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What portable gas grill should I buy?

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  • adam Aug 9, 2007 07:22 AM
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I'm in the market for a portable gas grill - any thoughts? Does anyone have experience with the Coleman Road Trip series (particularly the LXE or the new SS Pro model)? The Thermos Grill2Go? Any other recommendations or stay-away-froms?

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  1. I have a few older "tailgate" grills that are mostly OK and I have looked at the newer ones. The limitation on all these is that the portable propane cylinders can only flow enough gas for about a 12K BTU flame -- pretty damned anemic, expecially in colder weather and/or a stiff wind.

    If that is not a problem for you I think the best built unit is probably the Weber Q 200, it does not come with a cart, if you don't plan on squatting or using it on some other surface a folding cart is avaible from Weber -- the package is about $200. It ought to outlast & out perform the Coleman/ Thermos units.

    If you want to spend less I would just get the basic Weber "gas GO Anywhere" grill for about $60 -- it does the job and will last, but does not have optional legs. There is a rip-off of this model available from Charbroil. I have one. It is about $30 and is VERY thin, I sorta keep it around as a joke along the lines of "if I can cook on this, then why would I need i $2000 dollar grill (which I also have...).

    There are some interesting units designed for sailboats that combine compact design with flexible mounting and storing options, though to fight corrosion they are often SS and quite expensive.

    If you want to spend more and don't mind getting a normal propane cylinder I can recommend the Camp Chef Professional Series -- they have a three burner unit with a unique modular "flavorizer bar" type grill that is about $350 -- I've seen folks use these at ballgames and I am a little jealous. They are well built but heavy.

    I guess a lot depends on what sort of "portability" you want and how much heat output you'll trade for ease of mobility.

    4 Replies
    1. re: renov8r

      Thanks for the feedback.

      In terms of portability, I'm looking for something to mostly use in my backyard but also bring to tailgates, etc, on occasion. I just moved and I'm only going to be in my current place for a year, so I don't want to invest in anything bigger or more permanent since I'm not sure where I'll be next year and if I'll be able to keep a grill outside or only have something portable.

      I may just go with charcoal and something like the Weber Kettle, although that would more or less rule out tailgating with it, and my fiancee has expressed a clear preference for gas over charcoal. We'll see if I win that battle, but I'm not sure I will.

      The Weber Q grills look ok to me, although I don't love that (correct me if I'm wrong) the grate doesn't come out (I like that with the thermos and the coleman you can swap in a griddle plate or burner, although I guess I wouldn't use those functions the majority of the time).

      I'm trying to keep total cost in the neighborhood of $200, although that's flexible to some extent.

      Thanks again for the input!

      1. re: adam

        I have the road trip grill, I like it for cooking but clening it sucks. The pan beneath the grill/griddle is filled with water, but still gets uber greasy, esp cooking bacon, steaks, burgers. Also for a portable grill it is combersome, I have the rolling bag to store everything in, but it's pretty big, and an awkard fit when loading a bunch of other camping gear. Despite its shortcomings I still like it, and get a decent sear on meat when warned up properly. It's good for cooking for a crowd, but be sure to bring a whole roll of paper towles for cleanup. Also never forget the propane bottle to grill hookup, it's small and easy to forget (hence the bag that stores everything).

        Cheers

        1. re: adam

          Adam:
          The grate on the Weber Q 200 is removable. Weber also sells a griddle. It is a well thought out design. The target is folks like you -- apartment dwellers, tailgaters, picnickers/campers.

          I have tailgated with a charcoal grill, and it is not too bad as long as know that there is a designated "coals & ash dump" -- you don't want put that stuff in your trunk/cargo area. With a well planned strategy to move extra through a chimney you can have charcol ready to go in about 15-20 minutes. I've used a rechargable blower, it does send some sparks flying, so you need a fun loving crowd...

          1. re: adam

            I have the full-sized Weber Q and love it. The grate is removable, and it's heavy cast iron.

        2. I jus picked up the weber go anywhere grill (charcoal) and really like it.
          http://www.amazon.com/Weber-121020-Go...
          Not very big, but I was able to grill a whole chicken (cut up) on it. Plenty of vents to control the air as well, and it cools down in a hurry when you close those vents. If you get a chimney starter (i also recommend weber) you'll be all set.