Best portable BBQ for cooking away from home

Rustle up tasty BBQ food when you're travelling with one of these BBQs

Best Portable BBQ

by Rosie Floyd |
Updated on

In comes our round-up, determined to find you the best portable BBQ - to save the day. Your beloved BBQ or outdoor grill is a staple when it comes to rustling up food at home during the warm months of the year. But what happens if you want your grilling fix when you're away from home? Well, portable BBQs are lightweight and easy to use, clean and store so you can enjoy the mouth-watering flavours of barbecued food, even when you're not in your garden.

If you're someone who enjoys a UK break, whether that's camping or touring in a caravan or motor home, a portable BBQ is perfect for taking with you. They won't be as big as the BBQ you've got sitting in your garden, but they're the ideal size for cooking up some burgers and sausages for you and a couple of friends. Just because they're smaller in size than a regular BBQ doesn't mean they compromise on power and features. Portable BBQs are just as capable of delivering tasty results, and some even have built-in smokers to add an extra level of flavour to your BBQ food.

Best portable BBQ at a glance:

Best anti-rust portable BBQ: Weber Smokey Joe Premium Charcoal Grill Barbeque – View on Amazon
Best easy-to-clean portable BBQ: John Lewis Portable Charcoal BBQ – View on John Lewis
Best portable gas BBQ: Weber Go-Anywhere Gas Barbeque Grill – View on Amazon

A portable barbecue is designed to be easy to transport as well, with things such as robust handles and carry bags included, so you can take it from A to B with no trouble at all. The small size and light weight aren't just handy for travelling; a portable BBQ may be a great option for you if you haven't got the room in your garden to permanently have a larger one out. You can get it out when you want to use it and tidy it away again afterwards.

Whether you're looking for a charcoal BBQ, a gas BBQ or even a smoker grill, we've covered all bases in our guide to the best portable BBQs that will elevate your outdoor cooking game.

Best portable BBQs for use outside of the home

Best anti-rust portable BBQ

Weber Smokey Joe Premium Charcoal Grill BarbequeAmazon/Weber
Price: $172.79

Cook food to perfection all throughout the year, wherever you are, with the Weber Smokey Joe Barbeque. The lid and bowl retain heat, providing a consistent temperature and even cooking while also protecting the grill inside against the elements, preventing rusting.

Customer review: "We don't BBQ that often, more often than not it is when we come home from work and smell the neighbours having a BBQ. We bought this Weber BBQ because it very sturdy, easy to assemble, large enough for two of us, easy to clean, takes little space up and during the winter months simply goes into the loft with ease. The tough enamel coating comes up like new each time, the lids locks in place for easy transportation. We use it in the garden but I would highly recommend it for the beach or camping trips. But it is still the perfect size for home use too. One thing I must say though..... you MUST get a Weber chimney starter too. Makes lighting the charcoal easy and takes any stress out of the BBQ experience. 10/10 all the way!"

Pros

  • Looks stylish
  • Available in five colours: black, blue, ivory, grey and green
  • 10-year warranty

Cons

  • Some reviewers have had issues with the enamel on the lid cracking when the handle was fitted

Best easy-to-clean portable BBQ

John Lewis Portable Charcoal BBQJohn Lewis

Whether you're cooking for just yourself or a small group of friends, this John Lewis grill has got you covered. It's portable yet sturdy, with tripod legs for added support. The hood has airflow control and a cool-touch handle, so you won't need to worry about burning your fingers when you're taking a peek at what's cooking. Cleaning is made easy, too, thanks to the ash collector inside.

Pros

  • 36cm grilling area
  • Designed for cooking for up to four people
  • Hood clips on for easy carrying once cooled

Cons

  • No reviews, so can't comment on customer experience

Best portable gas BBQ

Weber Go-Anywhere Gas Barbeque GrillJohn Lewis/Weber

Lightweight, foldable and portable, you can 'go anywhere' with this Weber BBQ. It's powered by gas and has a push-button ignition, so it'll heat up in an instant, which is just what you want when you're feeling hungry and food just can't come quickly enough. It features folding legs, which pivot around so you can move them out of the way to make this BBQ easier to carry when it's time to pack up and go.

Customer review: "I have owned a Weber BBQ for over 20 years now, all others being 'garden-based' ones. I love them, so am happily biased. Yes, they are expensive, more expensive than most - but, for us, really worth it. I am not a great cook/chef, but Weber makes it easy to do BBQs, even for me. This little one was ideal for what we wanted - a small portable BBQ to take away on staycations and events with us. I got the gas one (just for ease), even though my one at home is a combi (charcoal with gas ignition - and the same canister works on both!), and it fires up fast (as you'd expect) - and, in some situations, is a little safer than the charcoal version (i.e. in one case we rented a small apartment with a balcony where charcoal BBQs were not permitted). Really pleased, it works really well and even with a family of five, there is enough space to cook a good meal of burgers, sausages etc (although in a phased approach)."

Pros

  • Heat-resistant bowl and lid
  • Folding legs for support and easy storage
  • 10-year warranty

Cons

  • Some reviewers wished it came with side handles to make it easier to transport

Best temperature-regulating portable BBQ

George Foreman Portable Gas BBQAmazon/George Foreman
Price: $226.75

If you're someone that always worries about whether their food is cooking at the right temperature, you'll be pleased to know this George Foreman one has an integrated thermostat so you can check how hot it is from just a quick glance. The lid is fitted with an adjustable vent for controlled airflow, while the fixed legs help keep the BBQ off the ground for better heat circulation. The legs also provide stability and prevent the BBQ from scorching surfaces.

Customer review: "Very good construction, even heat, quick to heat up, good removable cooking plates. Very pleased, would recommend."

Pros

  • Automatic ignition
  • Includes UK regulator and hose
  • Compact and lightweight

Cons

  • Some reviewers thought the locking hinge on the lid could be more robust

Best budget portable BBQ

Gardenline Portable BBQ & CoverEbay/Aldi

Want a portable BBQ to take on your next outdoor adventure but need to stick to a budget? This one, originally from Aldi, is great value for money. It's a charcoal grill with an integrated fan and comes with a 35cm grilling area, so it's the perfect size for cooking up something tasty for you and a loved one. When it comes to tidying up, the grill rack, charcoal basket and reflector bowl can be removed so you can scrub each section clean with ease.

Customer review: "Bought this to take on holiday rather than buying disposable BBQs. It is very easy to use and cooks the food really well. Easy to clean and packs away in its carry bag."

Pros

  • Great price point
  • Comes with a bag for easy storage
  • Three-year warranty

Cons

  • Some reviewers had issues with regulating the temperature

Best for portability

Tower Day Tripper Portable Charcoal GrillDunelm/Tower

Ideal for 2-4 people, this compact Tower Day Tripper Portable Charcoal Grill folds up like a suitcase, so it's super easy to transport. It's made of powder-coated stainless steel, so it's sturdy and easy to clean. Enjoy charcoal grilling on the go.

Pros

  • Portable design
  • Dual side ventilation holes
  • Space-saving
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • No customer reviews

Best lightweight portable BBQ

Cobb Premier Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Carry BagLakeland

You can cook anything from burgers and sausages to whole meat joints, stir-fries and even pizza on this Cobb grill. The moat on this incredibly versatile BBQ infuses food with flavour while the stay-cool base lets it stand anywhere, so you won't need to worry about it scorching grass if you choose to put it on the ground.

Customer review: "Just used this for first time, as complete novice to barbecuing (I am vegetarian but with meat-eating partner), and this worked like a charm. I did cover the bowl (keeping the holes clear) with foil to avoid a mess, but the grill plate and the bowl has gone straight into the dishwasher. Some are saying it is not a BBQ – I don't understand that. I just did two very juicy quarter pounders in seven minutes followed by five minutes rest, using a cobblestone (which burns hotter than charcoal). Got a lovely sear both sides and used the dome to increase the temperature even more. My best buy yet."

Pros

  • Least heavy BBQ on our list
  • Bowl, dome and grill are dishwasher safe
  • Three-year guarantee

Cons

  • Some reviewers found it difficult to clean

Best all-in-one portable BBQ

Tested

Ninja Woodfire Electric BBQ Grill & Smoker OG701UKAmazon/Ninja
Price: £274 (was £399)

We know that this Ninja Electric BBQ Grill is a more expensive option, but you're not just getting a BBQ; you're getting a smoker and air fryer too, plus roast, bake, reheat and dehydrate settings. Perfect for gardens, patios, balconies and other outdoor spaces, using this grill will quickly add smoky flavours to any food, thanks to the integrated smoker box.

**Read our full review of the Ninja Woodfire Electric BBQ Grill.
**
Customer review: "When I say this thing is a beast of a machine it really is a beast! In both size and functionality. It has so many different uses it's amazing. It took a little while to set up and work out but nothing too strenuous, the manual is super helpful. We bought a small table for it to go on outside and a cover so we can keep it outside year-round, though you could just keep it in the garage until spring. It's super easy to clean and I love the added bonus of the recipe book. Like others have mentioned the on/off button is in an odd place but I don't find it to be too much of an issue. I have given it a test drive with chicken and chips and they came out perfectly crispy and juicy! My next exciting adventure will be in the summer to use it as a BBQ! I genuinely think this is worth the money for the level of functionality you are getting."

Pros

  • All-in-one BBQ grill, smoker and air fryer with authentic woodfire flavours
  • Great for cooking food low and slow
  • Weather resistant

Cons

  • Powered by electricity, so you will need to find an outdoor socket to plug it into

How we chose the best portable BBQ

All of these portable BBQs have been hand-selected by our team of Modern Gardens shopping experts. We carefully considered size, features and BBQ type in our selection of the best. Our team has spent hours investigating and researching portable BBQs to make it easier for you to find the very best, and we'd never recommend a product we don't believe in.

Where possible, we also test and share the latest and best products you should know about. And, with help from Modern Gardens Magazine, Garden News and Garden Answers, we share expert gardening knowledge to help you get the most from your product.

FAQs

What type of portable BBQ do I need?

In our selection of the best portable barbecues, you can find the following, each with their own perks:

Charcoal BBQ: A charcoal grill is great for delivering a traditional BBQ experience with smoky flavours. It's affordable, and all you need is some charcoal to get going. However, you'll find it takes longer to reach the correct temperature for cooking, and the use of coal can make for more mess to clean up.

Gas BBQ: A gas grill is perfect for convenience as the heat can be controlled - meaning you can cook quicker and more evenly. It's easy to clean and easy to ignite. However, they are initially more experienced, and you'll need to factor in the cost of fuel.

Hybrid BBQ: Want the best of both worlds? Hybrid BBQs give you the option to cook using gas or charcoal so you can adapt your cooking method to suit what you're cooking and where. Not surprisingly, they are more expensive but ultimately save on space if you'd like to have both a gas and charcoal grill.

Where can I use a portable BBQ?

You may be tempted to light up your portable BBQ wherever you go, but there are some rules and laws about barbecuing in public places you should know. Many UK councils have restrictions in place for using a BBQ in parks and beaches, so before you have a BBQ, you should check the council website of the area you're visiting to make sure it's not prohibited.

If you're using a portable BBQ when camping or caravanning, the Government advises that you use a barbecue at least six feet away from a tent or caravan.

Portable BBQ safety tips

When barbecuing in a public place, you may have to use it in a designated area. These are usually well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or other garden waste to reduce the risk of a fire.

When it comes to disposing of ashes, you should do this on bare garden soil, not in dustbins or wheelie bins. If they're hot, they can melt the plastic and cause a fire.

What to read next:

Best Kamado grills to take BBQs to the next level

Best BBQ cleaners for an effective clean-up

Essential BBQ tools you need to become a grill master

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Rosie Floyd is a Pets, Homes and Garden Product Writer for Modern Gardens, specialising in outdoor living. Before joining the team at Bauer, Rosie spent almost three years writing content for a garden buildings company so knows her stuff about garden sheds, rooms and offices and how to make the most of your outdoor space.

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