A good quality campfire grill grate is an excellent alternative to carrying a whole grill with you when you go camping, hiking, fishing, or enjoying other outdoor adventures.
These nifty grill grates are placed directly over the campfire. This will allow you to prep food, boil water, and grill delicious burgers while in the wilderness, without the need for charcoal, propane, or a gas stove.
We have selected the top-rated campfire grill grates for 2021. Our top picks are chosen based on their construction quality, versatility, portability, heat control, and type.
Read on to find out more about the best over-fire grills for camping offered at the market.
Best Campfire Grill Grates
The campfire grill grate is constructed of cold-rolled steel and has a mesh steel cooking surface of 21 x 11 inches, amounting to 254 square inches. Due to the fact that it has been treated with high heat resistant paint, this grill grate is not recommended for direct contact with the food. Still, you can use just about any type of cookware on it to prepare delicious meals while in the wilderness.
The grill grate folds down flat, so you can store it away, transport it and carry it easily anywhere. When it is unfolded, it is incredibly stable, so you don’t need to worry about your food toppling over while grilling and cooking it.
Its triangular-based structure makes it stable and safe to use, without the risk of it tipping over the fire.
Thanks to the mesh cooking grate, there is excellent heat flow and transmission from the fire to the food on the cooking surface.
You can place the grill directly over the fire and use it for cooking, warming, and grilling. And when you are not using it over the fire, it can serve as a convenient picnic or camping table too.
It weighs a mere 3 lbs. so you can even take it hiking with you.
- Type: flatbed, folding camp grill
- Material: cold-rolled steel frame with steel mesh cooking area
- Size opened: 21.6 (L) x 11.8 (W) x 7.5 (H) inches
- Size folded: 21.6 (L) x 11.8 (W) x 0.8 (H) inches
- Cooking area: 254 square inches
- Weight: 3 lbs.
- A heavy-duty construction entirely made of rustproof cold-rolled steel
- It folds flat, weighs 3 lbs. and is easy to transport, store and carry
It is very reasonably priced
- You should not cook food items directly on top of the mesh grate
The budget option
It is sturdily built from welded steel and has a grill top made of steel mesh.
The inexpensive and portable campfire grill is available in two size options – medium and extra-large.
The medium one has a cooking area of 18 x 11 inches which amounts to 200 square inches.
The extra-large option has a generous cooking surface of 35 x 18 inches, which will provide you with a total of 630 square inches of cooking space.
Both of them are foldable for easy storage and portability. When unfolded, the legs are angled out, so you don’t need to worry about dealing with a wobbly or unsafe grill.
Like most of the other products on our list, this flatbed grill is not suitable for direct contact with food. Then again, it can be used with all kinds of metal cookware.
The medium size is rather small, but the good news is that it will fit in most indoor fireplaces.
Overall, the Amazon Basics Portable Campfire Grill is one of the best deals you will find, and it is backed by a 1-year warranty too.
- Type: flatbed, foldable
- Material: welded alloy steel with a steel mesh grate
- Size opened: Medium size – 18.5 (L) x 11.8 (W) x 6.7 (H), X-Large size – 37.2 (L) x 18.1 (W) x 9/2 (H) inches
- Cooking area: 200 square inches (medium), 630 square inches (X-large)
- Weight: 4.92 lbs. (Medium), 6.07 lbs. (X-large)
- It is available in two sizes – medium and extra-large
- You can use all types of cookware on it
- Heavy duty and yet portable design
- 1-year warranty by Amazon
- The medium size is relatively small
The rest of our top picks
Thanks to its adjustable height, and its ability to be rotated at 360 degrees, you can easily control the temperature on the grill’s surface. This will allow you to create a hot and a cooler zone for dual zone cooking and searing.
The grill is made of welded steel and comes with a removable stake which is 28 inches in length. When disassembled, the grill is easy to store away, but it weighs 10.15 pounds which is heavier than most of our other top selections on this list.
Its cooking surface is 24 x 16 inches amounting to a total of 384 square inches, which is enough to cook food for an average family and several guests.
The main downside of this grill is that, like most other swivel stake campfire grills, it is not as stable as the flatbed ones.
On the other hand, it is one of the best options for those of you who would like to have more control over the cooking temperature at all times.
- Type: Swivel stake
- Material: welded steel
- Size assembled: 24 (L) x 16 (W) x up to 17 (H) inches. The stake is 28 inches
- Cooking area: 384 square inches
- Weight: 10.15 lbs.
- Easy to assemble and set up
- You can adjust the height to up to 17 inches for better temperature control and easier access
- It can swivel and rotate at 360 degrees for advanced heat control and added convenience
- A generous cooking space
- The grate is not as stable as the flatbed ones
- It is heavier than other portable grill grates
The standard-sized Coghlan’s campfire grill is the lightest of all of our top picks for the best camp grill grates and weighs only one pound. It does come in a heavy-duty option which weighs 3.2 lbs. which is still very light and portable.
The grill grate is designed for backpacking, hiking, and all types of outdoor adventures.
The standard size has a cooking surface of 288 square inches, and the heavy-duty one provides 340 square inches of cooking space.
Depending on which one you choose, the grill is made of either nickel-plated steel or has a steel frame with an iron mesh cooking surface.
When not in use, the grill folds completely flat and is easy to carry, pack and store.
The only problem with this inexpensive grill grate is that it is not as sturdy as some of our other top choices. This means that you will need to be careful with the types of cookware and the foods you will be cooking on it.
Still, unlike many of the other products we have selected, this one is not treated with paint, so you don’t have to worry about it peeling over time. Plus, the nickel-plated steel material is highly resistant to corrosion.
- Type: flatbed, foldable
- Material: Nickel-plated steel (standard), and steel frame and iron mesh (heavy-duty)
- Size opened: 24 (L) x 12 (W) x 7 (H) inches (standard), 23 (L) x 15 (W) x 9 (H) inches (heavy-duty)
- Cooking area: 288 square inches (standard), 340 square inches (heavy-duty)
- Weight: 1 pound (standard), 3.2 lbs. (heavy-duty)
- The standard size is the lightest of all the products on our list
- It is inexpensive
- Not as sturdy or as large as other grates, so it is more suitable for occasional use
It is foldable and weighs less than 3.3 lbs. so you can pack it with you for any trip or hike.
The grill has a stable cold-rolled steel frame and a 207 square inch steel mesh cooking surface.
It is compatible with cookware made of all types of metals, but once again, it is not recommended to grill your burgers or steaks directly on the mesh.
While it may not be as durable as some of the other grill grates on this list, the REDCAMP campfire grill is an excellent buy for occasional users.
- Type: flatbed, foldable
- Material: cold-rolled steel frame and mesh grate
- Size opened: 17 (L) x 12.2 (W) x 7.87 (H) inches
- Dimensions when folded: 17 (L) x 12.2 (W) x 1.97 (H) inches
- Cooking area: 207 square inches
- Weight: 3.2 lbs.
- Very affordable price
- It is light, foldable, and portable
- Stable construction when unfolded
- The grate is not as durable as some of the other top picks on our list
Why do you need a campfire grill grate?
A campfire grill grate is an inexpensive and easy way to prepare delicious smoky flavored food without the need for carrying a bulky grill and dedicated fuel for it.
With a grill grate like this, all you need to do is unfold it or assemble it and place it on top of the campfire. Then you can proceed to boil water or cook food on it.
With a grate like this, you can protect your hands and arms from the burning flames. You can let your food be smoked and cooked to perfection without holding it over the fire. You can also create different heat zones for cooking, searing, and warming food by moving the grate or adjusting the fire underneath it.
Many of these grates can be adjusted in height, and some can even swivel and rotate, so you can control the temperature and cook over direct and indirect heat too.
Since these nifty camping tools are made of materials that disperse the heat, you will have a larger cooking surface with different temperature zones for different cooking and warming tasks at the same time.
Once you are done, you can clean up the grate easily, avoiding the mess and elbow grease, and pack it up for next time, with minimal hassle.
Some people even use these inexpensive grates for cooking food at home in their standard fireplaces.
Another advantage is that most of them can be used as tables for eating and for placing your beverages and other stuff when you are enjoying time outdoors.
Grill grate types
There are three basic campfire grill grate types that you can choose from, including:
Like a camera tripod, the tripod grill grate comes with a tee-pee-shaped stand with three legs that hold it above the fire. The tripod grate type is the one that allows for the most adjustments in height. This is an advantage for those of you who want to have better control over the cooking temperatures and the distance from the flames. This is essential if you want to be able to sear burgers and steaks at high heat as well as to cook more delicate slices of meat and fish at lower temperatures over an open flame.
The main disadvantages of the tripod grill grates are that the hanging design makes the grate unstable, as it will sway on the chains. Also, these grates usually have a smaller and more limited cooking space, which may be insufficient for larger families and groups of people.
Still, tripod campfire grill grates are easy to use, portable, and allow for easy temperature and height adjustment while keeping you and your food safe from the campfire.
The swivel stake camping grill grates have a clever design that allows users to rotate the cooking surface over or away from the fire. So you can once again control the cooking temperature and can easily create two or more heat zones on the grate.
Also, once the food is done, you can leave it safely on the grate to keep it warm by simply rotating the grate away from the direct fire.
This type of over-the-fire grates come with a ground support stake and a grill grate which is attached to the stake at the height of your choice.
Swivel stake grates are versatile and adjustable, but you may find that they are wobbly and not as stable as the traditional flatbed grill grates for camping.
These are the most common and most preferred types of campfire grill grates. They have a simple but very sturdy construction and are most often foldable for easier portability and storage.
These grill grates unfold like picnic tables and are placed above the fire for open-fire cooking. Unlike the other two types, the flatbed grates cannot be adjusted in height, but they will remain stable and safe while you are preparing your food or hot beverages.
Due to their sturdier frames and construction, the flatbed grates are usually more durable than the other two types.
Still not sure which campfire grill grate is the most suitable option for you? You can read on to find out which features you should consider when shopping for one.
Since these grill grates are used directly above open fire, they need to be made from materials that can withstand the heat without warping, melting, and chipping.
The best metals for these types of grill grates include stainless steel and cast iron.
Stainless steel is durable, resistant to corrosion, lightweight, and easy to clean.
Cast iron is more rust-resistant and sturdier than stainless steel and disperses the heat evenly. Then again, it requires more cleaning and maintenance and is heavier.
If you are planning on carrying your campfire grill grate in your backpack, then you should check out the dimensions and weight of the product before buying it.
In most cases, these grates can be folded or disassembled to take up lesser space when stored or carried. So make sure to check out the folded or disassembled size of the grate too.
In case you don’t plan on carrying the grill grate, and you prefer driving to your camping site, then you can look for a larger or heavier one if you prefer.
As mentioned earlier, the sizes of the grill grate when it is unfolded or assembled and its dimensions when it is folded or disassembled are directly related to its portability and its ease of storage.
But another factor to keep in mind when buying one of these campfire grills is the size of the cooking surface. If you have a large family or go on camping and fishing trips with a lot of friends, you may want to look for a grill grate with a larger cooking area. This will allow you to prepare larger batches of food at the same time.
If you are cooking for only a few people, you can opt for a less bulky and more compact grill grate instead.
The smaller grill grates have lengths and diameters of the cooking areas of 12-14 inches. Medium ones usually offer a cooking surface of 16 to 24 inches in length or diameter, while the larger grill grates can reach a length of 26 to 40 inches.
But keep in mind that the larger the cooking area, the less portable your campfire grill grate will be. In addition, it will take up more storage or car space, which is something to take into consideration as well.
When buying an open fire grill grate, choose one made of a metal that radiates the heat well. This will ensure that you can cook the food evenly without any cold or hot spots and without undercooking or overcooking it.
For better heat control, you should opt for a campfire grill grate that can swivel or be adjusted in height. This will allow you to increase the distance of the cooking area from the direct fire and even to create two or more cooking zones with direct and indirect heat.
As you can see, campfire grill grates come in different types, sizes and prices, so there is one for every need – from single users to people who will be feeding large groups of people.
Our recommendation is to choose the best grill grate offered within your set budget.
Make sure to avoid any cheaply made grill grates. They will not only last less but can also be dangerous due to toxic paints or unstable or flimsy constructions.
With a good quality grill grate like the ones included in our list, you will be able to grill, smoke, cook, boil, and fry all kinds of delicious dishes. All of this will be possible without the need for carrying bulky grills, stoves, or bags and tanks of fuel.
Plus, cooking over the direct fire is an experience like no other, and with a campfire grill like these ones, you can do it safely and comfortably too.
Last update on 2021-10-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API