8 Best Tailgate Grills of 2020 | Reviewed & Rated

Tailgate grilling is best when kept simple. Meat and beer is often all you need, and choosing the right grill for the occasion shouldn’t be any different. Whether you want a portable charcoal grill, a propane model, or a mini smoker, our guide to best tailgate grills has something for everyone.

best tailgate grill review

Bringing the party this fall? Here are eight of the very best tailgate grill reviews to help you get the very most out of tailgating season.

The tailgate grills we’ll be looking at are:

Tailgating season is truly upon on us, and if you want to be the center of the party then you’ll need a grill that’s up to the task.

weber jumbo joe tailgating
Photo: Eric Allix Rogers

In short, you need something powerful and portable, all without breaking the back.

I’ve got your back. My guide will show you everything to look out for, as well as my top recommendations.

weber jumbo joe review

Weber Jumbo Joe

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No top grill list would be complete without an entry from Weber, and no tailgate list would be complete without the Jumbo Joe.

Weber are practically synonymous with grilling, and with the Jumbo Joe it’s not hard to see why. This is one of the true iconic grills.

At 18 inches in grill surface width, it’s more than generously sized enough to cook for any party, but doesn’t sacrifice portability or ease of use as a result.

With exactly the identical cooking grate as the full-sized charcoal grill, the Jumbo Joe is large enough to get a proper cookout, but in a mobile container.

It weighs just 22 pounds for easy maneuverability, and will easily accommodate a good crowd of people.

Check out our full Weber Jumbo Joe review.

Broil King Steel Keg

Broil King Steel Keg

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The Broil King Steel Keg is indeed closely modeled on the dimensions and contour of this Big Green Egg that grates and accessories are synonymous, yet this metallic variant has some genuinely impressive advanced features and layout.

Capable of hitting quite significant temperatures while remaining cool on the exterior with fantastic temperature controller, this grill is in fact an wonderful unit.

You can also mount it on your trailer hitch and choose it tailgating, something you’d have difficulty doing with comparable ceramic kamado cookers.

As a fantastic grilling grill, there are a number of tiny issues with the layout which may provide you issues.

Solaire Anywhere Portable Infrared

Solaire Anywhere Portable Infrared

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Imagine the ability of an infrared grill in a mobile. This 14,000 BTU infrared grill packs more heat than any other mobile grill and in 20 lbs you can take it virtually everywhere.

It also has a rail bracket so that you can turn it into the perfect boat grill.

155 square inches of grilling space. Uses either disposable propane containers or could be converted into a complete 20-pound tank as well as natural gas.

Nexgrill 2-Burner Portable Propane Grill

Nexgrill 2-Burner Portable Propane Grill

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This grill makes it effortless to take your celebration on the street, with foldable legs which spare space in storage and transport, then unfold readily to maintain the grill secure for cooking.

After the celebration is finished, the lid locks shut so it’s possible to include any clutter on the way home. This weighs only 20 lbs, so it is light enough to move it where you need it.The grids are made from stainless steel that’s easy to clean and will not rust or stain, regardless of what you cook. The body of this grill can be stainless, which means you don’t need to be concerned about leaving this outside for yearlong use.

It’s two burners that each has its own hands, which can be great once you need to sear steaks on a single portion of this grill as you finish cooking them in a lower temperature on the opposing side.

This supplies a total of 16,000 BTUs of cooking power plus a entire cooking area of 184 square inches. It may be utilized with 20-lb. LP tanks for extended cooking sessions or you could convert it (using an adapter kit( sold individually ) to utilize 1-lb.

weber q2200

Weber Q-2200 Portable Grill

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This portable grill is a master of style. It packs up to be less than 32 inches , yet it is seven-inch lid signifies this grill is large enough to cook a whole grain.

It utilizes conventional 14-ounce propane tanks (not included) and includes a 280 square-inch porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grate that is almost big enough to be known as a full sized grill.

Not only a fantastic grill to cook , it is cool looking also.

orion cooker smoker

Orion Cooker

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Describing exactly what The Orion Cooker is could be the toughest thing about it. Essentially, this is really a charcoal fired toaster.

The fully enclosed cooking room completely divides the fire from the meals. This doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t include smoke taste and it doesn’t necessarily mean this isn’t any better than your toaster at cooking everything out of racks of ribs (8 at a time) into entire turkeys.

This really is a good”cooker” for big dishes, tailgating and for obtaining foods cooked fast (a 20 pound turkey at 2 1/2 hours). So although maybe not a grill or a smoker, it’s unquestionably a fantastic cooker.

lodge cast iron hibachi grill

Lodge Cast Iron Hibachi Grill

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Of the heavy duty cast iron hibachi grills available on the marketplace this is most likely the very best.

Movable however heavy and capable of some truly fantastic grilling. As a hibachi you do not get a lid, indirect grilling, rotisserie or anything similar to this. What you do get is large, extreme heat which sears and grills great.

This is the ideal apartment grill, particularly for the school student who will catch it and mind anywhere with this particular unit.

coleman lx outdoor grill
Photo: Tony Webster

Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill LXE

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The collapsible design of the drill makes it ideal for storage in tiny spaces, including the back of your car if you choose it to the street. When it is set up, big wheels make it easy to roll into the ideal place for grilling.

Afterward, when cooking is completed, it folds down fast and those big wheels allow you to roll it away instead of having to carrying it out.It has 285 square inches of grilling area, and you may swap the typical grilling grates to get a cast-iron griddle or chrome-plated steel stove grate, each sold separately.

With this grill, you’re going to find a total of 20,000 BTUs of cooking power plus 2 burners that function independently, which means that you can cook on high heat on one side as you lightly toast buns on the opposing side. The grates are porcelain-coated cast iron to get specialist looking grill marks and effortless cleaning.


Know someone with a tailgating addiction? Check out our guide to the best tailgating gifts for some inspiration!

cooking on grill at tailgate party

Tailgate Grilling Safety

We all love tailgating, but it can be easy for a tailgate party to turn dangerous after a day in the sun and after a few too many beers.

Here are some safety tips to keep in mind to make sure you have the best time possible.

Always try to grill at a distance

I get it: Space can often be at a premium when you’ve been crammed into a parking lot. You can be left fighting for room when everyone has an opinion on how you should be grilling.

Despite this, it’s important that you try to keep your grill at least five meters from your vehicle (or at least the front of you vehicle). Fire and car engines have never been a good combination.

Keep your grill clean before and after use

This isn’t just about cleanliness, it’s also about safety. A dirty grill can be prone to flare-ups and hot spots, which is never a good idea. Reduce the amount of accumulated fat and oil as a habit, and this will help avoid excess fuel on the fire.

Keep hydrated

More of a general point, but keep water nearby at all times. BBQ and beer all day can get in the way of drinking water, which can in turn lead to a trip to the hospital.

Get a fire extinguisher

This might seem like overdoing the safety lecture, but accidents happen and a parking lot full of grills, motors and gas can easily get messy. Best to observe caution.

tailgate party

FAQ

What is tailgating?

While originally in reference to driving too close behind another driver, tailgating now refers to the large social gatherings that take place around football games up and down the country. Largely based out the back of vans or cars (hence ‘tailgating’) these parties mostly involve barbecue and beer. Lots of beer.

How to tailgate?

Being a party, the rules here aren’t hard and fast, and you can certainly abide by any rules that you see fit. However there are a few good principles that I recommend adhering to if you want to make sure you and your friends have a great time.

Only bring meat that can be cooked at high or medium heat fairly quickly. This isn’t the time to be working on a 12-hour brisket.

Steer clear of using too much lighter fluid. In fact, try to avoid it altogether.

Plan ahead, and be sure to designate any food or drink buying to friends if you’re not able to provide everything. Make sure you show up early – at least 2-3 hours prior to the game – to make sure you get a good spot. Bring your own drinks, but also make sure you pace yourself. Set up a couple of garbage bags or cans. Finally, keep pick up games to a minimum to make sure you don’t risk ruining anyone else’s time by throwing a stray ball.

What do I need to bring for tailgating?

Beyond good food, drinks and a grill, you’ll need to make sure you have a group flag, a small gazebo or umbrella, a portable propane generator, extra power cords (just in case), grill covers, trash bags, and toilet paper (you never know).

What are the best tailgate recipes?

Name any classic BBQ favorite and you’re along the right lines for good tailgate recipes. Beyond the usual feast of burgers, nachos and hot dogs, I like to make things like pulled pork cups, apple pies, spicy chicken wings, chicken skewers, and pizza tarts.


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