The Best Portable Grills of 2024 for BBQ Anywhere, Anytime


Today’s best portable grills are designed to pack into your trunk and carry into parks, trailheads, and campsites, so you no longer have to rely on those crusty, rusted public grills. They distill the joy of using the best gas grills into a convenient package. No, you don’t get the hyper-specific functionality of the best outdoor griddle to make smashburgers or the best pizza ovens for a Margherita slice in the backcountry, but you can grill fish fresh from a river or the best cuts of steak that’ve been marinating in your camper van for 24 hours—and that’s pretty great as far as I’m concerned.

There’s nothing I love more than grilling in an open space, whether that’s beside my tent while car camping, or in a city park while watching my kids fish or throw a frisbee. Eating outside is one of the great pleasures in life, and being able to grill an elaborate meal in the wild makes the experience all the more appealing.

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We sifted through the glut of portable grills on the market to find the few that are sturdy, easy to transport, and durable. The best portable grill overall is PKGo Hibachi. It’s supremely portable, but big enough to offer dual heat zones, and has a locking cover that makes it easy to travel with and can be used as a cutting board and tray.

Read on for the best portable grills of 2024; take one on an outdoor adventure of your own, like the 50 best vacations in the U.S.

Read more of the greatest hits from our 2024 Grilling Awards, including the best pellet grills, best smokers, and best grill tools—plus pro tips on how to clean a grill, how to grill a steak, and where to find the best mail-order steaks.

Best Portable Grill Overall: PKGo Hibachi PK Go Hibachi is our pick for the best portable grill overall.

Graham Averill

PK made a name for itself decades ago with its Original grill, a backyard barbecue on wheels made from aluminum, which is actually a better conductor of heat than steel, while also withstanding the elements like a champ—PK’s aluminum grills won’t rust. Since the introduction of that first grill, PK has produced a variety of cookers, from large grills and smokers to compact travel grills. All of them are built from a mix of aluminum, steel, and cast iron. All of them use charcoal as a fuel source. And all of them have multiple vents placed strategically to help you adjust airflow and dial in specific heat patterns for more nuanced cooking. 

The PKGo Hibachi is a more streamlined version of their PKGo Grill and Smoker. The build is essentially the same, except the Hibachi ditches the aluminum lid, giving you a more compact grill designed to be used in the open-air hibachi style, which is a Japanese word that translates roughly to fire bowl. The lack of lid (you do get a locking cover/cutting board made of hard plastic for transporting the grill without ash spillage) means you can’t smoke meats slowly, but don’t let that deter you, because the PKGo Hibachi is a versatile “bowl of fire” with ample cooking surface in a highly portable package.

PKGo Hibachi Overall Impressions

The first thing I noticed about the PKGo Hibachi, was how damn cute the thing is. The squat profile and bright orange cover are so attractive, I found myself wanting to use it as often as possible. It’s also dense, weighing 25 pounds, which is due to the quality materials used in the build. The rounded cooking chamber is made from a durable cast aluminum, while the grate is built from burly cast iron. It’s a solid combination used specifically for heat retention and transfer that has the happy side effect of lasting for years in the harshest elements. But if you have doubts, this little grill comes with a 20-year warranty. 

The cover locks tight, making for an easy grill to carry from the truck to the cooking station, and there’s enough room in the belly of the grill to hold a small bag of charcoal and foldable chimney, so everything you need to start the coals is contained within the grill.

Beyond the quality build, I was really pleased with the simplicity of the system. There’s no need for instructional videos or an owner’s manual; If you’ve ever cooked with charcoal before, you’ll have no problem with the PKGo Hibachi. I had the grill out of the box and fired up in a matter of minutes.

PKGo Hibachi Portable Grill

Graham Averill

Still, there are a few smart details that allow you to dial in the heat and cook a couple of different ways. The cast iron grate fits on top of the cooking chamber in two different positions, high and low, allowing you to get your food closer or further away from the heat, depending on the desired effect. There are also two sliding vents on the bottom of the cooking chamber that enable you to increase or decrease the airflow. Stack your coals in the center and open both vents for high heat, or stack your coals on the side of the chamber and open the opposite vent for indirect heat.

With 200 square inches of cooking surface, there’s enough room to cook for an entire family; I’ve cooked burgers and bratwurst for a party of eight on this little grill. More importantly, all of that real estate gives you room to create a hot zone and cool zone on the grill so you can sear certain cuts of meat while resting others. And yet, it is compact and highly portable.

Final Verdict

I’ve been surprised by how much I’ve enjoyed using the PKGo Hibachi. I’m typically a propane gas guy because of the convenience that propane offers, but the PKGo Hibachi won me over with its ease of use and supreme portability. The locking cover makes it easy to travel with spent ash and coals when you’re done cooking, and I found myself using the cover as a cutting board and tray for appetizers often. I really liked the size of the grill, which is big enough to create duel heat zones, but small enough to fit in the back of the tiniest Smart Car. 

Some people might miss a lid and the option to smoke meats slowly—if that’s important to you, check out the PKGo—but that didn’t bother me at all. The only issue I found with the PKGo Hibachi, was that it can take a considerable amount of time for the coals to cool down enough to move the grill after cooking. But this is an issue with any charcoal grill, and you just have to plan accordingly. In other words, don’t rush. Bring a frisbee and have another cold beverage.

Key Features and Tech

There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles built into the PKGo Hibachi, which is actually one of the selling points in my opinion. Instead of gimmicks, this little grill relies on trusted materials, like cast aluminum, stainless steel, and cast iron. There are thoughtful details, though, like a locking cover to contain ash, vents to dial in airflow, and a cooking grate that’s height adjustable. The locking cover also doubles as a cutting board, which is a nice touch.


  • Compact
  • Ample cooking surface
  • Quality materials
  • Easy to fine tune heat


  • Long cool-down time
  • No lid means no smoking

PKGo Hibachi Portable Grill

Graham Averill

How I Tested PKGo Hibachi

I spent the better part of the last month cooking on the PKGo Hibachi in the wild. I used it to cook brats while camping, and to cook veggies and fish during the occasional date night dinner by the river at a local park. I packed it into the back of my truck for road trips, and even used it to cook lunch for an impromptu small family reunion with brother’s family and our parents.

Why You Should Buy PKGo Hibachi

There are fancier grills on the market, some of which I reviewed for this article, but the PKGo Hibachi hits all of the requirements for a portable grill: It’s small and compact, but offers plenty of real estate to cook for multiple people. It’s built from solid materials that carry a 20-year warranty, so you don’t have to worry about replacing it next summer, and it’s an efficient cooker that allows you to dial in your heat so you can cook everything from delicate fish to dense steak. Camping, family picnics, date night…PKGo Hibachi might be the perfect solution for all of your portable grill needs.

  • Cooking area: 200 square inches
  • Size: 15.3 x 20.9 x 7.9 inches 
  • Weight: 25 pounds
  • Fuel: Charcoal
$180 at pk grills

Best Portable Gas Grill: Skotti Grill Skotti Portable Grill

Adam Bible

When first encountering the Skotti Grill, you are met with stacked up pieces of high-grade stainless steel in a thin, orange rubberized sack—about the size of a three-ring binder. It seems impossibly light and small to be much of a portable grill contender, but once you slot it all together, it becomes a nice little camping—or even backpacking—option. Besides its light weight and packability, Skotti is also a multi-fuel master with attachments to allow for propane from the green bottles or iso butane from your typical backpacking stove gas canister, and the ability to simply burn charcoal or any sticks and chunks of wood you find in the forest.

  • Cooking area: 100 square inches
  • Size: 17.7 x 11.8 x 1.4 inches
  • Weight: 6.6 pounds
  • Fuel: Charcoal, wood, iso butane, propane
$249 at amazon

Related: 8 Super Common Grilling Mistakes—and How to Avoid Them

Best Portable Charcoal Grill: NOMAD Grill & Smoker Nomad Grill and Smoker Portable Grill

Courtesy Image

Sometimes, a portable grill can be a statement piece. The NOMAD is a suitcase grill and smoker made from dueling heavy-duty, die cast cook boxes that hinge together like a suitcase and turn heads when you arrive at a barbecue. Cook with the suitcase open and charcoal on both sides and you have 425 square inches of grilling space—enough to cook 30 burgers. Load just one side and close the lid and you can use the Nomad as a slow smoker.

  • Cooking area: 425 square inches
  • Size: 20.5 x 13.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Weight: 28 pounds
  • Fuel: Charcoal
$695 at porter road

Best Portable Grill for Car Camping: Weber Traveler Compact Weber Traveler Compact Portable Grill

Graham Averill

Weber Traveler Compact is the latest addition to Weber’s popular Traveler series of grills, all of which combine the ease of a backyard propane grill and the portability of a travel grill. Compact features a smart, small design that collapses tight to fit in the back of most vehicles, but expands into action with one hand thanks to the gas-powered springs. There are 240 square inches of cooking surface, enough room to cook 12 burgers, and you can use the small, green Coleman-style propane tanks or the larger tanks with an adaptor hose. The grill gets up to 450 degrees in just a few minutes, and the grate is made from a heavy porcelain-coated cast iron for even heat and beautiful sear marks. It even has wheels and a handle that allows you to tote the grill anywhere, so you’re not relegated to the tailgate. Bonus: It folds up and packs away in a closet if you’re tight on storage space. 

  • Cooking area: 240 square inches
  • Size: 34.75 x 34 x 21.5 inches 
  • Weight: 37 pounds
  • Fuel: Propane
$299 at weber

Best Portable Grill Hybrid: Ignik FireCan Deluxe Ignik FireCan Deluxe Portable Grill

Graham Averill

Ignik’s FireCan Deluxe is an ultra-portable, ultra-safe firepit that converts into a small grill with a stainless-steel grill insert. It’s not large, but..

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