Best Portable Tailgate Grill

Best Portable Tailgate Grill

When I first started tailgating I used to bring with me an old, rusty tailgate grill that I bought years ago. After a few night outs and plenty of burned barbeques, I figured it was time for me to buy a new one and kick the old one out of the curb.

I scoured the internet and reviewed these six portable grills which I found to be perfect for bringing to concerts, Monday Night Football, and everything in between. For all you hardcore tailgaters out there, stick around and see which grill is the best for you.

Portable Tailgate Grills

Cuisinart

MOST PORTABLE

Cuisinart CGG-180TS

PRICE: $$$

Its compact design includes a 145 sq. inch of cooking space and is light enough to bring to any outdoor activity. 

Rated by Nathan

Char-Griller

BEST CHOICE

Char-Griller 2-2424

PRICE: $$$

Its versatility in being used as a grill and a side fire box will suit the needs of tailgaters, campers, and hikers alike. 

Rated by Nathan 

Coleman Road Trip

GREAT ALTERNATIVE

Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill

PRICE: $$$

The epitome of cooking up a sizeable meal for friends at family whether you’re at a picnic, camping, or tailgating.

Rated by Nathan 

Char-Griller Table Top Charcoal Grill

Best Tailgate Grill For 2018

The Char-Griller Table Top Charcoal Grill is my top pick for a portable barbeque grill.

You get a bang-for-your buck grill that features a large 250 sq. inch of cooking space for grilling steaks, meats, and kebabs. 

The Char-Griller’s powder-coated steel construction is built solidly and its cast iron grill retains heat very well.

I like how it offers heat control via two adjustable dampers.

One feature that caught my attention is that you can also use it as a side fire box for some Texas-style smoking and I had no trouble cleaning it due to its easy-access ash pan. For a price point of under 70 bucks, it’s the best portable grill you can buy.

PROS

  • Large 250 sq. inch of cooking space
  • Versatility: can be used as a side fire box for Texas-style grilling
  • Easy to clean

CONS

  • Paint chips off if extensively used
  • Gunk builds up easily on grills
  • Uses charcoal as fuel

Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill

Ultimate Tailgate Grill Experience

If you’re looking for the ultimate game-day grill, look no further than the Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill.

It’s the epitome of cooking up a sizeable meal for friends at family whether you’re at a picnic, camping, or tailgating.

The Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill’s 285 sq. inches of cooking surface is so wide you can grill or sear multiple burgers, meats, kebabs, and steaks all at the same time. 

You can change the grill grates and swap them out for griddle and stove grates for a variety of cooking options.

It’s also easy to set-up. Just unfold the grill, roll it to your desired cooking spot, start the ignite button, and you’re rocking and rolling. The wheels are perfect for positioning the grill where you want it to.

All in all, the Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill is an excellent choice.

PROS

  • Wide 285 sq. inches of cooking surface
  • Collapsible design: quick to set-up and fold back
  • Wheels for easy transport

CONS

  • Can heat up unevenly on cooking surface
  • Prone to rusting if left exposed on humid conditions
  • Subpar build quality of wheels

Cuisinart CGG-180TS

Gourmet-style Portable Grilling

If you fancy gourmet-style grilling in a tiny package, then the Cuisinart CGG-180TS is the right grill for you.

Its compact design includes a 145 sq. inch of cooking space and is light enough to bring to any outdoor activity.

The lid latch system is a neat feature that allows you to lock the lid and grill meats faster. What I like about this portable grill is that you can use it on small spaces and still manage to cook up a good meal. 

The Cuisinart CGG-180TS’s porcelain enamel coated grill grate cooks evenly every single time.

All you need is a propane canister, twist the ignition, and get grilling. The small cooking space keeps heat evenly distributed which makes it energy efficient when compared to much larger grills. The CGG-180TS is a good tailgate grill that combines ease of use and portability.

PROS

  • Lid latch system
  • Compact, sturdy design
  • 145 sq. inch of cooking space

CONS

  • Not suitable for grilling large meats
  • Cooks slower when compared to large grills
  • Plastic handle is prone to melting

Char-Broil Grill2Go X200

Rugged Grill That’s Built to Last

If I’m going out for some serious camping and I need a rugged, sturdy portable grill, the Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 is the one I’m definitely bringing.

This bad boy is built to survive your bravest adventures by using heavy duty materials all around.

Its got a dual stainless-steel latch system with a high-impact frame design. It also uses a stainless-steel grilling grate which will last longer than conventional cast iron grates.

With 200 sq. inch of cooking surface, you can cook up kebabs and large steaks easily.

The Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 is convenient to use as well. All it takes is a push of a button and you’re ready to start grilling. I like how the handles are heat-resistant so you don’t have to worry about it getting extremely hot.

Despite its sturdy build materials, it’s on the lighter side at only less than 20 lbs. You won’t have trouble bringing this grill anywhere you want.

PROS

  • Rugged, durable construction
  • Heat-resistant handles
  • Push-button ignition

CONS

  • Can get extremely hot due to the use of TPU-Infrared grills
  • A bit difficult to keep clean
  • Subpar regulator durability

George Foreman GP200GM

Easy Clean, Easy Grill

A no-frills portable grill, the George Foreman GP200GM is low-maintenance but high in performance.

It features a reversible nonstick plate which you can flip from grill to griddle, making it handy for a variety of cooking options.

The grill plate is also dishwasher safe which is a huge plus in my book. It’s easy to keep clean and there’s hardly any mess that sticks around when you clean it.

The George Foreman GP200GM has a 200 sq. inch of cooking surface that allows you to cook plenty of burgers, bacon, meats, you name it.

The push ignition button is convenient to use and is powered by a 1 lb. propane tank that can last up to 4 hours when used at the lowest setting.

Overall the George Foreman GP200GM is a great tailgating grill for almost any outdoor activity.

PROS

  • Easy to keep clean
  • Detachable carrying straps make it easy to carry
  • 200 sq. inch cooking surface

CONS

  • Plastic lock can break easily
  • Cannot close lid while using it
  • Doesn’t retain heat very well

Smoke Hollow 205

On-the-go BBQ

The Smoke Hollow 205’s stainless-steel construction makes it an excellent outdoor cooking grill that you can use for camping, backyard grilling, and other outdoor events.

Everything is made of stainless steel including the drip trays, the grills, and the warming rack which should last for a very long time.

Its got 205 sq. inches of cooking space along with a 105 sq. inch warming rack on top which is chrome-plated.

What I like about this grill is the foldable legs that allow easy storage and a front handle for convenient carrying.

The heat gauge on top of the lid is a nice addition. The push button ignition works very well and the dual latches are nice and secure.

PROS

  • All stainless-steel construction
  • 310 sq. inch of total cooking space
  • Heat gauge on top of lid

CONS

  • Uneven heat distribution
  • Rather thin stainless steel
  • No proper heat control

Factors to consider when buying a tailgate grill

Are you having a hard time choosing which portable grill is best for you? Well don’t worry because I got your back. There are many important factors to consider when buying a grill and I believe these three key elements should influence your decision in making a solid purchase.

Build Quality

Ideally when choosing a portable grill, the first thing you should look out for is the build quality. Is the grill made of solid, durable materials like stainless steel and cast iron? Does the paint come off easily and is prone to rusting?

Build Surface

Are the handles and latches made of cheap plastic? Or is it made of heat-resistant material? You want a grill that is built to last and is able to withstand constant use. Avoid buying grills that use thin, lightweight metals as these are more prone to breaking under a year’s worth of use.

Look for heavy-duty grills that use thick metals. These will last for a very long time.

Cooking Surface

Consider a grill’s cooking surface before you buy it. For huge tailgate parties, you want a grill that’s portable enough but still offers a wide cooking surface to grill sizeable amounts of meats and barbeques.

If you’re going camping or hiking, a grill with a smaller surface area will do the work just fine. Pay attention to the materials of the grill as well. Some use porcelain grill grates and others use cast iron grill grates.

Heat Source

Portable grills are either gas-fuelled or charcoal-fuelled. Grills that use propane tanks often provide even, clean heat. The downside is that propane tanks are sometimes a bit cumbersome to carry around.

A charcoal grill uses charcoal as a heat source. It’s much cheaper than propane tanks and produces a constant high level of heat while giving your food a smoky flavor. The downside is that it leaves ashes after using it.

Weigh in your options and consider what kind of grill you want to use.

Conclusion

The Char-Griller Table Top Charcoal Grill is the best tailgate grill to pick up. I believe its versatility in being used as a grill and a side fire box will suit the needs of tailgaters, campers, and hikers alike.

For its price tag, the construction is solidly built and offers a large surface for cooking up hearty meals. You can’t go wrong with choosing the Char-Griller Table Top Charcoal Grill as your tailgate partner.

Char-Griller Table Top Charcoal Grill

Closing statement

So there you have it folks. A detailed look at some of the best barbeque grills you can purchase today. Before picking one of these bad boys up, remember to weigh in your options and consider your needs to get the most bang-for-your-buck grill that will serve you well for years to come.