Best Tailgate Grills

A memorable tailgating experience demands for something that can satisfy the hungry tummies. Something juicy, tender, delicious and aromatic which will tickle our taste buds and tease our senses.

Yes, you guessed it. It's hot and spicy perfection coming off of a grill. No party or event is complete unless this, which happens to be the most essential part of it, factor is fulfilled in it. But then the question is, what kind of grill to buy? What features to look for and what about the safety and satisfaction of those who have taken the time to accompany us in this experience?


Top 5 Grills for Tailgating

Short on time? Here's a quick roundup of our top 3 picks and why you need them!

Product

Photo

Cost

Rate

Pros

Link

*Best Overall

$

​The perfect size with budget-efficient cost and high quality performance

*Most Cheapest

$

A beautiful grill with large cooking surface, sturdy structure and appealing design

*Most Convenient

$$

An ideal grill with excellent features, side-shelves, quality structure and super lightweigh

1. ​Blackstone Table Top Grill - 17 Inch Portable Gas Griddle

An All-in-one Tailgating Grill With The Perfect Size

Blackstone Table Top Grill offers quality, durability and beauty in a small size but with proven promises of an unparalleled performance

Quick Summary

  • Excellent for individuals who are looking for quality, cost-effectiveness and portability in a single grill
  • 260 sq in cooking surface
  • Price: $

For an incredibly attractive price and beautifully designed structure, the Blackstone Table Top grill is definitely the most unbeatable choice when it comes to tailgating, picnics, parties and small or large events.

With a flat top and a massive cooking surface area, you can easily grill several meals at a time without having to worry about making your friends or guests wait. The electric ignition system makes sure that no time is wasted in the grill's startup and high temperatures of heat are quickly reached to make cooking as easy as a breeze.

Though the Blackstone 17 Inch Grill only has a single burner, it is designed in an "H" alphabet shape, covering the entire cooking surface and distributing an even heat for the best quality grilling.

If you want to impress your friends with your cooking speed and delicious tastes, this is a must have grill!

Pros

  • Small size, lightweight, hence easy to carry
  • Strategically shaped burner distributes even heat and coverts the entire cooking surface
  • Electronic ignition system makes startups easy

Cons


2. Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill 18 Inch

The Most Budget-efficient & Beautiful Looking Grill

An excellent quality grill with commendable performance and convenient features that allow easy management and cleaning

Quick Summary

  • Excellent for the budget-conscious and those looking for an easy-to-carry grill
  • 260 sq in cooking surface
  • Price: $

The Weber Smokey Joe Silver Charcoal Grill is the best portable grill you can bring to parties and other occasions. It is perfect for apartment courtyards, backyards, beaches and camp sites. Its stylish look makes this grill stand out from any other grills. It is a charcoal grill and definitely requires charcoal briquettes.

Make your parties more enjoyable with this Weber product. It is not only perfect for steaks but also for chicken, pork chops, veggies and small roasts as well. This is an all-occasion grill so you can enjoy cooking your favorite food.

This compact size grill consists of aluminum ash catcher and three aluminum legs. The Jump Joe is constructed to be rust resistant, its hardware is built with steel and is porcelain and enamel-coated to prevent the grill color from fading. It has a bright nickel plated cooking grate. You can enjoy cooking your meat by tossing it onto the plated cooking grate and watch the best grilling results. It develops perfectly cooked meat and great flavored grilled foods. The vents of the Weber Jumbo Joe control the air flow, making the management of temperature and heat easier than ever. The handle is made of glass reinforced nylon to protect your hands from the heat. This grill can be easily cleaned as well as can be easily assembled.

Pros

  • Presence of air vents make temperature control easy
  • Aluminium ash tray is ideal for instantly getting rid of unnecessary post-cooking debris 
  • Assembling is super easy and simple

Cons

  • Slightly heavy, even though it  doesn't look like as such (18 lbs)

3. ​Cuisinart CGG-200B All Foods Tabletop Gas Grill

A Portable, Efficient & Beginner-Friendly Grill

The Cuisinart All Foods Grill has fold-able shelves, twist-start ignition, lots of space to cook on and unbelievably lightweight structure

Quick Summary

  • A good choice for anyone, better for those who desire storage space and prefer lightweight grills
  • Approx. 260 sq inches of cooking surface
  • Price: $$

The Cuisinart CGG-200 All-Foods Gas Grill is a multipurpose cooking system that expertly grill foods. Supplied by a 12,000 BTU stainless steel loop burner for durable cooking which will provide you with a solid grilling performance. The product also includes a heat distributing panel and a porcelain enamel coated cast iron cooking grate. The table top grill is small in size which is perfect for small yards and patios. It is also convenient and easy to carry as it comes with a folding stainless steel shelves and carry handles. The special feature of this gas grill is its unique Versatile Modular Grill Surface System, which is a series of interchangeable specialized grilled surface which allows you to grill delicate foods and frequently grilled meals.

The panels affix securely to the cooking surface but can be easily removed for cleaning and storage. The grill comes with a veggie panel, precision temperature gauge, Cuisinart TwiStart Ignition system and a removable dip tray.

All you need to do to be able to start grilling with the Cuisinart CGG-200 All-Foods Gas Grill, is simply turn the TwiStart ignition system and in a matter of seconds the grill sparks to life. This product is carefully designed for faster heat up times as well as faster re- heating.

After lighting, the grill will turn up to the right temperature needed for grilling. Temperature accuracy is important to be able to grill different foods perfectly. That is why it is built with a temperature gauge for you to monitor the heat and allows you to set the desired heat you need for grilling, depending on the kind of food you wish to serve or prepare.

The All Foods grill is perfect for everyday backyard grilling. It is also ideal for parties, camping, tailgating, beach picnics and more.

Pros

  • Two fold-able shelves are incredibly useful for keeping cooking appliances
  • Has a weight of a single pound, making it the lightest in our list
  • Twist-start ignition makes start-ups easy as a breeze

Cons

  • The grill heats up quickly
  • May break down if proper care is not given

4. ​Blackstone Grills Tailgater - Portable Gas Grill and Griddle Combo

An Advanced Level Grill With Unique Features & Design

A highly unique and versatile grill which can be used by more than one chef at a time

Quick Summary

  • An ideal option for a group of chefs or those looking to cook several meals from a single grill in a single instance
  • 512 sq in cooking surface
  • Price: $$

The Blackstone Tailgater is the perfect grill for any event. With its unique design and incredibly sturdy structure, you can fulfill your BBQ adventures and cook a variety of food on an easy-to-use griddle and grill combo. Whether you take it to the park on an afternoon, the beach on a sunny morning or decide to serve random people from the outside of your van, the Blackstone Tailgater has you covered.

To make cooking easier and more precise, the grill has different heating zones which are influenced directly by the burners located below. These are independently-controlled and each of them can be set to a temperature of your choice, allowing the cooking surface to have a gradient of heat intensity. One of the burners is a stainless steel tube one with the power of producing 15,000 BTUs while the other is a cast iron burner with 20,000 BTUs worth of strength.

To make things more interesting, this grill has dual cooking surface, making it the best party grill in its price range. While one of your teammates cooks on the main surface, you can utilize the barbecue box and get the delicious pork chops ready to be served.

Pros

  • Unique design allows multi-tasking and cooking more than one meal at a time, can be used by 2-3 people at once 
  • Flexible and sturdy legs give the grill a perfect balance and stabilized stance
  • Two independent burners with a total power of 35,000 BTUs makes reaching high intensities of heat easy

Cons

  • It is slightly expensive
  • Very heavy grill (75 lbs)

5. Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill

High Quality Grill With Stable Structure & Performance

The Weber Premium Charcoal Grill comes with a unique one-touch cleaning system, a built-in thermometer, beautiful colors and excellent quality

Quick Summary

  • Suitable for any skill level, best used for parties and events
  • 363 sq in cooking surface
  • Price: $$

The Weber Original Kettle Charcoal Grill is a high quality charcoal grill which can be used for multiple purposes. It is an exceptional choice when it comes to tailgating and catering for events and parties due to its enormous cooking surface area and durable structure. This particular grill is also very easy to assemble and is light enough to move around with ease.

Having said that, the Premium Charcoal Grill consists of a heavy gauge porcelain enamel lid and bowl for long life and durability. It features a stainless steel one touch cleaning system that allows a ton of convenience in its longtime maintenance and easy elimination of leftover food fragments. It has a hinged cooking grate and a removable ash catcher for effortless cooking and grilling. The grill comes with a built-in lid thermometer which allows you to monitor the temperature and keep it precise in accordance with your needs. With its new bowl handle design, there is an integrated tool hook which makes for an excellent storage area for cooking appliances like spatulas and tongs.

In addition, the plated steel, hinge cooking and stainless steel charcoal is made for lasting use and durability. While the aluminized steel allows for an easy one touch cleaning system, the durable all-weather wheels are perfect for a year-round BBQ experience.

Pros

  • One-touch cleaning system gets rid of leftover food particles and debris 
  • High quality aluminized steel allows for a super durable structure
  • Built-in thermometer allows for precise cooking with specific heat levels

Cons

  • Difficult to carry because of its excessive weight of 32.3 lbs

The Importance of a Portable Grill

Portable grills are essential for tailgating because, let’s face it, you’re not going to eat sandwiches with your beer and then decide to bring your favorite grill from home. So if you’re going to invest the bucks to create a memorable tailgating experience, knowing the answers to some questions is essential.

As with any purchase decision, buying a portable grill is going to come down to preferences and options and if you want to have the best tailgate grills on the block, there are some things to settle before going any further.

What fuel are you going to use? Your options are basically gas (propane) and charcoal as these are the only real portable fuel options. Each has its advantages and drawbacks. With charcoal grills you get the great taste and texture but you’re going to have to figure out the logistics of cooking with charcoal (it takes time to heat up and cool down and you’re going to have to put the ash somewhere). With propane grills you get a lot more control over your grilling temperature and instant grilling gratification. However, the awful fact cannot be ignored that you don’t have a gas gauge and running out of fuel mid-cookout is a recipe for a pretty much ruined occasion.

How much are you cooking? Answering this question will give you an idea of your BTU and cooking area requirements. The “bigger is better” mentality certainly rings true for portable best tailgate grills but remember that you’ll have to pack up and move a larger grill and that bigger grills consume more gas. The best advice is to get the biggest surface area you can afford but make sure it has the BTU to back it up. Remember that BTU alone doesn’t make the grill, but how much surface area that BTU has to heat up.

How portable do you want your tailgate grill to be? The biggest components to this is the size of the grill once it’s been packed up and it’s ready to travel and how heavy of a grill do you want to lug around. Both of these are difficult because there’s competing interests for each. A compact grill that is easy to throw in the back of a vehicle is going to have a smaller grilling surface. The same thing happens with weight: You want to have a solid, sturdy grill because it will hold heat longer and won’t be in danger of tipping over but then you have to move it around and if your grill weighs upwards of 60-70 pounds it’s difficult to do by yourself. Experience will tell you what the best answer is for you and if you can, try out a friend’s grill. This will give you an idea what you like and probably a few things you hadn’t thought of.

A Handful of Safety Tips When Tailgating

Tailgating parties can be exciting and fun, but you need to make sure that you have your party safely. Something going wrong can ruin everything for you. To help you out, here are a few important tailgating safety tips you need to remember.

Tip #1 – Cook Everything Thoroughly

One of the big dangers of tailgating is foods that get spoiled. The last thing you want is everyone going home with food poisoning. Make sure that everything is cooked thoroughly. A meat thermometer may come in handy if you’re grilling to make sure meats get to the right internal temperature to be safely eaten.

Tip #2 – Keep Cold Foods Cold

Of course, the cold foods can go bad as well if they aren’t kept cold. Make sure that you take coolers that are well insulated and use cold packs or a lot of ice to ensure that the food stays cold for your tailgating party.

Tip #3 – Keep Plenty of Water on Hand

Sometimes the sun can get pretty hot, so you need to make sure that you keep plenty on water on hand. Everyone needs to stay hydrated to avoid heat stroke or dehydration problems that will ruin the day.

Summing Up What You Learned

There are no specific "tailgating" grills as any grill can be used for parties and events or at the back of your van. What needs to be remembered is that though any grill can be utilized for such an occasion, not all of them have the right features and qualities that are generally considered necessary for a successful tailgating experience.

In this guide, we have looked at a diverse range of grills, from those with quite compact size to the ones with large structures and spread legs. Each of these have their own pros and cons, price differences and things to remember before using them as best tailgate grills. 

We believe that the final decision depends mainly upon one's budget, important preferences in relation to weight of the product, portability and luxurious features such as the availability of storage space. Nevertheless, we are sure that this guide will help you in deciding what kind of grill is the best for you and why the trait of portability is vital to a comfortable and enjoyable grilling experience.

Our Top Pick Again

1. Blackstone Table Top Grill - 17 Inch Portable Gas Griddle

An All-in-one Tailgating Grill With The Perfect Size

Blackstone Table Top Grill offers quality, durability and beauty in a small size but with proven promises of an unparalleled performance


About the Author Albert Thompson

Albert hails from Kentucky where grilling is a lifestyle. He brings with him his years of experience in the cooking sector and the product sector, but dont let that fool you, he practices what he preaches and enjoys a big rack of ribs every weekend.

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