One of the most essential things you need for a perfect tailgate is a portable grill. There’s tons of great portable grills on the market. Whether you like charcoal, propane, or want the ability to smoke, we’ve got you covered. Over the years we have found and reviewed some of the best portable grill options on the market. These grills are perfect for all your tailgating needs. Whether you are posting up outside of the stadium or just having people over for a homegate, these grills will make sure your tailgating food turns out perfect. Here’s a rundown of the best grills we’ve found over the years.
Inside Tailgating’s Select 6 Portable Grills
Inside Tailgating recently kicked off a new monthly series called our “Select 6.” We are picking everything from our favorite portable grills, RVs, and coolers to the best barbecue sauces, burger recipes and seasonal beers. If it’s tailgating-related, we have an opinion and we want yours too! Each month we will name our “Select 6” and then turn it over to you, our readers, the front-line tailgaters, to vote for your favorite. We will then republish the Top 6 based on your input and share it across our website and social media platforms. Without further ado, the summer is heating up and July 4 celebrations beckon. Here are our Select 6 portable grills as chosen by our expert tailgater Ryan Alessio.
1. Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Propane Grill: The Coleman RoadTrip 285 is easy to use and perfect for larger tailgates. The two 10,000 BTU burners create a fantastic cooking surface and evenly distribute heat across the cooking area. The RoadTrip folds up easily and makes transporting hassle-free.
2. Napoleon TravelQ: One of the best features of the Napoleon is that it’s lightweight. This two-burner design comes in at 20 pounds which makes it super easy to pack up and carry to your tailgate destination. The grill also has accessory options such as side tables and a folding stand.
3. Weber Jumbo Joe Portable Grill: This is a charcoal grill for tailgaters who love that extra flavor charcoal provides. The “Jumbo Joe” has a large 18 inching cooking surface which allows for multiple items to be cooked at once. It is lightweight and easy to transport.
4. Cuisinart CGG-0028: This is a nice grill. The Cuisinart CGG-0028 and the RoadTrip are as close as you can get to your standard full-size grill. With its 12,000 BTU loop burner, this grill brings some serious heat to your tailgate and with 240 square inches of cooking surface you can cook comfortably for eight people at once. This grill also has several specialized grilling surfaces available.
5. Smoke Hollow’s Stainless Steel Tabletop Grill: Another 12,000 BTU blowtorch, the Smoke Hollow has more than 300 square inches of cooking space so cooking for a crowd is no issue . This grill is known for its speed, being able to reach high temperatures in a short amount of time. It can hit 500 degrees in about 5 mins. It is also easy to transport, weighing less than 25 pounds.
6. Lodge L410 Pre-Seasoned Sportsman’s Charcoal Grill: A nice twist on a charcoal grill, this hibachi style grill comes with a cast iron grate that is already seasoned. The entire grill is made of cast iron so it’s not the easiest to transport and it gets really hot, so you will need to set this on bricks or the ground so it doesn’t cook your table top. But this is cooking-over-the-campfire style fun, perfect for the old school griller.
Any of these choices are perfect for tailgating.
Our Choice For 9 Best Grills
Beyond our Select 6, we’ve come across some other great portable grills. In our feature on the nine best tailgating grills, we’ve collected nine of the best portable grills on the market. There’s a ton of great options here (including ones that can be towed), so we’re certain you’ll soon find your perfect grill match:
1. Weber Q 2220 Gas Grill: If you can’t identify the correct Weber Q Series grill for you…then there may be a problem. They come in a multitude of shapes and sizes. They are even available in Chicago Cubs and Harley Davidson special editions which is very exciting as well. We selected the 2200 model for a little more cooking surface (280 square inches), but the 2200 is still compact enough to take with you anywhere you want to get your gourmet on…weber.com
2. Big Green Egg Mini Max: Ceramic kamado-type grills are heavy for a reason. Weighing in at a svelte 76 pounds, the MINI MAX is definitely doable. You’ll have 133 square inches of cooking surface in one the best grills on the market. With an easy-to-grip carrier included…it may be worth the workout to take the MINI MAX on the road!! Your diners, friends, and guests will thank you. Eggsplore the possibilities at biggreenegg.com
3. Ranch Hand Stainless Grill: Are you looking to go big and rock a grill with western-style flavor? This 36-inch by 24-inch freestanding, wood-fired masterpiece might be just what you need. JD FABRICATIONS BBQ COMPANY out of Santa Maria, California offers a few different sizes. Some have different steel thickness options on the firebox and wheel upgrades as well. Take a peek to see their other amazing models and products…GO HOG WILD!!! Jdfabrications.com
4. Uniflame Electric Grill EBT1451W: Sometimes small portable electric grills make the most sense: less mess to clean up and they are efficient at what they do. The UniFlame Electric Grill from Blue Rhino caught our attention. You can find it at Walmart or at BlueRhino.com.
5. Napoleon TravelQ 225 Portable Gas Grill: Looking for some color in your life? The TravelQ will brighten your day while also making getting ready to grill on game day a whole lot easier. With 10,500 BTU and 225 square inches of cooking surface, the TravelQ is unstoppable. napoleongrills.com
6. Char-Broil American Gourmet Portable Charcoal Grill: This is another sweet little smoker that has 250 square inches of grilling space, side vents, and a removable charcoal drawer for easy clean ups. The sturdy construction is highly touted and for table top grilling how can you go wrong? The grates are heavy-duty cast iron which always give the avid grillers the home field advantage. charbroil.com
7. Weber 14-Inch Smokey Joe Charcoal Grill: One of the most popular grills being used by real tailgaters on every gameday; the SMOKEY JOE is lightweight, portable, and up to any grilling task. Everyone should have one of these magnificent mini-kettle grills in their arsenal. You can use it to cook whole chickens, make a few quick and easy burgers, or to keep your backup coals ready to go! Don’t forget to get your SMOKEY JOE BAG as well to keep your grill safe and snuggly…weber.com
8. Johnsonville Sizzling Sausage Grill: Here is a hot little number. The Johnsonville Sizzling Sausage Grill is the best way to help get your brats’ game faces on!! No splatter and in 15 minutes your sausages are done. sizzlingsausagegrill.com
9. Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Grill: If you are looking for perfect temperature control in a stylish and sturdy kamado-type grill… here it is. The Kamander has insulated double-wall steel construction which seals in heat and moisture. The grill heats up quickly and evenly, and it creates consistent temperature control to provide you with the ultimate grilling experience. charbroil.com
Any of these portable grills are ideal for tailgating. They’ll help you feed your hungry crowd quickly and easily. Make sure to also check out some of Inside Tailgating’s great grilling recipes. You’ll find something delicious for everyone on your guest list. If we missed your favorite portable grill, let us know in the comments or tag us in social. We’re always looking to upgrade our tailgating game!