As we say goodbye to summer and hello to the unpredictability of fall weather, we aren’t quite ready to part with grilling. Luckily, with the invention of portable grills, we don’t have to. They provide refuge from the ever declining winter temperatures and allow us to enjoy all of our favorite foods, over and over again. These compact cooking companions can still be utilized outdoors, when it’s nice enough out. Their light weight lends to easy portability, allowing travelers to bring them to camp-outs, beach trips and family barbecues.
Due to the compact size of portable grills, they cost less than their larger counterparts to fuel. They are ideal for city life, apartments and folks that like to grill out on their balconies. When the grills are done being used they can simply be stored in the garage or closet. Portable grills are the perfect solutions for those who live alone. While there are a variety of options to choose from, there are a few things you should keep in mind when shopping for a portable grill.
What to Look For
Portable grills are perfect for fans of barbecuing, because it enables people to grill whenever, wherever. Remember to keep a few things in mind when searching for your new portable grill.
Depending on your audience, you’ll need to consider how large of a grill to buy. Portable grills are generally between 190-300 square inches. 190 square inches is about enough space to make 6 burgers, 300 about 10. As the grills gain in size they also gain in price.
Charcoal or Gas?
The age old debate. While charcoal grills are a better option for red meat and provide better searing capabilities, they can be a messy cleanup. Gas grills require the flick of a switch, grilling and simply brushing off once it cools down.
Are perhaps one of the most important decisions when purchasing a grill. Stainless grates are durable and clean easily. Cast iron gates work well too, but need to be treated with oil every now and then. Cast iron and porcelain are also viable options that will serve well over time.
Best Portable Grills in 2016
The Blackstone Tailgater tops the list because who doesn’t like breakfast for dinner?! Arriving completely assembled with sturdy, yet collapsible legs for easy storage, this grill packs in 60,000 BTUs. As if the griddle/grill combination wasn’t inclusive enough, it allows the capability of removing parts to use pots and pans on the surface. The grill body is sturdy and composed of cast iron and steel.
The roomy griddle and powerful grill are easy to clean, but customers recommend keeping the unit covered to prevent rust from the elements. If traveling, remember to clean your grease trap out before storing and carrying the grill back home. Despite a few setbacks, The Blackstone Tailgater receives tons of positive feedback. It heats up quickly, requires little effort during cleanup and stores simply.
The Weber Q100 arrives completely put together evenly cooks anything from hot dogs to corn and steaks. This grill can also be used as a griddle if the component is purchased separately and interchanged with one half of the grate. At 27 pounds, The Weber is a little hefty, but fine to toss in the car for camping and outings with family. With porcelain-enameled grates, this is bound to hold up to normal wear and tear throughout the years. It’s important to note that the fuel tank must be purchased separately.
Though the grill can heat up immediately, it is best used when pre-heated to prevent charring and cook the meat more evenly. While the dip tray collects grease adequately enough, avid grillers recommend wrapping it in foil to extend its lifespan. The charcoal grill is fine for a small family, about enough space to cook 2 steaks. It makes the list for its versatility and durability.
For around $50 the Go-Anywhere grill weighs in at just under 15 pounds and is large enough to cook around 4 steaks. The grill arrives already assembled, no messing around with nuts and bolts. It makes the list for the wonderful price and simplistic nature. Campers love how easy it is to travel with this grill and the vent flow allows for off-set grilling.
This charcoal grill heats up quickly producing a denser, richer smoky flavor. Remember to put this grill on a steady and non-plastic surface as the grill does get very hot. It’s recommended to use an oven mitt when lifting the lid of the grill to prevent burns. The porcelain coating is in place to prevent weather related rusting from ruining the finish. Overall, for the price you really can’t go wrong with this travel sized charcoal grill.
This red beauty employs a sturdy porcelain-enameled grate and can hold up to 4 pounds of fish or up to 10 chicken breasts. The 18 pound grill needs no assembly. It’s ready to accompany you to a friend’s house or a fishing trip. It uses less fuel than its larger relatives but packs the same cooking power and even heat distribution. This is a great portable grill that’s simple to use. No bells and whistles, but provides a reliable surface to cook BBQ favorites on.
Unfortunately, this grill does not have 3 burners so it does require a little extra time to heat up. Within about 10 minutes it’s preheated enough to cook a meal for about 2-4 people. There are a few flaws with this setup, one being that it takes awhile to clean and the other being that you have to be extra vigilant with the locking mechanism. This Cuisinart makes the list because it holds up to extended wear and tear and cooks great meals.