Best Tailgate Grills Reviews of 2018 & Buying Guide

Grilling’s become something of a national pastime in America. It’s not just a way of cooking food – people consider the proper cooking of their steaks, roasts, ribs, and even their veggies to be a lifestyle.

This means that people put serious thought into what grill they want to buy. A good grill represents how seriously someone takes grilling, so it’s good to make sure that you buy a high-quality grill.

Grilling has also gone beyond the traditional backyard cookouts that have become iconic in Western countries. You can bring a portable grill with you on a boat, on camping trips, or, as we’re about to discuss, to a tailgate party! How perfect would it be to roast some steaks on a mountaintop with a few of your friends, kicking down the tailgate in your truck and enjoying the sunset?

What grills would be good for a tailgate party?

A tailgate party isn’t going to require the same grill that you’d use in the back yard – first off, that would be clunky and way too big to fit conveniently in your truck, especially if you’re just going out for the evening. A grill that suits a tailgate is going to be smaller and more transportable than a traditional kettle grill.

There are a few things you’ll want to consider when you’re making a choice of which grill to buy for a tailgate party.

The size of your grill

You’re going to want a smaller grill than your standard size, but one that’s still big enough to serve you and the couple buddies you’ll bring with you to your tailgate party.

  1. Grills with much more than 150 centimeters of cooking space will probably be too big to easily fit in the back of your truck. Though they might cook more food, and deliver it quicker, you probably won’t find it necessary to rapid-cook burgers when you’re just hanging out on your tailgate.
  2. Grills with less than 150 centimeters of cooking space are generally lightweight, transportable, and they heat up quickly so you’ll be able to cook whatever food you can fit on it fairly quickly.
Weber’s Go Anywhere Grill

Weber’s Go Anywhere Grill

The size of your grill impacts a few aspects of your grill’s quality.

  1. Big grills heat up slower. This is the price you pay for being able to fit, say, 24 burgers on a grill instead of 12. You’ll cook twice as many, but you’ll do it way slower.
  2. Smaller grills tend to be made for transportation, so they may have features built in for camping or road trips, which would come in beneficial on your tailgate
  3. Smaller grills have a smaller temperature range so they can’t cook things that require extremely high heat, however, they also heat up a lot faster.

The fuel for your grill

You’ll have to consider the type of fuel you’re going to want for your tailgate grill. Some prefer the ease of propane, whereas others prefer the flavor of smoky charcoal – this adds a nice touch to an evening on the tailgate.

Coleman Road Trip XL

Coleman Road Trip XL

Propane grills are very convenient for a number of reasons.

  1. Propane stoves are much easier to set up – all you have to do is flick a switch and spark them up and you’re ready to grill
  2. Propane stoves heat up quite a bit faster than charcoal, hit greater temperature ranges and will be able to cook your food faster
  3. Propane stoves are much easier to clean than a charcoal stove
  4. They’re easier to maintain while you’re grilling – you won’t have to shovel more charcoal into a propane stove

All the benefits of a propane stove come at a cost, though – the price. Most propane stoves are a bit more expensive than a similarly sized charcoal equivalent.

Charcoal stoves are good for people who just can’t resist the allure of a charcoal grilled steak and who prefer the oldest, most traditional method of grilling.

  1. Charcoal stoves take a while to heat up but provide even heating throughout the grill
  2. Charcoal grills take a bit more maintenance and can be a bit difficult to clean
  3. Charcoal grills can provide the option of smoking your food with an undeniably delicious flavor

Charcoal grills aren’t going to run you as much money as a propane stove, which makes them appealing for people who aren`t going to be using their grill on a daily basis.

The convenience and features

Each grill may have a similar set of basic features – a grate, a fuel source etc. – but the differences really lie in what one grill has that another one doesn’t. This is what will most likely determine the ultimate decision that you make.

A lot of grills are made for camping or road trips, and they’re built with a number of features that you won’t find on a regular grill.

  1. Some of them have wind blockers that can help keep your food and your flame safe from the elements
  2. Some grills have a lid that turns into a griddle, expanding the cooking area by almost twice as much
Coleman Roadtrip Party Grill

Coleman Roadtrip Party Grill

There are also a lot of features that can benefit the mobility and transportation of your grill. These can be a deal breaker for some folk – if you can’t get your grill from point A to point B, then you’re not going to bother buying it.

  1. Some grills have special handles built into them that make them easy to carry
  2. Some grills are collapsible, making them able to fit into very small spaces when they’re not being used. Collapsible grills often come with a compromise to their grilling capacity.

Things to know about tailgate grills

If you’re buying a grill for the purpose of using at your tailgate party, there are a few things you should know. These grills are usually smaller and it’s important that you know some general tips about their operation.

  1. Make sure you check whether or not your grill, if it’s charcoal, allows you to change your charcoal easily.
  2. See if the grill is adjustable – this makes a world of difference, since you can change the flame so it’s either direct or indirect
Party King Grills Swing’n’ Smoke

Party King Grills Swing’n’ Smoke

Of course, you should make sure you pay attention to basic safety tactics, and make sure you modify any safety procedures that you’d follow on a regular sized grill to fit whatever one you end up purchasing.

  1. Make sure that the wind doesn’t get a chance to impair the flame keeping your grill lit
  2. Make sure not to use too high of a temperature. Most grilling injuries are caused by excessive heat.
  3. Use proper safety gear! Wearing gloves is ideal. Make sure you have a good set of tongs and a grill brush
  4. Maintain the quality of your grilling gear. If the bristles in your brush fall out you could lose them in food

As long as you keep all this information in mind, you should have no problem having a great tailgate party with your new grill.

We’ve taken the liberty to look out for the best tailgate grills you can buy today so you don’t have to search store after store in hopes of finding the perfect grill. These grills have the best balance of features for their price.

Top 5 Best Tailgate Grills Reviews

1. Party King Grills Swing’n’ Smoke

Party King Grills Swing’n’ Smoke

Party King Grills Swing’n’ Smoke

This grill, as you can tell by the brand name, is made for people looking to have a good time or a night out. It’s a propane grill that’s mounted onto a spin arm that’s designed to be installed on a truck for tailgate parties.

As far as tailgate grills go, this one’s pretty big and hosts a lot of power. It also has an attachment that allows it to be used as a regular patio grill.

Pros

  • Good grilling space for a tailgate grill
  • Heats up nice and quickly with even heating
  • Easily transportable
  • The swing arm makes using this thing a delight

Cons

  • The grilling capacity when used as a patio grill pales in comparison to other girls
  • Limited heating range

2. Coleman Road Trip XL

Coleman Road Trip XL

Coleman Road Trip XL

Coleman’s a well-known brand for camping equipment and travel gear, so you know this grill’s backed by a good brand. It’s got an aluminum grill which is durable, and the top turns into a griddle, almost doubling the cooking area of the grill.

It’s got two adjustable heat knobs and sets up easily.  There’s a detachable grease pan for easy cleanup and a push button ignition system.

Pros

  • Super portable, folds up into a nice small piece of gear that you can stash in your car
  • Easy to clean up thanks to the removable grease trap
  • The push button ignition system makes it easy to use

Cons

  • A solid grill like this carries a hefty price tag

3. Picnic Time Vulcan All-in-One Cooler & Grill

Picnic Time Vulcan All-in-One Cooler & Grill

Picnic Time Vulcan All-in-One Cooler & Grill

Now here’s a cool piece of gear. This grill happens to be built into a cooler which doubles as a storage bag, and the whole unit functions as a trolley with an extendable handle that you can wheel around with you.

It comes with grilling tools and It comes with grilling tools and the space is enough to hold a 24 case of beer and grill a dozen burgers.

Pros

  • One of the most convenient tools for tailgate parties or camping in general
  • Extremely portable without being bulky or awkward
  • Multiple purposes

Cons

  • The grill isn’t very powerful since this thing’s got so much else to provide
  • Also an expensive unit

4. Weber’s Go Anywhere Grill

Weber’s Go Anywhere Grill

Weber’s Go Anywhere Grill

Of course, we need to see something from Weber on this list, since they’re the pioneers and the masters of grilling technology.

This grill has aluminum coated bars on the grate and a removal grease trap, making cleanup a breeze. The legs fold up for either easy transportation or to act as a wind barrier during blustery times.

The grill is quality and can cook a steak professionally. With all this grilling technology crammed into this small device, you can expect it’s going to be quite heavy.

Pros

  • Very convenient. Bundles up small for easy transportation
  • The grill’s quite powerful for a tailgate grill and can grill a BBQ quality steak
  • It’s got a good price tag for something so convenient

Cons

  • The legs can be unsturdy, leading to hazards
  • It sits quite low to the ground which can be awkward
  • The cooking area is quite small

5. Coleman Roadtrip Party Grill

Coleman Roadtrip Party Grill

Coleman Roadtrip Party Grill

Another contender from Coleman made specifically for tailgating. This grill’s cute and compact, using an 8000 BTU heat system which isn’t very strong, but a special integrated system distributes the heat evenly so you cook your food at the same speed.

The whole thing’s detachable and fits in the provided bag. The entire thing’s machine washable as well, which takes the elbow grease out of cleanup. A push button ignition makes lighting this thing up simple.

Pros

  • The compact size of this thing makes it attractive for tailgaters
  • It’s affordable and comes with a decent amount of value
  • It’s light weight
  • The push button ignition makes everything easier

Cons

  • The cooking surface isn’t even
  • The grill’s not the most sturdy.

So which one’s the best?

Depending on your tailgating needs, you may decide that one of these grills suits you better. For the average Joe hosting the average tailgate party, though, we’ll recommend Weber’s Go Anywhere grill.

Weber’s been in the grilling game for more than half a century and they know how to make quality products. This grill packs up nice and small, yet boasts an incredibly powerful grill for a tailgate grill. The price tag attached to this grill is pretty average, so you aren’t going too far out of your way to spend money on it.

The legs might be a bit unsteady, but this can be remedied with some home improvements. Aside from that, this is a great go-to grill for occasional tailgating.

Hopefully, this article has helped you make a good decision! Tailgate parties are great, and having a good grill to cook good steaks makes them even greater. Shopping around can be a nuisance, so if we’ve been able to help you, then enjoy!

The Best Grill Under $300 (Year 2018)

Grilling food may have, over the last couple decades, become one of the most culturally significant pastimes in the United States – in some areas, the quality of a man’s grill can impact his social status. However, some people just can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars on a grill – this is where we come in.

Each grill on the market is going to be a bit different than its competitors, which puts a lot of selection available to you. How can you be sure which grill’s going to suit you the best?

This makes it pretty hard to choose your unit at the store, since there’s rarely enough information available to make an informed choice – just a tag with a few numbers and statistics. That’s why we’ve done the research for you and determined which grills are the best value purchases for under $300.

What kind of grill is the better value – gas or charcoal?

If you’re comparing grills sheerly for the price, you’re probably going to end up getting a charcoal grill. They tend to be a bit cheaper than the old propane tank variety, but that doesn’t mean they’re any worse!

Charcoal has been used as a cooking method for a very long time – particularly for cooking meat, like steaks.

  1. A charcoal grilled steak conjures up great memories for lots of western people, and charcoal fans will claim that a charcoal grilled slab of meat tastes better than anything else you could cook.
  2. Charcoal is a natural and renewable fuel source for your grill
Fuego Carbon Steel Gas Grill

Fuego Carbon Steel Gas Grill

Why is that, though? What makes a charcoal grill so special?

Weber’s Original Premium Charcoal Grill

Weber’s Original Premium Charcoal Grill

A charcoal grill has a firebox (the containment unit) that holds the charcoal and the flame that heats up the charcoal. Once your flame’s lit, the coal heats up and the heat spreads through the grill, providing enough heat for you to cook your food.

Charcoal grills are unique in that some of the smoke that rises off the charcoal helps to cook whatever you’re cooking. This is part of the reason that charcoal grillers will tell you they have a completely different, more complete flavor in their food than gas grillers.

People also like charcoal grills because they tend to be cheap.

A charcoal grill with similar statistics to a gas grill will likely cost you a little bit less cash, and restocking your fuel is also going to be cheaper.

How do gas grills compare when looking for under $300?

Propane grills might be a little bit more expensive, but that’s not without good reason. When you’re playing with propane, you get these benefits – and drawbacks.

  1. Propane grills heat up fast, whereas charcoal grills tend to heat up slower. Because of this, propane grills can be used to cook food quicker.
  2. Propane tends to cost a bit more than charcoal. Charcoal needs to be replaced as well as propane, but you can still use a charcoal grill with old coals – you won’t be completely at a loss, as you would be trying to use a propane grill with no fuel.
  3. Gas grills tend to have a few more features than the alternative, which can make them more adjustable and better for the particular griller.
Broil Performance 475 Gas Grill

Broil Performance 475 Gas Grill

These are the basic differences between the two grills. Still, all grills follow the same basic foundation – they’re metal surfaces that cook food with direct heat.
The important part, and the reason that grills are different prices, is what makes your grill unique.

  1. Different grills heat up to different temperatures based on the thickness of the grate and the fuel source that you use
  2. Some grills allow direct adjustment of the grate itself. This creates more or less space between the flame and the food.
  3. The size of your grilling space makes a huge difference! Many grills have a primary cooking area and a secondary area that keeps food warm.
  4. Grills made of stainless steel will behave differently than ones made of cast iron
  5. Some grills have extra components that can provide different methods of cooking, but these are often on more expensive models

What will I sacrifice getting a cheaper grill?

To make sure you’re getting what you want, you need to know what you want, which can be more complicated than people are aware of.

Are you expecting to be grilling for tons of people, or are you just going to use this for family gatherings on weekends? 

Do you want to be able to make your food, or do you want grate-seared steaks prepped up quickly?  Deciding what you want first is mandatory.

Char-Broil 4 Burner Gas Grill

Char-Broil 4 Burner Gas Grill

Remember that you’re not going to be able to buy the best grill for a few hundred bucks. If you’re looking in this price range, hopefully, your needs aren’t too specific, or you might be disappointed. Look at these sorts of options:

  1. Temperature. Your ability to control the temperature changes how fast and how thoroughly your food cooks.
  2. Damper quality. These are your air flow vents, and can sometimes be adjusted to improve or tighten air flow.
  3. Adjustability.  Many things can be adjusted, not the least of which is the height of the grate which we mentioned earlier. There are often other adjustable things, like the air flow vents or the chimney.
  4. Grill space.Smaller grills will have 150 square cm or less of space, anything bigger than that is likely able to cook enough for a fair sized group of people at once.

Once you’ve determined your needs, you can move towards picking out the best grill for you and your family. Make the best choice and decide what needs you put above the others, because you probably won’t be able to get everything you want.

Is there anything else to know before buying my grill?

Charcoal and gas grills are both awesome, but they each come with their drawbacks – nothing is perfect, and you have to balance pros and cons.
Regardless of what grill you’re using, it’s important to make sure that you take precautions against fires when you’re using a grill. Any griller should make sure they follow these procedures.

  1. Wear grilling equipment – gloves and an apron, since you’re around hot flames
  2. Make sure you have good utensils like tongs and a metal wire brush for cleaning so you don’t contact hot metal

Charcoal grillers have a bit of extra maintenance in their futures. You need to change the charcoal in your grill periodically, otherwise, it loses its efficiency. You don’t want to do this too often, though, otherwise, you’ll run up a bill.

Charcoal grills are also generally more difficult to use and require more constant attention than their gas competitors which allow you to begin cooking with the flip of an ignition switch. Coal also has a higher chance of getting grimy when changing their fuel.

How can I be sure to get the best value?

Fortunately for you, you’re not going to have to go shopping around to figure out the best bang for your buck today. We’ve already done that for you.

Most people don’t have time to analyze every spec for every grill in every store in their hometown – that’d take days!

We’ve rounded up the best value grills that you’ll be able to find – anywhere! These grills are all priced under three hundred bucks and will provide you with the best variety of bells and whistles for the price.

Top 4 Best Grill Under 300

1. Char-Broil 4 Burner Gas Grill

Char-Broil 4 Burner Gas Grill

Char-Broil 4 Burner Gas Grill

Char-Broil is a brand name that’s earned well-deserved respect in the years it’s been producing grills. They make reliable gas and charcoal units.
This one, in particular, has an impressive grill size of 480 square inches, making it easy to cook enough food for a whole party in one shot – on the primary cooking area. With the secondary area, you have more than 650 square inches!

Pros

  • This grill distributes heat evenly across the grate, making for even cooking
  • There’s a simple electronic ignition system to spark up the fuel
  • Has an incredible amount of cooking space
  • Porcelain coated grates make cleanup a lot easier than simple cast iron

Cons

  • This grill’s really heavy and can be a bit difficult to move

2. Broil Performance 475 Gas Grill

Broil Performance 475 Gas Grill

Broil Performance 475 Gas Grill

Broil Performance might not be the most well-known brand name in the grilling arena, but they’ve certainly proven themselves to be worthy contenders with this grill. It’s not the flashiest or the most feature-packed grill on the market, but when we’re talking about grills under three hundred bucks, this one’s definitely worth your money.

It’s a stainless steel grill so it’s fairly easy to clean and looks nice in your yard. It’s gto an electronic auto-ignition switch so there’s no worries about having to spend a lot of time lighting it up, and the heat distributes fairly evenly among the cooking surface.

Pros

  • Aesthetically pleasing stainless steel outer casing makes this grill a nice addition to your patio furniture
  • Four stainless steel burners assure that you can distribute your cooking among enough space to keep things running properly for years
  • You have great temperature control with this grill which allows you to prevent burning with ease

Cons

  • The instructions for this model can be complicated to a newbie, but any competent griller will know how to operate this bad boy
  • The wheels aren’t super sturdy so it can be tricky to move

3. Fuego Carbon Steel Gas Grill

Fuego Carbon Steel Gas Grill

Fuego Carbon Steel Gas Grill

This grill was designed by one of the previous designers of Apple, and it certainly shows – this grill looks like something out of a futuristic movie.

Its strange appearance gives rise to some excellent features. It’s got almost 400 square inches of cooking space hidden under the lid, which in itself is another great feature because it holds heat so well. It heats up really fast, cools down relatively quickly, and has an auto ignition switch.

Pros

  • Has a compact and unique design that’s both functional and impressive
  • It’s easy to put together, take apart, and move from place to place
  • The grill heats up evenly and quickly to provide immediate cooking

Cons

  • Not a great grill for rain – has holes in the lid
  • These holes can cause heat to flee in cold months

4. Weber’s Original Premium Charcoal Grill

Weber’s Original Premium Charcoal Grill

Weber’s Original Premium Charcoal Grill

This is a great grill and the only charcoal grill to make it on to this list. Weber is one of the pioneers of grilling, and this particular model has been proven effective for many years. It’s a traditional looking grill that you might see at a camp cookout.

This design is the original grilling design that was pioneered in the fifties. Since it’s stuck around for so long, you know you’re getting a quality design!

The grate is more than 360 square inches of cooking space, which fits more than two dozen burgers.  It’s also got a high standing lid so you can fit entire turkeys in or entire roasts.

Pros

  • Weber came up with the design for the round grill that’s still being used today
  • It’s big but not clunky or obnoxious
  • You can make all sorts of different meals in this grill
  • The grill’s got two big wheels that make it easier to transport

Cons

  • The thermometer built into the grill isn’t very reliable
  • The wheels might feel awkward to some users.

Which one’s the best?

The best of the best is probably the Fuego Grill.
It might have a new look that some people will need time to grow accustomed to – most people who see it probably won’t even assume that it’s a grill – but its features, portability, and reliability make it a great choice.

Despite its compact size, it holds a fair amount of food so you can cook enough for a whole gathering. It heats up fast, cools down slowly, and that makes this grill an unbeatable value for under $300.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve been able to read about some different grills, you’ll be able to make a better decision as which one provides the best value for under $300. Normally, this would take a lot of shopping around from store-to-store, so hopefully, this article’s helped you out!