How can a beautiful day fishing and boating out in the water get any better? Well, with some grilling, of course! And if you’re wondering how you can take one of the best things about summer out in the sea, you are about to find out.
For this purpose, we sorted out only the absolute best boat grill & best pontoon grill currently available on the market. With their smart portable designs and cool useful features, you’ll discover almost full-size grilling abilities in a much more compact and practical form factor.
But which one would indeed be the right choice for you? To answer this question, you should go through our list of pontoon grill reviews and boat grill reviews that will tell you what exactly to expect from each model. If in the end you’re still left with some doubts, our extensive buyer’s guide has you covered.
If we already got you excited about the grill-outs to come, you should check out the marine accessories that can make the experience even more memorable and enjoyable.
Best Boat Grills Comparison Chart
Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Portable Gas Grill
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Magma Marine Kettle Gas Grill
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Camco Olympian 4500 Stainless Steel Portable Gas Grill
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Magma ChefsMate Gas Grill
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Magma A10-603 Adventurer Gas Grill
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Kuuma Stow Mountable Grill
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Best Boat Grills Reviewed (Top Picks)
To make sure you’ll be enjoying the tasty smell of fresh BBQ on your boat for many seasons to come, below you will find only the most reliable and well-made marine grills for boats out there. Not arranged in any particular order, we suggest you going through the full list to make sure you’ve considered all options.
1. Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Portable Gas Grill
This compact 16 x 16.5 x 13 inches portable gas grill packs a surprising punch for its modest size and reasonable price.
The 145 square inch grilling area might not seem like much, but it will fit and evenly cook up to a dozen chicken breasts at once. The stainless steel burner is indeed powerful and hits 600°F in less than 10 minutes, while the whole unit would cool off in just about 20 minutes.
However, when cooking on a high temperature for a longer time with the lid closed, the dome gets really hot and risks melting the plastic handle. This dramatically limits induction cooking capabilities, which is a significant drawback for every barbeque enthusiast.
All this aside, the grill is very well built and joyful to use. It is compatible with some universal mounting solutions, one of which you’ll find in this list. Still, the folding legs are stable enough for boat use. The grate and drip tray is easily removable and can be washed in a dishwasher. The grill also comes with much-appreciated features like a twist-start ignition, temperature control knob, and a briefcase-style carrying handle.
- Good build quality
- All stainless steel
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Integrated ignition and temperature knob
- Easy to clean
- The lid gets too hot
- Shallow drip tray
- Can’t adapt to on-board LPG or CNG system
- The igniter is reported to fail
2. Magma Marine Kettle Gas Grill
You would most certainly appreciate having Magma’s marine kettle grill on your boat, but that is if you can get past the salty price tag.
It’s well justified, nonetheless. It’s made out of super light high-grade stainless steel that provides improved rust protection. As a result, it weighs only 11 pounds but is also very thin and susceptible to denting and bending. This doesn’t make any less brilliant for boat conditions. The hinged dome will reliably stay in place and can be used as a windshield when lighting the grill. The whole unit rotates for the same reason.
The grill is shockingly efficient. The burner is barely 2 inches in diameter, but in combination with the special radiant plate and the lid closed, it cooks thoroughly even thick swine stakes. You should keep in mind that it’s mainly intended for convection cooking. Regular grilling takes a really long time.
As expected, the grill can be used with on-board propane systems or gas bottles, but unfortunately, the rail mount comes as an option and is a must.
- Light and practical design
- Great build quality and durability
- Great wind protection
- Can adapt to on-board LPG or CNG system
- Thin metal
- Relatively small grilling area
- Mount not included
- High price
3. Camco Olympian 4500 Stainless Steel Portable Gas Grill
This is the closest you can get to a full-sized barbecue experience in a compact form factor. The Olympian 4500 offers a generous 160 square inch cooking area and one of the most powerful burners in this list.
Despite having a few sharp edges, it’s well built out of high quality rust-resistant stainless steel and weighs just little over 15 pounds. The four folding legs are stable, but it can also be mounted on a railing with standard square mounts, which are cheap and easy to get.
You should keep in mind that this guy runs really hot! Even on low, you’re looking at 600°F and a very hot handle. Also, if you are looking for a grill to connect to your low-pressure gas system, you should go with the bigger models of the line, as this one works with high-pressure propane cylinders only.
- Powerful 12,000 BTU/HR stainless steel burner
- Large cooking area
- Light-weight and rust-resistant
- Sharp edges
- Very hot even on low setting
- Can’t adapt to on-board LPG or CNG system
4. Magma ChefsMate Gas Grill
If you are a barbecue enthusiast and seek performance without compromises, you can’t really overlook Magma’s ChefsMate. From the moment you grab the full-length handle, you realize this marine-grade stainless steel grill means business.
The attention to detail is apparent throughout the whole unit, starting from the oversized lid that is perfectly balanced to stay open even in roughest conditions. Underneath, there is a decent 162 square inch grilling area with three removable grills for easy access and cleaning.
The single tube burner is well windproofed and covered by a high-tech radiant plate assembly that perfectly distributes the heat. Unexpected bad surprise for a grill of this class are the flare-ups that occur a bit too often.
Practicality is great. There is a lock-in-place tray where the grease is funneled and kept away from direct heat. Even the swiveling valve is designed for a quick gas bottle exchange.
Magma offers multiple rail mounting options for the model, but unfortunately, none comes as standard. If you don’t feel like investing in accessories right away, the folding legs will do the job.
- High build quality
- Performance-oriented design
- Convenient grease tray
- Swiveling valve included
- Adapts to on-board LPG or CNG system (low volume gas valve not included)
- A lot of flare-ups for the class
- The handle gets really hot
5. Magma A10-603 Adventurer Gas Grill
This is a smart modification of Magma’s grill from earlier on the list, that tremendously expands its practicality well beyond marine use. It comes with a versatile gas regulator of its own. It is also designed to use a standard 1-pound gas canister. This means that supplying the grill with gas will be a piece of case. You will not need to get a separate gas tank and look for ways to connect it to the grill.
Unfortunately, other Magma mounts are not compatible with this grill. Your options are to either place it somewhere on a flat surface or look for a mount elsewhere.
There is a front tray that is include in the set. You can place the grill on any shelf but it has to be of certain size – 16 x 24 inches.
- Quality brand
- Easy to supply with gas
- Has a lid
- Comes with a grill tray
- Other mounts of the same brand aren’t compatible with the product
- Does not come with a serving shelf
6. Kuuma Stow Mountable Grill
With the Kuuma Stow, we have a very decent choice when it comes to marine mountable grills. The 100% stainless steel doesn’t use charcoal but propane instead. This gives you the freedom to attach any size bottle to it. Even though at first sight you can’t tell if the unit is a marine grade or freshwater grade, it is actually a marine grade item in the 300 series. It requires only one mounting bracket and comes completely assembled.
The grill doesn’t come with an igniter, but you also do not need to use matches. We recommend the use of a “firestick” to start the grill. There is no temperature gauge, but a built-in regulator is present. You can’t manually adjust it, but you can use the on/off knob to set it.
The BTU that you can get from this product is 13,000, which is very decent. On the downside, the mount doesn’t come with the product – you have to purchase it separately.
- Solid mounting
- Great durability
- Marine grade – can be used in saltwater
- Comes assembled
- No igniter
- No temperature gauge
- Mounting bracket not included.
The Joy of Having a Grill on Board
Let’s face it, nothing beats popping a beer open and lighting up the grill after an adventures day of sailing. And the way we see it, there’s no real good reason to be snaking sandwiches waiting to get back home to do it. Not to mention that enjoying the sea scenery while enjoying your burgers is a culinary experience on its own.
Don’t underestimate the importance of proper seating for a delightful meal. With our hand-picked selection of the top boat seats with and without armrest, you’ll be able to rediscover the home’s comfort while sailing.
Grilling on board is not a privilege for 50+ feet luxurious yachts. There is an increasing number of portable outdoor barbecues that will leave you with just as delicious food on the table. Which grill you’ll ultimately go for depends on several factors and practicality preferences like how much grilling you’re planning to be doing, the size of your boat and fuel-type.
To make sure you find the grill that meets your expectations without any unexpected complications, we covered all aspects of buying a grill for marine use.
Types of Boat Grills
In our experience, gas grills are by far the most practical, reliable, and safe option to go for. Nonetheless, in order to make a well-informed decision on your own, we’ll list all alternatives with their advantages and disadvantages.
Unboutly charcoal grilling tastes the best. Ever wondered why? Ironically, it’s not the charcoal itself that creates the full distinctive flavor. When the meat juices hit the hot charcoal fats, oils, sugars, and proteins vaporize and rise back into the meat. So, in a perfect world, you’d be grilling over charcoal, on a boat, however, it’s a bit more complicated. Firstly, you’d be starting a fire often in windy conditions. This calls for extreme caution and always carries risks. Second, you’d still need dry charcoal which can be a challenge on its own on a pontoon boat. Furthermore, grilling would take more time, and at the end, you’d have a grill full of hot charcoal to watch out for.
Assuming you have electricity onboard and can support about 2000 W, this is a great option. It’s pretty much as quick as a gas grill, you won’t have to deal with gas canisters, and it’s relatively safer. However, even if you have electricity on your boat, the price difference is high enough to still make you consider a gas grill.
Being our grill type of choice, gas grilling brings along numerous advantages. It’s a fast, affordable, and safe option. All it takes is a 1 lb gas canister, and you can enjoy grilling on board. Of course, given the harsh conditions of the open waters like wind and moisture, there are many things to consider. Nothing to worry about, as we have it all covered in this guide. However, before we deep dive into the list of things to consider before purchasing a gas grill, we need to talk about the difference between low- and high-pressure burners. This is important because it might limit the grill application in an important for your manner.
Low-Pressure vs. High-Pressure Propane Burner
Technically, most portable grills feature a high-pressure propane burner, as it’s better suited for windy outdoor conditions. It’s a cheaper option and works simply. The gas regulator lets more propane reach the burner, serving for a hotter flame. So, the high-pressure burner is what you need, right? Not so fast.
If you have an onboard LPG or CNG system that you want to link to your grill, then you’d need a gill with a low-pressure regulator. Generally, low-pressure burners are more efficient and regulate gas intake and carbon monoxide emissions more precisely, but won’t do as good in outdoor conditions. If you have a high-pressure burner and want to adapt it for low-pressure use, it can be done. However, since the burner cap is not intended for such use, it won’t perform well, and therefore it’s not advisable.
A regular grill won’t last long in harsher weather conditions. Therefore durable, highly rust-resistant materials are crucial for a true marine grill. However, with so many alloy types and confusing namings, it can be hard to make up your mind which one is indeed the better option. To make this simple, we’ll cover the most common type of food-grade steel, its variations, and advantages.
300 Stainless Steel Series
Stainless steel designations like ’18/8′, ’18/10′ and ’18/0′ are technically part of the 300 series. The first number indicates the percentage of chromium, whereas the second – the amount of nickel. For instance, the most commonly used steel contains 18% chromium and 10% nickel – 18/10. Generally, chromium binds oxygen to the surface of the metal and protects it from rust. Nickel also servers for better rust-resistance, but generally speaking ore nickel the more rust-resistant the alloy is.
It’s good to know that stainless steel leaves no trace in the food, making it so accessible in the food industry. Furthermore, it’s a common misconception that stainless steel cannot rust. All metals corrode, including stainless steel despite being more resistant than most. The best way to stay safe is higher
Features & Characteristics
It’s obvious that you can’t have a full-feature grill in a compact boat-friend form factor, but even smaller barbecues come with many useful features. Some you’d find more convenient than others, so it’s better to consider the options beforehand.
A regular grill would offer grilling area of anywhere between 400 and 1200 square inches. You can’t expect that from a small portable grill, so you should consider how much you would actually want to grill. For instance, 160 square inches would fit about 8 mid-sized burgers, 8 stakes or about 10 chicken breasts.
This is the so-called indirect grilling. It occurs when the lid is closed, and the hot air unable to escape circulates inside the grill creating convection. If you want nice juice stakes, thoroughly cooked without getting dried out, that’s the way to go. So, technically every grill with a lid should do the job, right? Well, it depends on the execution.
Your pontoon grill needs to be absolutely stable when used on a boat. This is why, along with the regular grill stands, you can get a unique mount and have the unit attached to the railing of the boat. In fact, some boat grills come with such an attachment making your life very easy.
Once you are happy with how stable your grill is, you can enjoy a barbecue while boating. All you need to watch out for is not spilling anything on your brand new boat carpet. That’s a product we have also outlined in another article.
You cannot have a grill onboard without thinking about safety. In all fairness, this is an accessory to your boat, which may end up causing you a lot of troubles if misused. There’s no way around it, we have to point out the most essential safety tips when using a pontoon grill.
- Check the law in your area – some cities and counties might not allow you to have a barbecue on board. Other provisions might state that you are allowed to conduct grilling only when the vessel is anchored. In any case, you need to be aware of the regulations.
- Keep the grill away from flammables – you definitely do not want the unit near your marine fuel tank.
- Check all the connections before actually starting the grill – most units are propane-powered, but there are also some electric ones. You need to make sure all the valves, tubes, and hoses are okay before igniting a propane barbecue.
- Even though boats are typically not that big and you will always be near the grill, you still want to make sure not to leave it unattended.
- Never leave the grill running after you’re done the cooking.
- Wait for the grill to cool off completely before putting it away.
- There is designated charcoal lighter fluid that has to be used to light the coals. Do not ever experiment with other liquids such as gasoline or kerosene.
- Dispose of all the ashes and used charcoal only once you come back to the shore. Never dump anything overboard.
So now that you are armed with all the useful info when it comes to obtaining the best pontoon grill & best boat grill, hurry up and get yours. Go through our guide as many times as you need and pay special attention to our reviews devoted to boat and pontoon grills.
We are always open to receiving feedback as our top priority is to continually get better and deliver you the most up to date information. Comment our article or pop us an email. Themarinemag is always happy to hear from you. Don’t also hesitate to make sure you check out our other work devoted to everything related to marine supplies and boats.
Thanks for reading and as always – stay put!