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Best Portable Gas Grill for Tailgating

Updated On May 19, 2020

Portable gas grills make outdoor cooking fun and convenient, whether in a picnic, camping, or tailgating.

Tailgating used to be a once-in-a-blue-moon activity that is done prior to a big public event. It has become so popular that some people do it on a monthly or even weekly basis. If you enjoy tailgating with family and friends, you need the right grill equipment to have the best tailgating experience.

Let's review 10 of the best portable gas grill for tailgating. After hours of comparing and testing different grills, we chose the Cuisinart CGG-180TB as our # 1 Top Pick. With its functional design, portability, and price,  it's the perfect choice for all your tailgating adventures.   

Short on time? Here's a quick roundup of our top 3 picks and why you need them!
Product
Photo
Cost
Pros
Link
*Best Overall

$$$

A powerful burner that puts out 5,500 BTU
*Runner Up

$$$

Stainless steel "H" burner with 12,000 BTU cooking output
*Also Great

$$$

Restyled and improved version of the earlier Q120 model

Top 10: Best Portable Gas Grill for Tailgating

Best Overall

Best portable gas grill for tailgating for its simple design yet highly functional features and durability. 
Quick Summary
  • BTU's: 5,500
  • Cooking Area: 145 square inches
  • Weight: 17 lbs.
Cuisinart is a name that is synonymous with the best quality grills and accessories.  

With the Cuisinart CGG-180 TB, they proved yet again that they are one of the best grill makers in the industry. Looking at the simple but fun design, this portable gas grill is more than capable of producing great-tasting burgers, sausages, steaks, chicken, and much more.  

With 145 square inches of cooking space, it can grill 8 steaks or 8 burgers, 6-10 chicken breasts, or over 4 pounds of fish. Its porcelain-enameled cooking grate allows even heat distribution across the surface resulting in perfectly cooked foods. With just a twist of the electric ignition, the 5,500 BTU burner comes to life and immediately heats up your grates.

It's durable folding legs provide support and stability for the grill while in use and allows for the grill to be carried easily when folded. It features an integrated lid lock and briefcase-style carrying handle for safe and secure transport. It might be small but it's a grill that can do what a regular-sized grill does. Perfect for tailgating, its portability means you can take it just about anywhere you want to enjoy high-quality grilled foods. 
Pros
  • Durable build and design
  • Enough cooking space to cook multiple foods
  • Electronic ignition for reliable and easy start
  • A powerful burner that puts out 5,500 BTU 
  • Foldable legs, lid-lock, and brief-style handle for safe and easy transport
Cons
  • Foldable legs cannot be extended
Runner Up

A compact but powerful portable gas griddle with large enough cooking surface to handle multiple foods for your tailgating needs. 
Quick Summary
  • BTU's: 12,000
  • Cooking Area: 260 square inches
  • Weight: 21 lbs.
Weighing at just 20 lbs., the Blackstone Table Top Grill is easy to take with you wherever you go.

The 260 square inches of the cooking space made from the cast-iron griddle is more than enough to feed 4-6 people at once. The stainless steel "H" burner heats up fast with just a twist of a knob to ignite it electronically. The "H" shape allows even heat distribution and fast cooking with 12,000 BTU cooking power. Perfect for making breakfast foods, this griddle will produce restaurant-quality cooked sausages, bacon, burgers, and more.

The griddle is easy to clean and with a simple wipe of a paper towel, it's ready for its next cooking job.  It uses 1 pound propane bottles for fuel, but a regular propane tank can also be used with an adaptor (not included) for longer cooking hours. The Blackstone is very convenient to clean with a built-in grease catcher and the removable griddle top can be stored upside down on top of the griddle body to save space. One of the best tailgate grill deserving on our list. 
Pros
  • Stainless steel "H" burner with 12,000 BTU cooking output
  • 260 square-inch of cast-iron griddle surface 
  • Electric ignition for matchless burner start
  • Built-in grease catcher for an easy cleanup
  • Removable griddle for easy cleaning and storage
Cons
  • Griddle may be prone to rust if not maintained properly
Also Great

A  restyled portable gas grill of an earlier model cousin but the same great performance and functionality. 
Quick Summary
  • BTU's: 8,500
  • Cooking Area: 189 square inches
  • Weight: 29 lbs.
The Weber Liquid Propane Grill is a pioneer in the grill industry and is credited for iconic designs for more than 7 decades.

The Q1200 is an addition to Weber's growing list of great grills with stylish design and function. It's both fun and functional, and the larger grip handle and control knobs plus other added features make it a powerful compact grill. The cast-aluminum body is both durable and lightweight making it perfect for tailgating and other outdoor cooking events. The 189 square inch of cooking space coupled with the stainless steel burner that produces 8,500 BTU gives you all the space and power you need in a portable grill.

The tall lid allows the grilling of small roasts faster and the large built-in thermometer ensures easy monitoring of what you are cooking. With an electronic ignition, reliable starts are expected each time you fire this grill up to cook mouth-watering steaks, chops, burgers, and many other foods that's worth putting on the grill surface. Two side tables that are best for prepping is a nice feature to have. It runs on disposable LP cylinders (not included) and when you're done cooking, the grease tray and catch pan make it easy to maintain and clean up.  
Pros
  • Restyled and improved version of the earlier Q120 model
  • Cast-aluminum body for durability
  • Large cooking area and powerful cooking output
  • The tall hood/lid allows grilling of small roasts
  • Easy to maintain and clean with a grease drip system
Cons
  • May take a long time before reaching a very high temperature
Also Great

A no-fuss, practically designed portable grill that is durable and capable of grilling multiple foods on the go.
Quick Summary
  • BTU's: 11,000
  • Cooking Area: 190 square inches
  • Weight: 10.1 lbs.
This grill is as simple as a portable gas grill can look.  No-fuss, no-frills, there is nothing really special on the way the Char-Broil Standard Portable presents itself. But when it comes to performance, this grill is as good as any grill gets. That' s why it's one of the best portable grills for tailgating on our list. With over 180 square-inch of chrome-plated grill space, it can cook  8 regular-sized burgers at one time.

The 11,000 BTU burner is capable of producing high-temperature to cook any type of meat you put on its cooking grates. And with a lid to cover your food, you are guaranteed a faster cooking time and even heat distribution across the surface. The legs stainless steel legs fold over the top of the lid to lock it in place. The heat-resistant handles make it convenient to move it after use without waiting for the grill to cool down. 
Pros
  • Made from quality steel construction and high-temperature finish
  • Over 190 square-inch of grill space
  • Foldable stainless steel legs that lock on top of the lid 
  • 11,000 BTUs of power for faster cooking
  • Heat-resistant handles for safety 
Cons
  • Needs a lighter/igniter to fire up burner
Also Great

A very compact portable gas grill that is suitable for 2-3 persons, that want a portable, but powerful gas grill for tailgating. 
Quick Summary
  • BTU's: 8,000
  • Cooking Area: 146 square inches
  • Weight: 10 lbs.
If you are a couple or a small family that loves tailgating, then this very compact Cuisinart portable gas grill may be the best choice for you. With just 146 square inches of cooking space, its enough to accommodate 3 or 4 steaks, 5-7 regular-sized burgers at one time. What's impressive is that in spite of its size, this compact grill is capable of producing 8,000 BTUs of cooking power, allowing you to cook faster compared to similar sized grills.

The lid latches down making it convenient to be carried for easy transport especially with its large handlebar. It requires no assembly so you can grill with it fresh out of the box! An electronic igniter starts the burner with just a push of a button so you can be sure of a reliable start each time. It works with a 1 lb. propane tank and with a weight of just 10 lbs., this is one of the most portable tailgating grills you will ever find. 
Pros
  • Very compact and lightweight
  • Powerful BTU for its size
  • Electronic igniter for matchless start
  • Uses 1 lb propane canister but convertible to a regular tank
Cons
  • Vents edges are sharp 
Also Good

A rugged-looking durable portable grill with TRU-infrared system for high-temperature cooking. 
Quick Summary
  • BTU's: 9,500
  • Cooking Area: 200 square inches
  • Weight: 20 lbs.
Just looking at the Char-Broil Grill2Go X200, you will notice its rugged style and heavy-duty look.  Made from cast- aluminum firebox, its sturdy and durable perfect to carry around with no worries. The high-impact frame with legs and carry handles are designed to provide durability and portability of this grill.

Where it really shines is its no flare-up TRU infrared cooking system that makes cooking fast and easy. You can sear steaks with its 9,500 BTU cooking power output. And with a 200 square inch of cooking area, you can grill 8 burgers or multiple foods all at the same time anywhere you want. And with a simple push of a button, the burner is ignited to start heating up the stainless steel grate.

This portable grill uses a 1 lb propane tank that connects directly to the side of the grill. There is a built-in lid thermometer to monitor your food when the lid is closed. The side carrying handles make it easy to carry and move around.  
Pros
  • Heavy-duty cast aluminum firebox
  • Powerful TRU-infrared cooking system with no flare-up
  • 200 square inch of cooking grate 
  • Electronic ignition for easy start
  • High-impact frame with legs and carry handles for durability and portability
Cons
  • Cooking grate may rust in time without proper maintenance
Also Good

A tabletop and portable propane gas grill that's perfect for outdoor camping and best for tailgating.  
Quick Summary
  • BTU's: 17,000
  • Cooking Area: 238 square inches
  • Weight: 22 lbs.
This tabletop is perfect for breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals.  The 2 separately controlled stainless steel burners provide an impressive 17,000 BTUs cooking power which makes cooking fast and fun. The porcelain-enameled griddle top is large enough to cook multiple eggs, bacon, pancakes, burgers, sausages, and many more. The durable stainless steel control panel complemented by the piezo ignition system is both durable and functional.

The 2 separate burners can be independently used creating 2-zone cooking. You can sear a steak on one burner while slow cooking a chicken with the other. Or use the other area for indirect heat coming from the heat generated by the flame on the other burner. When you're done cooking, cleaning it is easy with a side grease drip tray that collects natural oil that drips from the food.

This tailgating grill comes with a regulator for the 1 lb. the tank which makes it easier to carry for camping, hiking, and of course tailgating.  
Pros
  • Made from cast aluminum body and porcelain-enameled griddle
  • 2 separately controlled stainless steel burner with 17,000 BTUs of power
  • 238 square-inch of grilling surface
  • Piezo ignition system for a matchless start
  • Easy to maintain and clean with a grease drip tray system
Cons
  • Has some cold and hot spot on the grill surface
Also Good

A powerful portable tailgating grill that has 3 independently controlled burners for faster cooking.  
Quick Summary
  • BTU's: 20,000
  • Cooking Area: 285 square inches
  • Weight: 50 lbs.
The Coleman Roadtrip may be small compared to full-size grills.  But what it does is comparable in terms of cooking power and capacity. With 3 independently adjustable burners coupled with a large 285 square inches of grill space, grilling multiple foods is going to be a breeze with this propane grill.

The 20,000 BTUs is great for searing meat or slow roasting small whole chicken. The instaStart ignition allows for matchless lighting of the burners. Once the burners are on, you can be sure that your meat will not be overcooked with the use of a built-in temperature gauge on the lid. Two durable side tables are useful for resting utensils and sauces. Once you're done grilling, it's easy to clean as the removable water pan catches all the cooking grease for easy dumping.

The interchangeable cooktops allow you to change from the grill grates to the griddle, or stove grate (sold separately). The Coleman Roadtrip features sturdy quick folding legs and 2 wheels that are easy to set up, takedown, and transport that is why it's one of the best tailgate gas grills that you will find. 
Pros
  • Three independently adjustable burners 
  • 285 square-inch cooking area 
  • Powerful 20,000 BTUs of cooking power
  • Two durable side tables
  • Built-in temperature gauge
  • Removable water pan for easy cleaning
Cons
  • The water pan is a bit shallow
Also Good

A redesigned gas grill with a number of features upgrade that is perfect for tailgating. 
Quick Summary
  • BTU's: 8,500 (temperature up to 500F)
  • Cooking Area: 189 square inches
  • Weight: 13.5 lbs.
The original Weber go-anywhere was a hit among grill enthusiasts, and the redesigned version takes it to another level. With a porcelain-enameled base and lid, the Weber looks stylish and elegant. The porcelain-enameled cooking grates are designed to eliminate flare-ups. With 8,500 BTU of raw cooking power, this tailgate grill gets hot enough to sear a burger or a steak to perfection. But it can also deliver great quality food at lower temperature settings.

The lid and bowl (body) of the Go-Anywhere gas grill are made from premium-grade steel with baked-on porcelain-enamel inside and out. This ensures superior durability even in the highest temperature achieved while cooking. The plated steel legs pivot to lock the lid in place for carrying while providing stability and support for the grill itself. The tall lid allows for slow cooking or roasting of a small whole chicken. The grease drip system is helpful once you're done cooking. 
Pros
  • Made from cast aluminum hood and body
  • Stainless steel burner with 8,500 BTUs of power
  • 189 square-inch of grilling surface
  • The tall hood/lid allows grilling of small roast 
  • Easy to clean with a grease drip system
Cons
  • Temperature control may take getting used to
Also Good

An all-around gas grill with a great design, functionality, and durability
Quick Summary
  • BTU's: 14,000
  • Cooking Area: 354 square inches
  • Weight: 20 lbs.
If you love searing steaks that have that near steakhouse-quality on a portable propane grill, then the Martin Portable BBQ grill is worth checking out. The U-Shape stainless steel burner produces 14,000 BTU of cooking power enough to sear steaks or burgers. The large cooking surface makes grilling multiple foods easy and fast. The stainless steel lid allows heat to build up inside the grill making evenly cooked food from the get-go.

The warming rack is useful to warm your steak (which is ideal) for a few minutes before serving. The folding support legs make it easy to set up and fired up in less than one minute. Thanks to the Piezo ignition system, no need for matches to start the powerful burner. And with the quick clean grease tray, you are assured of a clean grilling area ready for your next cooking event. 
Pros
  • U-shape stainless steel burner with 14,000 BTUs
  • 354 square inches of cooking grate
  • Warming rack to warm foods prior to serving
  • Folding support legs for easy set up and transport
  • Quick clean grease tray
Cons
  • Some users complain that the warming rack doesn't stay in place

What To Look For When Buying A Portable Gas Grill

Tailgating
Buying a portable gas grill that is best suited for tailgating is not as hard as it would seem.  You only need to know what are the things to consider to make sure that the money you will spend on your tailgate grill is worth it. (1)

Weight and Size

A tailgate grill should not be a burden to carry around.  Since you plan to take it with you, consider how much it weighs and the space that it will occupy on your vehicle. It should be easy to carry especially if only you or one person is going to move it around.  Some of the portable gas grills on our list weigh less than 15 lbs so these are definitely easy to carry even with one hand.   

Burner / BTU Power

Is a single burner enough or do you need at least two to get by? Are you going to use your propane grill in searing meat, or is it just going to be used for regular grilling? BTUs determine the cooking power of your burner so it's advisable to choose a tailgate grill with the higher output if you plan to sear or grill thick portions of meat. (2)

Price and Durability

Durability comes with a price so expect to pay more if you want a tailgate grill that is built to last for years.  Is it sturdy and will it be able to withstand the elements of the outdoors?  Are the cooking grates made of cast iron, porcelain-enameled, or stainless steel?  Or is it just made from a sheet of metal that is thinly made prone to tearing and rust?  The best portable grill should be at least made from stainless steel for its body and cooking grates. (3)

Features

While most of the tailgate grills on our list share almost the same features, there are some that have more than others. Are side tables important to you in prepping your food? Is a portable grill with no wheels a deal-breaker for you since you want a grill that you can simply push and pull around?  Is an interchangeable cooking top one that is important for you so you have the flexibility in cooking that you want? These are just some of the things that you should keep in mind when you shop for your propane grill.  

Final Words

Tailgating is a fun way to bond with friends and family sharing great food. That is why choosing the best tailgate grill will make sure that you will only collect fun and memorable experiences each time. Each of us has different tastes and preferences when it comes to grilling. But where we all definitely agree is that grills should be able to produce great tasting foods as they are intended to be. So go ahead and choose the best grill for you, and start planning on your future tailgating adventure with friends and loved ones.  
Best Overall

Best portable gas grill for tailgating for its simple design yet highly functional features and durability. 

References

(1) tailgating - ​https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Tailgating
(2) BTUs - https://www.webopedia.com/TERM/B/Btu.html
(3) ​​stainless steel - ​https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-doesnt-stainless-stee/

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  1. Definitely agree with the top item on this list! That’s what I am and my family and friends are using and it’s really a great product! I recommend it!

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