Last updated on March 14th, 2022
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A comprehensive guide to choosing the best portable BBQ, the best charcoal and gas models for camping, caravaning, taking to the park or simply using in your own garden
Eating outdoors is one of the pleasures of summer and early autumn dining. And barbecued food is some of the best food to eat al fresco. But why be limited to having BBQ only when you’re at home? In this review of the Best Portable BBQs, we introduce the idea of barbecuing wherever you are – at the lake, when camping, on a road trip or in the local park.
These portable BBQs are small enough that you can carry them anywhere, yet they produce gas- or flame-broiled succulent food. In this review, we look at what to expect from your portable BBQ, the perpetual debate over gas vs charcoal cooking, and we discuss the pluses and minuses of each of our selected models.
Our Best Pick of portable BBQ is the FENNEK Portable Picnic Grill which lets you cook food in all weathers – come rain or shine.
Our Runner up is the Weber 40020 Smokey Joe Premium 14-Inch Portable Grill. This is a classic spherical BBQ with enough space to cook for a small family.
Read on to find out how to take barbequing with you wherever you go.
If you’re on the move and are tired of eating sandwiches, or you have a small garden or a balcony at home, this is a serious consideration for your dining pleasure.
The best portable BBQs that we have reviewed are listed below:
- FENNEK Portable Picnic Grill – BEST PICK
- Weber Smokey Joe Premium 14-inch Portable Grill – RUNNER UP
- Char-Broil X200 Grill2GO BBQ – PREMIUM PICK
- Notebook Folding Grill – BEST FOLDABLE PICK
- Original Son of Hibachi Charcoal Grill
- Campingaz Grill 200 Gas BBQ
- Gentleman’s Hardware Small Suitcase Style BBQ
- Landmann Piccolino 37cm Portable Charcoal Barbecue
- Uten Portable Foldable Premium Barbecue Grill
- Ferraboli Barbecue PicNic
The bowl and lid retain the heat produced by the 30 or so charcoal briquettes you use to create the fire. The cooking grill is large enough for a family-sized meal so you won’t have to eat in shifts. Reviewers appreciate the additional safety feature of a lockable lid that you pushout of the way to one side rather than putting it on the ground or the picnic table.
If you’re looking for a durable BBQ for that special charcoal-grilled taste for your chicken and burgers, consider this one seriously.
This makes it economical for many people and it can run for longer off one gas bottle. However it's very expensive compared to most other models.
Overall if your looking for a premium gas portable bbq that will last for years to come, this model ticks all the boxes and cooks amazing food every time. It truly is an amazing bbq.
BEST FOLDABLE PICK
The grill is small and can cater to a few people at a given time. Given the price and the overall quality of the product, it would make a good choice for camping expeditions. It is stable and features ergonomic handles that add to the good features of the product. The price is one of the most affordable and worth every penny.
Top 10 Best Portable BBQ Reviews
Now that you know a thing or two about barbecue grills, let us look at some of the best portable bbq models currently available in the UK.
Different models will appeal to different requirements so take your time to understand what each model has to offer. We start with our best pick which really is a stand out model and probably the best charcoal model we have seen.
1. Fennek Portable Picnic Grill
Whatever the weather, rain or shine, the FENNEK Portable Picnic Grill cooks your meals beautifully on your camping trip, your road trip or just on your day out.
This BBQ is an engineering feat. The pieces lock together easily and assembly takes no more than five minutes. It weighs just over 3kgs (6.8 pounds) but you’ll have to carry the bag of charcoal briquettes as well. Everything folds into the BBQ body and this then folds up into a box the size of a small laptop. Put it in your rucksack or carry it by itself to transport it.
Good engineering decisions are also evident in the useful features of the FENNEK Portable Picnic Grill. The coal holder is raised so that the heat won’t harm the ground beneath it. The outside of the aluminium storage box turns into the base for the BBQ. The lid detaches and works as a wind or rain shield, protecting your food from whatever weather is happening. On a sunny day, you can use the lid to reflect the heat back into the grill for more consistent cooking.
The grill is 27cm (10.6 inches) x 18cms (7.2in) and this is enough space for food for two adults who are hungry after their hike or fishing expedition. You can also cook a meal for a small family with some planning and juggling of burgers and buns. The air vents are under the charcoal briquettes so the combustion chambers draw in enough oxygen directly to keep the fire hot enough to put those flame-broiled grill marks on your steaks.
- Easy to carry and store because the BBQ folds down neatly.
- Lightweight at 3.1kg (6.8 pounds) so you can carry this without straining a muscle.
- Simple and quick to set up so you won’t have to wait long for your meal.
- Grill lid is removable and acts as a wind and rain shield so your food won’t be soggy.
- Dishwasher-safe parts for cleaning it quickly once you get home.
- Coal section is elevated to keep the heat from burning the ground beneath the BBQ.
- Grill holds enough food for two adults or, with planning, a small family.
- Difficult to get all parts of the BBQ shiny clean.
- Too heavy to carry on a long trek.
If you crave the flavour of char-barbecued food at the end of a day in the great outdoors, the FENNEK Portable Picnic Grill is certainly worth considering. All its parts fit together very well and it disassembles into a small case (supplied) only 2.8cm (1 inch) thick and the size of a small laptop. Reviewers online report that they can put this grill together in less than five minutes, so you can get your BBQ session underway quickly. The grill is large enough to hold a meal for two hungry people or, with some planning, you can cook for a small family.
The FENNEK portable grill cleans up nicely in the dishwasher. However, reviewers state that they lost the shiny look of the BBQ because residue builds up and is difficult to get off. But that’s no problem if you don’t mind a BBQ that looks a little used.
We’re so impressed with the small size and all the features of the FENNEK Portable Picnic Grill that it’s the Best Pick in our portable BBQs review.
Read next: Best tables for portable BBQs
2. Weber Smokey Joe Premium 14-Inch Portable Grill
Starting with its spherical shape, the Weber 40020 Smokey Joe Premium 14-Inch Portable Grill looks like a robust barbeque. Although it’s round, it’s not difficult to carry this BBQ to your picnic site because it weighs only 4.45kg (9.8 pounds) and this BBQ is well designed to travel. The lid locks into place so it won’t fall off or go missing in transit.
The lid and the bowl of this portable BBQ are porcelain enamelled. This coating serves to keep the heat inside the BBQ and not dissipate into the surrounding air. The vents that let in the air to stoke the fire are on the sides of the BBQ. You open or close them to control the amount of heat so that your food is thoroughly cooked. However, the position of the charcoal grid and the cooking grill can’t be adjusted to move them closer together or further apart.
This portable BBQ is easy to put together so you can start cooking shortly after you arrive on site. The cooking grill is triple-plated nickel which, with a little care, is a non-stick surface and your food comes off the grill easily. With a diameter of 35cm (14 inches) the Weber 40020 provides around 960cm2 (153 square inches) of valuable grilling space and this is enough space for a family meal. Lifting up the lid to see how everything’s coming along is perfectly safe because the handle is made from nylon covered with glass.
The 10-year warranty on the Weber 40020 Smokey Joe Premium 14-Inch Portable Grill highlights the confidence that the company has in its BBQ.
- Charcoal grill for that unique smokey flavour.
- Straightforward assembly makes it quick to put together on site.
- Strong and high-quality construction found in Weber appliances.
- Porcelain-enamelled lid and bowl both retain the heat.
- The lid locks for carrying so it won’t roll away in transit.
- Nylon handle is reinforced with glass so you won’t scold yourself when you lift the lid.
- Weighs 4.45kg (9.8 pounds) so you can easily carry it from the car park to the BBQ site.
- The cooking grate is 35cm (14 inches) in diameter and triple nickel-plated for a large and non-stick cooking area.
- Vents on each side let you control the amount of heat inside the grill to thoroughly cook your food.
- The 10-year limited warranty covers a lot of grilling.
- Has no thermometer so you can’t tell precisely how hot the inside of the BBQ is.
- Can’t adjust the height of the charcoal grate or the cooking grill.
- Vents are above the charcoal so it doesn’t get enough air to become hot enough.
- Have to clean by removing the coals from the top of the bowl (no bottom vents) and this can get messy.
The Weber 40020 Smokey Joe Premium 14-Inch Portable Grill is able to handle a family BBQ in the forest/woods, or at least in a park or campsite. Using around 30 charcoal briquettes, this grill is very well made, with a porcelain-coated lid and bowl to retain the heat. Unlike some other portable BBQs, the Weber 40020’s lid locks in place during transport so you can’t accidentally drop it or let it roll away.
The vents to control the airflow are on the side of the bowl. In this position, ash doesn’t fall out onto the ground below. However, online reviewers complain that the side vents are above the line of glowing coals and so not enough air reaches the coals to keep them hot enough, or even alight. You can’t adjust the heights of the charcoal grate or the cooking grill to correct this. Some reviewers have hacked this BBQ to fix this problem by drilling holes in the bottom of the BBQ for vents or by using baking sheets to raise the height of the briquettes.
As the bottom of the Weber Smokey Joe Premium grill is solid, you have to clean the coals and ash out through the top of the BBQ. This can get a little messy and dusty.
Despite this one flaw, we like this BBQ so much that it’s our Runner-up for the best portable BBQ.
Read next: Looking for a BBQ for placing on a table? check out my review of the best table top BBQs
3. Original Son of Hibachi Charcoal Grill
The Original Son of Hibachi charcoal grill is highly portable, easy to use and probably one of the best charcoal BBQs on this list. This model really stands out because of its clever design that is compact for travelling and camping. It only weighs 7.5kg and measures 14 x 25 x 4 inches. This portable BBQ folds out to reveal its two cooking grates that offer a 170sq.in cooking area and they are height adjustable in four positions for heat control.
Underneath the grates is a fuel box for your charcoal, which again gets ready to cook in a matter of minutes. Simply load charcoal, unfold the grill and light some combustible material in the bottom of the grill. The charcoal lights quickly due to a chimney feature that allows a decent amount of airflow to accelerate combustion. After a few minutes, fold it open to set the grates and start barbecuing.
The challenge with most charcoal BBQs is getting rid of the hot charcoal after cooking is complete. That’s not a problem at all with this Son of Hibachi barbeque because you can simply fold it up, even with the hot charcoal inside it and place it into the supplied carry case. The oxygen will be consumed quickly, the fire put out, and any smoke will escape via the chimney. Its carry case is designed to withstand heat up to an amazing 800 degrees which means you can even put it away in its bag when hot and throw it in the boot of the car if needed, not needing to wait for it to cool.
There’s also an in-built ash catcher for collecting the mess and it’s removable for easy cleaning.
- Easy to light in just a few minutes
- Fold up design, which makes it easy to transport.
- Saves charcoal because fire goes out in seconds once folded up.
- Can be carried even when hot thanks to its highly heat-resistant case.
- Adjustable cooking grates allow better heat control.
- An integrated ash box ensures a clean BBQ throughout.
- Compact and lightweight for outdoor expeditions.
This is the Original Son of Hibachi charcoal grill and there are some very similar copycat models, unfortunately, we didn’t find any that were as good as the original model we reviewed. It’s a superb BBQ that’s incredibly easy to use. Perhaps one of the best features is that you can zip it up in the supplied bag immediately after you have finished cooking. It’s also ready to use in minutes and you could also use it as a little heater after you finished cooking it if you want to because it is made from cast iron and it holds the heat for much longer than any of the other barbecues. Remember not to put it on the tent though!
There’s no mess to worry about thanks to the ash box that collects it up conveniently for emptying later on.
We like the adjustability of the cooking grates and the fold-up design of this grill is amazing. It’s probably the best thing you can take out for light barbecuing. We recommend buying the combo kit that comes with an extra griddle, although doing so will spike the price a bit. Overall, the compactness and user-friendliness of this model make it one of the best portable charcoal BBQ currently on the market.
4. Campingaz Grill 200 Gas BBQ
The Campingaz Grill 200 Portable BBQ is a versatile device that offers multiple culinary options on a campsite. A perfect combination of a BBQ and portable stove, this can cook, fry and grill thanks to the supplied grill, griddle and plancha. The best part is that these accessories fit inside the BBQs body and combined with the detachable legs and a lockable lid, they allow for space saving storage and safe transportation. Furthermore, the lid can double up as a wok or oven which we think is a brilliant idea because it makes use of every part.
This grill runs on either CV-300 Plus or CV-470 Plus gas cartridges that can be disconnected and reconnected when cooking should you run out of fuel. Lighting the stove is a doddle thanks to the piezo ignition feature, which saves messing with matches and the output power is fully adjustable. The grill and griddle have non-stick coatings for healthy cooking and there’s a water compartment that collects excess fat and cooking juices, preventing them from sticking to the stove.
It measures 36cm (D) x 42cm (H) and weighs about 2.8kg so is not too heavy and is fairly compact to travel with, making it great for camping. The grill and griddle are dishwasher safe but can also be easily cleaned using soapy water and a sponge because of their non-stick surfaces.
- Offers several cooking surfaces including a stove for pan cooking, grill, griddle and plancha.
- Piezo ignition for convenient lighting, no messing with matches.
- Includes a water compartment for collecting grease and food juices, ensuring easy cleaning which doesn’t drop on the flame.
- Comes with dishwasher-safe and non-stick components for simple cleaning.
- Fully adjustable power for controlled cooking.
- An in-built Easy Clic Plus system allows for easy connection and disconnection of gas cartridge.
- Folds down compact for easy storage and transportation.
- No problems to mention, absolute brilliant design.
This is a fantastic cooking kit that does so much at an affordable cost. You can make great meals for a family of three with total ease and the device packs away neatly after use. Setting up your gas canister is also easy.
Cleaning the barbeque is a breeze and you will greatly appreciate the water compartment that collects the fat which works well.
It heats up in just 4 minutes and produces a lot of power, which is is obviously adjustable. There’s actually a bigger version of this BBQ in case you think this particular version is too small for your needs. All in all, the Campingaz Grill 200 is a great choice for outdoor junkies who don’t want to limit themselves to burgers and sausages. A true multifunctional and portable bbq, we love that you can make a brew on it too or use pans to warm food up.
5. Char-Broil X200 Grill2Go BBQ
The Char-Broil?? X200 Grill2Go with its TRU-Infrared technology is a gas model that is sold as a premium product and on first impressions, we can see it is very well built but it looks like the grill could be a little awkward to clean. First off the design maximises efficiency and functionality. This model offers what Char-Broil call their TRU-Infrared system that lets you cook your foods without the flames flaring up, which ensures that your food retains moisture and doesn’t get burnt, something that is a common problem with BBQs.
Char-Broil also claim it uses 30% less gas compared to other models, either way, all you need to do is connect a small gas bottle and you are good to cook, no building required. The barbeque has high-quality burners that can heat up the grate evenly and this is a big advantage because, on a standard bbq, you often get sections around the edge where the grill is not as hot as the centre of the grill, not with this model though. The stainless steel burners will last for a long time, especially if they are cleaned regularly to remove any blockages and the 2-year warranty it comes with also covers the burners.
The grates are also made of stainless steel. It will still offer a beautiful caramelisation on your steak and a grill pattern on your vegetables. Once you connect your gas propane cylinder, you can use the ignition button to start the flames at the click of a button.
Something else that can be noticed is the thermometer on the barbecue grill’s lid. The positioning of the thermometer allows you to keep track of the temperature when the lid is closed. There are metal clasps that secure the lid to prevent any heat from escaping as well as keeping it all securely closed while being transported.
In addition, you do have the option to purchase a fitted carry bag at an extra cost. Those who have concerns over proper organisation and storage will appreciate this bag. It comes with pockets that can house the gas cylinders that you want to carry. The handles on the bag are ergonomic and can balance out the weight of the grill.
This bbq measures 60.2 x 39.9 x 34.5cm and it weighs 9.7kgs so is one of the heavier models but this is the price you pay for a premium product that is made to last. This mini grill will cook your steak or grilled vegetables with ease. Finally, it comes with a 2 year warranty for full peace of mind that covers every part of the bbq, including the burners.
- Perfect for those looking for a premium portable gas bbq that is made to last.
- Intact construction ensuring that heat is well distributed for better cooking performance.
- Features adjustments mechanisms and a thermometer to better monitor the food.
- The stainless steel build is rust free thus elongating durability.
- Well-constructed to deter flare-ups.
- Sturdy with a secure lid.
- 2 year warranty for full peace of mind.
- Can be fussy to clean because of the design of the grill, it does come with cleaning tools though to make it easier.
The Char-Broil X200 Grill2Go is a good portable bbq to have at any gathering and is probably one of the best portable gas BBQs overall. We would also go as far as saying it’s the best portable gas bbq if the price was not a deciding factor.
It offers adequate space for you to cook and the bbq is stable and well designed overall. We like that you can keep track of the temperature easily thanks to the built-in thermometer and that it’s ready to use out the box because there is no assembly required.
Build quality is excellent as well as the grill design, which ensures no flame ups, creating better cooked food overall. Now it’s probably one of the most expensive portable BBQs, however, we feel it still offers excellent value for money because you will have it for many years. If you are looking for a gas model, we think you won’t find a better alternative.
6. Gentleman’s Hardware Small Suitcase Style BBQ
As the title suggests, the Gentleman’s Hardware Small Suitcase Style BBQ is intelligently disguised as a suitcase so you can carry it wherever your adventure takes you as a true gent. It has a classic black casing with the motto “The Adventure Begins” printed on either side. No assembly is required, simply open the suitcase, load the charcoal tray and start grilling. This comfortably fits two to three hamburgers on the rack and is just the right size for two people.
At 3.4kg, this portable BBQ is incredibly lightweight and perfect for impromptu picnics in the park, camping, on the beach and even at festivals. The freestanding chrome legs provide stability when cooking, although they are very short and you find yourself needing to crouch down to cook if you don’t set the BBQ grill on a table.
Because of its compact design, this would be a great choice for taking in a caravan because it is easy to store.
- Nice vintage design.
- Very well made and compact design, great for storing in a caravan or even fastening to a motorbike.
- Ergonomic case design that’s easy to carry on the go.
- Enough cooking space for two people.
- Transforms from a suitcase to a BBQ in seconds.
This stylish BBQ is modelled as an old-fashioned gentleman’s suitcase and should bring a touch of class to any spontaneous occasion. Decorated with the motto “The Adventure Begins”, the suitcase is incredibly smart and becomes the centre of attention wherever it goes.
Snap it open and you’ll have an instant BBQ to cook a few burgers. Make sure to place it on level ground because the legs can easily lose balance. A little tip from us is to make sure you remember which way to put everything back inside when you open it so you can remember which way they go back in when you close it up.
The overall design is great and the product is very much affordable, not the cheapest model, but certainly worth the extra cost. Thanks to its vintage design, it would also make a great gift too.
7. Notebook Folding Grill
BEST FOLDABLE PICK
The Notebook Folding Grill should definitely be on your list of portable grills that you can carry for camping trips or cookouts. Why do you ask? Because it can be folded down thanks to its amazing design, meaning it can be easily transported. Consisting of detachable pieces that can be pulled apart in a few seconds, it saves you both time and energy.
It is a lightweight model and therefore won’t strain your muscles when carrying it. At 3kg, it is easy to manage. Once you fold the grill over, the ergonomic handles will provide comfort as you move with the barbeque. The handles have a good finish and won’t snag on your hand and ensure it’s comfortable to carry.
Construction determines the overall quality of the item. This model is constructed of durable stainless steel that ensures its strength while still maintaining its lightweight construction. The steel has been treated and painted to make the unit resistant to heat damage as well as offering some protection from the weather. The grates on the grill are also made from stainless steel to provide easy cleaning and maintenance. Some hot water with a little bit of soapy water and you are good to go.
It is not a large grill and therefore cannot cater to many people, however, for 3 or 4 people on a camping trip it has got more than enough space for a few burgers and sausages. The cooking surface measures about 45 x 30cm. The bbq, when folded, measures 46cm x 43.5cm x 4.5cm and 45cm x 30cm x 30cm when unfolded so you can tell how compact it gets when folded down.
- Very affordable.
- Lightweight, therefore, easy to move around with.
- Can be folded to create a small footprint and save on storage space as well as making it easy to take camping or to the beach etc.
- Treated with heat resistant coatings to prolong the life of the product.
- Built with ergonomic handles to ensure it’s easy to carry around.
- Made of rust-resistant material for maximum durability.
- Must be placed on a perfectly flat surface.
The Notebook Folding Grill is perfect for camping or taking the beach and the stand out feature is how it folds downs, absolutely brilliant. It is lightweight and doesn’t take up too much space, which is the whole idea of a portable bbq, so it does what it says on the tin.
For the price you pay, it’s fairly good quality and can be depended upon, however, you will have to take care of it so that the heat-resistant paint doesn’t come off. We like that this model has a small footprint for those who have small spaces.
Overall this is a great BBQ and more aimed at those looking for a portable bbq at a very affordable price they just want to use for a season. It is much cheaper than our Best Pick but it’s simply not in the same league. If you are looking for an affordable bbq to use over the summer this is worth considering. We will mention that we looked at a few foldable barbeques that looked identical to this one but this one seemed to be the better choice.
8. Landmann Piccolino 37cm Portable Charcoal Barbecue
- Good mid-range model for taking camping or simply using at home.
- Enamelled bowl design allows effective heat retention.
- Provides free tongs to use and a safe holding place for them within the unit.
- Features a ventilation lid that aids in temperature control by releasing pressure.
- The ergonomic handle provides comfort and protection from the heat.
- Stainless steel grate makes it simple to clean.
- Easy to clean fire bowl so you spend more time cooking and less time cleaning.
The Landmann Piccolino 37cm Portable Charcoal Barbecue looks good to the eye and also does wonders for your food. It comes in a choice of around seven colours, so gave us some good first impressions. This charcoal grill boasts ample cooking space and an easy to use interface.
The 37cm diameter cooking surface will allow you to grill a good number of hamburgers and sausages comfortably at once, making it a good choice for bigger families. The chrome-plated stainless steel rack is easy to clean which is handy and maintains composure even in high temperatures.
Measuring 37 x 40 x 37cm, this model weighs a meagre 4kgs and this makes it easy to transport which in turn makes it perfect for taking camping, on picnics or simply in the garden or on a terrace. The bowl and lid have been protected by a smooth coating of enamel ensuring that heat is not easily lost during the cooking process. On the lid, there is ventilation that will facilitate airflow when the lid is closed.
To secure the lid, there are metal clasps that are strong and easy to clip onto the base. Once you secure the lid, the ventilation lid is the only point through the grill. There are holes at the bottom of the bbq grill that is meant to facilitate proper aeration.
The ergonomic handle on top of the lid is insulated to protect from burns. They have even provided a place within the barbeque where you can place your cooking tongs which is another well thought out design feature. This is especially handy because the dome-like lid is not stable enough to hold utensils.
The Landmann Piccolino 37cm Portable Charcoal Barbecue is a good choice if you’re looking for a more traditional style bbq. Due to the size of the holes, some people have commented that there isn’t much air getting through. You can drill more holes to encourage circulation but this is not ideal, however, there are many more uses that say it works just fine. Other than that, there are no other potential issues.
While it may have its flaws for some, it still offers enough space to cook a good amount of food. We would recommend this model for those who need a sizeable portable grill at an affordable price. You may find it a little too bulky if you need to walk longer distances, however, if you can put it in the boot of the car and take it straight to a camping spot, it’s perfect. It’s also a great choice for anyone just looking for a small tabletop bbq to use at home.
9. Uten Portable Foldable Premium Barbecue Grill
The Uten Portable Barbecue ??Grill is another foldable grill that is within your reach and is similar to the Notebook Grill in that it folds down flat. This affordable model is lightweight at only 1.81kg, probably one of the lightest and needs a short time to set up and then you are good to go.
Measuring 13.8 x 10.6 x 7.9 inches, the barbecue is not too large. It can cater to 3-4 people comfortably depending on the type of food being cooked. There are handles on the bbq but they aren’t insulated. Remember to have gloves on at all times when you have active coals on the grill if you need to move it or even if you think it’s cooled down, just in case.
The shell of the model is made from high-quality iron making it durable when faced with impact. The iron has been treated to give it heat resistant properties. The grate, however, cannot be iron. It is stainless steel making it possible to maintain hygiene and making it easy to clean.
There are several holes at the bottom of this model whose job is to encourage airflow. Finally, this bbq comes with a 1-year warranty for full peace of mind.
- Folds down flat making it easy to transport and take camping, to parties and picnicking.
- Simple to clean and use.
- Lightweight design.
- Made of high-quality iron and chrome-plated steel grill.
- Ready to cook on within minutes and is easy to light.
- 1-year money-back guarantee for full peace of mind.
- Handles are not insulated.
The Uten Barbecue Grill Charcoal Grill is a simple grill and a great alternative to the Notebook Grill and was slightly cheaper at the time of writing this review. What you pay for is what you get. It is not heavy and the folding mechanisms are fluid so the legs fold down nicely. There are no parts sticking out and it is easy to clean up. For camping, this would make a good affordable one. Simple and easy to use, and probably the most affordable, not to mention portable and compact BBQs in our review.
10. Ferraboli Barbecue PicNic
The Ferraboli Barbecue PicNic is a compact charcoal BBQ-in-a-case. It’s light to carry (5kg; 11 pounds) so you can carry it a reasonable distance into the wilderness of the great outdoors, or just down to your local green space.
Putting this BBQ together is simple because no screws, nuts or bolts are involved. And using it is even easier. Everything folds up to a suitcase-style case – the rectangular body, the chrome-plated grill, the charcoal grate, the legs and the protective side panels. Putting it together at your picnic site involves opening the case and pulling down the recessed steel legs. If it’s windy, just flip up the lid to act as a windbreak. That’s it, you’re ready to fire it up.
You do this by putting in the charcoal briquettes (a bag of charcoal that you light and let burn down) is the ideal size for the Ferraboli PicNic. The cooking grill is 40cm by 30cm (16 inches by 12 inches) and this gives you enough room to evenly space out your burgers, steaks, chicken or fish so that the food ends up with those attractive charcoal-grilled marks. You can adjust the cooking grill to one of three height positions, depending on how far from the coals the food needs to be. The air vent is on the front of the BBQ and draws air into the coals to keep them hot.
The PicNic is made of a pressed and punctured metal sheet for a sleek look. The legs are 40cm (16 inches) long, so for comfortable grilling, you’ll have to place the BBQ on a table or kneel down beside it.
The Ferraboli Barbecue PicNic is made in Italy to Ferraboli’s usual high standards and is a good choice if you’re looking for a case-style BBQ for your trips out or for your balcony at home.
- Charcoal grill so you’ll get a smoky flavour and grill marks on your burgers.
- Folds down and fits into a suitcase-size case for ease of taking along with you.
- Weighs 5kg (11 pounds) so it’s light enough to carry on your outing.
- The lid of the BBQ flips up to become a windshield so the coals aren’t blown out.
- Assembly is quick and easy; there are no nuts, screws or bolts to worry about.
- The cooking grill is adjustable to three height positions so you can place it near to the coals or further away.
- Steel legs pull down from a recess in the base to give stability.
- Slit in the front for airflow.
- Made in Italy to Ferraboli’s high standards.
- Legs are only 40cm, so the BBQ needs to be placed on a table or you need to kneel on the ground to use it.
- Edges of the steel construction may be sharp and need to be sanded smooth.
- Paint burns off the construction quickly and leaves it open to rusting.
- The BBQ parts warp when used, including the coals tray, so they may not fit together after some time.
The Ferraboli Barbecue PicNic charcoal BBQ is a good choice for a well-made BBQ you can take on trips or use in your small garden or on your balcony. It’s quick to assemble and you don’t need any handyperson skills because there are no nuts, bolts or screws to come to grips with.
The PicNic is a case portable BBQ which means that everything fits into a suitcase-style case. This BBQ sits on steel legs but you need to place it on a table if you want to stand up and barbeque. The cooking grill is adjustable to three heights so you can keep vegetables away from the hot coals or lower the grill when the coals start to die down.
Online researchers state that the edges of the steel construction may be a bit sharp so you need to sand them down before you use them and potentially cut your hands. It’s best to use this grill in dry weather because reviewers report that the paint does burn off the outside of the grill quickly, leaving the steel open to the weather. It may rust in wet weather.
The Ferraboli Barbecue PicNic is worth considering if you’re a fair-weather BBQer and want a grill that’s easy to use.
Portable BBQ Buyer’s Guide
In the process of selection, you can get confused simply due to the barrage of choices available. To simplify the process, you need to get accustomed to the various types available. Whether it is a gas or charcoal model, there are other factors that require consideration.
Should you buy charcoal for that flame-grilled flavour or a gas BBQ where you cooking in minutes and super easy to clean?
There are different sources of heat that can be used when you need to cook your food. The two most common heat sources with regard to portable bbq grills are charcoal and gas.
Most people prefer to use charcoal because it imparts a nice flavour to food. You will find that charcoal provides more heat than its gas counterparts which is perfect for cooking meat. On the other hand, however, most charcoal grills take time to get started.
Gas models are very efficient, however, some might argue that gas models don’t give the same smokey flavour, we disagree but that’s another story. Gas models are very simple to start up and get to the right temperature. Most models will have knobs to help the user to regulate the amount of heat needed at the time. They are also easier to clean because there isn’t ash involved. The only downside is that you need to carry a gas bottle around, however, the same can be said in regards to carrying coal around.
Depending on what you are intending to cook and your overall preference, you can choose either method but charcoal has proven a firm favourite, especially amongst campers.
How a barbecue is constructed will affect its primary functions. The material used to construct the bbq should be able to keep up with the scale of heat being produced. Stainless steel and ceramic models seem to be a favourite among many. Stainless steel does not rust and is durable enough to withstand constant use. You can get aluminium models because they tend to be lighter but they don’t tend to be as robust. Finally, cast iron BBQs are very strong and retain heat much better and for longer, however, they are much heavier too.
The thickness of the material affects temperature distribution and maintenance. The thicker the material, the better the heat retention. On the other hand, the thicker the material, the more weight is added to the overall unit and this may make it more difficult to carry around. Find a balance between the appropriate weight and quality of the material.
A master of the grill knows how to control the temperature. Temperature control is especially imperative if you are grilling varied cuts of meat. Depending on the skills acquired, some barbecue lovers can cook varied foods on one grill without overcooking. Most of us are not as experienced and seem to burn those sausages every time.
If you are using a gas model, temperature control is much easier compared to the charcoal models. You just need to turn the gas up or down accordingly. Charcoal bbq grills have dampers to help in temperature control. Upper dampers act as the hot air exits, cooling down the heat. The bottom dampers are responsible for fanning the heat and keeping the coals alight. If great manipulation is applied, you can have the bbq grill run for as long as needed but most charcoal models will give you around 60-90 minutes of cooking time.
Features that make life easier
Below are a few features that we think will make life a bit simpler as well as more portable.
Is it foldable and easy to fold down? – There are some lightweight models out there that can be opened up ready to use and closed back down in just seconds. These foldable models usually cater to short camping stays and impromptu barbecue sessions. They are easy to carry and don’t have any complex features and can usually be neatly packed away because they are very slim.
Do you need a thermometer? Maybe? Probably not? – A thermometer is something you might see on some models, usually on models that can be closed with a lid. I personally don’t use one as I like to cook with an open grill, however, you may think differently.
Does it have an ash collector or do you need to tip the ash out? – In the case that you are using a charcoal grill, models that have ash catchers will be easier for you to handle. These ash collectors can be detached from the bbq to make disposal of the ash much easier. Other models will have small openings at the bottom to help drain the ash from the grill. Most cheaper models simply need to be tipped out at an angle and this can create a mess and may not be the best design.
Adjustable grates – Grates act as the point of contact between the food and the ensuing heat. The grates that work well are made of rust-resistant, easy to clean material. Cast aluminium or stainless steel is a popular choice.
Price and Warranty
You can get some good cheaper bbq’s at around £20, these no thrills models are fairly simple in design and usually charcoal models and to get yourself a really good model you will need to budget around £50-£70.
Depending on your current needs and spending power, try to get the best bbq possible for your budget. It doesn’t need to be expensive to be good. Take the one that offers you value for money depending on the features provided and the build quality.
Warranties act like some sort of assurance from the manufacturer that the product is of quality. The longer the warranty, of course, the better for you.
Let us look at the various benefits of grilling.
- Compared to frying, grilled food tends to have less fat. If one is grilling meat with bits of fat, the heat melts the majority of it and it drains away making it less fatty.
- Due to the fact that pieces of food are cooked in large pieces, they tend to retain most of their nutrients and flavour compared to diced food.
- If you are using a charcoal grill, it is highly likely that whatever you are cooking will have additional flavour because of the smoke produced.
- Vegetables cannot stay up on the grill for too long due to the high temperatures produced. Due to the short exposure time, your vegetables retain most of the nutrients and juices.
- Depending on the skills applied, foods can be grilled to add an aesthetic appeal to the dishes prepared. The grill marks are preferred especially on steaks and grilled vegetables.
Our review of Best Portable BBQs has identified our recommendations for which BBQ to take with you on the road or into the outdoors. But you can use these grills at home as well, especially if you have a small garden or a balcony.
Our Best Pick is the FENNEK Portable Picnic Grill. This charcoal BBQ is lightweight and folds down into a case the size of a small laptop. The grill is big enough for two hungry adults or more people for appetizers.
The Weber 40020 Smokey Joe Premium 14-Inch Portable Grill is our Runner-up Pick. It too is a charcoal grill but is a sphere shape rather than a rectangle. It weighs 4.45 kg (9.8 pounds) so you can’t hike through the woods with it, but the handle locks the lid in place so you can travel safely with everything secured.
Both of these picks, and any of the portable BBQs in this review, let you have a hot and tasty meal when you’re in the great outdoors. Leave the sandwiches at home and feast on burgers and grilled veggies in the fresh air.
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Last update on 2022-03-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API