No proper tailgating party is complete without a grill. This may be common sense, but it’s important to drive the point home. There are many grill options available to choose from and a variety of accessories that go along with them. Some things you’ll want to keep in mind while shopping around is to make sure your grill is reliable, of a good quality, the type of maintenance that is required, overall cooking area, ease of transport, and that it fits in your budget. Additionally, you will want to check the rules/regulations of your tailgating area as certain types of grills may not be allowed. We have assembled a list of some of the best tailgating grills available, and have separated the options by propane, charcoal, electric, and pellet.
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There are many benefits to propane grills. They are considered very versatile and usable all year long. Propane grills are easy to start up, heat up quickly, the temperature can be easily controlled, and they are easy to clean up. While they may not be the cheapest option, there are still a wide range of propane grills that can fit many budgets and meet the needs of any consumer. If you would like even more information and see what other options are available for propane grills, please check out our extensive propane grill buyers guide.
- Perfect flow pressure control system for steady heat, even in the cold
- Easy-to-clean, cast-iron and porcelain-coated surfaces with removable grease tray
- Laptop interchangeable cook top for more meal options (griddle included, full size griddle and stove grates sold separately)
- 20,000 BTUs of cooking power, 10,000 BTUs on each burner
- Cooking dimensions: 47 x 19 x 34 in.
- One stainless steel burner produces 12,000 BTU-per-hour to heat 280 square-inch total cooking area
- Porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates and cast aluminum lid and body.
- Fully assembled out of box. Dimensions – Lid Open and Tables Out (inches) – 26 H x 51.4 W x 25.1 D. Dimensions – Lid Closed and Tables Out (inches) – 15.5 H x 51.4 W x 19.5 D
- Easy-start electronic ignition and infinite control burner valve settings
- Uses disposable 14.1 or 16.4 oz. LP cylinder (sold separately)
- Battery type – AAA / Batteries : 1
- 245 sq. in. cooking area on stainless steel grilling grate and convenient warming rack
- Small in size but large on features, the Patio Bistro brings TRU-Infrared grilling to your patio or balcony
- Heating food directly, TRU-Infrared promises juicier food and fewer flare-ups without hot or cold spots
- Oven-style, electronic ignition integrated into gas control knob
- Built dimensions: 17.7″L x 21.4″W x 17.3″H; 22 lbs
- Portable gas grill designed for backyard use, camping, tailgating, and more
- 240-square-inch porcelain-enamel cast-iron grill grate offers plenty of grilling space
- Single 15,000 BTU burner with TwistStart electric ignition and precision temperature gauge
- Pair of removable 10-by-10-inch side tables; heat-resistant stainless-steel lid handle
- Measures 26 x 18 x 19 inches in transport mode; weighs less than 40 pounds
- Connects to low pressure propane supply on RV
- Includes mounting bracket for hanging on RV mounting rail and folding legs for tabletop use
- Quick connect hose and quick connect valve included and equipped with an integral safety shut-off valve to prevent accidental non-ignition fuel discharge
- Quick and easy to set up for 180 square inches of cooking surface and Piezo electric spark starter will last for 20,000 starts
- 12,000 BTU/HR. Designed for use with your RV’s low pressure system. Can be used with 1lb, 5 lb, or 20 lb cylinder with separately purchased adapters
BBQ purists will insist that charcoal grills are the one and only way to go. The biggest selling point is the flavor that’s produced by charcoal, as proponents say it cannot be replicated any other way. They can also produce a higher temperature than that of a propane grill, which is great for searing steak. Additionally, the cost entry point is typically low and will be affordable to most people.
- Adjustable fire grate: Control the heat level at the cooking grate by placing your charcoal pan in one of several preset positions
- Charcoal: Powered by charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal
- Lid-Mounted Temperature Gauge: Keep track of pre-heat status and monitor the inside temperature of your grill.
- Damper: Control the grill temperature by opening and closing the dampers. To burn hotter keep the damper open, to lower the temperature, partially close it
- Removable Ash Pan: Convenient pull-out drawer catches ash for simple clean-ups when you’re done cooking
- The Weber Smokey Joe charcoal grill is an ideal portable grill for cookouts, tailgate parties, and car camping
- The glass reinforced nylon handle allows you to easily remove the lid as needed
- The cooking grate measures 14-1/2-inch diameter and is triple nickel-plated
- The lid locks for carrying which lowers to double as a lid holder
- Ultra-portable grill featuring unique lift system to access charcoal bed without touching cooking grate
- Precision air flow system allows accurate temperature management; Convenient lid-mounted temperature gauge
- 240-square-inch cooking surface; Durable porcelain enamel cover
- Large ash collection bin for easy cleaning; Sturdy base offers stability while grilling
- Removable ash pan for easy coal clean up
- Offset for Texas style smoking
- Attaches to all Char-Griller barrel grills
- Use as a table top grill or horizontal Texas style smoker
- You can go from a grill to a side fire box, once done you cannot go back to the grill
- Fits the Chargriller Pro Deluxe, Wrangler, Outlaw and Duo as a Side Fire Box
- Heavy steel construction, Cast iron cooking grates, 250 -square inches of primary cooking space
- Sliding drawer for easy access to coals and ashes, easy dump ash pan and Stay Cool hood handle
Electric grills can be a great option to consider, as long as you have a generator at your tailgating spot. Over the long run, electric grills can save you money since they don’t need to be hooked up to a propane tank or gas line. They are easily moved from location to location and are easy to clean, which is an added convenience. They also don’t put off any fumes while you cook, which ends up being better for mother nature and your health.
- Portable electric grill with 145-square-inch grilling area and telescoping stand
- Cooks 8 burgers, 8 steaks, 6 to 10 chicken breasts, or 4 pounds of fish at once
- Powerful 1,500-watt, 5,120 BTU burner and porcelain-enameled grill grate
- 120 Volt / 60Hz. Plugs into standard electric outlet; stand sets up and packs away in seconds
- Pronounced briefcase-style carrying handle; weighs 17 pounds
- No assembly required
- 15+ Servings – It’s tailgate time! The 240 square inches of circular grilling surface lets you make over 15 servings for large groups of people
- George Tough Nonstick Coating – There’s a lot to love about this nonstick coating; it’s durable, easy to clean, and removes the need for butter and oil
- Indoor/Outdoor Removable Stand – Don’t let the weather keep you from the glory of grilling; the easy-to-remove stand takes you from patio to counter top in no time
- Adjustable Temperature Control – The temperature probe lets you choose from five heat settings to get the best results on any kind of food
- Apartment-Approved – Your landlord will love this grill just as much as you do because the fully electric system gives you high-quality grilling with no charcoal, no propane, and no flare-ups
- 1560-watt electric heating element to heat 280 square-inch total cooking area
- Porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates and cast aluminum lid and body
- Dimensions (Inches) Lid Open : ( H x W x D) – 26 x 31.5 x 25.1(Inches); :Dimensions – Lid Closed (inches) 14.5 H x 31.5 W x 19.5 D
- Fully assembled out of box, Infinite control burner valve settings. Fuel type-Electric. Power-1,560 W/120 V
- 6-foot grounded cord
While the idea of a wood pellet grill may seem unfamiliar and nontraditional, these grills provide a different and exciting option to consider. They are very efficient, versatile, and have no flare-ups. They heat up quickly and can have pinpoint temperature control, allowing you to spend less time worrying about grilling. Additionally, there are a variety of pellet flavors to chose from. However, much like the electric grill, a pellet grill needs to be plugged in so make sure you have a generator handy.
- The Davy Crockett Grill Package – WiFi Grill + Grill Cover & GMG Black Tote Bag
- Portable, folded legs double as handles, perfect for tailgating, camping and hunting
- WiFi mode connect to your grill through your local home WiFi network
- Server Mode Connect to your grill remotely through the GMG Server Mode to control and monitor your grill on the go
- Premium temperature range: From 160ºF Up to 500ºF for slow smoking or quick grilling (25,000 BTU)
- Patented ash clean-out cup system: No More Hours-of-Vacuuming Business
- Smart smoke technology: for minimal temperature swings
- Digital controller: For LED chamber and internal food temp readings
- Flexible compatibility: Trick out your XT with a number of available Camp Chef accessories
- 700 sq. in. total cooking surface.
- Porcelain coated cast iron grids.
- Digitally controlled burn system.
- Fueled by 100% natural wood pellets.
- Never use gas or charcoal again: Cooking with wood just tastes better. Traeger created the original wood-pellet grill as the ultimate way to achieve wood-fired taste
- Versatile Barbecue Cooking: Hot and fast, or low and slow, the Traeger Junior Elite pellet grill offers 6-in-1 versatility to grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise, and BBQ food to juicy perfection
- Grilled to Perfection Every Time: Integrated Digital Elite Controller keeps temps within +/- 20 degrees F and makes setting the grill temperature as easy as turning a dial
- Easy and Predictable: The Traeger Junior Elite offers consistency you can trust, allowing you to craft amazing wood-fired creations time and time again with the ease of set it and forget it
- Perfect Size for the At-Home Cook: Enjoy 418 sq. in. of grilling space that can accommodate up to 16 burgers, 4 whole chickens, or 5 racks of ribs ; Pellet hopper capacity: 18 lbs
These are just a few of the many options of portable grills that are great for tailgating. Depending on the food you will be preparing, the rules for your tailgating area, and your budget, there is the perfect option out there for you. For those who may own any of these options, what is your overall opinion? For those who may have a different grill altogether, what are you using?! Sound off in the comments below!
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