For over twenty years, we have been learning, studying, and reaping the benefits of smoking and grilling our meals. And we know the best meals are shared with friends and family during special celebrations and events.
Above all, there is nothing better than a good barbeque when tailgating for a big game. As a result, we scoured the market and compared features such as size, heat source, cooking surface, and portability. To help you find the perfect barbeque for your next party, we have compiled a list of the 12 best small tailgate grills.
Best Tailgate Grills:
Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane GrillView at Amazon
This portable grill comes from a brand synonymous with camping, Coleman. And there is a reason that Coleman has been the number one trusted name for outdoor activities for so long, they are reliable and their products are built to last.
This RoadTrip 285 grill lives up to the tradition of its brand, with a large grilling capacity and strong construction. This all-in-one grill will make you the hit of any tailgating party.
The Coleman Roadtrip Portable Grill was definitely designed with tailgating in mind. It has a small footprint and can be broken down and transported without any hassle or fuss. With an easy-start ignition and the ability to change over the grill top, we consider this unit to be the best portable gas grill for tailgating by a mile.
- The collapsible design makes this grill effortless to store and transport
- Two wheels on the bottom provide mobility while in an upright, grilling position
- Straightforward assembly can be completed in a matter of minutes
- This grill is a bit on the heavy side for a portable grill
- The wheel needs to be on a flat surface to ensure stability while the grill is in use
Weber Q1000 Liquid Propane GrillView at Amazon
This Weber Q1000 grill is constructed of cast aluminum so it can withstand the elements that come along with on-the-go grilling.
Providing grilling quality with a sleek style, this Weber grill has a larger grip handle and control knobs, ergonomic side handles, and a sturdy front. This unit is durable, and lightweight making it an excellent tailgating companion.
The Weber 50060001 Q1000 Liquid Propane Grill is a tabletop grill that has a sturdy and secure base. Built with longevity in mind, this device is extremely durable and easy to transport. It is easy and comfortable to use, making it an outstanding small gas grill for tailgating.
- Consumers are telling us that this grill has excellent heat control
- This unit provides excellent heat control
- Compact and perfect size to grill for smaller groups of people
- This grill does not include a thermometer with the purchase
- Wider propane tanks may be challenging to screw on due to the connector being too close to the grill
George Foreman 15-Serving Indoor/Outdoor Electric GrillView at Amazon
The George Foreman Electric Grill has a large grilling surface with the ability to accommodate 15 people at one time. The grill surface contains a tough nonstick coating which is durable and extremely easy to clean. This unit comes with a removable stand, allowing it to be used indoors or outdoors.
The George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor electric grill is a great way to grill without the hassle or mess of charcoal or propane. It has a large cooking surface with ample space to cook for large groups of people.
The removable stand allows it to be transported easily and simply set up no matter where you want to use it. This unit is great for use as a tailgate barbecue griddle.
- Grillers are very happy with how quickly this grill heats up and is ready for cooking
- This is a great alternative for those living in an apartment or area with restricted grill use
- Simple to assemble, set up, use, transport, and store
- Some users have complained about problems with the temperature gauge
- Electric hook up may present some problems
Weber Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable GrillView at Amazon
The Weber Smokey Joe 14-Inch portable grill is well made and has some excellent features; which include a Porcelain-enamel-coated grate and brilliant top vent that allows you to control the temperature inside of your grill without lifting the lid.
It is extremely lightweight and has a very compact design; making it a must-include on our tailgating grill list.
The Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill is a charcoal grill that is easy to transport and will provide you with the charcoal grill flavor with each and every use. Designed for on-the-go grilling, we consider this grill to be the best portable charcoal grill for tailgating on the market.
- Compact in size but still allows for grilling a full meal at once
- The porcelain-enameled coating helps to retain heat and protects the grill from the elements
- Buyers are loving the straightforwardness and easy use that this Weber grill provides them
- The legs on the grill could be a bit flimsy and unstable
- Consumers are stating that the bottom vent could become clogged during use
Masterbuilt Propane Tabletop Grill, Stainless SteelView at Amazon
The Masterbuilt Smoke Hollow is a tabletop propane grill designed specifically for outdoor use. Constructed in stainless steel, this unit is sure to add to any tailgating event.
It is compact with a locking lid, folding legs, and a large handle on the front providing simple and hassle-free transport and storage. This grill uses small, disposable, 1lb propane cylinders (not included).
This tabletop grill from Masterbuilt is great for use in any on-the-go scenario. It has a sturdy construction and is designed for transporting and simple storage.
The “U” shaped burner will produce plenty of cooking power for any meal you throw at it. The Masterbuilt Smoke Hollow is one of the better bangs for your buck in all of our tailgating grill reviews.
- Grillers are loving the quick heat-up and cooking time this unit provides
- The inside grates can easily be removed for simple and fast clean up
- Heats evenly and consistently no matter what you are cooking
- Some consumers find the cooking space to be inadequate for their needs
- There are occasions where the outside may rust if left out in the elements for extended periods of time
Coleman RoadTrip Party Basic Propane GrillView at Amazon
The Coleman Party Propane Grill has detachable legs that fit inside the grill for easy transport and storage. It boasts 122 square inches of cooking surface with 8,000 BTUs with its adjustable burner giving you tremendous control over your grilling.
Coleman Party Propane Grill exudes optimal performance without complications. Simple and straightforward, this grill is easy to use, store, transport, and clean up. A fantastic camping stove grill, the Coleman party propane grill will definitely add convenient grill cooking to your tailgating party.
- Heats up quickly and provides evenly cooked food every time
- Many consumers are telling us that this grill is a great bang for your buck
- Extremely compact and is designed for simple transport, set up, and clean up
- Does not come with a lid which may put some grillers off
- Some consumers have had problems with ignition light-up failing
Cuisinart CGG180 CGG-180 Petit Gourmet Gas Grill with VersaStandView at Amazon
Next up on our list is the Cuisinart CGG-180 Petit tabletop grill. This grill is certainly compact and will fit on any table or flat surface. Perfect for tailgating, its steel construction will ensure this unit will last throughout the entire season, and for years to come.
Cuisinart CGG-180 Petit tabletop grill is one of the best tailgate grills for trucks. Designed to be compact and easily transported from place to place, this device does not compromise on power or performance.
- Perfect size for those individuals with limited storage space or small outdoor spaces
- Its compact stature creates fuel efficiency, allowing your propane tank to last longer
- Suitcase style design allows for easy carrying and transport
- Consumers have complained that the catch basin is quite small and may allow grease to build up quickly and possibly spill over
- The cooking surface is good for smaller parties, but may not accommodate groups of 5 or more people
Char- Broil Standard Portable Liquid Propane Gas GrillView at Amazon
This char-broil standard portable grill was created for transporting to your favorite tailgating party. Its legs fold over the top of the grill and lock the lid into place.
The lid has heat-resistant handles allowing you to move it without waiting for the grill to cool down. The chrome-plated cooking grate is dishwasher safe, enabling quick and simple clean-up. For great grilling every time, the Char-Broil Standard portable gas grill is for you.
This Char-Broil portable grill is an excellent contender if you are considering the purchase of a cheap tailgate grill.
Designed for use anywhere you feel like grilling, this device features legs that fold over the top of the grill to lock the lid in place as well as heat-resistant handles so that you do not have to wait for the grill to cool down in order to move it from one place to another.
- Consumers love that the chrome-plated cooking grate is dishwasher safe
- Grillers are telling us that the legs are surprisingly sturdy and stable
- Even cooking with every grill attempt, no hot or cold spots while cooking
- The air vent between the grill and the regulator allows for the propane to mix with the air and maybe a startling sound (like a small engine) for those not expecting it
- Some buyers have noted issues with the regulator at times
Cuisinart CGG-059 Propane, Grillster 8,000 BTU Portable Gas GrillView at Amazon
Cuisinart CGG-059 Grillster has a sleek design this is compact and ready to go whenever and wherever you are. Its high performance and hassle-free cleaning make this grill even more appealing.
Designed with portability and performance in mind, the Grillster will enable amazing results with every use. The grill hood lifts out of the way: the hood lifts up to give total access to the grate. It’s attached to the base, and can easily latch and lock Back in place to securely carry or store.
The Cuisinart CGG-059 Grillster is a great portable car grill that will present excellent results for all of your tailgating uses. The Grill hood lifts out of the way: the hood lifts up to give total access to the grate.
It’s attached to the base, and can easily latch and lock Back in place to securely carry or store. This simple-to-assemble and the easy-to-use unit will enable you to keep the party going as long as you want.
- Steel construction is of great quality and enables lasting durability
- Consumers are loving the locking lid, carrying handle, and collapsible folding legs
- The grill heats up and cools down quickly
- The shallow dome may pose problems cooking larger cuts of meat
- Some buyers encountered issues when attempting to cook on lower heats
Cuisinart CCG190RB Portable Charcoal GrillView at Amazon
This Cuisinart CCG-190RB Portable Charcoal Grill is perfect for grilling a small meal. Extremely lightweight and compact design makes for a tremendously easy transport and storage task.
The firebox is enamel coated – giving it strength & durability to survive the harshest grilling conditions. The dual venting system helps control the heat so you can cook slow & low or up at searing hot temperatures.
The Cuisinart CCG-190RB Portable Charcoal Grill is easy to assemble. Weighing only 2 pounds, this unit was no doubt built for hassle-free transport and storage.
Despite its small footprint, this device boasts a 14-inch cooking space, allowing you to cook for any number of people. Its versatility and compact nature make this grill an excellent addition to any tailgating event.
- Perfect compact design enabling you to achieve that perfect charcoal grill taste anywhere you want to go
- The grilling capacity at 150 square inches allows the griller to cook for a small family or group without any fuss or hassle
- Three secure lid locks for easy and safe transport
- Some buyers have complained that the grill moves while cooking
- It is possible to burn food quickly, so close attention needs to be paid from the beginning of the cooking process until the end
Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill With Coal DoorView at Amazon
Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill provides a charcoal hibachi-style grill experience sure to entice anyone. Seasoned and ready to use for a natural, easy-release finish.
This grill is built of cast iron, allowing the heat from the coals to be contained using less charcoal at every use. It is adjustable, allowing you to choose from two different heights to find the best cook for each of your meals.
The Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill is an amazing portable tailgate barbecue grill. Adding a bit of flare to your party, this device can handle any size party and whatever food you can think of to throw at it.
Providing a hibachi-style flavor to all of your dishes, this device is a must-have for any seasoned tailgate party host. If you are looking to invest in a portable grill, and do not mind the heavy stature, this is the grill for you.
- Heat can be adjusted with a draft door to ensure an even cook no matter what is on the grill
- Consumers love the way this grill performs to the utmost quality with every single use
- This grill comes with an attached handle for carrying as well as a built-in shelf for resting utensils
- The cast-iron design makes this unit extremely heavy, which may hinder transport
- It is possible for food to slide off easily
Char-Griller E82424 Smoker Side Fire Box Portable Charcoal GrillView at Amazon
The final grill on our list is the Char-Griller Box grill. This grill is in a class all its own with its ability to be hooked up to Char-Griller barrel grills. Using charcoal as its heat source, this grill has an offset stature allowing for Texas-style smoking when used with the Char-Griller barrel grills.
It has a cooking space large enough for any size party and a removable ash pan that allows for simple clean-up when grill time is over.
The Char-Griller Box Charcoal Grill is easy to assemble and even simpler to use. Providing versatility, this grill can be attached to all Char-Griller barrel grills and used as a firebox for smoking.
The heavy steel construction ensures that this grill will last for decades to come. Sure to add a bit of flare to your grilling experience, this unit’s versatility and an extensive list of features will please even the pickiest of grill masters.
- Grillers love the idea of this grill being used as a smoker as well
- Solid construction provides amazing durability
- This unit’s ability to be used as a smoker as well as a grill has avid grillers and smokers alike loving this unit
- This is the heaviest grill on our list at 40 lbs., which may be cumbersome if trying to transport
- The paint on the outside tends to bubble and peal after a few uses
After careful review, we believe that the ultimate tailgate grill would be the Coleman RoadTrip 285. This little grill is compact enough for convenient and easy transport while still delivering amazing power and unbeatable performance.
With ample space to grill to your heart’s content combined with easy setup, breakdown, and storage, this grill is tough to beat. The best portable grill for tailgating, the Coleman RoadTrip 285 is sure to provide excellence to any party.
And, as always, Happy Grilling!