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There's a lot you need to remember before going on a camping trip. Things like tables, hammocks, and chairs are all ways you can enhance your trip — but don't forget a way to cook. While roasting a hot dog over the fire is fine for a lot of people, having a dedicated grill for cooking will make your experience much better. There are a variety of different choices available, whether that's an induction cooktop, a charcoal grill, or a gas option.
Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference because some people swear food tastes better when cooked over charcoal versus propane. For the sake of this list, we've narrowed it down to four grills that won't break the bank. The recommendations come from a mix of personal experience and user reviews. No matter what grill you go for, it'll be nice to have an actual way to cook while camping instead of having to rely on canned soup and hot dogs.
Coleman 4-in-1 Portable Propane Gas Cooking System
Coleman is a very popular camping brand. Campers on a budget can easily end up with chairs, a tent, and even a camping stove, all from the manufacturer. The portable propane grill is a solid option that comes in well under the $200 price point. Coleman also has nice charcoal grills, but the propane ones are better options for people who don't want to wait around waiting for the coals to heat up. You can pick up Coleman's 4-in-1 propane grill for $124.99 from the company website, where it's currently sitting with a 4.6/5 rating.
There's a lot to like with this grill, and the standout is the four different ways to cook. This adds so much versatility to camping, and it'll even be a grill you can use at home. You have a stovetop, a griddle, a grill, and a wok available to you as options. Backed with a three-year manufacturer's warranty means you shouldn't have any concerns about things going wrong either. You will have to buy the propane gas cylinder separately, so the grill does have a downside. Despite that, customers single out quality, value, and durability as the big selling points.
Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill
For a lot of people, the smell of charcoal burning is one of the best scents in the world. If you have a bit of time to wait for the coals to heat up, then going for a charcoal grill isn't a bad idea. Weber's charcoal grill is a great choice for camping, and it'll cost you $77.99 from Amazon. This makes it far cheaper than a propane option. The tradeoff is the fact you have to buy your own charcoal, and that's not always cheap.
Many people can get through a whole summer on a single propane tank, but the same can't usually be said for a bag of charcoal. Nevertheless, Amazon shoppers give this grill almost perfect ratings across the board for quality, portability, durability, and versatility. For what it's worth, I've used this grill several times while camping and have had absolutely no issues with it.
Something that helps set this grill apart from other charcoal grills is the large surface area. You'll be able to fit six burger patties on it at a time, so there is no problem feeding a large group of people all at once. It's also a surprisingly easy grill to clean and prepare for the next use.
Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Propane Gas Grill
Cuisinart is a well-known brand in the cooking world, and as it turns out, the company can make a good propane grill. For $149.99, you can pick up the Cuisinart GG-180T tabletop propane grill from Amazon. This grill has a lot of surface area, so there's no problem fitting a bunch of burger patties or even steaks onto it.
Of course, you are paying the premium by making the jump from charcoal to propane, but there are a lot of positives that come with that. You're getting a highly portable grill that can be carried like a suitcase that pops right open and is ready to cook in a matter of minutes.
With over 3,500 Amazon reviews and a 4.5-star rating, it's clear buyers are happy with the purchase. If you're looking for something that can taken just about anywhere, including the beach, it's tough to go wrong here. You have a set of adjustable legs that'll keep the grill off the sandy beach, so there's no need to worry about sand creeping into the crevices. To top it off, you have an easy-to-clean surface that'll make it simple to get ready for the next round of cooking.
Cuisinart CCG-190 Portable Charcoal Grill
If you're searching for a no-frills basic charcoal grill that'll just cook food and not do much else, the Cuisinart CCG-190 is what you're looking for. This little grill doesn't have the same features or surface area others provide, but it comes in at a much lower price of $39.99 from Amazon. You're getting an easy-to-put-together grill that weighs just two pounds, and buyers list those two things as the major standouts. Amazon shoppers have given this one a score of 4.3/5 with over 5,000 reviews.
One thing that does prove to be a bit more difficult than other grills is the cleaning process. You'll have to clear out your charcoal and give a good wipe down of the inner bowl after each use, and it can get quite tiresome when compared to cleaning off a single surface like some other grills have. Of course, that's the price you pay for a cheaper grill.
If this is something you're going to be using just while camping, the price is perfect. If it's a grill you want to use while camping and at home, you might be better off splurging for something more expensive. For the price, however, this is a very solid grill that will serve you well for many camping trips.