How We Evaluated
To provide you with reliable recommendations, we conducted comprehensive testing of various portable gas grills. Our expert reviewers tested these grills in their own homes and at our lab. They grilled and seared a variety of foods, including steak, salmon, onions, hamburgers, and hamburger buns, to thoroughly evaluate the performance and features of each model. We also tested the grills’ portability by carrying them around our Birmingham, Alabama, campus. Our home reviewers spent weeks assessing these grills’ everyday cooking and cleaning capabilities, providing valuable insights on using them in different weather conditions. We rated the grills based on heat control and retention, size, features, performance, ease of cleaning, and overall value.
Other Models We Tested
- nomadiQ Portable Propane Gas Grill: We previously recommended this grill for its lightweight design and easy setup. However, during our retest, we discovered large flare-ups and extremely uneven heat distribution. Cleaning the grill was also challenging. While it may be suitable for urban environments, there are better portable grills available for most users.
What to Consider in a Portable Gas Grill
Portable grills are naturally smaller than traditional backyard grills, but they still offer enough cooking space for a satisfying cookout. If you frequently cook for four or more people, opting for a larger-sized portable grill will reduce cooking time. Additionally, consider the weight and ease of storage. If you need to carry the grill over a long distance, a lighter grill or one with wheels will be more convenient.
Portable gas grills are always fueled by a portable propane gas hookup. You can purchase propane separately from your favorite home improvement or outdoor store. Many grills can use small 1-pound propane cylinders, while others require larger tanks. The choice depends on weight and duration. Backpackers may find carrying small tanks more convenient, even though they’ll run out of fuel quickly.
Tabletop or Stand
Some portable grills are designed for tabletop use, although they can also be used on the ground if desired. These grills often have fold-out legs and built-in carrying handles for easy storage and setup. Those with tall legs provide a comfortable standing height for cooking, but may be heavier and bulkier to carry. The stability of the legs may be slightly compromised while cooking.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you start a portable gas grill?
Starting a portable gas grill is typically straightforward. After connecting the propane and ensuring there are no leaks, turn on the burner(s). For grills with electronic ignition, simply push a button to ignite the gas. If your grill lacks this feature, use extra-long matches or a match holder to ignite the propane and start the burner.
How do you clean a portable gas grill?
Cleaning a portable grill is similar to cleaning a full-size gas grill. Once you finish cooking, allow the grill to cool down slightly before using a damp grill brush to remove grease and food particles from the grates. You might also need to wipe down the interior of the grill and empty or dispose of the grease tray at the bottom.
Can you use a portable gas grill indoors?
Using a propane-powered grill indoors is hazardous because it requires proper ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide buildup. If you prefer indoor cooking, consider using an electric indoor grill instead.
Do you need a regulator for a portable gas grill?
Most portable gas grills are designed to be used with small 1-pound propane tanks, which do not require a regulator. However, if you intend to use a larger propane tank, such as a 20-pound tank, you’ll need to purchase an adapter and regulator specific to your portable grill model.
Why Trust Family Cuisine?
This roundup was created by our experienced commerce writer, Jason Horn, who has been writing about food and drinks for nearly two decades and has extensive experience with grilling. His preference for gas grills over charcoal is due to their control and ease of use. He has also developed a reliable method for smoking on a gas grill.
This roundup was initially written by Camryn Rabideau, a product tester and grill expert for Family Cuisine. Camryn has personally tested the Weber Q2200, which has earned the top spot on our list. She also has experience testing the Masterbuilt Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker and other essential grilling equipment.