Little Big Town said it best when they sang the lyrics “You can climb the ladder, just don’t rock the boat while I barbeque”. It seems appropriate to use those lyrics since this guide is aimed at the best grills for a pontoon boat.
Pontoon boat grills are great to have around. They are much easier to work with than the grill you may have transported from your home to your boat. Traditional grills aren’t as stable as pontoon grills as they are generally mounted to something. The issue with boat grills is that some manufacturers will take a traditional grill that barely works on land and put it in an environment where there may be high winds that can put the flame out.
It’s for that specific reason we have created a guide that takes the best pontoon grills and puts them all into one area for you to compare and contrast to help with the decision making process. We put the Magma Marine Kettle Gas Grill at the top of our list because it’s extremely versatile, safe, easy to use, and wind-proof.
Top Pontoon Grills
1.Magma Marine Kettle Gas Grill – Best Overall
The Magma Marine Kettle Gas Grill is an affordable piece of equipment that would make a great addition to your pontoon boat. This was chosen as our top overall because it has many features such as a built-in grease-catch pan and a baffle. We were impressed by its performance and attractiveness.
The Magma gas grill is an overall very attractive unit. It’s made from durable 100 percent 18-9 mirror polished stainless steel. Since it’s made from stainless steel, it’s able to withstand salt, sand, rain, snow, sun, and constant use without the risk of rusting or chipping.
This unit has 189 square inches of cooking space and an output of 12,000 BTUs powered by a disposable 1lb propane tank (not included). It can also adapt to on-board LPG or CNG. Unlike other grills for pontoon boats, this one is capable of operating at lower heat to prevent overcooking and dry food. There’s also absolutely no risk of burning your hands without using an oven mitt if you want to check your food thanks to the side handle.
We were blown away by the versatility of this product. The bowl and lid are both rotatable, which means you can transform them into a built-in windscreen for those windy days. There is also a baffle that aids in wind reduction. Additionally, the hinged lid won’t slam when it’s windy. When you combine the swiveling windproof turbo venturi and control valve with everything else this grill has to offer, you essentially eliminate blowouts from the wind.
What We Like
- Bowl and lid are rotatable
- Stay-cool handle
- Hinge won’t slam
- Built-in grease-catch pan
- Baffle increases heat retention
- Attractive stainless steel
What We Don’t Like
- Mount sold separately
2.Springfield Marine Gas Grill – Best Overall Runner-up
No matter where you look, the Springfield Marine Gas Grill is going to pop up as one of the best pontoon grills on the market, and for a good reason. This grill was a close second and we really liked it because it can be used on or off the land, but it just didn’t heat as well as our top choice.
This pontoon grill is unbelievably versatile. The grill is very simply detached from the stand and can be mounted on legs that allow you to cook on land or any flat surface. A feature we loved was that the legs could fold up into a carrying handle. The grill weighs just 12-pounds, so it’s lightweight enough to carry around.
The Springfield Marine Gas Grill offers 12,000 BTUs of heating power with 189 square inches of cooking surface. This isn’t too bad compared to other grills on the market with similar characteristics. The only issue, if we’re being honest, is that heat distribution may be a little uneven. The center of the grill heats great, but it may not always spread across the entire surface.
This pontoon grill is made from marine-grade stainless steel that won’t rust when exposed to water. What’s the point of a boat grill if it can’t take a little bit of water here and there, right? We should point out that this unit is not wind-proof. There are side blocks, but it’s not always enough to keep the wind away from the flames. Other than that small shortcoming, it’s overall a durable product.
What We Like
- It can be used on and off land
- Generous 29” post
- 189 Sq. In. of cooking space
- Easily mountable
- Legs serve as a carrying handle
- Marine-grade stainless steel
- Runs off propane
- Easy to use
What We Don’t Like
- Not wind-proof
- May not always heat evenly
The Cuisinart Grill for Pontoon Boats is a great option for your grilling needs while floating around on your boat. It’s lightweight, versatile, and comes with brackets that don’t require drilling or mounting.
This is another lightweight grill that performs just as well as some of the top contenders. It has a 145 sq. in. cooking surface powered by a solid propane tank mount rather than a delicate wand-like other grills. All you need to do is attach the tank and flip the ignition switch that comes pre-assembled.
We were impressed by how versatile this grill is. It comes pre-assembled. You can take it on the road if you want thanks to the sturdy legs. There is a grease tray under the grill that works well for boating, but if you don’t plan to use it on the boat, the grease tray may not be suitable enough. If any grease drips out of it while on the boat, it will drip into the water.
Even though this unit is super lightweight, coming in at only 18 pounds, it’s ultra-durable. It features a stainless steel body with stainless steel brackets. As you already know, stainless steel doesn’t rust and with salt, water, and other moisture splashing on it while cruising, the stainless steel will keep it looking shiny and new.
What We Like
- It has a locking lid
- 145 sq. in. cooking surface
- Sturdy unit
- Solid propane tank mount
- Comes with brackets
What We Don’t Like
- Small grease tray
This Magma grill is incredible when it comes to heating up, cooking, setting up, and more. It’s designed to withstand the wind and be portable when needed. Note: You have to purchase the brackets separately if you want to mount it to the side of your boat.
The Magma grill is made from 100% 18-8 mirror polished stainless steel This stainless steel makes it so you can use this grill in all kinds of weather including sun, salt, rain, and iw il never rust. Additionally, there are fold-away legs and an oversized lid that locks. This allows you to take the grill anywhere you want to.
Performance is something we really look for in portable grills. The Magma grill heats up very quickly and cleans in a breeze. It has 162 sq. in. of cooking surface and 11,200 BTUs of heat output. We put it through the test and found that it still performed well in 7-10 mph wind speeds.
One of the things we liked about this grill is that it’s extremely versatile. You can mount the grill with the Magma rail system if you want to free up some deck space. This will also help eliminate grease spills on the boat. There are also inner safety shell routes that send grease into a tray that’s easy to remove and clean. Additionally, the swiveling valve allows you to store and swap propane bottles quickly and easily.
What We Like
- Bottom seal may wear out and cause grease spillage
- Does not come with the mounts
It’s not pretty, but it’s sturdy and packed full of features. This portable grill has carry handles and weighs just about 20 pounds. It’s a great portable option for feeding medium groups of people. It’s not rail mountable, but it doesn’t take up much tabletop space.
The Char-broil X200 has a 200 sq. in. cooking surface that holds about 8 burgers. This is a good option for feeding a family or small to medium group. The only thing we found that was flawed was the fact that it doesn’t like to cook at low temperatures. It will remain at high heat even if you turn the temperature to low. This can be easily fixed by investing in a new control valve and some brass adaptors.
We appreciate the ruggedness of this unit. It’s housed in a cast-aluminum firebox and the gates are made from stainless steel to help reduce and avoid flare-ups. This is due to the TRU-Infrared design which helps spread heat evenly. The lid latches securely and has a built-in temperature gauge.
What We Like
- It’s durable
- Cooks evenly
- Lid securely latches
- High-quality grates
What We Don’t Like
- Cooks too high on the low setting
- Grates will rust if you don’t clean, season, and dry them
What To Look For In A Pontoon Grill
There’s nothing more enjoyable than soaking up the sun and eating some delicious food on the deck of your pontoon boat. Doesn’t that sound amazing? With the best pontoon boat grills, you can make that fantasy a reality. Here’s what you need to look for if you’re considering getting a pontoon grill. Wait. You got the pontoon boat already, right?
Out on a boat is where you’re going to be grilling, so you’ll want to make sure your grill is protected by the wind. The wind that blows across your boat can affect the heat output of the grill and it can then affect how your food tastes and how well your meat is cooked. You’ll want to look for features such as grill covers and lids or side flaps.
Most marine grills are made from stainless steel because it’s durable, versatile, and can withstand weather conditions that include rain, sand, salt, and sun. You’ll want a boat grill that’s protected by these elements, so stainless steel is certainly the way to go. We should also add that it’s corrosion-resistant.
Having a grill that’s portable is ideal for pontoon BBQing. There are grills available that can be mounted or ones that sit on a tabletop. We like the ones that can be mounted more than the tabletop ones because they save space and extra grease drips right into the water. They should also be lightweight so you can easily move them from place to place if need be.
Most grills are either charcoal or gas. Most grill enthusiasts prefer to use charcoal because it provides food with a smoky flavor as opposed to a gas flavor. However, charcoal can be a bit difficult to use when on a boat, so this is why we prefer propane. It’s more convenient and easier to use and change out.
Pay close attention to the grilling surface area. The more surface area you have, the more food you are going to be able to grill at one time. This is especially handy if you’re hosting a party or have your family with you while you’re boating.
Is There A Warranty?
Before you buy your pontoon grill, do some research into their warranty first. There are many grills on the market that are amazing, but others are flops. Some of the cheaper models have poor quality and you don’t want to end up in the middle of the water with a broken grill.
Rust is a huge issue with grills that are exposed to water, especially saltwater. A grill should be able to withstand the elements and be backed by a warranty. Look for something for 5-10 years. This will come with most of the top-of-the-line grills.
What Type Of Grill Are You Looking For?
There are several different types of boat grills on the market. They are categorized by their sources of heating energy. There are four types:
- Charcoal – Charcoal grills are powered by charcoal or wood fuel. They are preferred by those who don’t want to shell out the dough for an expensive gas grill.
- Gas – Gas grills are exactly as they sound. They require propane, liquefied petroleum gas, or biogas to run. These are the most popular types of grills as they are easy to transport and use.
- Electric – Electric grills are powered by electricity. Their main advantage over the rest is that they use clean energy and are less likely to affect the outcome of the cooked food. Unfortunately, they have a limited range of use since they require a power cord.
- Infrared – Infrared boat grills run off of infrared radiation rather than heat. They are quicker and cleaner than standard appliances.
How To Maintain Your Pontoon Grill
There are certain maintenance tips you should follow to ensure your grill stays in tip-top shape for years to come. They include:
Wash Thoroughly After Each Use
You should always wash your grill after each use. You don’t want to leave grease anywhere as it could eat away at the paint or other surfaces on the grill.
Lubricate Moving Parts
If your grill has moving parts, it’s a good idea to lubricate them. This ensures the parts are functioning the way they should be at all times.
Check For Improvements
If you can get an upgrade or improvement for your grill, do it. This ensures you’re keeping up with the latest trends to help make your grilling experience that much better.
Check Fuel Levels
You don’t want to be in the middle of the lake and run out of propane, right? This is why you should constantly check the levels of your propane or other fuel. Keep them at the proper levels at all times.
Keep Away From Children
This sticker is on practically anything that’s not meant to be for children. You will want to keep these appliances as far away from small children as possible due to the flame, hot food, and grease splatter that could cause burns on the skin.
Frequently Asked Questions
Those who are new to pontoon grills may have some questions that we are going to answer.
What’s The Best Type Of Fuel?
It all depends on the structure and design of your grill. If you have a gas grill, use propane. If you have a charcoal grill, use charcoal. If you have an electric grill, make sure you have a power source. We suggest gas grills because they’re easy to change and clean as opposed to messy charcoal.
Is Charcoal Or Propane Better?
Again, propane is the top choice. It’s more affordable than charcoal, it heats quicker, and it’s easier to clean up. Charcoal involves using lighter fluid and it may cause a weird taste to your food. However, propane can do this too, but it’s not at pungent.
Is An Infrared Grill Worth It?
Yes, they are. We say this because they’re ideal for safety concerns and the food doesn’t have a strange taste to it. It’s also very unlikely that you will suffer from burns as you clean and there’s almost no flame. These are pricey, but may be worth it.
There you have it! Those are our top picks for pontoon grills and everything you need to know about them. We love that they make it so much easier to grill on a boat for a few or a lot of people. It’s a fun way to bond with your friends and family while cruising the lake.
We stand by our decision to make the Magma Marine Kettle Grill our top pick because it has many features such as a built-in grease-catch pan and a baffle. We were impressed by its performance and attractiveness.
My name is Ruben. I love fishing like most guys I know. Fishing is so much more than just an outdoor activity- its an escape, its therapy and so much more. I put together a team of other professional anglers in order to create the most inclusive fishing resource.