Camping grills are a safer, easier, and overall more convenient alternative to campfire cooking. Cooking over an open fire has its charms… as well as its challenges. Collecting logs and building a fire? Sounds like it could be tiresome. Safely maintaining and controlling the flames? Not exactly what we’d call relaxing. Patiently extinguishing each and every ember? That’s time better spent adventuring! Camping grills, on the other hand, provide all the delicious flavor of an open fire with none of the hassle. For many, everything from ignition to extinguishing is as easy as turning a knob, with the flames under complete control all the while. You can also take out and put away these travel-size cookers in flash, giving you more time to explore or simply take in the great outdoors. Leave those logs at the outpost — on this trail, camping grills will guide you to good eats no matter where the call of the wild takes you.

Advantages of Camping Grills

Sized for Travel

At no more than 30” wide or tall and no heavier than 60 lbs, camp grills fit in the back of most crossovers — and even some backpacks.

Easy to Use

Why fight with the flames of a campfire when you could simply turn the burner knobs or adjust the airflow vents on your camping grill?

Versatile Cooking

Camp grills can do far more than roast a few weenies and marshmallows. Grill, smoke, sear, roast, bake, and more all on the same cooker.

Safer Than Open Fires

A contained fire presents much less danger than open flames, allowing you to cook with confidence and better protect your surroundings.

Easy to Clean

Grills need a quick grate scrubbing and exterior polish, whereas dealing with the ashes of a campfire can be messy and time-consuming.

Even, Consistent Cooking

Open fires are unpredictable and can cook unevenly; camp grills reliably provide steady and uniform heat for tasty, repeatable results.

Fast Ignition

When you need to cook, firing up a camp grill takes far less time than building a campfire and stoking the flames until they’re ready.

Cook Whatever, Wherever

Leaving the backyard behind doesn’t mean you have to forgo your favorite foods. No matter where you go, camp grills are up for the task.

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Where Can I Take My Camping Grill?

While we call this category “camping grills” the term “adventure grills” might be more fitting. Indeed, these grills are fit for wherever your wanderlust takes you, be it the mountains or the hunting camp or the lake house or national parks or… well, you get the idea. Camp grills are meant to be as wild and free as you are, with compact and lightweight designs making them ideal travel buddies no matter the destination. Contrast them with that freestanding grill in your backyard; it’s big, it’s heavy, and it sure as heck isn’t fitting in your backpack. (And while strapping your backyard grill to the back of a camper sounds nice, just wait until you have to load it on and off the storage rack while also making room for 20-lb propane tanks). Let’s take a look at some of the most popular places for camp grills to be used so you can start envisioning a juicy journey of your own.

Person setting up a MAGMA Crossover on the back of their vehicle

To the Campground

At the risk of stating the obvious, camping grills are wildly popular among backpackers who love to hike, camp, and generally explore the wonders of nature. They also love a delicious grilled meal — our kind of people! — after a long day of adventuring, which is why the portability of models like the Camp Chef VersaTop flat top grill is so important for camp grills. We’ve already covered the basics of why these grills are superior to traditional campfire cooking (scroll up if you missed that), but just remember that setting up a camp grill is far easier than searching for or building your own fire ring.

Camp Chef grill looking over a mountain lake scene

On Road Trips

For those who prefer the open road to the open fields, camp grills meet your needs just as well. They’re right at home on RVs and campers, ready to feed the fleet during cross-country road trips or while cruising down the coast. Their compact nature (just get a load of the Blackstone Original tabletop griddle) allows them to neatly tuck away among everything else you’ve packed for the trip, not to mention that most camping grills can fit on a bumper storage rack when it’s time to cook. Stopping at roadside diners has a certain appeal to it, but wouldn’t you rather not take chances with your family feasts?

People gathered around 2 trucks and grills tailgating

To the Tailgate

Tailgating is sort of like camping, when you stop and think about it. Despite being near modern conveniences, you’re still huddling under a tent, enjoying good times with friends and strangers, and grilling delicious meat outside the comforts of your home or backyard. That’s all to say that camping grills always thrill at parking-lot parties, especially if they take the Weber Traveler gas grill’s cues on being incredibly mobile and easy to pack. We’ve been to plenty of tailgates that felt like full-scale adventures, so it’s only fitting that camping models don’t back down in the face of game-day grilling.

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