Whether you’re camping in a tent, cooking on the beach or socialising in a space-constrained garden, portable BBQs make convenient alternatives to hefty grills or wasteful disposable trays. We’ve tested all kinds of pint-sized BBQs, from folding BBQs and charcoal BBQ grills to table top BBQs and camping gas BBQs, to help you find the right one for you and your adventures.
The portable and camping BBQs in our list can be used on campsites, beaches and even balconies. Tested for ease of assembly, heat retention, portability, and durability, these portable BBQ grills are the best of the best.
So, whether you’re looking for gas, charcoal, electric or pellet portable BBQs, we’ve got the best for you down below. Be sure to check out our guide to the best BBQ gadgets, too.
What to look for in a portable BBQ
Before we delve into the best portable BBQs in the UK, let’s discuss what you need to look for when choosing a small camping BBQ for your travels. Here are the main factors to consider when purchasing a portable BBQ:
By nature, portable BBQs tend to be much smaller than regular grills, but they still come in all shapes and sizes so it’s important to think about the perfect size for you. Most portable camping BBQs are super compact and lightweight for easy transportation, while others are a bit larger but offer more power.
You would assume that, given the name, portable BBQs would be, well… portable. However, some makes and models are much more practical for taking with you on-the-move. For example, think abut whether the camping BBQ has carry handles or wheels. If not, is it still light enough to carry around with you. Alternatively, you might be able to purchase a carry bag separately.
3. Fuel type
In this list of the best portable BBQs, we’ve included both gas and charcoal BBQ grill options as both have their pros and cons. So, make sure you do your research and determine which type will be best for you and your needs.
4. Extra features
Some portable BBQs will come with extra accessories or features that will prove super handy when it comes to using your grill. Whether it’s a carry bag, cleaning equipment, tools or clever gadgets, think about what might make your barbecuing experience run more smoothly.
The best portable BBQ for camping
The best camping BBQ for easy grilling, you can’t go wrong with this Weber portable BBQ. Designed with a kettle shape, this small BBQ features a curved interior to help the hot air within circulate, making it ideal for convection grilling. With this clever design, the Weber portable BBQ is less likely to scorch you food to a cinder so you’re not left to go hungry.
The Smokey Joe portable BBQ is also super easy to control, with a 14.5-inch stainless steel grill grate, an adjustable air vent on the porcelain lid, and a lid that clips onto the side for protection from the wind. The porcelain enamel material is also impressively durable and surprisingly easy to clean. The legs are also fantastically sturdy – there really is nothing worse that a camping BBQ that wobbles. This means you can place it on top of a camping table, picnic bench or even on the grass.
Not only is it a doddle to control, but when it comes to portability, the Weber Smokey Joe doesn’t disappoint. Featuring an integrated carry handle, you can easily move your camping BBQ from A to B without burning your hand. And, despite having a fairly impressive surface area – big enough to accommodate about 10 burgers, in fact – this portable BBQ is light enough to carry to the beach, campsite or picnic spot of your choice.
Finally, as a charcoal portable BBQ, the Weber Smokey Joe is super versatile, allowing you to cook way up high or way down low. And, unlike some other portable charcoal BBQs, it fits plenty of charcoal so you can keep cooking for quite a while. Also, many charcoal camping BBQs are notorious for being restrictive in size – but not this one. This portable charcoal BBQ allows you to blaze at least 16 sausages at a time.
The legs are sturdy, it doesn’t wobble or fall. This means you can just as easily place it on top of a table, rather than on the floor. It fits plenty of charcoal, so you can keep cooking for quite a while. And there’s plenty of space – you can easily blaze 20 sausages or more, so it’s a larger option than the Cobb.
Although the Cobb portable BBQ is Slightly pricier that some of the other options on this list, it’s not difficult to see why. This small BBQ certainly packs and punch and stands out from all the other portable BBQs on the market – not only because of its unique look but it’s performance too. The intriguing dome shape supposedly works like a conventional oven, trapping in air for efficient indirect cooking using charcoals.
It’s super easy to use and much quicker to light than most other camping BBQs we’ve tried. You simply place the charcoal in the narrow funnel in the centre of the grill so that it’s all compact. This helps it ignite much quicker than other models, allowing you to reach optimum temperature in not time at all. The Cobb portable BBQ is also incredibly fuel-efficient, with just a handful of charcoal lasting much longer than most competitors.
Accompanying this portable charcoal BBQ is a non-stick tray. This not only makes cooking much easier, allowing you to quickly slide your burgers off and onto your plate, but it also makes the grill much easier to clean. Packed full of neat little extras, you also get a carry bag for easy transportation which, along with its super light weight, makes the Cobb one of the best camping BBQs for portability.
Small and stylish, this Berghoff portable BBQ will look the part on your camping table or on your balcony for entertaining friends. Don’t let the sleek design fool you into thinking it’s not up to performing as well as its competitors, though – this small camping BBQ brings both style and substance to the table.
Despite being made of ultra-durable carbon steel material, this portable BBQ is surprisingly lightweight. And, the sturdy carry strap makes it even easier to carry and transport. Best for cooking for up to four people, this charcoal portable BBQ isn’t the largest on the list, but it’s cooking capabilities are certainly up to par. While grilling your meat and veggies, the clever cork lid doubles as a heatproof mat so you can use the Berghoff on grass without causing damage. And, when alight, the lid also acts as the vent to control how much air comes into the firebox from the bottom.
This portable BBQ also comes with some added extras that make it even easier to use and transport. The grill lifting tool allows you to lift it after use without scorching your hands, while the carry strap helps you hold it comfortably. It’s also incredibly easy to clean thanks to the convenient handles and the grates can even go in the dishwasher. So, if you’re looking for one of the best portable BBQs for smaller groups, this might just be the one!
The first gas portable BBQ on the list, the Grill2Go camping BBQ uses a single burner to reach temperature in record time – hitting the top temp in just 5 minutes! To check we’re not exaggerating, why not use the handy thermometer in the lid to see for yourself?
Once you reach optimum temperature, this portable gas BBQ is easy to use, cooking food to absolute perfection. And, while the power of this portable BBQ grill is what makes it stand out from the charcoal options on this list, it remained pretty efficient even when cooking at the lowest temperatures.
The cooking area is impressively large, measuring in at 44cm by 28cm, yet the entire contraption is compact enough to travel with. Weighing just 9.7kg, it’s incredibly lightweight to carry and small enough to store when camping. Unfortunately, this portable gas BBQ doesn’t come with a carry bag or a strap, but we think it’s light enough to carry without. The Berghoff also comes with a handy scraper tool to help you get your burgers off in one piece.
This super small but mighty piece of kit provides easy barbecuing and smoking all in one. On the left hand side of this portable BBQ is a hopper, into which you pour wood pellets. Then, plug it in, select your desired temperature via the panel, and wait for around 15 minutes to heat up. We know – this is no where near as speedy as the Berghoff’s 5 minutes, but for a wood pellet portable BBQ, this isn’t bad.
Meanwhile, on the right hand side of this portable camping grill is a drip tray which protects dripping fat from falling onto the source of heat. There’s also an impressive cast iron plancha, too, which gets scorchingly hot, perfect for smoking. In fact, using the Traeger portable BBQ, you can sear, smoke or grill practically anything you want.
What makes this wood pellet portable BBQ stand out from charcoal options is how long the pellets last. However, compared to other camping BBQs on this list, the Traeger is pretty heavy, weighing in at a relatively hefty 27.5kg. This makes it fine for driving to your destination, but not so fine for hiking. It also requires electricity, so you’ll have to consider whether this is an option for you or not.
One thing is for sure – The Cube from Heston Blumenthal will look the part displayed in your garden, on your balcony or on your chosen picnic bench. This compact portable BBQ gets full points for ease of transportation, and triple points for its stylish design. In a sleek, compact shape, with a wood-effect lid and chrome handles and clips, there’s no denying that this is the prettiest portable BBQ on the list, but does it perform as well as its competitors?
The answer: kind of. Its certainly super easy to use, easy to store and great for taking on the go, but when it comes to cooking capabilities, this one’s better for more basic BBQ food – just don’t expect to cook whopping joints of meat on it and you’ll be fine. When it comes to your usuals, namely burgers, sausages and kebabs, this small BBQ won’t disappoint, though. And, as a charcoal portable BBQ, it’s great for indirect cooking, which means you could use it for batch cooking if you’re catering for larger groups.
This camping BBQ even comes with some extra accessories to make barbecuing a breeze. Complete with a plastic food storage tray for when you’re on the move, as well as a bamboo preparation board which doubles as a lid, this portable BBQ makes cooking quick and easy. And, to make it even better, all these additional extras sit neatly on the BBQ, with clips to keep everything safe and secure. Meanwhile, it’s super lightweight and features handles for easy carrying.