Portable gas grills are especially popular with consumers who like tailgating or camping and are also useful for cooks with little outdoor space. Among the portable gas grills on the market, we found that the Weber Q-220 (Est. $240) earns the best ratings in both professional and owner reviews.
The 41-pound Q-220 is a 12,000-Btu model with 280 square inches of cooking space. It has a cast-aluminum lid and body, and a porcelain-enameled, cast-iron cooking grate. Convenience features include an electronic ignition, two folding worktables with tool hooks and a built-in thermometer.
More than 180 users post about the Q-220 to Amazon, awarding it an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5, while almost 50 users post on HomeDepot.com, with an average rating of 4.6 stars. Comments indicate that the grill is versatile, with owners noting that they use it to cook a range of foods and some adding that the domed lid lets you fit a whole chicken on it. Many say it grills quickly and is easy to use. We read no reports of flare-ups, although some do report difficulty in getting it to light. About.com's Derrick Riches likes the design, but finds the model heavy and expensive for a portable.
If you're looking for a portable alternative that offers consistent performance but at a lower price point, reviewers give good marks to the Weber Go-Anywhere Gas Grill (Est. $60) . In terms of construction and features, it's a clear step down from the Q-220. Specifically, it doesn't have the spiffy, domed design of the Q-220 -- it looks like a portable black tool chest -- and with 160 square inches of cooking space, it's significantly smaller. In addition, it has a push-button ignition instead of an electronic one and a plated-steel cooking grate instead of one that's made of porcelain-enameled cast iron. On the plus side, it weighs just 14.5 pounds and its legs pivot to lock the lid in place for carrying.
The Go-Anywhere Gas Grill earns an average rating of 4.2 stars out of 5 from more than 350 Amazon users and an average 4.5 stars from more than 50 reviewers on Walmart.com. Owners say it's durable, cooks well and is easy to use, but there are reports of rusting and both professional reviewers and users widely complain that the igniter is prone to failure. This is annoying to some users, but others say they simply light the grill with a match.
For those who are mainly interested in a grill for camping, reviewers praise the Coleman RoadTrip LXE (Est. $150) . As its name suggests, the model is designed for easy transport, as it folds up when not in use, resembling a small suitcase on wheels. It has cast-iron grates, a cooking surface of 285 square inches and a powerful heat output of 20,000 Btu.
The RoadTrip LXE earns an average rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 from nearly 500 users posting to Amazon.com and an average rating of 4.8 stars from about 30 Walmart.com users. Owners like that it can prepare everything from morning coffee and pancakes to a steak dinner, with many noting that they purchased the griddle (Est. $25) and the stove grate (Est. $20) as add-ons.
Nevertheless, many users complain of difficulty cleaning the grill and many say the extremely high heat level leads to grease fires as well as melting or warping of components. Editors of the Good Housekeeping Research Institute give this model a grade of "B-minus," faulting it for uneven cooking, "minor" flare-ups and a small lid handle.