No tailgate party is complete without delicious grilled food – am I right? Whether you’re a seasoned tailgater or a complete newbie, having the right grill can make all the difference. The best tailgate grills are portable, easy to use, and can cook a variety of foods, from chicken wings to burgers.
We spent hours researching and testing various tailgate grills to identify the best options for you. Whether you’re a charcoal purist or a propane enthusiast, we’ve got you covered with our top picks for the best portable tailgate grills.
Also see our guide for the best tabletop grills, many of which can also be used for tailgating.
When shopping for a tailgate grill, there are a few critical things to consider. It’s crucial to pay attention to features such as heat distribution, cooking surface size, fuel source, and build quality. You want a robust and sturdy grill that will withstand the test of time and provide consistent cooking results. In addition, the grill should be simple to clean and easy to assemble, allowing you to focus on the fun rather than the fuss.
If you want some help knowing what to look for in a tailgate grill, be sure to scroll to the bottom below the reviews. We’ve got all the info you need right there.
Quick Pick List
Don’t have time to read the entire article? That’s okay. We’ve got a quick pick list of the top 3 bestsellers for you to choose from!
- Portable and Compact – Lightweight steel & cool to touch handles make the Cube easy to transport. It’s the ideal camp stove for outdoor grilling. Use it with family & friends as a tailgate grill or take it to the beach as your portable BBQ
- Grill Anywhere – Use the Cube barbeque grill on any heat-resistant surface. With an integrated base to protect your grilling surface, this heat guard makes the Cube the perfect tabletop charcoal grill, tailgating grill, RV grill, or travel grill
- All-in-One-Design – This charcoal BBQ has an integrated storage tray for accessories or food. It also includes a bamboo cutting board to prepare meat, fish, veggies & more. Two safety latches fasten all of these items into one small portable grill
- Easy to Clean – The charcoal tray, fire box, & removable grill rack make cleaning the Cube easy. There is no need for gas or propane with this portable camping charcoal grill. It is designed with high quality construction intended for lifetime use
- Ample Cooking Area – This mini grill has 115 sq. inches of grilling surface to provide plenty of space on your compact grill. Grill 6 small burgers or 3 medium steaks on the Cube portable stove. Dimensions 9.05 H x 13.67 D x 16.73 W
- GAS GRILL: Powered by liquid propane gas, this grill runs on a 1-pound propane gas tank, not included. It reaches cooking temperatures quickly, delivers high temps and maintains even heat.
- COOKING AREA: Grill up to 10 burgers, 4 chicken breasts or 14 brats on a 240-square-inch grate.
- BTU RATING: This grill has a 9,500 BTU rating. *BTU is a measurement of energy used by your grill and is not related to how hot it will get. Grills with lower BTUs burn less fuel to cook your food.
- GRATES: These wire grates are porcelain-coated to resist rust and make them easier to clean. They’re lightweight, retain heat to cook food evenly and leave impressive grill marks.
- TEMP GAUGE: The lid-mounted temperature gauge displays accurate temps, so you always know the cooking temperature inside your grill.
- Tailgating Anytime & Anywhere: Portable enough for pickup cooking with 2-in-1 user-friendly combo design for satisfying your different needs and barely need to reassemble for fast and quick barbecue.
- Grill or Griddle, It’s up to You: Ceramic-coated griddle plate and cast iron cooking grates are designed for versatile cooking options, such as pancakes, bacon strips, eggs, T-bone steaks, fish fillets and chicken breast.
- Powerful Performance: 4 independently controlled stainless steel burners emit up to 40,000 BTU (10,000 BTU each) performance totally, which evenly distribute heat to 430 sq. in. cooking space for consistent cookout.
- Spark Electronic Ignition: Turn the control knobs anti-clockwise to HIGH position and light up your combo with a simple push of one button at the middle of control panel.
- Hassle-free Cleanup: The slightly grooved drip tray channels oil fast into the grease cup which collects residues for mess-free dumping and cleaning after use.
Best Tailgate Grills Reviews
If you’re planning a tailgate party, a good grill is a must-have. Whether you prefer charcoal, propane, or electric, there are plenty of options available to suit your needs. Likely you’ll want to stick with something similar to your gas grill or charcoal grill at home.
In this article, we’ve rounded up the best tailgate grills on the market, so you can find the perfect one for your next outdoor gathering. From compact and portable to larger models with plenty of cooking space, these grills are all top-rated and highly recommended by customers.
This portable gas grill is perfect if you desire a compact, easy-to-use cooking appliance for your next tailgate event.
- Large enough cooking grate for family meals
- Quick heating with efficient gas usage
- Versatile telescoping base for tabletop or floor stand use
- Require cleaning after each use
- Legs may have some locking issues
- Slightly awkward to move and adjust
We recently tested the Cuisinart CGG-180 Petit Gourmet Portable Gas Grill with VersaStand and found it to be a fantastic choice for tailgating and other outdoor events. With its compact design and ample cooking grate, we were able to cook various meals such as steaks, hamburgers, and chicken breasts.
What stood out to us was the quick heating and efficient gas usage. This grill heats up in no time and does not consume as much gas as full-sized grills. The integrated adjustable telescoping base was a plus point, allowing us to easily transform the grill from tabletop use to floor stand use, depending on the available space.
However, we noticed that the grill requires cleaning after every use, which can be a small hassle during outdoor events. We also experienced some difficulties locking the legs in place, making it slightly awkward to move and adjust. Nonetheless, the grill’s performance and portability outweigh these minor cons.
In conclusion, the Cuisinart CGG-180 Petit Gourmet Portable Gas Grill with VersaStand is a great investment if you’re looking for a high-performance and portable grill for your tailgate parties and outdoor activities. Its compact design, quick heating, and versatile telescoping base make it a must-have for those on-the-go grilling adventures.
The Coleman RoadTrip 285 is an ideal choice for tailgate enthusiasts who desire a reliable and convenient grill with excellent performance.
- Easy setup with quick-fold legs and wheels
- Precise temperature control with 3 adjustable burners
- Generous grilling area of 285 sq. inches
- Propane cylinder not included
- Might require water for grease management
- Weighs 46.7 pounds, making it heavier than some portable grills
The Coleman RoadTrip 285 Standup Propane Gas Grill stands out with its sturdy quick-fold legs and wheels, which make setting up and moving the grill simple. We appreciated the hassle-free camping and tailgating experiences this grill provided.
With 3 adjustable burners and up to 20,000 total BTUs, controlling the heat for different grilling recipes was a breeze. The large grilling area of 285 sq. inches allowed us to cook for a big group effortlessly. Additionally, the integrated thermometer enhanced our cooking accuracy.
Although the grill’s weight might require some effort to transport, we found it a fair trade-off for the superior performance and convenience features. It is important to note that the grill requires a separate propane cylinder, and some users may need to add water for grease management.
Overall, the Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill’s ease of use, adjustable burners, and spacious grilling area make it a top choice for those seeking the perfect tailgate grill in 2023.
If you’re looking for a portable grill that’s perfect for tailgating, camping, or any outdoor adventure, the Pit Boss Grills 75275 Stainless Steel Two-Burner Portable Grill is a great option.
- The 430 stainless steel construction makes this grill durable and long-lasting.
- With two 10,000 BTU burners, you’ll have plenty of heat for grilling and searing.
- The portable design with folding legs and latching hood makes it easy to carry and transport.
- The heat deflectors are cheaply made and may need to be replaced.
- The dome thermometer isn’t very accurate and may need to be calibrated.
- The cooking space is limited to 274 square inches, which may not be enough for larger groups.
This grill is perfect for those who want a portable option for outdoor grilling. The stainless steel construction makes it durable and able to withstand the wear and tear of travel and outdoor use. With two burners, you’ll have plenty of heat to cook up your favorite dishes, and the portable design makes it easy to transport wherever you go.
One downside of this grill is that the heat deflectors are cheaply made and may need to be replaced. Additionally, the dome thermometer isn’t very accurate and may need to be calibrated for more precise temperature readings. Finally, the cooking space is limited to 274 square inches, which may not be enough for larger groups.
If you’re looking for a portable and convenient griddle for your outdoor cooking events, the Royal Gourmet PD1301S Portable Gas Grill Griddle is a great option to consider.
- With sturdy feet and a portable design, this table top grill is perfect for small outdoor cooking events like camping and tailgating.
- The three separately controlled burners offer a total of 25,500 BTUs cooking power, while the integrated piezo ignitor provides instant ignition with the simple push of a button.
- The griddle top offers 316 square inches of cooking area, perfect for frying rice, eggs, hash browns, French toast, bacon, and hamburgers.
- The griddle top is detachable for washing, but it may be difficult to clean due to its size and weight.
- The grill does not come with a propane tank, so you will need to purchase one separately.
- Some users reported that the grill’s control knobs are not very durable and may break after frequent use.
This griddle is easy to assemble, and the control panel with a piezo ignition system enables quick start-up, making barbecue easier than ever before. The large oil cup collects grease residue for easy cleanup after use, and the removable, slide-out grease cup collects oil residue while cooking, making cleanup a breeze.
The Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill is a reliable choice for anyone seeking a high-quality portable tailgate grill for 2023.
- Sturdy build and even heat distribution
- Easy-start electronic ignition
- Compact design with folding side tables
- Requires disposable LP cylinders (sold separately)
- Only one burner
- No international shipping
Upon unboxing the Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill, we immediately noticed the sturdy feel of the shroud, which opened smoothly on its hinges. The grill features a stainless steel burner capable of producing 8500 BTU-per-hour, heating up its 189 square-inch total cooking area with ease. The combination of its porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates and cast aluminum lid and body ensures durability and even heat distribution.
Starting up the grill was a breeze, thanks to its easy-start electronic ignition and infinite control burner valve settings. We loved the compact design, which included folding side tables that provided additional workspace when needed. The grill runs on disposable 14.1 or 16.4 oz LP cylinders, meaning you won’t have to lug around a larger propane tank. However, keep in mind that these cylinders are sold separately.
The Weber Q1200 does have a few potential drawbacks. With only one burner, it may not be ideal for those who need more cooking capacity. Additionally, international customers are out of luck, as this item is not eligible for international shipping.
Overall, we found the Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill perfect for tailgating and other outdoor events. Its compact and sturdy design, combined with easy ignition and precise heat control, make it a great investment for any grill enthusiast.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly, portable, and versatile griddle, the Royal Gourmet PD1203A is a great option for your next tailgate party or outdoor adventure.
- The porcelain-enameled cooking surface accommodates up to 7 asparagus, 4 burger meat, 2 bacon strips, 2 eggs, and 2 steaks, making it perfect for small groups of 2-3 people.
- The compact size and functional design of the flattop griddle provide various cooking options, from scrambled eggs to succulent steaks, ideal for your next cookout activities.
- The two stainless steel burners emit up to 16,000 BTU of heat in total, providing rapid and even heat to two independent temperature zones.
- The excess oil, drips, and residues may leak through the oil leak hole, which can be a bit messy to clean up.
- The griddle needs to be seasoned before use, which may take some time and effort.
- The cooking surface may stick if not properly oiled or seasoned, making it difficult to clean.
The Royal Gourmet PD1203A Griddle is an excellent choice for those looking for a portable and affordable griddle. It’s easy to start, heats up quickly, and provides even heat distribution, making it perfect for outdoor cooking. However, it may require some seasoning and proper oiling to avoid sticking issues. Overall, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly and versatile griddle for your next tailgate party or outdoor adventure, the Royal Gourmet PD1203A is definitely worth considering.
If you are looking for a compact and portable charcoal grill that is perfect for tailgating, camping, or boat trips, then the Duke Grills Omaha Go Anywhere Portable Charcoal Grill with Lid is a great option.
- The grill is made of durable steel and features a porcelain enamel finish, ensuring that it will last for years of use.
- The versatile design of the grill makes it perfect for a wide range of outdoor activities, including camping, tailgating, and boating.
- The foldable legs of the grill can be used as handles, making it easy to transport.
- Some users have reported difficulty controlling the temperature of the grill, which can make it challenging to cook certain foods.
- The assembly instructions for the grill could be clearer, which may make it difficult for some users to put together.
- The grill is relatively small, which may limit the amount of food that you can cook at one time.
The Duke Grills Omaha Go Anywhere Portable Charcoal Grill with Lid is a great option for anyone who wants a compact and portable grill that is perfect for outdoor activities. The grill is made of durable steel and features a porcelain enamel finish, ensuring that it will last for years of use. Additionally, the versatile design of the grill makes it perfect for a wide range of outdoor activities, including camping, tailgating, and boating.
However, some users have reported difficulty controlling the temperature of the grill, which can make it challenging to cook certain foods. Additionally, the assembly instructions for the grill could be clearer, which may make it difficult for some users to put together. Finally, the grill is relatively small, which may limit the amount of food that you can cook at one time.
If you’re looking for a portable grill that’s perfect for tailgating, camping, or a day at the beach, the Everdure CUBE Portable Charcoal Grill is a great option.
- Portable and compact design makes it easy to transport and store
- All-in-one design includes storage tray and preparation board
- Ample cooking area for a small grill
- Charcoal grilling can be messy and require more effort than gas grilling
- Some users may prefer a larger cooking area for larger gatherings
- No lid included, which may limit some cooking options
This portable charcoal grill is perfect for those who want a premium grilling experience on the go. Designed by famous British Chef Heston Blumenthal, this grill is stylish, compact, and easy to use. The integrated food grade storage tray and bamboo cutting board make it easy to prepare and cook your favorite foods, while the chrome handles keep external heat to a minimum, making it easy to move while cooking.
The Everdure CUBE Portable Charcoal Grill is lightweight and compact, making it easy to transport and store. It’s the ideal camp stove for outdoor grilling, and can be used with family and friends as a tailgate grill or taken to the beach as your portable BBQ. With 115 sq. inches of grilling surface, you can grill 6 small burgers or 3 medium steaks on this small grill.
Cleaning the Everdure CUBE Portable Charcoal Grill is easy, with a removable charcoal tray, fire box, and grill rack. There’s no need for gas or propane with this portable camping charcoal grill, as it’s designed with high-quality construction intended for lifetime use.
When choosing the best tailgate grill, there are several factors to consider. Here are some features to look for when selecting a grill for your next tailgate party:
Consider the size of the grill you need based on the number of people you will be cooking for. A larger grill will be necessary if you plan on cooking for a large group of people. However, if you only plan on cooking for a few people, a smaller grill may suffice.
There are several fuel types to choose from, including propane, charcoal, and electric. Propane grills are easy to use and heat up quickly, while charcoal grills offer a unique flavor and are great for slow-cooking. Electric grills are convenient for indoor use and are easy to clean.
If you plan on taking your grill on-the-go, consider a portable option that is lightweight and easy to transport. Look for features like foldable legs, wheels, and carrying handles to make transportation easier.
Temperature control is an important feature to look for in a tailgate grill. Make sure the grill has a built-in thermometer and adjustable heat settings to ensure your food is cooked to perfection.
Additional features like side burners, warming racks, and storage compartments can make your tailgate experience more enjoyable. Consider what features are important to you and look for a grill that meets your needs.
In summary, when choosing the best tailgate grill, consider the size, fuel type, portability, temperature control, and additional features. By taking these factors into account, you can find the perfect grill to make your next tailgate party a success.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the top-rated portable gas grills for tailgating?
The top-rated portable gas grills for tailgating include Weber Q2200, Coleman RoadTrip X-Cursion, and Cuisinart CGG-180T. These grills are compact, easy to use, and offer excellent cooking performance
Which brand offers the best tailgate smoker?
Traeger is the brand that offers the best tailgate smoker. Their portable grills are easy to use, offer great cooking performance, and are built to last.
Are portable grills worth the investment for tailgating?
Yes, portable grills are worth the investment for tailgating. They are compact, easy to transport, and offer excellent cooking performance. Plus, they allow you to cook delicious food while enjoying the game with your friends and family.
Can you use a charcoal grill for tailgating?
Yes, you can use a charcoal grill for tailgating. Charcoal grills are great for outdoor cooking, and they offer a unique smoky flavor that gas grills can’t match. However, they require more preparation and cleanup than gas grills.
What are the most important features to consider when choosing a tailgate grill?
The most important features to consider when choosing a tailgate grill are size, weight, cooking performance, and durability. You want a grill that is compact, easy to transport, offers excellent cooking performance, and is built to last.
Which tailgate grill is the most durable and long-lasting?
The Traeger Tailgater is the most durable and long-lasting tailgate grill. It is built with high-quality materials, offers excellent cooking performance, and is designed to withstand the rigors of outdoor cooking.
Laura is a passionate home cook and grill enthusiast who has spent years perfecting her culinary skills, with a particular focus on grilling techniques and flavor combinations. Her fascination with the grill, smoke, and the mouthwatering results they produce has led her on an exciting journey to discover the best methods for grilling delicious and unforgettable meals.