Have you ever attended a sports event where half of the day, you hung with your friends in the parking lot and enjoyed great food cooked on a tailgate grill? Tailgating is so much fun as it involves consuming lots of food and beverages from or around the open tailgate of a vehicle. The event has its own special vibe, and we cannot blame you if you also want to arrange a similar party for your family as well.
But for a successful tailgate party, you need to invest in one of the best tailgate grills. That’s important because you can’t just let your cooked food ruin the fun and happy vibe of the day.
So, whether you are into a charcoal grill, propane, or even pellet grill, there is a tailgating grill for everyone. You can easily get your hand on a portable grill that you can conveniently take to any event you want.
All these amazing tailgate grills can help you prepare the best ribs, burgers, and steaks right from your truck’s bed. Interestingly, some options also have built-in stands for people who do not have space in their vehicles.
If you are ready with your money, we have a list of the ten best tailgating grills for you. All the products mentioned below are high quality, so you don’t have to scour the internet at all. We have also curated a helpful buying guide, in the end, to help you select the best tailgate grill.
Let’s dig in to know all the details.
10 Best Tailgate Grills of 2021
Here is the list of some amazing portable grills for you.
Coleman Roadtrip Portable Propane Grill
Why is this grill number one on our list? It is because the Coleman Roadtrip Portable grill comes with three burners, produces powerful heat, and can be easily transported from one place to another.
What’s more, this propane grill has 285 square inches of cooking space. This space is located on the unit’s cast-iron grates and can deliver a grilling power of 20,000 BTUs.
Moreover, this portable grill comes with independently-controlled burners that help you to try various tailgate dishes. Besides, the grill also features sliding tables to prepare and serve grilled foods.
The Coleman Roadtrip grill has foldable legs, making this unit fit any vehicle quite easily. Moreover, its well-built, rugged wheels make it easy to move this amazing piece of equipment.
While this tailgate grill has a sufficient grilling area, the position of its removable drip pan is a little disappointing. This pan needs to be emptied and cleaned after every use, but the Coleman Roadtrip grill’s design makes it hard to access the tray.
You need to ensure the right balance of the grill and wait till it cools down before you can get to the tray without making it fall. In addition, since the burners are not covered, the grease from the food can drop on them.
That said, this grill has all the potential to be your first tailgate grill. It is available in five colors. In addition, if you require additional griddles to swap with the old ones, you can do so by purchasing them online.
- Portable grill
- Adjustable burners
- Comes with side tables
- Rugged wheels
- Excellent BTU rating
- Sufficient cooking area
- Hard to access the dripping pan
- No covering for burners
Weber Q 2200 Gas Grill
If you are looking for a portable gas grill, look nowhere else. The Weber Q 2200 gas grill comes with 280 square inches of cooking space to help you grill all kinds of delicious meals of your choice. Besides, the porcelain-enameled lid with grates and two foldable work tables will make any family picnic amazing.
This amazing grill works by using small propane cylinders that you will have to buy separately. Moreover, unlike most other propane grills, the Weber Q 2200 grill has fantastic features such as electronic ignition, a built-in thermometer, and an infinite control burner valve.
Also, this unit has a lightweight grill body made with aluminum which makes it convenient to move. The Weber 2200 grill also comes with ergonomic handles so you can move the grill from your house to the truck bed.
The Weber Q 2200 grill has one stainless steel burner that produces 1200 BTUs in an hour. So, regardless of its high price tag, the Weber Q2200 grill is a joy to use. It is large and powerful, and its sturdy construction reflects its unmatchable performance.
- Large cooking area
- Foldable work tables for serving
- Comes with many high-end features such as a built-in thermometer
- Ergonomic handles
- Produces impactful heat
- Durable grill
- Expensive grill
Green Mountain Grill-Davy Crockett Pellet Grill
Wood pellets are a favorite fuel of grilling enthusiasts these days. Why? Because wood pellets burn cleanly and are also convenient with temperature control.
The Green Mountain grill makes the process of grilling quite easy. This advanced grill comes with an electric feeder system that helps feed the pellets and support the continuous performance of the unit.
However, a pellet grill like this one may have a size and weight bigger than usual tailgate grills. So, you might not be able to fit it in your small vehicle.
But this factor doesn’t limit the performance of the pellet grill when it comes to heat distribution. The portable grill has a built-in thermometer that supports maintaining and setting the temperature. This feature makes grilling quick and easy so that you can have more time hang out with your family and friends
Interestingly, the Green Mountain grill also has Wi-Fi. What does that do? If you want to enjoy a hands-off experience while grilling, you can connect the unit with your smartphone through an app and control the temperature as you like.
Of course, you can’t enjoy all these features without electricity, so make sure you have a socket near you before you grill your favorite meat on this unit.
- Automatic feeder
- Built-in thermometer
- Wi-Fi enabled
- Side tray
- Large surface area
- Bigger and heavier for small vehicles
- Doesn’t come with wheels
- Require electricity for some features
Weber 18-inch Joe Charcoal Grill
If you are a fan of smoke-infused food, a charcoal grill can be your best companion. The Weber Jumbo Joe charcoal grill is a compact grill with a lightweight design, making it ideal for charcoal grilling and your tailgate party.
Moreover, this portable charcoal grill comes with a lid lock that works as a heat shield for your classic meat dish. Do you know that this grill can easily cook up to eight burgers at a time? Yes, the 18-inch grill can cook many burgers on its grill grates and is ideal for a large group at a sporting event.
In addition, the unit comes with an aluminum ash catcher that is quite an amazing feature for people who love a quick clean-up every time. What’s more, this tailgate charcoal grill also features a porcelain-enabled bowl and lid, and that’s how the grill retains heat.
Wait, there’s more! The grill’s lid handle features a unique heat shield, and you will also find dampers to control the internal temperature. One of the best things about this portable charcoal grill is its size which is ideal for different events.
- Compact and lightweight grill
- Gives an amazing taste to your meat
- Retains heat
- Requires quick cleaning
- No thermometer
- Grill grates are not hinged.
Smoke Hollow 205
One of the best features of a tabletop grill is its small size, making it quite appropriate for tailgating. But small tailgate grills usually do not produce enough heat to cook your food with perfection. However, that doesn’t mean all tabletop grills are inefficient.
The Smoke Hollow 205 grill is portable, compact, and lightweight, but at the same time, this piece of equipment delivers an impressive 10,000 BTU output. In addition, it comes with adjustable legs that you can fold, making it the best portable propane grill.
Also, this unit has 205 square inches of cooking area with a temperature gauge. This built-in feature makes temperature reading quick and easy.
The gauge helps to control the temperature while grilling the meat on Smoke Hollow 205. Moreover, the lockable hood maintains the internal temperature.
This amazing unit features a stylish top rack. You can keep your food on this rack which is quite convenient.
But at the same time, the rack may hinder your movement while you grill large meat pieces. However, since this rack is removable, you don’t have to worry much about this problem.
- Good BTU output
- Lockable hood
- Folding legs
- Gauge for temperature control
- Tricky to control temperature on this grill
- Top rack creates hindrance.
If you want an easy-to-use grill, investing in the best portable gas grill should be your priority. And with a BTU output of 9500, the Char-Broil Grill2Go is your best bet.
While most gas tailgate grills can usually grill a few pieces of meat, the Char-Broil Grill2Go uses hot coals and can cook a dozen burgers at a time without any flare-ups.
Gas grilling on this unit is a piece of cake. How?
Other than its durable aluminum construction, the Char-Broil Grill2Go comes with a push button ignition. Moreover, it also features a temperature gauge mounted on the lid and has steel grates and a stainless steel burner.
With that said, the Char-Broil Grill2Go grill has some downsides. For instance, this option isn’t recommended if you are looking for a grill that requires an easy clean-up. Secondly, since there is no temperature regulator, you will have to monitor the heat yourself to avoid mishaps.
But other than these loopholes, the Grill2Go grill is a broil king, which can be a great piece of equipment for meat lovers like you.
- Great output
- Can cook a dozen burgers at a time
- Comes with push button ignition
- Stainless steel grates are durable.
- Doesn’t clean easily
- No temperature regulator
Traeger Ranger Wood Pellet Grill
As one of the best tailgate grills, the Traeger Ranger wood pellet grill has a 185 square inch cooking surface and weighs almost 60 pounds. Besides, it can cook up to six burgers at a time thanks to its cooking area and a pellet hopper of 8 pounds.
This tabletop grill also features a meat probe built inside the grill to measure the temperature of your meal and maintain the high heat as required. The Traeger Ranger wood pellet also comes with a unique “Digital Arc Controller”. This unique part helps you set the temperature according to your requirements in increments of 5 degrees.
Furthermore, this grill has a cast-iron griddle and coated grill grates. Moreover, you can use the grill securely using the two locks on the front side of this unit.
While this grill is pretty amazing, we only wish that it wasn’t too heavy. Moreover, this isn’t an affordable grill. You need to save enough dollars before you book one for yourself.
- Meat probe
- Large hopper
- Includes griddle
- Digital Arc Controller
- Expensive grill
- Heavy unit
Royal Gourmet GT1001 Gas Grill
An excellent grill is one of the most crucial parts of your tailgating equipment. That is why it needs to have a durable construction so you can grill hot dogs, chicken wings, or even some salmon while enjoying a match with your friends.
Best tailgate grills are rare to find, but the Royal Gourmet GT1001 grill is an exception. This propane grill has 280 square inches of cooking space and produces 10,000 BTUs in total. Moreover, it weighs 19.6 pounds and has a cooking capacity.
This portable gas grill comes with a unique U-shaped burner and features a stainless steel body that does rust or ruin easily. The U-shaped burner heats up quickly, thus giving your steaks an excellent texture every time.
In addition, it is accompanied by a temperature gauge that helps produce excellent finished cooking results.
The flat top of the GT1001 gas grill makes it look like a full-range cooking set-up. So, if you are a frequent traveler or loves grilling now and then, this unit will help you prepare meals anywhere you go.
What’s else is there? The grill comes with foldable legs supporting the whole structure. Moreover, it also features a latching hood supported by an ergonomic and compact handle.
The grill also has a spill resistant drip tray which makes it quite convenient to clean this unit. However, if you are busy tailgating, it’s best to remove this tray to avoid any mess.
The only problem we found in this model is the flame tamer, which is located quite high. Therefore, you will often find it touching the grate, which results in scorching the tamer. This is a design flaw, and it does create slight issues while grilling.
- Lightweight grill
- Large surface area
- U-shaped burner
- Foldable legs
- Spill resistant tray for convenient cleaning
- Flame tamer located too high
Weber Go-Anywhere 1-Burner Gas Grill
Let’s accept it; not every one of us has a huge budget planned for a grill. Moreover, some of us only tailgate occasionally or once a year, so it isn’t wise to splurge on an unaffordable grill. In that case, buying a budget-friendly unit is your best bet, and the Weber Go-Anywhere gas grill is a great option.
Weber is one of the most amazing brands that you can trust, so with this grill, you can easily cook your favorite meat before the game starts.
This tailgate grill has a cooking area of 150 square inches, and like most other tailgate grills on the list, the Go-Anywhere 1 -gas grill also comes with a stainless steel burner. Additionally, this unit can easily offer 6500 BTUs every hour, which is adequate to cook burgers and hot dogs. But if you are looking for a powerful grill, the Go-Anywhere gas unit might disappoint you.
Moreover, the Go-Anywhere 1-gas grill also features a cooking grate made of steel and a push button ignition for convenient use. It also comes with nylon handles so you can move the grill from one place to another.
What makes this unit special is its steel legs. You can easily fold the legs, which helps the lid lock so you can carry the grill. That’s what worry-free transport looks like.
Overall, the Weber G0-Anywhere gas grill will be your number one companion for tailgate parties and other adventures.
- Inexpensive grill
- Foldable legs
- Push-button ignition
- Nylon handles for transport
- Limited power
- steel grates take effort to clean
Cuisinart CCG190RB is a tailgating grill that uses charcoal to produce heat. This charcoal grill has a surface area of 150 square inches, and it comes with a lid that is secured using locks for convenient transport.
What’s more, the Cuisinart CCG190RB grill is quite lightweight and weighs only 4.2 pounds. That’s quite a plus point for people who arrange tailgate parties more than often.
In addition, the Cuisinart CCG190RB grill has a venting system and a firebox with an enamel coating that helps catch all the ashes produced. It is safe to say that this grill is a wonderful charcoal model with an affordable price tag.
But since its cooking area is small, it only prepares food for two to three people. Moreover, while the firebox catches ashes, you will still have a mess to clear.
In addition, the grill doesn’t have a good height, so you will have to sit and cook, which might not be comfortable for some of you. Also, since this grill doesn’t come with a built-in thermometer, you will have to get one separately.
- Lightweight grill
- Firebox and venting system
- Small cooking area
- Short height
- No built-in thermometer
Buying Guide-How to Choose the Best Tailgate Grill?
Did you find our recommendations overwhelming, and are you still unsure which one to select? We understand your situation as it is hard to choose only one tailgating grill from a group of ten.
But before you get disappointed, we can help you sort out this problem. Explore this buying guide which highlights some crucial factors to consider before choosing the right grill. We hope by the end of this article, you will successfully pick one.
There are many different types of tailgating grills available in the market:
- Charcoal: Charcoal is the most favorite fuel for many people. That’s because it adds a smoky flavor to your food which increases the value of the dish. Moreover, charcoal tailgate grills are easy to set up and use.
- Propane: Unlike charcoal, propane burns cleanly, and tailgate grills that use this source often create less mess. Moreover, propane tailgate grills are easy to control and manage the temperature.
- Wood Pellets: Pellet tailgate grills are relatively new, but they also burn neatly. Besides, they usually come with feeding systems that help keep the temperature stable.
So, depending on your preference, choose a grill whose fuel source can support your cooking skills. Moreover, if you hate cleaning after grilling, prefer a propane or wood pellets tailgate grill.
Also, charcoal emits carbon monoxide after burning. Therefore, gas production isn’t safe for you or the people around you. After using the charcoal, you will also have to take care of its disposing process to avoid any fires caused by hot briquettes.
We can’t help but emphasize that compactness and portability are two major factors to consider before you buy a tailgate grill. Your grill should be lightweight to carry and easy to use so you can utilize it on even sudden party plans.
Also, it isn’t wise to invest in a heavy grill and then end up hurting yourself while adjusting it in your truck. Your best grill would be the one that takes minutes to set up and unpack after use.
A compact grill is useful if your vehicle is small. It is because it takes less space in your truck which makes it easy to accommodate the passengers and other party supplies. Moreover, you can also use this grill in evets other than tailgate parties.
How many guests do you plan to invite to your tailgate party? Of course, if you have a big social circle, your party will turn out more fun. But you will also have to arrange a grill with a significant cooking capacity.
This in no way means that you should cancel the idea of compactness. For example, some small models have sufficient cooking areas and are designed to serve meat to a big group of people.
Moreover, even if you plan to party with only two people, give capacity importance. You never know; you might make new friends during the game who may want you to grill some burgers for them as well.
Features and Design
There are so many things that can come under this heading, but some crucial factors take the lead over others. These are:
- Ergonomic handles
- Sturdy foundation
- Stable bases
Every important feature has a role to play. For instance, some tailgate grills come with lids which makes it easy to maintain the internal temperature. Besides, a well-structured body keeps the heat away from the ground and prevents all kinds of fires.
What’s more, wheels help with transport. Moreover, wheels with locking systems prevent any movement while you are busy cooking and grilling.
The material used to construct a tailgate grill is also imperative. Most units are made of stainless steel and are easy to clean.
Similarly, the shape of the grill may also affect the overall design. But make sure not to prioritize shape over performance. In simple words, don’t just buy a grill because of its fancy outlook only.
One of the factors that can ruin or make your grilled meat is the temperature. This factor is imperative because an uncooked chicken using the wrong temperature can lead to food poisoning. Similarly, no one loves burnt food either.
Considering the importance of temperature, it is wise to invest in a tailgate grill with a good temperature control system. Most gas tailgate grills have temperature dials, which you can check for the range of temperature settings available.
On the other hand, charcoal tailgate grills lack dials, but they do feature vents. So if you opt for a charcoal tailgate grill, check for the number of vents it comes with. Multiple vents mean that you can maintain good temperature control and manage the airflow leading to a better heat and burn rate.
If you want to cook and grill more than one meat at one time, having more than one burner is imperative. You can set the temperature of each burner differently, so you can easily grill many types of meat cuts according to their respective recipes.
However, if your budget doesn’t allow it, buying a grill with just one burner is also fine, provided you have a small social circle.
Availability of a Warming Rack
Now, most of you might not fancy a grill with a warming rack, but let us tell you that this feature is quite amazing. First, it can help store your grilled food, so you don’t have to place it anywhere else.
Secondly, it helps make space for more cooking. By placing the food from the grilling area onto this rack, you can utilize the space to make more food. Moreover, this rack also helps keep the grilled food warm.
Gas Models BTUs
We have used the term BTUs in this guide many times but do you understand what it signifies? BTUs is a measure that reflects the heat output of a grill.
If you want to invest in a long-lasting and efficient tailgate gas grill, you should look for a unit that has more BTUs. This means that your grill can heat up quickly, which saves your time.
For a large party, it is wise to invest in a grill that has more BTUs. But you should also be prepared to spend more money as such units can be costly.
A hopper holds pellets that are supposed to be fed into the grill. So, if a hopper has a significant capacity, you can load more fuel at a time. This means you will have enough time to spend with your family instead of fiddling with the grill.
There are many additional features that can help change your grilling experience at your first tailgate party. For instance, some tailgate grills come with a stand or table, making grilling and then eating the food quite convenient.
Moreover, many units also have side tables. These help to secure your grilling gear which may otherwise get lost or fall on the ground.
Also, if you like carrying your grill with ease, some units come with handles. These handles help for easy transport regardless of the overall weight of the grill.
With this, we have finally come to the end of this guide. So, did you find any grill worth your tailgating party, or do you still require some time to make a decision? Choosing the best tailgate grill can be overwhelming and cumbersome, but if you consider all the major factors and then match them with your requirements, it won’t take long before you have your first grill at home.
Then you can use that grill on parties and even on some camping trips.
We hope this guide served you well. Best of luck with your first tailgate grilling adventure!