In this guide, you will learn about the TOP-6 best portable gas grills and their most important features to consider before you buy a product. Find out what kind of benefits these devices deliver, in particular, why you will cook healthier meals, doing it faster and without the mess. There are also tips on how you should use the unit and the list of precautionary measures you must not ignore.
Do you know what I like most about grilling? Precious memories it leaves. When we gather for a barbecue, it is always more than just a holiday. A unique atmosphere is created, bringing people closer and adding a touch of mystery. Romantics aside, you will also find an ocean of benefits this method of cooking delivers. Not only do you get more delicious food, but it is also not greasy and, hence, significantly healthier. Using a gas grill makes you more flexible in time management as the device heats up and extinguishes in a matter of seconds. Now, let’s have a look at what we should know about these devices.
What You Will Learn From This Guide:
- How do portable gas grills work?
- Benefits a portable gas grill delivers
- How to use a portable gas grill?
- What you should look for when buying a product
- Tips on how to make grilling safe and healthy
- TOP-6 best portable gas grills
How Do Portable Gas Grills Work?
Grills of this type operate either on propane or natural gas and there are various models that are commercially available and can be purchased online. One of the unit’s essential components is a valve-controlled regulator that let the gas into burner arms. These have holes along the entire surface allowing an even distribution of gas. As soon as the gas is emitted, it is lit with a flame. You should use regulators to control the flow of gas so that it is distributed evenly during the whole process of cooking.
The unit is convenient as you can quickly fire it and then extinguish if needed. Not only is a gas grill easy to use, but it is also easy to clean, something that matters a lot in case you are serving a big party or exploit the device quite often. Using this kind of fuel does not involve leaving debris or producing much smoke that can pose risks to human health.
And yet, cleaning the unit is a must, otherwise, it will produce off-aromas or too much smoke the next time you use it. Scientists at Iowa State University suggest taking the following steps:
- Clean the grates from food particles and grease, paying special attention to the area above the burners.
- Brush off the unit’s sides and lid.
- While the above-mentioned measures should be taken after each use, deeper cleaning is also recommended for extending the product’s working service. Do it every 10-12 months or even more frequently in case the item is used very often.
So, first, put on gloves as this is going to be quite a dirty work. Then disconnect the source of fuel and take the device apart. If the burners are clogged, clean them thoroughly or install the new ones. After that, wipe the entire grill with soapy water. Keep in mind that before using the unit next time, you should heat it up completely so that no soap particles can be left inside.
Benefits a Portable Gas Grill Delivers
Specialists from the University of Rochester mention a number of advantages these devices offer in comparison with that fueled by charcoal. They claim that gas grills are more efficient, safe and work faster. Now, let’s take a closer look at these benefits.
- They are easy to heat up and adjusted to the required cooking temperature.
- You will not have any trouble refilling the unit.
- The heat is distributed more evenly and you get a well-done meal.
- The device is particularly recommended for those who live in small apartments and houses.
- They are portable so you will not have a problem with carrying them wherever you need.
- They work faster and cleaner compared with the alternatives.
- They form an integral part of many successful outdoor events, bringing people together and creating an ultimate experience.
- These devices have the advantage of being more eco-friendly because of lower carbon emission. While the charcoal’s carbon footprint is about 3 times greater due to all sort of stuff it contains.
- Grilled food is more healthy than that fried on the pan because there is less grease.
- Last but not least, a meal cooked on the grill offers a unique and unrivaled taste.
Are these devices perfect then? Not at all. Specialists at Princeton-based Institute for the Advanced Study indicate a major weak point of these devices: they cannot produce enough heat. This is due to the fact that the product’s capacity has been reduced by manufacturers for safety reasons, following claims filed by some of the buyers. Since the grates are not going to be hot enough, your steak or burger will be done before they get a crust. But along with this, gas grills are perfect for large pieces that need to be cooked at lower temperatures and for a longer period of time.
How to Use a Gas Grill?
There is practically no food that cannot be grilled. However, there are some rules you should follow and two types of cooking methods. And depending upon what kind of food you are dealing with, a direct or indirect method should be preferred.
Specialists at the University of Kentucky note that the direct method is applied when you need to grill such items as vegetables. Since the preparation time is short, you just need to place them directly on the grid above medium heat. Leave the unit open for better results.
However, meat and other items of a larger size should be cooked by the indirect method. it will take more time while the temperature should be lower than that required for vegetables. Place your steak on the grid over a hot heat source and cover the unit. Bear in mind that the items need to be grilled with the vents open.
What You Should Look for When Buying a Product
- BTU Output. To know how powerful a unit is, you should learn its BTU output per burner. The higher it is the more heat it produces.
- The cooking surface. The size of this part of the unit matters a lot as it indicates how many food items can be prepared at a time.
- A side burner allows for cooking side dishes. Not only do you get a full and balanced meal, but you will also make your salads and vegetables particularly flavorful.
- A built-in grid for cooking delicate dishes will help you vary the menu.
- Price. How expensive should it be? To answer this question, you need to decide for yourself how frequently you are going to exploit the device. Obviously, it would be unnecessary to buy a pricy product just for several seasonal barbecues.
TOP-6 Best Portable Gas Grills
This review deals with TOP-6 best products within the price range from $100 to $250. They have different power and capacity, with the former expressed in BTU’s and the latter indicating how many food items you will be able to cook at a time. You have a broad choice of design solutions, ranging from models in the classical style to modern and colorful ones. The level of convenience these items offer also varies, with some models available with foldaway legs or a wheeled stand. Extra features are essential as well, however, they affect the price in some products.
Affordable Portable Gas Grill | Cuisinart CGG-180T
This item will cost you less than $100 and is the best bet for beginners. I like its modern design which, in my thinking, is associated with sports activities. You may also find it convenient to use thanks to the unit’s foldaway aluminum legs. I would use this model for outdoor events as it can be transported without a problem, taking into consideration that it weighs just a little more than 13 pounds. An added benefit is a handle that allows for its comfortable carrying.
The grilling surface is limited though, just 145 square inches. But it will be enough to cook eight burgers, the same quantity of steaks, and up to ten chicken breasts. If you want a powerful device, this product will not meet your needs as it has only 5,500 BTU. And yet, despite not being a heavy-duty grill, this model is well-made and represents a famous brand that has already established credibility on the market.
Cuisinart CGG-180T: Check the current price
Best Portable Gas Grill for Camping | Smoke Hollow 205
For the same price, you may get a more powerful device with a larger capacity. This 10,000-BTU item has a cooking surface with an area of more than 200 square inches. In additions, the product comes with a 100-inch warming rack that is plated with chrome. When using both racks, you will be able to prepare up to 12 burgers at a time. Like in the previous model, this one has foldable legs and a handle as well. Other advantages include a feature allowing to gauge the temperature and a drip tray made of stainless steel. The unit is fueled from a cylinder designed for one pound of gas. The cylinder is not included and needs to be purchased separately.
Thanks to the product’s durable construction, you may safely take it with you on camping, without worrying about fallouts damaging the unit. As the buyers note, the device is not rusting after the outdoor use and does not lose its marketable appearance. However, when compared to the previous product, this item is twice as heavier and weighs 22 pounds.
Smoke Hollow 205: Check the current price
Portable Gas Grill with 2 Adjustable Burners | Blackstone
While being a bit more expensive, this product has a larger cooking surface amounting to 330 square inches and 12,000 BTU’s. With all the above-mentioned benefits, it has downsides that are glaringly evident. In my judgment, it has an ugly appearance, a sort of bleak kitchen hardware.
On top of that, its legs are too small, which is why you can use it only as a tabletop grill. So I would not recommend you taking the device on camping or other outdoor events unless the necessary conditions are put in place. Add to this 32 pounds of the weight, something that makes the unit hard to transport.
That said, power and capacity are not the only strong points of this model. With this product, you get the possibility to adjust heat zones. Its heat burners are controlled independently, allowing you to prepare various meals side by side. Apart from that, you can keep one food item warm while cooking the other. A grease management system makes the device easy to clean. Very functional, is not it?
Blackstone: Check the current price
Feature-Packed Portable Gas Grill | Cuisinart CGG-200
I have already mentioned this brand in the review with regard to the cheaper model. This one is more expensive but is twice as powerful as the budget option I have described above. This model has 12,000 BTU’s with 240 inches of a cooking surface. But what I particularly appreciate in it are its extra features making your cooking more effective.
First, this is a twist-to-start ignition, which allows you to light the unit very easily. To control the flame, you can use the temperature dial while a built-in thermometer is designed to facilitate heat control.
While having an advantage of being a more powerful option, this item can also be recommended for camping and other outdoor events because of its convenient legs and folding side shelves. Still, the unit is heavy, with a weight amounting to 35 pounds.
Cuisinart CGG-200: Check the current price
Stylish Portable Gas Grill | Weber
Quite an extraordinary design, isn’t it? Looks like an alien ship or something like that. What attracts me in this product is the diversity of colors in which it is available: light blue, green, purple, pink, grey, orange, red… Indeed, this model will adorn your kitchen and help to create rich grilling experiences. Apart from the sleek design, the product can boast being made of a durable and high-quality material, cast aluminium. So your investment in the amount of some $200 is worth it.
Back to the technical performance. This is where the model has no clear advantages. A unit producing 8,500 BTU has a cooking surface reaching 190 square inches. Actually, it is not awfully small but in comparison with most of the products in this review, this is not impressive. The item weighs almost 29 pounds, which is a bit lighter than some other models I have reviewed.
Weber: Check the current price
Stylish Portable Gas Grill | Coleman
Making your grilling experience colorful — both figuratively and literally — seems to be a high-demand idea. There are also several color solutions of one model, ranging from black to orange and blue.
What catches the eye is the product’s extremely convenient design — it addresses the problem, ignored in other models from this review. Namely, the absence of necessity of having the support. You just stand upright and cook without curving your back. And not only that. This is a wheeled stand so you can easily fold the device flat and roll it. From this perspective, the product’s impressive weight amounting to 48 pounds does not actually matter.
As for technical performance, this grill leaves other models behind as well. It delivers 20,000 BTU’s, comes with two burners that can be adjusted independently and two temperature zones allowing for preparing different meals simultaneously. The cooking surface is large enough, amounting to 285 square inches. So this item will cost you more than $200 but, as you can see, the price is justified.
Coleman: Check the current price
Comparative Chart of Portable Gas Grills Effectiveness
Smoke Hollow 205
What is the best portable gas grill?
Blackstone model has the largest cooking surface and is powerful enough for the whole family. The design provides for using it as a tabletop unit, so this is the best choice for the kitchen.
Which one is best for camping?
Your choice will be determined by the number of people, whom you are going to cook for. If there are few of them, opt for Cuisinart CGG-180T. This is the most lightweight and portable item so you can easily carry it in your hand. However, in case there are more people on the campground, taking Coleman with you would be a wise choice. It is more powerful and has a super convenient wheeled stand.
What is the best gas grill with a warming rack?
Smoke Hollow 205 comes with a 100-inch warming rack. Apart from having this advantage, the device is powerful and made of durable materials.
How do you start a gas grill?
Open the lid, gradually open the valve on the tank or gas line and then turn on the burners.
Why is my gas grill not getting hot?
To fix the problem, reset the regulator. Turn off the tank and disconnect it from the unit. Open the lid and turn on the burners for a while.
Tips on How to Make Grilling Safe and Healthy
Managing heat is one of the most important parts of the process. Ideally, the medium level is recommended. But there are things you can do to obtain better results. First, the unit should be preheated for several minutes before grilling. This will give you those great grilling marks while the food will not stick to the grates.
High heat can be used only to sear meat for at most 15 minutes, not longer. The medium heat should be used for the bulk of the cooking time. Also, during the process, try not to lift the lid, however enticing it is!
Below, you will find tips on how to make grilling safe and healthy. To this end, you should take the following steps:
- Avoid using red meat but, instead, opt for a fish, chicken or vegetables.
The food should be marinated not less than for half and an hour. Also, it would be wise to keep in in a refrigerator.
- Choose the part of the surface that is least heated.
- Place the food into aluminum foil.
- A digital thermometer will help you control the temperature level.
Watch this video to learn other recommendations for safer grilling.
Whatever benefits gas as a source of fuel offers, it can still pose hazards. But as they say, forewarned is forearmed. So in order to avoid any risks, you should take the following precautionary measures.
- When using the unit indoors or in any enclosed areas, put it in the place where there is free air circulation. Locate the device not further than three feet away from windows.
- If a propane canister contains more than 42 pounds of the fuel, you will need a permit from the fire department.
- Set up the device far from inflammable materials as well as dry leaves and branches.
- Do not use it in windy weather conditions.
- Keep a fire extinguisher at hand.
- Do not leave kids unattended near the operating unit.
- When igniting the device, keep the lid open. Otherwise, the gas will accumulate inside, which can lead to an explosion.