Best Portable Gas Grills for 2018 – Buyer’s Guide

Are you ready to spend time outside, camping or on the beach? I think you’ll agree with me on one thing:

It’s impossible these days to grill outside without a good portable gas grill.

Which means there’s one problem. It’s not an easy task to find the right, good grill. It is easy to waste a lot of money on an overrated product, which is why you should carefully analyze my suggestions.

I spent plenty of hours testing grills and came up with a list of the best portable gas grills in 2018. It took me a lot of time to analyze and test the most popular models. That way I have selected about 10 different grills that you can buy right now.

I was testing them in the most popular places ( beaches, parks, camping grounds etc ).

Important! All the information you can find below is based on my experience. All the reviews are objective and made in order to help you make the final decision.

A good portable gas grill needs to be small and lightweight. Before you make the final decision on what model to spend your money on, check out which one will be the most suitable for you depending on your needs.

However if you need a bigger, full-size gas grill - check out my guide to gas grills.

I took many factors into account, such as the combination of size and weight. Another significant factor was efficiency, durability and convenience.

Last but not least, I compared all the parameters and evaluated the price difference. The price range is wide, which is why I present you with a longer list of grills. You can be sure – this list has a good portable gas grill for everyone. No matter if you need it for the beach, for camping or at a park.


Best Portable Gas Grills for 2018

The suggestions below are not for everyone due to the price, but the entire list includes good enough models that will work great in different places.

Model

Cooking Space

Weight

( Pounds )

Price

TOP 4 Pick 

Coleman RoadTrip Grill LXE

Budget Pick

Coleman RoadTrip Grill LXE

285 sq. in.

44

weber q 1200

Best Overall

Weber Q 1200 

189 sq. in.

28.8

weber q 2200

Upgrade Pick

Weber Q 2200

280 sq. in.

42.5

Blackstone Dash Portable Grill

Best Portable

Blackstone Dash

240 sq. in.

18

Competition 

Cuisinart CGG-200

Best Tabletop

Cuisinart CGG-200

240 sq. in.

38

Cuisinart CGG-180

Cuisinart CGG-180

145 sq. in.

17

Coleman Fold N Go Instastart Grill

Coleman Fold N Go Instastart Grill

105 sq. in.

11

Smoke Hollow 205

Smoke Hollow 205

205 sq. in.

20.4


How did I choose the best ones?

portable gas grill

There are over few dozens if not over 100 different grill models available on the market. I have analyzed most of them while paying attention to many details. As a BBQ enthusiast, I am quite familiar with many different grills, but I still needed plenty of time to approach the subject professionally.

One has to remember that portable gas bbq grill work very well not only when camping or on the beach. They are also very functional in the home environment, with little space outside ( balcony, small patio, small terrace in an apartment ).

I made a list of the best rated portable gas grills, taking such things into account as:

The cooking area – It is of course obvious that portable grills have a small cooking area. Still, we can find models with the main cooking area between 100 and as many as 300 square inches. I think it’s more than enough space to make food for two, which is when we can talk about a good grill capacity.

Size and weight – The bigger the cooking area, the bigger and heavier the grill, obviously. An important thing is the weight – to many people it matters a lot, which is why I have found very good grills of different sizes and weights. You will find models here that can even be packed into a bigger traveling backpack.

Mobility – It mostly depends on the heaviness and weight, but not only that. There are also other important factors such as functionality or assembly. It is important for the grill to be convenient and easy to assemble.

Quality and durability – It’s important as portable gas grills are characterized by being used in many places. They are kept in different conditions and are often carried from one place to another. It is widely known that transporting very often contributes to damages. Obviously there are no indestructible grills, but I’d really like to avoid the kind of situations where a grill becomes useless after few uses due to some piece getting destroyed that was simply of very poor quality.

Functionality – Remember that portable gas grills are not only for the beach, tailgating or camping. They work very well in places of limited space, which are usually urban areas where those living in cities or apartments have a limited space outside.

The price to all the above factors ratio – Obviously the most important thing, the price range is very wide. In quite a lot of cases, the price is completely inadequate to the actual value of the grill. People pay for the brand or simply cannot evaluate if this particular grill is worth its money. The way it is in every area of life, we can buy something in between for a decent price, you don’t need a fortune to buy a good grill.

That way a bigger list was made of the best rated portable gas grills in my opinion. From the smallest to the bigger ones, from the cheapest to the more expensive ones etc. There’s certainly something suitable for you in here, I made sure to provide a diverse selection.


Best Overall: Weber Q 1200

A great product, perfect for those with limited outdoor space. Very good for a balcony or patio in an apartment and compact enough to bring it along in the car on a trip or when camping.

By default, it uses 14.1 oz or 16.4 oz disposable LP tanks. They are very lightweight which makes them perfect when traveling.

The cooking area is 189 square inches.

Porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates, easy to clean

Side shelves for accessories

The construction made of cast aluminum guarantees durability and is good at maintaining the desired temperature.

Made of high quality materials, durable and very efficient. Warms up fast, achieving a temperature suitable for cooking. Temperature control is very easy as well.

If you don’t bring it outside too often, on the other hand, I recommend buying a special adapter that will allow you to plug your grill to a large propane tank ( like a 20 lb propane tank, for example ).

Q Portable Cart for grilling – you should definitely buy this and you’ll be able to use your grill on a stationary stand. Also recommended for those using Weber q1200 mostly on the balcony or patio.

You should remember, however, that when taken off the stand, it also sits very well on a tabletop, beach or camping ground or in a park.

weber q portable cart

Accessories such as Q Portable Cart or adapter hose raise the price significantly, but I still believe that it’s the best choice among grills in this category, even with the price of the accessories included. But remember, the accessories only enhance the comfort and convenience, which is already very high-level with q1200.

PROS

  • Efficient and durable ( aluminum casting )
  • Temperature control
  • Versatility
  • check-circle
    Easy to clean

CONS

  • A little too heavy for a portable grill ( most suitable for cars )

It’s a portable gas grill that is efficient like a big stationary grill. A very good choice for this kind of money. A little too heavy for hikes, but very good for car trips to the park or the beach. It’s also great for a balcony or small patio as it doesn’t take much space.

The price is fully adequate to the quality of this grill. Weber q1200 is the best portable gas grill in many ways. Great construction made of high quality materials ( 5 year warranty from Weber ) as well as many other details make it a very efficient model. Available in many interesting colors.

Unfortunately, when buying Weber Q 1200 you need to buy another product, like the Q Portable Cart or other accessories. All of that raises the grill’s price, which is already high as it is. The high price comes with high-level workmanship, which is very important.

Still, Q 1200 is most certainly worth your money and I have chosen it as the best portable gas grill of this year.


Upgrade pick: Weber Q2200

It offers the same functions as the Q1200 model as well as the same efficiency and quality, with one significant difference.

I’m talking here about the cooking area, which is nearly 100 square inches bigger compared to the smaller q1200 ( 91 inches to be exact, which is 48% more ) making it whole 280 square inches of cooking area.

I think it’s a great choice for camping involving more people.

The burner’s power was also increased from 8.500 BTU to 12.500 BTU per hour.

The construction is made of cast aluminum here as well, which guarantees durability. Of course, it also has porcelainized cast-iron grilling cooking grates.

It warms up very fast and is great at holding heat. Has easy temperature control and is easy to use.

There’s a built-in thermometer on the lid.

Sadly, due to its weight and size it is not a perfect portable gas grill like Weber q1200.

However, it is still mobile compared to stationary grills and works well with small backyards, patios or balconies. You can bring it along to a park, for camping or to the beach, but you will be able to tell it’s a little bigger and heavier than other portable grills.

The cooking area makes it a very efficient grill, you will make food for many people fast and easily.

PROS

  • The cooking area
  • Quality and durability
  • Easy to clean

CONS

  • The weight
  • One of the more expensive portable gas grills

Weber Q 2200 has reached the maximum in the portable gas grills category. To many people its size may be too big and too much like in stationary grills such as ( Weber E 310 ) which is why I suggest checking out the smaller Weber Q  1200 model.


Best Portable: Blackstone Dash Portable Grill

It’s a grill that differs significantly from others, in simplest terms, it’s a grill with two cooking areas ( flat pan and a striped one for grilling ). If you want the flames to have a direct contact with the meat, it is not a grill for you.

A great choice when going camping, perfect for making simple meals such as for breakfast. You can quickly fry eggs or wieners, as well as pancakes, brats, chicken, burgers, steaks, hot-dogs and many more.

The cooking area is whole 240 square inches which can fit a whole lot of food.

The construction is lightweight and portable, it weights exactly 18 pounds.

It has an interesting approach to the cooking area. It is two-sided, which means that one side is flat ( Griddle Cooking Surface ), whereas the other is striped ( Grill Cooking Surface ). All you have to do is flip it to the desired side and begin cooking.

You should definitely buy the Griddle Kit, which will allow you to cook food easily and conveniently as well as clean the pans after you’re done.

It warms up fast, is very lightweight, handy ( it folds ) and easy to clean.

PROS

  • Large cooking area
  • Lightweight and Mobile
  • The price

CONS

  • It’s not a typical grill, it works similarly to a griddle

If you want a portable lightweight gas grill with a flat cooking area ( pan ) feature that will work great for a camping or tailgate environment – it’s a good choice for you.

The price is among the lower ones in this category. The quality isn’t as high as with Weber q1200 but we’re dealing with a grill that costs less than half as much here.

That’s why I declare this grill to be worth its money compared to the competitors.


Budget Pick: Coleman RoadTrip Grill LXE

There’s plenty of reasons to buy this model, let me start from the most important ones. Its own stand, large cooking area, two burners, mobility and also an adequate price. You will find more details on the grill’s aspects below.

The cooking area is whole 285 square inches. The only downside is a shallow lid which makes it impossible to cook even a small chicken. Still, it’s a great area to make delicious burgers, steaks, wieners and plenty of other meals.

It is possible to replace the grilling grates with a porcelain coated cast iron griddle ( sold separately ).

Inside the grill, the cooking area is split into two equal parts. Each of them has a burner underneath it, overall you’ll find two burners in this grill that you can regulate separately. It means that at the same time you can cook food in two different temperatures.

Another advantage is the integrated grill stand. For example, Weber Q 1200 has the separately sold Q Portable Cart the price of which is extra few dozen dollars. When it comes to Coleman RoadTrip Grill LXE, you don’t have to spend extra money for a stand just to have a place to put the grill on.

The stand is integrated with the grill in a way that allows to fold it any time. It makes it a portable grill that can easily fit in most cars.

The approach to cleaning isn’t the best when it comes to this grill. All because of the poor placement of the grease tray which is located behind the grill next to the gas plug. Those elements being close together makes it harder to access the tray while cooking.

The construction quality is at a reasonable level, one downside is the wheels of somewhat poor quality.

If I had to tell the difference between Weber Q 1200 and Coleman RoadTrip LXE, the main one would be the size and durability of the construction. Weber Q 1200 is in my opinion a better-built and more durable grill that will last for longer. It is much more expensive though, which is why Coleman RoadTrip LXE wins at this price range in many other regards.

It lacks a built-in thermometer, but at this price it’s not much of a downside.

PROS

  • The price
  • The grilling area
  • check-circle
    Two burners, warms up fast
  • check-circle
    An integrated stand

CONS

  • The quality of elements is not very high
  • The grease tray access is difficult
  • times-circle
    Low-quality wheels

A great choice for a picnic, tailgate or camping. Especially if you have plenty of people to feed, the cooking area makes it possible to cook a lot of food. When it comes to portable grills it’s a huge advantage.

In conclusion, the price you have to pay for this grill is very reasonable. Why? This grill doesn’t require any extra accessories, at this price it contains an integrated stand and a large cooking area. You don’t need any other significant things.

I think that it’s a very good portable gas grill for a small amount. The competitive models, despite costing more, usually don’t come with a stand. The workmanship and quality of elements are satisfying, if you want to stick to your budget, it’s a great choice for you.


Best Tabletop Gas Grill: Cuisinart CGG-200 All-Foods

Portable tabletop gas grill – this grill has several upsides and downsides. It looks like a small version of full-sized grills.

It has a big cooking area ( 240 square inches ), enough place to make food for several people.

It warms up fast and is good at holding heat.

It uses small disposable gas tanks, if you wish to use a bigger propane tank ( 20 lb ) you have to buy a hose adapter separately.

Lightweight and mobile, it has two side shelves. Sadly, it doesn’t come with a stand which means you’ll have to prepare the right spot to put this grill on.

It is good for those who wish to use it at home, small patio or the balcony. It’s not a typical portable grill that you can bring along to the park or beach. Sure, you should be satisfied with it when on a picnic for instance, but it looks to me like it was a good grill for those with no place for full-sized grills.

PROS

  • Large cooking area
  • Elegant design

CONS

  • Low workmanship ( especially the side shelves )
  • The price

The quality isn’t fully satisfying, if you take good care of it it will make a product for many years. But if you ask me, it is not a product to last for years.

It is pretty much a simple regular small portable gas grill without anything fancy, good for occasional grilling.


Portable Tabletop Gas Grill: Smoke Hollow 205

A mid-sized grill that works very well in all conditions. Designed for those who want to cook on a picnic, camping, at the park, on the beach, on a boat, or even in their own backyard.

A very well thought-out simple construction and elegant design ( made entirely of stainless steel ).

Inside you’ll find 205 square inches of the main cooking area (porcelain grates ) and a heated rack with the area of 105 square inches ( aluminum rack ).

Due to its size it’s good for cooking smaller chunks of meat such as steaks, burgers, pork chops, and chicken breasts. If you think about cooking a whole small chicken or turkey then sadly you won’t be able to do that with this grill, as the lid is too shallow.

10,000 BTU makes the grill warm up really fast.

It is very good for transporting, all you have to do is block the grill’s lid and fold the legs and you can easily bring this grill along with you.

On the side of the grill you’ll find a gas plug adapted for smaller disposable gas tanks. If you wish to use bigger propane tanks then you have to buy an adapter separately. On the other side of the grill you’ll find the grease tray. You can remove it any time and clean it, it is very simple. Of course you can block it so that it doesn’t fall out when transporting.

PROS

  • The price
  • Easy to clean
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • Poor temperature control ( it’s hard to set a lower temperature )

It is hard to say anything spectacular or terrible about this grill. If you ask me, it places itself between those two words, it’s simply a good portable tabletop gas grill that works well for its purpose. 

If you care about quality you will have to spend a little more money on a grill, which doesn’t mean it’s a bad grill. Smoke Hollow 205 is a decent portable gas grill for this kind of price.

Mid-sized, lightweight, mobile and for a reasonable price.


Cuisinart CGG-180

What I liked the most about this grill is the mobility. It is clear that mobility was the priority when designing this grill. A relatively small portable gas grill of a small grilling area, which is only 145 square inches.

The well thought-out construction contains an integrated foldable stand. When folded, Cuisinart CGG-180 provides very good mobility thanks to being small and lightweight.

It was made of lightweight materials, the exception being the cast iron cooking grates. The entire thing doesn’t go above 20 pounds which means you can easily bring it along wherever you want. It is great for places where size and weight matter a lot.

5.500 BTU burner – sadly it can’t generate much heat but it’s still good for cooking small chunks of meat. Small heating power is its greatest downside.

Another downside is obviously the quality of materials. Small weight, mobility and average price of this grill is at expense of the quality of materials. You get what you pay for which is a portable gas grill that is lightweight enough to carry it with one hand.

PROS

  • Weight and Size
  • Mobility
  • The stand

CONS

  • Small heating power
  • Poor quality of materials
  • times-circle
    The price

It’s not a grill to last for years but it will definitely serve its purpose as a portable grill. Cuisinart CGG-180 is a great choice if your priority is weight and size. It is lightweight enough for you to comfortably carry it around with one hand.

 It is not ultra efficient, but it’s still good enough to cook good food. The price is not among the lowest ones, but it makes a very serious competition for other grills taking size and portability into account

Coleman Fold N Go Instastart Grill

How about something even smaller, perfect for one person ( or two tops ). This grill is very good for quick cooking of few chunks of meat for one or two people. It heats up fast and makes it possible to make good food in a short time.

It is great when fishing, on a picnic, camping etc.

The main cooking area is 105 square inches. It is probably one of the smallest portable gas grill models.

You can also buy a Cast Aluminum Griddle separately.

I chose it because it is very small and ultra lightweight. I think it is perfect for cooking food outside for 1-2 people. Plenty of people spend time alone or in pairs, which is why such grill will be enough for them. It is capable of making tasty food in a short time, which is what matters most.

The weight and the size confirm that it’s a very portable grill. One downside is the lid lock, the latch is poor and unsteady which might result in the lid opening on its own. In that case I recommend buying a case to pack the grill in or just put it in the backpack.

Another downside is very poor quality of the plastic legs.

PROS

  • The price
  • Very lightweight and portable
  • Warms up fast

CONS

  • Doesn’t warm up evenly
  • Poor quality lid latch

Like I mentioned before, weight is the main reason why I chose this grill. Another reason is its size, it is small which makes it perfect when spending time alone or as a couple. Of course you can cook food for a bigger number of people with it, but you have to remember that it is not an efficient grill for a bigger group of people.


What should you know about portable gas grills?

Their main advantage is mobility and size. They are perfect for those who wish to cook food fast and conveniently when traveling. They are small and lightweight which makes them easy for you to bring along on the road.

Therefore, it makes them perfect for people who spend their time camping, at a park, on the beach, on a picnic or any other place outside. Not many people know it, but they are also good for those with a limited space in their backyard, who can’t just get a big stationary grill.

They are perfect for those living in the city or having a small backyard. Such grill can easily fit on your small patio or on the balcony. Plenty of models are foldable, so after you’re done cooking you can fold the grill and put it away in the garage for example.

Due to being portable – they run on propane. Usually the basic source of gas are small disposable tanks that are lightweight and work great when traveling. But if you use a grill a lot when traveling or at your backyard/balcony, the best solution will be buying a special adapter. An Adapter Hose will allow you to hook your grill to a big propane tank. That way you won’t have to keep replacing small gas tanks if you cook a lot. Of course, you will save some money over time as small tanks cost much more in a longer run when compared to large tanks.

Besides portable gas grills there are also other types of portable grills being made that run on charcoal or electricity. The gas ones are better in many regards, for example not needing an electric outlet to turn them on as is the case with electric ones. When compared to the charcoal ones, the advantage is the fact that they warm up much faster and more easily.


Buyers Guide

portable gas grill buyers guide

Let me list the most important things you have to pay attention to before buying a new portable gas grill. Analyze them carefully and you’ll certainly make the right choice. Plenty of companies specialize in manufacturing this kind of grills, they differ from one another in many ways which is why it’s a good idea to get properly prepared for making a purchase.

Each of us has their own individual needs – isn’t it true? Each of us is different, one person spends their time fishing alone or with their buddy, while another spends their time camping with a group of friends. Why am I writing this?

It’s because choosing a portable gas grill should start with analyzing one’s own lifestyle. Where you spend your time and how plays the key role.

Where you are going to use the grill the most

You spend a lot of time with your friends or family outside? You often go camping for a long time? You’re planning to go fishing with a buddy, or maybe you’re just going to the park with few people for a picnic?

Depending on how you spend your time outside most often, you need to choose the right grill. It might be a small and lightweight grill that you can easily carry around in one hand or a slightly bigger one that you can bring along in your car for camping where you’ll have to cook a lot of food.

It might also be possible that you need a portable grill for a small patio or a balcony in the city. In such case the best solution would be a slightly bigger grill with a stand, which is efficient and mobile at the same time.

You already know where you’re going to cook food the most, now let’s move on to the next stage.


What to pay attention to when choosing a portable gas grill

pay attention to the details

Size and Weight – Right at the beginning, analyze the size of your grill, as it has a significant impact on its weight and your convenience. Depending on where you’re going to cook food, check out if the grill fits the size of your car trunk, your backyard or balcony, the backpack or if you’ll simply be able to carry it in one hand if you’re planning to bring it along on the road. You can evaluate it by checking the size and weight of a grill.

The cooking area – pay attention to how much food you’re going to cook. If you’re going camping with plenty of people present, it’s a good idea to consider a bigger portable gas grill. If you’re planning to go fishing with a friend on the other hand, the best solution will be a smaller grill. Remember that the bigger grill, the more it will weight.

The workmanship and durability – That’s quite a difficult topic, it is the easiest to say „You get what you pay for”. If you want your grill to be durable you should pay attention to what materials it was made of. The most durable grills are the cast iron ones, but their problem is being heavy and having to be periodically protected from corrosion.

The best portable gas grills are made of an aluminum mold, they are much lighter and very durable. You should check them out if you want to have a grill that will be really durable. For example, the Q Series from Weber is made of an aluminum mold, sadly the prices are higher but it’s definitely worth that kind of money.

The medium tier is grills made of steel, enameled steel might wear off, which sooner or later will result in corrosion.

You should also pay attention to details, the bolts and other elements not visible at first glance. Make sure if they aren’t made of the lowest quality materials, such as plastic.

The gas tanks

Most models run on small propane tanks, they are very lightweight and work great when the weight makes a difference to us. When you don’t move around too much, on the other hand, a better solution will be to buy a special hose adapter. In most cases you have to buy it separately, but it’s worth spending extra money on. That way you’ll be able to use a 20-pound propane tank, it’s an economical solution in a long run.

Heat

BTU is a measurement that allows to define how much fuel a grill uses over a period of time. It also allows to evaluate how hot the grill will be. What exactly is BTU ? I won’t get much into details. But remember one thing – the more BTU the hotter your grill is.

Portable gas grills don’t need a lot of BTU, it is the best to be around 8.000 – 12.000 BTU-per-hour. It makes the grill efficient in terms of heat.

Price to quality ratio

You have to accept that you get what you pay for. That’s why you shouldn’t expect that you will buy a very cheap grill that will be durable, efficient and lasting forever. For the lowest price you can get a grill that will serve its purpose for some time. If you want a very durable grill that will last for years, buy something more expensive.

Of course, it takes experience to tell if a grill is worth its money, which is why it is the best approach to read different reviews of portable gas grills, including mine. That way you’ll find out what others think about a particular grill and it will be easier for you to make the decision before the purchase.


Conclusions

All the suggestions I have prepared are worth their money in my view. I have chosen the best portable gas grills taking many factors into account, including the ones mentioned above. My reviews and ratings are objective, I do it to help you choose the right grill which I hope you’ll be satisfied with and won’t spend a fortune on.

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