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Best Portable Gas Grills in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

By Luna Regina | Updated
Our recommendations are made independently through research and testing following our review procedure. We may receive commissions from purchases made via our links at no additional costs to you.

Compared to those all-out backyard grill fests, barbecuing on the road is often restricted, or even prohibited, in certain places. As a compromise, you may want to consider a compact propane grill with decent heating and cooking functionality. The best portable gas grills should handle all-time classics like hot dogs and burgers just fine.

Best Portable Gas Grills 2021

If you’re having a hard time with the selection process, our buying guide and product reviews should address that. By the end of this entry, you’ll be in the best position to make the most informed purchase for yourself.

How to Pick the Best Portable Gas Grills

Size & Cooking Surface

Plan ahead what items you’ll be cooking and how many people you’ll be cooking for. As a general rule of thumb, a single-burner gas grill should suffice for a family with two or three adults. While these grills can handle most items just fine, it’s a different story for primal cuts like ribs and briskets.

For the most part, travel-sized gas grills are single-burner models, but this isn’t always the case. There are dual- and tri-burner models whose generous grilling surface will be more fitting for thick items or large families.

But if you’d rather go all the way, you might as well take a look at our top rated gas grills.

Material

With a range of impressive physical attributes, stainless steel is a no-brainer for the burner tubes. Exceptional durability is one thing, but this material is also well-resistant toward extreme heat and impervious to oxidation. For prestige grill manufacturers, stainless steel is the ultimate material choice.

When it comes to the cooking grates, however, there are two primary options: stainless steel and cast iron. While stainless steel is nothing short of a proper pick, cast iron excels at searing via its superior heat retention. Regardless of your needs and personal preference, you can never go wrong with either choice.

Heating Control

Since these grills sacrifice a portion of their size in exchange for compactness, their overall firepower takes a noticeable hit. Nevertheless, their heating capabilities should be enough to preheat fast and whip up decent meals in minutes without complicating things. For models with multiple burners, you might be able to set various temperature zones for different items as well.

Besides conventional burner tubes, infrared burners are another powerful heating alternative worth considering. Moreover, an obvious improvement over traditional gas grill models is the effortless ignition by using battery-powered sparkers. You can get the fire going with a click of a button instead of struggling with matches.

Cleaning Ease

Gas grills with burner protection are far more preferable than those without it. A set of metal panels, also known as heat tents, prevents foreign objects from entering and compromising the burner tubes. That way, you can keep things neat from grease splashing and yourself safe from flare-ups; it’s a win-win for everyone.

But when cleaning time o’clock strikes, there’s no half-hearted attempt since it takes more than just brushing the grates. Besides scrubbing every nook and cranny, you also have to deep-clean the burners. If you don’t want the grill to underperform: don’t neglect your cleaning obligations longer than it has to be.

One tell-tale sign that cleaning is (over)due is the grill producing yellow, flickering flames instead of blue, steady ones. This is because ventilation inside the burner orifices and nozzles is clogged with gunk like charred bits and grease. You might also find mold, rust, and spider webs in several instances due to improper storage, especially during winters.

Extra Features

Granted, these extra features won’t directly affect food quality in any way. But in due time, they’ll come in handy by providing grillers with a great sense of convenience and comfort.

  • All-terrain wheels or swivelable casters
  • Lid-mounted thermometer with locks
  • Side tables with tool hooks
  • Extendable legs

Price

Premium Tier: From $250 to $350

High-end models within this price range have lots to offer. For starters, you can find as many as three burners (or one with tremendous intensity) to tackle all cooking tasks. And as expected, stainless steel is applied for the burner tubes and cooking grates, sometimes for other non-essential parts too.

While generous cooking surfaces and immense heating prowess are already a given, these grills also come with complementary features. You can expect to find numerous secondary add-ons like thermometers, tool hooks, easy-movement wheels, lid locks, side tables, and whatnot.

Thanks to their space-saving design, these grills can fold in half or into a suitcase to fit within car trunks. That way, grillers can make room and pack these grills inside their vehicles. And upon arriving at the camping spot, these grills are easy to pick up and move around.

Middle Tier: From $100 to $250

Although these units are fine choices on their own, you should expect a realistic drop in features and quality. The most apparent decline is less cooking area and fewer extra features, which are well within reason, given the price.

Instead of multiple heating options, the majority of these grills are single-burner units. Meanwhile, stainless steel is no longer applied for all components but instead reserved for the burners and grates.

Besides stainless steel cooking grates, porcelain-enameled cast iron ones are a great substitution. Cast iron retains and distributes heat well, though the cleaning may be more time-consuming. Nonetheless, most grillers find the extra elbow grease worth the effort.

Budget-Friendly Tier: Below $100

Models in this category pass for quick purchases without complicating things, as dictated by their limited warranty period. These single-burner grills are somewhat similar to the ones in the middle tier, though with inferior heating and cooking capacity.

Other than the primary burner tube, these grills feature very few stainless steel components, if any at all. While the heating is more or less above average, it should be decent enough to handle most items just fine. With finite capacity, it only stands to reason that the heat needed for searing steaks is out of the question.

Several non-essential features are understandably stripped away, the most common being the lid-mounted thermometers and side tables. You’d be lucky to find any other additional extras which haven't already been excluded by manufacturers before shipping.

Reviews of the Best Portable Gas Grills in 2021:

1. Weber Q3200 - Best to Buy in 2021

The Weber Q2200 qualifies as our first pick for all the right reasons. For starters, its immense heating power alone should be enough to entice buyers. And if that’s not enough to convince you, how about a set of additional features to further sweeten the deal?

Weber 54060001 Q2200 Liquid Propane Grill
  • Excellent heating

  • Ample cooking area

  • Lid-mounted thermometer

  • Foldable side tables

  • Easy-access grease tray

  • Expensive

  • Few stainless steel components

Size & Cooking Surface

The grilling grate provides 280 square inches of cooking area with no additional warming rack. Besides timeless staples like steaks and spare ribs, you can also cook a whole bird, thanks to the dome-shaped lid. Weber recommends this grill for a family of three or four people.

Material

Inside the Weber Q2200

Other than the burner tube, this grill features no other stainless steel components. For many grillers accustomed to Weber’s premium craftsmanship, the Q2200 falls short of their initial expectations. But no matter how you see it, these modifications are well-justified and shouldn’t discourage buyers in any way whatsoever.The most noticeable change is the porcelain-enameled cast iron cooking grate, an unexpected downgrade from the usual stainless steel ones. Meanwhile, the body and lid are cast aluminum with a glass-reinforced nylon frame, which explains the unit’s overall weight.

Heating Control

While one burner feels somewhat inadequate, it yields an impressive output of 12,000 BTUs per hour on its own. Its intensity is on par with the burners in full-size gas grills, which speaks volumes about its capability. This rectangular burner tube ensures uniform and consistent heating across all spots, including the edges as well.

It goes without saying that in no way can a single burner tube accommodate multiple temperature zones. Still, the heating is aggressive enough to preheat in minutes and handle your cooking requirements just fine. Weber places the burner tube under warranty for up to five years.

Also, the battery-powered sparker makes ignition easy and safe with one triple-A battery cell, eliminating the need for matches.

Cleaning Ease

Even with a protective coating, the porcelain-enameled cast iron grate can succumb to rust without proper cleaning and maintenance. A lot of upkeep is involved to keep the grate in tip-top condition, including gentle cleaning, drying, and oiling.

Furthermore, the absence of heat tents subjects the burner to all sorts of food dripping from the cooking grate. Although there’s a slidable grease pan underneath the base to catch the droplets, it can only do so much. If neglected long enough, the remaining residues can harden and clog the burner, reducing its overall heating abilities and lifespan.

Without heat tents to shield the burner tube, flare-ups raise a glaring safety concern that needs addressing. Sudden and violent bursts of flames can catch grillers off-guard and even pose other potential fire hazards. That said, you can take matters into your own hands. To keep everything mess-free and safe for everyone: trim off fat beforehand and preheat the grates well.

Extra Features

A lid-mounted thermometer monitors things inside the cook box so you can make timely adjustments as needed. While the Q2200 is light and portable, an additional cart offers maneuverability and a firm base to set the grill.

You’ll also find two foldable side tables offering extra storage room. As well-intentioned as these tables are, they can only support small items like cooking utensils or spice containers. Anything too big or heavy, these tables can collapse or break in half.

Verdict

You would have to look far and wide to find a grill as well-rounded as the Weber Q2200. Given its immense heating and convenient extras, it makes perfect sense that this grill is among the bestselling models.

Check Latest Price on Amazon

2. Char-Broil X200 - Best Portable Gas Grill for Tailgating

Many avid grillers make a strong case for the Char-Broil X200 Tru-Infrared. It’s a must-have for any tailgate party, especially when you’re traveling in pickup trucks or station wagons. Whether you’re attending a football game or concert, this grill should be appropriate for all those festive cooking occasions.

Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 Portable TRU-Infrared Liquid Propane Gas Grill
  • Inexpensive

  • Infrared burner

  • Stainless steel components

  • Sturdy build

  • Lid-mounted thermometer and lock

  • Average heating

Many avid grillers make a strong case for the Char-Broil X200 Tru-Infrared. It’s a must-have for any tailgate party, especially when you’re traveling in pickup trucks or station wagons. Whether you’re attending a football game or concert, this grill should be appropriate for all those festive cooking occasions.

Size & Cooking Surface

As the name suggests, the cooking surface measures 200 square inches. While it won’t be enough to fit a whole bird or primal cuts, you can cook other items instead. Char-Broil estimates the grate can accommodate ten burgers, six chicken breasts, or four steaks, which should suffice for casual grillers.

Only when your car trunk is jam-packed with stuff do you realize you need a small gas grill. But thanks to its compact body, you won’t struggle to find room or cram this grill inside your vehicle. The whole assembly measures 15.7 inches deep by 23.7 inches wide by 13.6 inches tall.

Material

Inside the Char-Broil X200 Tru-Infrared

Much to our pleasant surprise, the budget-friendly X200 equips itself with a stainless steel burner tube and cooking grate. The grilling surface features a set of slopes preventing meat from cooking in its own fat. Meanwhile, the aluminum lid is secure and prevents food from spilling with a pair of latches.

Heating Control

Unlike conventional gas grills using burner tubes, the X200 equips an infrared burner. Although this sole burner preheats in minutes, it can only provide a meager output of 9,500 BTUs per hour. While the radiating heat rays can cover the whole grate with uniform heating, they aren’t powerful enough for searing steaks.

Cleaning Ease

The stainless steel grate is easy to wash, although small charred bits might get stuck between the slopes. A grill brush and dish soap will be enough for common stains and residues. As for droplets of grease and fat, a drip pan at the bottom collects them for convenient disposal.

Similar to other gas grills without heat tents, the X200’s bare burner tube is exposed to all sorts of gunk. In one way or another, grillers will experience flare-ups no matter how much fat they’ve trimmed off before cooking. Without proper cleaning and servicing, it’s just a matter of time before the burner clogs and the heating efficiency drops.

Extra Features

A lid-mounted thermometer lets you monitor the food and make timely adjustments. Even without opening the lid, you can tell how hot things are getting, sparing you from overcooking or undercooking food.

Verdict

With the football season in full swing, any tailgate party would be incomplete without barbecuing. Therefore, the Char-Broil X200 Tru-Infrared is a purchase that deserves serious consideration for the next Super Bowl or camping trip.

Check Latest Price on Amazon

3. Flame King Motorhome - Best Portable Gas Grill for RV

The versatile Flame King Motorhome can either sit on tabletops or mount on the side of an RV. If your traveling plan includes country-crossing or road trips, this portable gas grill would qualify as your primary cooking option.

Flame King YSNHT500 RV Or Trailer Mounted BBQ Motorhome Gas Grill
  • Inexpensive

  • Decent heating

  • Ample cooking surface

  • Freestanding base with RV bracket

  • Additional warming rack

  • Lid locks

  • Grates tend to rust

  • Few stainless steel parts

Size & Cooking Surface

The whole unit measures 17 inches deep by 20 inches wide by 8 inches tall. When you attach the standalone base, it reaches 21.5 inches tall. Meanwhile, the grilling grate and warming rack combine for 214 square inches, which should be ample for most barbecue items.

Material

Aside from the standard burner tube, this grill features no other stainless steel components. As part of the standard package, the grill comes with a primary cooking grate, freestanding base, and RV mounting bracket. And not to mention there’s an upper warming rack, for good measure.

Unlike other brands with clear transparency, Flame King doesn’t detail the exact material choices for the rest of the assembly. It doesn’t send a good message when there are recurring complaints about the grates rusting after just a few cooks.

Heating Control

The single burner tube yields a healthy output of 12,000 BTUs per hour, intense enough for searing and sautéing. Though this grill is compatible with the on-board propane tank, you can also connect it to other fuel sources. If you use a propane canister, keep a spare ready and prepare the right connecting tools in advance.

Cleaning Ease

Even with few stainless steel parts, this grill doesn’t pose any discernible cleaning problems. As you would with other gas grills, scrub the cooking grate with a brush and dish soap. Meanwhile, the burner needs to be clear of debris to perform at its optimal level.

Extra Features

Even without an appropriate surface to set the grill, the mounting bracket provides a temporary base for your BBQ station. Even without any additional reinforcement, this rugged frame is enough to secure and support the whole grill on its own. Also, the lid includes a pair of latches to prevent food from spilling.

Verdict

Though there is room for improvement in certain areas, the Flame King Motorhome makes a decent purchase nonetheless. Its ample cooking area and sufficient heating capability are pleasant surprises for such a budget-saving gas grill.

Check Latest Price on Amazon

4. Coleman RoadTrip 285 - Best Portable Gas Grill for Camping

Aside from immense heating ability, the all-encompassing Coleman RoadTrip 285 has much to offer. Its collapsible and space-saving design is well received among frequent campers who prioritize convenience above all else.

Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill
  • Reasonable price

  • Collapsible design

  • Triple burners

  • Lid-mounted thermometer

  • All-terrain wheels

  • Flimsy side tables

Size & Cooking Surface

As the name suggests, the cooking surface measures 285 square inches. The ample grate fits numerous servings of wings and spare ribs, with plenty of room left for veggies to boot. However, Coleman doesn't provide any further details regarding the exterior dimensions.

Material

Among the models featured in this entry, the RoadTrip 285 is the sole tri-burner gas grill. The burner layout covers the entire cooking surface from left to right, leaving no spot unchecked. This way, you can ensure constant heating with no irregular hot or cold spots.

Meanwhile, the cooking surface consists of two halves, both of which are porcelain-enameled cast iron. But in addition to regular barbecuing, you also get to diversify your cooking options with swappable cooktops. For items like omelets or pancakes, Coleman offers other cooktops like a griddle and stove as additional purchases.

Heating Control

Inside the Coleman RoadTrip285

Each burner has its own ignition and fine-tuning mechanism dubbed InstaStart to simplify things for everyone. The burners can work individually and together, the latter of which lets you set three distinct heat zones. With this configuration to your disposal, you can warm, grill, and sear different items all at the same time.

As a combined effort, the burner trio registers a blazing input of 20,000 BTUs per hour. The overall heating intensity is comparable to that of a full-size gas grill, which is impressive on all accounts. Please be advised that the RoadTrip works exclusively with disposable propane canisters available at any gas stations or convenience stores.

Cleaning Ease

For all its perks, this grill has its fair share of shortcomings. Without heat tents, the exposed burners are easy targets for clogging and flare-ups. Sooner or later, you’ll have to detach and scrub these burner tubes inside out. After all, it’s for your own sake to maintain their pristine conditions in the long run.

Meanwhile, cleaning porcelain-enameled cast iron cooktops will involve more hard work, but it shouldn’t be too time-consuming or effort-taking. Just keep these surfaces dry and well-oiled to prevent rust buildup, and you’re all good.

Extra Features

Thanks to the collapsible body, you can fold the grill down and pull it like you would with a suitcase. Though this space-saving design is a major selling point, it’ll take you some time to get familiar with the assembly. But once you get the hang of it, it shouldn’t take you more than a minute to set things up.

With a set of maneuverable all-terrain wheels, the grill can traverse various surfaces from your vehicle to the camping spot. You’ll also notice the lid-mounted thermometer to monitor and keep things in check. That said, the thermometer can't give you the correct reading when all three burners are operating at different levels.

While the two extendable side tables offer storage room, they can only support so much weight. These flimsy tables may snap off their hinges if you use them for anything heavier than condiments and dressing containers. For good measure, there’s an additional lid lock to prevent food from spilling out.

Verdict

The versatile Coleman RoadTrip 285 packs tremendous heating capacities and a wide assortment of extra features. Price notwithstanding, this reliable and portable gas grill is a worthwhile purchase for your next camping trip.

Check Latest Price on Amazon

5. Megamaster 820-0033M - Best Stainless Steel Portable Gas Grill

Though the sleek-looking Megamaster 820-0033M doesn’t come from an established manufacturer, it’s one of the best-selling models on the market. With universal stainless steel assembly and no shortage of firepower, this grill is a fan-favorite among grillers of all levels.

Megamaster 820-0033M Propane Gas Grill
  • Inexpensive

  • Stainless steel build

  • Powerful dual burners

  • Heat tents

  • Lid lock and extendable legs

  • No thermometer

Size & Cooking Surface

The whole assembly measures 20.2 inches wide by 22 inches deep by 14.2 inches tall. Meanwhile, the cooking area offers 199 square inches, which should be enough for seven hamburgers, according to Megamaster's estimation. It isn’t much, but it’s enough for a family with four or five people.

Material

Similar to premium full-size gas grills, all parts (body, lid, burner tubes, heat tents, and cooking grate) are stainless steel. Megamaster spares no expense when it comes to universal stainless steel assembly, which is an unexpected bargain for the price.

Heating Control

There are two stainless steel burner tubes, each with its own ignition and fine-tuning system. When working together, the burner duo combines for a robust input of 16,000 BTUs per hour.

Cleaning Ease

Other than their tremendous weatherproof properties and heat conduction, stainless steel components are a breeze to wash by hand. Even the burner tubes pose few cleaning troubles, as long as you keep them clean and clear of contaminants regularly.

Speaking of burner tubes, the Megamaster is the sole model with burner tube protection in this entry. These heat tents protect the burner tubes from exposure to grease and juice and grillers from flare-ups.

Extra Features

Other than a pair of lid locks and two foldable legs, this grill is light on secondary features. Though the absence of a lid-mounted thermometer is noticeable, it’s not going to be a deal-breaker for many people.

Verdict

The Megamaster 820-0033M far exceeds the initial expectations, which weren’t high to begin with. Save for the lack of a thermometer, this otherwise well-rounded grill should suffice for a family outing in the open.

Check Latest Price on Amazon

Top-rated Portable Gas Grills Comparison Chart

ModelCooking surface (sq in)BTUsExtra FeaturesWarranty
Weber Q220028012,000+ Thermometer
+ Side tables
5 years limited
Char-Broil X200 Tru-Infrared2009,500+ Thermometer
+ Lid lock
5 years limited
Flame King Motorhome21412,000+ RV mount
+ Standalone base
+ Warming rack
1 year limited
Coleman RoadTrip 28528520,000+ Thermometer
+ Side tables
+ Wheels
+ Handle
3 years limited
Megamaster 820-0033M19916,000+ Lid lock
+ Extendable legs
1 year

Conclusion

Weather permitting, there can be no wrong time for an outdoor grill-fest when you’re camping or country-crossing in an RV. Our buying guide and product reviews of the best portable gas grills should clear things up for your convenience.

Luna Regina

A writer and entrepreneur, Luna’s day doesn’t start at the computer keyboard, but in the kitchen. Half of her working hours are spent on mixing ingredients for her recipes. The other half involve working with the tech team to research and test the tools and appliances that promise to make kitchen work effortless and mess-free. From a kitchen knife or water filter to the Instant Pot, if it can help save time and effort for the home cook, Luna and her team are on it. Luna’s extracurricular pastimes include camping, travel, and photography.

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