For over twenty years, we at Smokey Steak Ranch have been learning, studying and reaping the benefits of smoking and grilling our meals. And we know the best meals are shared with friends and family during special celebrations and events. Above all, there is nothing better than a good barbeque when tailgating for a big game. As a result, we scoured the market and compared features such as size, heat source, cooking surface, and portability. To help you find the perfect barbeque for your next party, we have compiled a list of the 12 best small tailgate grills of 2020.

Our Top Recommended Tailgate BBQ Grills

Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill

Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill, Green
  • Our Rating:
  • Type Fuel: Propane Gas

    Cooking area: 285 sq. in.

    Burner: 3

    BTUs: 20,000

    Integrated Thermometer Gauge: Yes

    Ignition System: Yes

    Side tables: Yes (2)

    Wheels: 2 rugged wheels

    Assembled Dimensions: 45.6”D x 19.5”W x 35”H

    Weight: 52.58 lb

Weber 50060001 Q1000 Liquid Propane Grill

Weber 50060001 Q1000 Liquid Propane Grill
  • Our Rating:
  • Type Fuel: Liquid Propane Gas

    Cooking area: 189 sq. in.

    Burner: 1

    BTUs: 8,500

    Integrated Thermometer Gauge: None

    Ignition System: Yes

    Side tables: None

    Wheels: None

    Dimensions - lid closed: 14.5H x 27W x 16.5D inches

    Item Weight: 26.6 pounds

George Foreman 15-Serving Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill

George Foreman 15-Serving Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill, Silver, GFO240S
  • Our Rating:
  • Type Fuel: Electricity

    Cooking area: 240 sq. in.

    Heat element: 1

    BTUs: N/A

    Variable Temperature Control: Yes

    Ignition System: None

    Side tables: None

    Wheels: None

    Product Dimensions: 11 x 20 x 20.5 inches

    Item Weight: 19.3 pounds

Product ImageProduct NameSurface (sq.in)BTUTo Review
Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill, Green1. Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill285 20,000
Weber 50060001 Q1000 Liquid Propane Grill2. Weber 50060001 Q1000 Liquid Propane Grill, Chrome189 8,500
George Foreman 15-Serving Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill, Silver, GFO240S3. George Foreman 15-Serving Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill, Silver, GFO240S240 N/A
Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill4. Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill, Black147 N/A
Masterbuilt Smoke Hollow PT300B Propane Grill, Tabletop (Newer Version)5. Masterbuilt SH19030819 Propane Tabletop Grill, Stainless Steel205 10,000
Coleman Party Propane Grill6. Coleman Party Propane Grill122 8,000
Cuisinart CGG180 CGG-180 Petit Gourmet Gas Grill with VersaStand, Red, 31.5" H x 16.57. Cuisinart CGG180 CGG-180 Petit Gourmet Gas Grill with VersaStand1605,500
Char- Broil Standard Portable Liquid Propane Gas Grill8. Char- Broil Standard Portable Liquid Propane Gas Grill187 11,000
Cuisinart CGG-059, Grillster 8,000 BTU Portable Gas Grill9. Cuisinart CGG-059 Propane, Grillster 8,000 BTU Portable Gas Grill146 8,000
Cuisinart CCG-190RB Portable Charcoal Grill, 14-Inch, Red10. Cuisinart CCG190RB Portable Charcoal Grill150 N/A
Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman's Grill. Large Charcoal Hibachi-Style Grill for Picnics, Tailgaiting, Camping or Patio. Two Adjustable Heights.11. Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill With Coal Door153 N/A
Char-Griller E22424 Table Top Charcoal Grill and Side Fire Box, Black12. Char-Griller E22424 Table Top Charcoal Grill and Side Fire Box250 N/A

List of 12 Best Tailgat BBQ Grills for the Money:

Review

This portable grill comes from a brand synonymous with camping, Coleman. And there is a reason that Coleman has been the number one trusted name for outdoor activities for so long, they are reliable and their products are built to last.

This RoadTrip 285 grill lives up to the tradition of its brand, with a large grilling capacity and strong construction. This all-in-one grill will make you the hit of any tailgating party.

Pros

  • Collapsible design makes this grill effortless to store and transport
  • Two wheels on the bottom providing mobility while in upright, grilling position
  • Straightforward assembly can be completed in a matter of minutes

Cons

  • This grill is a bit on the heavy side for a portable grill
  • The wheel need to be on a flat surface to ensure stability while the grill is in use

Conclusion

The Coleman Roadtrip Portable Grill was definitely designed with tailgating in mind. It has a small footprint, and can be broken down and transported without any hassle or fuss. With an easy-start ignition and the ability to change over grill top, we consider this unit to be the best portable gas grill for tailgating by a mile.

Review

This Weber Q1000 grill is constructed of cast aluminum so it can withstand the elements that come along with on-the-go grilling.

Providing grilling quality with a sleek style, this Weber grill has a larger grip handle and control knobs, ergonomic side handles and a sturdy front. This unit is durable, but light weight making it an excellent tailgating companion.

Pros

  • Consumers are telling us that this grill has excellent heat control
  • This unit provides excellent heat control
  • Compact and perfect size to grill for smaller groups of people

Cons

  • This grill does not include a thermometer with purchase
  • Wider propane tanks may be challenging to screw on due to the connector being too close to the grill

Conclusion

The Weber 50060001 Q1000 Liquid Propane Grill is a tabletop grill that has a sturdy and secure base. Built with longevity in mind, this device is extremely durable and easy to transport. It is easy and comfortable to use, making it an outstanding small gas grill for tailgating.

Review

The George Foreman Electric Grill has a large grilling surface with the ability to accommodate 15 people at one time. The grill surface contains a tough nonstick coating which is durable and extremely easy to clean. This unit comes with a removable stand, allowing it to be used indoors or outdoors.

Pros

Cons

  • Some users have complained about problems with temperature gauge
  • Electric hook up may present some problems

Conclusion

The George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor electric grill is a great way to grill without the hassle or mess of charcoal or propane. It has a large cooking surface with ample space to cook for large groups of people.

The removable stand allows it to be transported easily and simple set up no matter where you want to use it. This unit is great for use as a tailgate barbecue griddle.

Review

The Weber Smokey Joe 14-Inch portable grill is well made and has some excellent features; which include a Porcelain-enamel-coated grate and brilliant top vent that allows you to control the temperature inside of your grill without lifting the lid.

It is extremely lightweight and has a very compact design; making it a must include on our tailgating grill list.

Pros

  • Compact size but still allows for grilling a full meal at once
  • Porcelain-enameled coating helps to retain heat and protects the grill from the elements
  • Buyers are loving the straightforwardness and easy use that this Weber grill provides them

Cons

  • The legs on the grill could be a bit flimsy and unstable
  • Consumers are stating that the bottom vent could become clogged during use

Conclusion

The Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill is a charcoal grill that is easy to transport and will provide you with the charcoal grill flavor with each and every use. Designed for on-the-go grilling, we consider this grill to be the best portable charcoal grill for tailgating on the market.

Review

The Masterbuilt Smoke Hollow is a tabletop propane grill designed specifically for outdoor use. Constructed in stainless-steel, this unit is sure to add to any tailgating event.

It is compact with a locking lid, folding legs and large handle on the front providing simple and hassle-free transport and storage. This grill uses small, disposable, 1lb propane cylinders (not included).

Pros

  • Grillers are loving the quick heat up and cook time this unit provides
  • The inside grates can easily be removed for simple and fast clean up
  • Heats evenly and consistently no matter what you are cooking

Cons

  • Some consumers find the cooking space to be inadequate for their needs
  • There are occasions where the outside may rust if left out in the elements for extended periods of time

Conclusion

This tabletop grill from Masterbuilt is great for use in any on-the-go scenario. It has a sturdy construction and is designed for transporting and simple storage.

The “U” shaped burner will produce plenty of cooking power for any meal you throw at it. The Masterbuilt Smoke Hollow is one of the better bangs for your buck in all of our tailgating grill reviews.

Review

The Coleman Party Propane Grill has detachable legs that fit inside the grill for easy transport and storage. It boasts 122 square inches of cooking surface with 8,000 BTUs with its adjustable burner giving you tremendous control over your grilling.

Pros

  • Heats up quickly and provides evenly cooked food every time
  • Many consumers are telling us that this grill is a great bang for your buck
  • Extremely compact and is designed for simple transport, set up and clean up

Cons

  • Does not come with a lid which may put some grillers off
  • Some consumes have had problems with ignition light up failing

Conclusion

Coleman Party Propane Grill exudes optimal performance without complications. Simple and straightforward, this grill is easy to use, store, transport, and clean up. A fantastic tailgate barbecue grill, the Coleman party propane grill will definitely add convenient grill cooking to your tailgating party.

Review

Next up on our list is the Cuisinart CGG-180 Petit tabletop grill. This grill is certainly compact and will fit on any table or flat surface. Perfect for tailgating, and its steel construction will ensure this unit will last throughout the entire season, and for years to come.

Pros

  • Perfect size for those individuals with limited storage space or small outdoor spaces
  • Its compact stature creates fuel efficiency, allowing your propane tank to last longer
  • Suitcase style design allows for easy carrying and transport

Cons

  • Consumers have complained that the catch basin is quite small and may allow grease to build up quickly and possibly spill over
  • Cooking surface good for smaller parties, may not accommodate groups of 5 or more people

Conclusion

Cuisinart CGG-180 Petit tabletop grill is one of the best tailgate grills for trucks. Designed to be compact and easily transported from place to place, this device does not compromise on power or performance.

Review

This char-broil standard portable grill was created for transporting to your favorite tailgating party. It’s legs fold over top of the grill and lock the lid into place.

The lid has heat-resistant handles allowing you to move it without waiting for the grill to cool down. The chrome-plated cooking grate is dishwasher safe, enabling quick and simple clean up. For great grilling every time, the Char-Broil Standard portable gas grill is for you.

Pros

  • Consumers love that the chrome-plated cooking grate is dishwasher safe
  • Grillers are telling us that the legs are surprising sturdy and stable
  • Even cooking with every grill attempt, no hot or cold spots while cooking

Cons

  • The air vent between the grill and the regulator allows for the propane to mix with the air and may be a startling sound (like a small engine) for those not expecting it
  • Some buyers have noted issues with the regulator at times

Conclusion

This Char-Broil portable grill is an excellent contender if you are considering the purchase of a cheap tailgate grill.

Designed for use anywhere you feel like grilling, this device features legs that fold over the top of the grill to lock the lid in place as well as heat-resistant handles so that you do not have to wait for the grill to cool down in order to move it from one place to another.

Review

Cuisinart CGG-059 Grillster has a sleek design this is compact and ready to go whenever and wherever you are. Its high performance and hassle-free cleaning make this grill even more appealing.

Designed with portability and performance in mind, the Grillster will enable amazing results with every use. The grill hood Grill hood lifts out of the way: the hood lifts up to give total access to the grate. It’s attached to the base, and can easily latch and lock Back in place to securely carry or store.

Pros

  • Steel construction is of great quality and enables lasting durability
  • Consumers are loving the locking lid, carrying handle, and collapsible folding legs
  • Grill heats up and cools down quickly

Cons

  • The shallow dome may pose problems cooking larger cuts of meat
  • Some buyers encountered issues when attempting to cook on lower heats

Conclusion

The Cuisinart CGG-059 Grillster is a great portable car grill that will present excellent results for all of your tailgating uses. Grill hood lifts out of the way: the hood lifts up to give total access to the grate.

It’s attached to the base, and can easily latch and lock Back in place to securely carry or store. This simple to assemble and easy to use unit will enable you to keep the party going as long as you want.

Review

This Cuisinart CCG-190RB Portable Charcoal Grill is perfect for grilling a small meal.. Extremely lightweight and compact design makes for a tremendously easy transport and storage task.

The firebox is enamel coated – giving it strength & durability to survive the harshest grilling conditions. The dual venting system helps control the heat so you can cook slow & low or up at searing hot temperatures.

Pros

  • Perfect compact design enabling you to achieve that perfect charcoal grill taste anywhere you want to go
  • Grilling capacity at 150 square inches allows the griller to cook for a small family or group without any fuss or hassle
  • Three secure lid locks for easy and safe transport

Cons

  • Some buyers have complained that the grill moves while cooking
  • It is possible to burn food quickly, so close attention needs to be paid from the beginning of the cooking process until the end

Conclusion

The Cuisinart CCG-190RB Portable Charcoal Grill is easy to assemble. Weighing only 2 pounds, this unit was no doubt built for hassle-free transport and storage.

Despite its small footprint, this device boasts a 14 inch cooking space, allowing you to cook for any number of people. Its versatility and compact nature make this grill an excellent addition to any tailgating event.

Review

Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill provides a charcoal hibachi-style grill experience sure to entice anyone. Seasoned and ready to use for a natural, easy-release finish.

This grill is built of cast iron, allowing the heat from the coals to be contained using less charcoal at every use. It is adjustable, allowing you to choose from two different heights to find the best cook for each of your meals.

Pros

  • Heat can be adjusted with draft door to ensure an even cook no matter what is on the grill
  • Consumers love the way this grill performs to the utmost quality with every single use
  • This grill comes with an attached handle for carrying as well as a built-in shelf for resting utensils

Cons

  • Cast-iron design makes this unit extremely heavy, which may hinder transport
  • It is possible for food to slide off easily

Conclusion

The Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill is an amazing portable tailgate barbecue grill. Adding a bit of flare to your party, this device can handle any size party and whatever food you can think of to throw at it.

Providing a hibachi style flavor to all of your dishes, this device is a must-have for any seasoned tailgate party host. If you are looking to invest in a portable grill, and do not mind the heavy stature, this is the grill for you.

Review

The final grill on our list is the Char-Griller Box grill. This grill is in a class all its own with its ability to be hooked up to Char-Griller barrel grills. Using charcoal as its heat source, this grill has an offset stature allowing for Texas style smoking when used with the Char-Griller barrel grills.

It has a cooking space large enough for any size party and a removeable ash pan that allows for simple clean up when grill time is over.

Pros

  • Grillers love the idea of this grill being used as a smoker as well
  • Solid construction provides amazing durability
  • This unit’s ability to be used as a smoker as well as a grill has avid grillers and smokers alike loving this unit

Cons

  • This is the heaviest grill on our list at 40 lbs., which may be cumbersome if trying to transport
  • The paint on the outside tends to bubble and peal after a few uses

Conclusion

The Char-Griller Box Charcoal Grill is easy to assemble and even simpler to use. Providing versatility, this grill can be attached to all Char-Griller barrel grills and used as a fire box for smoking.

The heavy steel construction ensures that this grill will last for decades to come. Sure to add a bit of flare to your grilling experience, this unit’s versatility and extensive list of features will please even the pickiest of grill masters.

Conclusion

After careful review, we at Smokey Steak Ranch believe that the ultimate tailgate grill would be the Coleman RoadTrip 285. This little grill is compact enough for convenient and easy transport while still delivering amazing power and unbeatable performance.

With ample space to grill to your heart’s content is combined with easy set up, break down, and storage, this grill is tough to beat. The best portable grill for tailgating, the Coleman RoadTrip 285 is sure to provide excellence to any party.

For any questions regarding this grill, or any other grill on our list, feel free to contact us by reaching out at https://smokeysteakranch.com/.

And, as always, Happy Grilling