Person placing skewers and food wrapped in foil on electric grill outdoors.

Best Portable Grills for Tailgating

As the weather cools down and we watch the leaves begin to change colors in many areas of the United States as summer ends and fall arrives, now is the perfect time to begin thinking about portable grills. Whether you plan on using it for tailgating or for something like camping or just when traveling, a portable grill is an excellent purchase for you and your grillin’ away from home needs. At BBQ Outlets, we currently offer portable grills that use propane for their fuel type, and by the notable brands, Blaze and Napoleon. The options for portable grills that use gas from Blaze are all from their Professional LUX line, and Blaze also offers portable electric grills. Napoleon offers portable grills that are either gas or electric. Keep reading to find out some of the benefits of using a portable grill and the different types of meat and foods we recommend you try to grill up on your Blaze or Napoleon portable grill. As well as some helpful tips for cleaning and maintenance of your grill so that it lasts you for many years and events to come.

Benefits of Grillin’ with a Portable Grill

Small grill cooking food while friends in the background enjoy themselves chatting near their tents

While some grills can be transported to whatever event or location you may want to use a grill at, many are bulky, and awkward to haul and belong only in the backyard. This is exactly why investing in a portable grill can be preferable for the times you’re going to a sporting event and plan on tailgating, or to visit a friend or family member, or maybe even when camping. Many portable grills are lightweight and weigh less than 30 lbs., and are easy to move from one location to the next.

A lot of people may not realize it, but one of the best advantages of purchasing and using a portable grill is its overall size. If you’re going to be in a tight spot or area, and need something that’s smaller but also is made of high-quality stainless steel materials and has an ingenious design, then Blaze portable grills are the ideal option for you and your grillin’ needs while elsewhere than your backyard. If you’re looking to spend a little less on a portable grill and save more money for the rest of your grillin’ needs, then we recommend the Napoleon portable grills instead. These grills come in different sizes and colors, and some are even freestanding with an included cart with wheels. The choice for purchasing the perfect portable grill for you is ultimately your own, as either brand is a good selection when it comes to grillin’ on the go. 

Salmon and veggies cooking on grill outside

Portable grills are also optimal for when there may be fewer people in attendance than at a standard BBQ bash in the backyard. They are great for those smaller get-togethers that may take place while traveling. The cooking area as well is not usually as big as a standard grill, so when using them with a smaller amount of people, you can always use the maximum amount of space provided to you for grillin’ up some delicious food. Of course, there is also the added benefit of saving on propane that is used, when using something like one of the Professional LUX line models of portable grills from Blaze or one of the portable propane gas grills from Napoleon. The good news is that portable grills that use propane to fuel them typically use a lot less gas than a standard-sized grill when it comes time to get them heated up and ready for grillin’. There is also the option to purchase one of our available Blaze electric portable grills or Napoleon portable electric grills too.

Recommendations for Grillin’ Food on a Portable Grill

Before we even recommend some food and meats for you to try grillin’ up when you use your portable grill, we have to first talk about how important preparation of the food itself is for when you will be grillin’. It’s a great idea to try and plan ahead and pack up food the night before or even a few hours in advance. Make sure to also use a cooler with ice or an insulated bag with ice packs, that will keep it all fresh and at a colder temperature until ready to be grilled. 

If you’re planning on grillin’ any meat and want to use a marinade with it, it’s a good idea to try putting it on skewers first and then sealing it in a plastic bag separate from the other food, to avoid any messes during transportation. An even better idea is to pack all meat in one container and all the fruits and veggies in another to avoid any cross-contamination between uncooked meat with your other uncooked food. 

Of course, it’s also important to consider what you’ll be using to serve all of your grilled food on – disposable plates or your typical dishware? Disposable plates, bowls, and cups are a good choice for an easier way of tidying up once everyone is done eating. Otherwise, there is always the more eco-friendly option of bringing more typical dishware. If you go this route, make sure you bring an extra trash bag or plastic bag where you can store the used dishware, especially if you may not have immediate access to clean water to wash them with. 

Kebabs on a hot grill being cooked

When it comes to actually heating up your portable grill and getting it ready for grillin’, it’s important to think about how these types of grills typically generate not as much heat or as high of temperatures as a standard grill. Bringing along more slender cuts of meat, or those that can be put on a skewer and eaten as a kabob, will help the meat cook evenly and in a timely manner. If you are thinking of cooking a meat like chicken, it may be better to opt for a chicken tender to grill up, as these cuts of chicken are thinner than a chicken breast. Other protein, like shrimp, is also a great idea for another type of food that can conveniently be grilled up on a portable grill, as they are generally smaller in size. Sides, like mushrooms, among other veggies, are also quick, easy, and delicious options for food that you can more readily grill up and serve with your main dish too. 

Tips & Tricks for Cleaning and Maintenance of Your Portable Grill

Although you do not normally have to clean your grill every time you’re done cooking, even a little bit of tidying up and maintenance can go a long way. We do recommend at least cleaning up after every few times you grill, and doing a deep cleaning as well. Since the portable grills by Blaze that we offer are made from stainless steel components, it is important to keep in mind that if you want to clean off the outside of your grill, like the hood, that you should be using either stainless steel wipes or spray to do so. 

As for the inside of your grill, it’s always good practice to get in the habit of cleaning the cooking surface. Begin by heating up your portable grill to a slightly warm temperature. You then will want to scrape off any build-up or residue and remove any grease spots. If you are cleaning a Napoleon portable grill, you will not need to heat it up and scrape at anything, as this will cause the porcelain-coating on the cast iron cooking grid to start chipping away and eventually rust underneath. The best way to clean one of these cooking grids is by using just some warm, soapy water. Either way, the process of cleaning your cooking grid may need to be repeated a few times depending on the type of tools and cleaning method you are using and how much build-up there is. Keep in mind too, that the best way to really get to all of the nooks and crannies, is by actually removing the grill’s cooking grid and heat plates if there are any. Deep cleaning even a few times is important, as it can help prevent any grease fires or unintended flare-ups from happening.

Ultimately…

There are many benefits to purchasing a Blaze or Napoleon portable grill. Whether you decide on an electric or propane one, you will be happy for years and years to come that you made the choice to invest in one. Portable grills are great for enhancing your overall traveling experience and events away from home. From tailgate parties for the NFL or other sporting events, to camping with friends and family, to attending a small gathering away from home, a portable grill can help you bring the fun of grillin’ from your backyard to other areas of your life as well.

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