Gourmets know why an outdoor environment is ideal for grilling. When it’s done on a pontoon boat, it only means to double the pleasure for an adventurist soul.
But then, the grill you need for your pontoon boat has to be powerful, strong, and durable. So, the idea of the best pontoon boat grill becomes relevant here.
We try not to miss the delicacy of succulent barbecues, grills, and steaks on boat trips, and we’ve taken enough of them to tell why a boat grill is not like an average unit and how you can buy the best boat grill that serves you right.
After putting our hands on several grills, we can only tell you that Camco Olympian Stainless Steel Portable Grill satisfies us the most. Yet, we’ve four more best boat BBQ grill reviews to share unless you end up with just one BBQ pontoon grill.
Top 5 Best Pontoon Boat Grill Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
The following discussion critically describes all five models. So you can choose one on your own without taking our words for it.
#1. Camco Olympian Stainless Steel Portable Grill
A thoughtful combination of materials and heating energy makes it a heavy-duty gas grill for pontoon boat and our top pick. Our findings bring out a positive note on its performance and durability.
- Performance: Those who view grilling both as a necessity and a passion will find its 12,000 BTUs heat output and 180 square inches of cooking surface quite useful. Advertised as an RV gas grill, Camco 57305 serves boat riders too.
- Mounting Style: With this grill, you need not get additional mounts since a mounting bracket comes integrated. You can hold the bracket at a 45° angle and slide it onto the mounting rail. However, the rail cannot be without corners/edges. Use the couple of thumbscrews on the mount’s bottom to secure the machine to the mount.
- Usability: The Piezo electric ignition works with a gentle push. You can use the hose and valve to connect a standard fuel source without difficulty. There’s a shut-off valve that prevents any accident arising from fuel discharge due to a failed ignition.
- Design, Material, and Durability: Encased in a shiny stainless steel housing with anti-corrosive properties, the grill features stainless steel cooking grates, drip tray, and legs with a cast-iron smoker. The lid includes a front-mounted temperature gauge.
- Designed to perform in harsh outdoor surroundings
- Adequate heat output with cooking space
- Mount brackets included
- Propane hose and valve included for quick connection
- Affordable grill considering the materials and performance
- The temperature may not go below 400°, but the higher limit can be 700°.
#2. Cuisinart Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill
Should you need a good-looking pontoon bbq grill that requires no additional mounting supports other than the one it comes with, Cuisinart CGG-180T makes a strong case. However, you might want more, a higher amount in heat output for one.
- Performance: 5,500 BTUs and 145 square inches of primary cooking space may not suffice a backyard fiesta, but you certainly wouldn’t invite dozens of compadres to join your grilling fun.
- Mounting Style: It wouldn’t be wrong to call it a freestanding machine as you can move it across your boat just as freely as you need, more so, you can use two sets of adjustable legs to position it anywhere that provides the sufficient space. For proper mounting, you can get a standard pontoon boat grill rail mount.
- Usability: You can use the twist-start ignition to cook meals for up to 8 people, and the options aren’t confined to meat only. Fish, vegetables, and even pieces of bread are okay. Setting it up on its four legs or using the lid to lock it up couldn’t be easier. The cooking grates are removable and easy to clean in a dishwasher. The carry handle inspires effortless portability.
- Design, Material, and Durability: Inspired by a briefcase, the housing looks great with stainless burner and porcelain-enameled grates inside. The aluminum legs withstand the harshness of marine atmospheres. The drip tray comes in a good form and isn’t susceptible to spills.
- Freestanding tabletop design
- Adequate cooking temperature (up to 500°)
- Ideal for a small party on a pontoon boat if not for an unlikely large gathering
- Sturdy burner and grates designed to allow even heating
- Lightweight and stylish
- The ignition is not very reliable for an outdoor grill.
- Additional brackets/rails are required for mounting on boats.
#3. Springfield Deluxe Propane Grill
Specially designed for boats and similar vessels, this Springfield Grill is ready to serve without additional purchases. Few models priced below $200 come with so much cooking space and heating energy.
- Performance: 189 sq. in. cooking surface may seem customary for a gas grill for a pontoon boat. What if you could use another 130 sq. in. on top of your grill’s lid? Just imagine how many items you can cook using 12,000 BTUs of heat!
- Mounting Style: A 29-inch pedestal grill mount with a silver metallic base comes integrated with the unit. Use six screws to set up the base. Thus, stability becomes the least of your concerns.
- Usability: Don’t you like to fix the grill somewhere on your boat? Well, take only a few seconds to remove the post and make it a tabletop version. There’re bail handles/legs which can be folded, so you can use them as carrying handles. The oil drain pan is located below and can be used for proper cleaning. Connecting the control knob and the regulator takes only a few seconds.
- Design, Material, and Durability: The design may not be very attractive, but the construction relies on high-quality aluminum and steel which make it strong enough to survive the harshness typical boat trips present. The burner, the heat transfer plate, the cooking grate, and the griddle top come built with stainless steel.
- Large cooking space (two different areas)
- Both a tabletop and mountable grill (adjustable/removable pedestal mount included)
- Affordable (considering BTUs and space)
- Compact (with the mount removed) and lightweight (only 14 lbs.)
- Easy to clean and set up
- Uneven heat distribution creating unwanted hot and cold spots
#4. Coleman Camp Propane Grill
If you can afford to miss any important quality like an advanced heating technology, portability, and durability, this Coleman Grill can be a one-in-a-hundred bbq grill for pontoon boat.
- Performance: With 180 square inches of cooking space and 11,000 BTUs in heat distribution, the grill handles a regular pontoon boat event easily. The PerfectHeat™ features an efficient combustion method and PerfectFlow™ ensures even distribution of heat.
- Mounting Style: While you can use it as a tabletop unit, you have to get a pontoon boat grill rail mount that may cost up to $50.
- Usability: Removable parts include the grate and grease tray. The wind blockers can be folded down, should you want to have some extra side tables to keep your spatulas. The surface gets clean with a simple swipe using a piece of cloth.
- Design, Material, and Durability: Compact and stylish, the grill has a porcelain-enameled lid and cooking grate, and a stainless steel burner tube. So, corrosion or other forms of deterioration won’t occur easily. The couple of Wind Block™ panels protect the burners from wind making them work uninterruptedly.
- Ample cooking space for preparing meals for a family or small group (5-10 people)
- High-quality parts (made of anti-corrosion materials)
- Efficient heat generation for up to 2 hours using 16.4-oz./1 lb. of propane
- Good supports included for outdoor uses
- Compact, lightweight, and stylish
- No built-in ignition included
- No mounting brackets included
#5. Kuuma Premium Stainless Steel Mountable Charcoal Grill
The only kuuma stainless steel charcoal grill on our list yet with good things to offer! It gives you a smoky grilling experience letting you indulge in a traditional flavor of barbecues and steaks.
- Performance: Only charcoal and no gas! Since it has 160 square inches of cooking space, you may need to use 15-30 charcoals (1-2 mm apiece) for common grilling purposes. For higher heat output, you want to use more of them or go for larger sizes (2-3 mm). With this method, don’t expect to heat things up so quickly as with a gas grill.
- Mounting Style: No built-in brackets or supports come included with the original package. You can purchase a rail/rod or pedestal mount from the same manufacturer which may cost from $30 to $50.
- Usability: The stainless steel body is easy to clean, but the same may not happen as you clean the parts. Perfectly named, the Stow N’ Go unit has foldable legs allowing you to use and stow them whenever necessary. The latching lid closes and opens quite comfortably and the handle remains cool enough to let you carry it safely.
- Design, Material, and Durability: The grill uses 300 Series Stainless steel which is corrosion-resistant and maintains their physical strength even at high temperatures. The inner liner lid is advertised to protect the lid from discoloration from high heat. But, don’t count on that so much!
- Delicious foods with smoky flavor
- Stunning look with a shiny finish
- Affordable with abundant cooking space for small gatherings
- Durable (marine-grade materials) and moderately lightweight (16 lbs.)
- No assembly required
- No mounting hardware included
- Caution advised to avoid sudden flares or fire
After reading our best pontoon boat grill reviews, you may have the idea of why we chose these marine grills above others. Yet, you deserve the most of your pontoon boat BBQ experience. So, being a well-informed buyer and user always helps.
Best Pontoon Boat Grill Buying Guide
Now, you’ll learn how grilling on a pontoon boat is different and what makes a pontoon grill particularly suitable for you.
- A boat isn’t as stable as your kitchen island, you can’t place the grill just anywhere. It needs to be secured while giving you an easy access.
- You need to look beyond merely a lightweight and portable machine. The size and weight should be balanced for proper mounting. The shape also matters.
- The use of a grill for pontoon boat involves concerns for weather factors and the boat’s movement, and thus the need for a unit that uses quality materials and can be used on land.
- You might want to do more than grilling. So, grab something that supports this versatility.
So, you know how grilling in your backyard or some other area is different from that on a pontoon boat. Now, it’s time to consider the nitty-gritty of choosing the best pontoon boat grill.
Design, Construction, and Materials
Parts of a grill include the main housing, cooking grates, lid, burner, grease tray, heat transfer plate, etc. which come in different shapes and materials contributing to the overall build and design of the machine.
The actual housing is often made of stainless steel which comes in different grades such as 300, 304, 316 and 316L. The affordable models typically use 300, and some more expensive models come with 304 which is relatively more durable than 300 due to their higher concentration.
The effectiveness and durability of a particular housing depend on the grade of steel used, the cooking temperatures being applied, concentration of salt obtained from the atmosphere, and the time the grill is in use. The better grade ensures greater durability and more comfort in cleaning.
The grate/griddle is made with corrosion-resistant steel or porcelain coating which makes a non-stick surface. The burner can be a steel or cast iron part that is responsible for providing the heat.
The heat transfer component often uses stainless steel. Lids usually come with a porcelain enamel coating or can be made of steel which translates to additional weight. Both choices are good when durability matters. The carry handle can be aluminum or steel, but you should choose the one that stays cold regardless of the hot temperatures.
Shapes and Weight
Different shapes are available for grills, but not all are suitable for a pontoon boat. The weight is also dependent on the shape and materials.
Brazier or open-style grills are not the kind you want for grilling on a boat. Similarly, heavier items like cart and barrel grills may not serve your purpose well. A Kamado grill can be placed on your boat, but when you want to mount it, you’re out of options.
Kettle grills are loved by many people as they’re lightweight. But, you can barely mount one of them on your boat rail. Only the portable models that come in the shape of either a briefcase or a rectangular box are preferable.
However, you should be willing to pay for a pontoon grill bracket set because most marine grills don’t have one.
The weight of boat BBQs stainless steel can be 10 lbs. to 25 lbs. with the average being around 14 lbs. The lighter your grill is, the more flexibility you can enjoy while mounting it. But, don’t compromise on the overall build quality for this.
Gas and charcoal are the two major choices. Both grills present their advantages and shortcomings.
While gas (propane) is more efficient than charcoal, the latter offers greater flexibility when the flavor has to be delicate. Gas grills are known for faster preheating, yet charcoal gives you the taste of traditional cooking experience.
The cost of these fuels also vary. Gas is more economical than charcoal. The cost of propane can be 3-5 times lower than charcoal, given that you need a certain amount each week. Natural gas can be even more affordable than propane. However, a 2 burner gas grills is usually more expensive than its charcoal counterpart.
Unless you need your grill for a boat, these components would become insignificant. Around 90% of grills come with no mounting hardware. Among the ones we’ve reviewed, only Camco 57305 and Springfield Deluxe have their mounting components integrated.
Three different options are available for a pontoon boat grill mount. It can be a pedestal post with screws that may cost up to $50, or a rod rail holder which costs up to $30. If you want to have a rail-mounted grill, make sure your boat has a rail in the right location.
Durability and Safety
How long your grill will last depends on the materials and the way you use and maintain it. Stainless steel components and housing are found to be the strongest of all.
Some grills come with additional covers to protect the flame in windy surroundings. Wind may cause the flame to flow inconsistently and contribute to an uneven distribution of heat. So, proper shields are desirable to prevent any interference with your expected grilling time.
The control valve and connecting pipes should be well-designed because any leak or damage to them may lead to unforeseeable fire hazards.
Due to the difference in materials, heating specifications, and cooking space, prices of boat grills may vary. Budget models can be available under $100. Some models may take over $1000.
However, as suggested in this article, you can choose from a few units with decent build and specs under $200 for greater value for the money.
Accessories and Equipment
Having a pontoon boat with grill requires that some accessories be in place for comfortable grilling tasks. An additional 50-100-dollar budget is required for a complete collection of basic grilling accessories.
A grill thermometer, tongs and spatulas, a grill light and a basket, bristle brushes, and a smoker box are some common tools. You’ll also want a cover to ensure that your grill stays protected during rain. A well-crafted cover may cost from $10-$20.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
We receive the following questions from our small community of grill lovers. So, we think they might interest you.
Do I need permission to use a grill on my boat?
Answer: Typically, the law doesn’t restrict the practice. However, you can check with the authority of the area where you’re boating to be sure you aren’t violating anything with respect to fire safety and hazards.
How many burners should my grill have?
Answer: Just one burner should be enough for a grilling tour. If you intend to celebrate more lavishly, a couple of burners are okay.
How should I position my grill?
Answer: A tricky question! Any place that allows the ashes/embers to fall within the boat surface is good. Sure, you don’t want to contaminate the water!
Can I grill as the boat is on the move?
Answer: Some dauntless people would encourage you to do so, but we recommend you avoid the practice.
What kind of mount should I use?
Answer: If it’s a rail mount you need, aluminum is a common material. For a pedestal mount, stainless steel is preferable, but be aware of the height which can be anywhere between 20 inches and 30 inches. Manufacturers often offer instructions for mounting options. Follow them properly.
When can I use an accelerant to increase the heat?
Answer: If you have a charcoal grill, you can use a charcoal lighter fluid as an accelerant, but make sure the coals aren’t lighted yet. As the fire starts, forget about the accelerant, and avoid gasoline for the purpose.
How can I handle accidental flare-ups?
Answer: You need to learn how to use the control knob properly. In case you experience unusual flares, just put the lid down securely to prevent the flame from touching anything else.
So, what comes to mind as you’re done with our boat grill reviews and the buying guide?
Look at your pontoon and figure out the number of your companions and the locations for furniture and other items. If buying only the best pontoon boat grill is your aim, don’t just fall for shine and style. Focus on your needs and the quality of the parts.
We know grilling is best savored in outdoor settings. So, safety is one concern that you can’t put aside. Don’t leave your grill while it’s burning. Keep your kids at a safe distance and keep an eye on them as they’re playing on the pontoon.
Thus, the memory a joyful grilling get-together on a pontoon boat may outlive that of one held in your backyard. Happy grilling on your boat!