If there’s anything better than messing about on a boat, it’s messing about on a boat – with food! But if you want to cook while you’re out on the water, you need the right equipment.
Here we take a look at the seven best boat grills we’ve found. We check out their pros and cons and guide you through the factors to consider before you make your choice.
So if you’re ready to find your new boat grill, let’s go!
The Best Boat Grill on the Market 2020
1. NOMADIQ Portable Propane Gas Grill for Boat
NOMADIQ’s grill is ultra-portable, making it a great option for use on boats. Despite offering 226 square inches of cooking space, it weighs only 12 pounds. And it folds in half to make it easy to carry from place to place. There’s a comfortable handle and a padded carrying strap to help.
Setting it up is very easy too. Just unfold the legs at the bottom, open it up and connect it to a gas cylinder. It will be ready to go in less than a minute. It also features electronic ignition, so just push a button when you’re ready to start cooking.
It’s fuelled by propane gas, and designed to be used with a 1-pound cylinder. That will give you over three hours of cooking time with both burners on their maximum setting. If you want to connect it to a larger propane tank, an adapter hose is available separately.
And despite being small, it’s got a decent amount of power. Each half of the grill generates 4,600 BTU, giving a total of 9,200 BTU across the cooking surface.
There’s a burner on each side, and you can control the heat to each one independently. Grill vegetables on one side, while turning up the heat to sear meat on the other. Using both sides will give you space to cook about 10 burgers at once.
It’s made of steel, with stainless steel burners and cast iron grill plates. Surfaces are powder coated so they’re more resilient to bad weather and sea air.
The grill plates have a ceramic coating, so they’re tough and hard-wearing. They can be removed and washed in the dishwasher, making clean-up simple and fast. Two drip trays will collect grease and juices as you cook. Take them out at the end of cooking and wash them by hand.
One thing to note is that, because of the clamshell design, there’s no lid here. The burners are fairly well protected by the grill plates, but if you’re barbecuing in gusty conditions it’s not ideal.
Take care when you’re moving the grill around too, as the outside picks up scratches fairly easily. If you want to keep it in pristine condition, NOMADIQ sells a protective sleeve to cover it up between uses.
- Fast set-up – ready to grill in less than a minute
- Ceramic plated grill plates are tough enough to be cleaned in the dishwasher
- Compact and easily portable
- No lid, so not the best in windy weather
- Take care to avoid scratches when you’re moving it from place to place.
2. Magma Marine Kettle Gas Grill (Our Top Pick)
Magma’s marine kettle is specifically designed for use on boats. It’s got plenty of clever design features to give you great results, even in challenging conditions.
It runs on propane gas. You can connect it up to a standard 1-pound cylinder, which you’ll need to buy separately. Alternatively, use an adapter to connect it to an on-board propane or natural gas system. That’s a good option to avoid having to carry additional fuel.
There’s also a turbo venturi tube with a patented swiveling design. That means you can position the control valve outboard, inboard, right or left, wherever it’s most convenient. It also means you can change the cylinder quickly – you can even do it whilst you’re cooking.
It’s made of 18/9 stainless steel, so it won’t rust in the rain and salty air. And the mirror-polished surface looks great too.
The hinged lid means there’s no danger of it getting lost overboard! It also acts as a shield for the burners in windy weather. And the stay-cool handle means you’ll be able to move it easily.
The grill is 13 inches in diameter. It heats up fast, with the help of a radiant plate that distributes the heat evenly and efficiently. That means you’ll be able to cook your food quickly while keeping fuel use to a minimum. It’s particularly good at searing meats at high temperatures.
When you’ve finished, the grill disassembles easily for cleaning. You won’t need any tools to unscrew parts either. But note that there aren’t any drip trays here.
As marine specialists, Magma offers a wide range of accessories to mount the grill to your boat. Whatever type of craft you have, there’ll be a way of making it work. But note that all mounting accessories are sold separately, so make sure you take account of that in your budgeting.
- Swiveling turbo venturi tube allows flexible positioning and fast cylinder changes
- Hinged lid acts as a wind shield during cooking
- Radiant plate delivers fast, even heat to the whole cooking surface
- No drip trays
- You’ll need to buy the accessories for mounting the grill to your boat separately.
3. Magma ChefsMate Propane Gas Grill for Boat
The ChefsMate is the second design from Magma to make our list. It’s another grill designed to be used on boats, with a range of different mounting options. As with the Marine Kettle, however, you’ll need to buy the accessories for mounting separately.
It’s made of mirror-polished stainless steel, so it looks smart and will resist corrosion. There’s a rectangular grilling area and hinged lid to help shield the flames from wind.
The lid has a handle that runs its full length. When you’ve finished cooking, you can lock it in place so it stays secure, even when the wind picks up. The legs fold away too for easy storage.
The grill is powered by propane gas, and it’s easy to connect up to a 1-pound gas cylinder. When the cylinder is empty, the swiveling valve makes replacing it fast and simple. There’s a good quality pressure regulator on the side too.
There’s plenty of power here, with 11,200 BTU generated across the cooking surface. It heats up fast, with the heat delivered evenly thanks to a radiant plate. The grate measures 18 inches by 9 inches, giving a total of 162 square inches for your burgers and steaks.
There’s a safety shell on the inside, which aims to funnel fat into a grease tray. You may get some flare ups, though, if you’re cooking food with a high fat content.
One thing to note is that, while the stainless steel looks great at first, keeping it shiny is a challenge. Be prepared to spend a fair amount of time scrubbing it after use.
This is a fairly expensive grill. If you’re looking for an option to turn heads at the marina, though, it’s hard to beat. That mirrored surface looks fantastic. And while it’s not the biggest grill out there, you’ll be able to fit about 12 hotdogs in one go.
- Smart stainless steel finish looks great and resists rust
- Gets very hot, generating up to 11,200 BTU
- Swivelling valve makes it easy to change the gas cylinder
- High fat foods may cause flare ups
- It’s not the easiest to keep clean.
4. Coleman Fold N Go Propane Grill for Boat
If you’re looking for a compact and portable grill, check out the Fold N Go from Coleman.
This neat little grill measures just 14 inches by 4 ½ inches by 16 inches. The 105-square inch cooking surface has just enough space for three burgers and four hotdogs. It’s easy on your wallet too.
You’ll get plenty of heat, with 6,000 BTU generated from the horseshoe burner. And you can adjust the temperature to get great results whatever you’re cooking.
It’s designed to connect up to a 1-pound propane cylinder. That will give you 3 ½ hours of cooking time with the burner turned up high.
Coleman use what they call “Perfect Flow technology” to keep the fuel flow steady, even in extreme conditions. That makes this a great choice for use on the waves. The hinged lid also provides a shield against the wind.
There’s no automatic ignition with this one, so you’ll need a match or taper to get it started. Whatever you use will need to be thin enough to reach through the grate to the burner.
When you’ve finished grilling, simply unscrew the cylinder and close up the lid. The cooking plates can be removed and put in the dishwasher. There’s also a removable drip tray to get rid of fat easily and prevent flare ups.
It folds up smaller than a briefcase, so won’t require much storage space. And a useful built-in handle makes it easy to carry around. Note, though, that the locking function isn’t completely reliable. You may want to place it inside a bag to avoid the risk of it falling open whilst being carried.
All in all, though, this is an inexpensive little grill that’s easy to use and gets nice and hot. As long as you don’t mind lighting it manually, it’s a great buy.
- Compact and portable
- Cooking plates are dishwasher safe
- Adjustable heat and reaches high temperatures for speedy cooking
- The locking mechanism isn’t as reliable as we’d like
- No automatic ignition.
5. Extreme Marine Products Modified Cuisinart Grill
Extreme Marine Products have taken a standard Cuisinart grill and modified it for use on a boat. The result looks a bit like ED-209 from the 80s film RoboCop. But there’s nothing scary about the cooking power it offers.
There’s 145 square inches of cooking space, plenty of room for a couple of burgers and steaks. It gets nice and hot, but note that the temperature control isn’t perfect. Reducing the heat after it’s been grilling for 10 minutes or so is a challenge.
The grill runs on propane gas and is designed to be used with a standard 1-pound gas cylinder. That will last for around three hours of cooking time. There’s a solid mount rather than a wand for the cylinder, so it will stay secure even in stormy weather.
But perhaps the best thing about this model is the ease with which it can be installed on your boat. It’s designed to be attached to the railing of a pontoon. Make sure your railing is square, 1.25 inches across, and has open fencing for it to fit. Everything you need to mount the grill is included in the package.
Take care to read the instructions carefully before you begin installation. The brackets that are attached to the grill need to be removed and flipped over before being secured in place. If you don’t do that, you’ll find the weight of the grill tips it towards the water.
As long as you follow the instructions, though, installation is very straightforward. You won’t even need any tools for the job. The brackets should fit snugly, but don’t force them on. If you encounter any difficulties, contact Extreme Marine Products. They can exchange the brackets for universal versions.
Cleaning is fairly straightforward, assisted by the presence of a drip tray. The tray isn’t huge though – that’s something to watch out for if you’re grilling very fatty foods.
- Comes with everything you need to mount the grill to the rail of a pontoon
- Compact design, but still provides 145 square inches of cooking surface
- Solid mount keeps the propane cylinder very secure
- The drip tray isn’t particularly big
- The temperature control could be better – it gets very hot after about ten minutes of cooking.
6. Giantex Propane Tabletop Gas Grill for Boat
If you’re looking for a powerful tabletop grill, this one from Giantex should make your shortlist. It provides an impressive 20,000 BTU from its two burners.
It’s made of stainless steel, so it looks professional and won’t rust in damp weather. You won’t be able to mount it onto your boat, but it’s a sturdy little grill. It stands on four stout, foldable legs and has a low center of gravity.
There’s one burner on either side of the cooking surface. Each one can be operated independently, and each has its own automatic ignition. Just push in and turn the button to light it.
The power comes from connecting it to a 1-pound propane cylinder. Expect that to last for around 80 minutes when the burners are on high.
The grill heats up quickly and efficiently, taking 3 to 4 minutes to reach about 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature is easily adjusted too, with a low of around 250 degrees and a maximum of around 500 degrees.
The grill measures 22 inches by 18 inches by 15 inches. The legs fold up against the base and the lid locks into place so it can be carried easily.
The cooking area is a generous 20 ½ by 13 inches, making this one of the larger models on our list. If you’re looking for an option for bigger catering challenges, this could be a good choice. And it’s still compact enough not to require much storage space.
Note, though, that there’s not a huge amount of headroom above the grate when the lid is closed. If you want to roast larger joints or poultry, this won’t be the grill for you.
It’s very well built, with a heavy gauge of stainless steel and no sharp edges. All the parts fit together neatly, and the lock on the lid is secure. There are two drip trays to make cleaning up after cooking quicker and easier.
There’s very little assembly to do. Just put the flame shields and grills in place, and you’re ready to go.
Watch out when you carry the grill though. There’s nothing to hold the components in place, so you’ll need to reposition them before you use it again.
- Two burners for flexible cooking
- Maximum of 20,000 BTU
- Good quality stainless steel construction
- The lid isn’t tall enough to accommodate larger joints or poultry
- There’s nothing to hold the internal components in position when the grill is carried.
7. Kuuma Mount Boat Grill
The 58110 grill from Kuuma is a similar design – and price – to the Giantex. It’s a rectangular tabletop grill, standing on short legs and constructed of polished stainless steel. The stainless steel is 300 series marine grade, so it’s particularly good at coping with the elements and sea air.
If you like the distinctive barbecue flavor of charcoal-grilled meat, it’s a great option. But if you prefer the convenience of propane, there’s a gas-fuelled model too.
The propane version can be used with either small gas cylinders or connected up to a larger refillable tank. Just make sure that you get gas cylinders that will fit. Coleman’s green cylinders connect up just fine, Benzomatic ones don’t.
It has a heat output of 13,000 BTU. The temperature is, though, rather difficult to adjust. It gets very hot, so take care not to over-cook your food. And make sure you use the handle if you want to move the lid during grilling. Touch it with your fingers and you’ll burn them.
The cooking surface is a decent size, big enough to grill four average steaks at once. Clean-up is straight forward too.
For those who want to mount their grill on their boat, a mounting bracket and accessories are available separately. The grill itself requires no assembly, so you can get cooking straight out of the box.
There’s a removable drip tray to collect fat and juices as you cook. Slide it out when you’ve finished to make cleaning easier.
This is an attractive grill at a decent price, and with the option of tabletop or rail-mounted use. And if you want a charcoal grill, this is one of the few options out there designed for marine use.
- Propane or charcoal-fuelled options
- Can be used on a tabletop or mounted on a boat rail
- Removable drip tray for easier clean-up
- Gets very hot and it’s not easy to lower the temperature
- The propane version doesn’t connect up to all brands of gas cylinder.
If you’re not sure which of these boat grills is the right choice, we’re here to help! Check out our guide to the questions to consider before you go shopping.
Tabletop or mounted?
One of the most important aspects of grilling on a boat is a secure cooking surface. Start by considering whether you want to use your grill on a table, or to mount it to the boat.
Some of the models on our list, like the Kuuma, can be used either way. With others, you’ll need to make a choice.
Tabletop grills can be turned away from the wind to protect the flames. And you can store them away from the elements when you’ve finished cooking. But they can be less secure, particularly in rougher conditions.
As long as they’re properly installed, mounted grills are very secure. They stay in the same position, though, so you won’t be able to do anything about the wind. All the models on our list have hinged lids to help shield the burners.
How big is big enough?
Next, think about how big you need your grill to be. If you’re only going to be cooking for a couple of people, a small model will have lots of advantages. It will require less fuel, less space for use and storage, and will often be quicker to clean.
But if you want to cook for larger parties, get a bigger grill. You’ll avoid your guests queuing up for their food. And you won’t have to stand over the grill for hours at a time.
Make sure that you check the dimensions of the cooking surface, specifically. Check user reviews too. They’ll often give you a good idea of how much food you’ll be able to fit on the grate.
Think about cleaning and maintenance
Boat grills need to be able to cope with conditions at sea – rain, wind and salty air. Look for options that are constructed of materials that resist corrosion. Stainless steel is a good bet, particularly thicker gauges. It’s possible to get stainless steel that’s formulated particularly for marine environments.
And don’t forget cleaning. Check which parts of the grill can be removed to make the task easier. Drip trays that catch grease and can be slid out after cooking are particularly helpful. And some grills even feature grates that can be put into the dishwasher.
Time to choose!
That’s the end of our round-up of the seven best boat grills we’ve found! We hope it’s brought you closer to finding the perfect grill for your needs.
Our favorite is the Marine Kettle from Magma. It’s classic design is perfectly suited to delivering great results on the open water. And the radiant plate delivers fast, even heat for delicious burgers and steaks.
Whichever boat grill you choose, we hope you’re soon enjoying dining on the water. Happy shopping!