9 Best Campfire Grill Grates (2020) – for Cooking over Fire

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Stromberg Carlson GR-1522 Stake and Grille


Our pick for the best campfire grill grate for our circumstances is the Stromberg Carlson GR-1522 Stake and Grille. It’s a nice intuitively designed stake and swivel grill that’s got great portability for camping trips. It also has a large grate for a decent sized group of campers.

When we decided to go camping this summer, we didn’t think to bring a portable grill.

Sometimes there was an included grate at the campground (see image below – me enjoying a beer after a long drive from Glacier National Park to Yellowstone).

best campfire grill grate

But sometimes we set up our own fire pit and … we ended up sitting there holding our sausages over the fire using sticks from the forest!

So we came home and started researching campfire grill grates. Here are the results our research! We have a full buyers guide at the end of this article with some great tips on what to look for.

But we know you just want to know our pick for the top campfire grills!

So here’s out list of the the best campfire grill grates:

  • Wolf Grizzly Compact Backpack Grill – Best for Backpackers
  • The Perfect CampfireGrill 18-Inch Round Grill Grate – Best Over Fire Grill
  • Stromberg Carlson GR-1522 Stake and Grille
  • RedSwing Folding Campfire Grill – Best Portable Grill for Casual Campers
  • Steven Raichlen “Best of Barbecue” Tuscan BBQ Grill
  • Texsport Heavy Duty Over Fire Camp Grill
  • Texsport Heavy Duty Adjustable Outdoor Camping Rotisserie Grill and Spit
  • Coleman Tripod Grill and Lantern Hanger
  • Texsport Heavy-Duty Swivel Grill

Best Campfire Grill Grates – Top 3 Comparison Table

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Campfire Grill Grates – Full Reviews

1. Stromberg Carlson GR-1522 Stake and Grille

Quick Review: This is our pick as the best over fire grill for large families. It’s got a large grilling area and a very sturdy stake.


This is a very nicely made stake and swivel style campfire grill – which is our favorite type due to the better control over height and position compared to most other styles.

Something we particularly like about this one is the stabilizing fins at the base of the stake. This adds to the overall feel that it’s a sturdy stake campfire grill. If you manage to hammer it in the full length of the underground section into firm soil, the stake isn’t going to fall and the food falls off mid-fire.

But again, you’ll need a mallet to hammer the stake into harder soil. But, we’d recommend placing a piece of wood between the stake and the mallet as well to prevent damage to the top of the stake.

It’s also got a very large grilling area. At  15″ wide x 22″ long, it’s large enough for a decent size family to cook their hamburgers all at once. 

Comparable to the “CampfireGrill” grill above, this one also comes with a heavy duty nylon bag for carrying it to and from the campfire and an up turned edge to prevent your sausages from rolling into the fire. And like the CampfireGrill, The handle can get hot if you adjust the height during the cooking.

But, unlike the CampfireGrill, this grill does not come with additional tools and mitts.

Why This Campfire Grate

Keep in Mind

Great Height Adjustment Mechanism: The height adjuster seems sturdy and we’ve heard really good things about it.

Sturdy Stake: We like that it has stabilizing fins to hold it firm into the ground.

Packs into Carry Bag: It’s a decent enough carry bag. Nothing spectacular but good enough.

You’ll need a Mallet: If the ground around your fire is hard, you’ll need a mallet to get the stake into the ground.

Gets Hot: All grills get hot (obviously), but you’re often tempted with height adjustable stake grills like this one to adjust the height mid-fire. This can burn your fingers!

2. RedSwing Folding Campfire Grill – Best Portable Grill Grate

Quick Review: This is the best portable campfire grill grate for your casual camper.


The biggest drawing card of this grill is that it’s portable. It comes with a great carry bag that you can throw in the back of your car next time you go camping. So, this is probably the best camping grill for people who do more remote backcountry camping.

The entire construction is focused on portability.

That includes the use of stainless steel rather than iron. This makes it significantly lighter than competitors.

On the flip side, it is also much thinner and less sturdy than iron grills that are designed to be installed and left in place above a fire pit for a long period of time.

You get a choice of two sizes – medium (13.6″ x 9″ x 6.5″) and large (17″ x 12.6″ x 5.7″). Those heights drop to 1″ when folded. Unfortunately both sizes are small compared to some larger competitors – but again, it’s designed this way for portability.

Something else we liked about this one is that is smooth rounded corners mean you’re less likely to snag on the edges or cut yourself – a small design feature that adds to the overall value.

Why This Campfire Grate

Keep in Mind

Portable: This is the most portable grate on the list. It’s lightweight and can be carried in the carry bag that’s included in the purchase.

Versatile: You can use this over a disposable BBQ grill or a dedicated fire pit.

Choose your Size: You can choose between medium and large sizes for this one – although both sizes are quite small relative to other outdoor campfire grills.

It’s Small: While it’s nice and compact, when it comes time for grilling, you’ll be competing for space on this one. Best for just one or two campers max. It might also be too small for larger firepits.

Not as Sturdy as Some: The materials are thinner than the grates that are less portable.

Not height Adjustable: The stick models are much more height adjustable.

3. Wolf Grizzly Compact Backpack Grill – Best for Backpackers

Quick Review: This is the best campfire grill for people who are backpacking in and out of their camping spot. It’s designed to be small, lightweight and compact for backpackers.


This campfire grill grate is designed for the lightweight backpacker who packs in and out to their campground. As avid hikers, both Chris and I got very excited about this one. It folds down into a tiny package that you can slip into the corner of your backpack.

Furthermore, it’s light enough to carry in your backpack without any worries. Its overall weight is just 2.2 pounds.

It’s perfect for our summer multi-day hikes!

Our initial concern, though, was that this might not be particularly sturdy. And in a way, that concern does hold true. It can only hold up to 30 pounds. That’s probably about enough (it’s a small grill grate after all), but don’t use and abuse this one – treat it lightly. As you can see from the images on Amazon, the skeleton support structure isn’t particularly thick. It’s got the thinnest structure of all grates we’ve reviewed.

So overall, we love it for the purpose it serves, but it’s not for everyone. It is too small for families, for example. It’s best for lightweight pack-in, pack-out backpackers only.

Why This Campfire Grate

Keep in Mind

Best for Backpackers: Get it if you need to carry your grilling grate in and out to your campground.

Tiny and Lightweight: This grill grate is super light and packs into a tiny bag so it won’t take up extra space.

Very Small: Only stretches out to 8 inches at its largest mode.

Thin Structure: It’s the thinnest of all grates we have reviewed.

Best for Singles or Couples: It’s too small for cooking a large family dinner on it!

4. The Perfect CampfireGrill 18-Inch Round Grill Grate

Quick Review: This is a great overall package. It is large, height adjustable, and comes in a great carry bag.


The “Campfire Grill” is a brand dedicated just to creating a range of camping grills – and they’ve managed to refine their product so it’s a high quality and well designed portable grill.

This particular grill from their campfire grill range is an 18 inch round grate. Think extra large pizza size. So, it fits a lot of food on the grill surface. It could probably feed a small family easily.

The brand’s defining feature is their patented raised edge that loops all around the rim. It essentially acts as wall so that this grill prevents food from falling off the grill.

The Campfire Grill company has included a carry bag, hot pad and glove in this kit, as well as wrenches for constructing and deconstructing the grill.

But it’s pretty straightforward to construct. Stab the stake into the ground right next to where you will be having your fire. If it’s soft ground this shouldn’t be a problem. But remember that if the ground is tough, you might need a mallet to get the stake in the ground.

Then, simply adjust the height of the grill to your preferred height. We really like this stake design because there is a lot of room for height adjustment.

The stake also has 360 degree swivel – so once your food is cooked, you can swivel it away from the fire so you can let the food cool.

One quick thing to note is that it does get hot, so you might need a fireplace glove if you want to adjust the height mid-fire.

Why This Campfire Grate

Keep in Mind

Large: The 18 inch diameter means this one can hold and cook a small family’s food all at once.

A Lot of Height Options: We like stake-swivel grills like this because you have a lot of room to adjust the height.

Packs into Carry Bag: It’s not our favorite carry bag on the list, but it’s nice that there’s one included.

Swivel: You can swivel the grate 360 degrees. Swivel it away from the fire when you are done cooking to let the food cool.

They’re often Sold Out: We have noticed lately that it can be hard to get a hold of one of these because they sell out so fast online.

You’ll need a Mallet: If the ground around your fire is hard, you’ll need a mallet to get the stake into the ground.

Gets Hot: All grills get hot (obviously), but you’re often tempted with height adjustable stake grills like this one to adjust the height mid-fire. This can burn your fingers!

5. Steven Raichlen “Best of Barbecue” Tuscan BBQ Grill – Best backyard fire pit grill

Quick Review: This would be the best grill grate for a backyard but not for carrying around. Our one concern is that the legs are quite short.


The first thing we noticed about this grill is that it’s not actually as big as it looks. While in the photos online it looks really large, it really comes in at just 14 inches x 14 inches. So, its size makes it a grill for a small family.

The biggest benefit of this grill is also its biggest weakness: it’s thick.

The thickness makes it a very sturdy grill. You could probably leave it outside (maybe under a fire pit cover) and have it as a permanent feature over your backyard fire pit.

But the thickness also adds to the weight and makes it not that comfortable to carry around. It comes in at 11 pounds – so not terrible, but nowhere near as light as others on this list.

The other downside here is that the legs are only 4 inches high. This is not as much height as we’d like and means you need to let the fire burn down to charcoals before cooking. Of course, this is good practice regardless, but like most people we’re impatient and start cooking right away.

That’s why we prefer the swivel stake campfire grill grates – where the height is widely adjustable.

Why This Campfire Grate

Keep in Mind

Best for backyard fire pit: It’s not super portable, but really nice and sturdy so it’d be a good permanent addition to your backyard campfire.

Cast Iron: Most grills on this list are stainless steel, but this one is made of nice sturdy cast iron. It gives it a very sturdy feel.

Heavy: This one’s best for your own backyard, not for lugging around to public campgrounds.

Not very Tall: It sits low to the ground, meaning you have to let the fire burn down to coals before using it.

6. Texsport Heavy Duty Over Fire Camp Grill

Quick Review: A study portable grill grate that’s great for car carping.


This Texsport Heavy Duty Over Fire Camp Grill is a stainless steel camping grill that’s great for a camp out. It’s small enough to carry around and throw in the back of your car to take from place to place.

But we were a little annoyed that it doesn’t have the carry bag and handles like the ‘RedSwing’ or ‘Perfect Campfire Grill’ grills that are also reviewed in this article – so we give them a little bit of a leg up over this one.

Another thing that bothered us a little about this grills is its height from the campfire. You can’t adjust the height much, and (for the medium), a height of 6 1/2 inches is a little close to the fire for us – you really need to let it burn down to charcoals before cooking (which is good practice anyway – but we get impatient).

We love that you can choose from a wide range of sizes with this one. The medium size comes in at 16″ x 12″ x 6 1/2″, while the extra large comes in at 36″ x 18″ x 8″. When the legs fold in it’s about 1″ deep.

We think the larger model is a really nice size for cooking a breakfast for a few people, while the medium option is perhaps a little too small for us.

Why This Campfire Grate

Keep in Mind

Portable: Throw it in the back of your car next time you go on a camping trip.

Stable: The legs and skeleton are thick and sturdy.

Size Choice: Choose from Medium, Large and Extra Large. We like the extra large size better for us so we could use it on an open fire pit in a camp ground with ease.

Not height Adjustable: The stick models are much more height adjustable.

No Carry Bag: We wish it’d come with a nice gear bag like some others come with.

7. Texsport Heavy Duty Adjustable Outdoor Camping Rotisserie Grill and Spit

Quick Review: This is the campfire grill that does everything. It’s got a grate, rotisserie and hanging arms for pots. But, it’s not super portable.


This is the Swiss Army knife of campfire grills.

There are three main components of it:

  • Grilling grate
  • Rotisserie
  • Hanging arm for boiling water

The grilling grate itself has a 24″ x 16″ surface area. That’s medium-to-large in terms of grilling grates. Its height can be easily adjusted without tools. The lowest height for the grate is about 6 inches, but it reaches up to well over 1-foot in height. That’s a pretty satisfactory range of heights. 

The rotisserie can be locked into four evenly spaced positions (90 degrees apart) so you can rotate and grill meat on four sides. You need to manually rotate positions and remember to do this at even intervals so it cooks evenly throughout. Nonetheless, it’s a great idea to have a portable campfire rotisserie for great meals.

The two hanging arms can rotate out to hang pots over the fire for boiling water and cooking boiled foods. They also rotate 360 degrees so you can move them over the fire or out of the fire for cooling.

We also love that this grate can be assembled and deconstructed without tools. However, it is quite bulky so it’s not the most portable campfire grill out of the list.

Why This Campfire Grate

Keep in Mind

Wide Range of Heights: You can adjust the height from 6 inches all the way up to over 1 foot above the fire.

Rotisserie: It’s awesome that this grill comes with a manual rotisserie.

Easy Assemble: We love that you don’t have to use tools to construct and deconstruct this camfire grill grate.

Not Super Portable: There are a lot of parts on this grill, and while you can pack it flat, it’s a bit bulky.

8. Coleman Tripod Grill and Lantern Hanger

Quick Review: An interesting design, but there are some flaws of tripod grills that turn us off a little.


Tripod grills are less popular than stake-and-swivel and flat bed grills, but they serve their purpose.

The greatest benefit of them is just how easy it is to adjust the height of the grill. The pull cord at the top is used to adjust the height manually to the perfect position for your fire.

The plate itself is a nice 17 inch diameter, but does not have a lip around the edge to prevent sausages from rolling off. This is really frustrating given the propensity for tripod grills to sway and swing. This often happens simply when you’re trying to flip your meats. So, it’s best for placing pots rather than directly cooking over it. Place the pots, then ‘set and forget’ until your water has boiled and food has cooked.

The other thing that bothers us is that the three legs get in the way of working with the grate. So while it looks cool, it’s not the most practical type of grate.

Nonetheless, the legs are pretty movable. You can make the base as wide or narrow as you want, which means it’s adjustable for any fire pit.

And on top of that, the legs pack away small with tension bands so it is really compact when packed.

Why This Campfire Grate

Keep in Mind

Good Size:The 17 inch diameter grill grate is a decent size for placing a large pot or a fair bit of food on the grate.

Folds away Well: It folds down with tension bands inside the legs so it packs into a small package.

Suitable for any Size Fire Pit: The legs can be as wide or as thin as you like. We also like that the grill hangs horizontal even if you place it on a slight slope.

Swings too Much: We don’t like that it swings when you’re trying to manipulate it.

No Lip on Grate: We prefer grates with lips that prevent sausages from rolling off.

9. Texsport Heavy-Duty Swivel Grill

Quick Review: A nice simple stake-and-swivel grill that has no bells and whistles.


The thing we like about this grill is its simplicity and elegance. It doesn’t have any additional ‘bells and whistles’. All you have is the 28″ stake and the grilling plate which you attach to the stake.

You’ll have about 17 inches of height to play with and you can screw the grate at any height, which means you can get it to the perfect height for whatever you’re cooking. 

It also rotates 360 degrees so when you want to cool your food it acts as a cooling platform as well.

The grate connects to the stake with a simple clasp mechanism, which is nice, but not as good as some others we’ve seen.

In terms of grate size, we’re looking at 24″ L x 16″ W. We think that’s a good size for a small group of campers, and if the stake is well secured into the ground, you should be able to place quite a few pots and pans on the grill itself.

So overall, if you want simplicity in your life, this is a good pick. We’d think it’s best for car camping or backyard fire pits than pack-in, pack-out camping because it’s not the lightest grill around. 

Why This Campfire Grate

Keep in Mind

Simple and Practical: You’re getting a no-nonsense product here. It does the job and doesn’t have any added bells and whistles.

Good Size for Small Group: 24 inches by 16 inches is enough for a few hamburgers and a few pots.

Not many Additional Features: You may like its simplicity, but others may prefer a product designed to get the maximum bang for your buck.

Better for Drive-in Campgrounds: You wouldn’t want to be hiking with this thing.

Campfire Grill Grate Buyers Guide

Hot Tip: Do a Test Run

Many grates come with an external coating that burns and peels the first time it’s used. We don’t know why the manufacturers do this, but I’m sure there’s a reason. So, before cooking on your grate grill, we’d recommend leaving it to burn over a fire for a few hours, then letting it cool, and washing it to get rid of the chemicals and fumes that’ll burn off the first time it’s in use.

Can I place a Cast Iron Pan or Dutch Oven on my Campfire Grate?

Most campfire grill grates state in their instruction manuals that they’re not intended to hold cast iron pans. That’s probably a precaution they make so they don’t get complaints about the grate collapsing under the weight. In our experience, we do place some pots and pans on our grates so long as they’re well secured on solid ground.

What are Campfire Grill Grates made of?

Campfire grill grates are usually made of either cast iron or stainless steel.

The majority of these grill grates are made of stainless steel. Stainless steel has some great advantages. It’s usually more lightweight than cast iron which is great for backpacking and pack-in pack-out camping. It’s also less likely to rust than many other metals. The downside of stainless steel is that it is usually thinner and less durable than cast iron.

Cast iron is usually used for fireplace grates. But, some campfire grates are also made of cast iron. It’s got the advantage of being thick, strong and durable. This is great for the longevity of your fireplace grill, but also makes it harder to carry around. A cast iron fireplace grill grate is therefore best for being a permanent fixture in your backyard fire pit, and not for packing in and out to campgrounds.

What are the Three Types of Campfire Grill Grates?

There are three types of campfire grills: tripod grills, swivel stake grills, and flat bed grills.

Tripods. Tripods are out least favorite types of campfire cooking equipment. They look really nice, but we find them impractical. Our main concern is that the grate tends to swing, meaning it’s pretty useless for grilling. It works if you want to place a pot of water on to boil though. The other worry we have about tripods is that the legs tend to get in the way. We prefer a grate where the legs are below the grate and don’t cut off our access to the grate itself.

Swivel Stake Grills. These are probably our favorite types of campfire grill. They are held in the ground by a single stake which you usually hammer in with a mallet or piece of wood. Then, the grill attaches to the stake. A nice thing about these grills is that they can swivel. So when your food is cooked, simply swivel it so the grate is no longer above the fire to let it sit.

We also really like that swivel stake grills tend to have the most range for adjusting the height of the grate. They can usually be adjusted all the way up and down the 20 inches or so of stake that’s above ground.

Flat Bed Grills. These are the most traditional sort of grill. The simply sit on their own legs and can be suspended above a fire. They’re simple and they often fold down very neatly. Our one main concern about flat bed grills is that they have less height options than swivel stake grills. So, sometimes you need to put some bricks under the legs to add a little height.

What Else should I Look out For?

A major concern for many of our readers is portability. They want a grate they can take to and from their next camping trip.

If you want a portable campfire grill, look for one where:

  • The legs (or stake) fold down.
  • It’s small enough to fit in a backpack.
  • It’s lightweight – probably best made of stainless steel.

We recommend the Wolf Grizzly Compact Backpack Grill if you’re a serious backpacker who wants to do multi-day hikes. It’s specifically designed to be lightweight and packs into a small bag to fit in your backpack.

Final Thoughts

In our opinion, the best campfire grill grate is the CampfireGrill swivel grill. It’s a well packaged and well designed portable grill that’s probably best for car campers. If you’re a backpacker, try the Wolf Grizzly Compact Backpack Grill instead.

When looking for a campfire grill, we recommend either swivel-stake grills or flat bed grills. And we recommend testing it out by placing it over the fire once and burning off any excess paints or chemicals before cooking on it.

You might also want to consider getting some heat resistant gloves or campfire cooking tools to add to your camping kit.

We hope this review and buyers guide has been useful for you and helped you make your decision!

Until next time,

– Rosie & Chris