5 Best Portable Grills for Grilling on the Go

Coleman RoadTrip LXE Propane Grill

There’s nothing like a great meal to complement a great day, and there are few better ways to make a day great than by spending it outdoors with friends and family. When you prepare fine foods at a campsite, picnic on a beach, or just hang our in your own backyard, cooking is part of the larger experience and becomes more of a pleasure than a task. That is, so long as you have a decent portable grill on which to do the cooking. I can tell you from plenty of personal experience that trying to cook with inferior equipment while you’re far afield is a recipe for white hot rage and under-cooked burgers.

If all you need to do is heat up water to rehydrate packs of camping food, then by all means, stick with a pocket-sized camp stove. If you want to grill up some ribeye, burgers, or salmon fillets while you’re away from it all, then one of these five portable grills will certainly serve all your al fresco cooking needs.

The Texsport Heavy Duty Camp Grill
camp grill

There’s no manlier way to cook than with an open fire. This rugged grill folds flat for storage and opens up into a sturdy, durable cook surface that perches atop the flames of your campfire charcoal bed. Its 24-inch by 16-inch cook-top will accommodate several steaks, up to eight burgers, and plenty of roasting veggies. Unfortunately, with its rugged design comes a hefty 10 lb weight, making this grill a bad choice for backpacking. Also, you’ll need some fire starting chops.

See It

The Coleman RoadTrip LXE Propane Grill
best portable grills 81qsjpgndml  sl1500

If you want a gourmet grilling experience when far from home, consider the Coleman RoadTrip LXE. It’s far too bulky for the hiker or mountaineer, but for RV travels or car camping, it brings the comforts of a standard gas grill out into the country. It has two fully adjustable burners, side tables for tools or food, and it folds down small enough for the trunk of most any car. This grill is also small enough to be the perfect addition to a city balcony or patio where saving space is a priority.

See It

The Kenyon City Grill

best portable grills city grill4
So for this one, you’ll need an outlet, limiting you to campsite with facilities, an RV, a cabin with power, or your own backyard. But what you lose in suitability for use in remote locations, you gain in amazing performance. This plug-in electric grill could well be the only grill you use at home thanks to its superb heat control and the high temperatures it can reach. You can clean the grate by hand or in the dishwasher; the drip trays last for many uses, but can be tossed once overly soiled. Shout out to Kenyon for keeping things simple: the grill is controlled with just one knob, which features an off position and eight different heat settings ranging from low to high. Also, this is the “Official Grill of the Boston Red Sox,” just FYI.

See It

The Weber Smokey Joe Charcoal Grill
best portable grills 81bmh7ls el  sl1500

Ah, the little grill that could. If you’ve never cooked using a Weber, you’re missing out on a classic slice of American life. This little grill is every bit as a capable as its iconic larger cousin, the Kettle Grill. The Smokey Joe, however, weighs less than 10 lb and will fit in your compact car’s trunk. Just don’t forget the charcoal. And maybe some lighter fluid. Oh, and the meat … never forget the meat.

See It

The UCO Grilliput Portable Camping Grill
best portable grills 51snhdmeful  sl1100

Design nerds and outdoor cooking enthusiasts unite! The UCO grill is brilliant and capable — each piece of the grill slides into a steel tube when disassembled, and assembly takes just a few minutes. The result is a 10-inch by 9-inch grill surface that perches above your campfire, cooking perfectly seared meats. At less than 20 oz in weight, this clever, compact grill is light enough to carry during days of trekking. Great food and the great outdoors, together at last.

See It

And, if all of these are just a touch too heavy for your ultra-light ways, check out our list of the best cooking gear for car camping and backpacking, or the Wolf & Grizzly Grill, which The Manual named Best in Show for Camp Cooking at the 2018 Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show.

Article originally published May 21, 2015. Last updated April 11, 2018.

Outdoors

Vicariously Enjoy the Adventures of Others With 3 Epic Tales of Wilderness Exploits

What is the outdoor enthusiast to do when life's many duties prevent him from adventuring? Read about it, of course!
Food & Drink

8 Ways to Keep Your Drinks Cold on a Hot Day

The summer sun has finally met its match in the form of these eight drink chillers.
Food & Drink

Shaken, Not Stirred: The Manual’s Guide to Cocktail Shakers

Spirit-forward drinks like a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned necessitate stirring, but by and large, if you're making a multi-ingredient cocktail, you're going to need to shake it up.
Living

Easily Upgrade Any Space In Your Home With Stikwood

The best thing about our Stikwood project? It took a single afternoon.
Fashion & Style

The Best Summer Sales on Menswear and Gear

Swimwear, outdoor great, watches, shoes — you name it, we've found a deal on it.
Culture

Too Broke to Travel? Take a Virtual Vacation With This Summer Reading List.

These page-turners could be the inspiration for your next big vacation, but for now, settle into your couch.
Food & Drink

Make Your Own Barbecue Sauce at Home with These 2 Tasty Recipes

Do you know where the greatest barbecue sauces come from? Your own kitchen. Made with your own two hands.
Culture

Beards, Booze, and Bacon: The Weird Amazon Episode

On this week's episode of The Manual podcast, we talk about all things Amazon. And it gets weird.
Fashion & Style

Step Out in Style with the Best Men’s Shorts Arranged by Inseam Length

Short-shorts? Or below the knee? You choose. Just please don't choose below the knee.
Grooming

Fix Your Face In 20 Minutes with the Only Sheet Mask You’ll Ever Need

Sheet masks are all the rage in the dermatology world these days, but we're here to tell you that you need only one.
Food & Drink

The Best Cheap Beer Money Can Buy

Some cultures may value spirits or wine or something else entirely, but at the end of the day, chances are you’re going to be able to find a cheap beer no matter where you go.
Food & Drink

Grilling Safety Tips So the Only Things Roasted Are Your Burgers

No one wants to spend the afternoon waiting in the emergency room instead of enjoying your barbecue.
Culture

The Best Amazon Prime Day Deals on Watches, Tools, Outdoor Gear, and Other Cool Stuff

Amazon Prime Day is finally here and we're rounding up the best sales and discounts we can find.
Fashion & Style

11 Best Men’s No-Show Socks to Keep Feet Happy and Stink-free

It’s the dog days of summer, and, in the ongoing effort to stay as cool as possible, one of the first layers we lose is our socks. It’s one less place to hold in heat, and most of us (even if our legs aren’t in the best shape) can…
Food & Drink

How to Cook Ribs in the Oven (Yes, They’ll Come Out Great)

Purists may cringe and haters may hate, but the answer to the age-old question, "Can you cook ribs in the oven?" Yes, you can. Now, the follow-up: Do ribs taste good when cooked in the oven? Yes, yes they do.
Food & Drink

6 Essential Tequila Cocktail Recipes You Need to Know

Stir up these tequila cocktails — per the doctor's orders.
Food & Drink

Cheat Day Land Is an Interactive Pop-up Dedicated to Our Favorite Junk Foods

This exhibit is for fit-minded folk who may eat boiled chicken breast for lunch, but dream of giant cereal bowls and halo-topped donuts by night.
Travel

Sleep in a Giant Tequila Barrel at a One-of-a-kind Mexican Distillery Hotel

Is a tequila-barrel hotel hokey? Sure. Do we care? Not even a little.
Food & Drink

Bulleit Bourbon Gets Inked for Its Newest Bottle Release

Bulleit chose four artists for this project — the first time the brand’s bottles have undergone any sort of cosmetic change.
Food & Drink

This $550,000 Vacation Comes With Unlimited Tequila, Cigars, and the World’s Most Interesting Man

Hot air balloon ride? Heck yes. A sailing trip? Sure, skippy! Drinking tequila with a hand-rolled cigar in hand? Obviously.
Food & Drink

The B-Line is What Brings Bourbon Lovers to Northern Kentucky

As you probably already know, Kentucky makes 95 percent of the world’s bourbon (if you didn’t, you do now).