Best Propane Grill – Reviews & Buying Guide
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Best Propane Grill – Reviews & Buying Guide (September 2019)

Updated: August 25, 2018

Camp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane Grill

After 44 hours spent researching the best propane grills, we think Camp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane Grill is the best for most people.

This choice is based on several criteria: capacity (cooking space), BTUs, vented lid, wind protection, construction, propane tank size, portability, easy to clean, cast iron grill grate, heat distribution, ignition system, precision temperature gauge, removable side tables, easy to assemble, and energy efficient, among other things.

 ProductPriceOverall RatingCapacityConstructionAccessoriesMaintenanceValue for Moneycapacity (cooking space)BTUsvented lidwind protectionconstructionpropane tank sizeportabilityeasy to cleancast iron grill grateheat distributionignition systemprecision temperature gaugeremovable side tableseasy to assembleenergy efficient
Camp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane GrillCamp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane GrillCheck Price3.94.03.54.04.04.0608 square inches90,000YesYesPorcelain, stainless steelVariesYesYesYesThree burnersSelf-ignitingYesOneYesYes
Camco 57305 Olympian 5500 Portable Propane GrillCamco 57305 Olympian 5500 Portable Propane GrillCheck Price4.04.04.54.03.54.0180 square inches12,000NoYesStainless steelVariesYesYesYesYesPiezoNoNoYesYes
Cuisinart CGG-200 All-Foods Portable Propane GrillCuisinart CGG-200 All-Foods Portable Propane GrillCheck Price4.44.54.54.04.54.5Generous12,000YesYesStainless steel, porcelain, cast iron14.1oz or 16.4ozGoodYesYesYesTwiStartYesYesYesYes
Cuisinart CGG-180T Gourmet Portable Propane GrillCuisinart CGG-180T Gourmet Portable Propane GrillCheck Price4.14.03.54.54.04.5145 square inches5,500YesYesPorcelain, stainless steel16ozYesYesNoOne burnerNoYesNoYesYes
Cuisinart CGG-220 Everyday Portable Propane GrillCuisinart CGG-220 Everyday Portable Propane GrillCheck Price3.83.54.04.03.54.0240 square inches15,000YesYesPorcelain, stainless steel14.1oz and 16.4ozYesYesNoOne loop burnerTwiStartYesTwoYesYes
Best Propane Grill

When the summer’s fast approaching, and the weather is getting really warm outside, it can become tempting to whip out the barbeque and get cooking.

But there might just be one problem: you don’t have a grill that’ll fit your needs.

Propane grills have become so popular because they are really easy to set up. You won’t have to stand around a complicated appliance, with a plethora of parts and absolutely no idea about how to assemble it. Instead, all you need to do is become acquainted with the different mechanisms which have been included in the machine, and fire it up using the simple ignition system provided.

All you need to do is become acquainted with the different mechanisms which have been included in the machine, and fire it up using the simple ignition system provided.

Of course, there are other types of grills available which don’t run off gas. These alternatives might be particularly ideal if you’re a connoisseur who is looking for that mouth-watering smoky flavor that is often found in meat cooked on an open grill. Here’s a rundown of the three other power sources you’ll find on the market:

Charcoal: If you’re pretty well acquainted with grills to begin with, you’ll find the higher temperatures of these grills a breeze. However, it takes time – and coal has become pretty expensive these days.

Electric: Bogged down by fire regulations in your area? Want to grill indoors? This is going to be the best approach for you.

Portable: These models can operate off charcoal, electricity or propane gas, but the main advantage is they can be your guest of honor while tailgating or at a picnic.

A propane grill is a great addition to your patio furniture alongside a patio umbrella firmly held in place by a good patio umbrella stand, and a hammock to enjoy a nap outdoors after a nice barbecue.

You should also consider bringing one of these along with your family tent, camping chairs, travel backpack, survival knife, hunting knife, headlamp, flashlight, and camping hammock when you’re going on a camping trip with your family.

Selection Of The Best Propane Grills

Here are the best propane grills for most people according to Outlinist:

Camp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane Grill

Camp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane Grill
(rated 3.9 / 5)
Capacity
Construction
Accessories
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

Is there anybody who doesn’t love the great taste of food that has been grilled outside? Even the thought of it is enough to bring out the hunter gatherer in us all.

There are so many activities that are just made better by including a grill cook out – but first you need to get the right grill.

Information

You will be able to cook on the Camp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane Grill with the lid either up or down.

According to Camp Chef, their Big Gas Portable Camping Propane Grill is the perfect accompaniment to any camping trip – or for any occasion when you fancy some barbecue flavor.

It certainly has a lot on offer, such as its impressive cooking area and three burners, which will ensure your food is cooked properly.

Its removable legs ensure that you have complete portability – and they can be independently adjusted so you are always cooking on the level.

You will be able to cook on the Camp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane Grill with the lid either up or down, thanks to the useful vents that are seated within the lid. These mean that you will be able to intensify the heat without the risk of steaming your food rather than grilling it.

Having said that, we can’t think of any reason why you would need to intensify the heat: this grill has an overall output of 90,000 BTU per hour. This equates to a very impressive 30,000 BTU per burner.

capacity (cooking space)608 square inches
BTUs90,000
vented lidYes
wind protectionYes
constructionPorcelain, stainless steel
propane tank sizeVaries
portabilityYes
easy to cleanYes
cast iron grill grateYes
heat distributionThree burners
ignition systemSelf-igniting
precision temperature gaugeYes
removable side tablesOne
easy to assembleYes
energy efficientYes

The cooking area of the Big Gas Grill seems vast. It measures 16-inches x 38-inches, which is big enough for 25 steaks! Imagine having that capability at your next pre-match tailgate or back yard party for the neighbors.

Out of box, the Big Gas Grill comes complete with a professional grill box with an overall cooking surface of 384 square inches. This sits over two of the burners and includes a thermometer so you get your temperatures right.

This grill box is an excellent addition for any outdoor cooking – and it will keep everybody happy. Use it for chicken, burgers, steak, fish… you name it, you can cook it – and watch it keep the kids happy with 50 hotdogs in ten minutes!

A slide out shelf to the right of the Big Gas Grill gives you somewhere to sit your utensils, seasonings and /or a plate for you to put the cooked food on. Having everything together in one place is absolutely necessary when you’re cooking outdoors – and this grill provides the means.

Pros

Despite having three burners, the Big Gas Grill is really quick to put up and good to go in minutes.

We’re already impressed by what the Camp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane Grill has to offer, but it’s time to see what other features it has on board so that you can make an informed decision as to whether this is your next grill.

  • When you’re hungry things need to be quick: So you get to your camping ground and the entire family is starving. The last thing you need is your grill to take forever to put together. Despite having three burners, the Big Gas Grill is really quick to put up and good to go in minutes.
  • Having wind is absolutely no fun for anybody: One of the problems of cooking outdoors is the wind. Even relatively small breezes can blow burners out or make them burn inefficiently. The burner housing on the Big Gas Grill not only eliminates hot and cold spots but it also gives protection against the wind.
  • Searingly hot makes for higher precision steaks: The energy output of the Big Gas Grill means that it gives out much more heat than an average grill. This means that it is the perfect solution to those of you who love your steaks how they should be – rare!
  • A grill is only ever useful if it is one piece! Have you ever dug out your grill in preparation for the new season and discovered that somehow it has fallen to pieces while it has been packed away? Frustrating, yeah? Well, that’s not something you need to worry about with this grill – it is sturdy and can withstand more than the usual clumsy bangs.
  • You’ve packed everything and are good to go and then… And then you get there and realize that not only do you have a whole bunch of stuff you don’t need, but you actually forgot to bring matches – and the nearest store is in another county! Not a problem with the Big Gas Grill – it has its own ignition!
  • Take advantage of surplus seasonal produce with your grill: The Big Gas Grill is incredibly versatile. Not only can you feed large parties of people without any problem, you can also use it for canning. So when you have surplus corn, peas, green beans etc, just remember this grill can keep a 16-quart stockpot and two pressure canners on the go without problem.

Cons

So, if the Camp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane Grill has all of that to offer, what has it got that hasn’t impressed our reviewers quite as much? Let’s have a look at what they came up with.

  • What do you get if you mix humidity with cast iron? The Big Gas Grill comes complete with cast iron grates, which is great when you are looking for a grill that is going to withstand the rough and tumble of camping expeditions but if you visit areas of high humidity or damp, then they can rust.
  • Removable legs might be a nutty idea for some: Some of our reviewers have complained about the legs on this grill being removable rather than being able to fold them down. The reason being is that it is much too easy to lose the nuts that hold the legs in place.
  • Sometimes it can all get just a bit too hot: One complaint we had about the Big Gas Grill is that the heat can be so intense that the control knobs get too hot to touch. Now this is a safety issue, so we’re really not happy with this one.

Comparison

 

Camp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane GrillCamp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane Grill

Camco 57305 Olympian 5500 Portable Propane GrillCamco 57305 Olympian 5500 Portable Propane Grill

Cuisinart CGG-200 All-Foods Portable Propane GrillCuisinart CGG-200 All-Foods Portable Propane Grill

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
capacity (cooking space)608 square inches180 square inchesGenerous
BTUs90,00012,00012,000
vented lidYesNoYes
wind protectionYesYesYes
constructionPorcelain, stainless steelStainless steelStainless steel, porcelain, cast iron
propane tank sizeVariesVaries14.1oz or 16.4oz
portabilityYesYesGood
easy to cleanYesYesYes
cast iron grill grateYesYesYes
heat distributionThree burnersYesYes
ignition systemSelf-ignitingPiezoTwiStart
precision temperature gaugeYesNoYes
removable side tablesOneNoYes
easy to assembleYesYesYes
energy efficientYesYesYes

Summary

The grill box is a great addition and raises the standard of food from just plain old grilled into delicious.

There is absolutely no doubt that the Camp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane Grill has a lot to offer. It has an amazing energy output and can cater for more than the average number of people at one time.

The grill box is a great addition and raises the standard of food from just plain old grilled into delicious – and there are so many things you can cook on it that there’s no longer any excuse to just stick to the usual sausage and burgers.

The things that we didn’t like are simply a matter of personal taste or a reaction to location related issues – except for the hot controls on the grill. If you’re aware of it and are sensible, then it won’t be an issue, but it is something that we’d like Camp Chef to take a look at.


Camco 57305 Olympian 5500 Portable Propane Grill

Camco 57305 Olympian 5500 Portable Propane Grill
(rated 4.0 / 5)
Capacity
Construction
Accessories
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

If you’re looking for a functional and portable propane grill that has been specifically designed for use in the outdoors with RVs, you’re in luck.

It would get full marks from us if it was easier to adjust the temperature below its maximum setting, and if the silver exterior of the grill wasn’t so prone to changing color with prolonged use.Camco’s Olympian appliance is jam-packed with features to make your next vacation one filled with delicious meals cooked to perfection.

Information

The manufacturer has managed to create a happy balance between reducing unwanted flare-ups and keeping the flavors locked into your meals.

One thing you’ll notice straight out of the box is how Camco’s propane grill requires little to no assembly before use.

This way, you won’t be left bamboozled by convoluted instructions which don’t clearly explain how to prepare the product.

Better still, it’s cleverly designed to maximize portability – and even come with a bracket so the grill can be hung from an RV’s mounting rail.

Whether you intend to use the Camco Olympian on your trailer or not, there are several integrated features that make it suitable for use in the great outdoors. For example, on the bottom of the appliance are foldable “feet” which means it can be placed atop a table for cooking at the back of your car.

The manufacturer has managed to create a happy balance between reducing unwanted flare-ups and keeping the flavors locked into your meals – whether you’re whipping up a rare steak or some grilled asparagus.

capacity (cooking space)180 square inches
BTUs12,000
vented lidNo
wind protectionYes
constructionStainless steel
propane tank sizeVaries
portabilityYes
easy to cleanYes
cast iron grill grateYes
heat distributionYes
ignition systemPiezo
precision temperature gaugeNo
removable side tablesNo
easy to assembleYes
energy efficientYes

In order to fire up the Camco Olympian, all you need to do is press the provided button for Piezo Electric spark ignition. There’s also a manual hole included in the appliance as an insurance policy, on the off chance this doesn’t work. That way, you can use wooden matchsticks to get a flame going instead. As you can see, this propane grill really is unstoppable!

It operates at a rate of 12,000 BTUs an hour – and a cast iron smoker plate maximizes the propane grill’s performance. Better still, a removable drip tray and grease tray catch any unwanted side effects from your cooking – and guarantee that keeping the appliance clean at all times won’t be a recurring headache.

Given how it can be a challenge to cook food safely when a lid is closed – with no preview window so you can see how the meal is progressing – the inclusion of a temperature gauge will be comforting for more novice cooks.

Pros

The first thing you’ll notice once the Camco Olympian is shipped to your home is how stylish it looks, with a sophisticated metal sheen.

Camco is an American company through and through, which began manufacturing outdoor products such as propane grills in 1996. Now we’ve learned more about their Olympian appliance, let’s delve deeper into the advantages you can look forward to:

  • This lightweight appliance is made out of stainless steel: The first thing you’ll notice once the Camco Olympian is shipped to your home is how stylish it looks, with a sophisticated metal sheen. Given how it’s designed for RVs, we’re pleased efforts were made to keep the machine’s weight to a minimum.
  • It boasts a cooking area of 180 square inches: You should find that this is an ample amount of room for preparing a barbeque for a sizeable number of people. Its generous proportions mean you won’t have to complete several rounds of cooking in order to feed your entire party.
  • Minimizes grease fires and maximizes flavor with smoker plate: One downside of cooking fatty meats is how the grease can interfere with the flames, and cause sudden bursts of fire. This is a safety hazard around your vehicle which is thankfully avoided by the way this appliance vaporizes grease.
  • The stainless steel burner will heat up in no time: Another advantage to the material used to construct this propane grill is how it’s really easy to clean. Maintenance will take a matter of minutes once your meal has concluded – and there’s no fear of the appliance beginning to rust.
  • A quick-connect hose and valve is included: This will allow you to hook up to propane tanks of a standard size. However, do bear in mind that if you’re looking to hook up to 1lb throwaway canisters – or larger 20lb tanks – you will need to purchase the respective connectors from Camco separately.
  • There’s a plethora of ways to set up your grill: Whether you want to place it on the mounting rail included on your trailer – or use the foldaway legs on the appliance to place it on a sturdy picnic table – the choice is yours. Camco’s Olympian gives you plenty of freedom to cook food your way.

Cons

There have been a few gripes reported with the Camco Olympian, and these downsides do have merit. You should seriously consider whether the following disadvantages would make your continued use of the appliance untenable:

  • You may need to purchase further accessories from Camco: As we’ve mentioned, disposable propane canisters can be an excellent way to keep track of your energy usage. However, you won’t be able to hook up to these 1lb tanks unless the specific valves and connectors are bought separately.
  • Can turn brown and black on outside with continued use: According to some disgruntled shoppers, the silver sheen which makes the Camco Olympian so esthetically pleasing can begin to diminish as time wears on – partially because the heat from the burners discolors the appliance’s exterior. This would not be covered by warranty.
  • Hard to regulate the temperature, some shoppers say: Even though there is a temperature gauge included on the front of the propane grill, it’s possible that you’ll find it a challenge to adjust the system so it’s the right heat for the foods you’re cooking.

Comparison

 

Camco 57305 Olympian 5500 Portable Propane GrillCamco 57305 Olympian 5500 Portable Propane Grill

Camp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane GrillCamp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane Grill

Cuisinart CGG-200 All-Foods Portable Propane GrillCuisinart CGG-200 All-Foods Portable Propane Grill

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
capacity (cooking space)180 square inches608 square inchesGenerous
BTUs12,00090,00012,000
vented lidNoYesYes
wind protectionYesYesYes
constructionStainless steelPorcelain, stainless steelStainless steel, porcelain, cast iron
propane tank sizeVariesVaries14.1oz or 16.4oz
portabilityYesYesGood
easy to cleanYesYesYes
cast iron grill grateYesYesYes
heat distributionYesThree burnersYes
ignition systemPiezoSelf-ignitingTwiStart
precision temperature gaugeNoYesYes
removable side tablesNoOneYes
easy to assembleYesYesYes
energy efficientYesYesYes

Summary

We like how there’s ample room to cook for several people, and how the grill has been lovingly built using premium materials.

This is the ultimate appliance for those of us who love using trailers – principally because Camco has designed this propane grill specifically for use with RVs. As such, it should be your first port of call if you’re in the market for a new machine.

We like how there’s ample room to cook for several people, and how the grill has been lovingly built using premium materials. The construction of the appliance also means it can stand independently on a table top – a massive boon for when space is at a premium.

It would get full marks from us if it was easier to adjust the temperature below its maximum setting, and if the silver exterior of the grill wasn’t so prone to changing color with prolonged use.


Cuisinart CGG-200 All-Foods Portable Propane Grill

Cuisinart CGG-200 All-Foods Portable Propane Grill
(rated 4.4 / 5)
Capacity
Construction
Accessories
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

Want a propane grill which can handle more than a nice cut of steak? Have some vegetarians in the family you need to please?

The Cuisinart CGG-200 claims it’s an all-foods appliance, so let’s find out more.

Information

The grill grates on this appliance have been made out of porcelain enamel coated cast iron.

Once you’ve taken the Cuisinart CGG-200 out of the box, you can see that it’s been well-built, with resilient materials giving you the assurance that it’s going to last.

The grill grates on this appliance have been made out of porcelain enamel coated cast iron – blending two of the strongest materials together for added results.

They slot in securely, and can be removed for easy cleaning.

All too often, when you’re barbecuing for family and friends, there can be a lot of guesswork which goes into preparing food. Usually, you’re meant to use propane grills with the lid down – but it can be a nightmare to check whether or not the temperatures inside have reached the correct levels.

capacity (cooking space)Generous
BTUs12,000
vented lidYes
wind protectionYes
constructionStainless steel, porcelain, cast iron
propane tank size14.1oz or 16.4oz
portabilityGood
easy to cleanYes
cast iron grill grateYes
heat distributionYes
ignition systemTwiStart
precision temperature gaugeYes
removable side tablesYes
easy to assembleYes
energy efficientYes

The Cuisinart CGG-200 has countered this by including a precision temperature gauge – a digital display which tells you how hot it is inside in Fahrenheit.

This, when coupled with your own trusty timer, makes it easier to keep a track of what’s cooking – and when dishes will be ready. Just like you don’t want to overcook a sumptuous steak, undercooking certain meats can be equally dangerous.

This propane grill takes portability to dizzying new heights. It has been designed to fit comfortably even in the smallest gardens and patio areas. We like how there are folding shelves which enable you to save space further, and the carrying handles will be most welcome when you’re transporting the propane grill to a picnic.

Thanks to the way this propane grill distributes heat, it’s possible to cook a whole range of foods to appease all appetites. From potatoes to pineapples, and asparagus to a really nice rack of ribs, Cuisinart appears to have you covered. If you haven’t experienced delicious grilled vegetables yet, you’re really missing out.

As standard, the Cuisinart CGG-200 can accommodate 14.1oz and 16oz propane tanks using the connectors and valves provided. These canisters are easy to buy.

Pros

Even though the CGG-200 comes with just one burner, you can rest assured that the heat will travel throughout the grill.

The Cuisinart CGG-200 has clearly been jam-packed with intuitive features to make the gruelling experience of cooking for a small army that little bit more manageable. Here are some of the benefits to look forward to when firing it up for the first time:

  • A heat distribution panel eliminates any cold spots: Even though the CGG-200 comes with just one burner, you can rest assured that the heat will travel throughout the grill. This convection method ensures all of your meals are evenly cooked, and the internal temperature of the appliance is uniform throughout.
  • It comes with Versatile Modular Grill Surface technology: This system means that you have an alternative grate to use whenever you’re cooking dishes aside from meat and fish – including vegetables and flatbreads. According to the manufacturer, it’s even possible to bring a pizza to life using this propane grill.
  • TwiStart ignition system gets the flame going in seconds: On the side of this appliance is a large button which enables you to ignite the propane grill with just one hand. There is also an option to use manual ignition with a long wooden matchstick if this technology fails for any reason.
  • The lid of the Cuisinart CGG-200 is well insulated: Made out of stainless steel, you can rest assured that the lid of this propane grill boasts insulated double wall construction. This means that no heat will escape from the appliance, helping you to save energy and reduce your carbon footprint.
  • The handle of the propane grill is heat resistant: This is an important safety feature that is often overlooked by rival manufacturers. You can rest assured that your hands won’t be burned when you’re opening up the lid to flip over steaks and tend to vegetables – meaning no oven gloves needed.
  • It can hit temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit: When you think about it, that’s pretty remarkable for a propane grill – as usually, their top temperatures are considerably lower than this. As a result, the Cuisinart CGG-200’s performance is relatively close to a charcoal grill, and it’s ready to cook in far less time.

Cons

There have been some media outlets which have ranked the Cuisinart CGG-200 as the poorest propane grill on the market compared to its rivals. As such, it’s important to bear in mind these three disadvantages when you’re deciding whether to buy:

  • The burner on this propane grill only offers 12,000 BTUs: When compared to other appliances on the market, this is quite a low level of energy on offer – meaning it could take a little longer to prepare meals. However, this could be regarded as the price you pay for portability.
  • Accessories to hook up to 20lbs propane tank sold separately: Unfortunately, if you want to advance to a larger gas canister, you’re going to need to purchase a new connector and 4ft hose from Cuisinart. And, according to some shoppers, this doesn’t work effectively – with some struggling to get a strong flame.
  • Many parts of the grill can be prone to rusting: Other users have claimed that they were left disappointed at how several crucial components of the CGG-200 were not rustproof, including the hinges on the burner’s cover. As such, you could face a headache with maintenance over time.

Comparison

 

Cuisinart CGG-200 All-Foods Portable Propane GrillCuisinart CGG-200 All-Foods Portable Propane Grill

Camp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane GrillCamp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane Grill

Camco 57305 Olympian 5500 Portable Propane GrillCamco 57305 Olympian 5500 Portable Propane Grill

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
capacity (cooking space)Generous608 square inches180 square inches
BTUs12,00090,00012,000
vented lidYesYesNo
wind protectionYesYesYes
constructionStainless steel, porcelain, cast ironPorcelain, stainless steelStainless steel
propane tank size14.1oz or 16.4ozVariesVaries
portabilityGoodYesYes
easy to cleanYesYesYes
cast iron grill grateYesYesYes
heat distributionYesThree burnersYes
ignition systemTwiStartSelf-ignitingPiezo
precision temperature gaugeYesYesNo
removable side tablesYesOneNo
easy to assembleYesYesYes
energy efficientYesYesYes

Summary

We like how the grill grates have been made out of a reassuringly durable material, which also makes them easy to clean once they have been removed from the appliance.

This is a decent propane grill which boasts portability and versatility as its two main unique selling points. On one hand, the CGG-200 is able to handle many different types of food – including vegetables, fruit, bread and meat. Also, it will effortlessly transport with you to campsites and picnics whenever necessary.

We like how the grill grates have been made out of a reassuringly durable material, which also makes them easy to clean once they have been removed from the appliance. You’ll want to prevent the build up of fats to eliminate flare ups.

It’s just a shame about Cuisinart’s issues with the extension cable for a 20lbs propane tank – as this can prove crucial for frequent use.


Cuisinart CGG-180T Gourmet Portable Propane Grill

Cuisinart CGG-180T Gourmet Portable Propane Grill
(rated 4.1 / 5)
Capacity
Construction
Accessories
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

There are times when taking a large grill with you just isn’t practical. Like when you fancy taking the family for a day out.

Or perhaps you are going on vacation in your car and it’s already packed to the rafters. Those are the times when there’s always room for a little one!

Information

This grill has a very presentable grilling area of 145 square inches so you will get everything on there.

The Cuisinart CGG-180T Gourmet Portable Propane Grill may be compact but that doesn’t mean that it can’t hold its own with the big boys.

It is more than capable of cooking a delicious meal for the entire family – wherever you happen to be.

And it’s economical too – it uses far less gas than a bigger grill and heats up quickly so there’s no hanging around. But hey, could we expect anything less from Cuisinart?

The compact format of the Cuisinart CGG-180T Gourmet Portable Propane Grill means that you set it up just about anywhere and start cooking within minutes. Take it to the beach, camping, tailgating – or simply enjoy it in your own back yard.

Setting up your Gourmet Portable Propane Grill takes no time at all. It features aluminum legs that fold out to give you the cooking stability that you need, as well as stabilizing feet so no matter where you place your grill, you know it’s secure.

capacity (cooking space)145 square inches
BTUs5,500
vented lidYes
wind protectionYes
constructionPorcelain, stainless steel
propane tank size16oz
portabilityYes
easy to cleanYes
cast iron grill grateNo
heat distributionOne burner
ignition systemNo
precision temperature gaugeYes
removable side tablesNo
easy to assembleYes
energy efficientYes

This grill proves that size isn’t everything. It has a very presentable grilling area of 145 square inches so you will get everything on there, and no one will have to wait for their share of the cook out.

In fact, you will be able to enjoy delicious grilled food whenever you like because the Gourmet Portable Propane Grill will cook up to 10 chicken breasts, eight steaks, eight burgers or 4lbs of fish at once.

Consistent heat under the grate ensures that there are no cool spots, which goes a long way in eliminating that outdoor grilling curse – undercooked food that can cause potentially very dangerous food poisoning.

When you’re done eating, the Gourmet Portable Propane Grill simply folds away, and the lid is kept secure by the integrated lid lock. Storage is never a problem because of the grill’s size – in fact, why not keep it in the trunk of your car so you can set up wherever you are?

Pros

The Gourmet Portable Propane Grill packs a 5,500 BTU stainless-steel burner under its hood.

OK, so now we’ve broken the surface of what the Cuisinart CGG-180T Gourmet Portable Propane Grill is all about, it’s time to have a closer look at what it has to offer so that you can decide whether this is the grill for you.

  • It may be small but it packs a powerful punch: The Gourmet Portable Propane Grill packs a 5,500 BTU stainless-steel burner under its hood. To put this into context, there are some much larger grills on the market that have little more than this on offer.
  • A portable grill that is always evenly tempered: In the past, the key to producing evenly cooked food that wasn’t charcoaled on the outside and running pink in the center was to keep it moving. This grill, however, boasts a porcelain-enameled grate for even-heating to more than 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • When portable actually means being able to carry it: Sometimes when a manufacturer says portable what they actually mean is that they have created an indent instead of a handle – which doesn’t really help. The Gourmet Portable Propane Grill, however, has a pronounced carrying briefcase-type handle for real portability.
  • Light enough to carry, heavy enough to mean something: If something is portable, it has to be light enough to be able to carry it. On the other hand, when we’re talking grills, it has to be heavy enough that the slightest breeze doesn’t send it spinning across your yard. The Gourmet Portable Propane Grill weighs 13lbs – light (and heavy) enough to do its job properly.
  • When great economy always means great food: Because the Cuisinart CGG-180T Gourmet Portable Propane Grill is compact, you will use less fuel to keep it going than you would with a larger grill. In fact, a 16oz. propane canister will keep you going for hours. You can, if you prefer, buy the Cuisinart LP adapter hose to connect to a larger propane tank.
  • Who gets to do the washing up this time? For many people the pleasure of outdoor grilling is always tempered by the clearing up. Scrubbing particles of food that are stuck fast to the grate is not a chore to be relished. The grate on the Gourmet Portable Propane Grill, however, is easy to clean – and it will fit into your kitchen sink.

Cons

Ok, so now we know what’s good about the Cuisinart CGG-180T Gourmet Portable Propane Grill, it’s time to have a look at the things that we didn’t like about it so that you can make your own mind up.

  • Being in the center of things can cause flare up! Simply because the Gourmet Portable Propane Grill is small, the flame plate is located smack in the center. This can be problematic if you cook things that have a high fat content, such as sausage or burgers because the dripping fat causes the flames to flare.
  • It’s not just your food that will feel the heat: Another problem that comes with the territory of being so small is that everything tends to get hot – so much so that some reviewers have reported that the paint on the lid of their grills has started to bubble.
  • It’s not just in musicals when grease is the word: The Gourmet Portable Propane Grill boasts a removable grease trap, allegedly for easy cleaning. Trouble is, it’s so small it’s nigh on impossible to clean so you’re left with a revolting build up of grease at the back of your grill.

Comparison

 

Cuisinart CGG-180T Gourmet Portable Propane GrillCuisinart CGG-180T Gourmet Portable Propane Grill

Camp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane GrillCamp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane Grill

Camco 57305 Olympian 5500 Portable Propane GrillCamco 57305 Olympian 5500 Portable Propane Grill

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
capacity (cooking space)145 square inches608 square inches180 square inches
BTUs5,50090,00012,000
vented lidYesYesNo
wind protectionYesYesYes
constructionPorcelain, stainless steelPorcelain, stainless steelStainless steel
propane tank size16ozVariesVaries
portabilityYesYesYes
easy to cleanYesYesYes
cast iron grill grateNoYesYes
heat distributionOne burnerThree burnersYes
ignition systemNoSelf-ignitingPiezo
precision temperature gaugeYesYesNo
removable side tablesNoOneNo
easy to assembleYesYesYes
energy efficientYesYesYes

Summary

It is sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of camping yet portable enough to carry easily and to store in the smallest of places.

Although it is compact, the Cuisinart CGG-180T Gourmet Portable Propane Grill easily manages to cook enough steak, burgers, chicken or fish to feed four to six people in one go – which is quite an achievement.

It is sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of camping, tailgating and everyday cooking, yet portable enough to carry easily and to store in the smallest of places – and if your family insists on taking every beach item they have ever owned on every trip, you’ll appreciate this feature.

On the downside, you will need to keep a steady eye on your cooking to make sure that excess fat doesn’t make the grill become a flame thrower, and although the grate is easy enough to clean, you could end up with a build up of grease.


Cuisinart CGG-220 Everyday Portable Propane Grill

Cuisinart CGG-220 Everyday Portable Propane Grill
(rated 3.8 / 5)
Capacity
Construction
Accessories
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

The thought of having some time with friends or family and enjoying a grill cook out is always a good one – but often the anticipation is better than the end result.

The reason for this is that the grill itself isn’t up to the job so we are looking for a grill that can give a consistent and great performance every time.

Information

The CGG-220 Everyday Portable Propane Grill has been designed to offer superlative grilling regardless of whether you are in your own backyard or are off on an adventure.

Have you ever noticed that most people eat far more than they usually do when it comes to an outdoor grill feast? That’s why it so important to get the right grill – and according to Cuisinart, this is it.

The CGG-220 Everyday Portable Propane Grill has been designed to offer superlative grilling regardless of whether you are in your own backyard or are off on an adventure.

This grill features plenty of grilling space – 240 square inches of it to be exact, and a 15,000 BTU burner with electric ignition and a precise temperature gauge.

Better still, the handle has been made out of stainless steel – and will stay cool even if the temperatures inside your appliance are reaching thousands of degrees in Fahrenheit. This helps to keep you and your family safe as the cooking commences.

capacity (cooking space)240 square inches
BTUs15,000
vented lidYes
wind protectionYes
constructionPorcelain, stainless steel
propane tank size14.1oz and 16.4oz
portabilityYes
easy to cleanYes
cast iron grill grateNo
heat distributionOne loop burner
ignition systemTwiStart
precision temperature gaugeYes
removable side tablesTwo
easy to assembleYes
energy efficientYes

The Cuisinart CGG-220 is compatible with two sizes of propane tank -14.1oz and the 16.4oz. Both can provide enough cooking action for hours – but if you’re a really intensive user of propane grills, and want to save some cash over time, you might consider purchasing an adapter hose.

This means that you can connect the propane grill to a 20lbs tank – perfect if it’s going to be based in the garden throughout the summer.

Another accessory that might be on your wish list is a cover which can be placed over the grill when it isn’t in use. This goes a long way to preventing the discoloring and rusting of your appliance – especially if you don’t have a garage or a shed at hand to shield it from the rain.

Overall, the moving parts of this appliance are well built. All of the end caps have been made out of aluminum – and this is crucial for ensuring that they won’t disintegrate and fall apart when you need them the most.

Pros

The Cuisinart Everyday Grill features a loop burner that has been constructed from stainless steel and that works in tandem with a porcelain-enamel grate.

On the surface, the Cuisinart CGG-220 Everyday Portable Propane Grill looks like it could be a great choice of grill, but we are going to take a closer look to see if it delivers all that it claims it does.

  • When it comes to grills, one size suits all: Are you fed up of having a huge grill at home that takes up most of your patio and having to take disposable grills with you when you go on the road? The Everyday Portable Grill takes care of that problem and will do the work of both.
  • Having the right grill means being in the loop: The Cuisinart Everyday Grill features a loop burner that has been constructed from stainless steel and that works in tandem with a porcelain-enamel grate to ensure the perfect distribution of heat for even and efficient cooking.
  • How many sides to do you like with your grill? We reckon the more sides the better when it comes to a grill – and the same rule applies to side tables. The Cuisinart Everyday Grill boasts two removable side tables that provide the necessary space you need for tools, plates, and of course, your drink.
  • But portable always means small, doesn’t it? OK, it’s true that the Cuisinart Everyday Grill is not the solution for parties, but it is more than capable of providing enough room to cook for most families. With enough space for up to ten burgers, eight chicken breasts or eight steaks, everyone is happy.
  • Economy comes as standard with this grill: Large grills tend to use lots of fuel, not only because they have a larger area to cover but because of the time it takes them to get to the right temperature. The Everyday Grill heats up quickly and so provides a more economical way to grill.
  • And now for the awful bit – cleaning up: The Cuisinart Everyday Grill sports a removable drip tray, and this, teamed with the porcelain-enamel grate makes cleaning a breeze, so even if you get nominated as chief washer-upper, things are not as bad as they could have been.

Cons

So, we’ve had a look at the good, so what about the bad and ugly? It’s time to have a look at some of the things that we don’t like about the Cuisinart CGG-220 Everyday Portable Propane Grill.

  • A great idea that offers functionality shouldn’t break: Although the side tables offer great functionality and are capable of carrying more weight than you would expect from a portable grill, some of our reviewers complained that the clips holding them to the grill break too easily. Reported to Cuisinart and they have promised new ones.
  • Don’t remove when still warm or you’ll become a grease monkey: Although the Cuisinart Everyday Grill comes with its own drip tray to collect the grease and makes cleaning easier, it isn’t the easiest thing to remove. It tends to stick so if the grease is still liquid when you attempt it, you could get covered in it – never a good look.
  • Portable means being able to move it, right? Although the Everyday Grill can be used anywhere, we thought it was a little on the heavy side. At just less than 40lbs it is heavier than some other portable grills – and not something that we would want to carry too far.

Comparison

 

Cuisinart CGG-220 Everyday Portable Propane GrillCuisinart CGG-220 Everyday Portable Propane Grill

Camp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane GrillCamp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane Grill

Camco 57305 Olympian 5500 Portable Propane GrillCamco 57305 Olympian 5500 Portable Propane Grill

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
capacity (cooking space)240 square inches608 square inches180 square inches
BTUs15,00090,00012,000
vented lidYesYesNo
wind protectionYesYesYes
constructionPorcelain, stainless steelPorcelain, stainless steelStainless steel
propane tank size14.1oz and 16.4ozVariesVaries
portabilityYesYesYes
easy to cleanYesYesYes
cast iron grill grateNoYesYes
heat distributionOne loop burnerThree burnersYes
ignition systemTwiStartSelf-ignitingPiezo
precision temperature gaugeYesYesNo
removable side tablesTwoOneNo
easy to assembleYesYesYes
energy efficientYesYesYes

Summary

It is easy to clean, which is massive when it comes to grills as too many tend to cling to burnt on pieces of food.

The Cuisinart CGG-220 Everyday Portable Propane Grill has many good features: it is economical to use, especially if you link it up to a 20lb LP tank, and it is able to evenly cook enough food at one time to feed the average family.

It is easy to clean, which is massive when it comes to grills as too many tend to cling to burnt on pieces of food – but, you need to be really careful when it comes to pulling out the really functional drip tray.

We also liked the fact that the Everyday Grill is perfect for sticking in the trunk of the car for some great days out, but we feel that you will need to park up pretty close to where you are going to cook and eat, otherwise you might get more than a little weary from carrying it.

How To Choose The Best Propane Grill

2-propane-grill-buying-guide-choiceNaturally, you’re going to want to purchase a propane grill which can go the distance. Research conducted by the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association suggests that a sturdy appliance should last you about 36 months with moderate use.

For a grill that extends far beyond this lifespan, you should be hunting for a machine constructed of sturdy materials. Also, if it’s designed for outdoor use, rust resistance should also be high on the specifications you’re looking for. Otherwise, you could find that the metal begins to tarnish once it’s exposed to humid environments.

In propane grills, there’s a very high probability that it’ll be the burner which goes first – and more advanced firms do provide replacements which are easy to install.

Additionally, it’s worthwhile checking whether or not the manufacturer of your propane grill offers replacement parts for their appliances. All too often in our society, we waste so much money throwing away perfectly good machines just because one significant component has decided to go on the blink.

In propane grills, there’s a very high probability that it’ll be the burner which goes first – and more advanced firms do provide replacements which are easy to install. That way, you can best three years.

Your propane grill should come with a lid which can be placed over your food as it cooks. There are several advantages to this.

First up, you’re able to save energy, meaning you need to replace the propane canister less frequently. It also prevents strong winds from interfering with the flame – an all too common gripe when you’re cooking outdoors. And, last but not least, it helps to ensure that heat circulates throughout the grill – guaranteeing that meats which carry food poisoning bacteria, such as turkey and chicken, are heated throughout and evenly cooked.

A final thought should be paid to the propane grill’s stability overall. It needs to be able to stand upright on flat surfaces sturdily. If it’s prone to being knocked over easily, it could be a fire hazard.

What is the appliance’s cooking capacity?

3-propane-grill-buying-guide-cooking-capacityThis should be the first consideration you make above all others. If you don’t, it’s possible you may end up paying through the nose for an appliance of gargantuan proportions, even though you’ve only been looking to grill a romantic meal for you and your significant other. Conversely, a lack of homework could mean you struggle to feed 15 people on one measly burner at your next picnic.

You’ll normally be presented with the surface area of the grill by manufacturers – but do remember that this often includes extras such as the warming rack, which don’t have the power to prepare meaty foods such as steak and burgers.

Typically, your brand-new propane grill is going to be equipped with two burners, but some products push the boat out further and offer three instead.

Also, consider what you’re going to be cooking during your events. If you’re well known for your fish – or seared vegetables – it’s probable that they’ll take up less room than you think on the grill, meaning you can size your expectations down.

However, when it comes to those larger cuts of beef – or a mouth-watering rack of ribs – you’ll need as much room as humanly possible.

Typically, your brand-new propane grill is going to be equipped with two burners, but some products push the boat out further and offer three instead.

When it comes to the cast iron grate, you should see whether or not it flips over, providing a customized surface to reflect what’s on the menu. For example, a flatter side might give your chops and steaks that all important grill line for authenticity, while another is better suited to delicate foodstuffs such as seafood.

Despite what we said about warming plates earlier, they do come in handy – and shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand. The same applies for side tables.

How many BTUs are on offer?

4-propane-grill-buying-guide-btusBTUs – shorthand for British Thermal Units (even though, oddly, they aren’t really used in the UK anymore) – are the measurement for grill power which has been widely adopted by many manufacturers here in the US.

One BTU is the amount of power that’s needed to warm up 1lb of liquid by one degree Fahrenheit. As such, you can easily see that appliances with more BTUs to offer will have greater levels of power, at least in theory.

BTUs also need to be combined with burners which are of a decent size, and well distributed across the whole propane grill.

Some experts warn that a high BTU rate – which will usually reach the tens of thousands with a good propane grill – doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get a higher-quality result when cooking.

Equally, you should take the same amount of caution when you’re heating up pre-cooked food, and use a temperature probe at all times. Although it may be ready slightly faster, it won’t by any means slash your cooking times in half – so do bear this in mind.

BTUs also need to be combined with burners which are of a decent size, and well distributed across the whole propane grill.

If you have a tiny hob, it’s likely there will be a disproportionate distribution of heat in the appliance, and some areas of the grill will be colder than others. As such, you should check a manufacturer’s description to guarantee that heat circulates well around the whole appliance.

One thing that many people don’t understand about this measurement is that a small propane grill with a modest BTU will prepare food at the same pace as a massive grill with an astronomically high BTU. That’s because there’s a sizeable surface area which needs to be covered during the cooking process.

Does it have a precision temperature gauge?

5-propane-grill-buying-guide-temperature-gaugeMany companies know what they’re talking about when it comes to preparing mouth-watering cuts of meat with the precision they deserve. That’s why they ensure that their propane grills come with delicate temperature gauges which allow you, as the nominated Head Chef, to fine tune the burners until they are at an optimal heat.

This is especially important with steaks, as otherwise, you could find the meat dries out prematurely – and it won’t be anywhere near as enjoyable to eat.

Some propane grills offer a digital display which actually shows you what the temperature is inside the grill at any given time, once the lid is down.

Some propane grills offer a digital display which actually shows you what the temperature is inside the grill at any given time, once the lid is down.

You should also make sure that this lid is made out of a resilient material – such as heavy-duty porcelain – which ensures that the heat is contained inside the grill. Not only does this save energy, but it also makes it far less of a safety hazard.

Although it is true that you can get far higher temperatures by buying a charcoal grill, it’s important to remember that such appliances have considerable drawbacks. You need up to an hour in order to prepare a charcoal grill before use, and when it comes to cleaning, you’ll have a real headache on your hands. This is a stark contrast to propane grills – and we’ll come on to how they are maintained in a little while.

Now, you’ll be reassured to know that advanced propane grills can still reach temperatures in excess of 500 degrees Fahrenheit – not far off the 600 degrees Fahrenheit seen in their charcoal counterparts. The one thing you need to remember is that hitting the highest temperatures will use an intensive amount of propane gas.

Is it a portable propane grill?

6-propane-grill-buying-guide-portableAnother crucial consideration you’re going to have to make – especially if it’s your turn to take your shiny new appliance along for a picnic in the park, or for a tailgating session after you’ve been to a festival or the big game.

Always check the manufacturer’s description to see whether or not the machine has been designed for portable use, and you’ll also be able to tell by the features which are integrated into the propane grill for your convenience.

The hallmarks of a propane grill which has been tailored for portability include a sturdy carrying handle.

For starters, it’s going to be nice and lightweight. Although it might not have the surface area of a machine which is intended to stay in one place, you’ll certainly have ample room to whip up some fantastic meals for your friends and family.

The hallmarks of a propane grill which has been tailored for portability include a sturdy carrying handle, which allows you to fold up the appliance and pick it with just one hand when it’s time to head home. In addition, you should find that there are legs made out of a resilient material – such as aluminum – which fold out to create a makeshift stand for your propane grill.

A portable model is also recommended if you have quite a modest garden, and you don’t want the appliance to take up all of the precious space you have on the patio.

Oftentimes, companies ditch some of the gimmicky features – such as grilling areas that you would sporadically use because of their impractical size – so ensure they are as economical and unimposing as possible.

You might also want to purchase a carrying bag for all of the accessories you might be using – such as spatulas and cutlery – to keep everything organized.

Will the grill be easy to clean?

7-propane-grill-buying-guide-easy-to-cleanOut of all of the grills which are available to buy in the marketplace, an appliance which runs off propane is certainly the easiest to clean and maintain in general.

It’s just important to make sure that you keep your safety in mind first, by disconnecting and turning off the gas supply prior to taking off your cooking grates. You should be rinsing the tubes with lukewarm soapy water before drying them off.

Grease can be one of the main challenges you’ll encounter when you’re grilling food.

In addition, you need to ensure you don’t cause any unwanted corrosion during the cleaning process – and that’s why you might need some tin foil in order to shield the valves which are used for distributing gas.

Grease can be one of the main challenges you’ll encounter when you’re grilling food. As such, you should burn it off and use stiff grill brushes to eliminate the buildup of any other fat or stains which can prove stubborn to remove if left for a prolonged period of time.

Next up, you’ll want to take good care of your propane grill when you’re stowing it away until the weather improves in a few months’ time. This is when your deepest clean should be taking place, and although it may seem cumbersome now, you’ll thank yourself when the grill emerges – as good as new – next summer.

In summary, there are five key specifications to look out for. How much food the propane grill can cook at any one time, the British Thermal Units which are being provided to each burner and the appliance as a whole, and whether or not the temperature can be sensitively adjusted at the touch of a button or the switch of a dial.

This, coupled with a portable model that cleans up nicely, means that you should be onto a winner – and the envy of your friends at that next picnic.

Camp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane Grill
Our pick for the best propane grill is: Camp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane Grill. This choice was made after spending 39 hours researching propane grills.

Best Propane Grill Characteristics

best propane grill

Would you know what makes a particular propane grill stand head and shoulders above the other products which are available to buy in the market?

If you can’t tell the difference between essential features and gimmicks, read on – as we’re exploring the characteristics that every appliance worth its salt should have.

Propane grills have revolutionized the way we barbecue food.

Back in the old days, it was frustrating when you had to use a charcoal grill during those summer months. Even though tummies across the garden would be rumbling, there would be up to an hour’s wait as you prepared the grill for use – and endured the painstaking process of the appliance heating up.

Now, you can get the levels of heat you need to make a sirloin sing in a matter of minutes.

Worse still, your wallet would end up in pain because of the sheer cost of coal these days. And, when everybody had gone home and had their fill, it would need to be cleaned – a process which is so complicated and frustrating, you can feel like you need a PhD in Rocket Science to do it justice.

However, propane grills have put all of this nonsense aside. Now, you can get the levels of heat you need to make a sirloin sing in a matter of minutes. Although it won’t reach the dizzying temperature heights of a charcoal grill, it’s more than enough for cooking all of your favorite dishes.

And, thanks to their detachable parts – such as the grates and drip trays – you can get everything cleaned up in seconds, without fearing stains or rusting.

Propane is a really cheap and cheerful way to power up your barbeque. Replacement canisters are readily available, and, if you’re out on the road, it’s possible to just splash out on a throwaway tank with a small amount of gas – perfect for a one-off event.

Believe us when we say this is infinitely preferable to lugging around a huge 20lbs tank with you to every picnic, tailgate and festival.

Construction

2-best-propane-grill-constructionIf you really want to kick the tires of a propane grill, you should start by looking at how it has been built by a manufacturer. Heavy-duty materials are the key here – as you want the flames underneath the lid of your appliance to be shielded from the unpredictable weather conditions outside. We’ll discuss this a little later.

Now, by far, the most common material which is found within propane grills is stainless steel, and this is with good reason. It doesn’t rust over time, and the heat from your burner is far more likely to circulate effectively when it has been included in the appliance’s construction.

If appearances are important to you, it’s probable that you’ll want to opt for a porcelain enamel fascia instead. However, when functionality matters more, steel is an excellent choice.

You also want metal which is pretty thick and clearly made out of heavy-duty material, otherwise you could find the shape of your propane grill changes over time – and begins to warp.

Although easy to clean, you need to remember that stainless steel can begin to look tired over time. That means that any dirt you’ve amassed in the field, grease from your steaks, and dust from when it’s in storage may stubbornly accrue on the surface – and it may not look as pristine as the day you’ve got it.

If appearances are important to you, it’s probable that you’ll want to opt for a porcelain enamel fascia instead. However, when functionality matters more, steel is an excellent choice.

Interestingly, propane grills which have been made out of normal steel are a lot cheaper to buy in stores – and they are less of a pain to clean after a long barbecuing session. You’ll also find that they will keep heat contained inside your appliance more effectively, allowing the internal cooking space to reach higher temperatures.

If you’ve become accustomed to the high temperatures afforded to you by charcoal grills over the years, and have concerns that the transition to propane will be a little difficult, this should soften the blow considerably.

Finally, try to avoid grills with sharp edges, as this can be a safety concern – especially around children.

Side tables

3-best-propane-grill-side-tablesOnce you’ve arrived at the destination where all of the cooking magic is going to take place, with the propane grill tucked under your arm (if it’s portable enough!), now is the time to start preparing a barbeque that your guests will want to write home about.

However, one headache which can begin to surface is the lack of room that you have to prepare the food before placing it onto the grill. If you’re tailgating, it’s really not ideal to be rubbing oil on your steaks, chopping up vegetables, or peeling potatoes in the back of your car.

The one thing to check is whether or not these side tables are removable – as otherwise, it could prove to be more of an inconvenience than a help.

That’s why purchasing a propane grill which comes equipped with tables can be a real blessing in disguise. Oftentimes, they fold outwards from the sides of your appliance – and are so sturdy that you can apply force on to them if need be.

It can cut precious minutes off the time it takes to prepare supper, as while you’re keeping an eye on the items sizzling away on the grill, you can be slicing, dicing, cutting and arranging just inches away.

The one thing to check is whether or not these side tables are removable – as otherwise, it could prove to be more of an inconvenience than a help.

Check to see whether or not this nifty little extra can be stowed underneath the appliance when it’s not in use – alongside any drip trays which may be vaporizing grease and stopping flare-ups from occurring underneath the hood.

As an alternative, you might want to consider purchasing a propane grill which comes with foldout legs – so the appliance can stand independently. This means it can be placed onto a picnic table, and you can use the space at each side for your preparation instead.

Although side tables are nifty – there’s no point in spending a considerable amount of cash on top of what you’re willing to pay for this feature. After all, it’s a surmountable problem, and you may very well have done most of your cooking prep in advance.

Heat distribution

4-best-propane-grill-heat-distributionAs we’ve mentioned already, you’re going to want your propane grill to be an effective machine which works much like a convection oven. It’s important for heat to distribute itself evenly across the cooking surface – ensuring that there aren’t any cold spots that could lead to food being cooked unevenly.

With a vegetable, it could mean that one side is crunchier than the other – but with a piece of meat, chicken in particular, this could mean that the temperatures inside the propane grill have failed to kill off the harmful bacteria which can lead to food poisoning illnesses such as the norovirus.

A good symptom of a propane grill which lacks when it comes to heat distribution is when the burners themselves are rather small, yet the cooking space is cavernous.

A good symptom of a propane grill which lacks when it comes to heat distribution is when the burners themselves are rather small, yet the cooking space is cavernous.

Because the size of the flame won’t conceivably be able to extend underneath the whole grate, that’s when you come into problems. However, some manufacturers do include a heat distribution panel which helps to ensure that air circulates around the appliance consistently, meaning the number or size of the burners is immaterial.

Always make sure that you use a temperature probe which will enable you to double check that the center of your poultry has been cooked thoroughly. Slicing cuts of chicken open to see that it isn’t pick in the middle is also worthwhile.

Next, don’t underestimate the power of precision temperature gauges, which act as displays on the outside of your propane grill. Often, they give an accurate reading – in Fahrenheit – of what temperatures are currently like.

This is particularly useful when the machine is heating up, as you won’t want to begin searing steaks until the heat is at its optimal level. If you put the meat in too early, it’s highly likely that it’ll dry out – something that isn’t ideal if you paid top dollar to the butcher.

Despite all of this advice, you shouldn’t be concerned about using propane grills. They are simple and sophisticated – perfect for those new to barbecuing.

Wind protection

5-best-propane-grill-wind-protectionWhen you’re using a camping stove, which is normally a less powerful and less sophisticated alternative to propane grills, windshields are usually provided which helps to protect the flame against any unwanted interference from a breeze or a downpour. However, such features aren’t particularly applicable to propane grills, which usually include a lid which would shield the burners from wind to begin with.

That said, one time that wind protection can come in handy is when you’re trying to ignite your propane grill to begin with – as this is a process that needs to be done in the open air.

If you’re using your propane grill in high winds, it’s also important that the propane grill is sturdy.

If there’s a bit of a breeze, it can be a long-winded and arduous process, and just when you think you’re getting somewhere, a gust can extinguish the flame – meaning that you’re back to square one.

There are several methods of ignition out there, and hopefully, a heavy-duty lid will also do its job at blocking any wind interference. The only thing you need to do is position the grill against the breeze.

You’ve got Piezo ignition, which works by sending a high-voltage electric spark which ignites the propane gas and produces a flame. You might also have a “crossover” type of system that ignites one burner first, and gradually spreads to the others.

However, the main downside to this system is how you won’t have the option to ignite a single hob for when you’re cooking for fewer people – causing unnecessary energy to be wasted.

If you’re using your propane grill in high winds, it’s also important that the propane grill is sturdy – especially if it’s going to be running off a stand that was included with your purchase.

One unusual method which you might be tempted to use is giving a demonstration model in a store a good shake. If you can hear jangling, and the sound of loose parts, it’s likely it isn’t sturdy, with the construction rather ramshackle. And if that’s the case, the appliance wouldn’t fare well in the wind.

Easy to assemble

6-best-propane-grill-easy-to-assembleMost shoppers – apart from those oddballs who love a challenge when putting together flat-pack furniture – expect their propane grill to be well-built, yet easy to assemble once it arrives out the box.

There are a few models which claim to be “pre-assembled,” but do bear in mind that you’ll still have a bit of work on your hands to clobber it together once it’s out of the box – and the main task will be connecting the machine to your propane gas supply, which hopefully, you had the initiative to purchase separately at the time.

Ideally, you want to put together the propane grill in the garden, where you’re planning to whip up some meals in the future.

Ideally, you want to put together the propane grill in the garden, where you’re planning to whip up some meals in the future.

You should double-check that the grill has come with all of the parts that are listed in the inventory found in the instruction manual – as mistakes can occasionally happen. In addition, bring along a wrench and a screwdriver, your two trusty friends for the task ahead.

You will be given detailed instructions on how to assemble the propane grill in the instruction manual – but if you do learn better by seeing rather than reading, then head online, where many companies provide a step-by-step video guide to putting an appliance together. This can take a lot of the stress and guesswork out of assembly, as you can simply emulate their actions.

The main areas you need to take care on are preparing the valves and connectors. Also, it’s important to check (and double-check) that your burners have been slotted securely into place. Every so often, review the instructions to check you haven’t missed out any steps – as this could cause a headache later on.

So there you have it. The five characteristics that signify an excellent propane grill.

As long as you can withstand an unexpected headwind, have some room for preparing food, receive an appliance which distributes heat evenly throughout the interior, and have checked to make sure it has been constructed from only the best materials, there will be years of fun and delicious meals ahead for you and your loved ones.

Vented lid

2-propane-grill-reviews-vented-lidThere are a plethora of advantages to purchasing a propane grill which comes with a durable and vented lid. First up, you’ll love how your appliance will be more durable as a result – and able to withstand the high winds which can often cause the flames of the propane grill to extinguish unexpectedly – and annoyingly.

Another perk is how you can save precious gas, which can be relatively expensive to replace. We’ll talk more about the best propane tanks to buy in the next section.

A lid helps to generate a moderate amount of smoke which helps your food to have that distinctive flavor that comes with barbecuing.

While cooking, keeping the lid open allows you to cook meats quite quickly – and the end result from your labors while the lid is closed will be more akin to baking. This is mind, it could be a wonderful idea if you’re looking to make some delicious potatoes.

Some manufacturers have the old saying that “looking isn’t cooking.” If your appliance has been equipped with a temperature display – which allows you to check at a glance the heat of the grill internally – it gives you the confidence to keep the lid shut and let the appliance do its magic. As a result, your grill will be able to reach greater temperatures, and the menagerie of flavors will be kept inside.

There has been a criticism that only amateurs grill with the lid open, and that’s probably because they doubt their own cooking abilities.

Another reason why a lid is included is because it prevents flare ups. It also helps to generate a moderate amount of smoke which helps your food to have that distinctive flavor that comes with barbecuing.

Finally, if your propane grill has hot and cold spots which have emerged because the burners on the appliance are disappointingly small, keeping the heat inside will help the grill to work using a “convection” method, allowing warmth to circulate throughout the machine and cook all of your meat and vegetables evenly and consistently.

Just make sure the vented lid has been constructed out of porcelain, which will keep cold wintry temperatures out.

Propane tank size

3-propane-grill-reviews-propane-tank-sizeAs you’ll be fully aware, the new grill that you’re going to buy will be running off propane gas – which can be purchased widely in tanks of varying sizes.

Although you might think it a smart move to purchase a larger tank, allowing you to save more money, it’s important to bear in mind that the connectors which hook up your grill to the gas supply may not be able to accommodate bigger canisters by default. Instead, you might need to invest in a series of valves and connectors sold separately.

You should ensure that you cook with the lid closed, as we were discussing a little earlier, to guarantee that propane gas isn’t wasted.

Most appliances have been engineered to accept 14.1oz and 16.4oz bottles of propane gas – and if you want to supersize this, it will also be important to invest in a 4ft hose which will create a little bit of distance between the gas and your machine.

You should also consider whether or not going for the larger tanks would diminish the portability of your grill – as it can be difficult to head to a picnic with such a sizeable tank in stow.

Replacement propane tanks can become expensive – and it might be the case, if you’re a regular grill user, that you want to have your own cylinder which is refilled with gas at a local store. However, there has been something of a controversy brewing – with some shoppers claiming that these stores don’t fill tanks to capacity in a bid to save money.

You should ensure that you cook with the lid closed, as we were discussing a little earlier, to guarantee that propane gas isn’t wasted.

The last thing you want to do is arrive at a picnic, only to begin panicking about whether or not you actually have enough gas to cook on for the whole day.

Even though replacement gas canisters can be costly – remember you might be able to save money by not purchasing them from your manufacturer, which may be charging a premium. Also, take comfort in how propane is far more time-efficient than charcoal.

Cast iron grill grate

4-propane-grill-reviews-cast-iron-grateNow, it’s likely that you’re going to have several different materials to choose from when it comes to the grate included with your propane grill. Some of the most common surfaces are made out of cast iron, porcelain or stainless steel.

Although all are strong materials which can withstand high temperatures, there are other practicalities that need to be accounted for.

For example, with some surfaces, food can begin to get stuck to the grate – meaning it’ll be a nightmare to clean and a challenge to dish up.

Cast iron, along with porcelain, are the grates which will last for the longest amount of time.

Once all of the fun is over, and you’re cleaning your appliance, it’s highly likely that you’ll just want a grate which can be rinsed until it’s good as new in a matter of seconds.

A cast iron grill grate comes recommended by many aficionados. They also come with two separate surfaces on either side – one that’s designed for grilling steaks and burgers, and another, flatter surface that’s better for delicate dishes such as fish. However, it is important to make sure that you apply a little bit of oil to these grates on a regular basis, otherwise you could find they begin to rust over time.

Cast iron, along with porcelain, are the grates which will last for the longest amount of time. In contrast, steel can begin to become really sticky, and chip over time. Cast iron grates, especially when they’re particularly weighty, also help you to get cooking in a shorter space of time, and help get temperatures up to where they should be.

Thankfully, you won’t need to go through the arduous process of buying a brand-new propane grill when your grates have completed their life cycle. Instead, you should opt for a high-end replacement which will offer the performance your appliance (not to mention your guests and expensive cuts of meat!) deserve.

Just make sure that the dimensions of the grate are in keeping with your propane grill, otherwise you could end up purchasing a replacement which doesn’t fit.

Ignition system

5-propane-grill-reviews-ignition-systemThere’s no smoke without fire, and the ignition system which has been integrated into your propane grill should have enough oomph to get the flames going even when there’s a bit of a breeze.

Some products come with so-called “twist start” ignition, which means you can get cooking in mere seconds. It’s possible to get the flames started with just one hand, and usually, there will be a wait of a just a few minutes before the grill is hot enough to get cooking your meal for the evening.

If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, it is possible to install Piezo into your current appliance, as an igniter can be purchased separately.

Another popular method for firing up gas grills is Piezo ignition – which uses a high-voltage electric spark to ignite your propane. Oftentimes, this is integrated into the appliance you’re going to buy through a knob which is pulled, or a button which you can push until the burners are activated.

If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, it is possible to install Piezo into your current appliance, as an igniter can be purchased separately.

Some ignitions use a method which is known as the “crossover.” It works by lighting one of the burners on your appliance to begin with, and then that flame gradually (and safely) spreads onto any other burners which your grill includes.

It’s always smart to have a contingency plan in place, too. After all, it is common for technology to fall flat when we need it the most.

A good propane grill will include a hole on the side of the appliance where you can ignite the burners manually, using the long wooden matches which are available in most grocery stores, and from outdoor specialists. This is a wonderful back-up plan to have, as it ensures that nothing will dampen your picnic or barbecue with loved ones.

Online, you can find videos where the ignition system of your new propane grill is demonstrated. Better still, there are also details in your instruction manual on how to get the flames going – and what to do if the system fails for any reason.

Energy efficient

6-propane-grill-reviews-energy-efficientOne debate which continues to rage on between grilling enthusiasts is the most environmentally friendly. Some shoppers prefer natural gas to propane gas, as they believe it lowers their carbon footprint when they’re enjoying a barbecue.

If your machine offers a high number of BTUs (this is short for British Thermal Units), you might not want to use the appliance on its most powerful energy setting – otherwise, you could find your supplies of propane gas begin to dwindle over time.

As long as your appliance is able to run consistently, managing to cook for 40 minutes when your tank is nearing empty should be pretty doable.

On average – and when properly filled – a 20lb tank of propane will be able to last for approximately 432,000 BTUs, and this could mean that you have more than 10 to 14 hours of use before you’ll need another canister.

Propane is widely regarded as infinitely more efficient at heating up food as natural gas on a BTU by BTU basis. You should also double-check to see whether or not your grill has some sort of power gauge, which is going to help you keep an eye out for when gas supplies are beginning to run low.

As long as your appliance is able to run consistently, managing to cook for 40 minutes when your tank is nearing empty should be pretty doable.

In summary, there’s five pieces of criteria which need to be considered in further detail before you can confidently purchase a brand-new propane grill. They include whether or not there’s a vented lid included on the appliance, the size of the tank which will be providing the power supply for your delicious meals and signature dishes, and also, whether a cast iron grill grate has been included – as this has been proven by many to be the best at conducting heat and delivering results.

Next, make sure that the ignition system of the grill won’t leave you wanting, and make a concerted effort to save money by ensuring your appliance is the most energy efficient for you.

From here, there’s no end to the fun you can have this barbecue season!

Camp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane Grill
Our pick for the best propane grill is: Camp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane Grill. This choice was made after spending 39 hours researching propane grills.

Summary

propane grill reviews

When was the last time you enjoyed a meal outside with the family – dining al fresco with cool beers, and burgers cooking on the burner?

You can make this a daily occurrence (if you want!) with a propane grill.

Normally, with propane grills, a plethora of features can be included which don’t actually add any value to the cooking experience. It’s important to critically analyze each function that a product claims to have – that way, you’ll be able to determine whether or not it’s essential for grilling food, or just a gimmick which adds nothing.

For example, some models come with side burners – but it’s highly likely that you won’t use this additional cooking space anywhere near as much as you may think. Instead, you’ll be more interested in preparing all of your meat on the central burners that have been provided.

With a drip tray, all of the grease ends up in one easy to access place, which can be gleaned using detergent in a jiffy.

Other features, such as a removable drip tray, are incredibly useful. Especially when you’re searing fatty cuts of steak – there can be endless juices, and with many other models, they have nowhere to go. However, with a drip tray, all of the grease ends up in one easy to access place, which can be gleaned using detergent in a jiffy.

Thanks to this, there won’t be any more grunting and groaning as you attempt to clean those hard-to-reach areas where the fat has formed instead.

An interior light can be particularly useful too, especially if you have a tendency to eat late – and you’re heading to a campsite or a tailgating. That said, don’t be too disheartened if your ideal propane grill doesn’t seem to come with an inbuilt light, as you can buy one as an accessory for your appliance relatively inexpensively.

Always be sure to measure up your patio or garden to ensure that a larger propane grill will fit comfortably in your own home. Most manufacturers provide detailed dimensions to help you make an accurate estimation, and narrower grills are available to purchase if you should so wish.

So… what should be the other criteria on your list?

Camp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane Grill
Our pick for the best propane grill is: Camp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane Grill. This choice was made after spending 39 hours researching propane grills.

Sources

  1. Fire Safety Tips for Gas Fueled Barbecue Grills, National Institutes of Health
  2. New, Safer Propane Tank for Barbecue Grills Helps to Avoid Gas Leaks, Consumer Product Safety Commission, March 22, 2002
  3. CPSC Advises Consumers to Avoid Deadly Grilling Dangers, Consumer Product Safety Commission, July 1, 1999
  4. Grill Safety Includes Proper Propane Tank Storage, North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, May 25, 2016
  5. Propane vs. Charcoal Grills, University or Rochester, July 31, 2013
  6. Summer Safety Tips, from Grilling to Swimming, UC San Diego Health, August 30, 2012
  7. Best Gas Grill Buying Guide, Consumer Reports, May 16, 2017
  8. 10 Best Gas BBQ Grills for 2017, Popular Mechanics, June 27, 2017
  9. The Best Gas Grills, The Wirecutter, May 16, 2017
  10. Best Gas Grills 2017, Top Ten Reviews, October 6, 2017

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