What tailgating party is complete without a portable grill for cooking up your favorite hamburgers, hotdogs and other delicious foods for your friends and family? It can be difficult to decide which portable grill is best for your specific needs.
Coleman and Weber are both outdoor brand giants. Coleman has 120 years of providing trusted outdoor equipment, including grills, and Weber is also a longtime, respected grill maker that hails from the 1950s. For more information on portable grills, check out the BestReviews buying guide.
You can choose charcoal, propane gas or liquid propane. Although propane is more commonly used, charcoal is preferred by many grilling experts.
Consider the size and weight, and check the dimensions to make sure it’ll fit in your vehicle and can be easily transported to your tailgating location.
Look at the dimensions of the grill area given in square inches. If you’re cooking for a large crowd, you’ll want more grill space to feed more people at a time.
For grills, power is given in British Thermal Units (BTU). Experts suggest you should have more than 50 BTU per square inch to get a good sear.
Coleman is a longtime manufacturer of outdoor equipment, including lighting, tents, coolers and grills, and aims to meet people wherever there are friends, coolers and campfires. During World War II, Coleman helped soldiers eat hot meals with its camp stoves, and it launched its portable RoadTrip Grill in 2003.
Coleman grills are all compact. The Fold N Go design weighs just 10 pounds and fits in a backpack. The RoadTrip models weigh 50 pounds and fold down to easily fit in a trunk.
Coleman grills are quite affordable. The propane Fold N Go models start at just $50, and the larger tabletop models are around $100. Their mid-range Sport is about $175, while the top-of-the-line RoadTrip LXE is only $400.
If you want a small, round, propane grill similar to a Weber charcoal grill for under $60, this is your best bet. This 6 pound model offers push-button electronic ignition, even temperatures and detachable legs. This model doesn’t include a propane tank, lid or bag.
This portable folding grill has a horseshoe-like design (14 inches by 16 inches), a built-in handle and covers 105 square inches. It delivers 6,000 BTUs of heat and has a removable dishwasher-safe cooking surface and grease tray for easy cleaning.
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This model allows you to grill and use the stove at the same time, offers 130 square inches of grilling area and fits a 10 inch pan. It’s powerful with up to 20,000 total BTUs, more efficient cooking with less fuel, pressure-control technology and two adjustable burners.
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This lightweight, durable and easy-to-transport model offers a large 225 square-inch cooking surface with porcelain-coated grates for easy clean-up. It’s made to be used with a 16 ounce propane cylinder.
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A specialty maker of charcoal, gas, electric and portable grills, Weber was built on the belief that there is nothing better than enjoying a delicious meal outside with the ones you love. In 1952, Weber’s founder devised a new grill design inspired by a buoy’s shape, which incited excitement about kettle grills and kicked off the world’s leading barbecue brand.
Trying to choose a Weber grill can get complicated, because the company offers so many models. You also have to consider the size, fuel, grate and other features.
Weber portable grills range in size from 145 to 240 square inches and usually cost between $35-$70. A small charcoal grill usually costs between $90-$400.
This model features a push-button igniter, a porcelain-enameled grate and 160 square inches of cooking space. Its steel legs pivot to lock in place, and it uses a 14.1 ounce propane tank.
This deep tabletop grill is an excellent choice: lightweight and compact, with a larger grilling area that holds up to eight burgers and a convenient carry handle. The porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat and won’t rust or peel, and the Tuck-N-Carry lid lock doubles as a lid holder.
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This light and sturdy grill is easy to carry and assemble, offers 189 square inches of grill space (enough to hold 15 burgers) and gets up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit after only 15 minutes with the lid closed. It has flare-out trays to hold plates and tools and comes in many fun colors.
This lovely model offers 280 square inches of cooking area with a 12,000 BTU-per-hour stainless steel burner. It has porcelain-enameled, cast-iron cooking grates, electronic ignition with a built-in thermometer and two folding working tables.
Overall, Weber grills are more expensive than Coleman grills, but since Weber specializes in grills, that’s to be expected. If you’re on a budget, Coleman grills are probably your best bet. If you’re willing to pay a bit more for high-quality construction and features, Weber is the grill for you.
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Jane VanVooren Rogers writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.