Top 10 Tailgate Grills 2009/2010
Best Portable Barbecue Grills
Hit the Road with These Top Road Trip Grills
After a long winter testing out various grills on the market, these are my top picks for tailgate grills.
Note that the grills are divided into gas and charcoal categories but that the grills are not specifically ranked.
It really depends on what features you like in a tailgate grill, so these are all solid grills, and you can read more about each (by clicking on the name link) to see if a certain portable grill meets your personal needs.
Best Gas Portable Grills
1. City Grill - This a smoking little tailgate grill. At first glance, you may think it's a charcoal model, since it's in a kettle design. Nope. It's gas. There are two funnels which can be flipped various way to regulate and set the heat for searing or slow grilling. The unit unclips from the stand for easy portability, and you can use a 20 pound gas tank with this model which means it could be your home deck grill too.
2. Weber Q Gas Tailgate Grills - Weber's Q line is a very slick design. The Qs come in gas, charcoal, or electric. The domed lid allows for nice heat circulation. The more expensive models have fold out side work tables (worth the extra cost). And, I love the folding cart which makes this very portable and also puts it at a height where you can comfortably grill on the road or at home.
3. CADAC - This compact grill with 5 interchangeable cooking plates is designed for the RV crowd, but it's great for tailgating too. CADAC especially appeals to the guys. I was planning to give this one to my sister for camping, but 16-year-old asked if he could have it. He's just not the type of kid to ask for stuff period, so this is now his truck tailgater (and yes his buddies are impressed with it).
4. Holland Companion - A rugged briefcase style grill, the Companion is a convection grill that takes the guesswork out of outdoor grilling. You'll have super moist meat and flavorful vegetables off this grill, and you can even bake biscuits and cookies on a Holland. There's also an electric version of the Companion.
5. Coleman Road Trip Grill - Coleman has made camp stoves for years, and now they've designed a model for the tailgate crowd. The extra height is nice on this pretty grill. Two separate burners are nice as are having the choice of grill grates or using a griddle surface on one side. Do note that this one is an open lid outdoor cooker, so don't try to pretend it's a smoker or you may melt parts.
Best Charcoal Portable Grills
6. Weber Smokey Joe - I've been grilling on the little Weber kettle tailgate grill for at at least 15 years now (the same one I might add - these are built to last). Smokey Joes are like the full size Weber Kettles but smaller. They are easy to use and hold quite a bit of food at once. This will always be one of my favorite little grills all year round.
7. Son of Hibachi - One of the most creative designs I've seen in a tailgater, Son of Hibachi is a show stopper. Fold it up for a chimney start up. Open it up for a double sided cooking area. Put it in the snuff out bag when you're done. I think they thought of everything on this one.
8. Weber Go Anywhere - Good name on this grill. It's so compact with the folding legs and suitcase shape that it will fit in even the smallest vehicle. This one is built sturdy as typical with Webers, so expect years of fun with this basic but classic portable grill. It also comes in gas as well as charcoal.
9. Old Smokey - This Texas grill isn't fancy, but it doesn't have to be. It's build like a brick outhouse, and the design is perfect for grilling or smoking up some good grub. You can buy longer legs and attach those if you get tired of stooping down.
10. Big Green Egg Mini Egg - This one is expensive, and the grate is only 9 inches around, so you'll want this for a single or couple eating off the grill. It's hard to beat ceramic cookers though, and it's nice to have a tailgate option. Since the Mini is ceramic, it is going to weigh 30 lbs. But, you'll have some really tasty food off this little Big Green Egg.