Table of Contents
- 1 Get Your Cooking On with a Great Boat Grill
- 2 The Best Boat Grill
- 3 Coleman Propane Grill | RoadTrip LXE Portable Gas Grill
- 4 Magma Products Marine Kettle 3 Combination Stove, Gas Grill and Portable Oven
- 5 Cuisinart CGG-200 All Foods Tabletop Gas Grill
- 6 Magma Products T10-355 Fishing Rod Holder Grill Mount
- 7 Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill
- 8 Arnall’s Pontoon Grill Bracket Set – Marine Stainless Steel 7 GA
- 9 Smoke Hollow 205 Stainless Steel Tabletop Propane Gas Grill
- 10 Magma Products Marine Kettle Gas Grill
- 11 Blackstone Tabletop Grill – 22 Inch Portable Gas Griddle
- 12 Camco 57305 Olympian 5500 Stainless Steel Portable RV Grill
- 13 Buying a Boat Grill – What You Need to Know before Purchasing One
- 14 What Is a Boat Grill?
- 15 Construction Material
- 16 Cooking Surface
- 17 Grilling Surface Size and Grill Size
- 18 Ease of Use and Portability
- 19 BTUs
- 20 Burner(s)
- 21 Wind Resistance
- 22 Stability
- 23 Conclusion
Get Your Cooking On with a Great Boat Grill
Boating is an incredible amount of fun, whether you’re hitting the lake, an estuary, or venturing out on the open ocean. There’s just something about the sun on your face, the wind in your hair, and all that open water before you – it’s freeing in a way that too many things are not. The only downside is that it’s hard to feed yourself and your crew on the water. A boat grill can solve that problem easily! Of course, if you’ve never seriously considered boat grills before, it can be tough to choose the right model. Relax. We’ve got you covered. We’ll start out with a head-to-head comparison of the best boat grills on the market, then explore each grill in more depth. We’ll round it all out with a buying guide to make sure you’re able to make an informed purchase decision. We have also included a couple of mounting systems in the mix to ensure you can get the right solution for your boat grilling needs.
The Best Boat Grill
As you can see, there’s something there for just about every boater’s needs, whether you’re planning to cook for multiple people, or just for a couple. Now that we’ve compared them head to head, let’s take a closer look at each option to see what it offers.
Coleman Propane Grill | RoadTrip LXE Portable Gas Grill
The top-rated boating grill on our list, this Coleman has it all. While it might not have as large of a grilling surface as some of the competing models, it does have two burners and it puts out 20,000 BTU of heat. It also features reversible grill and griddle grates so you can change up as you go, whether you’re going for that perfect char or that delicious sear. You will also find it available in a wide range of colors so it might even be possible to match your boat. The grill folds down for easy transport and storage, and the unique leg design not only puts the grill surface at normal working height, but it also holds steady while you’re out on the water. It even offers two sliding side tables. However, note that this grill does not securely mount to a rail, so it might be better used on calmer waters.’
Magma Products Marine Kettle 3 Combination Stove, Gas Grill and Portable Oven
If you’re looking for a versatile solution to cooking on your boat, Magma Products might just have it. The Marine Kettle 3 represents the first time in 12 years that the company has redesigned their original groundbreaking product, which now features multiple layers of stainless steel for greater resistance to marine environments. The Kettle 3 offers all the benefits of a grill, but can also work as a stove and a portable oven thanks to the innovative technology here. It’s also designed to mount to your boat’s rail for security, and it offers a swiveling, windproof turbo system that is virtually windproof. The grill’s unique burner and radiant plate combined with dome heat distribution let you focus more heat on the food for faster cooking with less fuel used. Note that this grill is designed to work with a compact, 1-lb. propane canister.
Cuisinart CGG-200 All Foods Tabletop Gas Grill
One of the most popular boat grills on the market, this unit offers modular construction for convenience. It delivers 12,000 BTU of heat with a single burner made from stainless steel. It also delivers two side shelves that fold down when not in use. The grill measures just over two feet long, but stands less than 20 inches high and is just over 12 inches deep, ensuring it fits well with just about any boat. This grill is designed to work with standard propane tanks, and features a porcelain enamel cast iron grate for even cooking and 240 square inches of cooking surface. Note that this grill does not offer a griddle plate. It is also a tabletop model, so does not mount to a rail.
Magma Products T10-355 Fishing Rod Holder Grill Mount
As you have no doubt noticed, several of the boat grills we have covered so far do not mount to a rail. This makes them difficult to use in smaller boats, as well as for boats in rougher conditions. The good news is that the Magma Products T10-355 Fishing Rod Holder Grill Mount is designed to solve your problems. It works with a wide range of different products and allows you to securely mount your grill (or even a standard tournament cleaning station) in a fishing rod holder. This boat grill mount is made from stainless steel tubing for durability, and if features eight different positions for your convenience.
Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill
The little brother to the CGG-200, the CGG-180T is smaller and designed to be used on a tabletop. It offers just 145 square inches of cooking space with a single gas burner, and puts out 5,500 BTU from a stainless steel burner. That makes it an excellent option for those cooking for a few people, as it can handle about four pounds of fish (or up to eight burgers). The cooking grate is made from porcelain enameled metal for even heat distribution and less risk of food sticking. It also comes with a fuel tank hose, and can be used with small propane tanks as well as standard size tanks.
Arnall’s Pontoon Grill Bracket Set – Marine Stainless Steel 7 GA
Another solution for boaters looking for a way to use a boat BBQ grill in a smaller vessel or in rougher waters, the Arnall’s Pontoon Grill Bracket Set allows you to mount your boat grill right to the vessel’s rail. It’s designed to work with square rails, such as those found on pontoon boats, but can be used on any boat that has open fence railing. The brackets are made from marine grade stainless steel for durability and resistance to corrosion, and can work with most Coleman grills. Note that the manufacturer states that the bottom of your grill may need to be drilled in order to mount to the brackets.
Smoke Hollow 205 Stainless Steel Tabletop Propane Gas Grill
With its single, large U-shaped burner capable of delivering 10,000 BTU and its 205 square inches of grilling surface, the Smoke Hollow 205 Stainless Steel Tabletop Propane Grill is a great addition to any boat. It also features a 105 inch stainless steel warming rack to keep foods warm while you cook other items. The legs are foldable, allowing you to easily transport and store the grill when it’s not in use. There is also a temperature gauge and a stainless steel drip tray to help prevent messes. The hood locks in place to prevent damage during transport, too. Note that this boating grill is only designed to be used with 1-lb. fuel canisters, not with standard size gas tanks.
Magma Products Marine Kettle Gas Grill
The original version of the Magma Products Marine Kettle 3 we highlighted earlier, this stainless steel boat grill offers the same benefits as its newer sibling. Like the other grill, this one is available in both 15 and 17-inch diameter models, and is made from 18-9 mirror polished stainless steel. It also offers a handle guaranteed to stay cool, as well as a swiveling windproof turbo venturi to prevent flameout. Also like the other model, this one can be used as a grill, as a stove, and as an oven. The single burner and domed design help create higher temperatures while using less fuel. The primary difference between this model and the Kettle 3 is that the bottom section of this grill uses only a single layer of stainless steel, rather than two plies.
Blackstone Tabletop Grill – 22 Inch Portable Gas Griddle
If you’re looking for a dedicated griddle rather than a boat grill, then Blackstone has you covered. Griddles actually offer significant benefits, including preventing the risk of flame-ups, and helps to keep your foods more tender. This tabletop model offers 330 square inches of cooking space, making it the largest one on our list. It also only measures 22 inches long, so it’s compact enough for most boats, too. This boat griddle offers two independently adjustable heat zones so you can cook different types of foods at the same time, and the grease management system helps keep messes to a minimum. It also puts out 22,000 BUTs of heat from both burners combined, ensuring more than enough power to cook whatever it is you might want. Note that this boat griddle is designed to work with 1-lb. propane tanks, rather than standard size tanks. However, an optional adapter can be added to use it with a regular tank.
Camco 57305 Olympian 5500 Stainless Steel Portable RV Grill
The final entry on our list is the Camco 57305 Olympian 5500 Stainless Steel Portable RV Grill. It’s one of the smaller ones on our list, with a cooking surface of 180 square inches. However, it can create up to 12,000 BTU of heat, and its electric spark starter is guaranteed for 20,000 starts. There is a single gas burner, but the closing, heavy-duty lid helps lock in the heat so that you get even cooking every time. It also comes with stainless steel legs, but it also has a built-in mounting system that may work with your boat. The quick connect hose offers safety and protection, and this grill actually works with all gas cylinders on the market, including 1-lb., 5 lb. and 20-lb. tanks.
Whether you’re interested in cooking your catch fresh or want to enjoy a burger and hotdog cookout with the entire family on the water, there’s a boating grill out there for you. Our comparison list contains 10 of the best boat grills, griddles, and mounts on the market today. Of course, if you have never purchased a boat grill in the past, you might not really know what you need, or what the most important features are to have. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know in our boat grill buying guide below.
Buying a Boat Grill – What You Need to Know before Purchasing One
In the market for a boat grill? Not quite sure what you need, or what features will make or break your boat grilling experience? Our handy guide is designed to help you determine which features matter most and allow you to make an informed purchase decision.
What Is a Boat Grill?
We’ll begin with perhaps the most basic consideration of all – what is a boat grill? If you looked at most of the grills we touched on in our head-to-head comparison and reviews, you probably noticed that most of them were not designed specifically for use on a boat. Rather, they’re portable grills that are designed for use when camping, with RVs, in boats, and in other nontraditional situations.
So, what makes a good boat grill, then? It really comes down to a few key considerations. It should be small enough to easily fit on your boat while still being able to offer the right amount of grilling space. It should be stable enough to use on the water, where motion is almost guaranteed. It should also be able to be used without contacting areas of the boat that cannot deal with the heat produced by a grill.
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All of the grills we’ve covered in this guide are made from metal, but they’re not all made from the same type of metal. For instance, our top rated Coleman boat grill is made from painted steel, while there are several models made from stainless steel, and even mirrored stainless steel.
Generally, you want to look for all-metal construction with an additional layer of protection for a marine environment. Painted steel grills, like the Coleman boat grill we started with, offer ample protection in this area. Stainless steel is also a good option, as it is strong enough to withstand corrosive environments.
The cooking surface offered by your boat grill is also important. You’ll notice that none of the grills we reviewed had a standard cooking surface. Most used a porcelain enameled cooking grill. That helps reduce the chance of food sticking to the surface. However, a couple of our grills included griddle plates, and at least one of them (the Blackstone model) was a griddle only. Griddles offer the ability to cook a wider range of foods without worrying about flame-ups, food falling through the grill, and the ability to retain more juices in your meats and other foods.
Grilling Surface Size and Grill Size
Grilling surface size is usually measured in square inches, except in instances where the grill is round (we’re looking at you, Magma Products). The more square inches of cooking space, the more food you can cook at one time. However, larger cooking surfaces also usually mean larger grills, so you’ll have a tradeoff between how much food you can cook and how much grill you can fit on your boat safely. Most of the boat grills we looked at offered 200 square inches or more, which is a decent amount, but some offered less than that. All provide less cooking surface than what you’ll find with a standard grill, but that’s a given considering these are compact, portable models.
Ease of Use and Portability
Speaking of portable models, that brings us to our next topic – ease of use and portability. Boat grills should inherently be portable. They’re smaller than regular grills, and they should be designed for use in nontraditional areas. When choosing a grill, make sure you check the dimensions and the weight, as both will affect your ability to transport it. Many of the models we reviewed offered folding legs, sliding or folding side tables, and other portability features that make them easier to use on boats, while camping, with an RV, and in other instances.
While you’re checking out the weight and dimensions, give some thought to how easy to use the grill is. Most of the models we reviewed offer a push-button start (piezo electric starters) so you don’t have to use matches. A couple of models even offer twist to start knobs that include the push-start function within the turning of the fuel knob. There were a few that offered more complex operation – the Magma Products grills, for instance, offer swivel features that allow you to protect against wind from any direction. However, any boat grill worth your time will be simple and easy to use, even in terms of advanced features.
BTU stands for British thermal unit, and it is a measure of heat production. The higher the BTU rating, the more heat the grill produces. Generally, higher heat production means faster cooking time and the ability to cook more food at once. The smaller the grill, the lower the BTUs will be as a general rule. However, higher BTUs often mean faster fuel consumption. You’ll find that our range of products includes grills with BTU outputs as high as 24,000 and as low as 5,500 so you can get the right fit for your usage needs and fuel budget.
The number of burners offered on a boat grill is an important consideration as it has an effect on how much food you can cook at one time and how evenly that food cooks. Our list contains grills that offer both one and two burners. As a general rule, you want to avoid grills that have just a single conventional burner but a larger cooking surface area. These are often plagued by uneven cooking temperatures, which can ruin your experience.
Our recommendation is a two-burner conventional configuration, or a single U-shaped burner configuration for grills with larger cooking surfaces. A U-shaped burner actually offers more even heat distribution across the entire cooking surface than even a two-burner setup, so you experience fewer cold spots.
If you’ll be using your grill on a boat, then wind is something you’re going to have to contend with. All of the grills we listed include at least a modicum of wind protection, but some go beyond the norm. For instance, the Magma Products grills are designed so you can swivel the base in almost any direction to prevent wind from blowing out the flame on the burner. Because wind is such an issue with cooking on a boat, some camping stoves with side-mounted wind baffles are largely unusable, which makes it that much more important to choose a quality product that does what you need it to do.
Boats are inherently unstable. They rock with the waves and move with the wind. They rise and fall with the wake of other passing vessels. If you plan to grill while you’re out on your boat, make sure that the grill you choose will be stable in these types of conditions. Most of the grills we reviewed are either tabletop models, or they offer long legs that lock in place. That may or may not be sufficient depending on the environment in which you’re boating. Our recommendation is to always have a mounting system available if necessary, whether that’s a rail mounting system or a mount designed to work with a fishing pole holder. These tie the grill to the boat itself and offer significantly more stability and safety in windy conditions, higher seas, or heavily traveled waters.
In the end, there’s a boat grill for just about anyone’s needs, whether you’re hitting the lake with your pontoon boat, traveling the Intracoastal Waterway with a houseboat, or taking your fishing boat out for a weekend on the lake. Our guide to the best boat grills will help you find the right model for your needs and your budget.