Cooking on the high seas or wherever you prefer boating can be a great experience - warm weather, delicious food, and wonderful company. That being said, there aren’t many manufacturers out there that produce high-quality grills for boats.
That’s why we’ve reviewed the top boat grills to help you make an informed decision about which boating grill to get.
We’ve spent hours upon hours scrolling through grilling and boating forums, checking out genuine boat BBQ grill reviews, and trying out the most popular models to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
The Best Boat Grills
- Best Overall Boat Grill: Traeger Ranger
- Cheapest Boat Grill: Coleman Camp Propane Grill
- Top-Performing Infrared Portable Grill: Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 Portable Grill
- Best Compact Grill for Boat: CUISINART CGG-180T Portable Boat Propane Grill
- Best Boat Grill with Mounting Bracket: Cuisinart Grill with Arnall's Stainless Steel
Top 11 Boat Grills on the Market
1 - Traeger Ranger (Best Overall)
An outside-the-box option for a boat grill is the Traeger Ranger. This portable pellet grill is ideal for those who want to enjoy the flavor of wood-fired cooking without being tethered to a propane tank.
The Ranger uses an electric augur to drive pellets, and it has a digital controller that allows you to set and maintain a consistent temperature. The Ranger also comes with a meat probe, so you can monitor your food's internal temperature without lifting the grill's lid.
We appreciate that the Ranger is small and compact, making it easy to take with us on our boat. And because it doesn't require a propane tank but has a hopper with 8 lbs of capacity, we don't have to worry about running out of fuel while we're out on the water.
- Digital arc controller
- Keep warm mode ensures food stays ready-to-eat
- Comes with a griddle in addition to cooking grates
- Need to keep the wood pellets dry
- Performance 4.7
- Durability 4.9
- Convenience 4.5
- Price 4.8
2 - Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 Portable Boat Grill (Top-Performing Infrared Grill)
This Grill2Go X200 Portable from Char-Broil features a generous 200 square inches of steel cooking surface.
The TRU-Infrared cooking system gives you a safe, no flare-ups method of grilling.
We like the high-impact die-cast aluminum frame and easy push-button ignition system.
This model features a cast-aluminum firebox and a steel lid with built-in lid locks. It includes a lid-mounted temperature gauge for appropriate temperature control.
With Char-Broil, you get a one-year warranty from the date of purchase, which covers all of the marine grill parts.
- Hood-mounted temperature gauge
- Large cooking surface
- The easy-to-clean removable drip tray
- Have to purchase your mounting brackets
3 - CUISINART CGG-180T Portable Boat Propane Grill (Best Compact)
The next on our list is the Cuisinart CGG-180T propane model.
The petit gourmet grill has 145 square inches of grilling space, capable of cooking up to eight burgers, eight steaks, six to ten chicken breasts, or up to 4lbs of fish.
It also features 5,500 BTUs per hour across steel burners and a porcelain-enameled cooking grate.
This model comes equipped with two foldable legs and an integrated lock to secure the lid. Keep in mind that this is not a mounted type, so you will need a flat surface such as a table to set the grill.
We liked this boat grill for its durable and lightweight design. This tabletop model weighs just over 13.5 lbs, making it ideal for portability purposes.
- 145-square-inch grilling area
- Even-heating porcelain-enameled grate
- Steel portable design
- 5,500 BTUs steel burner
- No built-in lid thermometer
4 - Cuisinart Grill with Arnall's Stainless Steel Bracket Set (Best with Mounting Bracket)
This is a similar Cuisinart grill model to the CGG-180T listed above, only modified for use specifically with a pontoon boat.
This is precisely one of the best pontoon boat grill models because it mounts to the boat rails using the pre-installed mounting bracket.
The grill has a mirror-polished stainless steel look with 145 square inches of cooking space.
You get a steel burner and an easy-to-clean removable grease tray for added convenience.
We like the lightness of this grill model; the total weight for everything together, including the brackets, is 18 lbs, making this easily portable.
- Generous cooking surface
- Best pontoon boat mounting bracket
- The easy-to-clean removable drip tray
- Brackets may not fit all boats
5 - Magma Products Connoisseur Series Gas Grill
Magma is a company that specializes in manufacturing marine products and appliances.
Their Connoisseur Series boat grill is best made for use on the boat deck. This tabletop model can fold and stow away the legs for added convenience and portability.
The Magma Marine boat grills and the counterpart to this, the Magma Marine Kettle Grill, are made from mirror-polished stainless steel.
Like the Magma Marine Kettle Grill, this model can use either an LPG or CNG system.
We like that the boat grill uses grates that heat evenly, preventing regular flare-ups with its easy-to-use control valve and propane cylinder.
- Even heat distribution
- Marine-grade stainless steel construction
- Uses one-pound propane gas canisters
- Small cooking surface and grilling surface
6 - Coleman Camp Propane Grill (Cheapest Option)
Coleman is an industry-leading manufacturer of camping and outdoor equipment. Their Camp Propane Grill is one of their best-selling models for RVs, campsites, and boats.
This tabletop-type portable grill model is best for providing over 11,000 BTUs of heat spread across 180 square inches of cooking space.
One of the things we like the most about this grill is the wind-blocking panels, which can also serve as side shelves for holding things.
The Coleman Camp Propane Grill comes with perfect flow technology to help you cook efficiently even in windy or other extreme conditions.
- Two wind-blocking side panels
- Easy-to-clean removable cooking surface
- 11,000 BTUs of cooking power
- Only 2 hours on one cylinder
7 - Magma Products Newport 2 Gourmet Series Grill
The Magma Newport 2 Infrared is a step above their Connoisseur series of grills and offers more cooking power and features.
Their Newport 2 is made from 18-9 marine grade mirror polished steel and provides a 162 square inches cooking space.
This is one of the best boat BBQ grill models in terms of ease of use.
We specifically like the large glass viewing window on this Magma boat grill model, which makes cooking without opening the unit easier.
The portable gril can be used with cylinders or onboard LPG or CNG gas systems. However, we found it a bit too heavy.
- Easy-to-clean grease tray
- Marine-grade stainless steel design
- Tempered glass viewing window
- Larger and heavier design
8 - Magma C10-603T Baja Traveler Series Gas Grill
The Magma Baja Traveler Series is one step below their Newport 2 from the Gourmet Series listed above.
Another steel marine grill offers a large cooking area for extensive group cooking.
According to Magma, this is one of the top boat grills to use in areas with high winds.
The company claims its rebuilt combustion system will not blow out even in high-wind environments.
The boat grills model comes with a hermetically sealed lid-mounted thermometer to help you keep track of internal temperatures. We like that it also has an electronic ignition system for easier use.
- Lid mounted thermometer
- Large cooking space
- Stainless steel portable design
- The ignition system requires extra batteries
9 - Cuisinart CGG-750 Portable Venture Gas Grill
This Cuisinart CGG-750 portable boat grill model differs slightly from many other models we’ve reviewed. The unit packs away into a neat and portable package.
You can unpack everything to separate the unit from the portable propane management system and the lid chopping board.
The total cooking surface of the boat grills model is 154 square inches with a porcelain-enameled cooking grate.
We like the portability of this boat grill model and the easy-to-carry handle. It also comes with everything you need for cooking on an easy stow-and-go propane system.
- Stack and carry design
- 154 square inches of grilling surface
- Convenient chopping board lid
- No cooking thermometer
10 - Magma Products Monterey 2 Classic Gas Grill
The final Magma boat grills model on our list is the Monterey 2 Classic and the company's Gourmet series of boat grills. This model is also made from 18-9 marine grade stainless steel, and it is the best for mounting on boats.
The hinged lid has a hermetically sealed cooking thermometer for easier temperature monitoring while cooking.
We like that this boat grill model comes with a warming rack for added cooking convenience when you grill on your boat.
Each Magma boat grill model comes with a one-year warranty from the date of purchase, and this warranty protects you from any manufacturing defects or similar issues.
- Sealed lid thermometer
- Snap-out radiant plate for even temperature control
- Adapts to onboard gas systems
- Short warranty period
11 - Camco Kuuma Premium Stainless Steel Kettle Gas Grill
The Camco Kuuma Stow and Go marine kettle gas grill can be a good option if you want to mount your grill to your boat.
We like that this product comes with multiple mounting abilities, including stainless steel rod, rail, or pedestal mounting system.
This marine kettle gas grill works best if you don't want any extra features, only the core components.
The grill has 175 square inches of the primary cooking area made entirely from stainless steel. The grill operates using a standard portable gas canister.
- Stainless steel design
- 175 square inches of grilling space
- Portable kettle shape design
- Limited extra features
Premium-Quality Boat Grill Buying Guide
When searching for portable grills, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure you’re buying what’s right for you.
1. Fuel Type
When selecting the best boat grill, the fuel type you opt for will play a vital role in how and where you can use it. Some of the most common fuel types for boat grills include:
A charcoal grill provides a more traditional smokey flavor that many people enjoy. The added benefit is that charcoal boat grills are easier to move around without clunky parts or the need for a generator.
The downside with charcoal boat grills is that charcoal briquettes need to stay dry, which can be more challenging on a boat. Also, if the body of water you are on is windy, keeping charcoal boat grills lit can be more difficult.
As such, your charcoal grills could end up useless, depriving you of grill food for the rest of the trip.
Propane boat grills may be the most popular fuel type when it comes to the best boat grills. There are a few different reasons for this, but it boils down to easier fuel storage and improved wind resistance. Unlike bags of charcoal, portable propane tanks for a boat gas grill are easier to stow away and keep dry on a boat.
While propane is still susceptible to windy conditions, it can generally fare better than charcoal boat grills. You don’t have to worry about embers blowing around on your boat and trying to keep the grill hot. We typically favor propane-powered grills when it comes to the best boat grills.
Electric grills are not favorable for many boat owners. These grill types have significant advantages over propane and boat charcoal grill models, but the glaring challenge is that you need a steady electricity source.
Many larger boats come with electric boat grills, but these are usually permanent fixtures of the boat and tend to be much more expensive.
The main advantage of electric boat grills is that there is no open flame, so they can be used in areas where the portable gas grill and charcoal are prohibited, such as marina docks. Electric grills also tend to perform better in windy conditions.
2. Grill Construction Materials
An essential feature when it comes to the best portable grills is the material. Grilling on a boat adds water, and potentially salt water, to the list of things that can damage your portable grill.
“The deposition of salt particles on a metallic surface accelerates its corrosion...For salt to accelerate corrosion, the metallic surface needs to be wet.”
- Jenifer Alcantara, National Institute of Health
You want to make sure that you use marine-grade steel or other corrosive and rust-resistant material for the boat grills. This holds doubly true around salt water, where the salt can be particularly harsh for metals .
3. Grill Size
The cooking space of boat grills will be one of the leading indicators of the overall grill size, but other factors come into play.
Some things that can impact your grill’s size include how it mounts to the boat and extra shelving and storage space.
As previously mentioned, you have limited space on your boat and will need to stow away your boat grills when not in use.
Try and opt for smaller boat grills where the extra pieces such as stands and trays all fold away.
Always measure your storage space before settling on a specific boat grill's size.
4. Ease of Installation
If you opt for a tabletop boat grill, then you don’t have much to worry about, as you can use these on any flat surface. However, if you plan to mount your boat grills, you need to consider how to go about this.
You can generally connect the mounting brackets to the railing with pontoon boats. You can usually use a rod holder with a bowrider or the railing if your boat has it.
Ultimately, you want a method of installation that is easy to set up and take down without requiring much in the way of extra work.
5. Grill Heat Output BTUs
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, and it measures how much energy an appliance like a boat grill uses. This translates into how much fuel your boat grills will use and how efficiently it will get the job done.
Higher BTUs don’t always mean you will get hotter temperatures or a more powerful boat grills model.
“A BTU is a measure of the...quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of liquid water by 1 degree Fahrenheit”
- Energy Basics Guide, US Energy Information Administration
The consensus is that you want to look for around 100 BTUs per square inch of cooking space for boat grills. Any more than this, you aren’t necessarily going to get any improvement in boat grills performance, and you will be using fuel faster .
6. Grill Construction Quality
Being out on the water means that your boat grills will likely take a bit of an extra beating than your average at-home model. On top of added water exposure, you will probably often pack and unpack the grill.
Thus, you want to look for a simple boat grill model without too many extra parts or pieces that can break off.
Ensure any assembly looks decent and that items like screws and bolts and the mounting bracket are all marine grade and won’t rust easily.
7. Extra Features
As we’ve noted already, too many extra features aren’t always a good thing with boat and RV grills. With that said, some specific features can be beneficial.
Some of the particular extra features we recommend looking for include:
- Multiple propane hookup options
- Extra shelving space
- Foldable stands
- Warming Rack
The vital thing to always keep in mind is that you have limited space. We recommend looking for options that don’t add extra size to the boat grills.
An example of this is a thermometer in the hinged lid or shelves that fold into the grill when in storage.
8. Number of Burners
Depending on how large your grill is, you may need to consider an option with more than one burner. Having two or more burners ensures that heat is evenly distributed throughout the cooking chamber .
Most of the smaller grills on this list had a single stainless steel burner. Because marine grills are usually smaller, this is fine. If you opt for a larger model for a larger watercraft, then having two burners can be beneficial.
Is It Safe to Grill on a Boat?
It is entirely safe to grill on a boat as long as you follow proper safety procedures and only use certified equipment properly. You should avoid using the grill while the boat is moving.
Also, make sure to have appropriate fire safety equipment on board.
Is It Legal to Use a Grill on a Boat?
In most places, it is generally legal to use a grill on a boat. There may be some specific rules regarding what kind of grill and what type of fuel can be used, so it’s important to check local regulations in each area before using your grill on your watercraft.
Is Charcoal or Propane Better for a Boat Grill?
Propane is generally seen as being better for a stainless-steel boat grill than charcoal.
The primary issue with charcoal is that you have to store coals without getting them wet. There is also the added risk of embers blowing out of the grill, presenting a hazard in windy conditions.
Best Boat Grill - Our Winner
After carefully reviewing and testing numerous marine grills, we've determined that Traeger Ranger is the best boat grill.
The model has a hopper with 8 lbs of capacity, making it an ideal boat grill because you don't have to worry about running out of fuel. It has impressive heat distribution and a digital controller that allows you to maintain the temperature and gives your food a delicious smokey taste.
Traeger Ranger scores high in portability because of its compact size, which is another essential feature for these grills. You can't go wrong with this model.
Traeger Ranger (Best Overall)
Our #1 Recommendation
- Digital arc controller
- Keep warm mode ensures food stays ready-to-eat
- Comes with a griddle in addition to cooking grates
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