So you have just bought a new grill, but it doesn’t include a stand or any legs—what do you do next?
It may not seem like too much of a problem, but that plastic patio table certainly isn’t going to support it. The combination of plastic and the high temperatures that a grill can reach is never a good idea anyhow.
You may not be able to take your whole kitchen outdoors with you, but a grill stand can offer the ultimate portable cook station.
Product Name & Award
Top Pick: WEBER 655 PORTABLE GRILLING CART
Alternative: CAMCO DELUXE FOLDING GRILL TABLE
Best Overall: Weber-6557-Portable-Cart-Grilling
If you own a Weber portable grill and, in particular, one of the Q series of grills, you really can’t get much better than this stand from Weber.
Featuring the usual innovative design of Weber, this stand looks stylish and is also durable and sturdy.
When fully assembled and unfolded, it stands 25 inches high by 21 inches long and 28.2 inches deep.
The cart folds down to 6.5 inches high and only weighs 30 pounds for extra portability. Made from a lightweight steel with heat resistant PVC coating and grill shelf, this cart will stand up to all weather conditions.
What we really loved about this stand was how easy it is to set up. Arriving fully assembled, you can simply unfold it for a front loading design, which your grill slides on to.
Folding down is as easy as pushing a button. It can even be done with the grill locked in place, with a hook and loop mechanism to stop it from falling out.
Spring-loaded locking pins make it easy to load and remove your grill from the cart. The leg locking indicators show that the cart is securely locked in position and its time to start grilling.
Hooks at the side of the cart allow for tool storage, and all-weather wheels mean you can easily move the cart around.
This cart is best suited to the Weber Q range of grills, and is not as adaptable as other universal stands.
You can use it with other grills, but in doing so you’ll lose the locking system which is specifically engineered for the Q1000 or Q2000. Check the dimensions of your grill carefully before choosing this model.
When moving the cart with the grill locked in place, you will need one hand to support the grill. Unfolded with the grill attached it can become top heavy, and the grill may fall if you should hit a sudden bump.
Storage isn’t particularly great either. There are no extra side shelves or even a bottom rack. When unfolded, you merely have the handles at one side and the plastic—not rubber—wheels on the other side.
- Built-in wire handle for transporting the cart
- Two tool hooks for storing grilling accessories
- Weather-resistant coating
If you happen to own the Q1000 or Q2000 Weber grills, this is the perfect cart for you. It’s lightweight and easy to fold for grilling on the go, yet still sturdy and durable.
It’s just as easy to have a BBQ down on the beach as it is on your patio with this stylish cart. And, surprisingly for a genuine Weber product, this cart is competitively priced.
If you don’t own the Weber Q1000 or Q2000, you would probably be better spending your money on a universal stand or cart. These can offer extra storage facilities and maybe even a larger top for grills which need more space.
Runner Up: GCI-Outdoor-Slim-Fold-Kitchen-Portable
This universal grill stand and camping table stands 32 inches tall when unfolded, yet folds down to just 3.7 inches deep.
At 18.9 pounds in weight, it’s easy to throw in the trunk for that camping trip or tailgate party.
When fully opened, with side tables, it measures 32.3 inches wide with a depth of 20.9 inches, making it large enough to cater to most portable grills.
With all the tables and shelves combined, it can support up to 300 pounds, with the top table supporting grills up to 48 pounds in weight.
A one-piece design uses a patented Slim-Fold technology, making the stand easier to set up and break down.
The stand folds out like an accordion, where you can just lift up the aluminum countertop and flip in the side tables to a locked position when finished. A built-in carry handle makes for easy transportation.
The side tables have extra features, like beverage holders, hooks for hanging utensils on, and a paper towel holder. Each of the four plastic multi-tables can support up to 30 pounds, with an additional bottom shelf holding 48 pounds.
When folded, you can even use the storage racks to carry all your tools. The powder-coated steel frame is both sturdy and strong, suitable for being thrown into the trunk.
One of the few design issues is the support which criss-crosses under the main counter. This limits access to the bottom shelf. Also, at only 21 inches deep, you may struggle to fit a larger gas bottle on the bottom or a 1-pound cylinder on the top surface.
Other customer complaints have included that the top table gets slippery and it can become rusty if left outdoors. This is easily avoided, however, folded up it takes up very little space. It would be easy to store indoors, or even under the awning of your tent or RV.
The stand is also only stable enough if there is level ground on which to set it up, which can become an annoyance on campgrounds or at the beach.
- Heat resistant countertop for placing grill on
- The durable plastic used on tables is scratch and shatter resistant
The GCI Outdoor slim folding kitchen is the ideal choice for more storage options and the convenient cooking height of the countertop. It’s easy to fold and unfold for transporting to that next campsite, although you need to make sure that there is a level surface to set up on.
Folding up flat, it is made from lightweight powder-coated steel, with durable plastic tables for more portability.
Extra features, like the paper towel dispenser and hooks for utensils or garbage bags, will ensure you have the most well-equipped kitchen on site. Just don’t leave it out overnight if it looks like it’s going to rain.
Alternative: Camco Deluxe Folding Grill Table
This deluxe folding grilling table measures a 32 inches tall for the perfect cooking height.
With side tables included, this stand offers nearly 60 inches of length to work and is 19 inches deep.
Made with a lightweight steel frame, this table/stand combo weighs in at 27.5 pounds.
It folds down to only 6 inches high, making it ideal for transporting.
An included carrying bag holds the frame with the table top, as well as the detachable middle metal rack section. Packing it away is as simple as taking off the table tops and folding down the frame.
With setup taking on average less than a minute, you will be grilling much sooner with this table.
The spacious grilling area is just the right height to prevent you from having to bend over too much. Also, the handy side tables and bottom shelf rack offer more than enough space for storage.
Further hooks on the side tables provide space for hanging your tools with an additional paper towel holder as well. The steel rack is above the criss-cross of the frame and offers enough unhampered space for raw ingredients or fuel sources.
The top surface may be made of aluminum, but the side tables are constructed from fiberboard. There is no waterproof covering to any of the surfaces. Therefore, if the table gets too wet, the side shelves may not be too durable.
Many users have modified the stand by replacing the side tables. Another solution is to coat the table top and shelves with some sort of marine paint.
We feel that this is a huge oversight on the manufacturers part. The grill is almost always used outdoors and it will often rain unexpectedly, leaving the table exposed to the elements.
- Includes a durable canvas carrying bag
- Heat resistant aluminum top surface
- High strength steel frame is designed for durability
The Camco deluxe folding grill table seems like the ideal accessory for those occasional tailgating parties or picnics.
It is lightweight and easy to set up, plus the included carry case makes it perfect for those weekends away.
The table is a good height for working, with enough storage included for most cookouts. The steel frame is lightweight yet durable. It’s just a shame they didn’t pay as much attention to weatherproofing.
The fiberboard side tables underneath and the aluminum top will warp with too much water, which does—unfortunately—happen outdoors.
Why Do We Need Grill Stands?
The large amount of portable grills available—whether gas, electric or charcoal—has seen a rise in the popularity of grill stands.
Although some grills may are supplied with their own stand—like the Coleman Roadtrip range—most are just supplied as a tabletop design. But which table are you going to put them on?
Grills, especially gas or charcoal, can get extremely hot, very quickly. Most plastic patio furniture will not be able to withstand the heat and wooden furniture may scorch. That’s if they can even support the weight of the grill.
Whether you are cooking just for your family or for a larger outdoor party, a decent grill stand can make your work so much easier. No more hunching over a grill placed on the ground or a low table; instead you can stand proud like the chef you are.
Portable Stands for Camping or Tailgating
If you only intend to use your grill in the backyard, finding or building an appropriate stand shouldn’t be too much of an issue. If you have the time and the space you can even build your own brick and mortar cook station.
The beauty of a portable grill, however, is the freedom it gives you. A survey from the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association recently found that 24 percent of outdoor grilling takes place on camping trips. A further 11 percent happens at tailgate parties.
Most portable grills will need a stand when you plan to use them away from home. A grill stand can elevate your grill away from bugs and other nuisances when in the great outdoors. All without taking up any extra table space, and maybe even providing more surfaces to work on.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Grill Stands
Without doubt, the most important factor when choosing a grill stand is the size. It’s no good buying a trolley or cart-style stand which your grill won’t sit comfortably on.
If your grill manufacturer makes a model-specific stand, these will normally be the perfect fit—many also have locking mechanisms for the grill too.
Ensure that the top surface is large enough to fit the entire base of your grill, you don’t want it overhanging and potentially falling. It is also important that, when assembled, the height of the stand puts the grill at a comfortable and safe working height.
Finally, consider how much space the stand will take up. Extra side tables and storage shelves are always useful, but can you fit a larger unit on your patio? If you have children or pets about, you are still going to need plenty of space for them to run around.
Linked to the size of your stand is the portability it offers. If the stand is just for your backyard, this may not be as important. Something which can be moved indoors to the garage can often be enough.
For those camping trips, picnics, or tailgating parties, stands which can be folded up are more convenient.
Ensure that it folds down small enough to fit in the trunk of your car, while still leaving room for the grill and other equipment. Does it fold easily and how easy is it to set up?
Weight can also be an important factor too, especially if you are going hiking or need to carry it to the campsite. Remember, you also have the grill and any gas bottles or other fuel to carry too.
The last thing you need is a heavy stand to add to the load. Many of today's grill stands use lightweight steel, which offer durability without too much to the load.
Consider how much weight your grill stand can support. Often, manufacturers will list the total weight capacity, which includes the side tables and shelf capacity too.
The top surface load is the one which needs to be enough to support your grill. Is there also space on the top surface for a smaller propane canister, or underneath for a larger gas cylinder?
It’s important to bear in mind where you will be using the stand. Some stands may feature a design which is not stable on uneven surfaces, such as you might find in camping sites. You can’t always guarantee the same level surface of your patio when you’re on a campsite.
If the stand is a trolley-style design, try to ensure it has lockable legs or wheels. Rubber wheels tend to be more durable. These are better for moving across the uneven terrain, which is often found when camping in the great outdoors.
If it’s going to be used poolside, make sure the wheels are non-slip—a gas grill in the pool is the last thing we want.
Grill stands are most commonly used outdoors. Although many people will take care to move their grill indoors during poor weather conditions, they often forget about the stand.
It may not have cost as much as the grill, but it won’t last too long if made from less weather resistant materials.
Lightweight steel, often used for grill stands, will rust if left in wet conditions, and plastic may become brittle in hot climates. A stainless steel or aluminum worktop will be more durable, easier to clean and stay corrosion-free for longer.
If the side or storage shelves are made of wood, try to find materials that have been weather treated. It may be worthwhile to apply additional waterproofing, like marine paint, yourself.
Alternatively, replace the shelves with stainless steel. This may add to the weight a little, but it will make your grill stand much more durable.
Where possible, I would always recommend going with a stand made by the same manufacturer as your grill. Not only will the grill fit better, but if it’s from a reputable manufacturer, it will normally be better quality too.
If you own a Weber Q series portable grill, it would be hard to beat the Weber 6557 Portable Grilling Cart. The front loading design and locking mechanism will provide the sturdiest of surfaces for your outdoor grilling—either in your backyard or the great outdoors.
If you own a grill from another manufacturer, a universal camping table style grill stand, like the GCI Outdoor Slim Folding Kitchen, is ideal. Easy to fold away, lightweight and with lots of extra storage—it is the next best thing to taking your kitchen on the road.