Sep 21st 2020

Go with a Portable Gas, Charcoal or Even a Portable Electric Grill

Everyone loves a good cookout, whether it’s in the yard, outside the stadium, in camp or out on the trail. A good old fashioned barbecue is a recipe not only for great food and drinks, but also for good times with great company. That’s why so many of our customers care so deeply about their built in grills that they work into their outdoor living spaces.

A grill is a fixture of the outdoors, and even a mobile freestanding grill that is designed to be wheeled around will become a magnet for company in a cookout. Something about grilling just says “good times” and there’s little way around that.

The only misfortune in the matter is that built-in and larger freestanding units can’t go everywhere you go, and you live on the go. There are solutions though, because some of the best memories you make may be far from home. In the presence of good company, however, you shouldn’t have to go without delicious, home cooked meats and vegetables.

Portable Charcoal Grills

While charcoal might not be everyone’s favorite cooking option, those that love it and understand its strengths are firm in its defense. Charcoal imparts a delicious flavor into your foods, and though it is a labor of love to build and maintain the temperature of a bed of coals, for cooking and smoking, you just can’t be the flavor of a charcoal grill.

Yet when your built-in charcoal grill can’t go with you when you take the party elsewhere, you can investigate some of our portable options that offer you some of these prime benefits.

Unbeatable Flavor

Obviously, and as we mentioned earlier, the main benefit of charcoal grills is in the flavors they impart to the meats and other foods that you cook. Whether you’re slow cooking a rack of ribs or spending 12 hours smoking a brisket, you can’t beat charcoal.

That’s just one reason you might not be able to go about living without knowing there was a portable charcoal grill out there for you. When you get yourself a portable charcoal grill, you can take it with you anywhere you go and though the cooking and clean up might take a bit longer, you’ll have finely prepared meals to make it all worth it.

Go Anywhere

As we mentioned, it will take a bit more time and effort to prepare a charcoal grill for cooking and it will also take more time to clean it all up afterward. However, if you’re going somewhere where you won’t be interrupted and will have the advantage of time, a charcoal grill might be the best option for you.

You can take them to so many different parks and public locations, and if you need a grill to take to a friends house where the grilling will be taking place, go for it. You can’t bring along your built in unit there.


Specifically, you might want to take one camping. Admittedly, most people will just do their cooking on the campfire if they go out in the woods, but depending on the campsite you are attending, the regulations might make it tough to do so.

At the same time, if only closed fires are permitted, a charcoal grill may be allowed. There’s something about the flavor of food cooked over an open flame, but a charcoal grill comes pretty close. Plus, as you won’t have to disturb the grill for a prolonged period of time, they make a good match for those who want to take them out in the woods.

Portable Gas Grills

While there are some people who wouldn’t part with a charcoal grill for the world, there are others who prefer gas grills for the convenience that they provide. In fact, there are some who might just not like to deal with charcoal in the first place.

Portable gas grills come with a lot of advantages over charcoal grills, even if they can’t offer the same complexity of flavor in the finished foods. If you’re kicking around the idea of getting yourself a portable grill but aren’t sold on charcoal, then a gas grill might be for you.

Skirt the Regulations

Consider the following situation. Perhaps you are a person who actually does have a strong preference for charcoal grills, and perhaps you are a person who regularly grills or grills on the go. There are a lot of locations out there that have regulations in place forbidding open flames, and sometimes charcoal grills are considered open flames.

For you who fall under this criteria, you might have a need for a portable gas grill even if you are a charcoal griller. Take a look at the following areas in which you might not be able to bring a charcoal grill but wouldn’t want to go without the grill entirely.

Tailgating and Parks

A tailgating party is not a tailgate without a grill. It’s just a bunch of people hanging around a truck in a parking lot. The point is that the food is the central focus of the festivities before a game, and sometimes these stadiums do not allow you to bring charcoal grills or use them on premise.

For these people, propane or other portable gas grills are ideal because you can bring the fuel with you, cook quickly and efficiently, and then stash them. They let you get in and out without crossing any regulations without ever having to choose to grill at home and watch the game on the TV or actually getting out and tailgating.

Another situation in which you might run afoul of these regulations is at certain municipal parks. Oftentimes these parks proscribe grilling entirely, but sometimes they either disallow the use of lighter fluid or only allow gas. That leaves you with two options - instant light charcoal or a portable gas grill. Take the portable gas grill in this situation and consider the following reason for its superiority in this situation below.

Quick and Easy

One of the greay things about all gas grills, not just portable models, is that they can be quickly and easily lit and brought up to a temperature that can be controlled very precisely. Admittedly, experienced charcoal grillers can do similarly, but not as quickly and definitely not as easily.

If you’re a griller who really gets involved in temperature control, or similarly, if you are a griller who cares about the value of convenience, than a gas grill might be for you, and not just a portable model. However, portable gas grills are even more expedient and efficient than their larger counterparts.

They light immediately, heat up quickly and even cool down quickly as well, so that if you need to cook a quick round of burgers and dogs and then get the grill stashed quickly so you can head in for the game, a gas portable grill might be tops.

Sear in Flavor

There’s one unique thing about gas grills, including some of the portable models that we offer here at Embers Living, that no other type of grill can offer you. Some of them have infrared burners that are extremely efficient at cooking food and even better at searing in flavor.

Infrared burners burn gas to produce infrared radiation that spends no energy heating up the air but cooks the food directly, searing in flavor unlike any other method of grilling. If you want to learn more about this unique method of cooking, make sure you get in touch with our team or check out some of the interesting infrared grills on our website, some of which are portable.

Easily Control Temperature

As touched upon earlier, one of the great things about gas grills is that you can control the flame height and this the temperature very precisely with just so much as the turn of a knob. To do the same with charcoal, you need to dedicate yourself to oxygen control, the art of distributing the bed of coals and of building it in the first place.

If there’s one thing that a gas grill can offer you in this regard, it’s the convenience of easy temperature control. If you need to be very precise in your cooking when you take your grill on the go, it might be worth your while you pick up a portable gas grill instead of a charcoal one.

Take One Boating

We mentioned earlier that you could take a portable charcoal grill just about anywhere, and that is true, you can take one anywhere, but that doesn’t mean you can realistically use it.

See our previous points about how some places have bans on charcoal grills and open flames. In other situations, you might be able to take a charcoal grill but it might be an unwise choice to use one. For example, people love to take their boats out and grill on them, but it’s not always wise to take a charcoal grill on the water.

Those looking to grill on the water might do best to use a portable gas grill, as these have burners that can be shut off quickly and easily, and thus are safer to use.

Portable Electric Grill

Finally, if these options do not work for you, you can always turn to the convenience and easy use of a portable electric grill. Now, there are some who would tell you not to get one, because they don’t have the same benefits of gas or electric grills, but the truth is, not only are their portable electric grills out there with plenty of functionality; some of them are even better suited to some situations than their charcoal or gas counterparts.

Take Them Where Gas and Charcoal Can’t Go

One of the main benefits of a portable electric grill is that you can use them indoors or outdoors, if you have the space and you won’t mind the extra heat. Some models are best used outdoors or are only rated to be used outdoors, but there are plenty of models that can be operated inside or out.

In addition, for some people, given their living arrangements, an electric grill might be their only option to enjoy grilling at all. Some of you out there might be living in apartments and not have any outdoor space at all to dedicate to a grill, and for some of you, it might not be an option even with space.

There are housing regulations that forbid grilling outdoors if the grill uses charcoal or even gas, and sometimes the only other alternative is to invest in a portable electric grill. If you are one of these people, then your only option to enjoy grilling might be to get yourself an electric model.

Fast and Efficient

Then there is the fact that electric grills are fast and efficient, just like charcoal grills and gas grills. Whether your look at an indoor electric or an outdoor electric grill, you can heat one up fast and cool it down quickly.

In addition, some might consider them safer because they have no open flame, and can easily be shut off or even unplugged. One might even argue that there is no fuel needed, although you do need a power source, which can make it difficult to take an electric grill far away from a home or hookup.

Finally, some of these types of grills have plenty of square inches of cooking space, have convenient components to keep things clean like drip trays, are made from high quality ingredients like enamel coated cast iron, and are easy to clean.

If you know you need a portable grill for your travels but aren’t sure what fuel to use, take a look through our pages on portable options to find the model that is suitable to you.

Don’t forget you can always give our team a call at 303-800-5659 if you want to get our take on which type of grill you should get, or even for a recommendation for a specific model.