Best Boat Grill – Portable Gas Grill Reviews and Top Picks
Have you ever been out on the water and wished you were not stuck eating cold sandwiches?
Having a gas grill on your boat can transform your boating experience into a backyard barbecue.
However, boat grills are sometimes hard to find and the selection is limited.
In this article, we will help you find the very best boat grill on the market and help you select the right one for your needs.
Note: If you are in a hurry, you can read the quick consideration list down below or read our Quick Comparison Table.
Table of Contents
- Best Boat Grills For Your Consideration
- Quick Comparison Table
- Reviews Of The Best Boat Grills
- How To Choose The Best Boat Grill
- Pitfalls To Avoid When Buying A Portable Gas Grill for Boating
- Other Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Boat Barbecue Grill
- How to Properly Maintain a Grill for Boat?
Best Boat Grills For Your Consideration
#1 - (Editor's Choice) - The Cuisinart With Mounting Bracket for Boats is a solid device and seems to have avoided many of the issues found with other models. The product is attractive, durable, and easy to use.
The Grill comes with a solid mounting bracket which works well as long as there is an open rail on which to mount it.
#2 - The Magma A10-215 is very sharp in appearance with a mirror finish that stands out. If you want a product that is a bit showy, this may be a good fit. However, what you gain in appearance you lose in reliability due to a few users reporting rusting and ignition problems.
It does not come with a mounting bracket, but an aftermarket bracket can be purchased.
#3 - The Magma A10-803 Connoisseur is the most expensive grill that we reviewed, but it has serious advantages versus the other Magma model. It is still attractive but boasts a larger surface area. It also does not have the ignition or rusting issues mentioned previously, and you can purchase a mounting bracket separately.
#4 - The Smoke Hollow 205 Portable is the least expensive product that was reviewed in this list. You can tell that the materials used are not quite as sturdy, but it is still a good value. The cooking surface is large and it heats up quickly, but it cannot be mounted on a rail.
#5 - The Char-Broil TRU-Infrared is another inexpensive model, but its performance is impressive. Being infrared causes it to heat up quickly without using much propane, yet it still cooks evenly. If performance and value are your priorities and you do not need to mount your grill, this may be a good fit.
Quick Comparison Table
200 Square Inches
23.7 x 15 x 13.6 inches
145 Square Inches
19 x 12 x 18 inches
176 Square Inches
18 x 17 x 7 inches
162 Square Inches
22 x 14 x 13 inches
305 Square Inches
16.5 x 12.25 x 26.5 inches
Reviews Of The Best Boat Grills
Cuisinart Boat Grill Modified with Arnall's Bracket Set - Editor's Choice
The first product featured in this list is the Cuisinart with Arnall's Bracket Set.
This product is an excellent choice to consider because It is well built, easy to install, and easy to clean. Everybody that has used it has been pleased overall.
Cuisinart is known for quality and ease of use. If those are your priorities, this grill may be a good option.
This product heats quickly and evenly and cooks enough food for half a dozen people. It attaches and detaches quickly so it can be used on the boat or on the shore.
There were some issues with the ignition, but that seems to be a common theme with all propane grills. It does come with mounting brackets that are strong and secure, but they only work on open rails. If the rail is not open on four sides, a quick modification must be made for it to fit properly.
The grill has no major hot spots to speak of. However, it will burn through a full 16 oz. bottle of propane with one use.
It is also not the shiniest or most flashy product we reviewed, but it is still plenty attractive for my taste.
This is the only product that came with mounting brackets of any kind, so it should be mentioned that you can easily spend an additional $40 on aftermarket brackets. Once you have factored in those savings, this model has to be a serious contender.
Magma A10-215 Marine Kettle - Best Looking Boat Grill
Of our top choices, this product has a very unique look. If you are looking for a grill that will impress your friends and family by adding to the appearance of your boat, the Magma is a good choice. Overall those that have purchased it, have been satisfied.
That being said, there are a few issues that have been seen. The grill does not come with a mounting bracket, so you have to purchase one separately. It does not have a deflector shield for the vents, so controlling the temperature and avoiding hot spots can be tough.
Magma uses the more inexpensive 304 steel for its products. This particular type of steel is more susceptible to rust from salt water, so this should be noted if you intend to be out to sea. Other grills either paint their surfaces or use the more durable 316 stainless steel. So, if you pick this, you should clean it often, especially if you use it on sea.
Most users found it to be reliable. However, in some cases, the burner and inside shell rusted out and had to be replaced. It also sometimes had ignition issues as with most of the propane grills models available on the market.
The grill is not very portable on its own, but a carrying case can be purchased separately. Of course, this adds quite a bit to the cost.
Magma A10-803 Connoisseur - Best Grill for Pontoon Boat
This model is a bit more expensive, but Magma seemed to get it right on this model.
This product is still very attractive as are the other Magma models, but there are fewer issues with rusting. It cooks evenly with no hotspots because of the way the venting is designed.
This model also does not come with a mounting bracket, so plan to purchase one separately.
We were pleasantly surprised to find no issues with the ignition and you can cook food for several people with the surface area being large.
However, In furious windy conditions, it did take a long time to heat up, making the cooking time longer.
We also found this grill easy to break down and clean. The grease trap system works well, and when cleaned after each use, it will last a long time.
It is very portable with folding legs and a locking lid. The handle runs the length of the grill, so it is easy to grip and carry on and off of your boat. At 16.9 lbs. it will not wear out your arm either.
Smoke Hollow 205 Stainless Steel - Best Grill for Small Boats
We found this product to be an overall good value. At 305 sq. inches, the cooking area is almost twice that of other grills and It is also priced very competitively.
Smoke Hollow has found a way to regulate the gas flow more effectively, so even a small propane canister should last through several uses. However, a full sized canister will not fit on this grill without an adapter.
It cooks evenly and reaches prime grilling temperature in just a few minutes.
The ignition is faulty right out of the box, just like most of the propane grills but you can make it to work by pressing the button several time or if you want a permanent fix, you can bend the ignition with your hand closer to the flow of gas.
The metal is a little thin and flimsy, but no rusting issues were noticed.
This is a table-top type of unit and it doesn't come with mounting brackets but you can buy an aftermarket set and mount on your boat.
The grill is very portable despite its size with folding legs and a locking lid. You would think the extra surface area would make it heavy, but it is still only about 20 lbs.
Char-Broil TRU-Infrared - Best Portable Boat Grill
While not one of the prettiest grills we reviewed, there are definitely some positive aspects to this product.
The infrared design allows it to get very hot quickly and cook evenly. However, it does this without burning through much propane and without burning the table it sits upon.
The grill is sturdy and very portable. Everything including the small gas canister fits inside for easy carrying. There are no hot spots and the design should be durable long-term. Even the ignition was reliable.
This product is designed to be table-top only so it cannot be mounted to the boat with any brackets we could find. That being said, because of the price and function we feel this is a model that should be considered.
It was noted that the grill smokes more than expected when first turned on, but the smoke stops after a few minutes. It should not be an ongoing problem.
The lid does lock allowing it to be carried, but the legs do not fold in. A carrying case is available for separate purchase, but you have to pay some extra money for it.
How To Choose The Best Boat Grill
When selecting the best gas grill for your boat, there are several points on which to focus. The right product can turn your boat into a convenient cookout while the wrong one can be an absolute nightmare.
First, we can look at the benefits of having a portable gas grill on your boat:
Note: The benefits down below are just a quick list for everyone that is in a hurry. If you want a detailed description on factors to consider when choosing the bbq gas grill for boat, then scroll down at the next section.
While there are benefits to have a portable grill on your boat, it can be quickly transformed into a nightmare if you don't consider these pitfalls.
Pitfalls To Avoid When Buying A Portable Gas Grill for Boating
Boat Grills are a niche product and the market does not offer a great deal of selection. This means that there will be huge differences when comparing your top choices.
Here are some common issues you may find:
If you take your time and select the unit that completely fits your needs, it can add so much to your boating experience.
Other Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Boat Barbecue Grill
Still haven't made your mind for your next bbq grill for boat? Well, here are a few things to consider before deciding which product fits your preferences better:
Materials and Built Quality
When it comes picking up a good boat gas grill, you have to make sure that it is made of high-quality and rust-resistant materials. You will end up doing boat barbecues in different weather conditions and location, so picking a well-built product is very important.
Most of the Marine gas grill products included in this list feature a double liner of stainless steel housing on the inside part of the shell, which helps a lot to protect the product against discoloration and grease leaks. This housing, also keeps the outside cooler and increases the durability of the grill, making it more suitable for salt water environments.
Always have in mind to read the materials used in building process, so you will pick a durable and suitable product for your situation.
Fuel Type: Charcoal or Propane Boat Grill?
Well, this depends totally on your preferences but most of the bbq grills for boats are gas powered models, either propane or compressed natural gas.
Usually, charcoal boat barbecues are picked by grilling enthusiasts who like the ritual of building a fire to get the coals going and for the special flavor the charcoal give to the food.
Propane powered grills are widely used by the boating and fishing enthusiasts because of their several benefits when it comes to being used in the sea or lake. They may cost a bit more than charcoal models, but they don't require any preparation, deliver the heat more evenly in windy conditions, offer a better temperature control and are easier to clean on the go.
Do You Need an Infrared Boating Barbecue Grill?
You may have noticed that some product state that they feature a new technology called Infrared Cooking.
Infrared cooking grills use a very similar technology used on our microwaves. They transfer heat waves to the food's surface to allow the barbecue to sear the outside but keep the inside moist. Heat is quickly distributed across the cooking surface, reaching very high temperatures in a short amount of time. You can read this article for a more detailed description on how IR works.
Infrared Technology Exaplained (Video)
Do you need a portable infrared boating bbq grill? Well, it is not a must have type-of grill but if you find a product which fits your other preferences and also use the IR technology, then go for it. It will be more efficient and you will save some cooking preparation time.
What Kind of Mount Do You Need?
If you cruise a lot, then you probably want to mount your barbecue on the pushpit or on the rail. Doing so, you will have more space on the boat and your grill will be easily accessible.
The other option is to pick a grill that you can plug into rod holders or deck sockets of your boat. The extension length depends on the design of your boat but an 8 inch extension is usually enough to position your bbq boat grill outboard.
The third option is to pick a grill which doesn't need any mounting. You can place it on a small corner of your boat or on the table. This option is also preferred by many boaters' because you can get the grill with you on land.
How to Properly Maintain a Grill for Boat?
When you pick a grill for a boat, you want to make sure that the product fits most of your requirements and preferences. Durability is one of the main factors most of the boaters' consider when are searching for a product.
But, It doesn't matter how durable your chosen grill is, if you don't maintain and regularly clean it, you will end up buying a new grill every year.
Here are some tips for you to learn how to properly maintain your boat bbq grill:
When it comes to exterior, it is important to clean it after each use, especially if you use the grill on salt water. Salt can damage the protection layer of the grill if it is left there for a long time, causing corrosion and making rust develop faster, so make sure to give it a quick wash with soapy water and a soft cloth.
Also, try to cover the grill between uses as the high temperatures can damage the exterior too.
After each use, remove the heavy residue and empty the grease tray. It is not necessary to do a frequent deep cleaning of the interior but it is recommended to do it once per year or once per 6-8 months.
Always cast the grates with vegetable oil before each use. This way, you prevent the food from sticking, making it easier to clean the surface after each use.
Use a wire brush to clean the cooking surface while the grill is warm and do a deep cleaning with disassemble and soapy water each year or 8 months.
Try to keep the electrical components, such as the electrode beside the burner, free of grease or debris. Try not to damage the insulation of electrical or burners components as the water can damage them.
Of the five products we reviewed, we find the Cuisinart for Boats to be the best overall value and the best boat grill. This products is attractive, durable, and is the only model that comes with a mounting bracket to mount to the rail of your boat. It is also above average in price, but it is the only grill that delivered in all the areas we found important.
It is definitely more attractive than the Char-Broil and can use a full sized propane tank, unlike the Smoke Hollow.
It will not rust out like the Magma models and cooks more evenly than any of the other four we reviewed.
The only issue we saw was with the ignition and compared to the other factors that seemed minor.
Also, If you are unsure what to pick, you can purchase an Arnall's Bracket Set and use them to mount almost any grill on your boat.
So now it is time to make a purchase. Once your grill is assembled and installed, spend some time cooking with it and see what you think.
We hope you picked the best boat grill and will take the time to provide feedback on this article and on your selection.
Thank you from FuriousGrill and Happy Grilling!