4 Great Tailgate Grills

4 Great Tailgate Grills

With wintertime blues and COVID-19 all around us, you’re probably not thinking much about tailgating. But with spring around the corner, the off-season is the best time to start planning your next tailgating trip. Start breathing life back into the little tailgater that lives inside all of us. Think of sun-soaked fields of grass, afternoons laughing around the cooler, and vicious games of beanbag toss (or bags, cornhole, or baggo, depending on where you hail from).

More importantly, it’s time to consider the purchase of your next meat-flaming BBQ grill.

Not just any grill will do, though. You’re not camping in the backwoods with the scouts—you’re going to be barbecuing with your best friends and family on game day. Get ready to fire up the greatest burgers, sausages, and steaks with help from some of the best BBQ grills for tailgating barbecues.

Best for Small Tailgates: Coyote C1EL120SM

No matter what team you cheer for, everyone’s gonna have to eat ahead of the big game. Or the little game. Or the little league game, but you might get some weird looks at the baseball diamond. Wherever you go, make sure you pack a portable grill with enough space for all your eats. If it’s just you and a couple of friends or family members, you may be able to get away with a device with under 160 square inches of cooking space. Consider the Coyote grill, it is something sleek and small. With a Teflon-coated cooking surface and optional pedestal stand to hook it up back at home, this Coyote is small and versatile. Pack it in the car the next time you and your sweetheart head to an out-of-town game.

Best For Larger Tailgates: Weber Q 2200

In most cases, though, tailgating is all about grilling in bulk for lots of people. No matter how many folks you’re grilling for, make sure you don’t overload the surface. You want enough heat from your electric heating element or propane to reach each burger, and that can’t happen on an overcrowded surface. Larger groups should opt for grills that are at least 180 square inches of grilling space, if not more. Consider something like the colorful Weber Q 1200 or go the next size up with the massive Weber Q 2200 to nearly double your grilling space. The supersized 2200 even features side wings that make for easy prep space. Rest your spatula here, or keep salt, pepper, and other seasonings close at hand while you cook. And once the big game starts, everything folds away for easy storage.

Best Electric Grill: Weber Q 1400

When you’re on the go, you’re generally choosing between a liquid propane gas grill, or an electric version. While many grillers are very opinionated about their fuel sources, don’t turn these electric ones away just yet. Electric grills are often looked down on for not giving off that “smokiness” some crave from a good burger. But in sacrificing billowing smoke, users gain endless usability. Consider the Weber Q 1400: made with classic Weber style and craftsmanship, and an electrical cord. This electric portable grill can go so many places a gas one cannot. Porches, apartments, balconies, even indoor use. This is a grill that you can use not just for tailgating, but for nearly all your indoor needs. The one downside? It needs an electrical outlet, so make sure you bring a power source and enough extension cords.

Best Propane Grill: Coyote Stainless Steel Portable Liquid Propane Gas Grill

Meanwhile, liquid propane is the classic grill fuel, and one many grillers prefer over an electric model. Propane can sear foods at hotter temperatures than electricity can and heats up faster. It is sold in gas stations, supermarkets, and hardware stores, so it would be hard to find yourself without any fuel…that is, until you use up that last canister. Make sure you always pack enough propane for your tailgate, otherwise your amazing grill and menu will be replaced by overpriced hot dogs in the stands.  The Coyote brings everything that’s best about the classic grill to the table, including an incredibly high heat capacity of 700 degrees Fahrenheit, a signature grate, and shining style that’ll be the envy of every other burger-flipper in the parking lot. Plus, with over 200 square inches of cooking space, you’ll be able to keep those hot eats coming no matter how many people you brought along.

Whether you root for the home team or road trip for the away games, make sure you come ready to cheer all day long. Prep for your next tailgating session with the best grills for superior tailgating barbecues. Bring along coolers filled with chilled drinks and ready-to-cook proteins, and don’t forget your grilling accessories like tongs and spatulas. If tailgating is out of season or out of the question, set up your own personal “tailgate” at home. Just turn on the outdoor speakers (or even your weather-resistant TV) and get grilling.

Still not sure what you’re looking for in a tailgating grill? Check out this guide to grilling for expert help.