Best Portable BBQ UK [2023]

Best Portable BBQ UK [2023]

If you need to find the best portable BBQ in the UK, then you’re exactly where you should be! As a couple and then a family, we’ve been using portable BBQs for years when away in our old VW campervan, or at the beach and New Forest near where we live. It’s an essential piece of outdoor gear for anyone who loves cooking outdoors.

So what makes any product the best camping BBQ? I’ll run through everything you should look for when buying the best portable grill to suit your lifestyle, budget and preferences. In this guide you’ll also find a quick reference table so you can compare products, plus a series of frequently asked questions around the topic of portable grills for camping, caravanning and days out.

Ready to go? See my number one pick of the travel grills here

The Weber Q1000 wins overall because it’s assembled and ready to go, comes from a top brand, and is ultra sturdy yet simple to store and carry.

We’ve used disposable BBQs, charcoal grills and gas BBQs, so whatever kind of small portable grills you’re thinking of we’ve been there and done that. (Now we finally have our own garden, we’ve just treated ourselves to a lovely Broil King gas BBQ.)

Whether you’re looking for the best portable gas BBQ, a table top grill, the best portable charcoal grill or are open-minded about what makes the best portable barbecue, this guide should help you track down the ideal product. Let’s begin with that comparison chart so you can see at a glance what the options are.

Best portable BBQ contents

Best portable barbecue comparison chart

NameFuel typeKey featuresPrice
Kamado Joe JuniorCharcoalIncredible flavour; sears, roasts & smokes; lifetime ceramic guaranteeClick here
Valiant folding BBQCharcoalUltra lightweight, easy to carry & store, caters for a familyClick here
LotusGrillCharcoal (+ battery/USB)Almost smokeless, heats in under 5 min, cool touch outerClick here
George Foreman toolboxCharcoalCool toolbox design, great value for money, integral legsClick here
Cobb PremierCharcoal‘Moat’ ensures moist meat, windproof dome, tote bag includedClick here
Campingaz party grillGasStove & grill, widely available cartridges, ideal for partiesClick here
Weber gas grillGasTough stand, top brand, supplied fully assembledClick here

Best camping grill – Top options

  • Kamado Joe Junior – Best for serious foodies
  • Valiant folding BBQ – Best budget buy
  • LotusGrill – Best for smokeless effect
  • George Foreman toolbox – Best for carrying
  • Cobb Premier – Best for moist meats
  • Campingaz party grill – Best grill & stove in 1
  • Weber Q1000 – Best overall

Best portable grills for camping – What to look for

Fuel type

Do you want the best portable propane grill you can find, or are you thinking more along the lines of a table top charcoal BBQ? Whichever you choose, you’ll need to carry fuel along as well, as even the best compact BBQ cannot cook without it!

There are more charcoal grills to choose from, and it does give you that incomparable BBQ flavour. Options as the best portable gas grill for camping are powered by gas canisters, which some people see as more convenient, though you’ll have to source the right size to fit.


How heavy is your chosen portable gas BBQ for camping – and what about the canister/s? If the best tabletop grills for you use charcoal, don’t forget to factor that into the equation.

That said, the weight may not matter too much if you tend to travel by car and can park close to wherever you’ll be cooking. The same perhaps applies if there are more of you to share the load.


Take a good look at the table top BBQ grills you like and imagine yourself picking it up for an impromptu picnic or trip to the beach. What about loading it into the car for a longer camping trip, or taking it to a festival?

Some of these portable table top grill options come with one or two handles, or a carry bag may be supplied for storage and transportation. A more compact or streamlined model may also be simpler to take along than a bulkier one.


How many people will you be cooking for? Some portable BBQs can cater for a crowd or family, and you might need one of those if there’s a group of you who picnic or camp together.

If there’s only one of two of you, then the best small barbecue grill may be one that can feed just you, since it will be lighter, more compact and possibly cheaper.

Other functions

Several of the best travel BBQ contenders listed here can be used in other ways.

The Campingaz model, for example, can also be used like a stove top, while the Kamado Joe Junior can be used for searing, smoking and roasting as well as grilling.

Cobb’s BBQ, meanwhile, can infuse food with flavour when you add liquid to the ‘moat’.

table top grill

Best table top grill – Reviews & recommendations

Kamado Joe Junior

Best for serious foodies

  • Fuel type: Charcoal

The Kamado Joe Junior offers amazing flavour when used to roast, smoke, sear or grill food. It looks fabulous too.

This contender as best portable charcoal BBQ is one I came across when writing regular blogs for a garden centre website. The Kamado Joe range includes some attractive and robust products, and the Kamado Joe Junior is the more portable of the BBQ bunch.

It’s not cheap, but it’s certainly one to please serious foodies as the flavour is incredible – for any BBQ, let alone one that’s portable. As well as grilling, you can sear, roast and smoke with this too. The ceramic parts also come with a lifetime warranty.

The downside is that it’s not the lightest option, and it’s also pretty bulky. However you could also use this as your everyday BBQ, meaning it does double duty.

High points:

  • Outstanding performance
  • Grills, sears, roasts & smokes
  • Lifetime guarantee on ceramic parts

Low points:

  • Heavier & bulkier than most

Click here to view the Kamado Joe Junior

Check eBay prices

Valiant folding BBQ

Best budget buy

  • Fuel type: Charcoal

This folding BBQ grill is ultra lightweight, folds up nice and flat and uses charcoal, so there’s no gas bottle to carry.

We had a folding BBQ very similar to this when we lived in a flat, as it was the best compact grill to keep in the garage and bring out into the communal gardens during summer. We also took it to the beach or away with us in the campervan. The simple folding design makes it a cinch to store and transport.

You can cook quite a lot of food on one of these, yet it’s ultra lightweight. The handle makes it even easier to take along wherever you go. A flat BBQ is also easier to store when you have limited space than the chunkier type.

If you don’t want to spend too much but want to cook for a family while out for the day or away, this could be the best camping BBQ grill to buy.

High points:

  • Ultra lightweight
  • Caters for a family
  • Easy to store & carry

Low points:

  • Basic features

Click here to view this portable picnic BBQ

Check eBay prices

LotusGrill BBQ

Best for smokeless effect

  • Fuel type: Charcoal + USB/battery

This compact BBQ is virtually smokeless when LotusGrill fuel is used. It also heats up fast and has a cool touch outer.

This clever and good-looking portable flat top grill is very easy to transport and extremely simple to operate. It is also almost smokeless – provided you use LotusGrill’s branded complementary fuel paste and charcoal, that is.

It takes under five minutes to heat up and has a cool touch outer so you won’t get burned while cooking. The inner shell and grill grate are dishwasher safe too, so it’s easy to keep it clean.

You will need USB or battery power to operate the fan, but once it’s going this is a joy to use. It’s also incredibly portable. Buy one of these and you might just end up using it anywhere and everywhere.

High points:

  • Cool touch outer
  • Virtually smokeless
  • Heats in under 5 minutes

Low points:

  • LotusGrill charcoal required for smokeless effect

Click here to view the LotusGrill barbecue

Check eBay prices

George Foreman Toolbox BBQ

Best for carrying

  • Fuel type: Charcoal

This toolbox type BBQ in red or black from a top grill brand can cater for four. It has built-in legs for use on a tabletop.

If you want something affordable that’s simple to get started with, this George Foreman outdoor grill could well be the best camping grill to go for. It has a cool toolbox-style look, and you can also buy red or black briefcase versions.

This one’s a bit bigger than some, so it can cook for up to four people. Yet at 4 kilos it’s very lightweight, and so easy to pick up and carry. There are integral folding legs so you can use it as a table top barbecue too.

The handle is heat resistant, which is ideal when you’re in a hurry, and the shiny outer finish is durable as well as smart. This is a neat little portable BBQ from one of grilling’s leading brands.

High points:

  • Cool toolbox design
  • Great value for money
  • Integral legs to use on table top

Low points:

  • Not as robust as some

Click here to view the George Foreman portable BBQ

Check eBay prices

Cobb Premier BBQ system

Best for moist meats

  • Fuel type: Charcoal

This Cobb BBQ with a tote bag also has a moat for adding moisture and flavour from liquids and can roast, smoke and grill.

This one is certainly challenging other products for the title of best small grill – it’s very compact and comes with a tote bag so you can just grab it and go. It can also smoke, roast and cook as well as grilling.

Like some politicians during the MPs’ expenses scandal, it even has a moat. A what? It’s so you can fill this with water or even your favourite alcoholic beverage, keeping the food moist while infusing it with flavour.

Once you’ve bought this you won’t need to spend much on charcoal, as a mere handful of briquettes will keep you cooking for up to three hours. The base is cool so you can use it as a table top charcoal grill, and the domed lid makes it easy to ward off the wind when lighting it and cooking.

High points:

  • Tote bag included
  • ‘Moat’ keeps food moist
  • Dome protects grill from weather

Low points:

  • Limited size

Click here to view the Cobb Premier barbecue

Check eBay prices

Campingaz party grill

Best grill & stove in one

  • Fuel type: Gas

The Campingaz grill comes from a brand I can personally recommend, and the compact gas cartridges are sold all over the world.

This is not only one of the best portable gas grill options around, it can also multi-task. At first glance it may look like a floor-standing model, but it’s actually the ideal table top propane grill as it’s compact enough to put on any work surface.

The gas canister fits neatly underneath too, and there are two different tops which you can use as a pan surface or a grill. These cartridges are available in more than 50 countries, so no problem if you take regular trips overseas. A Piezo ignition makes it easy to light.

If our campervan hadn’t had a built-in grill and hob this would have done the job perfectly; the only downside is that you can’t of course use the grill while you’re using the stove top and vice versa. We had a blue Campingaz cool box in there, incidentally, and it worked well for years – even after buying it second hand. And it still was when it went to the van’s new owners.

High points:

  • Perfect for parties
  • Stove top and grill in one
  • Widely available gas cartridges

Low points:

  • Tricky to clean

Click here to view the Campingaz portable propane gas grill

Check eBay prices

Weber portable gas BBQ

Best big BBQ brand

  • Fuel type: Gas

You can cook on this Weber BBQ right after unboxing and it uses small gas canisters. It has cast iron, ceramic coated plates.

This Weber table top grill comes from one of barbecuing’s top brands – and it’s an impressive bit of kit. For starters, it comes out of the box fully assembled – just pre-heat for 10 to 15 minutes and you’re good to grill.

Unlike many others, this is a table top gas BBQ rather than one fuelled by charcoal. Once you’ve bought the small, disposable gas canisters to go with it, you have the convenience of cooking on gas wherever you go.

This is a top quality compact gas grill, with plates made from cast iron with a ceramic coating. The casing is aluminium to minimise the weight, while the stand is made using glass-reinforced nylon.

High points:

  • Top BBQ brand
  • Tough integral stand
  • Supplied fully assembled

Low points:

  • Longer heating time than some

Click here to view the Weber table top gas grill

Check eBay prices

Best table top barbecue – FAQs

Which is the best portable BBQ?

It’s really a question of which is the best option for you. Do you, for instance, want a gas table top BBQ, or to find the best small charcoal BBQ? Factors to take into account include your budget, the size, the portability and the fuel type.

What is the best portable charcoal BBQ?

The top small camping grills that run on charcoal include models from Campingaz, Kamado Joe, George Foreman, Valiant, LotusGrill and more. Which is best really depends on your needs and preferences, as they range from basic models to multi-function cookers.

Which is the best small gas BBQ?

If you’re picking between portable gas grills for camping, the Weber Q1000 is one of the best options around. This BBQ from a market leader is very effective and robust yet incredibly compact, and is made to last from top quality materials.

Which is the best portable BBQ for camping for you?

Hopefully this guide will help you choose between the best camping gas grills and charcoal BBQs on the market. Cooking and eating outdoors is one of the real pleasures of the all-too-brief British summer, and as we all know you need to make the most of every sunny moment!

Polly x

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