9 Best Portable Gas Grills for 2019
If you’re anything like me, you work up quite an appetite every time you embark on an adventure. Whether you’re going camping, tailgating, or simply traveling in your RV, hot and delicious grilled dishes are a must.
That’s where a portable gas grill comes in. These grills can easily be carried around in your RV, and you can set them up under the open skies whenever your appetite calls. Furthermore, gas grills are effective enough that you don’t need to spend hours slaving away over a roast or grilled chicken.
I have researched and vetted some of the best portable gas grills on the market for camping, tailgating, and RVs. The following is my selection of the top 9 best portable gas grills on the market today.
Table of Contents
Best Portable Gas Grills for Camping
1. Weber 54060001 Q2200 Liquid Propane Grill
The Weber Q2200 liquid propane grill is a stainless steel burner with 280 square inches of cooking area (big enough for four) and it can produce 12,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units) per hour. It features an electronic ignition system for easy start, and you get complete control over the burner valve settings.
One of my biggest concerns before using the grill was its closed dimensions, since I needed a portable and compact grill for camping. Strangely enough, Weber hadn’t publicized the closed dimensions. However, if you’re considering it, you should know that the dimensions are 12.5 inches front to back and 21 inches side to side, and it weighs around 42.5 pounds.
If you use this model along with a small propane canister of one pound holding 21,600 BTUs of gas, you’ll be able to use the gas grill for approximately 1.8 hours. However, you’ll have to take into account the 10-15 minutes of preheat time as well.
A lot of gas grills tend to get plugged up from grease residue. However, Weber gas grills are designed to prevent any grease from plugging up the burner. Unfortunately, there are no accessories or features available to limit flare-ups. However, if you coat your meat with oil, you should not experience them at all.
You can connect the grill to a low pressure RV connector. Still, you’ll need to extract the regulator near the temperature setting and instead use a LA706 1/8″ double female fitting along with a Model 250 Male Plug X 1/8″ MNPT fitting. These are necessary to get enough propane fuel for the grill.
If you purchase this gas grill based on the image depicted on Amazon, you might think it comes with a stand. That is unfortunately a case of false advertising. It does not come with a stand and it will need to be purchased separately. However, even without a stand, the price is comparable to other grills of this caliber, so that’s not much of an issue.
- Easy to set up and ignite
- Comes with two folding shelves for preparation
- Compact yet ideal for families
- The shape — with the protruding work tables — can be hard to pack
- The side tables are not very sturdy
2. Cuisinart CGG-220 Everyday Portable Gas Grill
The Cuisinart gas grill is a cast iron grill with 240 square inches of cooking area that produces 15,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units) per hour. It features a TwistStart electric ignition along with a precision temperature gauge.
This gas grill doesn’t come with a propane tank; so, you’ll have to get your own canister. If you cook regularly, you should ideally invest in a 20-pound propane tank along with a separate adapter hose. However, if you need to carry it around and don’t cook too often, a one-pound propane canister should last around two hours. Since it’s fueled by propane, only use it outdoors and keep it clear of flammable objects.
One of my biggest issues with this gas grill is the metal snap-on side tables instead of the far more durable swivel-in side tables. The clips used to snap on the tables are not very durable and can break easily. Furthermore, when moving the grill, they need to be removed altogether, which makes them quite a cumbersome nuisance.
Most gas grills, both charcoal and propane based, have trouble functioning in windy conditions, even though they’re all meant for the outdoors. However, this Cuisinart gas grill performs better than most in windy conditions, retaining its heat well enough. The grill and flame diverter can also be easily extracted, making it extremely easy to clean with a plastic scraper.
You will find a chain and coiled wire attachment on the left of the grill. There are no instructions in the manual on how to use it. Essentially, it’s meant for matches. You need to slip a match on the ring-end of the wire. If your igniter isn’t working, you can light the match and stick it into the holes in the frame near the burner. Once you do this, you can toggle the burner on and the gas lights up. The chain is basically there so you don’t lose the match.
A few users have complained that the legs are rigid and can’t be either detached or moved. This will prove to be a slight issue when you try to load it into your RV.
- At 15,000 BTUs, it provides enough heat to get you through an entire meal preparation even with a single small propane canister
- The cast-iron construction renders it heavier than other portable gas grills
- The snap-on side tables are not durable
- The heating can sometimes be uneven
3. Char-Broil TRU Infrared Patio Bistro 180 Portable Gas Grill
The Char-Broil infrared gas grill is a stainless steel grill with 245 square inches of cooking area. At just 22 pounds, it’s one of the most lightweight portable gas grills on the market. Read the full product specs and reviews here.
One thing you should be aware of is that you can’t use it for smoking. This is not a BBQ grill; it’s meant purely for grilling. This gas grill also comes with a custom cleaning tool. You need to lift out the grill to clean it thoroughly before replacing it again.
The electronic ignition used to be located on the front next to the gas control knobs; however, in the new design, the ignition has been integrated into the control knob. Several users have complained that the ignition stops working soon and needs to be replaced repeatedly. This can prove to be a nuisance down the line.
The Char-Broil gas grill has a single burner rated for 9,000 BTUs; it works well for two to four people and can easily sear a steak or cook bacon and eggs. This grill has been designed to maintain heat and flame height throughout the cooking session. It uses a heat emitter to transfer the heat from the burners to the cooking surface. As such, the flame remains out of sight and there’s almost no flare-ups at all. This provides an even heating surface and the flame height can be maintained. Furthermore, it just takes about fifteen minutes for it to cool down completely so you can pack it up.
The amount of gunk that gets into the burners is drastically limited in this model. It’s necessary to clean the surface after every use, but you don’t need to take it apart to clean the burners. The only parts of the grill that need thorough cleaning are the holes in the V-shaped part of the surface.
You can even place wood chips between the cooking grates to infuse the meat with a woody and smokey flavor.
- Heats up very easily
- Weighs only 22 pounds and is easy to carry around
- The stainless steel grill is easy to clean
- The igniter stops working soon
- Can’t be used for smoking
Best Portable Gas Grills for Tailgating
4. Coleman RoadTrip LXE Portable Propane Grill
The Coleman RoadTrip LXE is a cast iron grill with 285 square inches of cooking area, big enough for up to four people. It can produce 20,000 BTUs of heat per hour and comes along with a one-pound disposable propane cylinder. However, you can also hook it up to a large twenty-pound cylinder via a high-pressure propane hose.
This grill is highly portable as it’s compact, flat, collapsible, and can be transported on wheels. Furthermore, it uses sliding side tables instead of snap-on tables, so it’s a lot more durable than similar gas grills.
This model is also pretty easy to assemble, and you can do so in a couple of minutes. Once you remove it from the box, you have to unfold the legs and snap them into the grill. Then you attach the plastic hub caps on the wheels to prevent them from rolling. Next, purchase a fuel container screw and set the grill griddle in place. You don’t need any additional tools for assembly. Connecting it to an RV is also pretty simple as long as you have an adapter hose.
Even though this grill is meant to be used outdoors, you should not leave it outside during harsh weather. Most of the grill is pretty durable. However, some parts on the inside can rust or corrode over time if allowed to sit outside during the winter.
I would say that the manufacturer could have given more variance in the heat settings. It does come with a high and low heat setting, but the difference between them is negligible. I would have preferred to have more range, so I have the option to cook slowly, if necessary.
One of the biggest issues with this gas grill is the latch. It doesn’t come with an efficient locking system, so the latch falls open and the lid doesn’t stay shut during transport. However, this issue can be easily rectified by tying a bungee cord around the lid. Some users have also complained that the collapsible legs automatically extend when you try to lift the grill rather than roll it on its wheels.
- Highly portable
- Heat is spread evenly
- High BTU
- The latch falls open
- Even though the legs are collapsible and often extend when the grill is carried or lifted
5. Solaire Anywhere Portable Infrared Propane Gas Grill
The Solaire portable infrared propane gas grill is a stainless steel grill with 155 square inches of cooking area, just about big enough for two people. It can produce 14,000 BTUs of heat per hour. The grill comes with a carry cover as well for easy portability. However, at twenty pounds, it is a bit heavy for its diminutive size.
The electric ignition is smooth and functions really well. I have never had any trouble starting it, and it maintains a flame even in windy conditions. You can cook eggs, pancakes, and bacon on it; however, you’ll have to place them on a cooking skillet over the hot grill. You can’t place them directly on the grill. There’s enough grilling space for thyree large rib eyes or eight large Italian sausages.
I found that this grill was extremely hot, going upwards of 1000 degrees Fahrenheit even on low-temperature settings. You can adjust it easily by turning the knob on the valve to reduce the gas flow and the intensity of the heat. You’re supposed to use this grill with the hood up, so the direct heat is directed from the burner to the meat. It does not heat the air around it, which has the potential of drying out the meat. This makes it ideal for Sous Vide finishing. Even at its lowest setting, it’s perfect for meat because you get the flavor and the aesthetic of grill marks easily. Note that it’s a little too hot for some vegetables.
Despite how it is advertised, this grill does not heat evenly. The center of the burner is extremely hot, but the outer edges are warm, while the area outside the burner remains cold. This is visually evident. After repeated use, you’ll find that the center of the burner gets more easily discolored than the rest of the grill.
This model comes with two stainless steel bands holding the cover over the burner. These burner screen clips maintain the mesh screen over the burner when you’re ready to grill. They are necessary to prevent the screen from falling off the burner when transported.
- Compact and lightweight
- Comes with a carry cover
- Highly functional design
- The temperature is extremely hot, even on low settings.
- Not ideal for grilling vegetables
- It does not heat evenly
6. Smoke Hollow TableTop Propane Gas Grill
The Smoke Hollow TableTop propane gas grill is a stainless steel grill with 205 square inches of cooking area that produces 10,000 BTUs of heat per hour. It comes with a U-shaped burner that is easily replaceable. The space is enough to cook six to eight moderately-sized burgers on the lower rack and nine to twelve if you use both the lower and upper racks.
In terms of portability, it only weighs 22 pounds. Furthermore, the legs of the grill can be folded neatly and the lid latched down easily, enhancing the ease of transportation. However, the drip pan doesn’t get latched, so it slides around the unit inside when being carried. The insides of the grill can also be removed to thoroughly clean it.
This gas grill comes with a stainless steel grease deflector and a tray to catch grease. However, you should still be careful when grilling burgers or pork as the grease might drip on the burner guard, causing slight flare-ups. Some users have complained about sudden alarming flame-ups. These can be quite dangerous, so you practice caution while using the grill. To avoid them, put the regulator dial on low when you first light it. Furthermore, also light your match or lighter before turning the gas on while the lid should always be open.
The temperature range, while decent for a unit of this size, is still limited. Between the lowest and hottest temperature, the difference is only about 100 degrees. As such, you can only use it to grill a limited number of food items like burgers, chicken breasts, sausages, etc.
- Highly portable and lightweight
- Easy to clean and manage
- Prone to flare-ups
- Limited temperature range
- No side handles. You have to instead carry it by the lid handle
Best Portable Gas Grills for RVs
7. Char-Griller 3001 Gas Grill
The Char-Griller 3001 gas grill is a stainless steel grill with cast iron porcelain-coated grates and 438 square inches of cooking area. It produces 40,800 BTUs of heat per hour, making it one of the most powerful portable gas grills for RVs. It operates via an electronic ignition for an easy start.
There are three burners available, all stainless steel so they don’t rust easily. You can activate them either together or one at a time. The sides of the grill cannot be folded or collapsed. During transport, you must unscrew and detach them. You will also find two black smoke vents on top of the grill’s lid. They are helpful is heating the burner and food evenly.
The assembly, however, may present a challenge, especially to those who haven’t assembled grills before. A novice may spend 2-3 hours in assembly, as there are a lot of parts involved. However, the instruction manual is pretty easy to follow.
One of the biggest complaints leveled against this gas grill is in regard to flare-ups and dripping. When dealing with high-fat foods like pork or burgers, you should keep the temperature low. Using a high or even medium temperature can lead to the grease dripping on the heat shield, which, in turn, will lead to flare-ups.
Even though it has been advertised as a “hybrid” grill, it is purely a propane model. It cannot be used with charcoal. You do not need a brick or simulated charcoal. In fact, the grill comes with “flavor plates” that protect the burner and vaporize any liquids emanating from the food items. This setting creates the same kind of smokey flavor produced by bricks, but it minimizes gunk and grease accumulation. It also helps you clean the grill later.
- Due to the large surface area and high heat settings, it can be used to quickly grill food for a large number of people
- Easy to assemble and start
- At close to 100 pounds, it’s not highly portable
- Flare-ups and grease dripping are common
- Falsely advertised as a “hybrid” grill
8. Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill
The Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet tabletop gas grill is a stainless steel unit with 145 square inches of cooking area and the ability to produce 5,500 BTUs of heat per hour. A one-pound propane tank should last you for four hours: approximately two cooking sessions.
It’s not the most powerful gas grill and can only be used to prepare a meal for two simultaneously. However, it weighs only 13.5 pounds and its steel legs can be retracted, making it highly portable and ideal for use in an RV. To adapt it for an RV, you can remove the regulator and instead hook it to the RV’s propane tank via an adapter hose.
You can also cook and grill with the lid down and the results are never compromised. Furthermore, it heats up quickly and grills evenly. If you want to unhook the lid entirely, you can do so by removing the clamps at the back. However, several long-time users have complained that it starts rusting and melting after a year of use. Plus, the flame doesn’t hold up well in windy conditions. The slightest wind will make the flame blow out. If you live in a windy area, I would recommend skipping this grill.
Unfortunately, this grill does not come with a deflector plate or burner cover. If you’re cooking oily food or pork, grease is likely to drip all over the burner. This can cause flare ups, reduce the efficiency of the burner, and it’s hard to clean. To avoid this problem, lay down an aluminum sheet and simply dispose of it once you’re done cooking.
Unlike a lot of other grills, this gas grill is ready to use. There’s no need for any assembly. You simply get it out of the box and you’re ready to go.
- Highly portable and lightweight
- Heats evenly, even with the lid shut
- Not meant for long-term use as it starts rusting and corroding
9. Cuisinart CGG-240 All Foods Roll-Away Gas Grill
The Cuisinart CGG-240 gas grill is a stainless steel grill with 240 square inches of cooking area and the ability to produce 15,000 BTUs of heat per hour. It comes equipped with a TwistStart electric ignition for an easy start, and a temperature gauge.
The grill features a chain to which you can attach a match in case you prefer to ignite the grill manually, or if the starter fails to work. Heat is spread evenly throughout the burner and grate, and the grill bars retain heat for a long time.
One of the biggest complaints I have is regarding the difficulty of cleaning the unit. The bottom of the grill is stuffed with bolts and nuts connecting the different parts. It’s extremely difficult to work around them and keep the entire grill clean.
The legs of the grill are detachable to enhance portability. However, attaching the legs can be difficult if you don’t follow the instructions closely. You should use the pictures supplied in the manual as a guide.
Even without the legs, you can still use the grill on top of a wooden fixture because there will be plenty of space between the bottom of the grill and the table surface. You should not, however, under any circumstance, use this grill on a plastic table. The heat generated by the grill is likely to melt the plastic, and there’s also the risk of the grill falling over if the table isn’t sturdy enough. It’s ideal to use a sturdy aluminum metal or wooden table in lieu of plastic.
There are two burners on this grill. However, you have to operate them together. You have to light them together and change their temperatures together. I found this to be a little silly because the sole purpose of having separate burners is to have greater independence between the two.
You can also connect the grill to your RV’s propane system, but you need to be careful. In most RVs, the connect valve is below the propane pressure regulator. As such, you need to either get a “low pressure” gas grill (which this is not), or remove the regulator and replace it with a straight fitting instead.
- Easy to start and assemble
- Heats easily and evenly
- Difficult to clean
- Some users complain about the rollers and legs are flimsy
Portable Gas Grill Buyer’s Guide
Are you ready to go ahead and purchase a portable gas grill? If so, you might have concerns and questions. In the following section, we’ll take you through a comprehensive overview of some of the most commonly-asked questions about portable gas grills.
Why Choose a Portable Gas Grill instead of a Charcoal Grill?
There are a number of benefits involved in purchasing gas instead of charcoal grills:
- The propane tanks used by gas grills last longer
- They produce heat consistently, so your dishes are grilled evenly
- Cooking over a gas grill is a lot quicker than cooking over a charcoal grill
Factors to Consider when Buying Portable Gas Grills
When buying a portable gas grill, take the following features and factors into consideration.
- British Thermal Units– British Thermal Units (BTUs) represent the output of gas required to heat up the grill. The higher the BTU, the higher the temperature. The BTU on a gas grill is the maximum heat output. Furthermore, the heat output is also determined by the material, as thin materials lose thermal units quicker. As such, if you’re purchasing a lightweight gas grill with thin materials, you’ll need a higher BTU rating to compensate for it.
- Temperature Control– If your grill has several burners, it should also come with several temperature controls, so you can cook over them at different temperatures.
- Surface Cooking Area– The surface cooking area is the amount of space you have to grill dishes. A small-size portable gas grill might have a surface area of 210-285 square inches. However, if you’re cooking for a family of four, you might want a surface area of 275-285 square inches so you can grill about eight burgers simultaneously.
- Number of Burners– The higher the number of burners, the larger the size of the gas grill. If portability is important to you, get a gas grill with fewer burners. You should get more than one burner if you need to cook different types of foods requiring different temperatures.
- Material– The best materials for gas grills are stainless steel and brass with an 18-8 rating or 304 grade. These are corrosion-resistant and durable. Compared to these, aluminum grills burn out quickly and cast iron grills rust soon.
- Grates– The ideal grate should be able to hold heat and conduct it to the food for cooking. Chrome and nickel-plated grates are lightweight, thus better for portability. However, they don’t hold heat well and rust eventually. Cast iron grates hold and conduct heat. However, they need to be regularly spritzed with cooking spray or oil to prevent rusting. They are also quite heavy. Stainless steel grates are lightweight and easy to clean, but they don’t hold heat well. They are a good choice for portability.
- Ignition– You can either get a grill that runs on a battery or one with a spark ignition system. If you choose the latter, you’ll have to push a button or turn a knob to provide the ignition spark. Both are fair choices.
- Transportation– To determine the portability of the gas grill, consider the following:
- Does the lid have a latch for easy handling?
- Can the grill be placed flat or must it always remain upright?
- Is a travel case provided?
- Can the grill be disassembled to move it more easily?
- Does it come with wheels for easy transport?
- Is it small enough to fit in your vehicle’s trunk?
- Fuel Tanks– Portable gas grills generally come with small propane cylinders that can be easily carried. Alternately, you can purchase adapter hoses to connect them to larger 20-pound propane tanks.
- Number of Shelves– Shelves or side tables can be extracted and moved to hold the prepared food.
- Additional Accessories– Some gas grills include additional accessories such as a travel case, adapter hose, cover, grate, etc. You should look out for gas grills with the accessories that you desire.
How to test the Grill’s Construction Quality?
When purchasing a portable gas grill for camping and tailgating purposes, you’ll want to look for lightweight products. However, some lightweight products also tend to be structurally weak.
In order to ensure your grill is structurally sound, perform a small test:
- Push against the grill from different angles. If the individual parts seem unstable, don’t get it.
- Make sure that the corners of the grill aren’t sharp or have any sharp protrusions. These can be hazardous as they might snag on your clothing or cut you.
- Hold the handle and make sure you have enough grip without your knuckles touching the metal.
You should also make sure that the various parts of the grill are welded rather than held together by bolts and screws. Welded grills are a lot more stable, and you don’t run the risk of the screws coming loose.
Valuable Tips when using Gas Grills
- Some dishes require a low temperature for an extended period of time, and some require a high temperature for a short period. You should be able to tell the difference.
- Start off with 200 to 250 degrees and build your way up, if necessary.
- If you have a gas grill with 3 to 4 burners, you should ideally use only half of them simultaneously.
- You can add flavored wood to infuse a smoky and woody flavor to your meat.
I hope this article has helped you decide which portable gas grill should accompany you on all your adventures. Now that you’ve made up your mind, go forth and grill some meat!