The Best Camping Grills for On-the-Go Outdoor Cooking

The Weber Traveler Portable Gas Grill is our favorite overall camping grill

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TripSavvy's Picks

Our favorite overall camping grill is the Weber Traveler Portable Gas Grill. It can cook a lot and fold back up into a small space for easy transport. We like the Mueller Portable Charcoal Grill and Smoker for a budget option. This low-profile and simplistic grill is perfect for anyone looking to grill at camp but doesn't want to spend hundreds of dollars.

Deciding what you’re going to eat on a camping trip can be a lot of fun, but it requires some thoughtful consideration. Your campsite will surely lack a kitchen and may be limited in electricity or water access. Although basic steel grills are available at some campsites, there's no guarantee they’re in tip-top shape to use.

We believe everyone should be able to enjoy a delicious, hot meal surrounded by nature—and the best way to do that is to invest in your own portable and easy-to-use camping grill. 

Whether you enjoy cooking with propane or charcoal or need something lightweight, you’ll find a camping grill on this list that fits you. Read on and discover why they’re the perfect companion for any camping adventure.

Best Overall: Weber Traveler Portable Gas Grill

Weber Traveler Portable Gas Grill

Amazon

What We Like
  • Foldable

  • Large grilling area

  • Built-in thermometer

  • Side table to prepare food

  • Two wheels for easy maneuverability

What We Don't Like
  • The lid may open as you transfer it from the car to the campsite

Not all campsites have tables to set a small portable grill on, which is why we love the Weber Traveler Portable Gas Grill. Unfold this grill to a comfortable height for grilling, and when you’re not using it, fold it back down and store it easily in your car with the rest of your camping gear. 

With 320 square inches of cooking space, you can fit up to 15 burgers at once. Fire up the grill with a small 16-ounce propane tank or buy an adaptor and connect it to a large tank. Food prep is made easier with a built-in side table. Plus, you can adjust the temperature settings for the type of food you’re cooking. 

The two wheels make moving the grill from your car to the campsite easy. However, users have noted that in doing this, the grill lid may unlock, and the grates fall out. 

Dimensions: 42.72 x 43.6 x 37.2 inches | Weight: 49 pounds | Fuel Type: 16-ounce propane can

Best Budget: Mueller Portable Charcoal Grill and Smoker

Mueller Portable Charcoal Grill and Smoker

Amazon

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Super compact and lightweight grill

  • Some 166-square inches of cooking space

  • Air vents to help charcoal burn better

What We Don't Like
  • No cover

  • Not a smoker, despite the name

  • Some users note that paint burns off in the first few uses 

If you don’t want to spend much money on a camping grill that you’ll only use a few times a year, the Mueller Portable Charcoal Grill and Smoker is the right choice. This affordable charcoal grill stands on two foldable legs and barely takes up any room in your car. 

To start, slide in the grill tray, add charcoal, and light it up. Air vents on the side help the charcoal burn quickly and heat the 166-square-inch cooking grate. Designed like a rectangle, users can simultaneously cook meat on one end and vegetables on the other. 

Despite the name, this grill is not a smoker. To be a smoker, the grill would need a cover to allow the smoke to infuse into the meat. Be aware that some users noticed that part of the black paint burnt off after the first few uses. It doesn’t seem to have warped or ruined their experience, but it’s worth knowing. 

Dimensions: 166 x 23.6 x 13 inches | Weight: 5.39 pounds | Fuel Type: Charcoal

Best Backpacking: BioLite CampStove 2+ Complete Kit

BioLite CampStove 2+ Complete Kit

BioLite

What We Like
  • Super lightweight

  • Kettle, coffee press, and grill in one

  • Burns wood and dry biomass like you would gas

  • The integrated battery lets you charge your phone

  • Creates 95 percent less emissions than a regular wood fire

  • LED flex light so you can cook at night

What We Don't Like
  • You’ll need to have pellets on hand in case you can’t find dry wood or twigs

The BioLite Camp Stove 2+ is the ultimate backpacking and backcountry grill because it combines many different cooking apparatuses. To fuel the BioLite Camp Stove 2, you’ll need to gather biomass—small bits of wood, dry twigs, even pinecones—and add them to the fuel chamber. The grill burns the biomass in a similar way that a propane tank burns gas. 

Attached to the fuel chamber are a flexible LED light (for nighttime cooking) and a 3,200 mAh battery that gains a charge through the power of burning biomass fuel. You can hook your phone to the battery and charge it as you grill or go to sleep at night. To use the BioLite to grill, you’ll need to connect the grill surface grate to the fuel chamber. The surface is big enough to cook up to four hamburgers or six hot dogs across low, medium, and high-temperature zones. 

If all that wasn’t enough, the BioLite Camp Stove 2+ includes a kettle (with a removable bowl) to boil water or soup and a coffee press for a fresh brew in the mornings. The kettle pot doubles as a carrying case for most equipment, except for the grill gate, which can be stored in a separate plastic travel case. 

Now, this is definitely not as lightweight as a backpacking stove. But if you're looking to up your backcountry cooking chops and provide your fellow backpackers with solid eats, this is an excellent way to do it. We like that the different parts come in separate carrying cases to spread the weight across a group.

Dimensions: Camp stove 8.25 x 5 inches, Kettle pot 10.2 x 5.2 inches, Coffee Press 4.9 x 1.6 x 7.9 inches, Grill 9.5 x 12 x 3.5 inches | Weight: 7 pounds | Fuel Type: Wood

BioLite Camp Stove 2+
TripSavvy / Nathan Allen.

Best for Camp Chefs: Magma Crossover Grill Top

Magma Crossover Grill
Magma photo.

Magma

What We Like
  • Crossover series features different add-ons like the grill, a pizza oven, and griddle

  • Could double as your home/backyard grill

  • Precision cooking with a temperature read and altitude adjustments

  • Expensive and heavy

We suggest looking into the Magma Crossover Series if you want to impress your friends and family with your camp cooking chops. Now, there's a bit of a steep initial investment as you first have to purchase a Single or Double Firebox. But once you do make that investment, you'll be able to up your camp cooking game significantly.

With the Single or Double Firebox as your base, this propane-based cook kit features swappable cooking surfaces like the grill, a griddle, pizza oven, and plancha top for hibachi-style cooking. We've loved this grill both on camping trips and in the backyard.

Magma claims the grill will get to 700 degrees F, but we think it might take a long time to get that hot. We tested this mainly at sea level in Southern California and never did get it hotter than 500 degrees. Still, if you're looking for an impressive and diverse cooking setup that can double as your home or backyard grill, Magma's is hard to beat.

Dimensions: Grill: 17.73 x 16 x 9.06 inches | Weight: 20 pounds | Fuel Type: Propane

Magma Crossover Grill
TripSavvy / Nathan Allen.

Best Splurge: NOMAD Grill & Smoker

nomad-grill-and-smoker

Courtesy of Nomad Grills

What We Like
  • Compact design

  • Built-in thermometer

  • Smoking and grilling capabilities

  • 425 square inches of cooking space

  • Technology to keep the outside shell temperature low

What We Don't Like
  • Very pricey

  • Second cooking grate not included

It may look like a mini suitcase, but the NOMAD Grill & Smoker is the ultimate camping grill. This compact grill is like an aluminum case with a comfortable handle that lets you carry it easily around the campsite. 

When ready to grill, open the latch and spread it out flat. The NOMAD is designed for charcoal or wood fuel and has 425-square inches of cooking space. (You’ll need to purchase a second grate on your own.) Keep an eye on the temperature with a built-in thermometer. If you want to smoke meats, close the lid, resulting in a delicious and juicy flavoring. 

One of the most interesting aspects of the NOMAD is that it features SurfaceSafe tech. This means that the case's exterior remains at a low temperature even when the fuel burns hot. 

Dimensions: 20.5 x 13.5 x 9.5 inches | Weight: 31 pounds | Fuel Type: Charcoal and wood

Best Open Flame: Snow Peak Takibi Fire and Grill

Snow Peak Takibi Fire and Grill

Snow Peak

What We Like
  • Fire pit and grill in one

  • Includes a carrying case

  • Raise and lower grill surface between three different heights

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • Cleaning the grill may be a bit cumbersome

Before there were camping grills, folks cooked over a fire. Today, you can enjoy this ‘old-fashioned’ cooking experience with the Snow Peak Takibi Fire and Grill—a firepit and grill in one. 

The Takibi Fire and Grill includes five pieces in a carrying case. Unfold and set the Takibi fireplace on the included baseplate; it will catch any ash that falls through. Before adding the grill net and bridge, you’ll need to build a fire inside the pit. Adjust the grill bridge between three heights to move the food closer or farther away from the fire. 

Although it’s an expensive grill, the Takibi does have the additional benefit of being a firepit. If you’re willing to take the time to clean it properly and build a fire specific to Snow Peak’s instructions, you’ll join a large community of fans. 

 Dimensions: 17.75 x 17.75 x 13 inches | Weight: 32 pounds | Fuel Type: wood

Best Propane: nomadiQ Portable Propane Gas Grill

4.8
NOMADIQ Portable Propane Gas Grill

Lowe's

What We Like
  • Carrying strap included

  • Set up takes less than a minute

  • Lightweight and compact clamshell-shaped grill

  • 226-square inches of cooking surface

  • Two separate grilling sides

What We Don't Like
  • No cover to regulate temperature or protect from wind

The NOMADIQ Portable Propane Gas Grill has an ingenious clamshell design. When closed, it is about the size of a large tote—meaning it won’t take up much room in your car. After removing the carrying strap, unlock the bottom base for stability, add the drip trays, and unscrew the grill so it opens flat like a clam. 

When hooked up to a 16-ounce propane tank, you can cook on the two separate sides that total 226-square inches of cooking space. The grates are dishwasher safe, but since you’re camping, you’ll have to wash them by hand or wait until you get home. 

Users have one main complaint: the NOMADIQ Portable Propane Gas Grill doesn’t have a cover. You don’t necessarily need a cover, but it can be handy when you want to regulate temperature or protect the fire on windy days. 

Dimensions: 25.6 x 16 x 7.5 inches | Weight: 12 pounds | Fuel Type: Propane

Best Charcoal: Kamado Joe KJ13RH 13.5 inch Joe Jr. Charcoal Grill

Kamado Joe KJ13RH 13.5 inch Joe Jr. Charcoal Grill

Amazon

What We Like
  • Built-in thermometer

  • Includes a cast iron stand

  • Ceramic grill with smoking capabilities

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Heavy and takes up space

Grill experts know that Kamado Joe makes quality grills; however, their large egg-shaped ceramic grills are far too heavy to take on a camping trip. But invest in a Kamado Joe Junior, and you can bring a portable version of the classic Kamado Joe on any adventure. It even has handles and a cast iron stand!

At 75 pounds, this grill is heavy, but it’s well worth the weight and space it takes up in the car. You’ll be amazed at its grilling, baking, roasting, and smoking capabilities. With a built-in thermometer, you can see how the heat changes with each air vent adjustment on top of the grill. 

This grill only has 150-square inches of cooking space, so while it isn’t a good choice for a large camping group, it should do the trick for a family of four or less. The Kamado Joe Junior doesn’t come cheap, but the materials are high quality, and the grilling results are fantastic. Plus, this is the kind of grill you can have for a lifetime if you maintain it.  

 Dimensions: 19.75 x 20.75 x 27 inches | Weight: 75.6 lbs | Fuel Type: charcoal

Best Griddle: Dyna-Glo Gas Griddle

Dyna-Glo Gas Griddle

Amazon

What We Like
  • No set up necessary

  • 260-square inches of cooking space

  • Portable tabletop griddle

What We Don't Like
  • Can’t remove the cooking plate to clean

Grilling can be intimidating, even camping in the middle of nowhere with no one watching. If you have any concerns, go with the Dyna-Glo Gas Griddle. 

It’s as compact as a griddle (but still takes up some space in the car) and offers 260-square inches of cooking space. Beyond attaching a 1-pound propane tank, it doesn’t require much setup. Simply ignite the flame, and the cooking plate heats up. 

As long as you use enough oil to prevent food from sticking, you can cook everything from hamburgers to vegetables and pancakes, making it the ultimate cookware for a camping trip. The only drawback to this skillet is that the cooking plate doesn’t come off, so cleaning can be challenging.  

Dimensions: 17.52 x 18.5 x 8.54 inches | Weight:  23.6 pounds | Fuel Type: Gas

What to Look for in Camping Grills

Weight

The weight of a camping grill is significant for backpacking or backcountry camping, as you’ll have to carry the grill while you hike. You probably don’t want to carry around a grill that weighs more than 15 pounds. As for camping at a regular campsite, make sure you buy a grill to maneuver to and from your car without much heavy lifting. 

Portability

Ensure that you purchase a camping grill that is compact enough to fit inside your car, leaving plenty of room for camping equipment and gear. Slim camping grills are ideal in portability, though we’re also fans of those with carrier bags, straps, wheels, and handles that make moving the grill a lot easier. 

Fuel-Type

There are benefits and cons to different fuel types. Gas or propane grills heat quickly, so you can grill your food faster, but depending on how long you’re camping, you may need to bring multiple cans of gas. Charcoal and wood-burning grills offer a type of flavoring that gas and propane grills can’t match. Unfortunately, they take a long time to heat. And don’t forget that gas camping grills require more clean-up time than wood or charcoal. 

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do I clean and care for my grill?

    How you clean a grill will depend entirely on that grill's construction materials. Always refer to the instructions that come in the packaging of the grill, as they will provide particular cleaning guidelines for that specific grill. For instance, some parts of the grill may be dishwasher safe, while other parts will require hand cleaning.

    Light up the grill for 30 minutes, and you can ‘burn away’ a lot of debris and material. With a grate brush, remove bits of grease and food debris on the grate. If the grill is made of stainless steel, you can use water, light amounts of dish soap, and a sponge or soft cloth to scrub it clean. A stainless steel or grill spray cleaner might be necessary.

    If you invest in a camping grill with ceramic material, like the Kamado Joe Junior, do not use water or soap on the ceramic part as this will damage it. No matter what camping grill you buy, remove ash from the ashtrays and throw out the grease in the drip trays after each use.

  • Are camping grills safe?

    Camping grills are perfectly safe if you’re careful. To prevent injuries, keep kids away from the grills as they could burn or injure themselves. Always place the camping grill on a sturdy surface to keep it stable throughout the entire grilling process. 

    Most importantly, check the fire restrictions in the area before using a camping grill. Charcoal and wood-powered grills can be particularly dangerous, especially if they lack a cover, as sparks could fly out and start a fire. If you use charcoal or wood to fuel the grill, let these items cool before disposing of them.

  • What's the difference between a camping grill and a camping stove?

    Camping stoves are small and portable, generally have one or two burners, and are used like a regular stove. You can cook a small meal with pots and pans and heat a kettle of tea or coffee. They run on gas and are great for preparing a hot breakfast in the morning. 

    Camping grills, however, allow you to cook larger meals for a larger group. More clean-up may be required of camping grills than stoves, but they offer you much more cooking options like roasting, smoking, grilling, and baking (depending on the grill). And if you bring along a skillet, you can utilize it in much the same way you would a cooking stove.

Why Trust Tripsavvy

Author Alex Temblador is an outdoor and travel journalist who lives in Texas. In addition to working out–running, lifting, hiking, kayaking, and more–at least five days a week, Alex seeks out adventurous travels all around the world. Throughout her career as an outdoor and travel journalist, she has rappelled in Jalisco, kayaked in Puerto Rico, skied in Telluride, hiked in Thailand, surfed in Zihuatanejo, scuba dived in Bonaire, and completed a one-day, 100-mile cycling event in 100-degree weather in North Texas. 

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