10 Best Tailgate Grills in 2020 with Complete Guide

Best Tailgate Grill ReviewsTailgating is something that brings people together especially family. But a tailgate party with no great grilled food isn’t a perfect experience. It’s great to use the best tailgate grill to get an ideal tailgating experience.

With that in mind, getting a good tailgate grill isn’t as simple as you many might think. But, I think you know that, and that’s why you’re here. The market has too many products that will give you a headache trying to figure out what model to pick. But I’m here to make the process much more comfortable.

I have selected the best tailgate grills by going through user reviews, grill features, and checked their performances. After all the work, I came up with the list below which I believe will help you get the best model for your tailgating needs.

The 10 Best Tailgate Grills in 2020

Brand & Item NamePortableSpacePrice
Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s GrillYes650 Sq. InchCheck Price
Weber 10020 Smokey JoeYes14"Check Price
Coleman SportsterYes225 Sq. InchCheck Price
Weber Charcoal GrillYes13"Check Price
Coleman Party Propane GrillYes122 Sq. InchCheck Price
Blackstone Dash Portable GrillYes240 Sq. InchCheck Price
ONIVA GrillYes21"Check Price
Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal GrillYes18Check Price
ONIVA a Picnic TimeYes20"Check Price
Cuisinart CCG-100Yes240 Sq. InchCheck Price

1. Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill – Every Budget Suited

The Lodge Sportsman’s Grill is a sizeable Hibachi-Style charcoal grill ideal for tailgating, patio, picnics, or camping. One of the things that makes this tailgating grill to be outstanding is its high-quality design, cooking versatility, and lifetime durability.Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill

The unit is constructed from durable, heavy-duty cast iron to ensure that you receive a model that will give you the best tailgating party. The tailgate grill comes with a draft door which helps in regulating heat.

Another great feature about this tailgating grill is its second door which is decorated with a sunrise marsh scene and opens to provide you with easy access to the coals. The Lodge Sportsman’s grill also comes with two adjustable heights.

Additionally, I was impressed by its seasoned cookware. Lodge seasons its product’s cookware with 100 percent vegetable oil, ensuring there is no synthetic coating or chemicals. So the more you use your cast iron grill, the better the seasoning.

The broad cooking surface of this excellent tailgate grill can accommodate enough steaks or several whole fish or enough burgers for a small crowd. The tailgate grill features an attached handle which makes the carrying much more straightforward and an inbuilt shelf where you can store your cooking utensils.

Pros:

  • Rugged, charcoal hibachi-style grill
  • A draft door that regulates heat
  • Two adjustable heights
  • Steel swing away handle
  • All cast iron construction for superior heat retention
  • Seasoned and ready to be used for a natural, easy-release finish
  • Sliding bottom vent for temperature adjustment

Cons:

  • No Lid
  • Small cooking area
  • Bare cast iron requires special care

2. Weber 10020 Smokey Joe – Portable Grill (Latest Features)

One thing that makes this Weber 10020 Smokey Joe grill to be a great tailgate grill is its versatility and portability. The unit is 17 H x 14.2 W x 14.5 D inches when the lid is closed, compact and lightweight for easy grilling on the go.Weber 10020 Smokey Joe

All you need is load it up to your car and hit the load. With its 14inch cooking surface, you can quickly and easily cook three steaks or five delicious burgers at once with a Weber burger press.

The Weber 10020 Smokey Joe comes with a Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl which retains heat, and do not rust or peel. It also features aluminum dampers or vents at its bottom and top for easy control of temperature inside the grill.

The dampers can be easily adjusted to reduce the possibility of flare-ups while making the cooking process much more comfortable. For more convenient and more comfortable use, this Weber 10020 portable grill comes with a quality chimney fire starter.

Additionally, the cooking grates are made of durable triple-nickel plated steel which not only works well in retaining heat but also makes it super easy to clean after use. Lastly, the tailgate grill is covered with a 10-year limited warranty which I believe is super cool for this affordable model.

Pros:

  • Excellent lightweight design
  • Coated with porcelain-enamel
  • Great 147 square inches cooking area
  • Adjustable and durable aluminum dampers
  • Glass-reinforced nylon handles
  • Rapid Fire Chimney Starter made of Aluminized Steel
  • Rust-Free Ash Catcher

Cons:

  • Bottom vents get clogged easily
  • Thin legs and may bend easily

3. Coleman Sportster – Propane Grill Review (Affordable)

Want to upgrade your tailgating grill to another level, then I think it will be ideal that you get the Coleman Sportster propane grill. The gas grill has a durable, compact, lightweight design which makes ideal for a tailgate grill on the road.Coleman Sportster – Propane Grill Review

The collapsible, wheel stand allows you to use the grill virtually anywhere. The unit also comes with a lockable grill top which makes it easy to secure. The grill comes with great 11,000 total BTUs of grilling power ideal for a family cooking. The Instastart push-button ignition makes it super easy to start the tailgate grill.

Additionally, the Coleman Sportster grill comes with a 225 square inches stamped steel grate with a porcelain coating, large enough to serve a family-sized meal. That’s to its compatibility to 16oz portable propane tanks makes it even more ideal to be used as a tailgate grill.

The Coleman Sportster has a removable tray which collects the grease and fat dripping while you’re cooking. The porcelain coating on the grates makes sure that the food remains do not stick, thus making it easier to clean.

Pros:

  • Great compact, lightweight design
  • Great 11,000 BTUs heat power
  • Foldable design with rear wheels
  • Ideal 225 square inch cooking surface
  • A matchless Instastart ignition
  • Coleman’s 16oz portable propane tank compatible
  • Weight: 25lbs

Cons:

  • Hard to control the temperatures
  • Take time to assemble

4. Weber Charcoal Grill – Best Tailgate Grill

The Weber Go-Anywhere Grill is a charcoal grill which provides unique and a satisfying cooking experience on your tailgate party. If you want a tailgate grill that can give a delicious smoky-flavored food, then the Weber go-anywhere charcoal grill is your ideal smoker.Weber Charcoal Grill – Best Tailgate Grill

And as the name suggests, this grill is great for grilling on the go and anywhere. It has a compact and portable enough to pack it in your small car space and go with it everywhere you want. Even though it’s small-sized, its grilling surface can fit up to six burgers or some large steaks enough for a family tailgating.

Additionally, the cooking grates are easy to remove for easy cleaning and treating/seasoning. The strong grill legs double up as a locking system when in a transporting mode. All you need is to quickly swing them around from their standing position to their lid holding and locking position.

Setting up the unit is super easy. All you’ve to do is pull out the legs, remove the cover and the load the charcoal. Lighting the grill might take longer than other electric or gas grills, but the results you get is excellent. The compact dimensions of this grill are 14.5 H x 21 W x 12.25 L inches.

Pros:

  • Durable, weatherproof, lightweight design with porcelain coated Finish
  • Durable plated steel 160 square inches cooking grate
  • Dampers for easy temperature control
  • Porcelain-enameled lid and base
  • Lid locks legs for great portability
  • Assemble required

Cons:

  • Although portable, fairly heavy
  • Charcoal isn’t as convenient as gas

5. Coleman Party Propane Grill – for camping, picnics, and tailgating

The Coleman Party grill is a propane tailgate grill which you can also have it for camping trips and picnics. The unit combines a compact, lightweight, portable design with convenient features which facilitates grilling in those severe conditions.Coleman Party Propane Grill – for camping, picnics, and tailgating

The grill comes with rust preventing painting which also gives it a great finish. The Coleman party grill comes with an adjustable 8,000 BTUs burner which provides enough cooking power to the tailgate grill a different variety of foods, from grilled hot dogs to veggies.

Also, the unit has an InstaStart ignition which allows you to light up your grill burner with a simple push button. Its compatibility with a 16oz propane cylinder makes it great for outdoor use.

For a steady heat output, this tailgating grill comes with a PerfectFlow. The legs of this fantastic grilling are detachable and fit inside the tailgate grill for better and convenient transport and also storage. All its components are dishwasher safe making it easy to clean.

Pros:

  • Compact, lightweight, portable tailgating grill
  • Durable burner with 8,000 BTUs cooking power
  • Convenient matchless lighting with InstaStart push-button ignition
  • PerfectFlow technology for consistent performance
  • Detachable legs for easy transport and storage
  • Spacious 122 square-inch cooking area

Cons:

  • Heat is not even
  • No inbuilt thermometer

6. Blackstone Dash Portable Grill – for Camping and Tailgating

From the quick and easy set up to the large surface area, this Blackstone grill ensures you have the best tailgating experience. At only 18 pounds, you can be able to take this grill and griddle combo anywhere you want.Blackstone Dash Portable Grill – for Camping and Tailgating

Its unique design allows you to carry it like a briefcase. Alternatively, you can extend the handle and pull it like a suitcase. The grill takes less than 2 minutes to set up, which means you’ll focus more on preparing delicious meals with the large cooking surface of 247 square inches.

This cooking area enables you to cook 20 hot dogs or 10 hamburgers simultaneously. The 7,000 BTU burner makes sure your grill heats up quickly. Cleaning the Blackstone tailgate grill is easy. All you have to do is wipe it with a paper towel, and you’ll be good to go.

The grill also comes with a grease management system that makes the whole cleaning process to be stress-free. This system consists of a drip tray that collects grease from food, so you won’t have to deal with a mess every time you prepare your meals.

There are built-in wheels and retractable handles that aids in the portability of the grill. Another great feature is the Stow-n-Go legs that allow you to set up or take down the grill quickly.

The only issue you’ll encounter when it comes to this grill is the handles getting too hot. Make sure you’re always wearing gloves to avoid any injuries.

Pros:

  • 247 square inches cooking surface
  • 7,000 BTU burner
  • Stow-n-Go legs
  • Two-way packing system
  • Grease management system

Cons:

  • Handle gets hot

7. ONIVA Grill – Tailgating Cooler/BBQ Set with Trolley

This cooler and barbecue set enables you to take tailgating to a whole new level. The package comprises of a propane barbecue and a PVC cooler that can hold up to 22 beverage cans.ONIVA Grill – Tailgaiting CoolerBBQ Set with Trolley

We hardly see this type of design on other tailgate grills. But, thanks to ONIVA you can now quench your thirst as you’re busy grilling your meals. The good thing about the insulated cooler is it is water-resistant. The cooler comes with two carry straps as well as mesh pocket that can hold ice or gel packs. The three zippered pockets come in handy when you want to store your personal effects.

This cooler is removable, which means that you can quickly detach it whenever you want to use your grill. The grill is powered by propane and comes with a spatula, grill scraper, serrated edge, barbecue fork, and tongs. Two drawstring pockets hold the propane tank.

When it comes to cooking, you’ll be pleased to know that the ONIVA grill heats up quickly and offers even distribution of heat throughout the grill. The only downside, however, is the grill has a small cooking surface. So, it may not be the best option if you’re planning to cook for a lot of people.

To enhance transportation, the unit comes with a foldable trolley and telescoping handles. In addition to this, there is also all-terrain wheels that are sturdy and durable. The carry handles as well as the adjustable shoulder strap is padded to maximize comfort. Other features include a stabilizing bar and two expansion bars.

Pros:

  • Made of durable stainless steel material
  • Insulated PVC cooler
  • Foldable design
  • Padded carry handles
  • Stabilizing bar

Cons:

  • Small cooking surface

8. Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill – Portable BBQ Grill Ideal

This Jumbo Joe charcoal grill is an old Weber grill design that has been refurbished to include more amazing features that guarantee to enhance your tailgating experience.Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill

The grill has a spacious cooking surface of 240 square inches. This surface enables you to cook up to 8 hamburgers at a go. The grill features both a heavy-gauge steel charcoal grate and a plated steel cooking grate. There is also a porcelain-enameled lid and bowl that ensures there is even distribution of heat in the grill. The lid’s handle comes with a heat shield to protect your hands while cooking.

Weber Jumbo Joe grill uses charcoal as a source of fuel. There is an aluminum ash catcher that’s supposed to make cleaning a breeze. Even though the catcher does a great job of collecting the ash, there are still some that get scattered whenever you open the lid. So, cleaning is always a challenge.

Weber has included a Tuck-N-Carry lid lock, and a carry handle to make it easier for you to move the grill from one place to another. The lid lock also acts as a lid holder. So, you don’t have to place it on the ground. The fact that the grill is compact and lightweight makes it possible for you to move it around without getting fatigued.

“The Weber Jumbo Joe grill has dampers that control the temperatures. As much as we love this feature, we have to admit that it is still difficult to control the heat of this tailgating grill.”

Pros:

  • 240 square inches cooking surface
  • Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl
  • Tuck-N-Carry lid lock
  • Dampers
  • Aluminum Ash Catcher

Cons:

  • Difficult to control the temperatures
  • Difficult to clean

9. ONIVA a Picnic Time – All-In-One Tailgating BBQ Grill/Cooler Set

Just like the ONIVA Vulcan, this grill also comes with a cooler. The only difference is instead of 22 beverage cans the cooler holds up to 24 cans. To use the charcoal grill, you have to unzip and detach the cooler. The good thing about this grill is it heats up quickly.ONIVA a Picnic Time – All-In-One Tailgating BBQ GrillCooler Set

Since heat is evenly distributed in the grill, you won’t have to worry about hot or cold spots. The only issue you’ll encounter, however, is the size of the cooking surface. Just like the Vulcan grill, this unit also comes with a small cooking surface.

There is a black drawstring bag that holds the grill. When you purchase this tailgating grill, you will also get three stainless steel tools that have non-slip thumb grills as well as aluminum handles. The package also comes with numerous pockets and a stretch cargo cord that you can use to keep all your things.

You can use the carry straps to carry the grill from one place to another. The PVC cooler is water-resistant. It is, therefore, possible for you to use the grill even in extreme weather condition.

Pros:

  • Removable PVC cooler
  • Three stainless steel tools
  • Holds up to 24 beverage cans
  • Three stainless steel tools

Cons:

  • Small cooking area

10. Cuisinart CCG-100 – GrateLifter Portable Charcoal Grill

The spacious 240 square inches cooking surface of this Cuisinart grill allows you to prepare ten burgers, eight chicken breasts or eight steaks at the same time. Since you’re using charcoal as the source of fuel, you are guaranteed of getting flavorful meals every single time.Cuisinart CCG-100 – GrateLifter Portable Charcoal Grill

The cooking grate lifting system enables you to access the charcoal bed without lifting the grate. This allows you to add more coals while cooking. The system also comes in handy when you want to move the ash to the ash collection bin. This collection bin ensures you have an easy time cleaning your grill.

The precision airflow system controls the temperature while the temperature gauge enables you to know the exact heat of your grill. The gauge is located on the lid to make it more convenient and easy for you to check the temperatures. To top it all off, the grill comes with a dual venting system that efficiently controls the temperature of the grill. All these features ensure your meals are evenly cooked.

The 201 stainless steel handle is heat-resistant. This makes it safe for you to open and close the lid. When you purchase this grill, you will get a porcelain enamel cover and three years warranty. The only drawback of this Cuisinart CCG-100 GrateLifter is its tendency to tip over. The grill is a bit unstable, so you have to be vigilant when using it.

Pros:

  • 240-square-inch cooking surface
  • Durable porcelain enamel cover
  • Lid-mounted temperature gauge
  • Ash collection bin
  • Dual venting system

Cons:

  • Unstable

What to Look for in a Best Tailgate Grills?

Best Tailgate Grill ReviewsYes, I might have reduced your selection process to only the top best tailgate grill, but the list will not give you an easy way of selecting that one model that meets all your need. It’s for that reason that I have prepared the following best tailgate grill buyer’s guide below. Read it through and get to know how you can easily select the best tailgate grill.

Fuel type

Most tailgating grills use either pellets, charcoal or gas fuels. So, should you buy a gas grill or a charcoal grill? If you want to sear steaks and want a smoky flavor on your meats, then a charcoal tailgate grill would be your ideal choice. On the other hand, if you wish to a tailgate grill that is easier to clean, faster to start, and easy to use then a tailgate gas grill is the best choice. Most of this gas grills use disposable liquid propane tanks making it even more convenient for tailgating.

Cooking Surface

Once you decide on the type of tailgate you want to buy, it’s time to decide on how much cooking space you require. If you’re planning on hosting substantial tailgate parties, then you need a tailgate which is portable and which can offer a wide cooking surface enough to grill sizable amounts of BBQs and meat. On the other side, if you will be going tailgating with your family, a bit smaller surface area like 120 square inches, will work great for you.

Construction Quality

The quality of materials used on the tailgate grill will affect its durability. And because you will be using the grill outdoors, then you may want to get a tailgate grill made from weather-proof materials. That way you won’t have to worry about anything. The nuts and the legs should also be durable if you want a long lasting unit. Ensure that the grill uses high-quality paint which won’t pull off during on high temperature. Additionally, grilling grate needs to make made from well-coated heat distributing materials.

Temperature Control

When grilling temperature control should be a must point to consider. Cooking versatility requires that you have some form of temperature control if you need to achieve different cooking. Also, if you don’t want to your tailgate grill to burn too hot, or not get enough heat, then temperature control needs to be available.

Most pellet grills come with an electronic thermal sensor which keeps a tailgate grill at a certain temperature level. Charcoal grill comes with dampers or vents which control the amount of air getting inside the tailgate grill and the letting the exhaust out. On the other hand, gas grills come with an adjustable gas regulator which helps in regulating the cooking temperature.

Ease of use and cleaning

As I mentioned before the type of fuel you use determines if a tailgate grill is convenient and easy to clean. Gas tailgate grills are the easiest to use and clean while charcoal grills are the least of them all. However, most of the charcoal tailgate grills come with ash catcher which help is ash disposal. Additionally, most of the tailgate grills come with drip pan which eases in catching the food debris, and fat dripping making it simpler to clean the unit.

Warranty

A warranty expresses trust on manufacturer’s competency in creating the product. A high-quality tailgate grill should come with at least 5-years warranty. If the model does not occur even with a store warranty, then you know that it is cheaply made.

Budget

Tailgate grill comes in a variety of prices depending on the materials used, brand, accessories packed on the model, and much more. And a rule of thumb states, you get what you pay for. Most of the times, the more money you invest will typically correlate with a better quality grill and the more features the unit will have for you. If you’re on a budget, you can get a model you can afford and upgrade it after you get a better investment.

Extra accessories

Grills come with extra accessories depending on how much you invest. Some of these accessories are like extra shelves, foldable legs, seasoning vegetable oil, grill cover and many more. If you need some accessories, then you will have to dig dipper inside your pockets for you to afford them. So, choose wisely.

Best Tailgate Grills Buying (FAQs)

Q: What Is a Tailgate Grill?

Tailgate Grill ReviewsA: A portable outdoor grill which can be used for grilling in tailgate parties is known as a tailgate grill. It can be of different fuels sources like pellets, charcoal or gas. But, what’s a tailgate party? It’s a social event held around an open tailgate of vehicles. In such an event, different kinds of foods are grilled from hot dogs, hamburgers, coleslaw, steaks, and much more.

Q: Can I with aluminum foil while cook?

A: Yes! You can use a heavy-duty aluminum foil for grilling on either charcoal or electric mode. Also, an aluminum foil is used to hold the small foods like sausages on a grill with significant grid separations.

Q: When should I open or close the tailgate grill vent(s)?

A: For the charcoal grilling, you have to keep the air inlet vent fully opened while cooking to help in air and smoke circulation. When extinguishing the charcoal, you have to close all the vents. Keep the vents closed when you’re increasing the cooking temperature and open them when decreasing the temperature.

Q: Why is my charcoal tailgate grill not getting hot?

A: Many things can make the charcoals not to light up or not get hot enough to cook. One of these things is if the charcoals are wet. You need to use dry charcoals if you want them to light up. Another thing is the old coals might not light up as well. I recommend you toss the leftovers at the end of your grilling. Grill cleanliness also affects how hot the charcoal burns and how hot the grates become. Ensure you clean off the ashes, and you remove all the food and fats on the grills and drip pan. Lastly, and the most important, use high-quality charcoal briquette. The other type will give you a headache.

Q: Should I cover my tailgate grill? How do I store it?

A: I recommend you store your grill in a clean, dry area to secure it from the elements. Leave the vents open for you to prevent moisture from building up inside causing rust. And if you will be storing your tailgate grill outdoor, close the top vent to keep the rain out. I recommend you cover it to keep it safe from elements and keep it clean.

Q: How do I clean my tailgate grill?

A: Grill grates are mostly dishwasher safe, and it’s the piece that is washed frequently. Hand wash pieces like the lid, base and the legs which aren’t dishwasher-safe with a soft cloth and warm, soapy water. Remove the drip tray and scrap off the fats and food debris, then either hand-wash (recommended) or dish wash it. Ensure that all the pieces and parts are thoroughly dry before storage. For a charcoal tailgate grill, brush off the remaining ash to the ash catcher and remove the ash catcher for better ash disposal.

Globo Grills Overview

Many people love tailgate drilling, and that is why in most of these events you will always see some quality tailgating grill. It would be my pleasure to hear that you got a great tailgate grill. Use the above information to make sure the model you pick is the right one for your needs. Different models will perform differently, and that’s why you have to ensure that any brand and type you choose will work to your advantage and this review and buyer’s guide will help you do that. Buy one and enjoy it later.

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About the author

Sharif Miah

I'm Sharif Miah, is a Blogger and currently doing BBA program. At the weekends and vacations, I love to do Grilling & BBQ party alone with family and friends.

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