The Best Portable Flat Top Grills For Camping

Camping truck with trunk open and grill on top

You know how important your portable grill is for your camping trip! Before you pack your camping gear and head for the great outdoors, you’ll want to make sure you bring the best flat top grill for camping that you can rely on. Here at Fire Food Chef we searched the open trail and thousands of online reviews to find the absolute best flat tops for camping, hiking, or a lighthearted picnic.

We’ve narrowed down the selection to bring your the absolute best, most portable flat top grills. Our choices were based on a comparison of the following key features:

- Cooking surface
- BTU’s
- Temperature controls
- Portability
- Durability
- Warranty coverage

We did compare prices, but pricing varies from state to state. A premium stainless steel flat top grill, however, is always more expensive than one made of porcelain enamel, for example.

Whether you’re a camping enthusiast, outdoor lover, or adventure-junkie planning your next adrenalin-raising destination,.you’re sure to find at least one suggestion in our detailed review that meets your needs and your budget.

Fire Food Chef Portable Flat Top Grill Top Picks 2019

Blackstone 1650 Portable Gas Grill / Griddle

Key Features:

- Product Dimensions: 44.4 x 45.7 x 21.6 cm
- Weight: 11.8 Kg
- 12,000 BTU heat output
- Stainless steel "H" burner
- 260 square inches (15.25in x 17in) of heavy duty cooking surface
- 1 zone heating control
- Built-in grease catcher
- Electric ignition
- 1 yr warranty

Best For: Camping, Tailgating, Outdoor excursions, Backyard Patio

Description: Store it in your camper or get the zip-up carrying case and take it with you on a camping trip. Either way, the versatile Blackstone 1650 will infuse all your food with that grilled flavor best enjoyed in the open air. 

Portability and grilling are its two main strengths, but it’s also quite versatile. With 12,000 BTUs, the Blackstone 1650 flat top can grill anything you like, from fish to bacon, pancakes to potatoes. 

It only has one control for the burner so you can’t manage the heat as well as if it had individual burners. Solid bracing, however, prevents warping as much as possible on the cooking surface.

It’s 260 sq inches of cooking space is large enough to grill for a family of 4 - 6, and the H-design stainless steel burner allows for a better distribution of heat across the surface.

As portable grills go, the Blackstone is a little heavy, but it’s made of durable cast iron. As long as it’s well maintained and properly stored when not in use, the Blackstone 1650 is built to last for years.

Internal workings of a propane grill

Note: Be sure to season the grill surface exactly as the instructions direct in the user manual. The surface, once seasoned, is like teflon. Seasoned appropriately, even the greasiest food will slide off effortlessly, making clean-up a breeze.

Pros:

Cons:

Durable Sturdy, cast iron construction will last for years

A bit heavy 

H-design stainless steel burner

Only 1 burner to control temperature

12,000 BTU’s


Non stick surface is spacious enough for 4 - 6

Not suited for large gatherings 

Cuisinart CGG-501 Gourmet Two Burner Gas Griddle

Key Features:

Product Dimensions: 53.3 x 52.1 x 22.9 cm
Weight: 32.85 lbs (approximate)
20,000 BTU Heat Output
Thick, cold-rolled steel cooking surface.
285 square-h cooking surface --enough room for a steak meal.
2 burners that combine to produce 20,000 BTUs
Twist-start ignition and heat control
Built-in hose made for 20lb LP tanks
1 yr warranty Cuisinart for warranty coverage
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Best For: RV Camping, Decks, Backyard patios, 

Description: Similar to the Blackstone 1650 in aesthetic, Cuisinart CGG-501 has designed a portable grill that’s just as versatile. We had to rank it #2  in our review, however for a couple of key reasons.

First off, let’s just say this is a pretty heavy flat top grill for camping but with good reason. At 38 lbs, its heavier than the Blackstone 1650 but it’s also bigger. There’s 285 square inches of cooking area, which is another 25 inches more than the Blackstone. The cold-rolled steel cooking surface is non-stick, but the exterior seems made of a more flimsy sheet metal. 

More suited for an outdoor kitchen serving a large event, the Cuisinart CGG-501 truly delivers a gourmet grilling experience, allowing you to adjust both burner temperatures separately. The 20,000 BTU output, coupled with the adjustable temperature dials means you can grill a variety of dishes, from vegetables to steak, brisket to spicy shrimp shish-kabobs. 

Some users warn of a lack of even heat distribution, but that really depends on your particular model. Since the burners aren’t made of steel or brass, they are less energy efficient. There is, however, a 1 year warranty, but be sure to register your product. 

Overall, the Cuisinart CGG-501 is an amazing quality flat top grill for gourmet outdoor cooking. Easy to clean thanks to its non-stick surface, the CGG-501 is a great addition to any outdoor kitchen, and competitively priced with others of its kind. On the other hand, it’s not quite lightweight and portable enough for longer outdoor excursions on foot. 

Pros:

Cons:

20,000 BTU’s of heat for large cuts of meat


2 adjustable burners for better temperature control

Burners are not stainless steel/brass which are more durable and energy-efficient

Large 285 sq inch cooking surface

May be too large and heavy for hiking and hunting excursions


1 yr warranty 


Key Features:

- Product Dimensions: 64 x 46 x 23.9 cm
- Weight: 29.98 lbs
- 316 sq. in. cooking surface area
- 3 x 9000 BTU burners (up to 27,000 BTU cooking power)
- Porcelain enamel griddle top
- Durable stainless steel control panel
- Piezo ignition system
- Side grease catcher
- Requires 20 lb tank
- 1 yr warranty

Best For: Camping, hiking, tailgating, outdoor excursions

Description: Whether you’re grilling for a family outing in one of our national parks, or hiking a historic trail in the Appalachians, the Royal Gourmet PD1300 lives up to its namesake. Hash

browns, french toast, bacon, or beef patty, this portable flat top grill will make your next outdoor experience that much more memorable.

You can easily grill a variety of dishes at once, thanks to  it’s 3 individual adjustable temperature controls. 316 sq inches of porcelain enamel cooking surface is large enough to hold 12 beef patty at once, or 15 pancakes! 

This grill is powerful and gives off a lot of heat so be sure to use it outdoors only. You may notice hot and cold spots on your grill surface over time, but regular cleaning can help reduce this problem. 

A handy side grease trap is located at the front, allowing for a fairly  painless clean-up. The Royal Gourmet PD1300 isn’t non-stick like the previous top picks, but the porcelain enamel coating is very similar. Wash after each use and your Royal Gourmet grill’s surface should last many years.

Pros:

Cons:

27,000 BTU’s of grilling heat

Can get extremely hot

3 adjustable burners for better temperature control

Large 316 sq inch cooking surface

Burners are not stainless steel/brass which are more durable and energy-efficient

Easy to clean porcelain enamel surface

NOT a non-stick surface, should be washed after each use

Giantex Propane Tabletop Gas Grill Stainless Steel Two-Burner BBQ

Key Features:

- Product Dimensions:22” x 18” x 15” (Silver)
- Weight: 26 lbs
- 266 sq inch cooking area (20.5" x 13")
- Foldable Legs
- 20,000 Total BTU Heat output (2 x 10,000 BTU Burners)
- 2 Adjustable push-and-turn ignition burners
- Stainless steel cooking grates
- Locking hood for transport and storage
- CSA-certified for quality
- Requires standard 20 lb propane tank
- 30-day warranty

Best For: Perfect for Camping Picnics or Any Outdoor grilling

Description: There’s nowhere you can’t go with this next portable flat top grill on our review, the Giantex. Economic but sturdy, this powerful little gas-powered grill is great for camping excursions, RV enthusiasts, or a small patio gathering on a hot 4th of July weekend.

Right out of the box, the parts fit securely and are easy to assemble. The grilling surface can accommodate 4 servings at a time and the adjustable temperature gauges give you more precise control of the 20,000 BTU output.

Dimensions of a grill

A convenient 26 lbs makes it fairly easy to load into your trunk or onto your camper for a weekend outdoor excursion.  You may find the quality of manufacturing, however, isn’t assured with every model. Uneven legs, malfunctioning burners are some of the problems you may encounter.  

Find out more about the Giantex return policy before you decide.

Pros:

Cons:

20,000 BTU's of grilling heat

Can get extremely hot

Compact and lighter than other models


Foldable legs for easy transport

May have issues with quality of construction (eg wobbly legs, malfunctioning burners)

Inexpensive

30 day warranty is too limited

Presto 07061 22-inch Electric Griddle With Removable Handles

Key Features:

- Weight: 6.5 lbs
- Product Dimensions29.2 x 66.7 x 6.4 cm
- 22 x 11 inches cooking surface (premium, non-stick)
- Removable slide-out drip tray
- Control Master heat control
- Warp-proof heavy cast aluminum base
- Fully immersible griddle for easy washing (must be turned off)
- 2 Detachable grip handles
- 1500 volts/120 volts
- 1 yr limited warranty

Best For: RV Camper, Cottage, Indoor Grilling

Description: Some people love grilling, but don’t want the hassle of buying and disposing of propane tanks. We get it, so, we decided to include indoor electric flat top grills in our review as well. For our next pick we went with a sleek, economical, and high-performing model. As you’ll see, the Presto 22 inch 070601 electric griddle is a truly premium electric griddle. 

Whether you pack it and head to the cottage or use it on your kitchen countertop for a delicious breakfast of pancakes and sausages in bed, the non-stick surface is warp-proof and designed to heat quickly. Almost 2ft of cooking area across, the cooking surface can accommodate a number of dishes at once.

Thin portable grill being put away in a narrow cupboard

Two detachable grip handles allow you to easily lift and move the Presto 22’ quickly and safely.  There’s a slide-out drip tray as well for quick and easy clean-up afterwards, and it’s lightweight enough ( (6.5 lbs) to travel on foot with or pack in the trunk. 

We should warn you, however, that this flat top grill is too big to fit in any standard dishwasher. It is fairly large and can be awkward to wash by hand.

Pros:

Cons:

Instant indoor grilling

Not suited for outdoors

Large grilling surface accommodates multiple dishes

May experience issues with lack of even heat distribution across cooking surface

Lightweight and portable (6.5 lbs) with convenient grip handles

May have issues with quality of construction (eg wobbly legs, malfunctioning burners)

Non stick surface is easy to clean

30 day warranty is too limited

Tilt 'n' Drain Big Griddle 23'' Tilt 'n' Drain Big Griddle 23'' by Presto

Key Features:

- Dimensions: 23"W x17.25 "D x 3.5"H
- Weight: 8 lbs
- Cooking surface: 18.5 x 14.75 inches (Premium non-stick, black)
- Tilting surface for easy clean-up
- Slide-out drip tray
- Heavy-cast aluminum base
- Control Master Heat control

Best For: RV Camper, Cottage, Indoor Grilling

Description: If you prefer the convenience of just plugging and grilling in seconds over using propane, you’re gonna love the 23’ Tilt N Drain by Presto.

This super-size, indoor flat top grill has something slightly different to offer. Most flat top grills feature a rectangular cooking surface, but the Tilt N Drain  sets itself apart immediately with it’s square design. It’s 23 inch non-stick surface is spacious, and heats very quickly with fairly even heat distribution. A convenient back ledge is really handy for removing food once it’s grilled just right.

Because it’s electric, there are no burners, no BTU, just a single Control Master dial. It grills anything you would want it to, breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and the  non-stick surface is hassle-free to clean. There’s also a convenient slide-out drip tray for catching the grease.

Control Master Dial

The heavy-cast aluminum base is designed with a tilting feature. When cleaning, two release buttons on either side of the griddle allow the grill to tilt forward and down. This way, grease slides off the surface easily.

Unfortunately, if the Tilt ‘n’ Drain feature malfunctions or is damaged, you could wind up with a tilted grilling surface permanently. And, like the Presto 22’ inch. it won’t fit into your standard dishwasher.

Admittedly, an electric grill is not ideal for camping but the Tilt ‘n’ Drain by Presto would be very useful, and at 8 lbs it can be easily transported to a weekend cottage, for example. So if budget is a concern but you still want a quality grill, the Tilt ‘n’ Drain is definitely worth the money.

Pros:

Cons:

Cooking surface heats quickly

Heat distribution can be uneven (hot/cold spots)

Lightweight and portable

Best used indoors

Extra large cooking area accommodates multiple dishes

Too large for the dishwasher, can be awkward cleaning by hand

Tilt feature for easy cleaning

Tilt feature can malfunction

Char-Broil Portable Tabletop Charcoal Grill

Key Features:

- Product Dimensions: 47 x 40.6 x 43.2 cm
- Weight: 39.7 lbs
- Heavy Steel Firebox Construction
- 2 Adjustable Dampers for heat control
- Slide-out Easy-Dump Ash Pan
- 250 square inches cooking area
- Cast iron grill(black)
- Connects to Char-Griller charcoal barrel grills as a side firebox.

Best For: Camping, Beach, Backyard, Patio, Small Outdoor events

Description: Among pit masters and grill enthusiast there will always be diehard purists who insist on charcoal and nothing else as the only proper grilling fuel. Charcoal grills are still popular, and there are quite a few portable versions out there, but the Char-Broil Table Top 2-2424 is a tried and true classic.

Simple in design but sturdy, the steel constructed firebox includes a 250 sq inch cast iron grill. You’ll need to grease them before grilling to reduce sticking, and you should clean them after each use to keep them in the best condition.

The side dampers are adjustable, allowing for superior heat control  so you can smoke or grill your dishes just the way you like them. The pull-out, ash dump pan is removable, so you can clean up quickly with less mess. The pull-out feature, however, allows heat to escape to some degree.

Overall, the Char-Broil Tabletop 2-2424 is ideal if you don’t do a lot of grilling but you still want something portable and reliable.

Picture of A BBQ with and without lid

Pros:

Cons:

Portable design for easy carrying

Requires charcoal bag which can be heavy

Ventilation and dampers provide superior heat control

Can lose some heat from the pull-out dump tray

Cast iron grill  and steel firebox are highly durable

Must be cleaned regularly and covered to avoid rust when not in use

Key Features:

- Product Dimensions: 31 x 53.3 x 36.8 cm
- Shipping Weight: 14 lbs (approx)
- 160 sq. in. of grilling surface area
- Rust resistant porcelain enameled coating
- Rectangular plated steel cooking grate
- Maneuverable steel-plated legs
- Glass-reinforced nylon handle
- 2 adjustable dampers
- Made in the USA

Best For: Camping, Cottage, Backyard grilling, Beach

Description: Weber charcoal grills are known for their premium quality. They generally cost less than gas grills and as such, they don’t have as many features as gas grills. One of the best on the market right now is the compact Weber Go-Anywhere Grill. 

Halibut or steak, veal or pork chops, the Weber Go Anywhere can grill anything! Popular with outdoor enthusiasts, this extremely portable  table top charcoal grill is proudly made in the USA. 2 adjustable side dampers with holes for ventilation give you superior temperature control and fold-up legs make it easy to pack and go.

Grill with six hamburgers on it

The Weber is smaller in comparison with the Char-Broil Table Top, and it doesn’t have fold-up legs. The legs are steel-plated, however, and maneuver to make transport in the outdoors easier. There are also 2 hooks to hold the top lid open as a windbreaker on windy days, which is pretty useful for keeping a steady flame going.

A rust-proof porcelain enamel exterior will help keep the finish on your grill for years after you buy it. Due to its size, it’s best suited for families or small gatherings of 4 - 6 people. 

Pros:

Cons:

Portable design for easy carrying

Somewhat small, best suited for 4 people

Rust-proof exterior


Maneuverable, steel-plate legs for easy transport

Must be cleaned regularly and covered to avoid rust when not in use

Made in the USA


Vbestlife Outdoor Compact Foldable Portable Charcoal Barbeque BBQ Grill Stainless Steel

Key Features:

- Set-up Size: Approx. 30 x 18 x 17cm / 11.81 x 7.09 x 6.69in
- Weight: 3.53 lbs
- Stainless steel construction
- Adjustable height
- 2 flat plates
- Foldable design
- Base plate for capturing charcoal ash, food remains, etc

Best For: Camping, Small picnic 

Description: Designed for charcoal lovers, the Vbestlife Outdoor Compact Charcoal grill does everything a larger model does. New on the market, Vbestlife, a division of D&BHoovers, now offers one of the cutest little charcoal grills on the market. 

Lightweight, affordable, and simple, this silver stainless steel, foldable charcoal grill can serve four at a time comfortably. the convenient flat plates attach to each side of the grill, giving you more room to add more beef patties or sausages.

https://amzn.to/31I7xbN

If you need a grill that you can take on the trail, hunting or other outdoor excursion, this flat top portable charcoal grill won’t disappoint. Just keep in mind, the Vbestlife Outdoor Charcoal Grill is best suited for serving 2 -4 guests.

You can also get a handy carrying case for it!

Pros:

Cons:

Compact and lightweight, foldable design


Durable stainless steel


2 flat plates for additional cooking space

Small cooking area best suited for 2 -4 people

Blackstone 36 inch Stainless Steel Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station

Key Features:

- Product Dimensions: 62.5 x 22 x 36 in
- Weight: 50 lbs
- 720 sq inches
- 4 x 15,000 BTU stainless steel burners (60,000 BTU Total heat output)
- Push-button ignition
- Stainless steel frame
- Thick cold rolled steel cooktop
- Removable griddle top
- Built-in grease catcher
- 2 cantilevered shelves
- 4 Fold up legs with industrial strength caster wheels
- Requires standard 20 lb propane tank
- 90-Day Warranty

Best For: RV Camping, Patio, Outdoor Kitchen

Description: Avid travelers and RV campers can conjure up that char-grilled taste anytime anywhere with our bonus pick, the elegant, stainless steel Blackstone 36 inch table top grill! Easy to assemble, the stainless steel construction is so professional looking, but it’s the gourmet grilling experience that puts this grill in a class by itself.

At 50 lbs, it’s a little on the heavy side, but its rust-resistant, stainless steel construction is highly durable. Your investment will last many years after the 90-day warranty expires. 

Not the best coverage you’d expect from a brand name manufacturer, which is one reason we couldn’t rank it higher in our review. If you do have an issue, their customer support service is very responsive.
Blackstone 36 inch Stainless Steel Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station

There is an issue with the grease trough on models with a front grease management system. grease drips from the spout and dribbles down the leg on the front grease units.

Be sure to order the rear grease top with it. otherwise, if you get a front grease management system, the grease catcher drips oil down the leg and onto your patio.

Family BBQing Together

Key Features Of a Quality Flat Top Grill For Camping

Earlier in our review we revealed the key decisioning factors in our selection process. If this is your first time grill shopping, or you’re not an experienced griller, you may find our criteria helpful.

Impressive marketing jargon can make even the worst product sound like a bargain. Without experience, it can be difficult to truly assess the quality of a flat top grill. You’re certain to come across the same features many times in your search, but here are the features that matter:

BTU Output

Higher the better, but that doesn’t always mean quality. Other factors like ventilation and heat distribution are the keys to good grilling. A grill with smaller BTU output but better heat distribution and quality materials will serve you better than a grill that’s higher in BTU output.

Note on Charcoal Grills: If you’re looking for a portable flat top charcoal grill, BTU’s won’t apply. Instead, you’ll want to look for quality ventilation and dampers that help regulate air flow. Charcoal grills work best by adjusting the air supply to the open flames. Ventilation and dampers can restrict or increase air flow as desired, to help you get the most out of your charcoal.

Energy Efficiency

Burning propane gas, like any other fuel fossil, isn’t healthy for the ozone. That’s why energy-efficient burners are important. Cheap burners are poor heat conductors that wear and crack quickly. They also burn energy at a faster rate, meaning you  burn through gas more quickly.

Energy efficient burners burn the least amount of propane at the highest temperature. So always check for the quality of the burners to verify whether or not your flat top grill is truly energy efficient.

Burner Quality 

In addition to energy efficient burners, a quality flat top grill should have burners made of the best, most durable material. Stainless steel or brass/copper burners are the best quality and most energy-efficient. They last much longer than aluminum, which will burn out, while cast iron will eventually rust. 

If the burner material isn’t listed but the BTU is high, it may be the manufacturer is compensating for some defect in the performance. Issues with heat distribution, hot and cold spots are typical issues you’ll experience with low quality burners.

Grill with asparagus and meat on it
Cooking Surface Area

This is one case where size really does matter. How many people do you typically grill for?

A 200 sq. in. cooking grate, for example, holds approximately 12 burger patties. A 22 or 23 inch charcoal grill is considered quite large, so if you regularly use this size go with a large flat top as well.

On the other hand, if you’re used to a smaller grill for 4 - 6 people, 100 - 150 sq inches should be quite enough. If your flat top grill is too large, portability and storage will become an issue as well. You may find cleaning it awkward, especially if it doesn’t fit in your dishwasher!

Temperature Control

When you’re grilling multiple dishes at once, you not only need enough cooking area but adjustable temperature controls as well. Flat top grills for camping come in single, 2, 3, or even 4-burner configurations. 

The more burners, the more control and versatility you’ll enjoy while grilling. Look for grills with individual burner controls, but keep in mind that heat distribution across the cooking surface should also be even.  

Burners poorly place or malfunctioning will cause hot and cold spots on your cooking surface. No matter how powerful your portable gas grill is, poor heat distribution will leave your food over-grilled or undercooked without close micro-management. 

Cooking Grates

Gas or charcoal, quality cooking grates can make a huge difference in your grilling experience, especially during clean-up. 

Chrome, nickel-plated, or cast iron grates are the standard offerings for most portable flat top grills. Grates are typically sealed with a rust-resistant coating but the best way to extend the life of your cooking grates is to wash them thoroughly after each use.

Man holding a closed portable grill
Portability And Durability

Last but not least, a flat top grill for camping should be, well,  portable, right? Who wants to lug around 100 lbs of gear on a hiking trip for some grilled cheese? I mean, it has to be some pretty amazing grilled cheese, am I right?

Seriously though, lightweight and fold-up design are very useful features for a portable grill. Stainless steel, for example, is lightweight, but sturdy and rust resistant. Flat top griddles with folding legs, removable grease catchers and rust-proof exteriors will last long and can be easily moved.

Man Grilling a Steak

Summary

Our top choices of flat top portable grills can all get the job done, it just depends on how much there is to do! Take your time to find the right grill and you won’t go wrong. Happy Camping!

Product Name

Description

Total BTU’s

Best  Used For

Blackstone 1650 Portable Gas Grill/Griddle

Portable Flat Top Gas Griddle 

260 sq inch cooking surface

26.5 lbs

12,000

Camping, RV Camping,Outdoor excursions, Backyard

Cuisinart CGG-501 Gourmet Two Burner Gas Griddle

Portable Flat Top Propane Gas Griddle

285 sq inch cooking surface

32.85 lbs

20,000

Camping, RV Camping, Outdoor excursions, Backyard 

Royal Gourmet PD1300 Portable 3-Burner Propane Gas Grill Griddle

Portable Flat Top Propane Gas Griddle

316 sq. in. cooking surface

29.98 lbs 

27,000

Camping, Outdoor Excursions and Events

Giantex Propane Tabletop Gas Grill Stainless Steel Two-Burner BBQ

Portable Table Top Gas Grill

266 sq in. cooking area

26 lbs

20,000

Camping, Tailgating, Outdoor Excursions

Presto 07061 22-inch Electric Griddle With Removable Handles

Large Portable Electric Griddle

22 x 11 inches cooking surface

6.5 lbs

N/A

RV Camping, Cottage, Indoor Grilling 

Tilt 'n' Drain Big Griddle 23'' Tilt 'n' Drain Big Griddle 23'' by Presto

Extra Large Portable Electric Griddle

18.5 x 14.75 in. cooking surface

8 lbs

N/A

RV Camping, Cottage, Indoor Grilling

Char-Griller Table Top Charcoal Grill 

2-2424

Portable Charcoal Table Top Grill

250 square inches cooking area

39.7 lbs

N/A

Camping, Backyard, Tailgating

Weber Charcoal Go-Anywhere Grill

Portable Charcoal Table Top Grill

160 sq. in. cooking area

14 lbs

N/A

Camping, RV Camping, Outdoor Excursions, Backyard

Vbestlife Outdoor Compact Foldable Portable Charcoal BBQ

Portable Flat Top Charcoal Grill

Stainless steel

3.53 lbs

N/A

Camping, Outdoor Excursions, RV Camping

This post was last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 02:10 am