Portable gas grills are great to take with you on the road for tailgating and camping, or simply using all around the yard, garden or on your small balcony or patio.
There is a wide range of models to choose from, but I’ve isolated only the 5 best portable gas grills for you. I’m sure you’ll find one that is perfect for your needs right here, today!
Best Portable Gas Grills
The grills are listed in no particular order, although I put my two Editor’s Choice grills first.
Weber Q1000 / Q1200
The Weber Q1000 / Q1200 (formerly the Q100 & Q120 before being relaunched with minor redesigns under the new model numbers) is a fantastically designed portable grill. It is on the heavy side at around 30 pounds even without a cart attached, but for the bit of muscle needed to move it around you get quality, extremely durable construction in return. The grates transfer heat very well, the design retains heat superbly and cooks like a much larger and more powerful grill than it really is.
The Q1200 is an upgrade of the Q1000, with a few added features that makes it worth the extra $30 price tag: electronic ignition, lid mounted thermometer and handy folding side tables.
– 189 square inch cooking area
– single 8,500 BTU tubular burner
– porcelain enameled cast-iron grates
– uses 14.1-ounce or 16.9-ounce LP cylinder
– electronic ignition (Q1200)
– thermometer (Q1200)
– folding side tables (Q1200)
I highly recommend the Q1200 over the Q1000 for the extras. Also compare the Weber Q1200 to the Q2200 for a little extra cooking space. Both units use the same cart, which you need to purchase separately for around $70 or so.
Coleman Road Trip LXE
This is the ultimate camping grill. You get two 10,000 BTU burners that you can operate independently. The reason for this is that Coleman offers different cooking surfaces.
While the product ships with two grates, you can also purchase a griddle (approx $30) or stove plate (Approx. $20) accessory. Imagine frying bacon and eggs on the griddle surface while you’re simultaneously grilling hamburgers on the open grate on the other burner. It is such a simple concept, but adds wonderful versatility to this product.
The stand is an easy fold up / fold down design with two wheels on one side and a handle on the other. It creates a sturdy base when grilling, and an easy method of moving the grill when collapsed.
– 285 square inch cooking area
– two burners
– 20,000 BTU total
– 2 porcelain coated cast-iron grill grates
– uses 16.4-ounce LP cylinder
– detachable side tables
The grill is very hot and working out the right heat to cook with may require some trial and error. Read the instructions carefully before using and never leave the grill unattended.
Careful handling is required due to the thin metal construction, but the versatility of this 2 burner grill makes it something truly special from a manufacturer that has been around longer than both you and I combined.
The lid is very shallow, so don’t expect to slow-cook a chicken on this.
There are other portable gas grills in the Road Trip range, but in my opinion this one offers the best value for money.
Cuisinart CGG-200 Portable Grill
Cuisinart has done a good job with the CGG-200. It’s a solid grill that heats up fast, but can also maintain low heat for slow cooking. This grill can properly sear a steak as easily as it can slow cook ribs.
A removable all-purpose veggie panel adds more versatility to the cooking surface. An easily removable drip-tray makes cleaning and maintenance fairly easy.
– stainless steel burner
– 12,000 BTU
– 240 square inch cooking area
– veggie panel for versatility
– folding side shelves
– porcelain-enamel cast-iron grates
– temperature gauge
– uses 14.1- and 16.4-ounce LP canisters
A few problems have been identified. First, this grill doesn’t handle windy conditions very well. If you live in a windy area, you may want to give this a miss. Also, crucial parts like the spring clips that hold the burner cover are not stainless steel and may rust through if not carefully maintained.
Overall this is not a bad portable grill. As with the Weber Q series, the lack of an included stand makes it a somewhat expensive option and we’re concerned with key parts rusting away, leaving the product inoperable long before its time has come.
I wouldn’t recommend this over a Weber Q120 despite the larger cooking surface. The construction simply doesn’t inspire the same confidence as that of Weber, and the price difference is negligible.
Char-Broil TRU-infrared Grill2go
Char-Broil is really going for the infrared market, and this is their portable infrared gas grill. Just to explain infrared in layman’s terms: instead of grilling over an open flame, the flames hit a panel which in turn transfers the heat to the food.
The immediate benefit, especially on small portable grills, is no flareups. You also get more even cooking and more juicy food.
– 200 square inches cooking surface
– 9,500 BTU infrared cooking system
– hood-mounted temperature gauge
– push-button ignition
– uses 16.4 ounce LP cylinder
– can convert to use 20 pound tank
– weighs 20 pounds
One of the cons of infrared cooking systems is that they do require frequent cleaning and maintenance and that’s true here as well.
Other minor issues include the lid handle being way too shallow, which can lead to burnt fingers if you’re not paying attention when opening the lid while cooking. Also, I really miss some side trays/shelves like you get with the Weber Q120 and Road Trip LXE.
As for cooking, this is a hot little grill and you’ll get a nice sear on your meat. The 200 square inches is plenty of space too. You also get nice latches securing the lid for carrying. This is a product well worth considering from Char-Broil.
Smoke Hollow 205 Stainless Steel Grill
Known mostly for their smokers, Smoke Hollow also offers this very capable tabletop gas grill. This is a solidly built unit and a welcome entry in the portable grill market, providing good quality in both build and results at an affordable price.
A quick rundown of the vital features:
- Locking lid and folding legs for easy portability
- Runs on 1lb cylinders but can be converted to larger tanks
- 205 square inch primary cooking area plus 105 square inch on the warming rack
- U-burner with 10,000 BTU output
- Stainless steel drip tray
- Piezo igniter
This grill is perfect for your standard camping fare – burgers, wings, bangers, chops. The temperature gauge is a bit of a bummer, to be honest and not much help, so rather rely on experience.
You’ll also notice that the heat on the left side is much higher than on the right. You can see this either as a flaw or as a feature to be exploited, because hey, put the stuff you want to sear on the left and the stuff that needs a little more time on the right.
Talking about searing, this is one hot grill. The 10,000 BTU output into a relatively small cooking area makes for some fun times and dinner won’t take long to get done at all.
Portability is good, with the lid locking down and the little legs folding in, you can pick it up by the lid handle and carry it like a suitcase. The grease tray seems a little small, and a very greasy grill may results in some overflow. The Piezo igniter, well, how long will it last? We know these things are often the weakest link.
Overall this is a well built little grill, although the somewhat uneven heat is disappointing, but can be used to your advantage as I explained above.
Summary – Best Portable Gas Grill
There’s a lot of choice here, and it’s not so easy to make a decision. The Weber Q1200 is obviously a well-built unit that will last a long time, while providing excellent grilling performance. An extra cart does push up the price though, but if that’s not a concern for you, go for it.
The Road Trip LXE is a wonderful camping grill. The griddle or stove plate accessories cost a little extra, but they add to the versatility of this grill. It’s still one of my favorite camping grills, and one that has enough mileage behind it for it to be called a proven crowd pleaser. It is a hot little grill, but once you’ve got it figured out you’ll love it.
Out of the rest, I probably like the Char-Broil Grill2go best. It is compact, the infrared does a good job of eliminating flareups and evenly distributing heat, so it’s a very good option as well.
While there are some other decent grills that didn’t make this list, I feel these are the 5 best portable gas grills money can buy.