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Portable Grill Buying Guide

12 December 2009 One Comment

If you are looking for a good tailgating grill, you have a few different options.  You can hitch a grill trailer onto the back of your truck or SUV, you can get a tiny ultracompact grill with enough surface area to cook up a couple of burgers or dogs, or you can pick up a portable grill.  A portable grill offers many of the great features of their full-sized counterparts, but are made for camping and tailgating trips.

There are a number of features to look at when considering a portable grill for your tailgate party.  Here are just a few.

Road Trip GrillSurface Area – quite simply, how much space does the grill give you to do your thing?  Do you have just enough space to cook up a couple of burgers or will you be able to throw on 6+ burgers?  Most reviews provide surface area measurements in inches and/or can ballpark what you can expect to easily fit during a single round of grilling.  Consider party size and appetites carefully!

Nice Legs – does the grill come with legs?  Will you need to place it on a table or hunch over in the parking lot?  This may not be a big deal for a group of 4 but is definitely something to consider if you hope to entertain larger groups.

Heat Source – you’ve got the classic argument here – charcoal, propane, or electric.  Most true tailgating master chefs would insist on charcoal, but gas does offer its advantages.  Cleanup can be a bit easier, small propane tanks are easy to find and deal with, and you don’t have to pack a big sack of charcoal in your trunk.

Heat consistency – many of the lower-end grills you’ll find have problems here.  Check the reviews and make sure the grill you are looking for cooks evenly and consistently.  If it burns hotter in the middle than it does on the sides, people will blame the cook.  No excuses – play like a champion.

Portability – the very essence of this style of tailgating grill, how portable is it.  The big thing to consider here is how compact it gets for travel.  If it does have legs, consider the size of the grill when it is all folded up.

Cleanup – how easy is the grill to clean up after you’ve successfully filled everyone’s bellies with brats and ribs?  Can it be easily put away and cleaned later?  Can you put the plate or other parts in a dishwasher?  This can make a huge difference between a portable grill you love and one that makes you nuts.

Latching Lid – when transporting your grill, do you want to worry about the lid falling off and making a mess of your trunk?

Quality – don’t cut corners.  Many of the quality issues are outlined above, but check user reviews for reports of flimsy or breaking parts, handles that are too hot to hold, or short life spans.  Most portable grills aren’t that expensive, so go with a quality name.

Those are just a few of the things to look at when trying to find the right portable tailgating grill.  Check out the grill reviews on this site to learn more about your options and find the grill that’s right for your tailgating bonanza.

One Comment »

  • electrolux said:

    Grilling food drips fats from meat, making them healthier,
    plus it offers a taste no other cooking method can provide.

    The Breville 800grxl Grill has a premium non-stick Quantanium scratch-resistant cooking service.
    The Broil King Monarch 40 stainless steel Tremendous eight infinity burner will cook your meals evenly and will protect against cold spots.

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