Best Portable Grills of 2024


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It’s hard to beat a fresh cooked meal on a portable grill while camping, whether you’re whipping up burgers, steaks, or hot dogs. Everything just seems to taste better when prepared outdoors in the open air. The only hard part is finding a grill that’s affordable, compact, and lightweight enough to be easily transported or stowed when not in use.

When it comes to portable grills, there’s a sea of options practically overflowing from stores these days, from top brands like Traeger, Coleman, and Camp Chef. But the good news is that we’ve already done the testing and research for you to weed out what’s really worth buying—and what will improve your next camping trip or even Sunday afternoon tailgate. With that in mind, these are our picks for the best portable grills being made today.

Best Portable Grills


  • Fuel: Propane
  • BTUs: 12,000 an hour
  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Cooking Surface: Grill


  • Good construction
  • Easy cleaning
  • Large cooking area


  • Requires an adapter for larger propane tanks

This Camp Chef grill doesn’t have a lot of fancy bells and whistles, but that’s not a bad thing. This is a classic propane barbecue grill, just in a much smaller package than normal. The cooking surface is 200 square inches, but it only weighs about 22 pounds. It assembled in minutes, and I found it incredibly easy to move around and store. Just like the Camp Chef Versatop, this grill heats very evenly, producing excellent flavor in everything that I cooked on it.

The Camp Chef portable bbq grill with a green propane tank inserted on a brown picnic table.
This grill is the perfect size for a picnic table. Travis Smola

This grill is designed to use standard disposable green propane tanks. It can use a larger propane tank, but it requires a propane adapter that’s sold separately. That’s the only real complaint I have about this one. This is a solid grill at a decent price point that cooks well and cleans up quickly. It’s perfect for campsites and smaller lawns, or anyone who just wants something that’s simple and to the point.


  • Fuel: Charcoal/wood
  • Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Cooking Surfaces: Stainless steel


  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Easy setup and take down


When it comes to compact and easy to store, the UCO Flatpack stands out from the crowd. This grill has been my go-to for camp cooking for over three years now. The UCO sets up in seconds and is easy to get started after you fill it with charcoal or wood. I often cook hot dogs, burgers, and venison steaks on this grill. After more than three years of cooking, this charcoal grill still looks and functions great. The simplicity of UCO’s design makes it extremely durable.

The UCO flatpack grill folded flat with the grill on a wooden picnic table.
Just like the name implies, the UCO literally packs flat for easy storage. Travis Smola Travis Smola

Using charcoal unfortunately makes this grill difficult to clean. I often use more water and paper towels than I’d like to get it clean enough to store away again. However, the compact nature of this grill is very hard to beat. I love how the flat folded design tucks under the seat or in the back of the cabinet of my van build rather easily. It basically spends 365 days a year in my van build. Thus, this is my one piece of camping gear that’s never in the way. Additionally, this grill is highly affordable. It retails for only $50, and I’ve seen it on sale for as low as $40. That makes it an excellent budget option.


  • Fuel: Propane
  • BTUs: 7,000
  • Weight: 11 pounds
  • Cooking Surfaces: Grill, griddle, stove, and wok


  • Extremely versatile
  • Easy to clean
  • Stores easily


I bought this grill as a gift for my parents because they hated the gas grill that came with their RV. At the end of a nearly month-long road trip through New England, they had nothing but glowing things to say about it. I personally did a little testing of it myself and found it to be an extremely capable grill. Juicy burgers, steaks, pancakes, and crispy bacon are just a few of the meals we’ve cooked on this one.

Five burgers cooking on the griddle of a Coleman portable grill.
The Coleman produced some very tasty burgers. Travis Smola

Coleman clearly put some thought into the design of this system because it is extremely fuel-efficient and cleans up quicker than a standard grill. It’s also very easy to light thanks to a push button ignition system. No more hunting around for a lighter.

At only 11 pounds, this grill packed away easily in the storage area of my parents’ travel trailer. The size can become even more compact if you choose to remove the legs while in transport. Coleman made them short enough to stow inside the grill with all the other accessories.

Three pancakes cooking on a griddle of a Coleman portable grill.
The Coleman also made some almost perfect pancakes for the author. Travis Smola

The only real downside I can find with this grill is that the cook area is smaller than others we tested. If you need to cook a lot of food for your whole family and friends, it might take a little longer than normal. However, for small families, digital nomads, or retirees on the road, this is an excellent grill at an even better price point. It’s often less than $90 if you catch a sale at the right time.


  • Fuel: Propane
  • BTUs: Up to 18,000 an hour
  • Weight: 24 pounds
  • Cooking Surface: Griddle


  • Very easy to clean
  • Fast cooking
  • Versatile


While this is more of a camping griddle if you want to get technical, I was still blown away by the Versatop’s functionality and cooking ability. This thing cooks and crisps bacon perfectly, and I also cooked some of the tastiest burgers I’ve had in a while on it. The surface provides some nice even heat across the entire surface. I feel this would be a great option for most small to medium-sized families because the 247 square inch cooking surface doesn’t waste any space.

The black griddle of a Camp Chef Versatop stove with five slices of bacon simmering on the top.
The Veratop is great for cooking breakfast, especially bacon. Travis Smola

I was impressed with the grease management of this griddle. It all effortlessly flows to a drain on the end and into a trap. I didn’t need to scrape much off the griddle surface, either. I was rather shocked by how much grease was in the trap from just five strips of bacon. The Versatop burns it off quite efficiently. Because the grease flows off so easily, this thing was a breeze to clean up afterwards.

The black and silver Camp Chef 14-inch grill box sitting on top of the silver Camp Chef Versatop on a tan deck in front of a fence.
Camp Chef’s grill box fits perfectly onto the Versatop’s base for additional versatility. Travis Smola

The only real downside is the 24-pound weight, which is hefty for a grill of this size. But I love the versatility of this grill. I also tested it with Camp Chef’s 14-inch grill box. It produced an incredibly tasty and tender venison steak. I’m looking forward to testing it out with their Artisan pizza oven attachment, too. This is an incredibly versatile tabletop system that’s an ease to store in a vehicle or RV.


  • Fuel: Wood pellets
  • Weight: 54 pounds
  • Cooking Surface: Grill and griddle


  • Grill and smoker combo
  • Versatile
  • Bonus griddle


Our Executive Editor of Commerce, Amanda Oliver, recently got the chance to test the Traeger Ranger and loved the smoky flavor it imparts. This grill and smoker combo is essentially the smallest wood pellet grill that Traeger offers today. The footprint is small enough for the back of a vehicle, and it will easily store in an RV storage area. It’s one of the heaviest grills on this list at 54 pounds but you’ll be hard pressed to find a wood pellet grill this portable otherwise.

Traeger Ranger Portable Pellet Grill and Smoker open and smoking on ledge
The Traeger Ranger gives you that coveted smoky flavor on the go. Amanda Oliver

The nearly $400 price tag is a bit intimidating. But the fact that this grill is also a smoker adds tremendously to the value here. It’s something you’ll want to use not just on camping trips, but nearly every week at home. There are not a ton of grills of this size that can give your restaurant quality ribs and chicken whenever you want.


  • Fuel: Charcoal
  • Weight: 48 pounds
  • Cooking Surface: Cast iron grates


  • Huge cooking area
  • Rugged construction
  • Maximizes the efficiency of charcoal


While we enjoy the clean efficiency of propane, it’s hard to beat the taste imparted on food by charcoal. The Oklahoma Joe’s Rambler tabletop grill features a heavy duty steel body and cast iron cook surfaces that help charcoal fans really maximize the efficiency of the fuel. With a 218-square inch cook area, it can easily cook up to four steaks at once. This is the perfect size for a family of four. But at the same time, it’s portable enough for the campsite or tailgating. This grill can also serve as a smoker with the addition of some wood pellets.

While it’s portable, this is the heaviest grill on the list at 48 pounds. That’s our main downside to this one because some users may have a hard time moving it around. It also eats up a little more storage space than other grills we tested. But for anyone who’s looking for a rugged charcoal grill that’s going to last many seasons, this is one of the best options available.

How We Tested Portable Grills

I personally cooked a variety of meals on the grills on this list. Some of them I’ve owned for years and have used literally hundreds of times while camping or even just in the backyard. I’m not a gourmet chef looking to sell you on the most expensive options on the market. Just an average grill user who’s learned to cook a decent burger or steak on a variety of grills over the years. Some of the camping grills here were tested by other members of the F&S team. We also considered the following factors when making our final decisions:

  • Cooking Surface: How big is the cook area? Does the grill include a griddle for preparing other types of food items?
  • Fuel Type: Does this grill utilize charcoal, propane, wood pellets, or some other type of fuel?
  • Weight: How easy is this grill to transport? Will it eat up a ton of space in a vehicle or RV storage area?
  • Value: How does the price compare to the construction and features?

How to Choose a Portable Grill

Two of the main things to consider with any portable grill are the fuel type and the size. RV owners usually have ample space for a grill and the fuel required. However, car campers sometimes underestimate just how much space a couple bags of charcoal or a full-size propane tank eats up. Keep the available space in mind when choosing a grill. It helps to measure the storage area to determine if the grill is a good fit.


If you only plan to cook up some burgers or steak in the evenings, a simple charcoal or propane grill with a small grilling surface should be adequate. However, if you’re planning to cook breakfasts, a griddle is a great accessory for pancakes and bacon. Some grills even come with optional attachments for baking a pizza for anyone looking for something outside the box as a camp meal.

Consider cooking area when deciding upon a grill. If you’re planning to cook a dozen burgers and steaks for a group outing, a large cook surface is a must. The smaller cook areas are best suited for solo campers or couples who are prepping smaller meals.  

Fuel Type

The fuel for a portable grill tends to be more of a personal preference than anything else. Charcoal takes a little longer to cook. But it also imparts a bold taste to the food. It’s great for anyone who likes more of a smoke flavor to their grilled meat and vegetables. Another potential downside to charcoal is the fact that the burn can be a bit uneven, making food take longer to cook.

Propane tends to burn rather consistently and evenly, which is why some chefs swear by for grilling up a steak properly. It also burns much cleaner, with less smoke. Subsequently, you’ll miss out on some of that taste charcoal adds to the meat. However, grills that use those small single-use propane canisters are not as environmentally friendly either. Many state and national Parks have started to discourage campers from using propane tanks because they make up a large portion of their garbage.

Fortunately, there are now some alternatives to the green propane tanks in the form of products like the Ignik Growler refillable propane tank. The downside is these tanks are rather expensive on top of the price of a grill itself.  


I’ve read many bad reviews from people who were upset their grills eventually rusted and fell apart on them. But it usually turns out they left them outside in the elements for months or even years at a time. While some grills are designed to tough out rain, snow, and more, it’s never a bad idea to keep the grill inside as often as possible. But if indoor storage isn’t possible, it’s worth investing in a cover. All grills will eventually rust if left outdoors long enough and being proactive about protecting them will help extend the life of your investment significantly.

Why Trust Us

For more than 125 years, Field & Stream has been providing readers with honest and authentic coverage of outdoor gear. Our writers and editors eat, sleep, and breathe the outdoors, and that passion comes through in our product reviews. You can count on F&S to keep you up to date on the best new gear. And when we write about a product—whether it’s a bass lure or a backpack—we cover the good and the bad, so you know exactly what to expect before you decide to make a purchase.

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