Best Tailgate Grill To Bring Along

The game is coming but what excites you is not that game of the century. It is that tailgate party where you mingle with other fans. You are preparing for that tailgate party, but you might not have an idea what grill to bring along with you. Here, we wrote an extensive guide to share with you on how to find that best tailgate grill for the tailgate party.

The Models That We Are Recommending In This Guide

What Are The Factors To Consider Before Getting That Tailgate Grill?

Factor #1. How Big Is That Party?

Before getting a grill for the tailgate party. You must first consider how big is that party and how many are eating out of your grill. The second last thing you would want to see is people fainting from hunger all around you due to the slow output of food. The first thing is not having bought enough food in the first place.

The number of mouths you have to feed directly influence how big of a grill you might need to buy. And so, how do we even determine how much space we need without even using that grill in the first place. Well, we have a nifty formula for you.

Based on our experience, we find that a cooking area of about 40 square inches equates to one person worth of food. That can be a very big chicken thigh or a piece of thick succulent beef steak. Therefore, depending on how many people you think you need to cook for, multiply it by 40 and you get your ideal grill size.

Although, do bear in mind that the dimension of the grill that you are looking at may not be an accurate depiction of how big the cooking area might be. That is because manufacturers are inclined to “beautify” their products to make it more marketable. It makes it feel more premium and give you bragging rights in front of others. Now now, don’t hide that smirk of yours.

Hence, due to some extravagant design, the grilling area might be compromised. While we do everything, we can in our abilities to measure the grills that we will be recommending to you, in the event that you prefer others than we suggested, keep this point in mind.

Factor #2. Is Tailgate Parties A Frequent Thing For You?

This is an important question. How frequently do you go to these parties? Are you using it as a one-time thing? Or, are you using it frequently? Consider these scenarios.

If you are a hospitable person and you like to grill for loads of people at that tailgate party. Get a large charcoal grill, there are no two ways about it. It has a faster churn time, where the food flow must not stop for an extended period. The larger charcoal grill will also allow for more variety of dishes to cater to different liking.

If you are only responsible for a couple of mouths, such as for your own family, a small one will suffice.

If you are having an upcoming tailgate party where you are feeding more than your own family but also other people family, but you don’t foresee going to any more such similar scale events in the future. Get a medium grill. Most people will probably recommend you go for the biggest one you can find but I find that as a waste of money as you are probably not going to use it as much anymore.

However, don’t let it stop you if you are considering getting that large charcoal grill if you find it necessary.

Factor #3. How Much Space Have You Got In Your Vehicle?

If you are going to bring your own tailgate grill – you are right? Then you have to make space for it in your pickup. If your car is already loaded with beers, chairs and that lawnmower you forgot to dump, you might not have much space for another grill. Therefore, when you are looking for a tailgate grill, you have to look for that that are as compact as possible, that has features that can compress the grill to use as little space as possible. Of course, we are not asking you to crush it.

These days, manufacturers are introducing a more creative design that allows you to pack the grill into a small briefcase or a golf trolley with some twists and turns. And lucky for us, the cost of these features is not entirely passed down to us, consumers, due to the cutthroat competition of the grills industry.

Remember to factor in that you have dozens of other things to bring for to a tailgate party such as cooler boxes, utensils, foldable chairs, foldable tables and games. Don’t focus too much on the grill.

Factor #4. Determine Your Preferred Fuel Source

Usually, there are only two kinds of grills that people bring to a tailgate party. They are either charcoal grills or gas grills. Correct me if I am wrong but I rarely saw any electric grills making any appearance in any of the tailgate parties. Although, I am quite amazed when someone could drag a generator with them just to use it. For the purpose of this article, I will be focusing on the two kinds of grills mentioned as I am more accustomed to them at tailgate parties.

A recap of what are the difference between charcoal tailgate grill and gas tailgate grills


Charcoal Tailgate Grills

One of the biggest benefits of using a charcoal tailgate grill is the fact that they are significantly less expensive than gas tailgate grills. You can normally pick up a charcoal for around $30 but a decent gas will be around $100.

Also, charcoal burns hotter than a gas grill, even those with infrared burners. Moreover, tailgate charcoal grills have lesser parts than that of a gas grill, and hence, it has less weight, making it more portable. Not forgetting to mention, that authentic smoky flavor can only be obtained from a charcoal tailgate grill.

Gas Tailgate Grills

One of the biggest benefits of using a gas tailgate grill is convenience. A portable tailgate gas grill does not need time to assemble, they are usually ready out of the box. Coupled that with a push button, you can get a ready to go grill in a matter of minute (okay, 10 minutes). Propane gas is actually cheaper than charcoal in the long run. However, the drawback is, well, gas tailgate grills are much more expensive.

Factor #5. What Is Your Budget?

Obvious, but too important not to write it. This single point can render the entire top section of this guide moot. Don’t over-extend yourself is key. There are all kinds of grills that offer far too many kinds of features. But, if you are using it for the very basic purpose, get the one that fits into your budget.

Yes, that amazing looking handle and that ash tray are enticing. They are giving all of that for free too! No, I am not saying that it doesn’t add up to the entire grilling experience – aesthetics does make food tastier, but the incremental experience it provides is only for a fleeting moment.

What Are The Other Considerations For Your Tailgate Grill?


If You Are Intending To Get A Charcoal Tailgate Grill

Consideration #1. Check For Dampers And Vents

Seriously, I will be very surprised that these are not included in any charcoal tailgate grills. To produce awesome grilled food from the tailgate charcoal grill, you must be able to use vents and dampers. Again, there should not be any model that does not have them. In the unlikely event that a manufacturer has no idea what they are doing and did not include these vents, don’t buy them.

In addition, you need to make sure that the vents are air-tight when closed as this is will affect how well the temperature can be controlled. Also, check that there are not design flaws that allow unwanted air to seep through or escape to and from the coals.

Consideration #2. Make Sure That It Comes With An Ash Catcher

Well, let’s be considerate. We have to clean up after ourselves after a tailgate party. Not everyone of us likes to clean, we love to grill – that’s for sure. So, to make things easier for ourselves, features that help us clean up faster is always welcomed. A removable ash catcher helps in that regard.

If You Are Intending To Get A Gas Tailgate Grill

Consideration #1. The Ignitor System

What worse than not grilling – not starting. You have a major problem in your hands if you drove all the way to the parking spot and realized that the grill won’t start when it is supposed to. That is effectively a party damper. As a backup, always bring a kitchen lighter with you.

Also, make sure that if the grill that you are buying has X number of burners, it should come with the same X number of temperature control knobs. This is because you are going to control them individually when cooking. Heat zoning necessitates that level of control.

Consideration #2. The BTU And Temperature

When buying a gas grill for a tailgate party. It would make sense to get a grill that is hot enough to handle the food. For this, you will have to look at the BTU of the unit. BTU stands for British Thermal Unit and it determines how hot your grill can be. However, it is not to be used alone. It should be used with the grilling area of the grill to determine if it will be hot enough.

A simple formula to combine the two is the BTU per square inch. A decent grill will have a BTU per square inch in the range of 60 – 100. However, we do not discount that there are some models which, although don’t hit the range, can be hot enough to sear, probably due to the material used and the design of the grill.

Best Tailgate Grill For The Next Tailgate Party


3 Best Charcoal Tailgate Grill

#1. Weber 10020 14-Inch Portable Grill Smokey Joe


Charcoal grills are best made by Weber. There are numerous competitors that arise over the years, but people still favor the Classic Weber, and for good reasons. This model features a grilling area of 149 square inches and can grill up to 3 – 4 people worth of food at any one point in time.

Next are a must. At the top and bottom of the grill, there are vents and dampers for precise temperature control. When you need to move the grill before and after the tailgate BBQ event, there are handles on the lid and at the side of the grills to help you with that.

Once you are done with your grilling, you will need to dispose of the ashes. This model takes that away from you with the ashtray beneath the grates. Yes, you still need to do some work, but it is a lot easier.

Also, the material that is used to make this is porcelain enameled which is excellent at heat retention and heat distribution. As with any portable charcoal grill, the assembly process is also very easy.

Features And Specification At A Glance

  • The Model Dimension: 15.6 x 15.6 x 9 inches
  • The Grilling Area: 149 square inches
  • The Grill Weight: 9.5 pounds.
  • Colors Offered: Black
  • For Stability: 3 prongs like legs

#2. Weber Original Kettle 18 Inch Charcoal Grill Black

If you need a bigger grill than the previous model we suggested. Then, consider the Weber 18-inch Kettle. This model features a grill area of approximately 240 square inches, which is plenty for cooking up to a crowd of 6 – 7 people. The grill bowl is made with porcelain-enameled material that is designed for maximum heat conductivity. Your grill will get hot fast.

The cooking grate is made of plated steel which conducts heat very well, even better than cast iron. What this means is that your grate will get hot quick and the food will get cooked fast.

At a tailgate party, you will not have much room to place your stuff, much less a grill lid. You can’t place it on the pickup as it is already packed full of stuff. Also, you can really put it on the floor. There is one method – how about holding the lid on one hand and grilling on the other? Tiring, isn’t it? This is where the lid hook at the side of the grill is useful, simply hook your lid at the side and free your hands to grill.

If you ever find the need to move the grill around such as loading or unloading it from the pickup, the wheels at both legs will enable you to move it easily.

Features And Specification At A Glance

  • The Model Dimension: 18.5 x 23 x 35 inches
  • The Grilling Area: 240 square inches
  • The Grill Weight: 24.6 pounds
  • Colors Offered: Black
  • For Stability: 2 Wheelers With 2 Stabilizer Legs

#3. Charcoal Go-Anywhere Grill


The next model that we are going to introduce is a very portable and compact model. Good for grilling for up to 3 – 4 people.

This grill features a cooking area of approximately 160 square inches, which is enough to cook for up to 4 people at any one point in time. You probably can tell from the picture; this grill is small enough to bring along for that tailgate party. But the drawback is this grill is only enough for yourself and your family.

The base of the grill is made of enameled porcelain, which is great for retaining heat. This model also has a lid that is lockable for better convection cooking and added portability. We suggest that you bring along a foldable table to place the grill on. Otherwise, you are going to have a hard time using it when you need to bend down and up.

The legs of this grill are interesting. At first glance, you would think to yourself how stable the legs can be – it is stable. The legs are secured underneath by a clip if you are wondering. The fascinating thing is that the legs can be foldable upwards to seal the lid in place.

The Product Specifications

  • The Model Dimension: 12.2 x 21 x 14.5 inches
  • The Grilling Area: Approximately 160 square inches
  • The Grill Weight: 14 pounds
  • Structure Material: Porcelain – Enameled
  • Grate Material: Plated Steel
  • Colors Offered: Black
  • For Stability: Loop Legs With Clips

3 Best Gas Tailgate Grill

#1. Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill


The first tailgate gas grill that we are going to introduce is the Coleman Roadtrip. The Coleman Roadtrip features a cooking area of 285 square inches, which can grill up to 6 people worth of food in any one batch.

With that much of a cooking area, it is heated by 3 burners of approximately 6,666 BTUs each, delivering a total BTU of 20,000 across the grill. This translates to a total of 70 BTU per square inch, which is plenty hot to sear meat. Also, the two burners can be individually controlled by 2 knobs at the front for more precise temperature control.

The design of this portable gas grill is unique as well. It looks like a golf trolley when packed. To use it, you will just need to lift the grill, slide and lock in in place – like a folding table. To clean the grill, there is also a removable grease tray beneath in addition to the removable plates.

There are two side tables for this model, so prepping food on the side is a breeze. For warranty, you would need to contact the manufacturer before purchasing. The warranty seems to be changing from time to time.

This grill is designed to use a 1-pound disposable propane cylinder, so if you wish to use a 20 lbs. tank, you will need to purchase an adapter and a high-pressure hose. At the time of writing, Coleman is offering a 3-year limited warranty on this product. As the terms may change from time to time, we suggest that you contact the manufacturer beforehand.

Features And Specification At A Glance

  • Number Of Burners: 3
  • The BTU Of Each Burner: 6,666
  • Total BTU Advertised: 20,000 (Side burner excluded)
  • Main Grill Area: 285 Square Inches
  • BTU Per Square Inch: 70 BTU/Square-inch (excluded warming rack)
  • Grate Material: Porcelain-Enameled Cast Iron
  • Burner Material: Not Stated.
  • Fuel: 1 lb. Disposable Propane Cylinder. Can be converted to use 20 lbs.
  • Warranty Available: 3-year limited warranty.
  • The Dimension Of The Gas Grill: 2 x 19.2 x 16.1 inches
  • The Weight Of The Gas Grill: 46.7 pounds
  • Available Colors: Black, Red, Blue, Green, Orange
  • Stability: Foldable Golf Trolley Style. Unfolded to be a 3 legged model.

#2. Blackstone Grills Tailgater


The next model comes from Blackstone. This grill features a grill area of 256 square inches, which is plenty of room to cook for 6 people. Powering the grill are two independently controlled burners. One of it is an H tube burner and the other is a cast iron burner. The H burner BTU rating is 15,000 whereas the cast iron burner BTU is 20,000. The two burners combined offers 35,000 BTU worth of heating power. That translate to a BTU per square inch of 136, which is more than enough to sear all the meat you want.

The grill grates are made with cast iron, which is perfect to retain heat when you are not grilling anymore food. Given that it is a tailgate party, there are times where you are just doing nothing but staring at kids playing games among themselves. Simplicity is bliss itself. The product also comes with a steel griddle plate if you feel like mixing things up.

Blackstone tailgater is also easy to set up and can be used straight from the box. On uneven grounds, the retractable legs come in handy. This product, however, is slightly on the heavier side. Currently, Blackstone is offering a 90-day warranty on the product. We are inclined to think that it is insufficient, but some warranty is better than none.

Features And Specification At A Glance

  • Number Of Burners: 2. One H Tube Burner And One Cast Iron Burner
  • The BTU Of Each Burner: H Burner: 15,000. Cast Iron: 20,000
  • Total BTU Advertised: 35,000 (Side burner excluded)
  • Main Grill Area: 256 Square Inches
  • BTU Per Square Inch: 136 BTU/Square-inch (excluded warming rack)
  • Grate Material: Cast Iron
  • Burner Material: Cast Iron
  • Fuel: 20 lbs. Propane Gas Tank
  • Warranty Available: 90 days warranty
  • The Dimension Of The Gas Grill: 52 x 24 x 38.5 inches
  • The Weight Of The Gas Grill: 75 pounds
  • Available Colors: Black
  • Stability: Retractable Legs

#3. Pit Boss Grills 75275 Stainless Steel Two-Burner Portable Grill


The last but not the least. This Pit Boss 430 full body stainless steel grill features a cooking area of 276 square inches which can comfortably accommodate up to 7 people with ease. Heating up the grates are two 10,000 burners that deliver a total of 20,000 BTU. This means that the BTU per square inch is a decent 72, which is enough to sear meat.

With two burners that can be controlled independently from each other, you can also do heat zoning with ease. Sear on one side of the grill and finish the cooking on the other. This model also has a dome thermometer, this means that you can be aware of the temperature under the hood and control it with more precision.

The grates are made with 304 stainless steel to maximize heat conductivity. The Pit Boss 75275 operates of 20 lbs. propane gas tank. To move it around, this grill has folding legs and a latching hood so you can carry it easily.

At the point of writing, the warranty on this product is 2-years. However, the terms might change from time to time, we will recommend that you nudge the manufacturer before buying it to be sure.

Features And Specification At A Glance

  • Number Of Burners: 2
  • The BTU Of Each Burner: 10,000
  • The BTU Of Side Burner: No Side Burner
  • Total BTU Advertised: 10,000 (Side burner excluded)
  • Main Grill Area: 276 Square Inches
  • BTU Per Square Inch: 72 BTU/Square-inch (excluded warming rack)
  • Grate Material: 304 Stainless Steel
  • Burner Material: Stainless Steel
  • Fuel: 20 lbs., Propane Gas Tank
  • Warranty Available: 2-year Limited Warranty. Contact The Manufacturer Before Purchase
  • The Dimension Of The Gas Grill: 23 x 19.5 x 16 inches
  • The Weight Of The Gas Grill: 27 pounds
  • Available Colors: Full Body Steel
  • Stability: 4 Folding Legs

Let’s Get The Tailgate Party Going!

We have prepared this guide with the view to prepare you for the tailgate party. Seriously, the tailgate BBQ party itself is more fun and entertaining than the game. Have fun grilling!

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