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Published Mar 14, 2023 1:00 PM
Camping grills allow you to enjoy freshly cooked food in the great outdoors. They are versatile, easy to use, and offer a variety of cooking options. In addition, great camping grills are designed to be easy to clean and maintain, making them a convenient choice for campers, hunters, and anglers.
What sets an outdoor camping grill apart from its home counterpart is portability. They typically consist of a small, lightweight frame with a cooking surface of stainless steel or cast iron. Similar to larger grills, camping grills can come with a variety of heat sources, including charcoal, propane gas, butane, or wood. Camping grills offer convenience, flexibility, and the ability to prepare delicious meals while enjoying the wilderness. Here are the best camping grills on the market right now.
How We Made Our Picks
As a serious camper, there’s nothing I like better than a good meal outdoors. One of my favorite parts of the camping experience is cooking and eating with friends and family. I tested many portable grill systems using the following criteria to make my selections:
- Construction and Durability: I looked for grills made of high-quality materials that can withstand outdoor conditions and repeated use.
- Ease of Use and Cleaning: A good camping grill should be easy to set up, use, and clean. Many of the featured camping grills have the ability to easily set up legs, attach fuel, and will have you cooking within minutes of getting to the campsite.
- Portability: For convenience, a camping grill should be lightweight, compact, and easy to transport to your camping site. I featured some heavier options because their modular aspect allows for the stands to be removed/folded and the grill tops to be transported separately.
- Value: I chose grills that offer good value for your money. While some of these are on the pricier side, they are an investment that will produce a flawless outdoor cooking experience.
Best Camping Grills: Reviews & Recommendations
Best Portable: Eureka! Sprk Portable Butane Camping Grill
- Weight: 8.5 lbs
- Stored Product Dimensions: 16.6 x 11.5 x 4.6 inches
- Cooking Surface Area:120 sq in
- Fuel: Butane
- Easy to clean
- Instant lighting/heat
- Small surface area
- Low power output
If you want to travel light, this small camping grill is the perfect companion. The Eureka Sprk is a portable grill that attaches to an 8 oz butane canister for fuel (sold separately). This fuel source and auto ignition provide 7,250 BTUs and a 90-minute burn time. The surface of this tabletop grill has a nonstick ceramic grate that makes it easy to clean at camp. The grill also has a griddle attachment (sold separately) that can make this cooking gadget even more versatile.
With only a 120 sq inch cook surface, this isn’t the best choice for large group cookouts, but it’s perfect for 1-2 people and those who need a space saver. Lastly, at only 8 lbs, it’s the lightest grill I tested which is perfect for those looking to conserve weight on their camping trip.
Best for RV: Magma Crossover Single Burner Firebox with Grill Top
- Weight: 28 lbs (40 lbs with grill top)
- Stored Product Dimensions: 18.6 x 22 x 9.1 inches
- Cooking Surface Area: 256 sq in
- Fuel: Propane
- High quality
- Versatile: many different tops and accessories
- Powerful: 15,000 BTU burner
Magma’s Firebox burner system allows for a versatile cooking experience. This 15,000 BTU propane burner puts out a lot of heat. You can attach the grill top, griddle, or even the pizza oven for some delicious outdoor cooking. While the Firebox can work on a table or countertop, Magma also sells a sturdy quadpod and hitch stand if you want a stand-alone system. It also has a convenient fold-out cutting board and stand.
The modular grill attachment can reach up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit which also makes this one of the best for high heat. The lid has a built-in thermometer, a removable grease trap, and a durable latch. The Firebox is made from marine-grade stainless steel and cast aluminum, making it one of the most durable grills on the market. However, this quality comes with a price. The Magma Firebox modular system is both pricier and heavier than its competitors. As a result, it’s not a system you’ll be wanting to haul to a walk-in campsite or frequently move. For those who want more surface area for their cook space, Magma sells a double burner option as well.
Best Gas: Weber Traveler Portable Gas Grill
- Weight: 49 lbs
- Stored Product Dimensions: 23 x 43.6 x 37.2 inches
- Cooking Surface Area: 320 sq in
- Fuel: Propane
- Easy set up
- Roller wheels for transport
- Large grilling space
Weber’s Traveler Portable Gas Grill is made for campers, RVers, tailgaters, and those on the go. The convenient pop-up grill has its own durable stand, prep table, and thermometer. The rugged wheels, handles, and easy pop-up assembly make it relatively quick to move from place to place.
The Traveler can run on 1 pound propane tank or, with an adapter, be hooked up to a 20 pound tank. With the 13,000 BTU burner and 320 square inches of cooktop, there’s plenty of heat and space to cook for the whole family. The cooking grate is made of porcelain-enameled cast iron that is high quality and easy to clean.
While I appreciate the easy setup of this grill, at the end of the day, it’s heavy and still pretty bulky. Campers short of space in their vehicle will have a hard time justifying using their valuable trunk space for this item. That said, if space isn’t an issue, it’s hard to find a better gas grill for outdoor use.
Best Open Flame: Snow Peak Takibi Fire & Grill
- Weight: 32 lbs
- Stored Product Dimensions: 21.42 x 21.61 x 5.24 inches
- Cooking Surface Area: 290 sq in
- Fuel: Wood or charcoal
- Easily packable
- High quality stainless steel
- Also useable as a firepit
- Need small wood to fit in pit
This fold-out fire pit burns wood efficiently and provides the perfect platform to cook over an open flame. With three height options, it’s easy to control the amount of heat on your food. The stainless steel grate and quality craftsmanship of the fire pit made it easy to cook on and produced a delicious meal.
By using a moveable and foldable fire pit, campers can follow the leave-no-trace etiquette as opposed to building a fire ring in the wilderness. I did find it a little annoying to cut down my wood into small pieces to fit in the pit. That said, it is a really efficient way to burn, and I used way less wood than a traditional campfire.
Best Charcoal: Weber Smokey Joe Premium Portable Grill
- Weight: 9.8 lbs
- Stored Product Dimensions: 17 x 14.2 x 16.5 inches
- Cooking Surface Area: 147 sq in
- Fuel: Charcoal
- Small cook surface area
- Need to bring charcoal camping
Weber’s Smokey Joe is a recognizable mini version of of the Weber Original 22 kettle grill. In fact, we’ve featured the kettle grill on our list of top 5 charcoal grills for the outdoors. This compact and lightweight charcoal grill is perfect for singles or couples who are out looking to cook at camp.
The small kettle sits on short legs that can be placed on a steady picnic table or patio. Cleaning this grill is easy with a grill brush (sold separately). While I love grilling with charcoal, it’s not my favorite for camping, mainly due to having to pack charcoal. In addition, it can be tricky to dispose of the partially spent briquettes. That said, the simple assembly and light 9 lbs make this one of the most user-friendly grills I tested. Plus, it’s affordable. At around $60 and a 10-year warranty, you know you are getting something with incredible value.
Best For Groups: Camp Chef Pro 60X Stove and Grill Box
- Weight: 51 lbs for the stove, 72 lbs including grill box
- Stored Product Dimensions: 67 x 15 x 36 inches
- Cooking Surface Area: 448 sq in
- Fuel: Propane
- Fold down prep tables
- Powerful—two 30,000 BTU burners
- Included fold down durable legs
The Camp Chef Pro 60X is a stand-alone, large capacity camp stove with modular add-ons, including a cast iron grill box. To set up, drop the sturdy legs, and open the top to access to two sizable prep stations. With 30,000 BTU per burner, this stove/grill combo has the highest heating power of any of the grills I tested.
The modular options for this stove set are impressive. I tested the grill box attachment, but it can also outfit a pizza oven and griddle. The Camp Chef Deluxe BBQ Grill Box sits on a single burner, allowing the other half of the 60X stove to be free for boiling or frying. It has specially designed heat diffuser plates that vaporize grease, which means a smaller mess to clean up. I love the hinged lid and handle, as well as the latch lock for transporting.
This large and sturdy camp grill system is the best for groups. If you want even more grilling space, Camp Chef sells a double-burner grill box as well. While there’s no denying this system will help you cook the perfect dinner, its bulky size and weight make it a great choice for someone with plenty of room to transport.
Best Table Top: Primus Profile Dual
- Weight: 12 lbs
- Stored Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 3.7 x 11.8 inches
- Cooking Surface Area: 150 sq in grill + burner
- Fuel: Propane gas
- Lightweight and portable
- Versatile – grill and cooktop
This double burner has a traditional gas cooktop and grill. The system opens like a traditional camp stove with a latched lid and side wind panels. I appreciated that it came with a hose and regulator for a 1 pound propane canister. The coated non-stick stainless steel—along with the drip tray—made for easy cooking and cleaning. While some reviewers have reported issues over time with the Piezo igniter, I didn’t experience these issues.
This is a perfect setup for a base camp, tailgating, and picnicking. It’s super convenient to have both the grill and burner system in a small package for those short on space. This is also one of the most affordable systems I tested.
Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Camping Grills
Before buying your next camping grill, think about size, fuel, and accessories. Here is a closer look at each consideration.
There are two reasons size is the first thing you should consider when picking out a camping grill.
- Cook Surface Capacity: Consider if it is going to feed your camp group. Some grills can feed a crowd, while smaller grills are better for 1-2 people.
- Portability: Will it be difficult to transport? Sometimes it can be challenging to fit all our desired camping gear in the vehicle. Take a look at the key features listed for stored product dimensions. In addition, consider the weight of the grill as you take it in and out of your vehicle.
There are several types of fuel available, including propane, charcoal, and electric. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks, so you should choose the one that best fits your needs.
Camping grills are often exposed to harsh outdoor conditions, so you will want a grill that is sturdy and durable. Look for grills made of high-quality materials—like stainless steel and cast iron—that can withstand the elements.
Many of our recommended grills have exciting and versatile accessories sold separately. From compatible cookware to pizza ovens to trailer hitch mounting systems – take a look at the accessories offered in order to make the cooking system more versatile.
Q: How do I clean and care for my grill?
It’s important to clean and care for your grill in order to get the longest lifespan out of it. Camping grills, in particular, are subjected to the elements and need cleaning. For the best cleaning, after cooking, burn off excess food particles. When cool, remove and clean off any other food debris. Wipe down your grill exterior with a damp cloth. If the grill has a grease tray, be sure to empty and clean it to avoid smells and attracting animals. Lastly, store your grill properly and perform regular checks of the gas connectors (if appropriate).
Q; Are camping grills worth it?
Camping grills are portable and easy to set up, making them a convenient option for camping trips, tailgates, and overlanding. Some camping grills offer a range of cooking options, such as grilling, baking, and smoking, allowing you to prepare a variety of meals while camping. Lastly, if you have limited space in your vehicle or camping area, a camping grill provides an opportunity to have excellent meals without a big grill system.
Q: Are camping grills safe?
Camping grills are safe if used properly and with necessary precautions. In order to make sure you’re safe while grilling, always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. In addition, make sure the grill is placed on a level and stable surface to prevent it from tipping over. Position the grill away from flammable materials such as tents, trees, and camping equipment. Lastly, keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergency.
Best Camping Grills: Final Thoughts
In order to choose the best camping grill for you, first consider your size and portability needs. From there, narrow your choices down by your preferred fuel type and cooking surface. Grilling in the outdoors is one of life’s joys, and the right camping grill can make it a relaxing experience.
Why Trust Us
For more than 125 years, Field & Stream has been providing readers with honest and authentic coverage of outdoor gear. Our writers and editors eat, sleep, and breathe the outdoors, and that passion comes through in our product reviews. You can count on F&S to keep you up to date on the best new gear. And when we write about a product—whether it’s a bass lure or a backpack—we cover the good and the bad, so you know exactly what to expect before you decide to make a purchase.