What’s the Best Tailgate Grill on the Market

Tailgate grilling is what anyone with a vehicle needs to experience. If you like grilling or spending time in nature, and haven’t gone tailgate grilling – pack right now!

Serving grilled food from the back of your parked vehicle during the party is a great way to create an unforgettable event. 

It is therefore essential to buy the best grill, or you risk the possibility of offering food that will take the shine off your successful party or gathering.

That is precisely why we have researched the best tailgate grills on the market and decided to save your time searching for one and get you grilling in no time.

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Top 3 Best Tailgate Grill on the Market : A Comparison Chart

best tailgate grill review

If you are looking for the best tailgate grill of 2019, we’ve got you covered.

There are many tailgate grills online, but we have identified the top three and described them in the table below.

Editor's Choices
Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill 18 Inch Black*
Blackstone Table Top Grill - 17 Inch Portable Gas Griddle - Propane Fueled - For Outdoor Cooking...*
Best Selling
Weber 51040001 Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill, Red*
Power source
Charcoal
Electric
Liquid Propane
Material Type
Steel
Cast iron and stainless steel
Cast Aluminum Lid and Body
Best Feature
Aluminum Ash Catcher
Excellent temperature control
Easy-Start Electronic Ignition
Prime
Customer Rating
Price
$69.99
from $73.95
$209.00
Editor's Choices
Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill 18 Inch Black*
Power source
Charcoal
Material Type
Steel
Best Feature
Aluminum Ash Catcher
Prime
Customer Rating
Price
$69.99
Blackstone Table Top Grill - 17 Inch Portable Gas Griddle - Propane Fueled - For Outdoor Cooking...*
Power source
Electric
Material Type
Cast iron and stainless steel
Best Feature
Excellent temperature control
Prime
Customer Rating
Price
from $73.95
Best Selling
Weber 51040001 Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill, Red*
Power source
Liquid Propane
Material Type
Cast Aluminum Lid and Body
Best Feature
Easy-Start Electronic Ignition
Prime
Customer Rating
Price
$209.00

7 Of the Best Tailgate Grills

Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill – The Top-Rated Tailgate Grill

The Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill is powered by crcoal. It comes with a porcelain-enameled body and a large 18-inch diameter cooking surface. You can also find a removable top lid, a four-hole smoke vent, and centered vents on the bottom.

This is the perfect tailgate grill if you want to tailgate with a large group. The 18-inch cooking surface allows you to grill for five or more people at once. Although the Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill cannot be folded away, it is portable enough to fit any vehicle comfortably.

Weber grills are designed to be easily assembled, and this product comes with a wrench to help you put it together. Setup is therefore easy and straightforward: wrench in combination with a screwdriver, and you will be ready to tailgate in no time.

The Weber Jumbo Grill comes with four aluminum feet, placed at a safe distance from the grill itself. This gives it a wide base for convenient and safe grilling experience. As a result, it can be set on a table without fear of burning the surface.

This grill retains heat and uniformly distributes it, and thanks to an adjustable top and bottom vents, you can control the temperature to a level suitable for your food.

However, this grill does not come with a carrying bag. It is sold separately.

Pros
  • Sleek, traditional design
  • Solid build
  • Good ventilation
  • Dampers for temperature control
Cons
  • Does not come with a carrying bag

Blackstone Table Top Grill – The Versatile Tailgate Grill

The Blackstone Table Top Grill is more than just a grill. It can also be used as a girdle, allowing you to serve something besides grilled meat at your parties. How about fried eggs and bacon? Or pancakes?

It comes with two burners on the gas side, the first is cast iron, and the second is an H-tube burner made of stainless steel. You can control the temperature of each side independent from the other.

These two standard burners also ensure you can boil a delicious stew or whip up some pancakes. Think about the food you cook on your stove at home. You can make it all with this grill.

In case you are wondering how much work you have to put in to set it up, you will be relieved to hear that setup is an easy job. The manufacturers have included a detailed user’s manual that explains assembly explicitly.

In addition, the manual will familiarize you with its many features, while providing helpful information about maintenance and how to care for your tailgate grill keeping it in excellent shape.

However, the lid handle of this grill gets scalding hot when in use.

Pros
  • Versatile cooking surfaces
  • User manual included
  • Burners can be operated
Cons
  • Lid handle gets scalding hot.

Appearing third on this list is the Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill. It is a small gas grill with plenty of power. Although it seems small, it performs just like the bigger models and does not burn through fuel as fast.

The Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill runs on a small propane tank of 16.4 ounces. A 16.4-ounce tank is enough to last up to five hours grilling time depending on your processing temperature. 

This grill comes with a built-in thermometer, and when combined with the temperature dial, you will have optimal control over the amount of heat produced. If you love to be in control of how much heat your food is exposed to, you will love this feature. 

Once you lit up the ignition, it will heat up fast. This ensures your grilling can get underway without waiting all day for it to pre-heat. The Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill does not come with a stand.

However, it is a great model for tailgating. You can place it on a fold-out table or the bed of your truck without worrying about burning anything.

It comes with a side table that can be extended to hold plates, utensils, or drinks. The tables are positioned at a reasonable distance from the grilling surface itself. So, there is no risk of heating anything placed on it.

The Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill comes fully assembled out of the box. However, the 16.4 oz LP Cylinder of the grill must be purchased separately.

Pros
  • Clean-up is easy
  • Comes with a Thermometer
  • Doesn’t burn propane fast
  • Uniform heat distribution
Cons
  • The 16.4 oz LP Cylinder must be purchased separately

Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill – The Tailgate Grill with a Pit Base to Securely Contain Ash

If you value a simple and durable tailgate grill, this product is for you. The entire body frame is made of cast iron. With adequate maintenance, this grill is set to last you for many years.

Coming in at 32 pounds, you will find a solid handle fitted to the grill so you can easily carry it around. It is also easy to assemble. All you need is a screwdriver for the legs. The other parts can be put together without using any tools.

As expected from a grill made with cast iron, the Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill retains heat superbly. This ensures you can grill your food at a uniformly high temperature.

Although the cooking surface of this grill is smaller than some models out there, you will be able to cook for family and friends without much waiting. Just get the grates hot enough, sear the food and serve it.

This grill also allows you to adjust your grilling gates at two possible heights. You can decide either to grill farther away or closer to the hot coals. This will help you control the heat applied to the food. 

Unlike other grills powered by charcoal, you won’t have to worry about escaping ash with this tailgate grill. It is designed to securely contain ash inside a pit base, which can be dumped easily after use.

However, you need to regularly oil this grill to avoid rust.

Pros
  • Ash is well contained inside a pit base
  • Sturdy legs
  • Great heat retention
  • Portable
  • Long-lasting, quality build
Cons
  • Need regular oiling to avoid rusting
  • Suitable for use only on concrete

George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill – The Tailgate Grill With a Non-Stick Coating

The George Foreman Electric Grill uniquely combines convenience and function. It is easy to set up and comes with a sturdy build.

It comes with a removable grease tray, grilling plate, a domed lid with an adjustable vent and a power cord which has temperature control and a stand.

The stand it comes with is made of aluminum and plastic, and the stabilizing legs clip together, and you do not need any tools to put it together. The stand is removable, allowing for easy movement from the outside to the countertop in no time.

This product has a non-stick coating, which makes it easy to clean and durable, allowing you to cook without using butter or oil.

You will find five individual heat settings. This will allow you to cook using low heat as well as setting it to searing temperatures. Thanks to the temperature controls, heat is perfectly retained.

The grill has an automatic regulating ability, which is accomplished by turning the heating element on or off. You only need to set the required temperature and let the grill takeover from there.

This is a versatile grill. It can be used both for outdoor and indoor grilling. You can set it up outdoor with the included stand, put it on a picnic table, or any other heat-resistant surface since it comes with feet at the bottom. 

However, some users claimed they would love this grill to come with a longer power cord.

Pros
  • Easy to clean
  • Great for indoor and outdoor use
  • Sturdy construction
  • Easy to assemble
Cons
  • Lightweight can be toppled by heavy wind
  • Short power cord

Pit Boss Grills Stainless Steel Portable Grill – The Tailgate Grill with a 304 Stainless Steel Grid Construction

With a 430 stainless steel lid construction and 304 stainless steel grid construction, the Pit Boss Grills Stainless Steel Portable Grill is a visually stunning grill.

Coming with an assembled weight of 20 pounds, it is one of the lightest tailgate grills on this list. Additionally, it has folding legs and a carrying handle for easier transport.

You will find a latching hood which holds the lid tight during transport, while also allowing for safe and compact storage. The Pit Boss Grills Stainless Steel Portable Grill runs on a disposable 1-lb gas cylinder. The fuel is readily available and easy to carry on your next tailgating trip.

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A two-burner design sets this grill apart. They are an independently controlled 10,000 BTU burners which ensure you have full control of the grilling temperature. With a combined total of 276 square inches of cooking space, this grill is spacious despite its portable size.

The 10,000 BTU burners are powerful enough to cook your favorite food while ensuring a fast -pre-heating phase. A built-in dome thermometer fitted to the lid allows for accurate temperature monitoring.

The Pit Boss Grill can be taken on camping trips or to tailgate events. However, some users complain the grill is difficult to clean.

Pros
  • Stainless Steel lid construction and 304 stainless Steel grid construction
  • It has folding legs and a carrying handle for ease of transport.
  • 276 square inches of cooking space
  • Fast -pre-heating phase
Cons
  • Not easy to clean

Coleman Propane Grill – The Tailgate Grill with Automatic Ignition System

The Coleman grill is a foldable propane grill that delivers up to 20,000 BTUs of heat. It is a modern looking grill packed with features for a superb grilling experience.

This grill is compatible with small sized propane cylinders. You can easily grill for more than an hour.

The Coleman grill is versatile and convenient to use. It comes with a wheeled-base and side tables that can be completely packed into the grill’s body. This will come in handy for tailgaters contending with limited space in their vehicle.

Setting up this grill is a painless process. Just unfold the base, wheel to any desirable spot, and attach your propane tank. The wheeled-base has treads so the grill can roll with ease over most surfaces.

With the Coleman grill, there is no need to worry about lighter or matches. By touching a button, the burners ignite. It also comes with two sets of burners which can be controlled independently, leaving you with two heat zones.

If you need to grill your food at different temperatures, this will reduce your waiting time. This tailgating grill is made of cast iron and is porcelain enameled. The grease tray can be detached and scrub clean.

However, the burners on this grill are not covered. You may have grease dropping on them during cooking time.

Pros
  • Require little assembly
  • Automatic ignition
  • Removable grease tray
Cons
  • Burners are not covered

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Tailgate Grill

best tailgate grill ever

The following are factors to consider when selecting the best tailgate grill to meet your needs:

1. Compactness and Ease of Packing

When making a buying decision, portability of the tailgate grill should be a priority.

You should look for a lightweight grill that is easy to move around and use when the need arises. A tailgate grill that is cumbersome to move in or out of your vehicle is not going to be much fun. 

You don’t want to injure yourself while lifting a heavy grill out of your truck or car. Therefore, consider models that are transport-friendly, easy to set up, and put away after each use.

A compact grill is practical, regardless of your vehicle size. Keep in mind that you will need free space for passengers and tailgating supplies such as food and drinks.


2. Cooking Capacity

best tailgate pellet grill

Like for any other social event, for tailgate parties, also stands - the more, the merrier!

If you expect a group of friends or have a big family, you need to buy a tailgate grill with a decent cooking capacity.

Well, you may argue it is contradictory with the previous point about compactness because you can think the larger a tailgate grill, the less compact it will be. That doesn’t have to be true – a small-sized tailgate grill does not mean small cooking capacity!

There are tailgate grills designed to cook for just a handful of people. While there are others designed to maximize the available space on the grill, and it can be used to prepare food for many people at once.

Even if you are planning a tailgate party for one or two friends, think about cooking capacity.

You can never tell, you may encounter other tailgaters, or want to invite other friends over to share a beer and a meal.


3. Quality of Construction and Design

Your tailgate grill of choice should outlast one cooking season. Apart from adequate cleaning, the material build for the grill will play a significant role in its longevity. 

A tailgate grill can be portable and compact without being flimsy. Iron, enameled porcelain, and stainless steel are quality materials that can withstand the rigors of tailgating wear and tear.

Also, you do not want your grill having rust or dents after a few uses. Such damage can affect the way it works and can be a source of contaminants to your food.

Maybe you are skilled at grilling, but you cannot compensate for a shoddy build. Models that are not made to be solid do not have proper heat regulation, and this will affect cooking consistency and ultimately, the result of your cooking.


4. Temperature Control

Grilling is a delicate business, especially when it comes to meat. If you do not cook your chicken or meat to the right temperatures, you could develop food poisoning. Overcooking or burning your food is not a good scenario either.

The best tailgate grill should have excellent temperature control. If you prefer a gas model, check out the grill dial. The more numbers on your temperature settings, the better. The dial should be easy to turn and easy to locate.

Charcoal-fueled grills do not come with dials, but they have vents. This is strategically placed to regulate airflow, which in turn regulate heat and burn rate.

More numbers of vents means better control over the temperature. Choose charcoal grills with many vents, and if possible adjustable height grates.


5. Accessories

Regardless of what you are shopping for, additional accessories are bonuses and are always welcome.

Does your tailgate grill of choice come with a cleaning brush? Does it come with a protective cover to keep it safe when not in use or during transport? How about a handy carrying bag, to help you keep all your grilling tools in one place?

While these are not very important, it could be a tiebreaker when stuck between two products.


6. Fuel Source

Another important thing to consider is the fuel source.

The most popular option for tailgate grills is propane gas. But we include some charcoal grills on the list because some of you love the smoky flavor of coals. (If you love the smoked flavor on a steak, check out how you can turn every meal into a feast using a smoker box.)

Be aware of the fact that, some charcoals variants of grills are considered more dangerous because they can stay hot long after you are done with the cooking.

Whatever your fuel source of choice is, ensure you are aware of which rules should be your guidelines when you want to tailgate.

The Winner Is...?

Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill. Why is it the top-rated tailgate grill?

Tailgating, like many other social events, is more fun when there are a lot of people. The 18-inch cooking surface allows you to grill for five or more people at once.

It comes made from a rust-resistant porcelain-enameled bowl and lid. It is not foldable but can be easily transported in a vehicle or store in a garage. And of course, it is pocket-friendly – at a price, it’s being offered, it translates to more money to invest in tailgating parties, hence more fun.

Sale
Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill 18 Inch Black*
  • Holds up to eight burgers made with a Weber burger press
  • Compact and lightweight for grilling on the go
  • Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat, and won't rust or peel
  • The Tuck-N-Carry lid lock doubles as a lid holder to avoid placing the lid on the ground
  • Dampers allow you to easily control the temperature inside your grill

Choose your favorite tailgate grill, and share your experience with us in the comment box below. We do hope you enjoy your future tailgating parties with your family and friends.

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