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Propane grills offer a few advantages over their charcoal-powered counterparts. They heat up faster, don’t create leftover ashes, and offer the ability to heat specific areas of the grill precisely. They don’t require a learning curve to cook up a couple burgers. A propane grill is also a lot easier to reignite if you realize you need to cook more food, and there are no briquettes to discard once you’re done grilling. The best propane grills are easy to use, clean, maintain, and transport, which makes them friendly to both newer cooks and old pros.

How we chose the best propane grills

Everyone’s grilling needs differ (not everyone needs the glorious grilling overkill of a Traeger Ironwood XL), so we’ve made versatility the guiding light for our recommendations. Our evaluations are based on a thorough canvassing of all the best and latest gear from well-known companies to fit any grilling needs. Of course, there’s a recommendation for those who want a reliable way to grill at home while the weather’s nice, but we found portability particularly interesting to many readers, too.

With the ability to use compact compressed gas canisters, a smaller propane grill can go camping or cook on balconies in some city apartments. Whether you have a sprawling backyard or a sliver of space, you’ll find a propane grill below that suits your environment. Naturally, smaller grills require less propane, so you can stretch out your supply longer by using them. Durability was paramount in our selection of propane grills because they’ll likely be left outside (covered, of course) for some portion of the year. You’ll find a majority of our picks are made from stainless steel, which won’t rust quickly like lesser metals.

Whether shopping for your first grill or jumping from charcoal or natural gas to propane, you’ll find what you’re looking for here.

The best propane grills: Reviews & Recommendations

The grilling scenario you find yourself most often will determine the best propane grill for you, and with that in mind, we’ve selected five options to cover all the major bases. Be mindful that some of the grills below may suit a scenario—home or camping, for example—in which case it may be worth prioritizing one or getting both.

Best overall: Weber Genesis Smart EX-335




  • Burners: Four
  • Cooking area: 787 square inches
  • BTU per hour input: 39,000 BTU
  • Weight: 197.6 pounds
  • Material: Stainless steel


  • Primary and side burners
  • Digital temperature gauge
  • Supports the Weber Connect app


  • Not designed for portable use

If you looked up the term “propane grill” in the dictionary, you could easily see a picture of Weber’s Genesis Smart EX-335, and for a good reason. The 200-pound four-burner grill has all the features any home cook would need to cook outdoors easily. The main chamber has three burners—plus a specific knob that raises the temperature between the second and third so you can get extra-high heat for a hard sear. A propane-powered side burner can cook side dishes. The side burner is especially helpful if you’d like to grill up vegetables or bacon, which require constant attention and have more telling visual indicators for doneness than a big hunk of meat.

Equally useful is the Smart EX-335’s right-hand side panel, which features a digital temperature reading that’s easy to read when cooking in the dark, and a couple of slots for meat probes. If you elect to use the meat probes, you can sync your phone to the grill using Weber’s Connect app—available on iOS and Android—to get a notification when it’s done cooking. The app will even tell you when to flip your meat if necessary. We’re always skeptical about smart features making their way into product categories that have been fine for years, but Weber’s make sense.

The Smart EX-335 is a full-sized grill, which means it’s big, heavy, and designed to be used exclusively in one place. Once it’s set up, you won’t easily transport it to another location. The grill’s wheels make it easy to move around a porch or patio with minimal effort, but you can’t put it in a car and go. If you’re looking for an at-home propane grill, you’re not going to find a better one than this.

Best portable: Cuisinart CGG-306




  • Burners: Two
  • Cooking area: 275 Square inches
  • BTU per hour input: 10,000 BTU
  • Weight: 28.66 pounds
  • Material: Stainless steel


  • Hits the sweet spot between portability and cooking area
  • Two full-sized burners
  • Stainless steel grates


  • A little heavy for a portable grill

Cuisinart’s CGG-306 is fully capable of being the at-home grill for a four-person household, but it’s also small and light enough to be taken on the road. At 30 pounds, you’ll certainly feel its weight when taking it and out of your car, but that discomfort is temporary, and the pros far outweigh the cons.

The biggest feature the CGG-306 has going for it the combination of is its relatively large cooking area and two full-sized burners. You can make a two-zone grilling space with enough room for plenty of protein and sides. If you walk the middle path and use both burners at the same temperature for a uniform heating surface, all the better. Most portable propane grills—including all of our other recommendations—either have two smaller burners or a single larger one. In this way, the CGG-306 is more of a shrunk-down full-sized grill than a souped-up portable one.

One of the seemingly-small-but-surprisingly-important design choices Cuisinart made was outfitting the CGG-306 with stainless steel grates. This will allow you to keep the grill outdoors for extended periods of time without the risk of opening it up to find a rusty mess. Positioning its analog thermometer on top of its lid was another wise choice, as it’s easy to spot so long as you have enough light.

If you want a portable propane grill with plenty of power, Cuisinart’s CGG-306 is the one to get.

Best for camping: Coleman Gas Camping Grill/Stove




  • Burners: Two
  • Cooking area: 130 Square inches
  • BTU per hour input: 20,000 BTU
  • Weight: 7.5 pounds
  • Material: Synthetic


  • Two burners
  • Retractable drip tray
  • Fuel efficiency


  • Synthetic materials

Space is always at a premium when you go camping, and this grill’s penchant for portability makes it a very solid choice. It’s our lightest recommendation at well under 10 pounds, but it still has a two-burner cooking system—albeit one that’s a lot weaker than the one you’ll find in the Cuisinart model we mentioned earlier. Still, what this grill lacks in size, it more than makes up for in ease of use.

For instance, the area beneath its main burner is open, which allows fat and other drippings to fall directly onto a tray, which can be pulled out and cleaned after every cook. You’ll still need to wipe down its non-stick grates, but this is far less hassle than cleaning other propane grills. This grill’s secondary burner has raised grates and is designed for a coffee pot or pan rather than allowing you to cook directly on top of it.

Coleman bundles its grill with a griddle, which can be placed over its larger burner and is perfect for everything from pancakes, eggs, and bacon to smash burgers and stir-fried vegetables. It’s nice to see Coleman make the most of this grill’s small form factor. It even built windscreens on the right and left side to keep cooking consistent during inclement weather. Similarly, Coleman says the Perfectheat technology it invented makes this propane grill more fuel efficient.

If you need a quick propane grill to throw into the back of your car for a camping trip, this is the one you want.

Best countertop: Pit Boss Grills Single-Burner Tabletop Grill

Pit Boss



  • Burners: One
  • Cooking area: 322 Square inches.
  • BTU per hour input: 10,000 BTU
  • Weight: 20 pounds
  • Material: Stainless steel


  • Surprisingly large cooking area
  • Two layers of grill grates
  • Stainless steel grill grates


  • Single burner

If you can get over the fact that it only has one burner, you’ll find much to like about Pit Boss Grill’s Single-Burner Tabletop Grill. This is especially true of its 322-square-inch cooking area, which is more space than our favorite portable grill, even though it’s roughly 10 pounds lighter. Part of the reason this grill has so much cooking space is that it has a top rack in addition to its main grate. This will allow you to toast hamburger buns while you’re cooking the patties or finish off a more delicate piece of meat off direct heat. In this sense, you can create a quasi-two-zone cooking area—but that comes with far less control.

We were pleased that Pit Boss opted to make both of its grates out of stainless steel, which matches this grill’s exterior. Smart design choices, like having its legs contract when it’s not in use, serve to improve its portability. Similarly, this grill has an easily-accessible slip-out grill tray to clean out drippings before they become a fire hazard. Interestingly, Pit Boss designed this propane grill with a dedicated push-button starter rather than building that functionality into its temperature knob. This isn’t good or bad, but a feature we’d only expect to see in a full-sized grill.

Suppose you want a tabletop-friendly propane grill with plenty of space and are confident enough in your cooking skills to work a single-burner grill with consistent results successfully. In that case, you’ll be very happy with Pit Boss Grill’s Single-Burner Tabletop Grill.

Best budget: Coleman RoadTrip Party Basic Propane Grill




  • Burners: One
  • Cooking area: 122 Square inches
  • BTU per hour input: 8,000 BTU
  • Weight: 6.65 pounds
  • Material: Alloy steel


  • Compact design
  • Lightweight
  • Price


  • Not as powerful

The Coleman RoadTrip is an ultra-lightweight single-burner propane grill costing under $100. It’s the perfect tool for a cookout on the beach or in a park. Despite its space limitations, you can still cook four or five hamburgers or a full handful of hotdogs simultaneously. Coleman includes a grate, griddle, and wire rack, so you could just as easily cook breakfast foods, sauté vegetables, or use the grill with a pot or pan. This versatility is welcome from such a small grill. The Coleman RoadTrip might not be as powerful as our other recommendations, but it’s still a solid pick if your propane grill needs are relatively basic.

What to consider when shopping for the best propane grills

Number of burners

The number of burners a propane grill has is important for several reasons. The first is that having more burners will allow the grill to heat up more quickly, which is helpful if you’re on a time crunch. Secondarily, having more burners gives you greater control over the hot and cold parts of your grill. Sometimes, you’ll want to create a two-zone grilling area to sear food in a hotter section and cook it through in the cooler one to avoid burning or overcooking.

Cooking area

A propane grill’s cooking area denotes how much space you have for your food. This unit of measurement is helpful because it’s different than the total width and length of a grill, which takes into account the gap between its grates and frame, plus the frame itself. If a grill has an upper grate—primarily used to keep food warm rather than directly heat it—this space is also counted.

BTU (British Thermal Units)

You’ll find this unit of measurement in the description of every grill, but it isn’t a measurement of heat—though the two are directly related. A propane grill’s maximum BTU denotes how much energy is required to heat the grill to a specific temperature. This is analogous to acceleration in the car world: It’s the time it takes to get a vehicle from 0 to 60 miles an hour rather than a measure of distance. In any event, most of our propane grill recommendations top out at 10,000BTU, which is standard for smaller grills.


If you’ve decided to get a portable propane grill, weight is the most important factor to consider. Most of our recommendations weigh less than 30 pounds, with some options weighing in at 10 or less. For comparison, our best overall pick, which was designed exclusively for home use, weighs nearly 200 pounds.


A majority of the propane grills we’re recommending are made out of stainless steel, which means they’re not going to rust if they’re exposed to moisture—either directly from drizzling rain or humidity. Stainless steel will begin to get damaged if it comes in contact with liquid for extended periods of time, which is why you shouldn’t grill during rain storms with any frequency.


Q: Can I use a propane grill inside?

No. Using a propane grill inside is not safe, as even the slightest gas leak could be potentially hazardous. We do have a guide to the best indoor grills, which are suited to this use-case.

Q: How do I connect a propane tank to a gas grill?

This will vary from model to model, so we recommend reading the manufacturer’s instructions before assembling your propane grill for the first time.

Q: Can I use a propane grill in the rain?

You should not use your propane grill—or any grill—in the rain, as direct, extended exposure to water may damage one or more of its components.

Q: How should I clean a propane grill?

The grates of a propane grill should be cleaned using a brush. Once it’s cooled down, you can clean the outside of a propane grill with paper towels or a clean rag before covering it.

Q: How long do propane grills last?

If it’s cleaned, stored, and handled properly, a propane grill should last over 10 years without any issues.

Final thoughts on choosing the best propane grills

Propane grills are popular because of their versatility and ease of use, which is especially helpful for less experienced home cooks just getting the hang of cooking outdoors. You’ll need to be mindful of how much propane is left in your tank and to store it properly for safety reasons, but beyond that, they’re pretty plug-and-play. There’s no wrong fuel when it comes to grilling; we like them all, but propane is beginner friendly. Just make sure to have the right grilling tools before your outdoor cooking to avoid getting burned or losing your food between the grates.

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.