Camping BBQs make it super easy to cook a tasty meal for any number of people. The best camping BBQs are easy to use, durable, and versatile. But it's not always easy to know how well a model will perform without using it - trust me, I've had my fair share of camp cooking horror stories!
To help you avoid similar experiences, I've put together a list of the best camp BBQs on the market - although I'll be honest, the stories do make for good telling!
My Review Process
I'm a keen camper and an even more passionate foodie. I never head off on a camping trip without my camp ovens, BBQ, and other cooking gear. In fact, my cooking kit has a dedicated place in the back of my van!
I've tried various grills and gas burners, and I've chatted to countless people about their experiences over the years.
The best camping BBQ should be versatile, easy to use, transportable, and durable. It should also be suitable for use with your preferred fuel source.
Using this knowledge, I've put together the following list of the best camping BBQs for Australia’s tough conditions.
I love cooking over a fire, and the Darche Stainless Steel BBQ Firepit is one of my favourite tools. It's super easy to set up, and the adjustable grill lets you cook at different temperatures as required.
You can use this grill with charcoal or wood, and it will add a nice smoky flavour to your meal. It's built with food-grade stainless steel for easy cleaning, and the foldable design means that it's super easy to store and transport.
On the downside, it weighs 11.5kg, and you can't use it with a gas burner. However, it remains super versatile, and I'd suggest giving it a go if you're looking for a tough yet affordable camping BBQ for your next trip.
It might be small in stature, but the Mountview Portable Barbecue is the best budget option I've seen. The charcoal-powered grill enables you to cook everything you would on a normal BBQ grill or hotplate. You can even place a frying pan or pot on top for extra cooking opportunities.
But the thing I like most about this BBQ is its price. I'd say that it's the best budget option I've seen, and it's also super compact and lightweight.
Don't expect to be able to cook for a large number of people without sitting in front of the fire for some time. But I'd seriously recommend it as one of the best, most cost-effective portable charcoal grills on the market.
The first gas-powered BBQ on my list is the Weber Baby Q, a compact, portable cooker that's perfect for camping. It's quite lightweight, and it comes with a neat non-stick hotplate that's designed to provide well-distributed, consistent heat.
As one of the best portable gas grills on the market, this model naturally has a load of great features. The included carry bag makes storage super easy, and there's a built-in thermometer that you can use to monitor the internal temperature.
On top of this, the Weber Baby Q can be used for everything from frying your steak to cooking a roast - complete with crispy-skinned veggies!
Admittedly, it's not the cheapest or most portable option on the market. But if you're looking for a camping grill with proven cooking performance and durability, it has to be close to the top of your list.
If you're looking for a simple grill plate that you can use over a fire, the Campfire Cooking Grill Combo is perfect. I personally love this design, which effectively lets you secure the grill grates over your fire, as long as there's some soft ground to bang it into.
There are two adjustable cooking grates, which can be rotated to position them in the best place. There are also two hanging hooks that you can use to hang a pot or camp kettle, and the included carry bag makes storage and transportation super straightforward.
Note that you can only use this portable camping grill in places where campfires are permitted.
The Grillz Portable Gas BBQ is one of the most versatile camping models I've seen. Granted, it is quite large and at 18.5kg, it's certainly not the most portable. But the cast iron grill is great for barbecuing and frying alike, and the removable hot plates are super easy to clean.
On top of this, you can simply close the lid to turn this BBQ into a portable smoker. This makes it a particularly good choice for windy conditions, and there's a stainless steel drip tray to collect grease and fats.
At the end of the day, this camp cooker's size means that it's not a great choice for everyone. But if you're looking for a larger BBQ to add to your camp kitchen, it's one of the best models available in Australia.
This Campfire portable camping grill is simple, but it's one of the best portable grills I've seen. The foldable legs sit it 26cm above the ground, enabling you to place a fire or coals underneath as a heat source.
On top of this, the steel grill comes with a hotplate on one side and a mesh cooking grate on the other. There's a carry bag for simple storage, and the carry handles make it super easy to transport.
Overall, this camping BBQ is a great choice if you're looking for a simple, no-frills option that's perfect for Australian conditions.
If you're on a tight budget but still want to cook tasty food when you're out camping, the Gasmate Voyager Portable BBQ is a great choice. It comes with rotary ignition, a consistent heat source, and a cast-iron grill plate for reliable cooking.
On top of this, it comes in at just 9kgs, making it one of the lightest gas camping stoves on the market. The built-in temperature gauge gives you excellent control when you're cooking with the lid closed, and the clip-down lid makes it convenient to transport.
Despite its low price, I've found this BBQ to last well in Australia's tough conditions. My one has copped a beating over the years, and it's still going strong. Highly recommended!
How To Choose The Best Camping BBQ
There are loads of camping BBQs on the market, and the differences between different models can be extreme. Below, I've outlined some of the most important things to think about when you're buying a new camping BBQ.
This one's pretty self-explanatory, but camping BBQs can vary from tens to hundreds and even thousands of dollars in price. Expensive options aren't always better, and it's important to stick to something that fits your budget.
Size & Weight
When you're camping, the size and weight of your BBQ can be quite important. If you have a lot of space for a larger model, you can ignore this.
But if you always find yourself packed in like sardines when you head off on a trip, I'd suggest looking for a smaller, more compact cooker that doesn't take much space.
I'd argue that deciding on the fuel type you want is the single most important decision when you're buying a new camping BBQ. Some models can be used directly over a fire, while others require charcoal pellets or LPG.
LPG - Most LPG-fueled camping BBQs work similarly to standard BBQs. They can be used anywhere and are usually very effective, but they can be expensive and require you to carry an extra gas bottle.
Charcoal - Many gas BBQs require charcoal or wood pellets. These are usually placed in the bottom of the BBQ where they can heat the grill plate above.
Fire - Some of the simplest camping BBQs are designed to be placed above a fire. These freestanding models usually come at an affordable price, tend to be quite compact, and are very easy to use.
Remember, the places where you can light a fire can be quite restricted in Australia. Keep this in mind when selecting a camping BBQ.
Some BBQs come with a grill, some come with a solid hotplate, and some come with a 50/50 mix. Think carefully about the kind of things you would like to cook, and select a cooking surface with this in mind.
Here, it can also be a good idea to think about whether you want to be able to boil water or cook in a frying pan with your BBQ. Some enable you to place a pot or pan directly on the heat source.
Ease Of Cleaning
You probably don't need me to explain this, but cleaning up a hot, greasy BBQ plate can be an awful experience. I'd recommend going for a camping BBQ with a non-stick cooking surface that's easy to simply wipe clean.
In my experience, the best all-around camping BBQ is the Darche Stainless Steel BBQ 450 Firepit. It's closely followed by the Weber Baby Q, and the Mountview Portable Barbecue is a leading option if you're on a tight budget.
The most important thing is that you select a camping BBQ that's suited to your needs. Pay careful attention to fuel type, and get out there and start cooking!
*The information on this site is based on research and first-hand experience but should not be treated as medical advice. Before beginning any new activity, we recommend consulting with a physician, nutritionist or other relevant professional healthcare provider.