Best Tailgate Grills of 2020 – Complete Round-up

If you are looking for the best tailgate grill, you’ve come to the right place. There is nothing better than cooking some delicious foods over a grill while you are out camping, tailgating at a football game, or any place where fun outdoor activities can happen.

These are the kind of grills that you can use any time and anywhere you go. It’s a lot better than lugging around a grill that should stay at home.

While there are many tailgate grills available on the market, we have managed to handpick a few tailgate grills that are widely considered to be the best of the bunch. Before we get to our reviews, we’ll talk about what a tailgate grill is and what makes the products we've selected superior to their competitors.

Comparison Chart of the Best Tailgate Grills

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Davy Crockett Pellet Grill Tailgating

  • Best overall
  • Includes collapsible rack
  • Thermal sensor for temperature monitoring
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Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett

  • Runner-up
  • Powered by 110v or 12v adapters
  • Includes additional tools like a meat probe
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Country Smokers CSPEL015010497

  • Best for the money
  • Designed for wood pellet cooking
  • Cooking temperature range from 180 to 500 degrees
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Coleman RoadTrip 285

  • Fueled by propane
  • Includes 3 adjustable burners
  • Best grill from the Coleman brand
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Weber 1141001 Go-Anywhere Gas Grill

  • 160 square inch cooking area
  • Best tailgate grill from the Weber brand
  • Handles made from glass-reinforced nylon
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What is a Tailgate Grill?

A tailgate grill will be much smaller than the conventional barbeque grill you'd use for all those backyard cookouts. These will usually fit on the tailgate of your truck (hence the name).

Typically, these grills will be powered by propane or charcoal (depending on how the grill is set up). Either way, they are best used for outdoor events away from home like a picnic, tailgating party, or any outdoor activities that occur in public parks, campgrounds, and similar venues.

Why Did These Tailgate Grills Make Our List?

We didn’t choose these grills randomly. They were chosen based on a few characteristics and features that we believe stand out as essential. Here are the reasons why they were able to make the cut:

Affordability

Yes, affordability is important for those who are on a budget. If you are looking for a grill at an affordable price, you must be sure to find one that performs well and reliably. This way, you won’t settle for something that is cheap and subpar.

Portability

We guarantee that these grills we have reviewed will be easy to carry from one place to the next. These grills, after all, were built for it. All you need to do is take it from point A to point B; no heavy equipment or heavy tanks of propane required. 

Different Grill Types

We’ll be taking a look at a few different types of grills. The primary difference between them is how they are powered. Some of them will be powered by gas or propane, while others will require the use of charcoal. It’s important for you to choose which kind of grill will be ideal for you in the long term.

Willy's Top Picks - Best Tailgate Grills

Review of the Best Tailgate Grills

Below is a list of the best tailgate grills currently on the market. As you read each review, carefully consider the features and characteristics that will guide your final decision to ensure you end up with a grill that will be perfect for the way you plan to use it. Let’s begin by unveiling our “best overall” choice:

Pros

  • Compact in size
  • Easy portability
  • Excellent versatility
  • Perfect for cooking chicken and briskets
  • Collapsible rack offers ample space for additional cooking

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

Many new users were really impressed with the performance of the Davy Crockett Pellet tailgating grill, considering that it is the perfect size for portability and yet offers so much space for cooking. They were able to cook brisket, chicken, burgers, and all the other grill favorites with ease. One user said that when he opened it up, he knew right away he had made the right choice; he was particularly impressed that he could control it with his smartphone.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Controlling a grill with your smartphone may seem strange, but it's really no surprise considering that we live in a time where we can rely on technology to make our lives easier. You can monitor your grill’s temperature and keep track of what's cooking without having to leave the comfort of your lawn chair.

Even better than the convenience factor, this superb grill will last you quite a while thanks to its solid and sturdy construction. Make no mistake, this might be your new “Old Faithful” if you take good care of it.

Who Will Use This Most

This is the perfect grill to take with you to parks, campgrounds, or outside of the stadium before the big game. You might turn some heads once you’ve deployed this compact tower of awesome in front of your truck or camper. If you want a grill that will feed friends, family, and anyone who happens to be passing through, then is honestly the best option you could settle on.

Bottom Line

Whether it’s game time or time to go out in the woods, the Davy Crockett Pellet Tailgate Grill is our clear cut favorite. It’s compact in size, but when you deploy this bad boy it will look like a full-sized grill. You will definitely get some of those interesting questions, such as “how could you possibly bring your grill all the way out here?” If only they knew it was one of those grills that you can fold up and take with you.

Pros

  • Cooks meats perfectly
  • Really cost-effective in terms of operation
  • Does a good job holding temperatures appropriate for cooking
  • Monitors temperatures with precise accuracy

Cons

  • Some say it doesn’t include an open fire grease tray
  • Learning curve to using it may be a little steep for some
  • A few have complained about the WiFi controller not being user-friendly

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new users say that this grill is pretty nice to look at, but how it cooked was what really mattered. They were able to get a reliable idea of how the grill works and how hot it was at any given time, allowing them to cook different kinds of meats to perfection. One user said that the chicken he cooked while camping turned out to be so much better than expected and on top of that, the flavor really stood out to him as well.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Once again, we take a look at a WiFi-controlled grill that will give you the readings of your grill temperature so you know when to cook and when your food is done. This grill might be the closest you can get to cooking your meats to a professional-grade level. If you’ve ever watched those TV shows about barbecuing, chances are this could turn your cooking into something that the pros themselves might approve of. With a durable build and the ability to quickly power up, you can get your grilling on in almost no time flat.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be perfect for those who are looking for a grill made for camping on the weekends or those cross-country RV trips. Indeed, it can reach a pretty generous size once you have it opened up. You’ll also have outlets for your adapters as well (assuming you have an RV or even a generator). No matter where you take this grill, your cooking abilities will be much better once you get the hang of using it.

Bottom Line

If you want a grill that might be the closest you can get to professional grilling, the Green Mountain Grill will definitely be worth looking at. It’s tough, easy to start, and makes cooking all the BBQ favorites a lot more fun. Take it with you wherever the outdoors calls you or whenever you are planning a get together with friends, family, and neighbors alike.

Best for the Money: 
Country Smokers CSPEL015010497

Pros

  • Affordable for most budgets
  • Great for cooking all kinds of meat
  • Makes cooking safe and fun for users
  • Holds up to 3.5 pounds of hardwood pellets
  • Heat range is pretty wide, but convenient depending on what you are cooking

Cons

  • May take longer to warm up upon initial use
  • Thermostat might be a little off, but not too much
  • A few have complained about temperature inconsistency

What Recent Buyers Report

New users were looking for a reliable tailgate grill that was easy to transport and fun to use outside. Believe it or not, this grill exceeded so many standards. Not only did it make cooking fun, but all kinds of meats were cooked to perfection by most users (and at various temperatures as well). One user said that it wasn’t too heavy to lug around, thus making it easily portable.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Country Smokers CSPEL015010497 is perfect if you don’t want to deal with propane or gas, and it will certainly be miles better compared to cooking with charcoal. Pellets tend to heat up fast, thus giving this grill a strong case into why it should be a good choice for you. Once you've got a good flame going, then you’ll be ready to cook just about anything that can come to mind. Whip up some campground favorites for yourself, your friends, or your family. If you're feeling generous, you can have a nice BBQ in the park and invite anyone around who is hungry for all the chicken, hot dogs, and burgers you can cook.

Who Will Use This Most

If you got the meats, you got a grill that can cook them. From burgers to ribs and everything in between, this grill will certainly be the king of the cookout. All you have to do is set it at the right temperature and you’ll be good to go for some solid grilling that won’t cause a mess. Plus, it’s easy cleaning once all is said and done, so if you want a grill that won’t give you grief, this might be it.

Bottom Line

The Country Smokers tailgate grill can cook like a champ and has a price tag that most budget shoppers can swing. If you want an affordable grill that will make you the hero of the neighborhood or the campground, this might be the ideal one for you to invest in. For something that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, it does a pretty good job of heating up and giving you all kinds of temperature ranges for the perfect cooking experience.

Best Coleman Grill:
Coleman RoadTrip 285

Pros

  • Excellent portability
  • Easy to clean after use
  • Really tough and durable
  • Perfect for cooking all kinds of food
  • Great for all kinds of outdoor venues (parks, campgrounds, etc.)

Cons

  • No grease tray included
  • Could use a little more BTUs
  • Some minor design issues have been reported

What Recent Buyers Report

Some new users chose this grill based on the Coleman name alone, but a handful of others chose this based on several other factors. For one, they were looking for something with sturdiness and easy portability (check and check). When in use, it does a good job of heating up fast and will cook just about any kind of meat you can think of, according to one user.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Coleman name has always been considered one of the most trusted in outdoor equipment. This explains why some buyers snagged it based on the name alone. But what is it about the Coleman RoadTrip 285 that truly makes it stand out? It certainly offers you the portability that some grills lack (like your backyard grills). Sure, this grill might do as good of a job cooking compared to it or maybe even better, but this is easy to take with you and is not as heavy despite being really durable in terms of construction.

Who Will Use This Most

This grill will be perfect for any kind of outdoor cooking you plan on doing while camping or enjoying a day out at the park with family. Be warned though, you might be cooking some really tasty stuff that people can smell from a distance away. If you don’t mind using a good old fashioned propane-powered tailgate grill, then this one just might be your huckleberry.

Bottom Line

The Coleman RoadTrip 285 is the go-to choice for campers and outdoor enthusiasts who prefer to cook with a grill that is built for those away-from-home cookouts. You will certainly enjoy cooking all kinds of food (or whatever your friends and family are hankering for). Plus, with easy matchless lighting and operation, this will certainly be simple to use for any outdoor activity.

Best Weber Tailgate Grill:
Weber 1141001 Go-Anywhere Gas Grill

Pros

  • Easy cleaning
  • Simple portability
  • Really durable construction
  • Perfect for camping and tailgating
  • Lightweight and really easy to disassemble

Cons

  • Handles may be loose after short-term use
  • Some say it may take multiple tries to light it up
  • A few have complained about it heating unevenly

What Recent Buyers Report

As expected, most of the users of this grill were nothing short of impressed. Some of them were users of the older Weber models. They concluded that it was a huge improvement over its predecessors and it cooked better as well. One user said that he had used Weber grills during his hunting and camping outings for a long time; he concluded that this grill might last just as long as his old one (which lasted about a decade or so).

Why it Stands Out to Us

Weber is another one of those names that outdoorsy folks have relied on over the years. If you are familiar with outdoor portable grills, chances are you aren’t surprised to see one on this list. This has 160 square inches of cooking that you can work with. Its compact size allows you to easily set it up and carry it from point A to point B. Why carry a heavy grill and a full tank of propane when you have this?

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great starter grill for those new to the whole cooking outdoor thing. If you want a grill that isn’t too complicated to start up, then this should at the top of your shortlist. You can cook the staple campground or cookout foods and have plenty of it to go around with the cooking space you are using.

Bottom Line

The Weber Go-Anywhere Gas Grill lives up to its name. You can take this anywhere and enjoy the outdoors while cooking at the same time. It’s definitely the best option for anyone who is always on an outdoor adventure and doesn’t want to rely on any other complex cooking equipment that might be hard to carry around.

What Do I Need To Know Before Buying?

It’s good to be that buyer who is more informed about tailgate grills than most people. The following are some key pieces of information that you should be aware of in order to make an informed decision:

Consider Your Heating Options

What do you think will be easier for you? Gas? Wood pellets, etc? How much heat do you need and what are you cooking? Remember, there are some foods that will require low heat while some of the larger portions of food like ribs may require a higher temperature. 

Purchase an Extra Propane Tank (Or Pellet Bag)

It’s good to have a backup propane tank or an extra bag of pellets in case things go south with either item. Also, you can switch out an empty tank with a full one if you are pressed for time. Either way, have an extra tank or pellet bag handy so you can save yourself time and money in the process. 

Always Cook in a Well-Ventilated Area

This is probably rule number one for anyone using a grill. Never cook with a grill inside or in an enclosed area. You should always situate yourself in a well-ventilated area. This can be done outdoors or inside a garage while the door is open if the weather is bad. If you are using a grill, cook safe and use the right kind of tools and materials so you can avert any disaster.

Conclusion

The ideal tailgate grill for you could easily be one of the superior models listed above. Find one that will match you perfectly so you can use it as much as you want in every outdoor activity you find yourself in. Whether you are camping, spending time with family, or getting ready for the big game, there is nothing more awesome than having a tailgate grill to cook all your favorite foods.