The Ultimate Guide to Portable Gas Grills

I didn’t include portable gas grills in the gigantic Grill Buying Guide I recently wrote. That’s because portable gas grills really deserve a category of their own! There are tons of them. Some are designed to be table-top models, while others are designed as standalone units. Some can even work both ways.

We’ll take a look at the standalone portable gas grills first. After that, we’ll look at table-top gas grills. And then we’ll finish off with a fun portable grill made exclusively for rabid Star Wars fans!

Standalone Portable Gas Grills

Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill LXE

If you’re looking at all-purpose portable gas grills that you can use for camping, tailgating, or even just for backyard BBQs, your search may already be over.

Coleman is already legendary for their camping supplies, so it’s no wonder the Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill LXE is such a huge hit.

How huge, you ask? Consider this: Out of 4,759 Amazon reviews as of today, 3,935 of them are 4 or 5 star ratings. That’s an incredibly solid 83% who think this grill is great. We’ll talk about the 17% of users who gave it 3 stars or less, but first let’s look at this grill’s features.

The Coleman Road Trip grill’s two burners put out a collective 20,000 BTUs over a cooking area of 285 sq. in. for a respectable 70 BTUs per square inch.

That’s just a tad shy of the amount of cooking power that you’d get from the $500 Weber Spirit II E310 gas grill. Not bad at all! But the popularity of this grill really has very little to do with BTUs. It’s all about solid build quality and intelligent, user-friendly design.

This grill comes with porcelain-coated cast iron grill grates. They can be swapped out for griddle and stove inserts (sold separately), but to be honest, you probably don’t need separate parts to use this grill as a stove every once in a while.

The stove inserts are pretty inexpensive, though, so if you’re concerned about your frying pan damaging the grill grate’s finish, it’s not a big investment. The griddle, however, really comes in handy if you’re planning to cook bacon, eggs, or pancakes.

The lid on this grill is pretty shallow, so you won’t be cooking a turkey on this thing, but the two separate burners are a definite plus. That gives you the ability to cook with indirect heat, or you can use one side for lower-temperature cooking.

As far as cleaning goes, most people say that cleanup is really easy. There’s a removable grease tray, and a lot of buyers recommend lining the bottom of the grill with tin foil. The thing that really makes this grill great for camping and tailgating is the way it folds down into a nice, portable package.

portable gas grills coleman road trip LXE review
Just fold it down and shove it in the car! It doesn’t really get any easier than that.

So what’s up with the 17% of buyers who aren’t crazy about the Coleman Road Trip?

Well, to be fair, about one-third of them don’t really hate it. They gave it 3 stars. They like the grill, but they had various complaints about the burners not staying lit in windy conditions, or the grill grates rattling too much when being transported.

Some people complained of uneven heating, meaning the grill had spots that were hotter than others. Others have said that the grill cooks too hot because the burners are too close to the cooking surface. Those who were really unhappy had gripes about Coleman’s customer service, rust, or various parts breaking or malfunctioning.

It’s hard to say why a small minority of buyers had the problems they had. One thing is certain, though: People are going to use this grill in different ways, and they will care for it in different ways.

I’m not saying that those who complained were careless … I’m sure many of them had very legitimate complaints … but check out this Amazon review from a guy named Adam:

I had this grill for about 4 years now. I love it! It takes seconds to set up. And it fits perfectly in my Nisan Sentra. Do not let the size of this grill under estimate the cooking power. This thing can dish out food and dish it out fast! 1 small tank is enough to feed people of 4 for a day. After 4 years. And just basic TLC. This grill has not rust, no problems. Works just like if I got it out of box. Just basic cleaning after use and you will spend years of grilling.

I guess the conclusion to draw here is that experiences will vary no matter how good any given product is, especially when that product is meant to travel.

Considering that thousands have bought this grill, and thousands love using it, I have no problem declaring that the Coleman Road Trip LXE is a great buy. Portable does not mean indestructible. Just take care of it and you should be in good shape!

portable gas grills coleman road trip lxe review
[click to enlarge] Amazon reviewer Fernando and his buddies love the Coleman Road Trip! And heed Fernando’s advice: Take care of your grill, and it will last you a long while.
portable gas grills coleman road trip lxe gas grill review
[click to enlarge] Amazon reviewer April Portwood never leaves home without her Road Trip! You can fit a lot of food on this thing.


Coleman Sportster Propane Grill

The Coleman Sportster Propane Grill is basically a smaller, less-fancy version of the Coleman Road Trip LXE grill above.

The Road Trip has a cooking area of 285 sq. in. to the Sportster’s 225 sq. in. The Road Trip has two burners that produce 20,000 BTUs to the Sportster’s single burner that puts out 11,000 BTUs. The Sportster also lacks side tables and accessory hooks on the front, both of which you’ll get with the Coleman Road Trip.

So why bother with the Coleman Sportster at all, then?

Well, sometimes smaller is better. The Road Trip is fairly heavy, which can make it hard for a single person to handle. The Coleman Sportster is considerably lighter. It also takes up a lot less space, and it is reportedly easier to roll than the Road Trip.

If you’re looking at portable gas grills and think the Road Trip is too much grill for you, the Sportster might be a better fit.

There are two things you might want to be prepared for, however. First, there’s the grill’s height. It’s a little less than three feet tall. If you’re of average height or taller, like on the high side of 5-feet-something, this grill might not work for you. If you’re over 6 feet tall, the grill’s height will almost certainly be an issue.

The second thing you should know about is the assembly instructions. The Coleman Sportster, overall, has great reviews on Amazon. 113 out of 145 reviewers gave it 4 or 5 stars. Many of the 32 people who gave it 3 stars or less (and even a bunch of the 4 and 5 star reviewers) remarked that the assembly instructions are laughably bad.

When you get the grill, invite a friend over and pop open some bottles of whatever! Have fun with it and assemble it together. Portable gas grills are usually pretty easy to figure out. Provided you have a can of propane on hand (the small 1 lb. can), it won’t be long before you’re grilling up some grub.

portable propane grills coleman sportster grill review
[click to enlarge] It may be smaller than the Coleman Road Trip, but you can still fit a good amount of food on the Sportster.


Blackstone Dash Portable Grill/Griddle

The Blackstone Dash Portable Grill/Griddle swings both ways. You weirdo! That’s not what I mean.

What I’m saying is, this “grill” (more about those quotes in a sec) can be used as a tabletop AND a standalone grill. This is not explicitly stated in the Amazon product description. However, a customer asked, “Can it be used as just a tabletop grill/griddle without the legs?” The answer is yes.

Blackstone unequivocally states, “We tested this over the weekend just to make sure and it most definitely does work.”

As for the quotes around “grill,” and as for why this is called a “grill/griddle” … well, this unit is actually more griddle than grill. Its 240 sq. in. cooking surface is a solid piece of nonstick-coated metal that’s reversible. One side is flat and the other side is ridged.

I suppose the ridged side of the cooking surface is why the Blackstone Dash bills itself as a portable “grill,” but flames will never make direct contact with your food.

Is that a bad thing? Not really, unless you’re dying to flame-broil a Whopper. If anything, the solid griddle-style cooking surface is kind of a plus. You won’t get any dangerous flareups from grease drippings, and the nonstick griddle is easy to clean.

Even the few critics who didn’t like the Blackstone Dash are impressed with the easy cleanup.

Assuming you’re not bothered by the fact that this isn’t actually a “grill” in the truest sense of the word, there’s really a lot to like about the Blackstone Dash. Again, cleanup is super easy, and I can’t stress enough how big of a deal this is.

One of the most common complaints about grills in general is how much effort is required for cleanup. With the Blackstone Dash, you just need to clean the removable griddle surface and empty the grease cup that hangs off the front lip of the grill. It really doesn’t get easier than that.

As for portability, this grill packs up nicely into an Iron Man-like briefcase that can be carried or rolled like carryon luggage. The front legs have to be attached manually—this isn’t a fold-and-go design—but it’s still quick and easy to set up.

So far, 160 people have reviewed the Blackstone Dash Portable Grill/Griddle on Amazon, and 141 of them have given it 4 or 5 star ratings.

The handful of buyers who weren’t crazy about this portable “grill” mostly complained of cheap construction. It is, after all, a pretty inexpensive piece of grilling equipment.

The main gripes center around either what they perceive to be flimsy materials or screws that were either broken or missing. Provided you don’t have any issues with the parts, this grill is a really solid product. It’s simple, it’s user-friendly, and it couldn’t be easier to clean.

If you’re shopping for portable gas grills in this price range, you really can’t go wrong with the Dash.

portable gas grills blackstone dash portable grill griddle review
[click to enlarge] Amazon reviewer Ron (Swanson?) did a little nozzle replacement to hook up his Blackstone Dash to his RV! I would expect nothing less from such a manly man.
portable gas grills blackstone dash review
Everyone knows Iron Man can’t cook! I’ll take the grill, thank you very much.


Cuisinart CGG-180 Petit Gourmet Portable Gas Grill with VersaStand

The Cuisinart CGG-180 Petit Gourmet Portable Gas Grill also swings both ways, just like the Blackstone Dash above! In other words, this grill is designed to function as both a tabletop grill and a standalone portable grill.

The “VersaStand” has telescoping legs, kind of like a typical camera tripod. Simply unfold the legs for tabletop use, or extend the legs to stand the grill up on its own. Ok, Cuisinart! Not bad. But how does this grill compare to the portable gas grills we’ve already discussed so far?

The Cuisinart CGG-180 Petit Gourmet is, by a pretty wide margin, the smallest grill in this list of standalone portable gas grills. Just to be sure, let’s take a look at the cooking areas offered by the other grills in this section:

  • The Coleman Road Trip: 285 sq. in.
  • The Coleman Sportster: 225 sq. in.
  • The Blackstone Dash: 240 sq. in.
  • The Cuisinart CGG-240: 240 sq. in.
  • The Napoleon Grills PRO285X: 285 sq. in.

And the Cuisinart CGG-180? It has a very “petit” 145 sq. in. cooking area with a single burner that puts out 5,500 BTUs. That’s almost half the cooking area of the Coleman Road Trip and the Napoleon Grills PRO285X! Hmm.

But does that mean this is a lousy portable grill? Well, if you’re expecting a spacious cooking area, this is definitely not the grill for you. As far as the Amazon reviews go, this grill’s small size is a real advantage, not a liability.

Out of 896 reviews so far, 675 of them are 4 or 5 star ratings. That’s a solid 75% of buyers who are happy customers. They like the small size, the porcelain-enameled cooking grate, and just about everyone says it’s plenty big enough to cook for 2-4 people.

Wanna cook eight burgers at once? No problem. The grill will be crowded, but you can totally do it. And RV folks have no issues with using an adapter to connect this Cuisinart grill to a larger, full-size propane tank.

Many of the people who dislike this grill, however, make the very predictable complaint that it’s “cheap.” I think a certain number of customers are going to feel this way no matter what the product is.

I guess all I can say is, manage your expectations! This grill is relatively inexpensive, and you already know that it’s built to be light and portable. Keep those things in mind when you’re shopping for portable gas grills.

A less-predictable complaint about the Cuisinart CGG-180 Petit Gourmet Portable Gas Grill, however, is that this grill has a tendency to melt certain plastic parts, namely the latch on the front.

To be fair, this complaint was made by about 10-12% of those who gave the grill low ratings, so it’s far from universal, but it’s still something to keep in mind if you’re tempted to crank the heat up to high.

My recommendation on this grill would be to buy it if you need something small for light-duty cooking. That means occasional, not daily use. Cooking for no more than a couple of people. And of course, the better you take care of it, the longer it will last you!

portable gas grills review top 10
[click to enlarge] Light-duty cooking for just a few people? The Cuisinart CGG-180 Petit Gourmet can handle that!


Cuisinart CGG-240 All Foods Roll-Away Gas Grill

portable gas grills cuisinart cgg-240 roll-away gas grill review Amazon won’t let me link directly to certain products and I have no clue why, but the Cuisinart CGG-240 All Foods Roll-Away Gas Grill is worth including in this list.

If you’re looking at portable gas grills and already like the Cuisinart name, you just hit the jackpot! The little Petit Gourmet model above is fine if space is at a premium, but this grill really fits what Cuisinart fans have come to expect from the brand.

The Cuisinart CGG-240 Roll-Away Gas Grill has 240 sq. in. of cooking space that is heated by 15,000 BTUs.

It has a double-walled stainless steel lid. It has stainless steel fold-out side tables. It has a collapsible steel stand. The cooking grate is porcelain-enameled cast iron. There’s a hood thermometer. The loop burner is controlled by a temperature control knob that serves double-duty as a twist-to-start ignition.

This grill would be better if it had two separate burners that could be independently controlled, but other than that, it has a really nice list of features.

So how does it perform? Well, the reviews on Amazon for this grill are combined for both the tabletop version and this version with the “roll-away” cart.

The combined reviews, including the tabletop model, are 82% positive. 763 people out of 931 total Amazon reviewers gave it 4 or 5 star ratings. If you filter those reviews down to the cart-only model, the percentage of positive reviews drops to 71%, and that seems to be mostly the result of problems assembling the cart.

Some people have said that the pre-assembled cart was pre-assembled incorrectly. Others have said that the cart doesn’t fold up or down as easily as it should.

One buyer commented that she had trouble removing the “cooking unit” from the cart every time she wanted to move the grill. WHAT?? Um, you’re not supposed to remove the grill. It doesn’t work that way.

Anyway, a number of buyers have also said that the grill grate is really hard to clean. And, naturally, there are various complaints of how the grill rusted out prematurely or this part or that part broke or stopped working.

No, you do NOT remove the grill from the cart when you want to move it! It folds down, nice 'n' easy.
No, you do NOT remove the grill from the cart when you want to move it! It folds down, nice ‘n’ easy.

The good news is that a bunch of people have reported using this product for anywhere from two to five years. There will always be negative reviews saying that (insert product name here) didn’t last, but when you have other reviewers saying the opposite, that’s pretty telling.

Like it or not, a grill is an appliance that requires care and maintenance. It needs to be cleaned. It needs to be treated well. I’m sure that a certain percentage of naysayers probably did take care of their grills and still experienced an early breakdown.

I am also equally confident that there are plenty of people who just let the grime build up, knocked the grill around some, and then were surprised when the grill stopped working.

The Cuisinart CGG-240 All Foods Roll-Away Gas Grill is the kind of product that Cuisinart is known for. It’s stylish, it’s well-designed, and it’s built with a generous amount of stainless steel, a feature that Cuisinart seems to be known for. Buy it. It won’t disappoint you if you give it the care it deserves!

portable gas grills cuisinart cgg-240 roll-away gas grill review
[click to enlarge] Amazon reviewer Steven Lang is a man of few words! But he makes them count.


Napoleon Grills PRO285X-BK Travel with Scissor Cart

Napoleon isn’t exactly a household name … at least not in America. It’s a Canadian company that is already very well-known for their fireplaces, and they’ve also quietly carved out a niche in the high-end gas grill market.

But if you’re looking for a quality grill to take camping or tailgating, you might want to get acquainted with Napoleon. The Napoleon Grills PRO285X is fairly expensive as portable gas grills go, but part of that cost is the “scissor cart” that the grill is attached to.

If you can live without or simply don’t need the scissor cart, you can save a good chunk of money by going with the TravelQ PRO285 tabletop grill. You will be getting the exact same grill either way.

As far as major stats go, this grill is actually pretty similar to the Coleman Road Trip, which is described at the top of this article. Like the Road Trip, the Napoleon Grills PRO285X has 285 sq. in. of cooking area, two separate burners, and it is mounted on a nice, sturdy travel cart for easy transportation.

You can also buy a separate griddle to use in place of a grill grate. The Coleman, however, puts out 20,000 BTUs of heat compared to Napoleon’s 12,000 BTUs. This absolutely does not mean the Napoleon grill is inferior, but cooking times might be a bit longer because the burners are using less fuel.

Some have complained that the Coleman Road Trip is kind of a gas guzzler, but that’s not the case with this Napoleon.

The Amazon feedback on this grill is pretty amazing. Between the TravelQ PRO285 (tabletop) and the PRO285X (with scissor cart)—again, they’re the same grill—there are 21 total reviews. 19 of those reviews are on the tabletop-model TravelQ, and the other two reviews are from the scissor cart model.

18 out of those 21 reviews are full 5 star ratings, leaving three people who gave the grill 3 stars or less. I also hunted down some additional reviews on non-Amazon websites and found more rave reviews. Here’s a sampling of what people are saying:

  • (scissor cart model) Both the cover and the base of this unit are cast aluminum, not pressed sheet steel … The bottom half of the unit is funnel-shaped, with a removable grease drip pan that is easily cleaned. This shape makes cleaning the interior straightforward. There aren’t any cheap sheet-metal parts to rust away like some other grills I’ve owned. – William F. Mcgrath, May 6, 2018
  • (scissor cart model) Very happy with the grill. a little tough to keep the temp down low, but one side on low and the other off works pretty well. Grate is easy to clean though I have not yet pulled the elements to clean the bottom pan. hoping that works out just as well. Overall a great product. – HomeBrewer, August 28, 2017
  • (tabletop model) I am a daily griller–rain, sleet, snow, or shine–85% of our meals come from the flame … By far the best portable grill money can buy. – Amazon Customer, May 5, 2016
  • (tabletop model) Best portable BBQ for the price. Well made, high lid, and very easy to clean. It has 2 burners, and gets hot enough to (sear) thick steak. – Michel, April 30, 2015
  • (tabletop model) Since I’ve gotten this grill I’ve completely quit using my 4 burner Brinkman. This grill gets hotter faster and had a lot more consistent heat all the way around then my normal porch grill. It will sear meat easily and the thermometer is pretty accurate. Great grill for tailgating and camping. – Shawn E. Hinson, August 5, 2015

A fairly unusual comment made by one reviewer from Chicago, IL, was about how wind-resistant this grill is:

Wind has not been an issue. Our condo is on a “wind tunnel” street and the north west wind shoots right into the back of the grill. After reading reviews we decided to buy the grill and create a wind break, but this hasn’t been needed yet even on the windiest days. – Robert Collins, September 2, 2016

Another reviewer commented that the Napoleon PRO285 “lights instantly, even in high winds.” This is significant, considering the number of people who have complained that the Coleman Road Trip doesn’t stay lit in windy weather.

The three people who gave this grill less-than-stellar ratings were all buyers of the tabletop TravelQ PRO285. One of them had problems with the JetFire ignition. The other two said the “threaded collar” that connects the hose to the propane tank wasn’t very durable and that it posed a safety hazard.

They’re correct that a damaged hose connector can be dangerous, which is something to watch out for regardless of what kind of gas grill you’re using.

As for why two people had problems with this particular part I can’t really say, but it could be an issue of over-tightening the valve. Regardless, all gas grill users who are using a hose to connect a propane tank should keep an eye on the condition of their gear.

I’m putting this video here to show you how the scissor cart works.
The grill pictured is the TQ285, whose grill lid isn’t quite as tall the PRO285X‘s.


Tabletop Portable Gas Grills

We’ll start this section with a reminder that some of the grills listed above also come in tabletop models, or are already designed for tabletop use:

The Blackstone Dash Portable Grill/Griddle has been tested by Blackstone as a portable tabletop gas grill. It works!

The Cuisinart CGG-180 Petit Gourmet Portable Gas Grill is designed to be used as either a portable tabletop gas grill or a standalone. The grill’s “VersaStand” telescoping legs fold out for tabletop use, and they extend if you want the grill to stand up on its own.

The Cuisinart CGG-240 All-Foods Roll-Away Gas Grill is not designed to be removed from its Roll-Away cart. There is, however, a portable tabletop gas grill model available. The Cuisinart CGG-200 All-Foods Tabletop Gas Grill is the same grill as the CGG-240, but it sits on its own little tabletop base.

portable gas grills cuisinart cgg-200 portable tabletop gas grill review
The Cuisinart CGG-200 is the tabletop version of the CGG-240. Also available in black finish if stainless doesn’t do it for you. And bonus: It’s a little cheaper because you’re not paying for the cart.

Likewise, the Napoleon Grills PRO285X is not designed to be removed from its scissor cart. If you don’t want or need the cart, then save some money by going with the Napoleon Grills TravelQ PRO285. Although this grill is definitely portable, it’s fairly large! Check out the video below to get an idea of its size.

The scissor cart is cool, but you can save some $$$ by going with the TravelQ PRO285.

Now that we’ve got all that covered, let’s take a look at some more portable tabletop gas grills below!


Coleman Fold N Go Instastart Grill

Neither the Coleman Road Trip nor the Coleman Sportster is designed to be used as a portable tabletop gas grill. That’s where the Coleman Fold N Go Instastart Grill comes in.

As you might have already guessed from the thumbnail over there on the left, this grill is much smaller than its stand-up counterparts. At 105 sq. in., the Coleman Fold N Go’s cooking area is about as small as you’ll find in any of the portable gas grills on the market.

Still, it’s big enough to cook four burgers and a couple of hotdogs all at the same time. A single burner puts out 6,000 BTUs, and most people say that it’s easy to clean.

The Amazon feedback so far is really impressive. Out of 254 total reviews, 207 are 4 or 5 star ratings, which translates to about 82% positive! That’s a very strong vote of confidence. Buyers appreciate the Coleman Fold N Go for what it is: a no-frills grill that’s designed to be ultra-portable and easy to use for grilling up some quick grub.

Those who had problems with this grill, of course, have numerous complaints.

Some received a grill that was either dented or chipped. Some have said that the handle “melted off.” Despite the many comments about how easy it is to clean this grill, some have said that cleaning it is too hard.

A number of people have commented that the grease pan has some sharp edges, and fingers have been cut while cleaning. Without question, the most common complaint is about the latch that holds the lid shut. A whole bunch of people have complained that the latch doesn’t work as it should.

Given the number of happy buyers, I’m not too concerned about the negative feedback. Yes, you might have to be a bit more careful when cleaning the grease pan. Parts shouldn’t melt if you keep an eye on the grill while you’re using it.

If the latch is a big concern, Coleman sells a carrying case that is designed just for the Fold N Go. Oh, and just like the Coleman Road Trip, you can get separate griddle and stove accessories to replace the Fold N Go’s cooking grate.

As portable gas grills go, the Coleman Fold N Go Instastart Grill is a pretty simple piece of equipment. If you take care of it, you’ll get to cook plenty of good food on it while you’re camping or tailgating or whatever fun thing you’re up to!

portable gas grills coleman fold n go portable tabletop gas grill review
[click to enlarge] Amazon customer photos are usually pretty blah, but this one is really cool!


Smoke Hollow 205 Stainless Steel Tabletop Propane Gas Grill

Fun fact: As of this writing, the Smoke Hollow 205 Stainless Steel Tabletop Propane Gas Grill is the #1 selling portable gas grill on Amazon!

Why? Because where else are you going to get a stainless steel grill at this price? It’s a really nice-looking piece of hardware. Also, Smoke Hollow’s customer service is reportedly excellent, so I’m sure that has something to do with the brisk sales as well.

This grill comes with 205 sq. in. of cooking space, a 105 sq. in. warming rack, a stainless steel cooking grate, and a single burner that puts out 10,000 BTUs.

A removable grease tray slides out from under the grill, and when you’re ready to pack it up, just latch the lid and fold in the legs. The handle on the grill’s lid doubles as a carrying handle.

The Amazon reviews on this grill are solid, but not flawless. As of right now, 643 out of 876 total reviews are either 4 or 5 star ratings. That’s about 73% which is certainly respectable.

Most people say that the grill is sturdy and well-built, and it’s easy to clean. It also does a fine job of cooking, which is kind of important! But there’s some disagreement on the heat distribution. Some say it heats evenly, and others say that it’s decidedly uneven.

Even people who love this grill have commented on uneven heat distribution, but they don’t seem too bothered by it. In fact, some see it as a positive and find ways to use the less-hot side for dual-zone cooking.

Another criticism is that the burners are too hot, even on the lowest setting (see the Char-Broil Grill2Go below for a possible solution to this). Many have reported faulty ignition, which is easily replaced by a phone call to Smoke Hollow. Some have received grills with dented or missing parts.

All of these complaints are pretty sporadic, but one that seems especially common is that attaching the lid handle is a chore. If you’re not careful, the screws might drop into a gap in the lid, and fishing the screws out isn’t easy. There are also a number of complaints about flareups from grease drippings and whatnot.

This grill may not be perfect, but most people are quite happy with it. If this is the price range you’re looking at, the Smoke Hollow 205 Stainless Steel Tabletop Propane Gas Grill is a solid choice. If you have any issues, just call customer service and they’ll get you taken care of.

portable gas grills smoke hollow 205 portable tabletop gas grill
[click to enlarge] Amazon reviewer Jason W.’s experience with the Smoke Hollow 205 has been nothing short of great!


Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 Portable TRU-Infrared Liquid Propane Gas Grill

Char-Broil has really carved out a nice little niche for itself in the infrared grill market.

Not too long ago, I wrote about how infrared grills are different from “regular” grills, so maybe take a look at that if this kind of grill is new to you. There aren’t a lot of portable infrared grills on the market, and you’re unlikely to find any that are more affordable than the Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 Portable TRU-Infrared Gas Grill.

This grill isn’t quite as sleek as some of the other grills in this list of portable gas grills … in fact, I think it kind of looks like the tackle box I take with me when I go fishing. But when it comes to performance, this portable infrared grill delivers.

The Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 portable infrared grill has a cooking area of 200 sq. in. and a burner that puts out 9,500 BTUs. If you know a little something about infrared grills, you already know that they burn hotter than traditional gas grills, so those BTUs will go a long way.

Also, unlike the Smoke Hollow grill discussed above, infrared grills all but eliminate flareups. This is the result of the infrared grill’s design, so that’s another benefit of going infrared.

So far, this portable infrared grill has 731 Amazon reviews, and 546 of those are 4 or 5 star ratings. That translates to about 74% of buyers who really like this grill, which is quite good. The people who like this grill LOVE it. They love the build quality, and they love the way their food comes out.

They are also totally cool with the very same issue that many others complain about: This grill cooks hot. As mentioned earlier, that’s just how infrared grills work.

And that brings us to the two major complaints about this grill. First, a lot of people are turned off by how hot this grill cooks. That’s not surprising, and it’s actually a complaint that plagues other grills that don’t have an infrared grate design.

The infrared grate on this Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 ups the heat even more, and people who don’t know how to deal with it become especially frustrated. The other issue that is common among the negative reviewers (and many positive reviewers as well) is the propane tank regulator. There is wide agreement that it’s not very good at regulating anything at all.

Luckily, there’s a piece of hardware that can address both of these issues! Now remember, not everyone who buys this portable infrared grill has regulator problems.

Plenty of people have no issue with it at all. They’re using this grill right out of the box, no problems. But if you buy this grill and find that (a) it’s too hot, and/or (b) the regulator sucks, pick up a Bayou Classic Brass Control Valve. It’s a “needle valve” which gives you great control over gas flow. And it’s cheap! You might also have to get a couple of brass adapters at your local hardware store.

According to Amazon reviewer Ritchie K. Bauer, “with this valve you can reduce the temp to whatever you want and can cook moist chicken breasts and perfect slow cooked ribs (350 deg on the temp gauge).” The Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 is most definitely NOT intended to cook low-and-slow, but the Bayou Classic valve apparently makes that possible.

Bonus! New functionality with a little hardware upgrade. And it’s not just for the Char-Broil. It should fit most portable gas grills.

Something else you might want to pick up with this grill is the Char-Broil Grill2Go Carry All Case. It provides a nice, easy way to keep your portable infrared grill, grill tools, and 1 lb. propane canister(s) together.

portable gas grills valve upgrade bayou classic
This very uninteresting piece of metal is a needle valve. If your grill is driving you crazy because you can’t control the heat, this thing should do the trick. It goes between the regulator and the grill.

Cooking with infrared may take some getting used to because of the generally higher temperatures at which things get cooked. But once you see that your food is coming out juicier and better than ever, you just might become a lifelong convert.

portable gas grills char-broil grill2go X200 infrared gas grill review
[click to enlarge] Amazon reviewer Brandon Hill likes the way the Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 TRU-Infrared gas grill sears his steaks.
portable gas grills char-broil grill2go X200 infrared gas grill review
[click to enlarge] This little piece of brass is called a needle valve, and it gives you better control over gas flow!


Giantex Propane TableTop Gas Grill Stainless Steel Two-Burner BBQ, with Foldable Leg

That’s not a typo—this grill comes with a foldable leg! Actually, it has four foldable legs. Even better.

All joking aside, this grill is a lot like the stainless steel Smoke Hollow grill discussed above. Giantex, for whatever reason, doesn’t give the exact size of the cooking area, but this grill appears to be a bit smaller than the Smoke Hollow and its 205 sq. in. cooking area.

Nonetheless, a number of reviewers have commented that Giantex’s grill is bigger than they were expecting. Another common thread among reviewers is that this grill is GREAT! As of this writing, there are 48 total reviews, and 40 of them are 4 and 5 star ratings. That’s about 84% positive for those who are keeping score! Impressive.

I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that this grill has two burners (10,000 BTUs each), and like Smoke Hollow’s grill, its small size and foldable legs make it easy to move around.

Despite the overwhelmingly positive reviews, users of this grill do have some criticisms. Many have commented that it cooks too hot, a complaint that has also been levied against the Smoke Hollow grill. Several have also commented that the stainless steel feels “thin,” and a couple have expressed doubts about how long this grill might last.

After combing through the reviews, I saw a couple of reviews that had very positive updates after three months of use, but none that indicated usage beyond that length of time. I suppose time will tell how well this grill holds up in the long run.

48 reviews isn’t a ton of feedback, but it’s very promising to see that 40 of those buyers are happy with their Giantex grill. Considering the fairly low price, I’d call this a safe buy.

But will it last more than a couple of summers? I suppose the jury’s still out on that one, but you’re sure to increase the amount of use you get from it if you give it some TLC. That’s just how grills work!

portable gas grill
[click to enlarge] Despite the annoying stickers on the legs, this is a pretty handsome piece of stainless steel!


Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill

Weber obviously makes their living in the full-size grill market, but their Q series of portable grills is nothing to sneeze at.

In fact, this particular Weber Q model has no less than 93% of its reviews in the 4 and 5 star range, most of which are full 5-star reviews. To be more precise, 732 out of 850 (86%) Amazon reviewers have given the Weber Q1200 perfect 5 star ratings as of this writing. That’s rare for any product, let alone a grill!

People’s experiences with grills can vary wildly, especially with portable grills that get knocked around and used under different conditions. It’s worth noting that these outstanding reviews aren’t limited to just the Weber Q1200. Weber’s other Q grill models (Q1000, Q2000, Q2200), which vary in size but share the same basic design, also enjoy similarly high ratings.

So what makes the Weber Q series of portable grills so special?

Well, a lot of happy buyers of the Weber Q1200 say that it delivers big grill performance in a portable package. This comes from people who have owned full-size grills in the past, but decided that a smaller grill was more suitable for them.

These comments are interesting because the Weber Q1200 looks pretty average on paper. Its cooking area of 189 sq. in. is heated by a single burner that puts out 8500 BTUs. Compare that to the Coleman Roadtrip’s 285 sq. in. cooking surface and two burners that produce 10,000 BTUs each, and you might be inclined to go Coleman instead.

A whole bunch of Q1200 buyers have made this exact comparison, and they unanimously agree that they’re extremely happy that they went with the Weber.

It’s big enough to cook for 2-4 people, it’s sturdy, it’s portable, and it’s extremely reliable. The Q1200 can be also used with small propane canisters or, with the optional Weber 6501 6′ Adapter Hose, a full-size 20 lb. propane tank. There is also an optional grill cart (the Weber 6557 Q Portable Cart) that people are raving about as well.

portable gas grill review
Weber’s fancy Q cart turns their portable grill into a standalone model real quick.

As far as flaws, there are two major complaints.

First, the Weber Q1200 is compatible with small propane canisters (14.1 or 16.4 oz.), but apparently getting those canisters to screw on right can be a real pain. A very small minority of haters have complained about this loudly. Some of them swear that they just can’t get the small canisters to work at all!

Even some of the Q1200’s happy customers have commented that the small gas canisters are tough to attach properly.

Another major complaint is that one of the grill’s handles is seriously obstructed by the propane connection. Again, some happy buyers have made the same comment, but I guess this bothers some people a lot more than others.

And, of course, there are some who complain that the Weber Q1200 cooks too hot and burns everything. This complaint is so common across gas grills of all types that it seems inevitable no matter what grill you’re talking about.

Based on the outlandishly high customer ratings on the Weber Q1200 and its Q series brethren, it looks like Weber has really hit a home run here. They’ve built a stylish clamshell-type grill that lives up to the quality implied by the Weber name, and casual grillers are loving it.

It’s popular with home users as well as campers and the RV crowd, so it really seems hard to go wrong with this one. Buy with confidence.

Weber Q1200 portable gas grill review
[click to enlarge] When it comes to his Weber Q1200, Amazon reviewer justChill just *can’t* chill … because he loves it so much!


And just for fun …

Broil Chef Star Wars TIE Fighter Gas Grill

Star Wars fans, rejoice! I’m sure Broil Chef would make an X-Wing Fighter grill if they could, but that shape would be pretty tough to cook on.

So this grill looks cool, but is it any good?

For vital stats, I can tell you that it has a cooking area of 220 sq. in. and removable side shelves. BTUs and whether it has one or two burners are unknown.

As far as performance goes, it’s kind of hard to say. As of this writing, there are only 14 total reviews on Amazon, and they basically break down to 9 reviews that are positive (4-5 stars) and 5 reviews that are negative (3 stars or less). In fact, 4 of the 5 negative reviewers gave this TIE Fighter grill a rating of 3 stars. The other reviewer gave it 1 star.

The person who gave it 1 star had only this to say: “Terrible price on this, ridiculous actually.”

Yes, this grill is pretty expensive as portable gas grills go, but nobody was holding a blaster to your head when you made the purchase! Or maybe Uncle Owen bought this grill without consulting Aunt Beru first, and now she’s ticked off? Oh wait, that can’t be. They’re dead. (spoiler alert!)

broil king tie fighter grill star wars
It may not be the greatest grill ever made, but it might be the coolest!

As for actual feedback on this TIE Fighter grill’s performance, most of the positive reviews are short and less-than-descriptive. It’s probably fair to assume that those reviewers were more excited about the TIE Fighter than the actual grill itself. The lone 5-star review that sheds any light on the quality of this grill is as follows:

I bought this for my husband for Christmas. We both were impressed with this grill. The attention to detail (he is the Star Wars buff) and the workmanship (I am the mechanical engineer) totally impressed both of us! And the temps this grill achieves to grill a 2″ thick ribeye steak to perfection surpassed our other grill that this one replaced. A Force to be enjoyed! – Cynthia C. on January 13, 2018

Ok, that’s promising! Also, possibly one of this grill’s biggest selling points is that the Star Wars logo is emblazoned on the grill grate in reverse. Now you can sear it into your meat!

broil king tie fighter grill star wars
The only thing better than a juicy steak is a juicy STAR WARS steak!

As for critics of the TIE Fighter grill, two buyers had complaints about the hose adapter for hooking up a 20 lb. propane tank. Both seem to indicate that the hose this grill comes with doesn’t fit the propane tanks that most people get locally.

One of those reviewers also commented that this grill is hard to clean. Another person, for whom the hose was apparently not a problem, commented that the grill doesn’t get hot enough: “All my food comes out Luke-warm.”

The customer feedback on Broil Chef’s TIE Fighter grill may be limited, but at least it’s entertaining. Here’s my favorite:

Wah-waaaah. Cue rimshot.

But in all seriousness, this grill sounds like it’s pretty average. At least it would make a great (albeit expensive) gift.

Oh! And if you really want to go nuts, you can also get a light saber spatula, light saber tongs, and a Darth Vader apron. The spatula is stainless steel, so it might scratch up your fancy Star Wars grill grate if you’re not careful. The tongs make light saber noises when you move them. And the Darth Vader apron is just pretty cool.

Even if you pass on the grill, get the apron!


broil king tie fighter grill star wars accessories
Grill accessories for people who would prefer to be grilling in a galaxy far, far away!

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