camping grills FI

6 Best Compact Camping Grills of 2022: Gas & Charcoal Options

Editor's Note: Products featured on Wide Open Spaces are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

There's no rule that says you can't still cook up some awesome meals while you're out in the backcountry, and we don't just mean hot dogs roasted over a fire.

Before you head out into the wilderness with the family, you want to be sure you're bringing the right camping gear to keep everyone comfortable, which usually means good sleeping bags, bug spray, and a camping grill, among other essentials. Grilling at the campsite is a great way to cook up some solid meals for everyone pretty quickly, and hot dogs on the griddle sure beat burnt dogs over the fire pit or camp stove. Camping stoves can be dirty and poorly maintained, so it's always nice to bring your own way of cooking.

If you're the camp cook, you'll want to keep your campers happy with some filling meals, and using a portable camping grill is a great way to get your outdoor cooking done. These camp grills are super versatile, too. You can take them along on picnics, use them while tailgating, or even use them at the house if you don't want to commit to a huge backyard grill.

How to Store Food When Camping

Wondering how to store food when camping? Our friends over at Wide Open Eats have you covered! The key is to plan your meals (do you have food that requires refrigeration, seasonings?), etc.

Once you have that covered, you'll need to think about how to bearproof your food. Bear canisters are a must (some parks even require them) for your safety.

Best Camping Grills

Best Overall Gas Grill

1. Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill

The Coleman RoadTrip grill is a great option for campers. It has outstanding reviews on Amazon. This is a powerful portable propane grill with 285 square inches of cooking space and 20,000 BTUs, plus a water pan that catches grease for easy cleanup. This is one of the best camping grills out there.

It weighs about 50 pounds, so it may take two people to carry it, still one of the best options for the campsite. It's easy to set up, just pop up the quick-fold legs.

Best Gas Grill Under $100

2. Cuisinart CGG-059 Propane, Grillster 8,000 BTU Portable Gas Grill

The cooking grates on this stainless steel Cuisinart portable gas grill are dishwasher safe, which is majorly convenient for when you return from your camping trip. Just pack this tabletop grill and a small propane tank (one pound), and you've got the grilling under control for the whole trip.

It has about 146 inches of cooking space and only weighs about 10 pounds. This is the perfect size for someone looking for an option that's super lightweight for a grill. It's perfect for tailgates as well.

Best for Fish

3. Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Propane Gas Grill, Red

Another variation of the Cuisinart portable gas grill series is this tabletop grill with foldable legs for super simple portability. It only weighs 13.5 pounds and has a fairly large cooking surface: 145 square inches of a porcelain-enameled grill grate. Just pop the legs, and it's set up in seconds. There's also a lid lock to keep the lid secure.

It's Amazon's Choice for mini gas grills, so to no surprise, Amazon customers are leaving rave reviews on the grill.

A five-star review: "We will never go back to the full size grill again. And if we ever need a bigger one, we will just buy another of this. Two of them is less bother than one full size grill."

Swearing off full-size grills? It must be that good!

Best for Backyard Cooking

4. Blackstone 1814 Tabletop Griddle-17 Inch Propane Gas Hood Portable Flat top 17" Griddle-Rear Grease Trap for Kitchen, Camping, Outdoor, Tailgating, or Picnicking, 17 Inch, Black

There's no reason outdoor camping needs to mean peanut butter sandwiches and things roasted on sticks over an open flame for the whole camping trip. A camp grill like this Blackstone tabletop griddle is awesome for outdoor cooking for the whole family. You can cook a whole variety of meals on this flattop griddle, from hamburgers at night to eggs in the morning. It has 268 square inches of grilling surface and can cook up to nine burgers, nine pancakes, or 12 eggs at once! (Ideal cooking space for a family of four.)

The H-style burner is perfect for heat distribution too, which means no more undercooked bacon. It weighs about 36 pounds, which won't be too bad to carry at all. After use, wipe down the surface with a paper towel for easy cleaning.

Best Charcoal Grill Under $65

5. Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill,Black,14.5" H x 21" W x 12.25" L

This portable charcoal grill is a great BBQ grill for your camping trips. Char-broil some steaks while you sit around the fire pit, or cook some hot dogs over this campfire grill for a traditional backcountry meal. The 65-pound grill can cook up to six burgers at once on a cooking area of about 160 square inches.

The high-quality grill weighs about 13 pounds, making it extremely lightweight! Perfect for people not wanting to carry anything over 20 pounds. Also, let's not forget Weber is a top-notch grill brand. You can't go wrong with this budget-friendly option.

Best Compact Option

6. Giantex Charcoal Grill, Portable Cast Iron Barbecue Grill with Double-sided Grilling Net, Air Regulating Door, Fire Gate, BBQ Grill Perfect for Outdoor Picnic Camping Patio Backyard Cooking, Black

Constructed of high-heat-resistant cast iron, this is a heavy-duty piece of cookware for the camp cook who knows what they're doing. The door acts as an air regulator, allowing you to adjust the firepower by sliding it to the left or right.

The $120 grill weighs 20 pounds and is 12.5" x 8.5 inches, making it perfect for veggies and chicken. Assembly and cleaning are easy, to clean the grilling net and charcoal net easily detach them.

This post was originally published on June 12, 2021.