Best Tripod Grills

Updated January 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

33 Models Considered
26 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
60 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best tripod grills

There are plenty of things to enjoy about camping, but all of the delicious food you get to eat is definitely one of the best. And if you want to cook over an open campfire, you need a tripod grill over the flames to hold your cooking surface or pot.

A tripod grill has three poles that surround the campfire and chains for hanging your cookware above the open flames. Some tripod grills include a grill grate for preparing steaks, burgers, and chicken. You can also find some tripod grills that are strong enough to hold a cast-iron Dutch oven for preparing stews and soups. Most tripod grills collapse or fold, so you can easily pack one for a camping trip.

But there are many tripod grills on the market, so selecting the right model can be challenging. Fortunately, our buying guide is packed with tips to help you find the best tripod grill for your next camping trip. We’ve even included some specific product recommendations to take all the guesswork out of shopping.

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Tripod grills are made exclusively of metal, so you don’t have to worry about any of the components burning or melting around a hot fire.

Key considerations

Material

A tripod grill should be made of a sturdy, durable material that can support the weight of your cookware and food. Most models are made of cast or forged iron, steel, or aluminum.

Iron is generally the best material for a tripod grill because it’s the strongest and most durable. However, cast iron grills are heavy and can rust in the rain.

Stainless steel is a good option if you backpack. It’s lightweight and rust-resistant, but it typically can’t support as much weight as a cast iron tripod grill.

Aluminum models are also rustproof and extremely lightweight, though they aren’t as durable as cast iron or steel grills and usually can’t support as much weight.

Height

A tripod grill must be tall enough to suspend the cookware over the campfire so the food cooks slowly without burning. However, the grill shouldn’t be so tall that the fire doesn’t heat the food. Most models have legs that range from 30 to 60 inches tall. It’s usually best to choose a grill that’s at least 50 inches tall because you can use the attached chains to adjust the distance between the flames and the food.

Weight

Grill: Sturdier tripod grills are generally made of heavier materials, but it’s essential to consider your camping habits to determine how heavy your grill should be. If you have to hike to your campsite, you’ll definitely want to carry a lighter model. Car campers can usually handle a heavier grill because you don’t need to carry it too far.

Most tripod grills weigh from 1 to 12 pounds. Cast iron models are the heaviest and typically weigh about 10 pounds. Aluminum and stainless steel grills can weigh as little as 1 to 2 pounds.

Limit: In addition to the weight of the grill itself, consider the maximum amount of weight it can support. If you want to cook over a campfire for a large group or use a cast-iron Dutch oven, you need a grill that can hold 30 pounds or more. If you plan to use the grill grate with the tripod and cook for smaller groups, you can opt for a grill with a lower weight limit.

Place a coffee pot on the tripod grill’s grate and enjoy fresh coffee on your camping trip.

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Features

Adjustability

You want to get the distance between your cookware and the flames just right, which is why it’s a good idea to choose an adjustable tripod grill that enables you to suit the height of the grill to the campfire. Nearly all tripod grills have adjustable chains that allow you to do this. This lets you control the cooking temperature of your food so you can cook a wide range of recipes.

You may also want to look for a model that lets you adjust the grill size horizontally as well as vertically in order to fit over any size fire.

Assembly

Once you arrive at your campsite, the last thing you want to do is spend hours putting together your tripod grill. Opt for one that’s easy to assemble, so you can set it up in a matter of minutes. A quality grill should also be easy to take apart, so you can pack it up when you’re ready to head home.

Keep in mind that adjustable tripod grills are usually more difficult to assemble and not as stable as other grills.

Extras

Some tripod grills only include the legs and the chains. Some models come with additional pieces for added convenience, such as a grill grate for cooking steaks and burgers or holding a skillet for cooking eggs and other fried foods. Other grills provide multiple sets of chains to hold different types of cookware.

Carrying case

For greater portability, some tripod grills come with a carrying case. You can toss all the grill’s components in the bag to make packing and storing it much easier.

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For Your Safety
Always make sure that the fire is completely out when you’re finished cooking. Pour cold water on the flames, stir the ashes with a shovel, and then splash more water on it. Do not leave the campsite until you’re sure the fire is completely cold.
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Accessories

Camping cookware: G4Free Camping Cookware Mess Kit
You want a good set of camping cookware to prepare tasty meals on your tripod grill. We love this set from G4Free because it includes both a small and large pot for versatility, lots of utensils, and a convenient storage bag for all the items.

Dutch oven: Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven
A cast-iron Dutch oven is essential for cooking a delicious campfire stew with your tripod grill. This one from Lodge is a favorite because it’s pre-seasoned, so you can use it right away, and it comes with silicone handle covers for safely holding the hot pot.

Tripod grill price

Tripod grills vary in price based on material, strength, and other features. Most models cost between $11 and $75.

Inexpensive: The most affordable tripod grills are those made of aluminum. They’re extremely lightweight, which makes them ideal for backpacking, but they usually hold only 10 pounds or less and aren’t particularly sturdy. These grills typically only include the poles and chains. You’ll generally pay between $11 and $21 for these tripod grills.

Mid-range: These tripod grills are typically made of stainless steel or cast iron. They’re heavier and more durable than aluminum grills and can usually hold up to 20 pounds. In this price range, you can also find some aluminum tripod grills that include accessories like a grill grate. You’ll generally pay between $22 and $48 for these tripod grills.

Expensive: The most expensive tripod grills are made of stainless steel or cast iron, are incredibly sturdy, and can hold 40 pounds or more. Some come with accessories like a grill grate or even a Dutch oven. You’ll generally spend between $48 and $75 for these tripod grills.

Set up your tripod grill and adjust the chains before you light your campfire.

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BestReviews

Tips

  • Check local rules and regulations first. Some campsites have restrictions on open flames, so check the local regulations before taking your tripod grill on a camping trip.
  • Never use a grill in an enclosed space. A tripod grill should never be used in an enclosed space like a tent. Cooking requires proper ventilation to prevent the buildup of dangerous fumes.
  • Set up your grill on level ground. You want it to be as stable as possible when you’re using it.
  • Never overload your tripod grill. If you put too much weight on the tripod legs, they could fold or snap while you’re cooking.
  • Take potholders or grilling gloves on your camping trip. Any pot or Dutch oven you place on the grill will get very hot.
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In addition to cooking fresh ingredients, a tripod grill also works well for reheating leftovers.

FAQ

Q. Why should I use a tripod grill?

A. A tripod grill is considerably lighter and less bulky than a camping stove, so it can make packing for your next camping trip much easier. It’s also versatile because it can handle pots or pans in a range of sizes. You can easily adjust the cooking temperature, too, by lengthening or shortening the chains that hold the cookware over the fire.

Q. What types of cooking can I do with a tripod grill?

A. A tripod grill is usually used for two types of cooking. If you attach a grill grate to the chains, you can use it as a grill for meats and veggies. Some campers also use the grate to support a skillet over the fire. If you attach a pot or Dutch oven to the chains, you can prepare stews and soups. It also works well for boiling water for coffee.

Q. How do I set up a tripod grill?

A. It varies from model to model, so always read the manufacturer’s instructions before setting up your grill. Most grills have legs that come apart or fold down in segments. Connect any pieces that require assembly and then spread out the legs around your campfire. Attach your cookware to the chains suspended from the tripod, and adjust their length based on the cooking temperature you require. The closer the pot or grate is to the flames, the higher the temperature.

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