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11 best portable BBQs for summer-long sizzling

Cook up a feast during your next camping trip, with one of these top-rated portable barbecues

Sian Lewis,Jon Axworthy
Monday 20 May 2024 10:53
We looked for easy temperature control, quick grilling and simple assembly
We looked for easy temperature control, quick grilling and simple assembly (The Independent/iStock)

The best portable barbecues make all the difference when it comes to serving up great food al fresco, enabling you to whip up freshly grilled meat, fish and veg everywhere, from your patio to your favourite campsite and even the beach.

Portable barbecues are smaller, packable versions of your trusty backyard barbie, and can be carried and popped in the car boot, ready to set up an instant kitchen in the great outdoors. While you can buy disposable barbecues, these aren’t good for the environment and are frequently the cause of forest fires.

A portable barbecue should be just that – lightweight and easy to transport. After checking its weight, make sure you pick a barbecue with a big enough cooking surface to suit your party of happy campers.

The other factor to consider is whether you want a barbecue that takes charcoal or that runs on fuel. If your barbecue takes fuel, ensure you buy the right canister for your stove. The most common models use gas (propane and butane) or liquid fuel (paraffin, kerosene, etc), and different canisters are designed to clip or screw onto different barbecues.

Have a go at setting up your new portable barbecue at home before a trip – there’s little more frustrating than realising you brought the wrong fuel or you don’t know how to work your shiny new purchase when you’re in the middle of the woods and desperate for a sausage sarnie.

Here, we’ve tested out a range of sizes and styles to bring you the best portable barbecues on the market, with budget options starting from less than £20.

How we tested the best portable BBQs

One of the many tried and tested barbecues in action (Sian Lewis)

We cooked up sausages and veg kebabs on each portable barbecue during a camping trip in Wales. We looked for easy temperature control, quick grilling and simple assembly. We also tested how easy each portable barbecue was to clean and pack away.

The best portable BBQs for 2024 are:

  • Best portable barbecue overall – Blackstone tabletop griddle: £179,
  • Best budget portable barbecue – Argos home portable charcoal barbecue: £17,
  • Best charcoal portable barbecue – Kettler everdure cube: £158.90,
  • Best lightweight portable barbecue – Vango sizzle: £49.99,
  • Best gas portable barbecue – Campingaz party grill 400: £71.99,

Blackstone tabletop griddle

  • Best: Portable BBQ overall
  • Weight: 8kg
  • Fuel: Propane
  • Why we love it
    • High quality investment
    • Fast heating
    • Non-stick
    • Easy to clean
  • Take note
    • On the heavier side

Like your trusty old barbecue at home, just more compact, Blackstone’s griddle is a great quality investment that will suit keen chefs. This griddle was one of the largest and heaviest we tested, so is best used on your patios and packed in the car for long camping weekends and summer holidays, rather than a quick night away in your tent.

Once you do set it up, this tabletop grill looks and feels like the business. The non-stick steel top heats up in just a minute or two, cooks meat, fish and veg evenly and quickly and is also quick to wipe clean. We also liked the removable grease tray, which makes cleaning up a doddle. While this griddle is expensive, you could easily use it all summer at home, as a standalone barbecue, so, if you love to cook outdoors all summer, it’s worth the spend.

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Argos home portable charcoal barbecue

  • Best: Budget portable barbecue
  • Weight: 2kg
  • Fuel: Charcoal
  • Why we love it
    • Great sustainable alternative to disposable grills
    • Looks adorable
  • Take note
    • A little fiddly to put together

A great little portable barbecue for less than £20? Argos knocks it out of the park with this cherry-red charcoal grill. Described as ‘ideal for barbecues or for grilling on the go’, this should make a great companion for weekend camping trips with mates or gathering at home for patio feasts.

This is a much more sustainable alternative to disposable barbecues, too, as you can use it again and again. It’s a little fiddly to put this grill together from its flat-pack kit, but it’s well worth it for a simple but effective charcoal burner with a grill on top. Let the al fresco suppers commence.

  1. £17 from
Prices may vary
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Kettler everdure cube

  • Best: Charcoal portable barbecue
  • Weight: 7kg
  • Fuel: Charcoal
  • Why we love it
    • Includes chopping board
    • Easy to pack away
    • Very stylish

This rather attractive portable barbecue was designed by chef Heston Blumenthal, king of cooking innovation, and there are definitely some fresh ideas inside this hexahedron. Unpack the cube and there’s a storage tray for stashing your ingredients, a sturdy bamboo chopping board for food prep and the firebox itself, ready to get cooking. When you’re done, you can pack it all together for easy transportation. The handles of the cube stay cool, so you can haul it to the beach or move it mid-fry-up if needed. Setup is quick and the whole thing looks very stylish.

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Vango sizzle

  • Best: Lightweight portable barbecue
  • Weight: 1.42kg
  • Fuel: Electric
  • Why we love it
    • Combines camping hob and barbecue
    • Very lightweight
    • Wipe clean

Vango’s induction cooker is the perfect balance of camping hob and portable barbecue, helping you sizzle up a storm.

At just 1.42kg, this model is very lightweight and features five levels of heat, making it easy to cook low and slow or really blast your supper. There’s no open flame, which is safer for families with young children. Simply pop pans onto the wide flat cooking surface, on which it is also easy to spread ingredients out and to wipe clean when you’re finished. Both single and double versions are available.

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Outwell cazal portable

  • Best: For easy storage
  • Weight: 3kg
  • Fuel: Charcoal
  • Why we love it
    • Fuss-free
    • Easy setup
    • Very portable
  • Take note
    • Limited grilling space, so better for two people

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This clean-lined, fuss-free portable barbecue is pleasingly quick and easy to assemble and use – just unfold it and you’re cooking on gas (well, coals). Pop charcoal into the V-shaped cavity and cook over the grill on top – it’s got limited space, so it is best used to whip up a feast for two.

Fold the portable barbecue flat again when you’re heading home – there are nifty carry handles for toting this barbecue to and fro, and its thin shape makes it easy to pop in small car boots and store in a cupboard.

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Weber go-anywhere charcoal barbecue

  • Best: Portable barbecue for families
  • Weight: 6.8kg
  • Fuel: Charcoal or gas
  • Why we love it
    • Both charcoal and gas versions available
    • Cooks at even temperature with ease
    • Mess-free to use
    • Easily assembled

Weber’s portable barbecue has clocked up hundreds of fans. Charcoal and gas versions are available, and both come with a sturdy steel frame and foldable legs that elevate the grill off the ground, plus a lid to pop on top, with a damper vent to make cooking at even temperature easier.

The charcoal burner is super-efficient, and the gas version is quick and mess-free to use. Easy to assemble and quick to fold up, this is a nice portable barbecue for a family of four.

  1. £87 from
Prices may vary
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Campingaz party grill 400

  • Best: Gas portable barbecue
  • Weight: 4.9kg
  • Fuel: Campingaz CP250 gas cartridges
  • Why we love it
    • Very portable and compact
    • Plenty of surface space

Small but perfectly formed, Campingaz’s party grill comes in a portable package but unfolds into a versatile stove with five surfaces that enable you to grill, griddle and fry to your heart’s content. It’s ideal for weekends when you don’t want to take a huge barbecue away with you, but still want to get creative with your campsite suppers.

Despite having the capacity to work as a full-blown barbecue grill, the 400 is designed to be portable and is light enough (4.9kg) to carry with ease. All those different surfaces, plus the legs, pack down easily inside the stove, and the wok pops on top and clips into place as a lid. Very nifty.

  1. £71 from
Prices may vary
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Everdure cube

best portable bbq barbecue grill for camping charcoal reviews
  • Best: For portability
  • Weight: 7kg
  • Fuel source: Charcoal
  • Why we love it
    • No assembly required
    • Don’t need to worry about the wind when cooking

With no assembly required, this smartly designed, well-thought-out portable is up and running as soon as your charcoal turns white, and it gave us really juicy burgers and some nicely charred veggie sides. What we really liked about this model was that it’s fit for purpose as the grate sits nicely underneath the porcelain enamel firebox so you don’t have to worry about wind whipping up the ash and cooling your food. The bamboo lid doubles as a pGrep board and the chrome handles mean you can move the barbecue around, even during cooking. Simple to clean once cooled, this is a very competitively priced portable that will keep you well fed all summer long. 

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Cadac citi chef 40

best portable bbq barbecue grill for camping charcoal reviews
  • Best: For camping trips
  • Weight: 9.5kg
  • Fuel source: Gas
  • Why we love it
    • Domed lid acts as a windshield
    • Accurate built-in thermometer
    • Easy to take apart

A funky table top model that comes in three different colours and is ideally suited for a campsite cookout. The citi chef boasted a really good, compact design and sturdy, rubberised legs that meant it wasn’t going anywhere once you’d placed it on your camping table. The cooking was even and the heat distribution across the ceramic-coated aluminium grill took any stress out of an alfresco meal.

The fact that the domed lid hooks behind the grill was a really nice touch, as it doubles as a windshield and also means that you never have to look for a lost lid during cooking. The built-in thermometer was accurate and the modular design meant that the barbecue was easy to take apart, scrub down and rinse.

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Weber Q 2000 gas barbecue

best portable bbq barbecue grill for camping charcoal reviews
  • Best: For large groups
  • Weight: 18 kg
  • Fuel source: Gas
  • Why we love it
    • Holds heat well
    • Straightforward to clean
    • Great grill size

The Q series has been around for a long time now but we still rate its evolution as a portable. It’s a real tardis griller that looks from the outside like it won’t be able to fit much more than a pork sausage and a veggie kebab, but open it up and you’ll be amazed how much grill space you have to play with.

This means that it’s very compact to travel, with side tables that fold down and a gas canister which is incorporated into the Q’s body and adds to the overall portability. The stainless-steel burner was efficient and heated the whole grilling area uniformly, so we knew exactly how well everything was cooking, even when the grill was loaded up with the maximum amount of burgers (a whopping 13).

Thanks to the porcelain enameled iron grates we didn’t end up losing half our meat to the grill when turning or serving and the whole unit was sturdy and stable, even when we plonked it on the sand. The Q 2000 also held its heat well so we didn’t have to keep fiddling with the controls and could just concentrate on the cookery. Cleaning was straightforward with a removable grease tray, but you need to supply this yourself.

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Char Broil grill2go

best portable bbq barbecue grill for camping charcoal reviews
  • Best: For fast cooking
  • Weight: 9.98kg
  • Fuel source: Gas
  • Why we love it
    • Sturdy carry handles
    • Really good heat distribution

We always enjoy cooking on the big Char Broil grills that incorporate their TRU infrared cooking tech, because it’s a sure-fire way of getting really good heat distribution across the grill surface. It retains the TRU infrared system of its beefier cousins with a grate made up of strips of triangular stainless steel, which we found stopped the burgers from sticking, reduced flare-ups and provided even heat so that our burgers seared super quickly and tasted amazing. There are also two sturdy carry handles on either side and a hooded lid that has enough room to store a couple of tanks of gas inside when the barbecue is fastened down for transport too.

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LotusGrill XL

best portable bbq barbecue grill for camping charcoal reviews
  • Best: For couples
  • Weight: 6.5kg
  • Fuel source: Charcoal
  • Why we love it
    • Outer bowl never gets hot
    • Unique design
    • Ready to cook on within five minutes

There are three different sizes of LotusGrill to choose from, but we liked the biggest in the range because it’s still very portable yet still makes maximum use out of the fan-assisted barbecue base, which blows air over the coals so that the grill was ready for its first burger in around five minutes.

The grill itself is surrounded by a handy double ridge to stop you from losing food over the side and there’s good control over the heat because you can just turn the fans on or off, depending on whether you’re searing or low and slow grilling. The burn was quick and because the fans are battery-operated you can take this barbecue anywhere and even move it mid-cook as it’s constructed in such a way that the outer bowl never gets hot, even when the charcoal is lit inside.

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The verdict: Portable BBQs

Our pick of the portable barbecues is the high-performing Blackstone tabletop griddle, thanks to its top-notch quick and easy cooking and wipe-clean design. Meanwhile, Kettler’s everdure cube oozes style and is ideal for cooking over charcoal. We also loved Campingaz’s versatile party grill, as it offers plenty of different cooking surfaces. Watching the pennies? At less than £20, Argos’s portable barbecue is a real bargain.

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