The camping experience usually involves delicious food that’s cooked outside over a fire. However, it doesn’t have to be burdened by overcooked meat and charred vegetables.
A portable camping grill can bring you the best of both worlds. In fact, it can bring camp-style cooking to your backyard or let you enjoy the versatility of home-cooked meals while you’re in the great outdoors.
The Big Gas 3-Burner Grill has all of the features that you need for mobile cooking: portability, a surface for grilling or cooking with pots and pans and the ability to hook up to a fuel source.
We prefer it over many other portable grills because it sets up at waist height. You don’t have to locate a picnic table or squat next to the ground to flip your burgers. This makes it one of the heavier options for a portable gas camping grill, but it makes it much easier to use.
With many portable grills, you sacrifice some convenience for the chance to cook on the road. Some of them are too small to make meals for more than two people at a time. Others don’t get hot enough or provide the range of temperature necessary for controlling the heat.
This one gives you everything that you need, with few disadvantages. The three 30,000-BTU burners provide plenty of power to make anything sizzle. Each burner is installed in a housing that reduces hot and cold spots and offers wind protection.
One of the most versatile features of this product is that it works as a stove or a grill. Place pots and pans on the grates above a burner to sauté, boil or simmer your food. This is a great way to heat up chili, soups or pasta.
The grill also comes with a barbecue box. This allows you to grill meat and other food directly on the grates.
The box redirects heat, diffusing it into the grates above for more even cooking. The grates have narrower openings than the one above the grill’s burners, which will prevent your food from falling through. Because they’re made from cast iron, the grates also deliver a perfect sear and wonderful heat transfer.
The barbecue box has a vented lid with a thermometer. You can set the burner to low and smoke your food for a long time, or close the lid to cook burgers quickly on high heat. The thermometer lets you regulate your cooking as easily as you would with your home oven.
When you use the barbecue box, your food will have the delicious flavor from the grill, though. The box is designed to capture and vaporize grease drippings so that they permeate the meal with a barbecue aroma.
When you need to transport the grill, use the included hardware to secure the grates, and fold up the legs. You can buy a bag to carry the unit.
The Big Gas Grill comes with just about every cooking option that you would need. If you’re especially creative, you could even figure out a way to bake cookies while camping.
Camp Chef offers plenty of accessories for the unit, including:
Using this grill might even be more fun than cooking at home. It offers plenty of space to organize your cooking gear, including one shelf that attaches to the side. You can purchase a separate shelf for the other side if you need it.
The cooking surface is huge for a portable grill. For that reason, you could get away with using this as a backyard grill. The fact that you can add griddles or the grill box means that you can cook a variety of foods at once.
It heats up quickly and cooks evenly. That is a feature that is missing from many portable grills.
The dials are sensitive, so finding the perfect temperature may take some trial and error. However, this product has a wider range of intensity from low to high than a lot of other camping grills.
If you’re a backpacker or need to walk a long distance, this may not be the grill for you. The carrying bag, which can be purchased separately, is heavy-duty and makes it easier to move the grill.
Still, the unit weighs in at about 50 pounds, plus an extra 33 pounds for the grill box. You might be able to drag it out on the beach, but you probably won’t want to walk too far with it.
Also, you can only hook this portable stove/grill combo to a 20 lb. propane tank. That adds to the bulk of the items that you have to bring with you on your next adventure. On the flip side, you can use it for hours without running out of fuel.
We’re a little bummed that the legs don’t come with levelers. When you’re using a grill outdoors, you’re bound to be on uneven terrain.
You can’t just remove the legs and plop the unit on a table, either, because it gets too hot. You can buy the leg levelers separately, though, so it’s not a deal-breaker.
Some users say that the electronic ignition didn’t last very long. Again, that’s not the end of the world. You can simply use a long lighter to get the burners going.
Have we mentioned that we love the Camp Chef Big Gas Grill? As long as you set up camp close to your car or RV, you can have the comfort factor of home cooking wherever you go.
This grill is sturdy enough to keep out under an RV awning or cover during a long camping trip. You can even set it up on your home patio.
Even though it’s portable, it doesn’t skimp on features that make your life better and your food tastier while you’re on the road. And at a price of around $250, it won’t break the bank.