In this guide we’ll look at the best portable BBQs.
I’ve compared design, build quality, features and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What is the Best Portable BBQ?
In a rush? Here’s my top choice…
You’ll want to head out camping straight away with this incredible portable BBQ!
This Char-Broil X200 Grill2Go is an excellent portable gas BBQ. It uses TRU-Infrared™ technology which helps be economical with gas whilst cooking to perfection. Stainless steel construction which heats up quickly, is easy to clean, and cools down within 20 mins allows for practical, fast storage. It can cook 12 burgers at a time and runs on a portable 16.4 oz disposable liquid propane cylinder
Everything I Recommend
More Detailed Portable BBQs Reviews
Char-Broil X200 Grill2Go – Portable Barbecue Grill Review
The Char-Broil X200 Grill2Go portable gas barbecue has got to be the best portable BBQ. If you’re looking for a grill which you can take with you camping, fishing, road-tripping, or wherever it may be, you’re sure to be impressed by this robust, portable BBQ grill.
It cooks using TRU-Infrared™ technology which has been shown to use less gas whilst producing really succulent and delicious food.
This portable barbecue is really well built with a sturdy construction and a securely latching lid. It weighs just under 10 kg and has very sturdy carry handles. One person can carry it, or the weight can be distributed between two people.
The barbecue has stainless steel burners and grates that are easy to clean. Plus you won’t struggle to light it thanks to the electric piezo ignition (which is ideal seeing as there’s nothing worse than struggling to light a BBQ when hungry!).
There’s also a temperature gauge in the lid so you don’t have to lose any precious heat by opening the unit to check the heat.
It runs on a portable 16.4-ounce disposable liquid propane cylinder which you can buy separately. The grilling area is large enough to cook 12 burgers at a time so you won’t have to stagger the cooking.
Just thinking about the potential of this BBQ makes me want to take it out on a camping trip immediately! It’s simple to set up, heats up fast and cooks evenly.
It is also quick to cool down so you can pack it away 20 minutes after you finish using it meaning no wasted time and no-one has to stay up for hours waiting for it to cool.
Notebook Folding Grill – Portable Picnic BBQ Review
This Notebook Folding Grill packs down amazingly small. It can ‘flat pack’ itself into 46 x 43.5 x 4.5 cm meaning you can slide it easily into a large backpack.
If you’re looking for the definition of simplicity and portability, this BBQ brings it.
It’s made from heat-resistant steel and features chrome-plated steel grills. It is easy to use and simply unfolds like a book. You then fill it with charcoal and slot in the grills – ready to go!
The cooking area measures 45 x 30 cm and will easily cook enough food for a family of four. The bowl takes plenty of charcoal and you can remove the grills with the supplied tongs if you need to top it up.
Once you have finished, the grill can even go in the dishwasher when you get home.
The unit is very light and packs up really small, so it is perfect for camping and beach barbecues.
Thanks to its simple design it’s also great value for money, so really it’s the best portable BBQ if you’re looking for something that is light and will do the job without any bells or whistles.
Uten Stainless Steel Folding Portable BBQ Review
The Uten Stainless Steel Folding Portable BBQ, in the largest size, is ideal if you want a portable barbecue that has a very generous grilling area and is tall enough to use standing.
This is the sort of large portable BBQ grill that is perfect for carrying a short distance to the beach and setting up for a proper party.
It has a huge grilling area and can cook enough food for 5 – 10 people. The legs fold flat against the coal tray, keeping everything compact and easy to carry with just a small handle.
It’s also quite light, at just over 4 kg, so isn’t difficult to carry even for a fair distance. Due to its length though, it’s best carried between two people.
The legs keep the barbecue off the ground and prevent scorching any ground or grass. Thanks to this feature, you can also use this barbecue at standing height rather than having to crouch over it.
No tools are required for setting it up. You simply fold out the legs and insert the grills. Air circulation is good and the barbecue cooks really well. The grill slides off and the coal tray lifts out making it easy to clean.
It’s made from rust-resistant stainless steel and has non-slip rubber feet.
This is definitely the best portable BBQ for taking to the beach or anywhere with a large gathering of friends. You can feed the masses and it’s not back-breaking work to carry around.
Valiant Nomad Folding Portable Picnic Barbecue Review
The Valiant Nomad Folding Portable Picnic Barbecue is extremely practical, packing away into a very portable ‘briefcase’ design.
It works on two levels: you get to feel like a cool undercover agent as you carry it around, and you will be the belle of the BBQ when you reveal that your briefcase is, in fact, a super handy grill!
This barbecue is very robust and has a sturdy, easy to clean grill.
It weighs just 3.3 kg making it perfect for camping and beach barbecues. Once set up it has short, sturdy legs to keep it elevated with good ventilation and avoid scorching the ground underneath.
The grill area is 32 x 23 cm which provides plenty of room for cooking a meal for a couple or small family, or snacks for a larger party.
The barbecue is easy to clean as the coals sit in a tray which can just be emptied once cool. The unit packs up into a case with a handy carry handle.
This is a great mid-range barbecue that is perfect for camping or picnics and is one of the easiest to transport.
Uten Portable Barbecue Stainless Steel Charcoal BBQ Review
The Uten Portable Barbecue Stainless Steel Charcoal BBQ is a great budget option that is small and light
It folds up into a compact tray with a carry handle making it perfect for camping and beach barbecues.
It’s reasonably sturdy and the short legs keep it off the ground to prevent scorching grass.
The grills are made from chrome-plated steel for easy cleaning and rust resistance. Everything about it screams easy simplicity, it’s easy to put together, light and easy to carry.
It is small enough to tuck away in the boot of the car or put in a rucksack, measuring just 35 x 27 x 20 cm.
When set up, the grill you cook on is quite close to the coals; however, as long as you wait for the flames to die down you shouldn’t have a problem with burning food. The BBQ is easy to clean and pack away.
This is a great budget option for occasional barbecues and will work out cheaper, and better for the environment, than buying disposable grills.
Things to Know Before Buying a Portable BBQ
A portable BBQ is a great way to get your BBQ fix wherever you are in the world – whether you’re at the beach, on a camping trip or at the park on a sunny day.
They can also be used in your back garden, as they take up a lot less space than standard BBQs, and can be stored away neatly after use, making them perfect for smaller outdoor spaces.
Portable BBQs are available in an array of designs, often small and compact so they can be taken anywhere – but some are smaller and more compact than others! If you’re thinking about buying a portable BBQ but aren’t sure what to look out for, the following tips will help you to make an informed decision.
When choosing the best portable BBQ, design is an essential consideration. Many portable BBQs are small and compact, so they can be taken to the beach or on camping holidays. However, there are also larger designs which are suitable for bigger outdoor gatherings – these are still portable but may require two people to carry them.
The majority of small portable BBQs have short legs that raise them just off the ground. This will prevent damage to the grass underneath, and it also makes them a lot safer. If the BBQ is elevated off the ground slightly it becomes much more practical to use anywhere you like – including on table tops!
Some portable BBQs have longer legs which make them more like standard models. These allow you to grill your sausages and burgers without crouching down and hurting your back. The downside to these is that they will be larger than other portable BBQs and harder for one person to carry.
At the end of the day, choosing the best portable BBQ design for you comes down to these two questions: does the design make the BBQ easy to transport, and will you be happy to carry it with you?
If you buy a portable BBQ with a cool design, but one that’s ultimately a bit bulky and heavy, you might be less likely to use it than one which is very practical. Some of these BBQs can fold almost entirely flat and slip into a backpack. Others are slightly bulkier but snap into their own briefcase-style carry-case. Then there are designs which simply have a carry handle.
Most importantly, make sure you pick a design which will never make you think “Oh I’ll leave that at home because I really don’t want to carry it with me today”.
If you are planning on carrying your BBQ some distance, and want to make sure you’ll get the most use out of it, you have to check the weight. It can vary considerably! It can also be a bit misleading to think ‘well it’s portable so it must be light’.
Avoiding really heavy BBQs is especially important if you’re going to be taking it camping or to the beach with you, where you might have a short walk from the car park to your BBQ spot.
If you’re going for one of the smaller designs (and not a ‘party feeding’ design like the Uten Stainless Steel Folding Portable BBQ) it will most likely be able to be carried by just one person without too much strain. Most of the portable BBQs I’ve recommended weigh under 5 kg, but it’s paramount to check the product specification as some designs can surprise you!
There are a range of standard and extra features to look out for.
I highly recommend searching for a BBQ with sturdy legs, as the last thing you want is a strong gust of wind ruining your sausages! Some designs, like the Char-Broil X200 Grill2Go portable gas barbecue, have static legs which don’t fold in – these are going to be the strongest. As soon as you add moveable and foldable fixtures, they’ll have their weak points. That said, if you look after them carefully you’re unlikely to have any problems.
Getting a large enough grilling area for your needs will be very important. Struggling to grill 2 sausages at a time for a family of 6 is very time consuming! If you have a large family, look for a bigger grilling area and a large tray bowl to hold all the coals.
Remember – the larger the grilling area on a coal BBQ, the more coals you will have to transport with you as well!
Chrome plated grills are another nice feature as they are rust-resistant.
All the portable BBQs I’ve recommended are easy to set up, often in just a few minutes or even seconds. There are no tools required, so there’s no chance of leaving anything essential at home by accident! (You just need to make sure you’ve got the food, coals, and a lighter – if necessary!)
It’s a good idea to have a practice run in your garden when you receive your BBQ, just to check there are no unexpected problems.
If you do buy a coal BBQ, you’ll have to think about how you’re going to deal with the hot coals when it’s time to pack up.
This is something that requires some careful planning and consideration. You can cool the hot coals using water or sand, but be careful as the water and sand may also become very hot. In general, you need to wait up to 48 hours to make sure coal is cool enough to be disposed of.
This can be tricky to navigate if you are not camping or staying in the BBQ location for a while. Once coals are completely cool they can be disposed of in your residual waste bin.
If you can’t work out how disposing of hot coals is going to work in your remote BBQ location, you’ll be better off purchasing a gas BBQ. In this case you’ll only need to remember to bring fuel and wait a shorter time for the grill to cool down after use.
Once you’ve finished your BBQ, you’ll be grateful for an easy clean up! Most portable BBQs have a simple bowl to hold the coals, and this can be emptied once they are cool.
I usually find chrome plated grills the easiest to clean, while the smaller grills on the portable BBQs can often be cleaned in the dishwasher after use.
Look out for these features to make sure the BBQ is easy to wipe down and store away again after use.
Portable BBQ FAQs
While disposable BBQs are undoubtedly convenient, they are not very good for the environment. They also tend to have a very small heating area. They are affordable, portable and easy to use, but you won’t get the same flavour as you would using a portable or standard BBQ. Plus, you can only use them once which isn’t doing our planet any favours.
Portable grills cost a lot more than disposable BBQs, but they usually boast a robust steel construction, and they can be used over and over.
This depends on the model you purchase. Most portable BBQs should heat up within 15 minutes.
Cleaning a portable BBQ can be done in the same way you would a full size grill.
- Use a wire brush to scrub the grill grates after every cooking session, ideally when the grill is still slightly warm (but be careful it’s not too hot!).
- If needed, you can clean the grill grate in the dishwasher.
- Once the grate is clean, I recommend applying vegetable oil using folded paper towels.
- Remove any ash from the base of the grill, then clean the outside of the BBQ using mild dish soap and a brush.
Once your BBQ is fully clean and dry, you can fold it up and put it back into storage.