There are not many pleasures in life greater than being able to have grilled food on a camping trip. It’s a joy that can transform a good camping trip into a great one but it’s important to get the best camping grill, as a lot of products vary in quality.
When it comes to getting the best portable grills for camping, there are a lot of aspects to consider from its temperature control and its cooking surface area, to how the grill would ignite and what type of fuel it uses. There are plenty of other aspects to consider as well before you decide to buy one.
That’s where we’re here to help, as we make everything as clear as possible in our buying guide so you can choose a grill with confidence and we have also looked at the camping grill reviews to give you a list of the best products out there. Once you’ve read through this guide, you’ll know exactly what you want.
How To Choose The Best Camping Grill – Buying Guide
In order to cook properly on any grill, you need to have a level of temperature control otherwise things might cook far too slowly, burn them or they could cook unevenly. With gas grills, this should be fairly easy as you should have knobs which will be able to control the amount of gas that is powering the grill.
With charcoal grills this can be a lot more difficult as you don’t have a knob that can turn it down but you can contain the amount and placement of the charcoal as well as the amount of oxygen that it is receiving through dampers and vents. Whatever type you buy, you need to ensure that there are ways to control the temperature.
Surface Cooking Area
The surface cooking area is going to be one of the key reasons as to why you will purchase the product or not. You need to work out how many people that you are going to be cooking for and then get a cooking area which is going to be able to match that.
For a family, a cooking area of around 180-200 square inches should be able to cook enough food. If you are going to be on your own or with a partner then you can look into something smaller but if you’re cooking for a group of people then an area of 250 square inches or over would be ideal
There are two key things to look out for with burners. The first is simply how many there are which will generally be either one or two. Two burners give the opportunity to cook to separate items at different heats if you have independent burners on your gas grill.
Some grills though will just have the one cooking area, especially on charcoal grills where you can manipulate the temperature by moving the charcoal around and making cooler spots, the number of burners on a gas grill dictate how big it will be which is something else to keep in mind.
If you have a gas grill then you also want to check the amount of BTU’s that they have which is a direct correlation to how hot your grill can get. The more BTU’s, the higher the temperature will be and you would want a figure of at least 8,000 on each burner it has.
Most camping grills will come with a grate over them which you will place your food for it to be cooked. Most of these grills are made out of stainless steel as it will be able to resist the heat of the grill, act as a good conductor and is easy to clean.
An option which is often better for having tastier food though is to have a cast-iron grill as this will help to improve the flavor over time and is a material used in many types of permanent cooking. The biggest problem with cast iron grills though is that they tend to be quite heavy and therefore less portable.
On gas grills the ignition method should be as easy as possible and you often don’t have to use a match or a lighter in order to get the grill going. The easiest models come with a simple ignition system which will be able to create a spark for your gas.
There are some gas grills which will require a match or a lighter as these are more basic and compact models. This should always be done with care and on the lowest heat possible, until it is lit.
On charcoal grills there is obviously no button to press and this can take a lot longer to get going. You’ll need to carry matches or a light to be able to get it going and get those flames rising up from the charcoal.
Some of these camping grills are made to be more durable than others and the importance of that often depends on the trip you’re taking. If it is going to be taken from a car to a large permanent camp then it’s not an issue but if it’s going to be a bit more rugged then you’ll want it to be protected.
You also want to make sure that the grill remains stable too so you need to pay attention to how it is going to sit on a stand or on a table top. All of the grills we have reviewed here are made out of the highest quality materials but some are tougher than others in their construction.
The importance of the ease of transportation varies massively on the type of trip you are taking. The Lodge Cast Iron grill for example is heavy and not very portable while there are others that will be able to fold up into a lightweight case.
You therefore just have to bear in mind how much space that you have when you are packing up for your trip and how far away your camp is going to be. There are options like the Coleman RoadTrip which can be wheeled along the ground and therefore taken quite a fair distance even though it’s a relatively large grill.
If you have propane grill then obviously you have to bring along the tanks to fuel them. It’s worth noting that a one pound propane tank will be able to cook on a high heat for around an hour and a half so it’s important to bring enough tanks to last for your trip.
If you’re going to be on a longer trip in a more permanent camp then it might be best to bring along something like a 20 pound propane tank and convert it to your grill so that you don’t have to keep changing the bottle if you are cooking often. Taking propane tanks can drastically change the amount of gear you can carry which is an important consideration if you’ll be doing a lot of walking.
One very useful feature that you can on a grill are shelves which can come in more useful than you think. Having two shelves on either side can make the process easy from having uncooked food on one side before placing the cooked food on the other side.
They can also be used to place any plates or any tools that you may need while you are cooking. This is less important if you have a tabletop grill as you should be able to use the table as a shelf. A lot of these products let the shelves fold in on each other after use to make sure the grill remains compact.
If you’re out there camping then you don’t want to spend the whole of your day trying to put up a grill as it would be a waste of time that you could be spending relaxing and enjoying yourself. These grills need to be very easy to use and to put up so you can focus on doing what the grill was designed to do and start cooking that food.
Thankfully all the products that we have reviewed in this guide are very easy to use. They can either simply fold out or lock into place easily so you can get cooking in no time. With propane tanks, they will have an easy to connect to a one pound bottle so this process would be quick too.
In terms of gas grills, there are some which can be connected through other types of gas but the vast majority of them will be hooked up to propane. This is easy and safe but common sense has to be applied in terms of transportation of the bottles and ensuring that you have enough.
With charcoal, this can take up a lot of space in your storage but is lighter than propane. While it may take a bit longer to fire up, there are distinct advantages such as the fact that you don’t have to worry about taking tanks with you and it’s also better for the environment too.
Size is going to be a crucial factor in your buying decision as firstly you need to make sure that there is enough space with all your other items for you to take it in your car or any other means of traveling to your campsite, you need to plan what you need to take and see how a grill fits in with that.
You also need to consider how long you will be traveling to your campsite. If you’re carrying something big and heavy then this could end up being a huge burden. The temptation is always to go for a bigger model but sometimes it’s important to resist that temptation for something more practical.
Whether you are using a grill at home or in a camp, they can always be very difficult to clean so you want to make sure that it is well-designed so you don’t spend all of the time on your break trying to clean it. Having flat metal surface will help with this and there are other grills which support pans.
You also want to look for removable parts so that you are able to clean it separately, which can be very useful. Another key aspect of many grills is to have a drip tray, which will be able to funnel fat or lost food out into an easy to clean or disposable tray.
Camping can be a dangerous place which is full of little hazards and grills can be dangerous too when not treated with respect. Making sure everything is installed correctly and lighting the product in the safest way are always vital aspects of staying safe with your grill.
Perhaps the most important safety aspect though is making sure that your grill is on level ground. While they may be marketed as tabletop grills, a lot of people try and perch then on other items but it’s imperative that you have a stable base when you start cooking, otherwise the results could be disastrous.
Q: What Is The Difference Between Camping Grill And Camping Stove?
A: A camping stove is generally where the cooking surface is directed toward a specific point where you will be able to place pots and pans in order to cook your food. A grill on the other hand will have a much larger surface area of cooking where you can use the whole platform to cook.
Q: How To Properly Grill Outdoors?
A: Before you grill you should always follow the proper process in order to ensure that your grill is working properly and you are cooking safely. This involves inspecting and preparing your grill before you, igniting it safely and making sure it has a consistent burn and then controlling the temperature to ensure nothing burns.
Q: What Accessories Should I Bring For My Camping Grill?
A: You can always make your camping grill experience easier and that includes making sure that you have the right items with you. That definitely includes a utensil set which is vital for easy use and also making sure you have everything you need to eat off too. Other useful items include a grill table if you don’t have one, heat-resistant gloves and a wash basin.
Globo Surf Overview
There is something about grilling outdoors which can simply attract a lot of people to it. There is something about cooking in the open air that appeals and doing that with a high-quality and easy to use grill will only add to that experience.
As we have seen here though, there is a lot to consider before you are able to get the best grill for you and your situation. The biggest initial decision is deciding whether or not to get a propane grill or a charcoal grill. A lot of this comes down to personal preference but charcoal grills generally have to be bigger in size in order to store that charcoal at the bottom.
A lot would say though that charcoal provides a better taste through its smoke and they also don’t want to hassle of having to buy propane tanks and having to fill them up. The choice is yours and you can’t really say that one is better than the other, as it comes down to which you individually prefer.
After that decision when you need to focus on the size of the grill, how portable it is and how that relates to your situation. You also want to make sure that it will have enough power for your needs and then you can look into the smaller details such as how easy it is to assemble, how easy it is to clean and also how safe it is going to be.
Once you have worked all that out then you’ll know exactly how to work out the top rated portable grills for camping. Hopefully this guide has given you all the information that you need in order to know exactly what you want and how to get it. Once you have the perfect grill for you, you’ll be able to taste food like never before on a camping trip and make the whole experience and even more memorable one.
More Camping Reviews:
- Camping Knife
- 4 Person Tent
- Binoculars For Kids
- Camping Blanket
- Double Sleeping Bag
- Mess Kit
- Softshell Jacket
- Tent Stakes
- First Aid Kit
Globo Surf Camping Grills Reviews