Best Backpacking Grill – Good Eating, Wherever

Gerard Paul
July 13th, 2021

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In a hurry to go backpacking? My favorite backpacking grill is the UCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Grill and Fire Pit.

There's nothing better than eating outdoors, especially when you're backpacking and have hiked for miles to get to your favorite spot. 

Enjoying a BBQ overlooking a beautiful view of a lake, mountains, or even at the seaside is a great thing. However, you need to make sure that this goes without a hitch – pick up a good backpacking grill.

I've reviewed the best backpacking grills to make the decision of which to choose easier for you. We'll also let you know just what you should be looking for when buying your backpacking grill to be able to have the best camping dinner ever.

The best backpacking grills are:

What To Look For in a Backpacking Grill

When choosing the best backpacking grill, you should make sure that it's suitable for your needs. Ask yourself some questions first: how long will you be carrying it for, and how many people do you need to feed? You'll also need to look at how long the camping grill will last as you may be backpacking for a while, and you need to eat.  

What Types of Backpacking Grills Are There?

There are many different types of grills to choose from when backpacking.

You can have a folding camping grill with legs that you can add wood or charcoal and then use a grill rack across the top of the grill base. This style can also be used as a fire pit when not cooking food.

You can also take a stove burner with you, as this doesn't require any charcoal or firewood. It uses gas, and the flame can be controlled to be as big or as little as needed. There's no need to rely on nature for this style of stove. 

The cheaper and easier to carry option would be a freestanding grill that is used by positioning over a campfire. This style is great for long trips as it's easier to carry.

How Heavy Is The Grill?

If you're carrying the grill around for long periods of time and for many days, you should definitely consider its weight. This is extremely important as you don't want to be carrying a heavy grill around with you when you have all your other gear to carry.

If you're traveling short distances and want a bit of luxury, you may look for a more full-featured grill option rather than just a grate to put over a wood fire. 

How Small Does It Fold?

The backpacking grill that you choose needs to be portable and ideally should fold down to be extremely small. This will enable you to carry it easily when traveling and carrying your other gear. 

Many backpacking grills come with their own carrying case or bag so that they're easy to carry when traveling. 

What Material Makes Up Your Grill?

You should make sure that your backpacking grill is made from a durable material such as stainless steel. This can be resistant against rust, heat, and corrosion to give you a long-lasting grill that still looks great after lots of usage.

You can also get grills made from titanium or cast iron. However, respectively, these can be very expensive and can be super heavy to carry around.

What Extras Does it Have?

Some camping grills come with extras, such as their own fire pit or stove design, to give you more cooking options. 

You can also get some grills with an additional stand to raise the grill off the ground. This is great for those who want easy access without lifting the grill with stones or wood. Some grills also come with their own utensils to save you from buying them separately. 

Best Backpacking Grill Reviews

UCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Grill and Fire Pit—Best Overall

This UCO Flatpack grill is a great portable grill that can be used as a fire pit as well as a grill. The durable stainless steel grill folds down to just 1.5 inches thick so it can easily fit into a backpack. However, it weighs in at 3.2 pounds so isn't the lightest grill available.

It's easy to set up and safely keeps the fire off the ground, leaving no trace that you were ever there. The sides of the grill will serve as a windbreak when grilling in windy conditions. The grill is available in two sizes, regular or mini, and is ideal for parties on the beach or backpacking and BBQs with friends.

Pros:

  • Can be used as a fire pit as well as a grill.
  • Folds down flat for easy carrying in a carrying case.
  • Large cooking surface.
  • Available in two sizes; regular or mini.
  • Easy to assemble and dismantle.

Cons:

  • Heavy compared to other grills.
  • Only has air holes at each end, so it's difficult to let the fire breathe.

Gas ONE Dual Fuel Portable Backpacking Gas Stove Burner—Best Stove Burner 

This Gas ONE portable grill stove has one burner and is suitable for use with both butane or propane. It's safe and easy to use with an automatic safety shut-off device that can detect when excess gas is released.

It's a great stove for camping trips and is portable, weighing in at 3.1 pounds. However, it can be quite bulky to carry along with the gas canisters, so you should bear that in mind when hiking long distances. 

There's no need for lighters or matches with this stove as it has a piezo-electric ignition, and the flame can be adjusted for slow cooking.

Pros:

  • Has a good range of burn that can be adjusted.
  • Dual fuel can be used with Butane or Propane.
  • Automatic ignition.
  • Strong flame for cooking.

Cons:

  • Some users complained of leaking gas.
  • Reports of broken regulator.

Odoland Folding Campfire Grill, Camping Fire Pit—Easy to Assemble

This Odoland portable grill comes in five pieces that can be easily assembled and dismantled. It can be used as a fire pit as well as a grill, keeping everything inside the base so that it's easy to get rid of when you've finished. 

The portable grill is made from durable stainless steel that's anti-rust, heat-resistant, and corrosion-resistant to give you long-lasting use. It acts as a windbreak but also has air holes to help your charcoal burn effectively.

The grill is easy to use, and all edges are rounded for safety. It can be broken down and stored in its carrying case for easy carrying.

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble and dismantle.
  • Used as a fire pit as well as a grill.
  • Made from durable materials.
  • Portable with carrying case.

Cons:

  • Smaller than some customers thought it would be.
  • Heavy to carry around.

Coghlan's Pack Grill, Silver—Best for Over Campfire

This Coghlan's grill is a lightweight, durable grate that can be used to cook with a pan or boil water over a campfire. It's easy to use and can be folded and packed in your backpack with no issues. 

This grill gives you great value for money and is perfect if you are hiking for long periods with lots of gear. The frame is made from durable chrome-plated steel that can handle the high heat and flames that come from firewood. 

Some users have reported that it stands a little short when cooking as it's directly on the ground. However, if this means that you have to carry less with you, this can be easily managed.

Pros:

  • Good value for money.
  • Lightweight and easy to carry.
  • Durable materials even in high heat and flames.
  • Sturdy when placed on the floor.

Cons:

  • Some users reported that it stands too short for them.
  • It needs a carry case or bag.

Conclusion – the Best Backpacking Grill

Our favorite backpacking grill would be the UCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Grill and Fire Pit. It's a solid grill that can also be used as a fire pit, meaning that you're leaving nothing after you've gone. It also folds down relatively small to carry and comes with a quality carrying case.

Our second choice would be the Gas ONE Dual Fuel Portable Backpacking Gas Stove Burner. This is a real stove that can be used with both propane and butane. It has automatic ignition, so you don't need to take any matches with you. 

Whichever backpacking grill you choose, you're sure to eat well and have a great time during your backpacking and camping trip. 

Gerard Paul
Prolific eater and founder of ManyEats.

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