My wife and I have been RV/camping for more years than I can remember and if there is one necessity you need to include in your camping equipment it is a good BBQ grill.
We have tried many different brands and there are a few things to consider when buying a grill. The size vs the BTU’s (the amount of heat created) is probably one of the most important considerations. It also needs to be small, easy to carry and create enough even heat.
A good rule of thumb is 100 BTU’s per square inch. For example a grill 20″ x 25″ = 500 square inches should produce around 50,000 BTU’s of heat.
A stainless steel model is definitely a consideration, it will outlast any other type of metal although this will be reflected in the price. A grease drip pan on the underside of the grill is a nice addition and of course an electronic lighter is a must.
Venting is another consideration. A BBQ grill definitely needs vents to prevent too much smoke when the lid is closed, but too much venting can inhibit heat retention.
My brother- in-law bought a new grill and brought it camping, he went through 2 small bottles of propane to fry/bake chicken. There were so many vents on all sides, the grill could not retain the heat. He returned it to the store dirty? He still owes me for the propane bottles??
Cost is also a factor, the price of a portable camping BBQ grill can range for under $50 to several hundred. The cheapest may not be the best.
We like propane for its convenience and no briquettes to dispose of. If you are considering propane, an adapter for a large tank will eliminate the small expensive liter bottles.
If you’re considering a charcoal grill keep in mind that charcoal is not the healthiest way to cook, there is some suggestion that cooking with charcoal may increase the probability of cancer in rats, so if you are a rat think twice. I didn’t know rats could cook much less barbecue, imagine!!!
Another consideration is a stand/table for your grill, not all camping areas have picnic tables, although a stand table high increases the size and of amount of cargo space. If you’re somewhat resourceful you could make a suitable platform from debris at hand, logs, rocks etc. ………..after all it is camping.
Which one to Buy
This is the question, but be careful it seems a higher price does not necessarily mean better quality.
The cheapest we found is Walmart’s 10,000 BTU Backyard 17 inch propane grill this one sells for only about $30. The BTU’s should be higher but the venting is small enough to retain the heat, although the uneven heat takes a while to get used to. The best thing about this grill is its compact size, probably the smallest and cheapest on the market, although the last model we bought was a bit of a challenge to set up. The life span is short probably a couple of years because it is not stainless steel, but at the price you can just buy another. Probably the best for the occasional camping trip or picnic. No stand included. Click here to check it out at Walmart.
From here the sky is the limit when it comes to what you want to pay. There are too many brands to count and you definitely pay more for a brand name.
Our portable propane grill is perfect for us, the problem is it has been discontinued, but there are many similar models available, so I will describe it. 100% stainless steel, with a cooking surface of about 18 x 15 and 20,000 BTU’s. The price was about $140 US.
The things to consider-
- size of cooking space vs BTU’s
- stainless steel
- compact size
Click here to see my recommendation on Amazon, the Aussie 205.
I hope this article sheds some light on buying a BBQ grill, if you have any recommendations for your favorite grill I would love to read about it.
I have created a comprehensive list of equipment and items you may need for your RV travels click here to check out my list.
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