Best Portable Gas Grills From Consumer Reports' Tests

These are top models for small yards, campsites, and tailgates

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Cusinart cgg-306 grill
Cuisinart CGG-306 portable gas grill
Photo: Cuisinart

Portable grills are perfect for camping, cooking out at a park or beach, or, of course, grilling on a small deck or patio that lacks the real estate required for a larger, stationary gas grill.

But just because these grills are modestly sized doesn’t mean you have to skimp on performance. At the same time, don’t assume they can all handle basic tasks, such as browning burgers and brats, effectively.

The portable grills in our ratings range in price from about $80 to more than $400, and we test models from Broil King, Char-Broil, Coleman, Cuisinart, Landmann, Napoleon, Nexgrill, and Weber, among others. If you’re not sure whether a portable grill is the best type for you, start with our grill buying guide. CR members can access our comprehensive grill ratings of all the portable and full-sized grills that have come through our labs.

More on Grills

“We see sizable performance differences between portable models,” says Larry Ciufo, who oversees gas grill testing at CR. “The worst portable grills are only suitable for burgers and hot dogs, but the best can actually cook 90 percent of what you’d make on a larger grill.”

Those differences are meaningful, particularly if you’re cooking for a hungry crowd while tailgating or for a grumpy family back at a campsite after a day spent hiking.

How CR Tests Portable Grills

Our tests of portable grills are similar to our evaluations of larger models. But we place much more emphasis on key convenience factors, such as how easily a grill lights and folds up for transport, because we know that’s crucial for using a portable grill on the go.

To see how each model cooks, we wire the surface with thermocouples to record the temperature across the grates. We also perform these tests at low and moderate temperatures, and capture the range of temperatures at which every single model can cook.

The fact that a grill is small—or inexpensive, for that matter—doesn’t mean you should lower your expectations. Our predicted reliability and owner satisfaction ratings, derived from the results of our annual CR member survey, indicate how likely a grill is to stand the test of time and how happy folks are with their portable grills.

Here are some of the best portable gas grills from CR’s tests.

Best Portable Gas Grills From CR's Tests

Paul Hope

As a classically trained chef and an enthusiastic DIYer, I've always valued having the best tool for a job—whether the task at hand is dicing onions for mirepoix or hanging drywall. When I'm not writing about home products, I can be found putting them to the test, often with help from my two young children, in the 1860s townhouse I'm restoring in my free time.