The 8 Best Portable Gas Grills

red-portable-barbecue-grill-at-outdoor-on-gas

Everyone has different needs when it comes to grills.

Although there is no substitute for the smoky flavor and aroma imparted by cooking with charcoal, using a charcoal grill is not to everyone’s liking.

At the other end of the spectrum, you have electric grills that put off purists and offer more limited functionality.

Today, you’re in for a treat, though. With our curated selection of the best portable gas grills, you can get authentic BBQ results with a fraction of the fuss. The kicker? These grills are all compact enough to pop in the trunk of your car and take just about anywhere. And, since you’ll be cooking with propane rather than electricity, you won’t need to worry about the proximity of a power outlet.

What should you consider before buying a portable gas grill, then?

  • Size and portability: The first and most obvious consideration concerns the overall dimensions and weight of this grill. If you’re planning to take the grill out in the car, make sure you could comfortably lift it into the trunk and out again. We break down this data for each of the grills we review in the features tab of each model
  • Cooking surface area: The total cooking surface area of each grill we review is expressed in square inches for your ease. If you’re looking to cook for four people, shoot for a grill with at least 300 square inches of cooking real estate. As well as the overall capacity, check whether there’s enough space under the lid of the grill for a whole chicken or turkey. Most portable gas grills offer from 200 to 300 square inches of cooking surface area, with a few exceptions
  • Materials: Look for a grill that’s built to last more than one grilling season. Cast aluminum is a great material for the fire box of a grill. Light and quick to cool down, it’s also rust-resistant. Porcelain enamel coating on the grill surface allows you to impart a trademark sear while also minimizing food splatter. Stainless steel grates are an acceptable option, but cast iron works better
  • Heat output: If you have a portable grill at the larger end of the size band on offer, you should look for one featuring multiple burners. Having several heat zones also makes it easier when you’re grilling
  • Ignition: Look for a gas grill equipped with push-button electronic ignition and you’ll fire up your grill without needing to reach for matches or a lighter
  • Wheels and stand: If you want a beefier portable grill, look for one offering capacity along with wheels for ease of transportation. These wheels should lock into place for safety’s sake. Other portable gas grills come with foldable legs or stands

With that skeleton in place, you have all you need to readily compare the following portable gas grills like-for-like.

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I. The 8 Best Portable Gas Grills

1. Our #1 Pick: Weber Liquid Propane Grill

Weber-54060001-Q2200-Liquid-Propane-Grill-,-Gray

Features

  • Total cooking area: 280 square inches
  • Weight: 42.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 25.1 x 51.4 x 26 inches

First in line and our overall favorite in today’s showcase of the best portable gas grills comes from industry specialist Weber. How does this little unit stack up, then?

The body of the grill is made from a lightweight aluminum, and you get the cast-iron cooking grates you need for optimum grilling. These are treated with porcelain enamel to improve heat conduction while minimizing food splatter.

There is just one burner in place on this grill. It kicks out more than enough firepower for grilling at lower heats, but we found some complaints from consumers about the performance of this grill at higher temperatures.

You benefit from two tables for prepping or serving food, and these fold neatly out of the way when not in use.

As with all portable gas grills, you get a user-friendly experience that’s also ideally suited for beginners to the art of grilling. The seamless push-button ignition means you won’t be fumbling for matches or a lighter, and you’ll always fire the grill up first time.

Aside from a few gripes about the patchy Weber customer care arm, the vast bulk of users reviews are positive, referencing the portability and convenience of this gas grill.

Things We Like

  • Starts first time, every time
  • Pair of folding prep tables
  • Stainless steel burner rated at 12,000 BTU

Things We Dislike

  • Some issues reported at high heats

2. Coleman RoadTrip Portable Grill

Coleman-RoadTrip-285-Portable-Stand-Up-Propane-Grill

Features

  • Total cooking area: 285 square inches
  • Weight: 46.67 pounds
  • Dimensions: 30.25 x 19.19 x 16.13 inches

Coleman make some outstanding portable grill solutions including this cart-style model boasting a spacious total cooking surface set against a space-saving form factor.

The foldable legs mean you can easily set this grill up or disassemble it without needing any DIY skills, and without needing to break out the tool box. There are also wheels to simplify transportation, and these lock into place for a stable base of operations.

You get a thermometer baked into this grill, although you may want to use a third-party thermometer as well when you’re grilling. Like all integrated thermometers, the accuracy of the unit bundled is questionable.

There are three burners to ensure you get consistent and even grilling across the whole spacious grilling surface. You can control the temperature of these heating zones independently for maximum versatility.

The total heating output is rated at 20,000 BTU, placing this grill among the strongest performers in its class in this area.

Firing the Coleman up is as simple as using the push-button electronic ignition, and once you’re up and running, using this grill is a cinch.

So, easy to start, easy to use, and easy to transport, this Coleman gas grill ticks all boxes and delivers in fine style. For anyone seeking a great travel grilling companion, you can’t go wrong here.

Things We Like

  • Trio of adjustable burners
  • Push-button ignition
  • Lockable wheels

Things We Dislike

  • No replacement parts available

3. Weber Travel Portable Grill

Weber-9010001-Traveler-Portable-Gas-Grill,-Black

Features

  • Total cooking area: 320 square inches
  • Weight: 49 pounds
  • Dimensions: 42.72 x 22.05 x 14.65 inches

Weber is a dominant presence in the portable grill vertical, and this travel model shows why their grills fly off the shelves the world over.

To lead off with the main drawback of this grill, you will get just one burner. If this might prove prohibitive and you prefer the flexibility of a multi-burner grill, explore some of the many alternatives we review today boasting more than one heating zone.

The oversized grilling area provides you with enough space for over a dozen burgers, so nobody will go hungry when you’re grilling, and you won’t need to make endless small batches of food either, a common compromise with portable grills.

The default setting for this grill is for a 16oz liquid propane canister. If you prefer cooking out at home or on the campsite using a 20-pound propane tank, you’ll need to pick up the adapter hose separately, along with a tank of LP.

Designed to stash easily in the trunk of your car, this travel grill will help you enjoy great barbecued food on the go any time you fancy. Aside from the limitations imposed by the single burner, this Weber is otherwise one of the best portable gas grills out there.

Things We Like

  • Spacious cooking surface area
  • Folding cart streamlines transportation
  • Use with propane tanks or canisters

Things We Dislike

  • Single burner grill

4. NOMADIQ Portable Propane Grill

NOMADIQ-Portable-Propane-Gas-Grill

Features

  • Total cooking area: 226 square inches
  • Weight: 12.3 pounds
  • Dimensions: 25.6 x 16 x 7.5 inches

NOMADIQ might not be the first name that springs to mind when you’re thinking of grill specialists, but this compact yet spacious grill is well worth popping on your shortlist.

The rugged stainless steel build belies the budget pricing, and you should get several grilling seasons out of this propane-fueled gem.

Weighing just 12 pounds, this is one of the lightest travel grills you’ll find. Whether you’re heading out camping, in the RV, or taking a boat trip, this multipurpose grill means nobody will go hungry.

Twin 5000-BTU burners allow you to create two independent cooking zones, and you can control each of these separately.

As with all propane gas grills, manipulating the temperature on this thing is super-simple.

If you dislike all the hassle you think comes hand-in-glove with grilling, you’ll appreciate the near-instant assembly this grill affords you.

With push-button ignition, you’ll have the security of starting the NOMADIQ first time without a hitch.

Although the majority of user reviews of this grill praise its performance, we found a handful of complaints relating to the low quality of the cast metal used for the chassis of this grill. If you’re shopping for portable gas grills with durability uppermost, we would suggest checking out some of the longer-lasting models we review.

Things We Like

  • Space-saving footprint
  • Set grill up in less than a minute
  • Cast-iron grill plates

Things We Dislike

  • Cast metal used for chassis is weak

5. Pit Boss Grills Two-Burner Portable Grill

Pit-Boss-Grills-75275-Stainless-Steel-Two-Burner-Portable-Grill

Features

  • Total cooking area: 275 square inches
  • Weight: 27 pounds
  • Dimensions: 23 x 19.5 x 16 inches

Pit Boss has a hard-won reputation for producing user-friendly grills suitable for all experience levels. How does this twin-burner grill stand and fall?

The first thing that strikes you is the robust stainless steel build extending throughout.

A couple of stainless steel burners offer a combined heat output of 10,000 BTU, and you’ll be free to create a pair of heating zones, ideal for grilling different foods simultaneously.

Weighing less than 30 pounds, this compact grill will fit easily into the trunk of your car, and you won’t break your back when you’re shifting it from the trunk to the campsite either.

Seamless push-button electronic ignition gets things going with to a confident and first-time start, and you can then control this grill much more easily than you could a charcoal alternative. As an added kicker, you won’t end up generating the same mess as you would cooking with charcoal either.

Although the foldable legs on this grill are handy, they do not lock into place. This results in a grilling experience that can seem less than stable, especially if you’re grilling on uneven ground at a campsite, for instance.

There is a thermometer baked into this grill. We would offer the same proviso about accuracy as above, and urge you to supplement this with a third-party instant-read thermometer.

Overall, this grill from Pit Boss might not be the strongest performer in their deep bench, but for the purposes of a travel grill, it punches above its weight.

Things We Like

  • Stainless steel chassis and cooking grates
  • Lightweight and super-portable
  • Dome thermometer baked in

Things We Dislike

  • Folding legs not lockable

6. Cuisinart Petit Gourmet Gas Grill

Cuisinart-CGG180-CGG-180-Petit-Gourmet-Gas-Grill-with-VersaStand

Features

  • Total cooking area: 160 square inches
  • Weight: 17 pounds
  • Dimensions: 31.5 x 16.5 x 16 inches

The Cuisinart Petit Gourmet makes a striking visual statement on the patio or deck, and it also works wonderfully as a travel grill.

This is one of the lightest grills we review, making it a great bet if you are often grilling on the move but you struggle moving around bulky equipment.

The alloy steel build, while lightweight, shouldn’t let you down in terms of durability. This grill is well put-together and built to stay the distance.

The grill sits on a stand that easily folds down to streamline storage and transportation.

As you would expect from a unit with this compact a form factor, you take a hit when it comes to cooking surface area. At just 160 square inches, this is one of the smallest grills we review in all senses, so make certain this offers you enough space to avoid cooking endless small batches of grilled food.

The main gripe we found from users concerns the difficulty of cleaning this grill. Setting this aside, the majority of testimony for this Cuisinart is overwhelmingly positive.

Things We Like

  • Ultra-light travel grill
  • Perfect for a small family
  • Great brand heritage

Things We Dislike

  • Quite tricky to clean

7. Char-Broil Tru-Infrared Portable Grill

Char-Broil-Grill2Go-X200-Portable-TRU-Infrared-Liquid-Propane-Gas-Grill

Features

  • Total cooking area: 280 square inches
  • Weight: 20 pounds
  • Dimensions: 23.7 x 15 x 13.6 inches

Char-Broil has a wide range of grills pioneering Tru-infrared. The key advantage of this cooking method is the way it dramatically reduces the incidence of flareups when you’re grilling. If this sounds good to you, read on.

You first choose from several configurations. This is the base model with just the travel grill included.

At just 20 pounds and taking up very little space, this is one of the most effective travel grills you’ll find. For hiking, camping, or boat trips, the hardwearing nature of this grill comes into its own.

The fire box and lid are both made from cast aluminum, both lightweight and long-lasting. The stainless steel latches eliminate weak points, and the frame itself is designed to withstand plenty of rough and tumble.

When you whip your food onto this grill, you’ll benefit from almost 300 square inches of cooking surface area, making this one of the most spacious travel grills we review today, even though it’s also one of the most compact.

As well as noticing fewer flareups, you should also find your grilled food is cooked consistently all the way through with infrared technology onboard.

Things We Like

  • Fewer flareups with infrared
  • Cast aluminum and stainless steel chassis
  • Ideal for travel grilling

Things We Dislike

  • Poor quality regulator

8. Weber Liquid Propane Grill

Weber-57060001-Q3200-Liquid-Propane-Grill,White

Features

  • Total cooking area: 393 square inches
  • Weight: 42.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 55.5 x 50.2 x 30 inches

Last but certainly not least in our showcase of the best portable gas grills comes another entry from the inimitable Weber. How does this LP model stack up?

The first thing that strikes you is the spacious cooking area, spanning almost 400 square inches. This places the grill far above most competitors in this regard.

There are two burners rated at a total of 21,700 BTU, giving you ample firepower in reserve when you’re grilling out on the go.

And, despite that substantial cooking area, you’ll find this lightweight and portable grills also works well for tailgating or use on the campsite.

Adjusting the infinite-control burners is seamless and gives you total mastery over temperature control.

As well as the primary cooking area, you’ll also get a warming rack to simplify serving while keeping your grilled food at its very best.

You’ll need to pick up a 20-pound propane tank, but everything else you need is thrown in, so you can get grilling right out the box with no assembly required.

Things We Like

  • Expansive cooking area
  • Burners rated at 21,700 BTU
  • Non-stick cast-iron cooking grates

Things We Dislike

  • Customer service issues reported

II. FAQs

1) Is a gas grill better than a charcoal grill?

This is not a question it is possible to answer objectively. Grilling is almost entirely subjective. If you are looking for convenience and speed of results first and foremost, a gas grill will not disappoint. For anyone looking to embrace the intricacies of barbecuing and insistent on that smoky BBQ taste, there’s no substitute for cooking with charcoal. The only thing that counts, though, is which type of grill makes the best bet for you. If you really can’t decide, buy one of each!

2) What is an infrared gas grill?

Infrared gas grills harness burners that deliver infrared heat instead of the convection heat usually produced by standard gas grills. This infrared heat travels in waves, ensuring that the grill cooks hotter and quicker, while your food stays juicy and tender. Typically, these grills cook at very high temperatures, but many allow you access to a pretty broad temperature band.

3) How does liquid propane differ from natural gas?

Natural gas is not as dense as liquid propane. Where natural gas rises, propane sinks. When it comes to gas grills, though, this difference doesn’t really become relevant. Natural gas and propane gas grills tend to produce similar temperatures and flavor, regardless of the fuel type. The key benefit of natural gas for grilling is the lower costs associated, but for the purposes of travel grilling, you can’t beat the convenience of propane canisters. All the models we review today operate using either a 16oz canister or a 20-pound tank of liquid propane.

4) How long will a tank of propane last when I’m grilling?

The BTU rating of your grill will indicate the amount of gas it’s capable of burning every hour. If you pick up a standard 20-pound tank of liquid propane, this contains roughly 430,000 BTUs when topped to the brim. From here, all you need to know, then, is the BTU rating of your grill. We break this down for all of the gas grills on our shortlist so you can easily compare them. This equation is based on all burners being fully opened. You’ll get more mileage from the tank if the burners are slightly closed.

5) What should the flames look like on a gas grill?

Look for blue flames with the faintest of yellow at the tips. Flames on a gas grill should never be completely yellow. If you see this, it indicates a lack of oxygen in the mix. Fix this by opening the shutters more. If you spot the flames appearing to lift off the burner so it doesn’t seem like they are touching it, this suggests there could be too much oxygen, so close the shutters.


III. Conclusion

Perhaps you arrived here today at Hempen Hill BBQ without any idea how to choose the best portable gas grill. That should now have changed.

The primary concern and one you should address before anything else is the size and weight of the grills on your shortlist. With this in place, look for total cooking surface area and you have all the key metrics in place. From here, look for a grill offering the cooking environment and control you need for your experience level and requirements.

We are underway with a large expansion of our operation here at Hempen Hill, so we would suggest you bookmark our blog before you head off. Pop back soon so you don’t miss out, as we’ll be updating our content daily. We are a full-service restaurant, and here on our blog we aim to bring you everything you need to grill like a pitmaster at home.

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