There are very few things that beat a day spent out on your boat. Whether you’re fishing or just having a good time with friends and family, spending a few hours or the whole day out on the water can be a refreshing, rewarding experience all on its own. So what could possibly make it better? Getting one of the best boat grills is one of the best ways to enhance your next outing.
When you spend hours or whole days on your boat, sometimes you want some nice, hot food to help get you through your excursion. What better way to have that than by grilling on your boat? Boat grills are fantastic for making sure you can enjoy a hot meal while also enjoying fishing or pontooning.
If you’d like to enjoy some delicious barbeque on your next boating trip, read on! We’ve researched the best grills for boat use and have in-depth reviews of each for you. We’ve also got some tips to keep in mind when buying your boat grill and answer some of the most frequently asked questions to give you all the information you need about your new grill.
Our Top 9 Best Boat Grills
The following table includes our top picks for the best boat grills. If you’re in a hurry and just want to see where each potential grill for your boat ranks, then take a look! We’ve ranked these grills based on several features, including cooking space, fuel type, mounting, and unique features.
If you want a bit more information about each grill, we definitely suggest that you continue on and read our reviews and a buying guide. This will help you make sure that you’re getting the best possible boat grill for your cooking needs on your marine adventures.
- Fuel Type: Propane canisters or on-board LPG or CNG systems
- 162 square inches of cooking surface area
- 11,200 BTU output
- 100% 18/9 mirror-polished stainless-steel construction
- Hermetically-sealed thermometer
- Glass viewing window
At the top of our review list for the best boat grills is this fantastic Magma grill. It has an 11,200 BTU output that, along with the infrared radiant screens and dynamic combustion system, allows for a quick heat-up time and an even distribution of heat throughout the grill. It’s made of 100% 18/9 mirror-polished stainless steel, which is not only attractive but is easy to clean and is resistant to rust and corrosion even when used in saltwater conditions. It comes with a grease tray that can be accessed at the front of the grill and is lockable for added security and safety.
It has a modest cooking surface area of 162 square inches which, while it could be bigger, is perfect for groups of one to four people. While it has a hermetically-sealed thermometer, it is only color-coded and doesn’t actually display any numbers to correctly gauge the temperature.
The anti-flare technology is great for preventing unwanted fires or other minor flare-ups, but it does mean that the grill gets particularly toasty. This can result in burns if you aren’t careful, so keep it in mind!
- Comes equipped with foldable legs
- Has a lockable, front access grease tray
- Features a redesigned and improved dynamic combustion system
- Uses an electronic ignition and infrared radiant screens
- Anti-flare infrared technology evenly distributes heat and reduces flare-ups
- Glass window allows you to keep it close for faster results
- The anti-flare technology causes this grill to get particularly hot
- The thermometer is color-coded but does not feature numbers for temperature readings
- Fuel Type: Charcoal or propane
- 100% stainless steel construction
- 160 square inches of cooking surface area
- 13,000 BTU
- Rail, rod, or pedestal mount options
- Mounting is sold separately
This Stow and Go boat grill is one of the most versatile marine grills you can find on the market. It’s made of 100% food-grade stainless steel, which helps it to resist rust and corrosion caused by intense weather or splashing from fresh or saltwater sources. It uses a 13,000 BTU output to heat the 160 square inches of cooking space. But, this grill does come in different sizes and types as well. You can choose between either propane or charcoal at various sizes.
It can be mounted using rail, rod, or pedestal brackets, though you will have to purchase them separately. Additionally, you should note that this grill only works with certain propane bottles. Many have had success with the Coleman green bottles, but note that the Benzomatic bottles are not compatible.
The grill tends to arrive quickly when ordered, but keep in mind that it may not be complete according to some customers’ feedbacks. It’s unclear if customers expected the mounting parts to be delivered with the grill, which they are not, or if other parts are missing from the grill itself upon delivery since it is supposed to arrive fully assembled.
- This grill comes in two models: one that uses propane and one that uses charcoal
- Features a removable grease tray for easy cleaning
- Comes in various sizes and types with different mount options
- Can use standard disposable propane bottles or larger refillable canisters
- No assembly of the grill itself is required
- Only works with certain propane canisters and bottles, not Benzomatic
- Some customers had issues with the grill arriving quickly but missing necessary parts
- Fuel Type: Propane
- 7ga 304 marine-grade stainless steel construction
- 145 square inches of cooking surface area
- Brackets come pre-installed
- Solid mount for propane tank
If you love sailing on the open seas and want a boat grill that can stand up to harsh winds and saltwater, this is the grill for you. The grill and bracket use 7ga 304 marine-grade stainless steel for durability and longevity. This grill and its brackets will stand up to salty water and winds with ease, making it great for deep-sea fishing trips. With 145 square inches of a cooking area at your disposal, you can feed yourself and two or three friends easily depending on your meal plans. This grill is lightweight despite its durability and is easy to mount to a pontoon-style square railing.
Be sure during installation that the legs of this grill are fully extended, or it may come loose while your boat’s at sea. Worse yet, if it isn’t properly installed it could simply fall off the railing, and we doubt fishing your grill out of the ocean is in your itinerary.
Be cautious with greasier food items. This grill can and will flame up easily if grease drips into the heating elements. This can create a safety hazard for anyone operating the grill or, potentially, anyone on the vessel.
- Easily mounts to an open square, Pontoon-style boat railing
- Ideal for use in bodies of saltwater
- Lightweight and portable with a carrying handle
- Comes with a drip tray
- Features a locking lid and stainless-steel burner
- Flames up easily with small amounts of grease
- Legs must be fully extended or it may fall
- Fuel Type: Propane
- 305 square inches of cooking surface area
- Stainless steel construction
- 12,000 BTU output
- Railing mount for pontoon rails
- Locking lid
If you’re looking for the best propane grill for your pontoon, look no further than this Smoke Hollow masterpiece.
This gas grill has a total of 305 square inches of cooking surface area. 205 of those inches are on the stainless-steel cooking grid while the remaining 100 are on the chrome-plated warming rack. It puts out an impressive 12,000 BTU through its unique U-shaped burner, quickly and evenly heating the grill surface. It comes with a stainless-steel drip tray, a push-button ignition, and an exterior temperature gauge.
This grill does come mostly-assembled upon ordering but does require some additional, minor assembly once it arrives. The assembly may be a little difficult due to the screw lengths and the included instructions, so keep that in mind and try not to be discouraged.
You may have to purchase longer screws and more secure nuts and bolts for this grill and make sure that all of the components of the grill fit together properly before using it.
- This grill is portable and is modified to work on 1.25-inch square pontoon railings
- The bracket set is marine-grade 304 x 7ga laser-cut stainless steel
- Can be used with extension hoses and adapters for various sizes of propane tanks
- Comes mostly assembled upon delivery
- While it is mostly assembled, there is a small amount of assembly remaining upon arrival
- The assembly instructions might be a little difficult
- Some screws and bolts may be a bit short or small and may need to be replaced
- Fuel Type: Propane
- Radiant and convection heat distribution
- Made with 100% 18/9 mirror-polished stainless steel
- 144 square inches of cooking surface area
- Can adapt to use on-board LPG or CNG systems
- 15” and 17” diameters are available
- Mounting is sold separately https://amzn.to/37IY9Hy
When you want to grill a few steaks or burgers on your pontoon, there’s no better option for it than the Marine Kettle. If you’ve ever used a Magma boat grill before, you’re likely well aware that this is a quality product just by looking at it. This 18/9 stainless steel grill is easy to clean with its polished finish and grease catch pan, making it a breeze to maintain. The lid of this grill is designed not to slam shut, prolonging the life of the hinges. It also features a “stay cool” handle for maximum comfort and to help prevent any unpleasant burns while opening and closing.
While it does have a grease catch pan, the lid may drip grease depending on what you’re cooking. This is because the lid, by design, is larger than the bottom of the grill. This means you may have to clean up your deck a bit following any cooking you do, but otherwise, it does its job well.
One thing to look out for is that this grill does generate a massive, impressive amount of heat. If you miss the stay-cool handle, you may burn yourself unintentionally. You can alleviate this a little by learning how to appropriately work with the controller, though that may require some practice.
- Features a high-tech heat distribution system
- Has a soft-closing hinged lid with “stay cool” handles
- Uses a swiveling, windproof turbo venturi and control valve that helps to eliminate blowouts
- Comes to the desired temperature quickly and evenly
- Great for cooking or searing foods
- The lid may drip grease, depending on what you’re cooking, due to the design
- The mounts have to be bought separately, though the grill can be used as a standalone product
- The grill can generate a massive amount of heat and you may need time to get used to the way the controller works
- Fuel Type: Propane
- 20ga grained 304 marine-grade stainless steel construction
- 11,000 BTU output
- 3-year burner warranty
- CSA/ABYC approved
- Locking hood
The Large Sea-B-Que grill from Dickinson Marine is definitely one that’s at the top of its class. If you want to cook for a large number of people, this is the grill for you. It has an impressive 220 square inches of surface cooking area to use over four removable porcelain grilling sections. It also has a thermometer, a drip tray, and a stainless-steel latch that keeps the hood closed while it’s in storage. Additionally, it has a spark ignitor that makes lighting this grill a simple, hassle-free task.
This propane grill comes with a one-year warranty overall, and a three-year warranty on the burners. So, you can rest easy knowing that you’re getting a quality product from a company that’s willing to back it up.
At this time, we’ve found no issues with this grill, except for the absence of mounting!
- Prevents blowouts with its stylish and functional design
- Has removable grill sections for easy, hassle-free cleaning and maintenance
- Resistant to saltwater rust and corrosion
- Has an impressive 220 square inches of cooking surface area
- Features a spark ignitor for easy lighting
- No mounting for pontoon
- Fuel Type: Propane
- Stainless steel construction
- 187 square inches of cooking surface area
- Rod mountable
This boat grill from Bunker Up Fishin’ is the best adjustable boat grill we’ve found. It’s a propane-fueled grill made of stainless steel. It’s fully adjustable, able to rotate a full 360 degrees and moveable in up or down directions. It comes with the rod and brackets for your boat’s pole holder so that you can easily install it without worrying about buying the mounting kit. With 187 square inches of cooking space, you should easily be able to cook lunch or dinner for a group of up to four people.
We didn’t really find any problems with this product. It’s a quality grill that meets all of our expectations for it.
The one thing about ordering this grill is that if you order it through Amazon, the shipping price is a lot higher than you may be used to. The seller attributes this to the costs Amazon imposes and suggests ordering from their website directly if you’d like to avoid the additional fee.
- This grill comes with the rod and brackets for fitting into a boat’s pole holder
- Fully adjustable for 360 degrees and vertically
- Comes with a mini propane attachment
- Uses an electric start for ease of use
- The bracket is detachable so it can be used anywhere.
- The shipping price is higher through Amazon than through the seller’s direct website.
- Fuel Type: Propane
- Cooking surface area of 189 square inches
- Griddle surface area of 130 square inches
- Aluminum construction
- 12,000 BTU output
If you want a grill and a griddle but don’t have space for both on your boat, then have no fear. This grill has it all and then some.
The Marine Deluxe Barbeque Grill has two cooking surface areas to consider. You can use the griddle top for a surface area of 130 square inches, or the grate inside the grill if you need something more spacious. The grate has a cooking surface area of 189 square inches. Between the two, you should have plenty of space to feed a group of up to five or six people.
Unlike other grills on this list, it is made of aluminum, so it’s a bit lighter. Keep that in mind and understand that this grill will feel a bit lighter as a result. Also, the grill is a little slower to heat up than others, partially due to its tendency not to perform well in high wind areas.
The Marine Deluxe will drip grease if you’re cooking certain, heavily greasy or fatty foods on it. So if you’ve just cleaned or refurbished your boat’s deck, this may not be the best option for you.
- Comes with an included thread-lock mounting post
- Reasonable price
- Can be used with any standard 1-pound propane tank
- Converts into a tabletop grill for use on solid ground
- The mounting post is very secure and will keep your grill firmly in place
- The grill is a bit slow to heat
- Wind can blow the flame out easily on this model
- Grease drips from under it with certain foods that are heavy in fats or greases
- Fuel Type: Propane
- 180 square inches of cooking space
- Uses a 16.4-ounce propane tank
- Output of 11,000 BTU
- Made with coated steel
- Mounting is sold separately
If you happen to be on a budget for your new boat grill, there’s no need to worry. Coleman has an excellent grill available for all of your grilling needs while you cruise the open water with your friends and family.
This highly-portable boat grill uses a 16.4-ounce propane canister to heat the 180 square inches of cooking surface area that this grill offers. With an 11,000 BTU output, you’ll be able to grill effortlessly for about two hours of continuous cooking time. It has multipurpose wind-blocking panels as well. Not only are they capable of blocking winds from disrupting your flame, but they’re also able to be folded down and used as side tables. The cooking grate is easily removable for cleaning, as well.
One thing that should be noted is this grill does not close when it’s in use. It’s admittedly an odd feature, but one that you should be aware of nonetheless. Additionally, the cooking grate may warp if you use the grill at its highest temperature-controlled settings. It should reform when you use it next, or you could simply request a new one from Coleman. Typically, this problem doesn’t occur at medium-high settings or lower.
A somewhat common problem with this unit is the regulator’s quality. It can break easily or simply stop working without any warning that it’s giving up. Coleman does have excellent customer service and a good warranty on their products, but it’s still something to keep in mind.
- Features wind-blocking panels to shield the grill burners from wind
- The wind-blocking panels can be folded down and used as side tables
- Utilizes perfect flow technology to allow for consistent performance under any conditions
- Great for boats, camping, hunting, and tailgating
- The cooking surface is easily removed for fast, simple cleaning
- When in use, the lid of this grill will not close
- The grate may warp if you preheat the grill on the high setting
- The regulator seems to have some issues in terms of quality and may stop working without warning
If you’re ready to start your search for the best boat grill for you, you should be ready to look at a variety of determining factors first. In this buying guide, we’ll give you a brief explanation of some things you should look for in your boat grill.
Design and Materials
The design and, perhaps more importantly, the materials of your boat grill are something that you should look at before anything else. After all, your grill will have to endure sun, weather, wind, and either freshwater or saltwater, depending on where you plan to use your boat.
This is especially important when you deal with seawater, actually. Saltwater can cause a higher level of danger regarding rust and corrosion. Additionally, it often leaves behind an abrasive residue. For this reason, most grills made for use on a boat will be made of some grade of food-grade stainless steel.
The grade or designation of each kind of stainless steel is marked as “x/y.” For example, 18/8, 18/10, and 18/0. The first number in the pair is the percentage of chromium in your stainless steel, while the second is the indication of how much nickel is present.
This indication is important and will tell you how well your grill will resist rust. The chromium binds oxygen to the surface of the metal, helping to prevent rust. But, the more nickel, the better rust-resistance you’ll have overall. That’s why 18/10 is the most common stainless-steel variant.
Of course, you can choose a grill made of other materials, as well. But, if you do this, make sure that the materials are resistant to saltwater and other weather conditions. If you want an example of a great grill that meets these needs, check out the Magma Marine Kettle.
Additionally, you want to make sure that any grill you’re considering has fully-welded seams and durable, sturdy hoods that won’t suffer under high winds.
Cooking Surface Area, Size and Weight
The size, weight, and cooking surface area of your grill are all factors you need to consider during your selection process. There are some challenges that you may face trying to find the perfect grill for your boat that includes these determining factors.
First of all, the size of the grill itself needs to be considered. There are a very finite number of places that you can effectively and safely mount a grill, and fewer than that may actually be available or appropriate for mounting in the first place. So make sure that you measure out the area where you plan to install your boat grill. Be as accurate as possible.
The grill’s weight is also important, depending on how you want to use it. If you want to install the grill once and never touch it again, you can get a heavier model grill and just make sure you properly care for it and protect it from the elements as appropriate. A lighter-weight model can be removed and stored in a shed or garage when not in use to assure that the natural elements don’t cause any undue damage.
The surface area, however, is one of the more crucial aspects. It determines how much food you can cook at once and for how many people. Most boat grills will range between the sizes of 100 and 300 square inches of surface area that you can cook with. The Dickinson Marine 00-SBQ-L Large Sea-B-Que is a great grill that sits near the middle of this size spectrum.
On average, you should be able to cook enough food to sate four people if you get a grill on the larger end of this spectrum. Some grills come with additional cooking areas, warming racks, or griddles that will allow you to multitask or cook for slightly larger crowds, but try not to overwork yourself or your grill.
Most commercial models of boat grill use one of three mounting types for their grill. These are rod holder mounts, railing mounts, and pedestal socket mounts.
- Rod Holder Mounts
This mount type uses existing or additional rod holders that are on the gunwales of your boat. These are unique in that, they do keep your grill solidly in place while you’re sailing. They also allow your grill to be held beyond the edge of the boat, which helps to free up deck space for other equipment.
- Railing Mounts
These mounts are usually used on pontoons that have open rails. They use clamp brackets that allow them to lock securely over the edge of a rail. This typically puts the grill at a higher position for use while also keeping it entirely outside of the boat. This helps to prevent damages, burns, and also has the benefit of freeing up additional floor space.
- Pedestal Socket Mounts
If your boat has existing flush mount sockets, this mount type might be the best option for you, allowing you to utilize what you already have. Typically, bass and other similar fishing boats come with this type of socket. This style of mount does not allow for the free use of deck space, however, and will actually use a significant amount of space on your boat.
You can also make your own mounts, or purchase aftermarket mounts for your grill. Additionally, some companies offer different mounting options for their grills, so it’s worth looking into.
Usually when you talk grills, particularly boat grills, you’ll notice that many models, like the Magma A10-918-2GS, use propane rather than charcoal, wood, or any other fuel type or source. This is due to the many benefits that propane offers.
First of all, consider the following. If wood or charcoal gets wet, as many things on a boat tend to do while surrounded by water, they typically won’t light well. This is assuming, of course, that they light at all.
With propane, on the other hand, you don’t necessarily have that worry. Whether it’s liquid propane or not, it’s held in a canister, protected from the elements. It’s an effective, efficient heat source that delivers the necessary heat to cook your food, without using up the gas too quickly.
Additionally, propane is readily available in almost any place on the planet. Charcoal and wood are not always available, and the availability or lack thereof can affect costs. Propane doesn’t typically see much fluctuation in the cost of new tanks or refilling old ones.
You could always use an electric boat grill, sure, but that’s assuming that you have electricity onboard – not all boats do. You may not be too keen on the idea of loading and unloading a generator or other power source onto your boat every time you want to go out and might decide to grill.
This all isn’t to say that wood or charcoal or infrared heating aren’t all great options for barbequing purposes! But on a boat, propane is the choice most people make. It’s safe, convenient, and fast.
Ease of Cleaning
Chances are, you don’t want to spend hours after a day on the water scrubbing your boat grill for several more hours before you can get into bed. The easier your boat grill is to clean after a day of use, the more you’ll get to enjoy it without fretting over every intricate detail of, well, detailing it.
Even if it’s quick and easy to clean, you do still want to make sure that you do a thorough job. Salt, water, acid rain, and other elements can cause long-term damage to your grill if you aren’t cautious.
Along with how easy your grill is to clean, you want to consider other matters of convenience. If you plan to move your grill on and off your boat after every use, you don’t want something heavy or cumbersome or is meant to be bolted down once and never removed.
Additionally, you might look for extra, unique features that will help you with the mobility, use, mounting, or long-term care of the grill itself. The less overall work you have to put in, the more you’ll be able to just enjoy your grill at your leisure.
When you buy a product, particularly an expensive piece of equipment that you’ll use regularly, you want to be sure that it comes with a warranty. Getting a good warranty can be an important factor to help you ensure that you’re getting a quality product. A company is more likely to offer a warranty for a product that they know is of a higher quality.
There’s also an undeniable trust factor when looking at warranties, as well. When a manufacturer offers a quality warranty for a product, typically customers are more likely to believe in the quality of the product itself. They’re also more likely to make a purchase from that company. Ironically, this is because the longer a warranty stands on a given product, the less likely you, as a customer, feel that you’re going to actually have to use it.
If the boat grill you’re looking at doesn’t come with a warranty, you wouldn’t be in the wrong to question the company’s willingness to stand behind the product they’re offering. You should expect your boat grill to last a long time, so similarly, you should expect a long-lasting warranty. Without one, you could have to deal with expensive repair bills. Even worse, you may have to spend a lot more money on a full replacement unit.
Are Infrared Grills Better?
There’s been a lot of grills popping up advertising advanced infrared heating to grill your food, and it’s honestly a great option to have depending on what you know about it and how you plan to use it.
Overall, however, what you need to know is this: infrared technology is great. Food cooked using an infrared grill, depending on the quality of the grill, tends to be juicier and more naturally-flavored. It cooks similarly to charcoal without the hassle and mess. This is because charcoal actually emits IR radiation when it burns. The difference is that charcoal only cooks with about 25% infrared heat, and the rest is convection or cooking through the heated air.
Infrared grills require less preheat time than other grills and also have the benefit of featuring instant ignition. They also usually have better heat control and provide even cooking capabilities through a uniform heat source.
Typically, we would say that both fuels have their pros and cons and usefulness with any grill type, but boat grills are a bit different. While many people love building up a fire for the perfect temperature or smokiness at home, things are more difficult with boat grills.
Charcoal tends to blow out easily and when you’re on a boat, the wind isn’t something you’ll easily be able to avoid. Temperature control can also be more difficult with charcoal, depending on how advanced your grill is.
On top of that, charcoal can be more difficult to clean up after using due to the residue, ash, and spent coals it leaves behind. Charcoal grills, or more specifically charcoal-based fires, are typically more difficult to manage and are more likely to get out of control easily.
You don’t have these worries with propane even on a boat. The downside is, propane tends to cost more than charcoal under most circumstances.
We’re in no way saying charcoal isn’t a great fuel source for a grill, but we are saying maybe it isn’t the best for use on a boat. But, if you want to try to use a charcoal grill on your boat anyway, there certainly are options for that!
You need to know a few things before trying to determine the answer to this. You may also need to know a little math to get an accurate idea.
Three of the things you’ll need to know are: how much propane is in your bottle? How much heat energy does the propane in the canister contain? How many BTUs does your grill run at?
So say, for example, that you have a grill that runs at 10,000 BTU per hour. A one-pound propane tank would give you, approximately, 137 minutes if used at full power. How did we figure that out?
A gallon of propane typically contains about 95,000 BTUs. A gallon is not a pound, but a pound is just shy of a quarter of a gallon. So if you multiply the 95,000 BTU by 0.24 (which is the pound of propane), you get a sum of 22,800 BTU.
Then you just divide the 22,800 by the 10,000 BTU that your grill operates at and viola. You’ll have about 2.28 hours, or 137 minutes, of continuous use from a one-pound canister of propane being used at maximum output.
You can use this formula for any sized canister and any output to determine how much use you’ll get out of a tank of propane.
This question is complex. Not all boat grills need to be seasoned, but some do. For the ones that do need seasoning, you want to make sure that you do so properly. For convenience and stability, you may want to season the grill after installing it on your boat, but before you take off for your trip.
Before you turn on your grill, coat the surface of the cooking grate with high-heat cooking oil. This can be flaxseed, canola, or peanut oil depending on your preferences and any relevant allergies. You’re going to have excess, and a little bit is fine. But, you’ll want to wipe as much of the excess oil off with a paper towel or napkin before proceeding. After that, set your grill to its highest setting (or suggested setting) for anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes. The oil should begin to smoke, which will tell you when to cut it off.
Let the grill cool a bit, give it a quick once-over with a paper towel or napkin, then reapply oil. Repeat the process until the surface of the cooking grate darkens in color. Once it does, your grill’s ready to use!
Make sure to maintain your grill afterward. Any time you finish cooking, allow your grill to cool, and remove any stuck food, product, or grease from the grates. Lightly apply a coat of oil, preferably the same oil you initially seasoned the grill with, and that’s all you have to do.
When you want to grill but you’re on your boat, worry not! You can still enjoy great, homemade barbeque even on the open water, and the right option for most people looking for that luxury is to invest in the best boat grill. Whether you prefer propane grills like our top pick, the Magma A10-918-2GS, or prefer a smokier taste that can be achieved with charcoal, there’s a boat or marine grill somewhere on this list that’ll suit your needs perfectly. It’s definitely well worth looking into, especially if you’re tired of just cold cuts and sandwiches on your fishing journeys!