Whenever you are doing any type of grilling or cooking out for dinner, everyone knows that a burger or steak is only as good as the chef and their grill. When cooking your perfectly charred foods, it’s important that your grill has certain qualities that make your food have everyone shouting for more at the cookout. And then, when you consider that tailgate grilling has its own complications and specific things you’ll look for in a grill, it can seem like a lot. There are so many great tailgate grill options out there; how do you choose?
This article will help you become more informed about cooking on a tailgate grill, what to look for while shopping for a tailgate grill, and how to find the best tailgate grill option for you and your buddies to enjoy the next game day. Once you’ve found the perfect tailgate grill, your hangouts will just become that much better. Your burgers will turn out perfectly every time, and everyone will want to tailgate with you! For the best tailgate grill options, look no further.
What Is Tailgating?
Tailgating is when a group of people gets together and host a party out of the back of their vehicle. Usually, people will play music and there will be grilling and amazing food and drinks, often right off the grill and out of the cooler in the back of someone’s pickup truck. Tailgating parties typically occur before or after a sporting event, but sometimes people have tailgating parties before or after concerts or other events too. It’s so fun, why not throw a tailgating party?
What Is a Tailgate Grill?
A tailgate grill is designed to be more portable and convenient for tailgating. You’re not going to want a huge impressive grill for your tailgating parties unless you have the space for it, even if you usually have a bigger getup at home in your backyard. You’ll want something you can bring around in your vehicle with you and cook out on the go.
How Does a Tailgate Grill Work?
Tailgate grills may be collapsible for easier transportation and storage, and they may also have wheels and handles that make them easy to bring with you. They’re often smaller, but of course, you are going to want a specific size of grilling surface based on how many people you plan on typically serving with it. You may also want it to reach a certain level of BTUs, or how hot the burners get on the grill. Other things to look out for are the start method, the material of the grill itself, and any additional features such as pop on trays for the sides of the grill or features like griddles.
Where Can You Buy Them?
You can purchase tailgate grills at home goods stores such as Home Depot or Lowe’s, at Dick’s Sporting Goods, or online from Amazon. You may also purchase tailgate grills directly from the website of the brand of your choosing.
How We Reviewed
We took the time to search through plenty of reviews and best of lists so that we could find the best possible tailgate grill options for you and your needs. While reading through product descriptions and reviews, we took care to take an unbiased note of the features, pros, cons, and price of each option. This ensures that you, the buyer, can make an informed and trusted decision when looking for your next tailgate grill. Surely whichever tailgate grill you choose will impress the crowd!
Overall Price Range of This Product (and Similar Products)
The lower price range of these tailgate grills is from $30 – $86 for a grill. On the higher end, there are models that are $392 and $855 if you want a luxury tailgating experience.
What We Reviewed
Coleman RoadTrip LXE Portable Propane Grill
- Portable propane grill ideal for tailgating, picnicking, and camping
- Delivers 20,000 BTUs of heat across 285 square inches of grilling surface
- Swaptop interchangeable cooktops allow you to switch grill grates out for griddle and...
- Instastart button ignites grill without the need for a match or lighter
- Collapsible design is easy to transport and fits into most car trunks
This tailgate grill is sure to impress anyone, from its sleek design that you can fold down and roll for easy storage to the interchangeable surface. If you wanted, you could buy a separate griddle and have another setup at your tailgate!
Weber 54060001 Q2200 Liquid Propane Grill
- Total cooking area = 280 Square Inches
- Stainless steel burner puts out 12,000 BTU-per-hour
- Porcelain-enameled, cast iron cooking grates
- Electronic ignition with built in thermometer
- Two folding work tables
This propane tailgate grill has a sleek design with folding side tables for all of your food to rest on while you cook. The cast iron cooking grates produce delicious results for those who don’t mind waiting a little while for their grills to heat up.
Broil King 911470 Keg 5000 Charcoal Barbecue Grill
- DESIGNED FOR DURABILITY AND PERFORMANCE - the Keg features an insulated double-walled...
- COOK MORE, USE LESS CHARCOAL - with its insulated steel design, cast iron top damper,...
- QUICK & EASY CLEAN UP - a removable steel ash catcher makes it quick and easy to clean out...
- PACKED WITH EXTRAS - unlike many kamado grills the Keg 5000 comes out of the box with...
- BUILT TO LAST - with a 10-year warranty on the grill body and a 2-year warranty on the...
This grill was almost made for tailgating considering its trailer hitch adaptability and up to 280 square inch grilling surface. Perfectly suitable for parties, this grill is great for any tailgate party on game day, and as a bonus, it conserves charcoal when it cooks.
Picnic Time Vulcan All-In-One Tailgaiting Cooler/BBQ Set with Trolley
This small cooler and barbecue set-up would be perfect for any small to medium sized group looking to get together before a big game. While the grilling surface isn’t as large as some choices or perfect for huge groups, it comes with a cooler that fits 22 cans for you and your friends to sip while you grill.
Solaire Portable Infrared Propane Gas Grill
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This infrared grill will have you feeling like a professional at your next game day tailgate. With an electronic push button and a specially designed grilling grid, your steaks and burgers will be your juiciest yet.
Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill
- While spending most days on your way to somewhere else, the Go-Anywhere portable charcoal...
- Holds up to six burgers made with a Weber burger press
- Compact and lightweight for grilling on the go
- Porcelain-enameled lid and base retain heat, and won’t rust or peel
- The lid locks for easy portability and dampers allow you to easily control the temperature...
This super affordable grill allows any fan of a good barbecue to be a winning game day chef. With up to 160 square inches of grilling surface, this grill is perfect for up to four thick steaks to fit comfortably inside for cooking.
Blackstone Grills Tailgater
- PORTABLE - The perfect tailgater grill and griddle for any event. Easy portable setup,...
- VERSATILE – enjoy several different setup combinations. Utilize the grill box and...
- DURABLE - Built to last this Blackstone grill includes a heavy-duty grill box with vent,...
- TWO BURNERS – two independently controlled burners (1 stainless steel H tube burner and...
- SATISFACTION GUARANTEE - if you are not completely satisfied at any point please feel free...
Ever struggled to keep your tailgate grill steady when you’re on uneven ground somewhere outside? With the adjustable legs on this grill that’s a problem of the past. This tailgate grill also comes with a griddle so you have both options without buying expensive attachments.
Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill
- Holds up to five burgers made with a Weber burger press
- Compact and lightweight for grilling on the go
- Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat, and won’t rust or peel
- Dampers allow you to easily control the temperature inside your grill
- Durable plated steel cooking grate retains heat and is easy to clean. Dimensions - Lid...
If you’re not looking for a serious grill but still want to have a good time tailgating, this budget tailgate grill may be the perfect option for you. For only $30, you can have a portable standard lightweight grill that’s great for a small to medium sized crowd who aren’t looking for frills.
Smoke Hollow 205 Stainless Steel TableTop Propane Gas Grill
- 205 sq. in. primary stainless steel cooking area 105 sq. in. chrome-plated warming rack
- 10,000 BTU stainless steel "U" burner
- Fold-able stainless steel legs; Uses 16oz. disposable cylinder
- Stainless steel drip tray; Temperature gauge
- Assembled Size: 19 L x 32 W x 33.5 H inches
This propane grill is fine for any tabletop or for use on the back of your truck, considering there’s a stainless steel drip tray. With a decent grilling surface and a nice sleek design with safety in mind, this grill is great for folding down on the go.
Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill
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If you’re more of a traditionalist and just love cast iron and that seasoned flavor in your cooking, this tailgate grill could be perfect for you. With it’s small and portable design, this tiny grill was made to last and save you money on charcoal while you celebrate.
Though there are tons of tailgate grills out there from cast iron to porcelain-enameled, we’re certain this list has narrowed it down to a handful of choices for your next tailgating party. While you can’t go wrong with any of these grills, we determined that the best tailgate grill was the Blackstone Grills Tailgater. For one, the griddle attached pretty much sealed the deal for us when, for most tailgate grills, the griddle is just a pricey add-on feature. But once we found out how difficult it was to find a bad review for this grill and saw how much space it had to grill on, we realized this grill would be sure to please anyone at a game-day tailgate party. From a small crowd of close friends to a bigger crowd with strangers at the stadium, you could cook anything you wanted with this amazing tailgate grill. Hopefully, now you feel inspired to throw some charcoal on and get to grilling!