Grill on the go! The Best Portable Grill – Our Top 5 Picks

Last Updated on December 21, 2023 by David Michael

Grill on the go! The Best Portable Grill – Our Top 5 Picks

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Grilling enthusiasts and outdoor enthusiasts alike can enjoy the numerous benefits of a portable grill. These compact and convenient cooking appliances offer more than just the ability to cook delicious meals outdoors. With their versatility, efficiency, and social appeal, portable grills have become a popular choice for individuals and families who love to enjoy flavorful meals while on the go.

One of the greatest advantages of a portable grill is its convenience and portability. These grills are designed to be lightweight and compact, making them easy to carry and transport. Whether you’re heading to a camping trip, a tailgating party, or simply spending a day at the park, a portable grill allows you to bring the joy of grilling wherever you go.

Our top picks for the best portable grills / tailgate grills:

Lodge Sportsman’s Pro GrillJump to ReviewView on Amazon
Fire Sense Notebook GrillJump to ReviewView on Amazon
Ironwalls Portable GrillJump to ReviewView on Amazon
Char-Griller Portable Charcoal GrillJump to ReviewView on Amazon
Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal GrillJump to ReviewView on Amazon

Recommended Portable Grills

Lodge Sportsman’s Pro Grill

I’ve owned a Lodge Sportsman Grill for over a decade. This is a solid, cast iron table top grill that performs year after year. At about 33 pounds it isn’t the lightest grill, but it’s pretty close to indestructible. Once the grill gets hot this grill keeps cooking because of the heat retention of the cast iron. If you want to buy a portable grill once and not have to worry about it year after year this is my recommendation.

The cooking area is about 17 by 9 inches and holds plenty. This comes pre-seasoned and ready to go.

Lodge Sportsman's Pro Grill, 19.38 inches, Black

Fire Sense Notebook Portable Grill and Charcoal Starter

The Fire Sense Notebook is a portable grill with incredible design sense. It folds flat to take up just a sliver of storage space. Set up is as simple as unfolding and dropping in the grill. The body is made of painted steel and weighs in at 8 pounds. This is also our budget pick for being so well priced. We recommend getting the bundle with the charcoal starter for a complete set up.

The cooking area is about 17 by 12 inches. Assembly is simply unfolding and putting the grill on top.

Fire Sense 60508 Notebook Charcoal BBQ Grill 3.5mm Cooking Bars Instant Foldable & Easy Portability Black & KINGSFORD Heavy Duty Deluxe Charcoal Chimney Starter

Ironwalls Portable Charcoal Grill

Made of stainless steel with full height folding legs. This grill stands 31 inches tall when fully assembled. While this is marketed as a skewer grill – perfectly sized to grill kebobs, satays, yakitori, etc. it also works for anything you want to grill. Weighing in at about 15 pounds this grill is very easy to transport.

Cooking area is about 8 inches by 32 inches. Some assembly is needed.

IRONWALLS Portable Charcoal Grills, 32" x 8" Stainless Steel Folded Camping Grill Kebab Skewer BBQ Barbecue Grill Kit for Garden Backyard Party Picnic Travel Home Outdoor Cooking Use

Char-Griller Portable Charcoal Grill

The Char-Griller is another solid built cast iron portable grill. I love the cast iron cooking grates. This is similar to the Lodge except that this has a lid for covered cooking. The ash pan is very easy to clean. The coolest thing about this is you can attach it to a compatible full size Char-Griller and use it as a firebox / smoke generator to make an offset smoker.

Grilling area is about 20 inches by 17 inches.

Char-Griller E82424 Smoker Side Fire Box Portable Charcoal Grill

Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill

The classic portable grill in my family. We always had one of these packed for our yearly camping trips. The clever lid lock also holds the lid for open grilling without needing to find a place to put the lid. Weber quality through and through.

Grilling area is 18 inches in diameter. Some assembly required.

Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill 18 Inch Black

For full size charcoal grills recommendations check out our post Best Charcoal Grills.
For our picks of the top gas grills see our post Best Gas Grills for Outdoor Cooking.

Portable Grills: Convenience and Portability

The convenience and portability of a portable grill are among its greatest advantages. These grills are specifically designed to be lightweight and compact, enabling effortless carrying and transportation. Whether you’re embarking on a camping trip, attending a tailgating party, or enjoying a leisurely day at the park, a portable grill ensures that you can bring the delightful experience of grilling with you wherever you choose to go.

Easy to Carry and Transport

Portable grills are specifically designed to be lightweight and compact, making them incredibly easy to carry. Many models feature foldable legs, collapsible components, and built-in handles, allowing you to transport them with minimal effort. Whether you’re hiking to a remote campsite or loading up your car for a weekend getaway, a portable grill will fit seamlessly into your outdoor adventures.

Ideal for Outdoor Activities

With a portable grill, outdoor activities become even more enjoyable. Whether you’re grilling burgers at a picnic, cooking steaks at a beach party, or roasting marshmallows on a camping trip, a portable grill allows you to savor the joys of outdoor cooking. It adds an element of excitement and culinary satisfaction to your outdoor adventures.

Versatility in Cooking Options

Portable grills offer a wide range of cooking options, allowing you to experiment with various culinary techniques and flavors. Despite their compact size, these grills are designed to handle different cooking methods, ensuring that you can grill, roast, smoke, or even bake your favorite foods.

Grilling, Roasting, and Smoking

Portable grills are not limited to simple grilling. Many models come with features such as adjustable grates, hoods, and temperature controls, enabling you to roast and smoke meats, vegetables, and even pizzas. This versatility allows you to explore different cooking styles and create a diverse range of mouthwatering dishes.

Multiple Fuel Options

Another advantage of portable grills is the flexibility they offer in terms of fuel options. While traditional charcoal grills are popular, portable grills also support propane, natural gas, and electric fuel sources. This versatility ensures that you can choose the fuel option that suits your preferences and cooking needs, making it easier than ever to enjoy outdoor cooking.

Time and Energy Efficiency

Portable grills excel in their time and energy efficiency, providing you with a hassle-free and enjoyable cooking experience. These grills are designed to be quick to set up, allowing you to start cooking in no time. Additionally, their compact size and efficient design contribute to faster cooking times and reduced fuel consumption.

Quick and Easy Setup

Gone are the days of struggling with complicated grill assembly. Portable grills are engineered for quick and easy setup, with intuitive designs that require minimal effort. Within minutes, you can have your grill up and running, ready to cook up a feast for you and your companions.

Faster Cooking Times

Thanks to their smaller cooking surfaces and focused heat distribution, portable grills offer faster cooking times compared to larger outdoor grills. The efficient design ensures that heat is evenly distributed, allowing your food to cook more quickly and evenly. This feature is especially convenient when you’re on the go and looking for a quick and satisfying meal.

Less Fuel Consumption

Portable grills are designed to optimize fuel efficiency. Their smaller size means they require less fuel to reach and maintain the desired cooking temperature. Whether you’re using charcoal, propane, or any other fuel source, portable grills help you conserve fuel, making them an environmentally friendly and cost-effective option.

Flavorful and Healthy Cooking

Cooking on a portable grill enhances the flavors of your food while promoting healthier eating habits. These grills are adept at retaining the natural flavors of ingredients while reducing the amount of fat and grease in your meals, resulting in delicious and healthier dishes.

Retains Natural Flavors

Portable grills are designed to seal in the natural juices and flavors of the food you’re cooking. The direct heat and even distribution ensure that your meat stays juicy, while vegetables maintain their crispness and vibrant flavors. The result is a mouthwatering meal that captures the essence of outdoor cooking.

Reduced Fat and Grease

Unlike traditional cooking methods that rely on excess oils and fats, grilling on a portable grill promotes healthier eating. The excess fats drip away from the food as it cooks, resulting in leaner and healthier meals. Additionally, the open flame of the grill allows the food to retain its nutritional value and natural goodness.

Social and Recreational Benefits

Beyond the culinary advantages, portable grills provide a platform for socializing and embracing an outdoor lifestyle. They bring people together, creating memorable experiences and fostering a sense of community.

Enhances Social Gatherings

Whether it’s a backyard barbecue, a tailgating event, or a camping trip, a portable grill becomes the focal point of social gatherings. It encourages interaction, with friends and family gathering around the grill, sharing stories, and enjoying delicious food. The aroma of sizzling steaks and the crackling sound of a hot grill create a lively atmosphere that enhances the overall enjoyment of the gathering.

Promotes Outdoor Lifestyle

Portable grills encourage individuals and families to spend more time outdoors, embracing an active and healthy lifestyle. They provide an opportunity to connect with nature, breathe in fresh air, and enjoy the beauty of outdoor spaces. Whether you’re camping, picnicking, or spending time in your backyard, a portable grill allows you to make the most of your surroundings while enjoying mouthwatering meals.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Keeping a portable grill in good condition is a breeze. These grills are designed with user-friendly features that make maintenance and cleaning hassle-free, allowing you to focus on the joys of grilling.

Easy to Clean and Maintain

Portable grills often come with removable parts and grill grates, making it easy to clean after use. The compact size also means there are fewer nooks and crannies for food particles to hide. With a simple wipe down and occasional deep cleaning, your portable grill will remain

 in top shape, ready for your next outdoor culinary adventure.

Durable Materials

Portable grills are built to withstand the rigors of outdoor use. They are constructed from durable materials that can withstand high temperatures, frequent transportation, and exposure to the elements. Investing in a quality portable grill ensures that you have a reliable cooking companion that will serve you well for years to come.


A portable grill offers a myriad of benefits that enhance your outdoor cooking experience. From convenience and portability to versatility and efficiency, these compact grills provide an opportunity to enjoy delicious and healthy meals while on the go. Additionally, they foster social connections and promote an active outdoor lifestyle. With their easy maintenance and durability, portable grills become an essential tool for those who appreciate the joys of grilling wherever they may be.

Happy Grilling!

You may also like our articles:
Charcoal vs. Gas: Choosing the Perfect Outdoor Grill
How to Choose the Perfect Grill: A Guide


Are portable grills suitable for camping trips?
Absolutely! Portable grills are perfect for camping trips. They are designed to be lightweight and easy to transport, making them ideal for outdoor adventures.

Can I use a portable grill on an apartment balcony?
Many portable grills are suitable for use on apartment balconies, but it’s important to check with your building’s regulations and safety guidelines before using one.

What fuel options are available for portable grills?
Portable grills offer various fuel options, including charcoal, propane, natural gas, and electric. Choose the fuel option that suits your preferences and cooking needs.

How long does it take to cook on a portable grill?
Cooking times may vary depending on the type and quantity of food being cooked. However, portable grills are designed to provide faster cooking times compared to larger grills, thanks to their efficient heat distribution.

Are portable grills safe to use?
Yes, portable grills are safe to use as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and practice proper safety precautions. Always ensure proper ventilation and keep flammable materials away from the grill while in use.

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