Best Portable Gas Grills for Tailgating of 2020

Best Portable Gas Grills for Tailgating

Picture this; you have just pulled up to the sports stadium with your friends. The big game is starting in just a few hours. The smell of barbecued meats fills the air. Fans, all dressed in the same color, are gathering around their friend’s portable gas grills, eating and drinking beer to their heart’s content. Some say the tailgating is more exciting than the game itself, and today, you believe it.

You park your car and start setting up. The table is steadied and its legs are locked into place. You pull out your grill, the zip-top bags of marinated meat, your side salads, and your cooler full of cold beverages. Your friends are laughing, drinking, and eating. You all start singing the lyrics to your team’s signature song. The food, the comradery, the aromas. This is the life.

In order to cook for your friends at the tailgate in the first place, you will need a great-quality portable gas grill that is reliable and easy to use. The grill should be lightweight and easy to transport to the game, the beach, or the park. There are tons of different specifications that make up the best portable gas grills, which I will examine in depth so that you can make the best decision for your needs.

For those who want to skip the details and jump to the conclusion, below you will find our top 5 grills for tailgating. These grills have been hand picked based on quality, functionality, portability and tailgating suitability.

Product Reviews for Portable Tailgating Gas Grills

Weber 51010001 Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill

Barbecuing for your friends is one thing, tailgating at the stadium is another. Why not have a portable gas grill that can do it all? That is where is the Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill comes in. This grill will change the way you cook outside.

This grill has by far the highest rated reviews. It is one of the smallest Weber gas grills manufactured by the company. Users love this single-burner portable gas grill for its ease in setting up, its portability, the heat control, and evenness of heat distribution when in use. One unique feature that I really dig is that the grates are made of cast iron, which lends a nice char flavor to your grilled foods. This 189 square-inch grill comes fully assembled, so you can buy and start grilling within the time it takes to open the box. I also love the easy-start electronic ignition for safely lighting the grill. There are two removable tables on either side of the grill for easy-on, and easy-off mobility when grilling. With 6 color options, all will find their perfect grill. Weber is one of the most reputable grill makers in the world, and this Q1200 model is no exception.

All in all, I would highly recommend the Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill for anyone looking to make great-tasting tailgating food. Although the price is higher than the other grills on this list, and all accessories are additional, your money will be well-spent on a quality, long lasting grill. Who wouldn’t want the cutest, smallest weber grill ever made? This grill will allow you to make tons of friends at your next tailgate.

Pros

Highly rated

Fast & Easy Set-Up

Many Colors Available

Great Temperature Control

Cons

Pricey (but quality)

Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill

 Who isn’t a fan of nice, long legs? With the Coleman RoadTrip Stand-Up Grill, the legs are already attached and there is no need for bringing a tabletop for your portable grill. The legs are adjustable; when you need to move the grill, just fold it up and roll it on its wheels, suitcase style!

The features of the Coleman RoadTrip are many. This matchless-ignition grill has a 285 square foot grilling area, perfect for cooking a bunch of food at one time. I love it because there is room for 3 gas burners, so you are able to best control the grill temperature. There is an included thermometer for accurate temperature reading during grilling. The RoadTrip is easily set up; just take it out of the box and go. This grill also has a double-sided table that is collapsible. If you lose track of accessories like I do, this feature will keep your grill nice and organized. There are five different color options to choose from upon ordering, perfect for any aesthetic. Coleman offers a three-year warranty on this product, so this portable grill is covered if your tailgate gets messy.

All that being said, this Coleman RoadTrip is one of the best portable gas grills out there. With high-quality features comes a price tag that may be an investment for some, but I believe you get what you pay for. This outdoor grill is perfect for your next tailgate, but I recommend it for camping, picnicking, and apartment-patio grilling as well.

Pros

Attached Leg Accessory

Easy Mobility

3 Gas Burners

Variety of Colors

Cons

Expensive (again a quality product)

Cuisinart CGG-306 Chef’s Style Stainless Tabletop Grill

Stainless steel is ultra-sleek and sought after for many household appliances. It is known for its durability, anti-rust reliability, and ability to withstand the test of time. The Cuisinart CGG-306 Stainless Tabletop Grill checks all of those aforementioned boxes. Not only is the outside of the grill made from stainless steel, but so are the grates of the grill.

The Cuisinart model is a two-burner portable gas grill with electric ignition. There are heat-adjustable knobs that correspond with the burners for ultimate temperature control. Once this grill is purchased, it is set up and ready to grill in only 10 minutes without needing matches or additional tools. Cooking a large cut of meat is ideal on this grill because of its large size. I simply use both burners together as one, keeping the temperature consistent on both. You can then lay a large cut of meat across the whole grill and shut the lid for both direct heat from underneath and indirect heat from smoke and steam. This grill also possesses an integrated thermometer and adjustable knobs for optimal temperature control. This awesome grill also weighs less than 25 pounds, perfect for transporting to the tailgate.

In a nutshell, this Cuisinart Stainless Tabletop Grill is a fantastic option for tailgating. Its price tag is similar to the previous grills and there are no color options; however, the quality of materials is second-to-none due to its stainless steel, yet still lightweight durability. This model is called Chef’s Style for a reason; it is good enough for professional chefs!

Pros

Used by the Pros

Stainless Steel

2 Burner System

Lightweight

Great Cooking Control

Cons

Expensive

Char-Broil Portable 240 Liquid Propane Gas Grill

Are you reading this guide and thinking that there is no way you are spending over $200 on a portable gas grill? Look no further. This affordable Char-Broil Portable 240 Gas Grill is ideal for tailgating and beach cookouts alike. If you are hanging outside, this grill should be at your side.

The Char-Broil 240 has anti-slip feet, and will fit nicely on a table for cooking. With a push of a button, this grill ignites and is ready to grill. This model has 240 square inches of cooking room, enough for up to eight burgers at a time. Side carrying handles are perfect for easy transportation. One feature I really like is the temperature gage on the outside of the lid, perfect for controlling the ideal temperature for a variety of different foods. My high-quality grill at home has a similar temperature gauge, and I utilize it frequently. Like other models, this grill weighs less than 25 pounds for easy mobility. With the Char-Broil 240, affordability and functionality come together as one.

In summation, you cannot beat the price tag and durability of the Char-Broil 240. The painted porcelain exterior is said to be rust-resistant, however it is not comprised of stainless steel like some other models we covered. This portable gas grill is the best model for its affordability.

Pros

Ultimate Portability

Lightweight

Affordable and Budget Friendly

Cons

Smaller in size, suitbale for 2-3 people

Megamaster 820-0065C Propane Gas Grill,

Are portable grills too small for your appetite? The Megamaster Propane Gas Grill is the largest model I have reviewed, perfect for the grill master with a large family or lots of friends. I call this model the “Dude Food” portable gas grill, because it is perfect for a group of big guys with a hearty appetite.

At a whopping 360 square inches of grilling space, this Megamaster model can grill up to 17 burgers at once. This single-burner grill has side handles for easy transport. With just the press of a button, the ignitor lights and you are on your way to grilling a delicious tailgate meal. The outer material is made of porcelain, meant to attract and retain heat. The burner is made of stainless steel, so it is anti-rust and easy to clean. The smooth outer design is also meant for fast clean-up. This model also has a built-in temperature gauge for easy monitoring. Gather your group of friends at the tailgate, at the beach, or anywhere. This grill has enough space to feed everyone.

While this option is the most affordable grill, as stated before, you get what you pay for. While the temperature control and heat distribution may not be as great as a more expensive grill, the Megamaster is an excellent choice for feeding a lot of people at one time. This grill will follow you, whenever your outdoor cooking takes you.

Pros

Large Cooking Area

Stainless Steel

Affordable and Budget Friendly

Cons

Uneven Temperature Control

Portable Gas Grill for Tailgating Buying Guide

As we have examined, there are a ton of features and specifications that come with each portable gas grill. Knowing exactly what each feature does will help you assess what grill to buy based on your individual needs. Only cooking for two? A small, lightweight model will be for you. Grilling for the whole tailgating parking lot? Bring ten portable grills. But seriously, lets dive in to an in-depth look at portable grill features.

Cooking Area Size

The size of your grill’s surface area for grilling will dictate how much food you can cook at once. A small-sized backyard grill can cook up to 10 burgers at a time; and most portable grills have smaller cooking areas than that. If you plan on grilling a lot of food at once, the largest portable gas grill will work best for you. If you being a tomahawk steak, hot dogs, and burgers to grill all at once, you will be eating all three at different times. Most portable gas grills are not large enough to grill the same amount of food as you would on a medium or large-sized grill. The grills I reviewed today range from 180 square inches to 360 square inches in size. That’s more than double the size!

What is an Igniter?

An igniter is an aspect of a gas grill that allows it to turn on and heat. Different grills have different types of ignitors. Here are the three most common igniters.

  • Piezo or Push Button

The most common way to ignite your grill is the Piezo starter. Typically, the user will either push a button or turn a rotary knob to light the grill. High-end brands opt for this type of starter because of its ease of use.

  • Electronic Ignition

An electrionic ignition is as simple as pushing a button to start the portable gas grill. This type of ignition is the safest and easiest way to add heat to your grill. This is the most preferred igniter on the market; however, you do need electricity to light.

  • Battery-Powered Ignition

A battery-powered ignition requires an outside battery to ignite your grill. Some grills that require a battery include it within the purchase, others do not. The battery will not last forever and will need replacing after a few years.

BTUs

How your grill gets hot says everything about its functionality. BTU stands for British thermal unit and is a measurement of heat. It is the amount of heat that it takes to raise one pound of water by one temperature degree in Fahrenheit. Generally, the higher the BTU, the faster your grill will heat up. This also means your food will cook faster from a hotter grill. If you are someone who likes to take their time cooking, a lower BTU might be your best bet. If you are well-experienced with how fast the grilling process can be, a higher BTU might be for you. I like higher BTUs because I am impatient, but to each their own.

Set-Up

Does your brand-new grill require lots of set up? Are there lots of accessories to attach to the grill before starting it? These types of questions will be important when setting up your grill. You do not want to receive your grill, and then not open the box until the moment you need to use it. Different grills have different instructions, so plan your time wisely. A lot of the more high-end portable gas grills will come out of the box, ready for use. Be sure to read all instructions before setting up your grill.

Accessories

There are a multitude of accessories that are compatible with portable gas grills. Some accessories are included with purchase; however, most brands will separate unnecessary accessories from the original grill. Buying accessories separately can get pricey, so make sure which you need versus which ones you want. Some portable gas grills will come with legs to stand on, some have an accessory for that, others are table-top only. Additional grill grates, stainless steel griddle inserts, grill covers, among others are common add-ons to your portable grill. It should go without saying that most of these grills do not come with the gas needed to use them, such as propane tanks. You will almost always need to purchase those separately.

Why Gas vs. Charcoal?

Different people have different opinions regarding both gas and charcoal grills, and that stands with portable grills as well. Going with gas in my opinion is a safer bet. Those who live in apartment buildings with balconies are more likely to have rules against have charcoal grills. Some parks and public spaces also have rules against bringing and using charcoal. Charcoal takes a long time and a lot of effort to extinguish in comparison to gas. Controlling temperature is much easier and faster with a knob on a gas grill than with manipulating hot charcoal. The convenience of hooking up your propane and turning on your portable gas grill far outweighs the charcoal process. Although some prefer the taste of charcoal to gas, grilling is delicious no matter what tool you use. My recommendation is to stick with the ease and convenience of portable gas grills.

The Best Portable Gas Grills for Tailgating – FAQ

Can I use a portable mini gas grill in my kitchen?

While a portable mini gas grill is great for balconies and patios, unfortunately they are not permitted for indoor use. Ventilation is the most important factor on a person’s health when grilling. Carbon monoxide can build up in the cooking area as a result of poor indoor ventilation. Avoid using a portable gas (or charcoal) grill inside at all costs. Indoor grills are manufactured by the same companies that make outdoor grills, in most cases. If you want a grilled taste right from your kitchen, use a grill that is exclusively built for indoor cooking. Looking for an inexpensive way to grill in the kitchen? A cast-iron grill pan is your best bet. The flavor of cast-iron and the heat retention is almost as great as grilling outside.

How to get a good smoky flavor on a gas grill?

While a portable mini gas grill is great for balconies and patios, unfortunately they are not permitted for indoor use. Ventilation is the most important factor on a person’s health when grilling. Carbon monoxide can build up in the cooking area as a result of poor indoor ventilation. Avoid using a portable gas (or charcoal) grill inside at all costs. Indoor grills are manufactured by the same companies that make outdoor grills, in most cases. If you want a grilled taste right from your kitchen, use a grill that is exclusively built for indoor cooking. Looking for an inexpensive way to grill in the kitchen? A cast-iron grill pan is your best bet. The flavor of cast-iron and the heat retention is almost as great as grilling outside.

What are some reasons why my gas grill won’t light?

It is important to remember to not throw away the instructions that come with your portable gas grill. In most cases, the instructions will be able to troubleshoot any issues with your grill. However, the first step to fixing your grill is to make sure you are lighting the correct burner. Your grill may have multiple burners and you may be pressing the wrong one. It is also possible that your lighters are blocked. When storing in a garage or basement, debris and pests can get into the burners and block them. Unplugged, carefully take a peek inside the burner and remove any blockages that you can see. If none of these options worked, it is best to contact the manufacturer for a replacement part or new grill.

Picking the Best Portable Gas Grill – How to Make the Right Selection

We have examined 5 different portable gas grills, and also went through every feature to look for when shopping for your grill. I much prefer a gas grill to take with me to tailgates due to its ease of use, portability, and temperature control. Once I start my portable gas grill, I am ready to cook. No need to fuss with heating charcoal, waiting, letting it come to temp, handling hot coals, or extinguishing the coals. Be sure to factor in the size of grill you want, how hot that grill gets, how that temperature is controlled, and the material of the grill. If the manufacturer offers a warranty with purchase, take it! You never know when your portable gas grill will break down or fall off the table top. Just be sure to keep your good judgement and handle this grill like you would any other high-heat appliance. If you want to feed your friends before the game, sip on some cold drinks, and have a great time, you need your own portable gas grill. And tell your friends to each buy one too, because the more food, the merrier!

What is your take on portable gas grills? Do you grill outside the home before a big game?

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