Best 26 Portable Grills for Backpacking and Camping in 2022

By Joshua Davis •  Updated: 07/30/22 •  34 min read

I won’t lie. I love camping and backpacking because it gives me an excuse to grill every single meal of the day!

Well, that’s one reason anyway.

Hands down, nothing tastes better than food cooked over an open flame. And, when you’re camping or backpacking it just tastes even better!

If you’re an avid camper or backpacker like us, then you know how much enjoyment a good portable grill can be. There are tons of different grills on the market, but not all of them are created equal.

In this guide, we’ll show you the best portable grills for backpacking and camping in 2022. We’ll also give you some tips on what to look for when choosing a grill, and answer some of the most commonly asked questions about portable grills.

So, whether you’re looking for a small and ultralight grill for backpacking trips or a more substantial one for car camping trips, we’ve got you covered.

Helpful Tip: The research provided in our posts reflects the pain-staking research we perform when carefully selecting products to enrich our own lives. In turn, we pass it on to you!

That being said, we go to the original manufacturers for accurate, first-hand information on features and specifications which are often misrepresented in Amazon’s and other second-hand retailers’ product descriptions.

OFHQ’s Favorites

For us, the best backpacking and camping grills combine quality materials, premium cooking performance, efficiency of use, and a solid warranty.

Of the 26 grills in this review, these 4 stood out from the rest:

1. Expedition Research LLC The Original Bushcraft Grill 2-Pack

When all you need is something fundamental to hold the food above the flame, the Expedition Research LLC The Original Bushcraft Grill is the lightest and most packable option.

It’s a great choice for resourceful adventurers looking to save every ounce possible without sacrificing function.

Best Minimalist Backpacking Grill
Expedition Research LLC The Original Bushcraft Grill 2-Pack
$24.97
Pros:
  • Specifically designed for expedition and bushcraft camping
  • Ultralight
  • Hand-welded at every cross point
  • Easy to clean and maintain
Cons:
  • Intentional no-stand design requires the user to innovate to support the grate above the fire
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10/02/2022 12:51 am GMT

2. Firebox Stainless Steel Nano Stove G2

While not a true grill without the separately-sold grill plate, the Firebox Stainless Steel Nano Stove G2 is the best option for backpackers craving grilled foods.

It’s more expensive than other minimalist options, but it’s also much lighter and will last longer with proper care.

Best Overall Backpacking Grill
Firebox Stainless Steel Nano Stove G2
$49.99
Pros:
  • Assembly-free hinged construction
  • Ultralight and super compact (can fit in a shirt pocket)
  • Adjusts to fit large pans, small cups, or a grilling grate
  • Will not warp under high heat
  • Includes storage bag and 2 Nano Sticks
Cons:
  • Does not include the grill grate (sold separately)
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10/02/2022 03:12 am GMT

3. Weber Q-1200 Portable Gas Grill

With a rock-solid global reputation among grilling aficionados and an industry-leading warranty, Weber continues to impress with the Q-1200.

Our personal favorite for road trips and camping for the past 3 years, we have put some serious miles on ours and enjoy every bit as the Weber Genesis that we use at home.

Best Overall Camping Gas Grill
Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill, Black
$259.00
Pros:
  • Delivers the same even, efficient cooking performance of Weber full-sized grills
  • Stable, solid, long-lasting materials
  • Suitable for full size propane tank with adapter (not included)
  • A breeze to clean
  • Generous warranty
Cons:
  • A little heavy
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10/02/2022 03:15 am GMT

4. Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill

Crafted to the same standards as anything Weber makes, the Go-Anywhere is a great choice for those who prefer charcoal over gas.

Made light, yet solid with plenty of dampers to control heat with precision, you’ll be able to capture the same smokey flavors as you would on a home-sized barbecue.

Best Overall Camping Charcoal Grill
Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill
$71.00
Pros:
  • Highly portable; no need for a carry case
  • The reinforced lid and bowl will not rust or peel (guaranteed for 10 years!!)
  • The 4 integrated dampers make heat control precise and easy
  • Simple to clean and pack up
Cons:
  • Um ... we couldn't find anything wrong with this little gem.
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10/02/2022 08:05 am GMT

Best Ultralight Backpacking Grills

When it comes to selecting any type of gear for backpacking, the first two qualities that typically come to mind are size and weight.

The best backpacking grill must be feather-light, low maintenance, and easy to carry, but it also needs to be able to accommodate the food you want to cook.

There are a variety of types of grills for backpacking such as basic cooking grates, wood-burning stoves (with grill plate), and fire pits.

Here are our top picks for the best backpacking grills:

Backpacking Grilling Grates

For the resourceful minimalist, a simple cooking grate that can be placed over a campfire is all that’s needed to cook up a delicious backpacking meal.

This type of pack grill is usually very lightweight, a breeze to clean, simple to pack up, and doesn’t require any type of fuel other than wood.

The minimalist design requires the user to get creative in windy situations to divert the wind from the flame and be resourceful when gathering wood is impractical or not allowed (like in many state and national parks).

Bitty Big Q Compact Retractable Grill

Important Features and Specs:

Warranty: Unspecified

Bitty Big Q Compact Retractable Grill
$49.95
Pros:
  • No assembly is required; a true one-piece folding design
  • Great for large groups when camping or on shorter backpacking trips
  • Dishwasher safe
Cons:
  • On the heavy and bulky side for backpacking long distances
  • An impromptu windbreak will be required in a stiff breeze
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10/02/2022 08:14 am GMT

Whether on a camping trip or a shorter backpacking trip with a large group, the Bitty Big Q is a great option for cooking meals over a campfire.

This grill has a unique folding design that sets it up in seconds and requires no assembly. It’s also dishwasher safe, which makes post-trip cleanup a breeze.

The only downside to this backpacking grill is its weight and bulkiness, which make it impractical for long-distance backpacking trips.

Wolf and Grizzly Grill M1 Edition Kit

Important Features:

Warranty: 3 years … but only 1 year after first use over a fire. I’m serious!

Wolf and Grizzly Grill M1 Edition Kit
$99.95
Pros:
  • Well-designed and exceptionally sturdy
  • Equipped with cleaning and adjustment tools
Cons:
  • A bit heavy to carry on longer backpacking trips
  • Over-priced
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10/02/2022 08:21 am GMT

Designed by hikers for hikers, the Wolf and Grizzly Grill M1 Edition Kit is one of the most durable backpacking grills on the market.

It’s made from high-quality stainless steel and features a standing grate design with three height settings. The included carrying case is also great for storing the grill and all of its accessories.

While it’s a bit on the heavy side for ultralight, long-distance backpacking, the M1 is still a great option for those who want a high-quality and durable backpacking grill.

In fact, it can hold a slab of meat up to 30 pounds …

if you happen to have brought such a monstrous piece of protein along

Coghlan’s Pack Grill

Important Features and Specs:

Warranty: None specified

Coghlan’s Pack Grill
$6.99
Pros:
  • Lightweight and compact enough to strap to the outside of a pack
  • Minimalist design is easy to clean
  • Inexpensive
Cons:
  • Plated alloy steel not as long-lasting as a stainless steel grill
  • No carrying case ... a problem if covered in soot
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10/01/2022 11:24 am GMT

Fundamentally, a grill is simply a surface suspended over a heat source on which to cook your food.

So, it’s not surprising that one of the most popular ultralight backpacking grills is this simple and compact folding grill from Coghlan’s.

This little grill weighs in at just 12.3 ounces, and folds down to a tiny 12.5″ x 6.5″ x .75″, making it easy to strap to the outside of your pack.

It’s made from plated alloy steel, which isn’t as durable as stainless steel but is still plenty tough for most backpacking trips. It’s also inexpensive, which is always a bonus when it comes to backpacking gear.

The biggest downside to this grill is that it doesn’t come with a carrying case, so you’ll need to find a way to protect it from getting scratched up in your pack. But overall, it’s a great little grill for ultralight backpacking trips.

Expedition Research LLC The Original Bushcraft Grill 2-Pack

Important Features and Specs:

Warranty: None specified

Best Minimalist Backpacking Grill
Expedition Research LLC The Original Bushcraft Grill 2-Pack
$24.97
Pros:
  • Specifically designed for expedition and bushcraft camping
  • Ultralight
  • Hand-welded at every cross point
  • Easy to clean and maintain
Cons:
  • Intentional no-stand design requires the user to innovate to support the grate above the fire
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10/02/2022 12:51 am GMT

Backpacking Fire Pit Grills

Backpacking firepits provide an aerated basin or “pit” in which to hold burning fuel and embers, protecting the flame from any wind and containing the fire from potentially getting out of control in the wilderness.

Pits are a great option for those who want a more concentrated heat source that helps keep coals and embers hotter longer.

The sides of the pit act as a wind break protecting the heat source while directing heat upwards toward the food.

The contained pit allows the right amount of oxygen to keep them fed while preventing the coals from spreading out as they burn resulting in a more concentrated heat source.

UCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Grill and Fire Pit

Important Features and Specs:

Warranty: Limited Lifetime

UCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Grill and Fire Pit
$38.52
Pros:
  • Available in 3 different sizes
  • Ample cooking area
  • Storage sack included
  • The packed size is surprisingly portable
Cons:
  • Cleaning can be a chore.
  • Heavy (even the small size at 2 pounds) for backpacking
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10/01/2022 11:32 am GMT

The biggest challenge when grilling in an exposed location is wind. And, when your starving after a long day of backpacking, the last thing you want to do is fight the wind to cook your food.

That’s where this innovative little grill from UCO comes in. It’s available in three different sizes, with the largest one measuring 20″ x 16″ x 7.48″ unpacked, and 13.5″ x 10″ x 1.5″ packed.

But the best part is the integrated windbreak that surrounds the grilling surface, making it much easier to cook in windy conditions.

The grill is made from stainless steel, so it’s plenty durable, and it comes with a storage sack for easy transport.

The only downside is that it can be a bit of a pain to clean, but overall, this is a great little grill for backpacking trips.

Backpacking Wood Burning Stove Grills

Wood-burning stoves are very similar to fire pits in that they rely on wood for fuel; however, the primary difference lies in the construction.

While a fire pit contains the fuel, fire, and embers in an elevated pit up off the ground, a wood-burning stove for camping sits over a small ground fire while still utilizing 3 to four side enclosures as a break-wind and containment.

These side panels also help to reflect the heat towards the pot or pan sitting on top of the stove.

Here are some popular options.

Unigear Foldable Wood Burning Stove

Important Features and Specs:

Warranty: 30 days

Unigear Foldable Wood Burning Stove
$24.99
Pros:
  • Versatile design allows for multiple cooking methods and fuels
  • Storage bag included keeping soot off of other gear
Cons:
  • A bit heavy for backpacking
  • Requires a very level surface for stability and even cooking
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10/02/2022 02:28 am GMT

Sometimes, all you have for cooking fuel are some pine cones, sticks, leaves, … and some patience. But, with the right stove, you can cook just about anything.

This little stove from Unigear is a great example. It’s made from stainless steel and folds down to a tiny 7.1″ x 6.4″ x 0.8″, making it easy to pack along on backpacking trips.

It includes a pot stand, coal grill rack, and ash plate, so you can use it for multiple cooking methods. And, it has a two-point adjustable coal rack, so you can control the heat for even cooking.

The design will also accommodate a small gas camp burner underneath, small wood chunks, a spirit burner, or even alcohol cubes for quicker heating.

The only downside is that it’s a bit heavy for backpacking at 2.2 pounds. But overall, this is a great little stove for ultralight backpacking trips.

Firebox Stainless Steel Nano Stove G2

Important Features and Specs:

Warranty: 30 days

Best Overall Backpacking Grill
Firebox Stainless Steel Nano Stove G2
$49.99
Pros:
  • Assembly-free hinged construction
  • Ultralight and super compact (can fit in a shirt pocket)
  • Adjusts to fit large pans, small cups, or a grilling grate
  • Will not warp under high heat
  • Includes storage bag and 2 Nano Sticks
Cons:
  • Does not include the grill grate (sold separately)
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10/02/2022 03:12 am GMT

For the solo backpacker who wants to carry a grill but not feel it, the Firebox Stainless Steel Nano Camp Stove G2 is the way to go.

This little stove weighs less than 6 ounces and measures just 3″ x 0.25″ when packed. But it’s made from some serious gauge stainless steel, so it’s plenty durable.

It has a hinged construction that pops open for use, and it adjusts to fit large pans, small cups, or a grilling grate (sold separately).

The Nano Stove G2 also comes with a storage bag and 2 Nano Sticks (for supporting solid fuel tablets), so you can get started right away.

The only downside is that it doesn’t include the grill grate, but other than that, this is an excellent ultralight backpacking stove-slash-wanna-be-a-grill.

BioLite CampStove 2+

Important Features and Specs:

Warranty: 1 year

BioLite CampStove 2+
$236.89
Pros:
  • Allows for smokeless burning
  • Can boil a liter of water in under 5 minutes
  • Charges most USB devices
  • A fully-equipped kit allows for versatile cooking options
Cons:
  • 3-watts is a little low for phone charging; but, it's better than nothing
  • Expensive ... but, then, it's loaded!
  • Too heavy and cumbersome for distance backpacking
  • The portable grill grate attachment and kettle are bulky for backpacking
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10/02/2022 02:41 am GMT

Need to charge your phone? Then light a fire! Wait … what?

The award-winning Campstove from BioLite is a great example of how technology and innovation can make your backpacking experiences better.

Not only is it a great stove for boiling water and cooking meals, but it also has a built-in thermoelectric generator that produces 3 watts of power. That means you can charge your phone or other USB devices right from the Campstove.

It also has an integrated fan for increased combustion and a 3,200 mAh battery for power storage. Plus, there are LED power indicators and a USB charging port, so you can keep an eye on your devices.

And if that wasn’t enough, the Campstove 2+ also comes with a 100-lumen Flexlight, so you can see what you’re cooking.

The only downsides are that it’s a bit expensive and it’s too heavy and cumbersome for distance backpacking. But, if you’re car camping or base camping, this is a great option.

Or, if you’re a prepper

Oh, and did we mention that there’s also a portable grill grate attachment and kettle? Yeah, this thing is loaded!

This is good because, once you buy it, your wallet won’t be.

Best Camping Grills

Camping grills exist in the space between large backyard grills and the minimalist grills favored by ounce-counting backpackers.

Essentially, what makes a good camping grill is the ability to provide a cooking performance as efficient and thorough as a home grill, but from a package that’s just compact enough to transport in the trunk of your car.

A delicate balance, to be sure.

However, as the art and science of grilling push conventional limits, some innovative and impressive designs have been developed.

Here are a few that deserve serious consideration.

Camping Propane Grills

When you’re camping, it’s a good thing (socially acceptable, even) to have gas.

With a portable propane grill, cooking and clean-up times are virtually cut in half. While they don’t deliver the flavor of lump coal or the tasty smokiness of wood, a good gas grill can still churn out some fantastic camping feasts.

A good camping propane grill will have a built-in regulator to keep the flow of gas at an even rate, be composed of the same quality materials that a solids backyard grill would be, and have enough burners and heat output to grill food evenly and efficiently.

Stainless steel and cast iron (especially grilling grates) are the best and most common choices for heat retention; but, stainless steel is superior when it comes to corrosion resistance and lasts significantly longer.

Enameled and non-enameled cast iron corrode much faster than stainless and, unless it’s a replaceable part, may shorten the life of your grill substantially.

However, learning how to care for and maintain cast iron will add years of life to your grill’s parts.

Portability is another key consideration. The best camping grills are usually compact enough to fit in the trunk of a car, but not so small that they’re impractical for the size crew you’re cooking for.

Some models come with fold-down legs or side shelves that make them even more compact for storage and transport.

Finally, consider the fuel type. Most camping grills use propane gas, which is readily available and easy to use. Others, require butane which works just as well; however, not in colder climates.

Some models are designed to be used with disposable propane cylinders, while others come with hose attachments for connecting to a large tank. The former is more convenient, but the latter is more economical.

Helpful Tip: For even more reviews on low-cost gas grills, check out our post on Best Gas Grills Under $100.

Weber Q-1200 Portable Gas Grill

Important Features and Specs:

Warranty: 5 years (cook box, lid, burner tubes, cooking grates, plastic components); 2 years (everything else)

Best Overall Camping Gas Grill
Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill, Black
$259.00
Pros:
  • Delivers the same even, efficient cooking performance of Weber full-sized grills
  • Stable, solid, long-lasting materials
  • Suitable for full size propane tank with adapter (not included)
  • A breeze to clean
  • Generous warranty
Cons:
  • A little heavy
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10/02/2022 03:15 am GMT

I’m tempted to say, “It’s a Weber; what more do you need to know?”

Sorry, I’m biased. I have the Weber Genesis on my back porch and the Q-1200 in my camper. I love Weber!

Anyway, the Q-1200 is everything you love about Weber grills scaled down to a compact, portable size. It has all the features that make Weber grills great: durability, even cooking performance, and ease of use.

The only drawback is that, like most camping grills, it uses cast iron cooking grates instead of the stainless steel you’ll find on their full-sized models.

Still, they’re covered by a 5-year warranty, so if they do rust out, you can get them replaced.

At 24.6″ x 40.9″ x 20.5″, the Q-1200 is just compact enough to fit in the trunk of your car, but still has enough grilling space to cook for a small crowd. It also has folding side tables, which is a nice touch.

The push-button ignition makes starting the grill a snap, and the integrated lid thermometer lets you keep an eye on the temperature without lifting the lid (and letting all the heat escape).

The Q-1200 uses disposable propane cylinders, which makes it about as convenient as it gets. Just screw on a new tank when the old one runs out and you’re good to go.

So, if you’re looking for a small, portable gas grill that delivers the same quality cooking performance as Weber’s full-sized models, the Q-1200 is a great option and our top pick!

NomadiQ Propane Grill

Important Features and Specs:

Warranty: 5 years on most parts; 2 years on the rest

NomadiQ Propane Grill
$299.99
Pros:
  • Exceptionally lightweight and compact portability
  • High heat output (to make up for the lack of lid, they say)
  • Generous grilling surface
  • Suitable for full-size propane tank with adapter (not included)
Cons:
  • A bit pricey for a portable
  • The grill does not have a cooking lid for holding in heat ... something many experienced grillers would frown upon
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10/02/2022 02:58 am GMT

Many “portable” grills are simply miniature versions of their larger counterparts; but, the NomadiQ is a truly unique concept. This ultra-lightweight, compact grill was designed for maximum portability without sacrificing performance.

At just 16″ x 14″ x 6″, the NomadiQ can easily be thrown in a backpack or carried in one hand. And, at only 12.3 pounds, it’s one of the lightest grills on the market.

So, how does the NomadiQ stack up in terms of cooking performance?

Well, it lacks a lid (for obvious reasons), so it doesn’t hold heat as well as a traditional grill. However, it makes up for this with two powerful 4,600 BTU burners (for a total of 9,200 BTU).

The wide 226 square-inch grilling surface is also a plus. That’s enough space to cook 10 burgers at a time.

The NomadiQ uses 1-pound propane canisters or can be adapted for full-size tanks.

It has an integrated electronic ignition for easy starting and features two removable drip trays and a carrying strap for easy transport.

We would call it the best portable camping grill except for the missing-lid issue.

Still, if you’re looking for a truly portable grill that doesn’t sacrifice performance (except for the missing lid part), the NomadiQ is a great option. Just be prepared to pay a bit more for it.

Cuisinart Petit Gourmet Tabletop Grill

Important Features and Specs:

Warranty: 3 years

Cuisinart Petit Gourmet Tabletop Grill
$174.98 $144.82
Pros:
  • Good cost-to-quality ratio
  • Lid latch keeps it from accidentally opening in transport
Cons:
  • A bit troublesome to clean
  • Low heat output
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10/02/2022 03:12 am GMT

If Weber’s are the Corvettes of propane grills, then the Cuisinart Petit is like the Kia Rio: compact, economic, and cute.

Just don’t enter it in a drag race.

This diminutive grill weighs in at only 13 lbs. and has a 145 square-inch grilling surface. That’s enough space to cook 7-8 burgers at a time.

It has a 5,500 BTU stainless steel burner, which is on the low end for propane grills. So, it’s not going to win any awards for searing steaks.

However, it will do a perfectly adequate job of cooking burgers, hot dogs, chicken, and veggies. And, at under $150, it’s an excellent value.

The Cuisinart Petit also features an enameled cast-iron cooking grate, a locking lid, and a drip tray. Plus, the storage dust cover doubles as a tote for easy transport.

So, if you’re looking for an inexpensive, compact grill that’s easy to transport, the Cuisinart Petit is a great option.

Mr. Steak 1-Burner Infrared Portable Grill

Important Features and Specs:

Warranty: Unspecified

Mr. Steak 1-Burner Infrared Portable Grill
Pros:
  • Can handle finer meats like a full-sized infrared grill
  • The price is reasonable for the quality of construction
Cons:
  • Dang heavy
  • Difficult to find in stock
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A respected producer and distributor of fine meats, Mr. Steak also offers an infrared portable grill.

The Mr. Steak 1-Burner Infrared Portable Grill is a behemoth, weighing in at 29.5 lbs. It’s also one of the pricier grills on our list.

So, what do you get for your money?

For starters, this grill has a whopping 14,000 BTU ceramic infrared burner. That’s enough firepower to reach temperatures of 1,000°!

It also has a 165-square-inch grilling surface, making it large enough to cook 8 burgers at a time.

The Mr. Steak also features foldable, stable legs, a double-wall lid with a silicone handle, an electric ignition, and a removable drip tray.

So, if you’re looking for an infrared grill that can handle finer meats like steak and fish, the Mr. Steak is a great option. Just be prepared to pay a bit more for it.

And, good luck locating one. We’re not sure why they are so difficult to find.

Eureka SPRK Camp Grill

Important Features and Specs:

Warranty: 1 year

Eureka SPRK Camp Grill
$134.95
Pros:
  • Simple, uncomplicated design and operation
  • Easy to clean
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Respectable heat output
Cons:
  • Only suited for an 8 oz. butane canister which, on high, only lasts for 90 minutes
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10/02/2022 08:05 am GMT

When being compact is your highest priority, the Eureka SPRK Portable Camping Grill is hard to beat.

This little guy weighs in at only 8.5 lbs. and has a tiny footprint: 11.5″ x 16.6″ x 4.6″. Yet, it still has a 143-square-inch grilling surface. That’s enough space to cook 5-6 burgers.

It also has a surprising amount of power for its size. The single 7,250 BTU burner will have no trouble getting your food cooked quickly.

The Eureka SPRK also features a ceramic-coated grate, a rotary electric ignition, and a removable drip tray. Plus, it has adjustable feet for stability and comes with a carry case.

So, if you’re looking for the most compact grill possible, the Eureka SPRK is a great option. Just be aware that it’s only suited for use with an 8 oz. butane canister. That’s not a lot of fuel.

Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill

Important features:

Warranty: 3 Years

Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill
$289.99
Pros:
  • Compatible with both 1-lb. or full-size propane cylinders
  • Integrated wheels for easy one-handed transport
  • Generous cooking space
  • Excellent heat out-put and temp control
Cons:
  • The three burners don't exactly mean 3 cooking zones (see below)
  • Heavy; but, it's got wheels, so ...
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10/02/2022 08:14 am GMT

If leaving behind your full-sized propane grill made you tear up a little, the Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill will make you feel right at home.

This grill has all the features that you’re used to: 3 independently controlled stainless steel burners, cast iron grill grates, a removable drip tray, and side tables. Plus, it has an integrated thermometer and electric push-button ignition.

The Coleman RoadTrip 285 also has a generous cooking area: 285 square inches. That’s enough space to cook 10+ burgers at once. And, the three burners put out a total of 20,000 BTUs of grilling power.

So, you’ll have no problem getting your food cooked quickly.

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that the three burners on the Coleman RoadTrip 285 don’t necessarily mean three cooking zones (although it is advertised as such).

Essentially, there are two separate U-shaped side burners with a supplementary center burner that runs the length of the basin.

So, you actually have two-cooking zones with a 3rd burner that acts as a backup when necessary.

All things considered, though, the Coleman RoadTrip 285 is a great option for anyone who wants the features of a full-sized propane grill in a portable package.

Just be aware that, at 47 pounds., this is one of the heavier grills on our list. But, it does have wheels, so you won’t have to lift it very far.

Coleman Fold N Go Portable Grill

Important Features and Specs:

Warranty: 3 years

Coleman Fold N Go Propane Grill
Pros:
  • Offers consistent cooking performance
  • Extremely portable and lightweight
  • Easy to clean
  • Fuel efficient
  • Heats up quickly
  • Adjustable temperature control
Cons:
  • Push-button ignition works inconsistently sometimes
  • No legs or feet incorporated into the design
  • Tiny cooking surface
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By no means a grill for the Brady Bunch, this Coleman Fold N Go Portable Grill is designed for solo missions and small crews.

Weighing in at about 10 lbs., this grill is one of the most portable options on our list. And, its ultra-compact size (16.4″ x 15″ x 6″) means that it can easily fit into any nook or cranny in your vehicle.

Just don’t stack heavy gear on top of it or you risk denting in the lid.

The Coleman Fold N Go has a single 6,000 BTU stainless steel burner that does a decent job of cooking food evenly. Plus, the enameled cooking grate is dishwasher-safe, so cleanup is a breeze.

With 105 square inches of cooking space, this grill can accommodate about 4 burgers at a time. And, the electric ignition makes it easy to get things started.

One downside of the Coleman Fold N Go is that, at 6,000 BTUs, it doesn’t produce a ton of heat. So, you’ll need to be patient and cook with the lid closed (a smart practice, anyway) if you want your food to turn out well.

Also, the price point feels a bit high for such a small grill. But, if you’re looking for an ultra-portable option, this is one of the best backpacking grills around.

Charcoal Grills for Camping

For many of us, nothing beats grilling with charcoal or lump coal. There’s just something about the flavor that you can’t get with gas.

And, while charcoal grills are a bit more finicky to use than their gas counterparts, they’re definitely worth the effort if you’re looking for amazing flavor.

Portability is also important when choosing a backpacking grill. After all, you don’t want to be lugging around a massive grill when you’re trying to enjoy the great outdoors.

So, with that in mind, here are some of the best portable charcoal grills for camping.

Helpful Tip: If you’re apprehensive about trying a charcoal grill for the first time, check out our guide on How to Keep a Charcoal Grill Lit.

Solo Stove Grill Ultimate Bundle

Important Features and Specs:

Warranty: Limited Lifetime

Solo Stove Grill Ultimate Bundle
Pros:
  • Thoughtful design allows the chef to cook, relax, and mingle simultaneously
  • Well-built and sturdy
  • Hinged grates provide access to coals
  • Optimized airflow makes it easier and faster to maintain the perfect grilling temperature (400°-500°F) for up to 45 minutes.
  • Simple to clean
Cons:
  • Heavy for a portable
  • Priced like a full-sized grill
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As the official resident grill master of our family, I am typically the one sweating it out over the grill, attending to the food’s fate while everyone else hangs around the campfire shootin’ the breeze.

But, with the Solo Stove Grill Ultimate Bundle, I can actually join in on the fun because this grill is designed to allow the chef to cook from a comfy camp chair while the rest of the crew gathers around.

The double-walled stainless steel round fire pit design of the Solo Stove means that there’s no need for a separate propane tank. Instead, you just set it up (it’s easy peasy), add some charcoal, and get grilling.

The Solo Stove also has a unique airflow design that allows it to reach temperatures of 400°-500°F in about 15 minutes. And, it will maintain that temperature for up to 45 minutes.

So, you can cook a bunch of food at once without having to worry about temperature fluctuations.

The Solo Stove also comes with some nice extras, like enameled porcelain lid, a sturdy aluminum stand, and a carry case.

The only downsides are that it’s on the heavy side for a portable grill (38.5 lbs.) and it’s priced like a full-sized grill.

In the end, if you’re looking for the ultimate in backyard grilling convenience that can be used on your back porch or on your next camping trip, it’s a well-built, innovative option that adds a little more community to a cookout.

Otzi Ember Portable Dual Person Grill

Important Features and Specs:

Warranty: Not specified

Otzi Ember Portable Dual Person Grill
Pros:
  • Packs up completely flat
  • Remarkably easy to assemble and disassemble
  • Pieces are easy to clean
  • Also available in a larger 4-6 person size (Otzi Flame)
Cons:
  • The price is a choker
  • Could use more ventilation in the firebox for better combustion
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I REALLY want this to be good for backpacking; but, at 8 lbs., it’s just too heavy. Still, it’s a great camp grill with an innovative design!

The Otzi Ember Portable Dual Person Grill is one of those grills that’s just fun to use. It’s easy to set up and take down (which is great because you don’t want to spend a lot of time fiddling with a grill when you’re camping).

It also packs up completely flat, so it doesn’t take up a lot of space in your pack.

The Otzi Ember has a small, 96 sq. in. cooking plate (about 3 burgers). So, it’s really only meant for two (maybe 3) people. But, it also comes in a larger 4-6 person size (Otzi Flame).

One of the things that I really like about the Otzi Ember is that it has 4 different cooking heights. So, you can adjust the grill to get the perfect heat for whatever you’re cooking.

The only downsides are that it’s a little pricey and it could use more ventilation in the firebox for better combustion.

But, overall, it’s a great little camp grill.

GoBQ Charcoal Grill

Important Features and Specs:

Warranty: 1 year

GoBQ Charcoal Grill
$199.00
Pros:
  • Fabric cools down much faster than steel
  • Deploys quickly and easily
  • Simple to clean and maintain
Cons:
  • There's no way to control the heat or change the cooking surface height
  • The fact that we can't dig up specifics on the type of fabric or what it's treated with is a concern
  • If the grill doesn't burn you, the price will
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10/01/2022 11:25 am GMT

Y’all, this grill is made out of fabric.

Pause for effect. Insert mind-blown emoji.

I know, it sounds weird. But, the GoBQ Charcoal Grill is made out of a fireproof fabric that’s been impregnated with a heat-resistant coating. So, it’s actually pretty darn tough.

The fabric also cools down much faster than steel. So, you don’t have to wait as long to pack up your grill after cooking.

The GoBQ Charcoal Grill also deploys quickly and easily. You just fold out the fabric base and roll out the nickel-plated grate. Then, you add your charcoal and start grilling.

When you’re done, you fold up the grate, fold up the fabric base, and roll up the whole thing into the carry case. It’s that simple.

The GoBQ Charcoal Grill also has an ember guard to protect your ground from stray embers. And, it comes with a 1-year warranty.

The only downsides are that there’s no way to control the heat or change the cooking surface height. And it’s not exactly cheap.

So, for us, although it feels like a gamble, the customer service, and support at GoBQ Grills are hard-determined to make friends and have a reputation for taking care of their customers.

Perhaps it’s a good gamble. I wish they would be a little more up-front about the material used and what it is treated with to make it flame-proof. That concerns me a bit.

Lodge L410 Pre-Seasoned Sportsman’s Charcoal Grill

Important Features and Specs:

Warranty: Lodge doesn’t provide a warranty on their cast iron products, per se. That being said, by their nature, Lodge products are virtually indestructible. Still, Lodge has a reputation for standing behind its products.

If you have a problem, they’ll make it right.

Lodge L410 Pre-Seasoned Sportsman’s Charcoal Grill
$149.90
Pros:
  • Rock solid cast iron construction. It's a Lodge.
  • Integrated dual air vents
  • Hook and Carry handles allow you to move it (carefully) when hot
  • The hibachi-style design makes it suitable for almost any type of food
Cons:
  • Lift with your legs; not your back. This sucker is heavy. Again, it's a Lodge.
  • Cast Iron takes a long time to cool down after use
  • No lid is provided for trapping heat
  • No carry bag or dust cover for transport
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10/02/2022 02:11 am GMT

My family has used Lodge cast iron skillets for generations. So, I was pretty excited to try out their L410 Pre-Seasoned Sportsman’s Charcoal Grill.

The Lodge L410 Pre-Seasoned Sportsman’s Charcoal Grill is a thing of beauty. It’s made out of solid cast iron and it’s just plain tough.

The Lodge L410 Pre-Seasoned Sportsman’s Charcoal Grill also has integrated dual air vents and a hibachi-style design that makes it suitable for almost any type of food.

The only downsides are that it’s heavy and the cast iron takes a long time to cool down after use. Also, there is no lid for trapping heat and no carry bag or dust cover for transport.

So, if you’re looking for a tough, durable grill that will last a lifetime, the Lodge L410 Pre-Seasoned Sportsman’s Charcoal Grill is a great choice. Just be sure to lift with your legs and not your back.

Weber Smokey Joe Premium

Important Features and Specs:

Warranty: 10 years on the lid and bowl; 5 years on the nylon lid handle; 2 years on everything else.

Weber Smokey Joe Premium
$57.00
Pros:
  • Truly compact and lightweight while still being practical
  • Housing will not rust or peel (guaranteed for 10 years!!)
  • The lid holder keeps the lid off the ground when not in use
  • Weber dampers make airflow control precise and efficient
  • A breeze to clean
  • Excellent warranty coverage
Cons:
  • Carry bag is sold separately
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10/02/2022 01:06 am GMT

I love Weber. Have I mentioned that?

Seriously, though, the Weber Smokey Joe Premium is one of the best compact grills on the market. It’s truly compact and lightweight while still being practical.

The Weber Smokey Joe Premium also has a plated steel grill grate and coal platform, as well as a porcelain-enameled lid and bowl.

The lid lock and holder keep the lid off the ground when not in use. And the adjustable airflow dampers make airflow control precise and efficient.

The only downside is that the carry bag is sold separately. But, other than that, this grill is a breeze to clean and it has excellent warranty coverage.

So, if you’re looking for a compact grill that doesn’t skimp on features, the Weber Smokey Joe Premium is a great choice.

Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill

Important Features and Specs:

Warranty: 10 years on the lid and bowl; 5 years on the nylon handles; 2 years on everything else.

Best Overall Camping Charcoal Grill
Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill
$71.00
Pros:
  • Highly portable; no need for a carry case
  • The reinforced lid and bowl will not rust or peel (guaranteed for 10 years!!)
  • The 4 integrated dampers make heat control precise and easy
  • Simple to clean and pack up
Cons:
  • Um ... we couldn't find anything wrong with this little gem.
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10/02/2022 08:05 am GMT

Our personal favorite camping charcoal grill, the Weber Go-Anywhere, lives up to its name. It’s highly portable; no need for a carry case.

The reinforced lid and bowl on the Weber Go-Anywhere will not rust or peel (guaranteed for 10 years!!), and the 4 integrated dampers make heat control precise and easy.

This grill is also simple to clean and pack up. The only downside is that, well …

… we couldn’t find a downside.

So, if you’re looking for a highly portable, easy-to-use charcoal grill, the Weber Go-Anywhere is a great choice.

Char-Griller Table Top Charcoal Grill and Side Fire Box

Important Features and Specs:

Warranty: 5 years

Char-Griller Table Top Charcoal Grill and Side Fire Box
$92.52
Pros:
  • Generous cooking space
  • Doubles as an attachable fire box to any full-size Char-Griller grill
  • Built like a tank
  • Easy to clean
Cons:
  • And we thought the Lodge was heavy!
  • Too expensive
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10/02/2022 12:55 am GMT

With a solid reputation among grilling enthusiasts as a grill and smoker manufacturer, it’s no surprise that Char-Griller would make our list with their Table Top Charcoal Grill and Side Fire Box.

This grill is built like a tank, with powder-coated steel construction, tabletop stand and legs, dual dampers, and a removable ash pan. It also has cast iron cooking grates for even heat distribution.

The Char-Griller Table Top Charcoal Grill and Side Fire Box also doubles as an attachable fire box to any full-size Char-Griller grill. So, if you already have a Char-Griller grill, this might be a great addition for you.

However, at 38 pounds, this grill is no light-weight. And it’s one of the more expensive grills on our list.

But, if you’re looking for a durable, long-lasting charcoal grill, the Char-Griller Table Top Charcoal Grill and Side Fire Box is a great choice.

Char-Griller Akorn Jr.

Important Features and Specs:

Warranty: 1 year

Char-Griller Akorn Jr.
$139.00
Pros:
  • A well-equipped and fairly well-built grill
Cons:
  • Heavy little thing
  • Made to look like a kamado ceramic barbecue ... it's not!
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10/02/2022 03:01 am GMT

For those looking for a true ceramic kamado barbeque, this is not it! The Char-Griller Akorn Jr. is made to look like one, with its triple-walled steel lid and bowl painted and formed to look ceramic, but …

… it’s not ceramic and, therefore, lacks critical qualities that would make it a true kamado.

So, if you’re looking for a true kamado grill, keep looking. But, if you’re just looking for a small, compact charcoal grill, the Char-Griller Akorn Jr. could be a good choice for you.

It has one similarity to the Japanese kamado in that the dampers are located at the bottom, allowing air to enter down low and exit through the top, similar to a wood stove.

This little grill has 155 sq. in. of grilling area (about 8 burgers) and comes with a hinged lid, integrated thermometer, and removable ash pan. It also has 2 adjustable dampers to help you control the cooking temperature.

At 33 lbs., it’s not the lightest grill on our list, but it’s still pretty portable. The only downside is that it only comes with a 1-year warranty.

Camping Fire Pit Grills

Fire pit grills provide a great way to enjoy a backyard barbecue while camping. They also provide a way to enjoy a campfire when campground restrictions do not allow ground fires.

Here are a couple that caught our eye.

BioLite Fire Pit

Important Features and Specs:

Warranty: 1 year

BioLite FirePit
$214.95
Pros:
  • The rechargeable, integrated battery can power the internal fan for 30 hours
  • Mesh firebox allows heat to radiate outwardly to warm those gathered around
  • Accommodates wood or charcoal
  • Easy to clean
  • Engineered to effectively minimize smoke production
  • Flames can be controlled via Bluetooth by an Android or iOS phone
Cons:
  • If and when that battery pack and fan burn out, they are not replaceable
  • The battery pack can be susceptible to overheating if kept downwind from the flames
  • The mesh firebox may rust in humid or marine environments ... nothing a fresh coat of paint can't fix.
  • Carry bag sold separately
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10/02/2022 03:12 am GMT

Remember the award-winning Biolite Campstove 2 for backpackers? Meet its Hibachi-style big bro! The Biolite Fire Pit is a great choice for those who want to enjoy a campfire … and control it with their phone!

This nifty little fire pit weighs in at only 19.8 lbs. and has a high-temp enamel-coated steel firebox and folding legs for easy transport and storage.

The plated steel grill grate and fuel platform make it easy to cook on, and the two carry handles make it even easier to transport.

What really sets this fire pit apart from the competition is its 51 fan-powered air jets that feed the fire for a long-lasting, controllable blaze.

The 12,800 mAh battery pack powers the fan and also provides USB A output for charging devices.

You can even control the flames via Bluetooth on an Android or iOS phone.

The only downsides to this fire pit are that if and when the battery pack and fan burn out, they are not replaceable, and the battery pack can be susceptible to overheating if kept downwind from the flames.

The mesh firebox may also rust in humid or marine environments, but nothing a fresh coat of paint can’t fix.

The Biolite Fire Pit doesn’t come with a carry bag; you’ll have to buy it separately. But, it does come with a USB A to Micro USB adapter and a 1-year warranty

Primus Kamoto OpenFire Pit

Important Features and Specs:

Warranty: 1 year

Primus Kamoto OpenFire Pit
$179.95
Pros:
  • Leave-No-Trace design protects the ground underneath from burning
  • Easy to set up, collapse, and transport
  • Suitable for wood or charcoal fuel
Cons:
  • Lacks adjustable dampers for airflow control
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10/02/2022 12:56 am GMT

Made of lasting materials and with a sense of environmental responsibility, the Primus Kamoto OpenFire Pit is a great choice for the backyard or backwoods.

The powder-coated steel stand and ash pan support a stainless steel firebox and cooking grates, making it sturdy enough to handle even the biggest logs.

This pit is also easy to set up, collapse, and transport thanks to its small dimensions and relatively lightweight.

However, one downside of the Kamoto OpenFire Pit is that it lacks adjustable dampers for airflow control. As a result, you’ll need to be more attentive when cooking to ensure that your food doesn’t burn.

The Primus Kamoto OpenFire Pit comes with a 1-year warranty.

Time to Fire It Up!

Now that you know a little more about the best backpacking grills on the market, it’s time to choose the one that’s right for you.

Whether you’re looking for a smokeless fire pit or a Hibachi-style bbq grill for some serious outdoor cooking, there’s an option out there that will fit your needs.

And, with a variety of price points and features, you’re sure to find the perfect backpacking or camping grill for your next adventure.

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to fire it up!

Now, get out there!

Joshua Davis

Being outdoors is freedom! Being outdoors with my wife and two boys is LIVING! Whether in my backyard or getting lost in a National Park, there’s nothing I’d rather do than explore, discover, and experience the paradise that surrounds us. Give me my family, a backpack, and a trail and my life is full!