Summertime gatherings improve with portable grills, and in 2023, there’s no shortage of options. Whether you’re a tailgate trooper, a city slicker, or a regular camper, a mighty outdoor cooker can be an excellent investment.
With so many choices available, deciding which grill is right for you and your situation might be difficult. Size and price doesn’t always tell the whole story.
So we put our fat caps on, researched the burnt ends, and left no crutch behind in our search for 2023’s best portable grills.
Let’s check it out!
The Deets on New Portable Grills
Portable grills are compact units designed to help you have a cookout on the go. Most are easy to carry and can be stored just about anywhere. Since they’re designed for constant carry, some of the best models come with wheels and a top handle.
Propane-fueled portable grills are the most popular kind in 2023. Most use light, inexpensive fuel canisters, which last about 90 minutes. So you might want to have a couple of backup cans when cooking for more than a few people.
If you’re a fan of charcoal, you can opt for that style of portable grill instead of a propane-powered cooker. But since the smoke is smelly and uncontrollable, it’s not ideal in crowded spaces. Plus, the cooking area is minimal. A wood pellet option might be a better choice.
Ultimately, you’ll want to consider four things when buying your grill: quality, size, heat, and ease of cleaning. Don’t skimp on quality if you want your food to cook well. Choose a model with anything between 80-100 BTU per inch. And since these cookers come in various shapes and sizes, you may want to compare options.
No matter what kind of portable grill suits you best, never use it indoors. Not even in your kitchen with the windows open. All of them emit carbon monoxide and are for outdoor use only.
Pro Tip: If you prefer to use charcoal with your grill, this is How to Start a Charcoal Grill, the Right Way.
5 of The Best Portable Grills in 2023
Now that you have some portable grill basics in your knowledge toolkit let’s look at what the 2023 market has to offer. We think these are the best around.
#1 Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill
This cleverly designed propane grill looks like a shiny flying turtle. You can bling it up with a colorful lid or stick with the all-black model. The side tables fold in for easy transport. The cast iron cooking grate surface area measures 189 square inches.
The Weber Q1200 grills evenly at 8,500 BTU. And the disposable drip tray makes for easy cleanup. Best of all, you can place your cooking tools and cutting board on the shelves.
Weber is a brand name you can trust. So compare with other models if you want more BTU power or other add-ons.
#2 Cuisinart Petite Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill
Coming in at half the price of the Weber is Cuisinart’s Petite Gourmet Tabletop Grill. You’ve got 145 square inches of cooking area with a 5500 BTU output. With its folding legs and side handle, this little unit folds up and transports like a steel briefcase.
The Cuisinart Petite Grill is ideal for outdoor buffets with hot food on the table. You can cook your burgers nearby, then move them to the buffet for dinnertime. It’s also a favorite amongst college students and folks on a budget.
However, its tiny size makes it less sturdy than other brands. It’s not the best at heat retention, but it’ll do for people on the go.
#3 GoBQ Portable Charcoal Grill
The GoBQ Portable Charcoal Grill is the lightest on our list of best travel grills of 2023. It only weighs nine pounds. And when folded up, it looks like you’re carrying a trumpet or some other musical instrument. The design is so clever that the case unfolds to become the grill lid.
Hikers and campers love this grill. You can sling it on your back, have a barbeque, and carry away the cooked charcoal inside when you’re done. And it holds a steady fire. However, you must maintain a strong eye while cooking, just like with any charcoal flame.
This cooker offers no bells and whistles. But for some outdoor enthusiasts, it’s ideal.
Pro Tip: We compared Should Campers Use Lump Charcoal or Briquettes When Grilling to help you decide what product is best for you.
#4 HitchFire Forge 15 Hitch-Mounted Propane Grill
This one’s especially nifty for truckers and van campers. It’s your best friend at the tailgate party. And that’s because the grill attaches directly to your hitch!
The Hitchfire Forge 15 is a sturdy, dual burner cooker with fold-out side tables. Its swing arm is built so you can drive with the grill attached and move it aside when you load your truck bed.
And with a built-in bottle opener, HitchFire clearly knows what features crowds will love about this grill.
But the grill is very heavy. And it’s expensive. If you’re not hosting outdoor parties of six or more regularly, this may not be the best 2023 portable grill for you.
#5 PK Grills Portable Charcoal BBQ Grill and Smoker
Last but not least on our 2023 portable grills is the PKGO Grill & Smoker. It’s also known as the Camp & Tailgate Grilling system. This may be your choice if you’ve got the budget for a solid, sizeable tabletop unit.
The sturdy aluminum body and cast iron grates make this model built to last. The lid unhooks to make a fully equipped second grill. And there’s next to no initial assembly. If you can’t go more than a few weeks without grilling, then spending a little over $300 is worth it.
Just keep in mind that this charcoal grill may smoke out your neighbors. So try a few test runs before you take it to a crowded park or neighborhood block party. And kudos to the manufacturer for listing “Good Times” as one of the items included in shipping.
Get Ready For Summertime Cooking
With so many portable grills on the market, deciding which cooker is right for you can be challenging, especially for the aspiring pit boss. If you want to keep it light and easy, go for the Cuisinart model. But if you’re trying to make a good impression at the party, try the Weber or the PK.
Ultimately, the choice is yours. Any of our five will add flavor and flare to your summer cookouts.
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