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The 8 Best Portable Grills For Your Next Camping Trip

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Enjoying the best of what nature has to offer often means trekking for hours, if not days or even weeks into the wilderness. The distance from civilization that allows for skies full of brightly beaming visible stars and the tranquil, unadulterated sounds of the outdoors, however, also means that you’re separated from the comforts and amenities of home. And while long hot showers and pillow-top mattresses may not be items that can feasibly (or reasonably) be brought along for a weekend in the woods, a hot meal is one of the comforts of home that you don’t have to forgo, so long as you have the right kit.

The good news is that the market is brimming with countless camping grills, regardless of your budget, needs, or intended use. The bad news, however, is that this inundated market means it can be difficult to navigate your way through all of the different available options — each of which ranges in design, type, size, construction and material quality, and available features offered. So, to help get you on the best possible path to cooking out in the wilderness, we’ve put together this guide to the best camping grills to buy before heading out on your next outdoor adventure.

Best Camp Grills

What To Look For in Camp Grills

There’s only so much beef jerky, granola, and crushed-up Pringles that one can subsist upon in nature before finally breaking down and pulling the trigger on purchasing a proper camping grill. Camp stoves are great for heating up all manner of foods, though few things beat fresh-grilled meat, regardless of whether you’re in the city or the backcountry. And when that time comes for you and you’re in the market for an off-the-grid grilling system, there are a number of factors that should be considered prior to making your purchase:

Fuel Type: There are a wide variety of fuel types to power your camping grill, with the most common being wood, butane, alcohol, solar, and white gas (also known as Coleman fuel or its generic name: petroleum naphtha). Each of these has its own strengths and weaknesses that make it more or less conducive to particular situations and/or types of camping.

For example, solar and wood-burning ovens don’t require that you carry (or pay for) any extra fuel or receptacles, though they lack the convenience and utility of their gas-powered counterparts and their operation can be plagued by bad weather. Some fuel sources also perform poorly or are otherwise compromised by frigid temperatures, unlike white fuel, which can operate without issue even in otherworldly arctic conditions.

Power Output: After fuel, the next thing to look at is power output. You should determine your need in this area based on how much cooking you plan to do, how many people you’ll be cooking for, what kind of conditions you’ll be cooking in, and so on. Based on your answers to these questions, you can then determine aspects such as how many burners you need (or what grill top dimensions you’ll require) and how many BTUs will be required to be sufficient.

Construction & Material Quality: Like any product, the materials used and the quality of the construction play an enormous role in the overall quality of a camping grill. Look for high-end, treated materials that will stand the test of time, especially if you’re going to be exposing your grill to harsh environments over the years.

Features & Design: This is another vital area to consider, as overall design plays an enormous role in differentiating models. Look for novel design traits that find ways to improve long-time existing offerings, as well as supplementary features in addition to specs regarding how they perform basic cooking functions.

Size, Weight, & Transportability: If you’re planning on backpacking, you’re definitely going to be looking at very different camping grills than someone looking to do some car camping. The size and weight of a grill are crucial for this reason, as is how easily transportable a particular grill may or may not be. Look for features like collapsing, folding, or nesting elements that allow for compact, easy-to-carry forms, as well as carrying cases/bags.

Ease Of Cleaning: Chances are that when you’re home you don’t cook in a disgusting mess of a kitchen, and it should be no different when using a camping grill when off the grid. You want to clean these grills regularly — in fact, if you’re on the go day in and day out, you’ll have to — which is why it’s so critical to consider how easy it is to clean a particular grill. Also, keep in mind, you’ll likely often be cleaning in the dark using a lantern or headlamp, so hard-to-reach nooks and crannies are your enemies.

Brand Reputation: While you often have to shell out a few extra bucks for the added peace of mind, buying from a reputable, well-trusted outdoor brand is always a great way to ensure that you’re getting a good product. There are rare exceptions to this rule, but more than nine times out of ten, (if not 99 times out of 100) this rule will serve you well.

Coleman Portable Propane Grill

  • Two burners
  • Super versatile
  • Affordable
  • Somewhat heavy

Best Overall: Compared to its contemporaries, Coleman’s Portable Propane Grill is significantly more versatile. Sporting two burners with adjustable flames so you can segment your meal preparation, the 11,000 total BTU delivers to a wide 225sq.in grilling area thanks to a 16.4-ounce propane tank that lights with the push of a button, and without the need for a match.

Perfect for groups or solo meals, you’ll want to bring this compact and affordable cooker with you on every trip, whether you’re placing it on the tabletop or in the middle of a camp circle.

Type: Propane
Weight: 25.6lbs
Grilling Area: 225sq.in

FIRESIDE OUTDOOR Trailblazer Fire Pit and Grill

FIRESIDE OUTDOOR Trailblazer Fire Pit and Grill
  • Produces significantly less smoke
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to stow
  • Affordable
  • Hard to find wood small enough to fit inside

Best Budget Pick: You shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality cooking on your camping trip just because you’re on a budget. And for the price, you can’t beat FIRESIDE’s Trailblazer, a grill that can rest on the tabletop or ground and can also double as a stylish mini fire pit.

Burning either wood, charcoal, or wax logs, the unit utilizes the brand’s patented fire mesh tech, which is said to produce 80% less smoke than the competition. Made from aluminum and stainless steel, the 12” x 12” grill stows away into a 14” x 4” ballistic nylon zippered carrying bag and weighs just 3lbs for easy travel.

Type: Wood
Weight: 3.2lbs
Grilling Area: 144sq.in

Snow Peak Jikaro Firering Set

  • Great for meals and socializing
  • Large grilling and eating space
  • Doubles as fire pit
  • Relatively easy to stow
  • Pricey

Best for Groups: Since the company’s inception in the late 1950s, Japan’s Snow Peak has been building high-quality outdoor goods to exacting standards, and the Sanjo City-based outfit’s Jikaro Firering Set is far from an exception. Combining the Jikaro Firering table with the five-piece Takibi Fire & Grill, this bundle uses space economically while boasting the brand’s iconic engineering.

Doubling as a fire pit, the all-in-one unit also includes a 3.5-foot bamboo prep table. Stowing away to 25” x 22” x 6”, the pyramid-shaped pit elevates the burning wood or charcoal above the ground. Additionally, the sizable grill top can be adjusted to three different heights to tailor heat.

Type: Wood
Weight: 64.8lbs
Grilling Area: 315sq.in

BioLite FirePit+

  • Smartphone integration
  • Almost smoke-free
  • Accommodates charcoal or wood
  • The fan can be noisy on higher settings
  • Could be more user-friendly

Best Wood Burner: What originally began as a Kickstarter campaign in 2017 and has since turned into one of the coolest and most advanced camping gadgets and backyard accessories in existence, BioLite’s updated FirePit+ puts a very modern and cutting-edge twist on the traditional camping grill. The product can function as either a charcoal or wood-burning grill, too, but what really sets it apart is its integrated fan, X-ray mesh on the side so you can observe the flames, and more than 50 air jets that enable the thing to be almost completely smoke-free.

A supplementary USB port links to the Firepit’s upgraded 12,800mAh Powerpack so it can also charge a mobile device, or power any number of the peripherals BioLite offers. The grill also pairs with a dedicated smartphone app that allows you to control things like burn time and temperature from your phone or tablet.

Type: Wood/Charcoal
Weight: 19.8lbs
Grilling Area: 330sq.in

UCO Flatpack Regular Portable Grill

  • Sturdy
  • Large cooking area
  • Easy setup
  • Folds down to 1.5″ thick
  • Heavier compared to other backpacking grills

Best for Backpacking: Backpacking grills are in a category all their own; they’re much smaller than ones you would use on a standard camping trip, but still adequate enough when you need to save space and shed weight. While there is a smaller version available, the UCO Flatpack Regular does the trick. It’s slightly heavier than other backpacking grills at 3.3lbs, but with those ounces you get a significantly wider, 13” x 10” cooking area and a sturdy, rust-resistant stainless steel skeleton that folds down to just 1.5” thick.

Setting up in 30 seconds, the triangular pit holds smaller pellets and the wide footprint makes it incredibly grounded. Also used as a fire pit, the grill comes with a canvas bag for storage and locks up with a hook and loop closure.

Type: Wood
Weight: 3.3lbs
Grilling Area: 130sq.in

GoSun Sport Pro Solar Cooker

  • Makes food quickly
  • Easy to transport
  • Versatile
  • Relatively durable
  • Might take some practice to get right

Best Solar Powered: Rather than using a liquid fuel source, this solar cooker harnesses, amplifies, and retains the mighty power of the sun to deliver a cooking apparatus that can reach temperatures of 550°F when placed in direct sunlight. Simply load your uncooked food into the system’s tubular cooking chamber, position the reflector, and your food is then heated from all sides, circulating heat evenly and operating similarly to a cylindrical Dutch oven.

Despite the thickness of the metal, this offering comes secured inside a 7.5lb clamshell case that enables it to withstand a fair amount of abuse without bending or breaking. And, in addition to non-stick silicone baking pans and an extra cooking/prep tray, the GoSun cooker also includes an attachment that allows it to boil up to 14oz of water.

Type: Solar
Weight: 7.5lbs
Grilling Area: N/A

Eureka SPRK Camp Grill

  • Easy to transport
  • Relatively large grill space
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use and clean
  • No lid

Best Tabletop Grill: Grill tops that double as fire pits are incredibly useful, but when it’s time to get ready for your next meal, you and your group may want to keep the bonfire rolling. That’s why a secondary tabletop grill can be key for such instances. Easy to use and priced fairly, the SPRK Camp Grill from Eureka weighs just 8.5lbs and economically fits its grill onto its 191-square-inch frame without wasting any space.

Using an 8oz butane canister as its fuel, it delivers 7,250 BTU that can be controlled with its stepless dial to adjust the flame. While the lack of a lid makes it harder to retain heat, especially in windier areas, the ceramic grate makes it super easy to clean afterward.

Type: Propane
Weight: 8.5lbs
Grilling Area: 191sq.in

Solo Yukon 2.0 Cast Iron Grill Cooking Bundle

  • Smoke-free tech
  • Can be used as a fire pit
  • Good for groups
  • Versatile
  • Heavy
  • Expensive

Best Upgrade: Solo is having one heck of a year with its oven and fire pit releases. Taking the updated version of its top-end Yukon fire pit and converting it into a cast iron grill, this bundle gives you the best of both worlds. Made from stainless steel, this stylish, plus-size pit is perfect for larger gatherings and minimizes smoke thanks to Solo’s innovative 360-degree airflow technology.

Add the 17.5-inch non-stick cast iron grill for steady heat transfer from the wood-based fire for both beginners and expert camping chefs. At 65.9lbs, it’s one of the heavier options you’ll find, but for those without a budget, this is among the best around.

Type: Wood
Weight: 65.9lbs
Grilling Area: 520sq.in

The Best Portable Fire Pits for Camping

Best Portable Fire Pits 0 Hero
Photo: BioLite FirePit+

Already got your camping grill? Now pick out a place to keep warm with our guide to the best portable fire pits.