A grill is an indispensable tool for a barbecue. You can find multiple types including gar grills, charcoal grills, electric grills and more. Owing to the ease of use and transportation, portable grills have gained popularity over the past few decades.
They are for those who want to indulge in grilling food while they are on the go; or, it can be for those who do not have enough space to store a big grill. In this article, we discuss the points you keep in mind while buying a portable grill so that you can make the optimal purchase.
Scour through the below list of best portable grills online that are handpicked with your varying needs in mind.
|Material||Enameled steel lid and cast iron grill grates|
|Support||Standalone (collapsible with wheels)|
|Cooking power||20,000 BTU|
|Temperature control||2 adjustable knobs|
|Grilling surface area||285 square inches|
|Material||Stainless steel grill grates with non-stick coating|
|Cooking power||1200 watts|
|Temperature control||One temperature dial to adjust heat setting|
|Grilling surface area||118 square inches|
|Material||Stainless steel burner and porcelain-enameled grate|
|Cooking power||5,500 BTU|
|Temperature control||1 adjustable knob|
|Grilling surface area||145 square inches|
|Material||Non-stick coated grill plate|
|Support||Standalone with removable stand|
|Temperature control||1 adjustable knob with 5 heat settings|
|Grilling surface area||240 square inches|
|Cooking power||10,000 BTU|
|Grilling surface area||205 square inches|
|Material||Plated steel grates and porcelain-enameled lid and bowl|
|Grilling surface area||363 square inches|
|Cooking power||6,000 BTU|
|Temperature control||Adjustable knob|
|Grilling surface area||105 square inches|
|Material||Porcelain-enameled lid, nickel-coated steel grates|
|Temperature control||2 adjustable vents for temperature control|
|Grilling surface area||160 square inches|
|Material||Nickel-plated grill grate|
|Fuel type||Propane, charcoal, or wood|
|Cooking power||19,500 BTU|
|Temperature control||Adjustable vent|
|Grilling surface area||Around 113 square inches|
|Fuel type||Charcoal and AA batteries (not included)|
|Temperature control||Battery-operated fan|
|Grilling surface area||-|
RoadTrip LXE Portable Gas Grill
Electric Indoor Searing Grill
Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill
Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill
Smoke Hollow Tabletop Propane Grill
Original Kettle Charcoal Grill
Fold N Go + Propane Grill
Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill
3-Fuel Portable Camping Stove/Fire Pit
|Features||The Most Powerful Portable ...||The Easiest, No-mess Indoor...||A Petite, Solid, and Smart ...||The Perfect Outdoor-Indoor ...||A Stable Tabletop Grill for...||For a Traditional Charcoal ...||A Lightweight and Portable ...||The Best Charcoal Grill for...||The Most Versatile Grill fo...||A Battery-operated Charcoal...|
|Material||Enameled steel lid and cast iron grill grates||Stainless steel grill grates with non-stick coating||Stainless steel burner and porcelain-enameled grate||Non-stick coated grill plate||Stainless steel||Plated steel grates and porcelain-enameled lid and bowl||Enameled coating||Porcelain-enameled lid, nickel-coated steel grates||Nickel-plated grill grate||Aluminum plates|
|Weight||44 lbs||8.14 lbs||13.5 lbs||21 lbs||20.9 lbs||31 lbs||8 lbs||14.53 lbs||23.7 lbs||8 lbs|
|Fuel type||Propane||Electric||Propane||Electric||Propane||Charcoal||Propane||Charcoal||Propane, charcoal, or wood||Charcoal and AA batteries (not included)|
|Support||Standalone (collapsible with wheels)||Tabletop||Tabletop||Standalone with removable stand||Tabletop||Standalone||Tabletop||Tabletop||Tabletop||Tabletop|
|Cooking power||20,000 BTU||1200 watts||5,500 BTU||N/A||10,000 BTU||N/A||6,000 BTU||N/A||19,500 BTU||N/A|
|Temperature control||2 adjustable knobs||One temperature dial to adjust heat setting||1 adjustable knob||1 adjustable knob with 5 heat settings||No||Nil||Adjustable knob||2 adjustable vents for temperature control||Adjustable vent||Battery-operated fan|
|Grilling surface area||285 square inches||118 square inches||145 square inches||240 square inches||205 square inches||363 square inches||105 square inches||160 square inches||Around 113 square inches||-|
This portable grill buying guide is intended to help you understand the factors that can influence your decision in buying a portable grill that is of premium quality and serves the right purposes.
Any grill between 10 and 50 pounds is considered portable. Portable grills can be tabletop types or wheeled cart types that can be easily rolled away. Whatever you purchase, ensure they are lightweight and are easy to maneuver, if portability is the reason you need a grill for.
If you constantly picnic, camp, or love to tailgate, you wouldn’t want to carry a bigger grill around. Go for a portable grill that can comfortably sit in your car’s trunk or your camping bag. These grills being smaller and lighter, creating a perfect tabletop or standing grilling experience.
If space is a constraint to store a stationary grill, a portable grill is what you should go for. It also applies to those whose building or neighborhood does not allow propane or outdoor grills.
You can go with stand-alone types with wheels that can be rolled away after use, collapsible grills that can be easily stored, or use an electric one for grilling that doesn't require the use of propane.
Portable grills are of various types including gas grills, charcoal grills, and electric ones. The type you should get depends on your situation and your desired grilling experience.
Gas grills use natural gas or bottled propane to run. They are easy to set up and clean up after grilling, unlike the charcoal types. While at home, you can use your building’s natural gas line which could end up being less expensive and more convenient than refilling a propane bottle.
However, the smoker box that comes with this type of grill is small. You will not be able to smoke your food as much as a charcoal grill. So, gas grills aren't ideal for those who are insistent about the smoke flavor in their grilled goodies.
You need charcoal briquettes to fuel a charcoal grill. They burn at higher temperatures than gas and are ideal to sear meat to your desired texture and flavor. However, charcoal grills need time to set up and pre-heat, unlike the gas grills that facilitate fast grilling.
They can also turn messy and require a lot of cleaning up and disposing of ashes. Although charcoal can be inexpensive, you will have to buy heavy sacks of charcoal frequently for your grilling needs. But in the end, charcoal grills are the best at giving you an authentic smoked barbecue flavor.
There are also portable electric grills if you are going to an area that does not allow gas or charcoal grills. They are good for those who cannot accommodate a charcoal grill or gas grill in their patio or balcony; they're also great if you live in an area where you experience a lot of wind or stormy weather.
Despite the downside that they need an electrical outlet to connect and operate, they still appeal to those for whom using charcoal briquettes and propane canisters is far away from comfortable. They can also cut down on natural gas emissions!
The materials used to make the grates and the grill body affect the grill's ability to heat up fast and to retain the temperature inside it. Here's what you should look for.
Cast iron grill grates might take a long time to heat up, but they retain the heat and can stay hot longer. They also render a better finish to the grilled meat and veggies. However, the enamel on the cast iron grates can crack or chip over time, resulting in degradation and rusting of the grates.
Stainless steel grates take less time to heat up and facilitate fast cooking. They are impervious to heat, salt, and rust, and are durable. Although the stainless steel ones show signs of discoloration, it will not affect the grilling performance of the grates.
Stainless steel and coated steel are commonly used to make the body of a grill. Stainless steel grills are expensive as they can last longer and are resistant to corrosion or rusting (though they may discolor). Coated steel grills are available in a multitude of colors. However, the coating in coated steel types can chip or crack, leading them to rust.
You can also find grills with ceramic or similar materials for their body. They can retain the heat well but can get pretty heavy, making them a bad choice for camping or picnic. The Kamado grill is a good example of a grill with a ceramic body.
Portable grills can have up to 350 square inches of grilling surface. If the grill has a surface area of up to 150 square inches, it can accommodate the grilling needs of one or two people. Bigger groups between four to six members need a grill that has a surface area of 250 to 350 square inches.
A grill with a bigger surface means you can also grill a large variety of food at once. If you have a grill with a smaller capacity, you will need to grill in shifts to serve for all.
Besides the material used to make the grilling plates, burners, and the grill lid, there are other features that can give way for a wonderful grilling experience each time. Features like temperature control, multiple burners, high power, and wind resistance are other notable properties to consider.
Grills with multiple burners are great as they are easier to control. This is ideal when you are grilling something small and you only need to heat just one side of the surface. They're also ideal when you are grilling different types of food items that need varying levels of temperature for grilling.
Go for grills that have covers or heat shield plates placed over the burner tubes. This ensures grease from the meat does not drip onto the flames and cause flare-ups, or affect temperature control. Only by using a grill can you analyze its burning control, so it's also important to read multiple reviews on the grill before buying it.
Wind affects the grilling process when you're cooking outdoors. But, it can be a bit tricky to find a grill that does not get wind directly into the flames. Reading reviews might help. Some reviews suggest that wind resistance is better with grills of higher power.
A better way to resist wind is to have narrow grills or to have burners that are not so exposed. Having heat shields or burner covers can help resist the wind to a great extent.
Like many other equipment, grills are also given a British Thermal Unit (BTU) energy rating, which is a measurement of its power and heat output.
A higher BTU indicates that the grill produces more heat by burning more fuel; but that doesn't always mean it's a better choice. The material used to make grill grates and body can also affect the power and heat output.
Some grills come with impressive features such as an integrated thermometer or a temperature gauge that displays the inside temperature of the grill at every stage. This helps to ensure your food is getting grilled at the right temperature and the right way. It can be a great accessory to help you with your grilling experience.
To keep your grill clean, invest in a few cleaning supplies such as a good grilling brush, a cleaner liquid, a pair of durable gloves, a big bucket, and a few disposable sponges. For stainless steel and iron grates and parts, use a stainless steel brush; for brass burners, use a brass brush.
In the absence of a liquid cleaner, you can use dish soap, baking soda, and vinegar to get the grills and other parts shiny and new. Subject your grill and all its parts to thorough cleaning once every month, or depending on the frequency of usage.
Check out the other products that can come handy during your next cooking spree!
The smallest grill won't always be the best to take along while you are camping or picnicking. Learn about the differences between portable grills and understand which one serves your purposes. Make your choice only after analyzing what you want, understanding the product features, and reading some authentic reviews.
Author: Biji Bella Ravindran
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