Best Tailgating Grills and Smokers


You need a compact and portable grill or smoker if you intend to utilize them outdoors. Some grills and smokers are cumbersome and unwieldy.

This article will help you decide what you should buy if you are seeking the best tailgating grill or smoker or one on a budget that fits at the back of your SUV or pickup truck.

In this article, you’ll also find out

  • How to choose the best tailgating grill or smoker?

  • What are the advantages?

  • Precautions when using a tailgating grill or smoker?

Best Tailgating Grills and Smokers

5 Best Tailgating Grills and Smokers

Most people want the best tailgating grills or smokers because it’s an excellent social activity and has numerous health benefits with cooking great food outdoors with friends and family. Below is our list of the best picks.

  1. SMOKE Portable Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker (best pick)
  2. Traeger Pellet Grills 
  3. Green Mountain Davy Crockett Sense Mate 
  4. Coleman RoadTrip Stand-Up Propane Grill
  5. NOMAD Grill & Smoker

Best Pick

PARENT-NEW AS300&350 (Apple Red, Standard AS300)
  • Mouth Watering ConsistencyPrepare your palate for a unique and flavorful...
  • 8-in-1 Versatility & PortableWant to prepare your meals, this ASMOKE...
  • Innovative TechnologyWith the smart technology of temperature control...
  • Efficient & SafeASMOKE grill air duct system is a patented system...

The unique selling point of this product is the innovative technology it incorporates.  The temperature control system has a programmable meat probe port, go low and slow, or fast. It also has a temperature dial ranging from 180° to 500°F. 

It has a colorful LED temperature display that allows you to track and set temperatures. The other impressive feature is the auto-pellet loading and heat fans enable you to multitask instead of continually tending to it.


  • It incorporates the latest technology.
  • It is versatile and portable for different occasions like camping parties, RV traveling, etc.


  • When it comes to fuel, it is made particularly for pellet fuel. Other types of fuel may not give you the desired result.

How to choose the best tailgating grill or smoker?

There are four factors to consider before buying a tailgating grill or smoker.

The storage space in your vehicle: As you may need to take it often out, a tailgating grill or smoker should fit in the trunk of your pick-up truck or storage compartment of a car. Chose one that is ideal for carrying in your vehicle. 

How many people will you be cooking for? You may want to cook for just a small family of four, or it may be over 10 of your colleagues from work; your tailgating grill or smoker must have enough cooking area for all.

Fuel type: There are four fuel types- firewood, propane or gasoline, lump charcoal, and briquettes. If you have enough space in the trunk and you have s small group, firewood would be the ideal fuel type. A grill or cooker that works well with charcoal and briquettes would be a better choice for a bigger group. 

Investment for the future:  Before buying a grill or smoker, you should ask yourself if you want to use it both on trips and even at home or how often you intend to use it.  A few extra bucks will not hurt if you are looking for one that will last for long and serve you well at home or a camp by a lakeside or the beach. 

What are the advantages?

Remember, a tailgating grill is a worthwhile investment as you can use it while on trips and even at home. If you want to use different fuel types and save on utility bills, you should consider buying one. 

A tailgating grill and smoker is handy on long trips with your family or a fishing or camping trip. It helps you cook delicious and steaming hot food giving you the vibe of home while being outdoors. 

Precautions when using a tailgating grill or smoker?

Here are a few precautions you should take while using a tailgating grill or smoker.

  • Keep away from combustible materials:  It is ideal to set up a grill or smoker at a distance from any building nearby or where children and dogs may be playing. There is a danger of it being knocked over or even causing a fire in the nearby vicinity.

  • Use adequate protective pieces of equipment:  Make sure you use heat pads, tongs, aprons, and other protective clothing and pieces of equipment while handling a grill or smoker.

  • Use lighting liquid sparingly:  Take extra precautions while using a lighting fluid as it could cause a fire if it spills outside of the grill or smoker.

  • Know your grill or smoker: To prevent wastage of fuel and optimal utilization of your fuel, you must know what kind of fuel works best in your grill or smoker. 

Traeger Grills Tailgater 20 Portable Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker, Black
  • NEVER USE GAS OR CHARCOAL AGAIN: Traeger created the original wood-pellet...
  • PRECISION TEMPERATURE CONTROL: The Digital Arc Controller maintains a...
  • Take your grill and your wood-fired BBQ wherever you go. Whether it’s...
  • EZ fold legs, a grill capacity of 300 sq inches, and capacity for 12...

The first thing that strikes you about this product is that it gives you outdoor vibes. It has a set of wheels to ensure mobility and a hook to hang a bucket.  Apart from its looks, it also incorporates innovative features like a 5-degree temp settings, arc controller with modern grilling logic, and a meat probe.

It has a 300sq. in. cooking space, and features an 8-pound pellet hopper capacity.  One significant advantage is that the fuel type is both electric and wood burning.


  • Weighing in at just 62 pounds, it is light and easy to carry around.
  • The dimensions also make it compact.


  • You cannot use lump charcoals or briquettes, and pellets tend to produce a lot of smoke.


Green Mountain Davy Crockett Sense Mate Electric Wi-Fi Control Foldable Portable Wood Pellet Tailgating Grill with Meat Probe, Black
  • Features Sense-Mate, a thermal sensor which constantly monitors grill...
  • Includes a meat probe, peaked lid for rib racks, convenience tray
  • Weighs 68 lbs. and folds to fits in nearly any trunk, making it the...
  • 110V or 12V with adapters for 3 power options

The most impressive feature of this tailgating grill is the Sense-Mate. This thermal sensor continuously monitors grill temperature. Other handy features are the meat probe, a peaked lid for rib racks, and a convenience tray.

It is made of steel which makes it an all-season grill that is durable and long-lasting. The fuel type is fuel pellets.


  • It has a firm and steady base that is spread out
  • The use of pellets ensures rich flavour.


  • As it is made entirely of steel, all the components would need regular cleaning to prevent oil and grease from accumulating on it.

This is perhaps one of the most stylish and compact grills. It has dimensions of 30.25 x 19.19 x 16.13 inches (LxWxH)) and weighs only 46.67 pounds, making it one of the lightest grills available.

Unlike most other grills and smokers, this one can be folded and hence easily carried in your SUV.  Apart from its aesthetic appeal, it has some smart features like three adjustable burners, thermometer. It also has grilling power of up to 20,000 total BTUs.


  • It has a push-start ignition for matchless light and runs on propane.
  • It is easy to set up and takes lesser time to prepare than other grills.


  • The cooking surface is relatively lesser than other grills.

  • NOMAD Grill & Smoker

  • This grill is perfect for those who love the great outdoors and are always on the move. The first thing that strikes you about this product is that it looks like a box. 

    While the overall look is minimal, this one has some innovative features like the Advanced Thermal Architecture that keep the outer shell's temperature remarkably low to place it on different surfaces.

     Other impressive features are Magvent air controls to mitigate spill and ash and the ultra-light for extra coal clearance.


    • It is ideal for hunting, fishing, camping, beach-going, and backyard barbecuing.
    • It is amongst the most portable grillers available.


    • The limited cooking area will not suffice for a big group of campers.