Here's a quick guide to finding the best portable grill for camping, including five great options PLUS four more to explore – 9 great grills in total.
Do you like to grill when on a camping trip? Many people love the option to get out of the RV and cook in the great outdoors.
But it is not always conceivable to drag along full-size grills. That is why you need a good, portable option!
The good news is that there are lots of options out there. Most are either gas or charcoal grills, but it is a good idea to check out several options to find one that fits your needs best.
The following is my list of what to look for in a good portable grill, as well as my top picks!
Many of these are on our Amazon List called – RV Kitchen Supplies!
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Types of Portable Grills
There are two main types of camping grills that you can find: charcoal and gas. However, Blackstone makes a griddle that can be used as a grill as well. It made my list below because it is so impressive and versatile!
When considering the weight of the grill that you purchase, you also want to factor in the weight of the propane tank or bag of charcoal that you will need to take with you.
Charcoals grills use charcoal briquettes as the heat source to cook your food. You can find charcoal grills in various shapes and sizes.
Many people use lighter fluid to initially light the charcoal. However, those that do not like the taste that lighter fluid can sometimes add to food prefer to use different methods. A popular alternative is the use of a charcoal chimney.
Portable gas grills use propane as their fuel source. If you go with this type of camp stove you can use a small, one-pound propane tank. It can provide about two hours of cooking power. Usually, a small grill will use these types of propane canisters.
A larger grill can usually be used in conjunction with a hose adapter to be hooked up to a large propane tank.
Either way, be sure to bring enough fuel with you for your entire trip, if possible. Otherwise, you may need to “fuel up” midway through your vacation.
What are BTUs?
BTU is an acronym for British Thermal Units. It is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Many grill manufacturers describe their heat capacity using this measurement.
What to Consider Before Purchasing the Best Portable Grill for Camping
There are important features and things to consider before purchasing a portable grill.
Some important features you should consider when shopping around:
- lid locks
- ease of use
- carry handle for easy transport
- size of surface area
- cooking grates
- fuel type
Other things to consider include the grill's portability, the construction of the grill, and what you plan to cook on it.
Mike and Jennifer's Summer T-Shirts for your next adventure
In addition to the weight of the grill, consider its portability. Does it fold up into a tight, compact size? Where can you store it when traveling?
You also want to consider how easy or difficult it is to assemble once you reach your destination. That last thing you want to deal with is a difficult task after a long day on the road.
How the Grill is Made
Check how well the construction of the grill is. Even though it is portable, you want to make sure that it is sturdy enough not to tip over.
As previously mentioned, you also want to make sure that it is not difficult to assemble once you reach your destination.
Foods You Plan to Cook
What do you like to cook when camping or on road trips? Do you want to stick to burgers and hot dogs? Or do you want to grill a whole roast?
If it is the latter, then you need a grill with a tall enough lid to accommodate that.
Many people also like to cook breakfast outside of their RV on a griddle top. If you prefer that method when using your RV, consider purchasing a griddle that can also be used as a grill. Or a grill that has a griddle attachment or can be used with a separate griddle pan.
5 Great Options for the Best Portable Grill for Camping
The following is my list of best camping grills that you can take along on your next outing!
This is the best RV grill you can find if you like propane models and is my top pick for grills with an integrated stand.
With this portable stand-up propane grill, you won't have to think about where to set up the grill since it comes with its own stand. It makes a great portable grill for camping, road trips, or tailgating at sporting events!
It features three independent burners so you can cook using three different temperatures at the same time.
This grill also has other great features! The stand itself has two wheels for easy transport. It also has two side tables to keep your drink, cooking utensils, and to-be-grilled food. Everything folds up to a convenient, easy-to-stow size.
You can also purchase stovetop burners or a griddle piece to switch out for the grill grates. That means you can make a killer breakfast and coffee in the morning.
(Speaking of coffee, java-loving RVers should check out 13 Best Coffee Makers for RV Travel)
We used to think that the main drawback of this grill is that it is only compatible with a one-pound propane tank, but one of our readers in the comments of this post says otherwise. Make sure you read through those comments as there is a lot of good information there from your fellow RVers.
Choose from black, blue, green, orange, or red.
Another good option in the running for the best portable gas grill is the Weber Q1200. It provides you with an excellent, even cook without fiery flareups from a regular grill.
It is compatible with a one-pound propane tank, and easily grill up to 6 burgers at once. You can also purchase the hose adapter to attach it to a larger propane tank if you want.
It comes complete with two side tables for you to place your cooking utensils or grilling condiments.
The grill weighs approximately 23 pounds. It also comes in different color options including red, black, blue, orange, and green.
Sort of like electric grills, the Blackstone griddle is a flat cast iron cooking surface featuring 339 square inches of cooking surface. It is great for cooking breakfast items like pancakes and eggs, but can also easily grill up burgers! The grease falls into a removable grease tray (drip pan), making cleanup a breeze.
There is so much room on the griddle top that you can cook for an army of people! You can also set this griddle up on the campsite picnic table or purchase a separate cooking station to keep it close to your RV door.
The Coleman Fold N Go is a great option when it comes to portable camping grills. As the smallest portable propane grill on my list, it can fold up into a size smaller than a briefcase.
This compact grill is also considerably lightweight, weighing less than 10 pounds.
In addition, the Coleman portable tabletop grill features a compact design that comes in handy for anyone with limited storage space. But just because it is a little grill does not mean it can't cook!
This portable option is like the mini version of the classic Weber BBQ. It offers a 14″ diameter cooking space, and many consider it the best portable charcoal grill.
The Smokey Joe is a good choice for those that like the taste of a charcoal grill. It also allows you to control the heat to avoid pesky flareups that can burn your food,
The grill grate can hold up to six burgers and 12 hotdogs.
It also comes in different color options, including red, gray, ivory, blue and green.
What's Your Choice for the Best Portable Grill for Camping?
Our Community has weighed in on this subject many times. Here are a few links to some of those conversations.
- Any recommendations for a portable grill that can connect to a propane outlet at the outdoor kitchen?
- What kind of BBQ grill is good to take on the RV?
- I want to get my hubby a portable gas grill for Christmas to use when we're in our 5th wheel.
- We would like to find a good quality table top model w cast iron grates that use the small propane tanks.
Let us know your best portable grill for camping in the comments!
4 BONUS Grills to Explore
This grill has a 1-lb propane cylinder, and 11,000 BTUs of power, foldable legs, and 347 sq inches of grilling space.
The SPRK Portable Butane Camping Grill is a compact, all-in-one design that includes an integrated fuel compartment for an 8 oz butane canister. It has auto-ignition for easy starts and a non-stick ceramic grate, and an adjustable flame. The 7,250 BTU burner offers a 90-minute burn time and adjustable feet to stay level on any surface. The grill measures 16.6″ L x 11.5″ W x 4.6″ H and weighs 8.5 pounds.
This one is ONLY for those of you who love charcoal grilling and have PLENTY of room in your rig.
And we'll end our post with this unique grill to explore, especially since it collapses down and fits in a bag for travel.
It has one stainless steel burner that produces 8500 BTU-per-hour to heat 189 square-inch total cooking area. It has porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates and a cast aluminum lid and body. Fully assembled right out of the box, it has an easy-start electronic ignition and infinite control burner valve setting and uses disposable 14.1 or 16.4 oz. LP cylinders (sold separately).
Now that you have your grilling situation all lined up – where to next?
Mike and Jennifer's Favorite Places in Florida – all 3 ebooks!
We RVers may wander far and wide but it’s true for most of us that we end up with some favorite “Go-To” places – places that draw us back again and again.
Florida is one of those places for us. And we know it is for many RVers looking to get away and explore during the winter.
That's why we've created three guides, covering Florida's Atlantic Coast, the Gulf Coast, and the Keys.
Each of these guides is a seven-day guided exploration of one of the coasts. And each stop is a curated view of the best things that we’ve enjoyed on this trip and want you to experience.
Altogether these guides are over 300 pages of content!
FAQ's about Florida Gulf Coast beaches of interest to RVers
What is the weather like along Florida's Gulf Coast?
The weather along Florida's Gulf Coast can vary depending on the time of year and the specific location. In general, the area experiences hot, humid summers and mild, pleasant winters.
The Panhandle region can be quite cool in January. It is seldom below freezing, but daytime highs are typically in the 50s. It warms up about 10 degrees each month.
You can also generally add about 10 degrees for every 150 miles you travel south down the Florida peninsula.
By the time you hit Naples, daytime highs in January are in the comfortable 70s.
Did Hurricane Ian destroy many beach campgrounds on the Gulf Coast?
While it severely damaged almost two dozen RV parks and campgrounds, about 8-10 campgrounds in the Naples-Ft. Myers area were completely destroyed. Most of the damaged campgrounds have been repaired and reopened.
Check with the Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds if you have questions or concerns.
Are there any websites that can help me get a reservation for a Florida beach campground?
One of the best resources we can recommend is called Campnab. This service monitors parks for cancelations and sends you an alert when an opening matches your criteria. That said, it isn’t magic. The app doesn’t create availabilities.
The service works – but it is not free.
Campnab offers two ways to use the service. The first is individual pay-per-use scans. These watch for vacancies at a specific park for a specific date. These work well if you know exactly when and where you intend to camp. Pay-per-use scans cost $10 – $20, depending on how frequently you want them to check availability.
The second way to use the service is through a membership. These typically run monthly and are tailored to those who camp more frequently or are looking to maximize their chance of finding a site. Membership allows you to scan multiple parks and/or dates simultaneously. With memberships, you pay a monthly recurring fee ($10, $20, $30, or $50), depending on your needs.
Are there places in Florida where you can literally camp on the beach for free?
Not many. And they are very pricey. If you want to sleep directly on the sand in an RV, you'll have to stay at a developed commercial campground like Camp Gulf on the Emerald Coast or an RV resort like Big Pine Key Resort in the keys. Some state parks like the Gamble Rogers State Memorial Recreation Area in the Atlantic Coast or Bahia Honda State Park in the keys or Fort Desto State Park near St. Petersburg have beachside sites, too.
But are there free, unrestricted RV beach camping spots in Florida?
Sorry, none that I know of that would work for RVs.
There is unrestricted camping on wild beaches on a couple of islands, but you need a boat to get there, and it is for tent camping only. If you want to sleep directly on the sand, there is Anclote Key offshore Tarpon Springs, and Shell Key in Pinellas County. Another favorite is Keewaydin Island between Naples and Marco Island but that area remains pretty devasted from Hurricane Ian.
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