makes up for it with a stainless steel construction, 20,000 BTU output, temperature control, a two-burner cooking system, and the value you’d be getting for the price.