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various meats cooking in a portable gas grill while tailgating

Best Tailgate Grills

Updated On November 3, 2022

Tailgating has gotten more and more popular over the years. Alot of people are looking for the perfect grill for this and when they try to find one there are some main factors that come to mind. You want something portable, durable and easy to fuel when your on the go and tailgating.

Here we have come together with a list of some of the best tailgating grills out there. Each one of these picks is perfect for the specific art of tailgating. Whether your at a football game or just want to post up outside of an event these are the perfect grills for you.

*Best Overall

Blackstone 1650 Tabletop Grill without Hood Propane Fuelled – 17 inch Portable Stovetop Gas Griddle-Rear Grease Trap for Kitchen, Outdoor, Camping, Tailgating or Picnicking, Black


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

*Most Cheapest

Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill 18 Inch Black


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

Cuisinart CGG-180TS Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill, Stainless Steel


An ideal grill with excellent features, 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

The blackstone Table Top Grill offers quality, durability and beauty in a small size but with proven promises of 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: $

Blackstone 1650 Tabletop Grill without Hood Propane Fuelled – 17 inch Portable Stovetop Gas Griddle-Rear Grease Trap for Kitchen, Outdoor, Camping, Tailgating or Picnicking, Black

For an incredibly attractive price and with 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 easy.

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

2. Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill 18 Inch

The Most Budget-efficient

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: $

Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill 18 Inch Black

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 many other grills. It is a charcoal grill and 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 a 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 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.
  • 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
  • Slightly heavy, even though it  doesn't look like as such (18 lbs)

3. Cuisinart CGG-180TS All Foods Tabletop Gas Grill

A Portable, Efficient & Beginner-Friendly Grill

The Cuisinart has fast-start ignition, lots of space to cook on and unbelievably lightweight structure
Quick Summary
  • A good choice for anyone, better for those who desire less storage space and prefer lightweight grills
  • Approx. 260 sq inches of cooking surface
  • Price: $$

Cuisinart CGG-180TS Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill, Stainless Steel

The Cuisinart CGG-180ts All-Foods Gas Grill is a multipurpose cooking system that expertly grills foods. Supplied by a 5,500 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 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 surfaces 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 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.
  • Has a weight of a single pound, making it the lightest in our list
  • Twist-start ignition makes start-ups easy as a breeze
  • 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: $$

Blackstone Tailgater Stainless Steel 2 Burner Portable Gas Grill and Griddle Combo Total 35,000 BTUs for Indoor or Backyard, Outdoor, Patio, Picnic, Garden Cooking

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 a 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.
  • 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
  • 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: $$

Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch, Black

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.
  • 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
  • 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 your going to bring your favorite grill from home. So if you’re going to invest the money 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, 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 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 BTUs to back it up. Remember that BTUs 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 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, cold foods can go bad as well if they aren’t kept refrigerated. 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 of 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.
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

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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.