There really is nothing better than ending a day on the water by firing up the grill and cooking up something delicious. Pontoon boats are the great entertainers on the water and grilling on board is just one such benefit to owning this type of craft.
But what pontoon gas grill should you choose, why, and what’s best?
Let me make things a whole load easier for you.
There are 3 different types of pontoon gas grills you should consider.
- One that sits on a pedestal on your deck
- One that is portable, and you can set down on a table
- One is still portable but will sit on your square rail mounts
Which should you choose?
My preference is number 3, which is a pontoon boat gas grill with square rail mount, and there’s a good few reasons for that.
If you have this type, it means you can attach it onto and over your boat railings. It’s safer that way, as no kids are going to get burned, it gives you more room on deck, and will be cleaner as no food debris or hot items are going to fall on the deck carpet or vinyl.
Mounted gas grills will also be a lot more stable on the water and won’t drop onto the deck if a wave or wake hits the boat.
However, I am still going to take you through all the different choices, so you can make your own mind up properly. But I am going to start with what I believe is the best gas grill for pontoon boat and why.
The Best Pontoon Gas Grill (with Rail Mount)
Most of the gas grills you find for sale online will say that they can be mounted. But the problem is that this will mean many different things.
For example, they might not come with the mounting mechanism, so you have to buy separately. Or you might have to drill holes into your gas grill in order to attach the mount.
That’s not the case with the Extreme Marine Products Cuisinart Grill and Bracket Set.
What Extreme Marine Products have done here is take the take the hugely popular Cuisinart portable gas grill, modify it slightly with some alterations, and then package it all together with an Arnall’s bracket.
This means you get what I believe to be the best pontoon boat barbecue gas grill on the market, with the best rail mount bracket on the market, all combined together in one simple and easy purchase.
Buy this and you are ready to go with nothing else required!
The bracket won’t scratch your rails, it clips on and off, and is dead simple to use.
You can also take the grill elsewhere with you, so if portability is important, for example, perhaps taking it onto a beach, that’s easily done too, as there are leg stands that come with it.
Best Portable Gas Grill for a Pontoon Boat
If mounting onto your rail isn’t important to you and you want to spend a little less money but still have a great product, then you can buy the non-modified version of the Cuisinart, without a bracket set included.
To view the portable option minus the bracket, click here for Amazon prices.
With 145 square inches of grill space you can cook for about 4 to 6 people in one go, and it’s lightweight too.
In terms of pros and cons to the Cuisinart, you can read my full review elsewhere on Pontoonopedia, but to summarize:
- Simple to use
- Doesn’t rust or corrode
- Compact and portable
- Long 3-year warranty
If there were any negatives to purchasing it would be that it’s not as larger as some of the bigger gas grills for a pontoon boat, some of which I will feature below.
My Recommended Larger Option
If you want something bigger that still offers portability then the Kuuma Stow and Go is an excellent choice. It’s best for people who want to cook a larger variety of food in one go, with a larger surface area on which to grill on.
You can also buy a pontoon boat charcoal grill version of this too, if you want a smokier flavor to your meat.
But there is one thing that lets it down, and that’s the lack of a mount being included.
If you want to use this pontoon boat gas grill with a square rail mount then you are going to have to pay some extra and find a compatible mount… and this is the mount you would also need to purchase.
When you combine the Kuuma grill and mount price, it would make more sense to buy the modified Cuisinart I have already spoken about, unless… you need the larger grilling space that the gas Kuuma offers. That’s the decision you will need to make before buying.
What I Would Not Choose and Why
The last gas grill I want to feature in this guide is called the Springfield Deluxe.
With a 189 square inch grilling surface, it’s perfect for large parties and pontoon party barges.
Yes, you can still mount it on a rail, but you would have to drill holes, make some mods to it, and even then, there’s no guarantee it would work particularly well.
Which leaves you with the option of either setting it down on table or placing it on a seat pedestal (with the seat removed) right on top of the pontoon deck.
As I’ve already mentioned, I hate this method of gas grilling, but it could work for you depending on your personal situation.
If you need large, give it go.
Why Choose Gas Over Charcoal?
You’re already here because you want more information on gas models, but should you consider a charcoal grill instead?
I honestly believe that charcoal does offer a better flavor than gas, and in fact you would be hard pushed to find anyone that disagrees with this statement. You can’t beat the smoky flavor of charcoal grilled meats.
But gas is so much more convenient. You can buy a small one-pound propane gas bottle and have enough there to cook up a few lunches and be up and running in minutes.
Compare that to the time it takes to set up and start using charcoal, and then the wait for the coals to get warm and white. It’s just not convenient to do so on a boat.
I also prefer the safety of using a gas grill on a boat. It reduces the risk of hot embers landing on the on the deck, won’t make as much mess, plus there’s no charcoal debris and hot coals to get rid of once you’re done cooking.
What Style of Gas Grill is Best?
Gas grills come in two shapes, either circular or rectangular.
I prefer rectangular as it offers a far easier cooking and grilling experience and means you can position meats and vegetables a lot easier on the grilling surface.
However, some people swear by the circular design as they can be rotated around, and also double-up as a stove.
Whichever you choose though, opt for portable. The great thing about the pontoon boat barbecue gas grill with square rail mount I recommend further up the page is that it can be detached in seconds.
You can take unclip it and take it onto a beach, or even use it on camping trips.
What Brands are the Best?
When it comes to dealing with gas, fire and heat, it pays to opt for a trusted brand who have a lot of skin in the game and long-term experience in the market.
Names to trust and look out for include:
What’s the Best Place to Use or Mount a Gas Grill?
As I mentioned at the beginning of this buyer’s guide, you can also opt for different places in terms of where you position the BBQ grill. Mounting on square rails is my preferred choice, and I’ve detailed a lot of reasons already why you should do this.
But I have also seen other pontooners placing their grills onto ledges off the back of the boat. You could use something like a large anchor ledge to do the same.
The pedestal mounted gas grills can sit on a seat pedestal somewhere on your deck, but you will need to remove that seat first. It will limit your space on board and can be quite hazardous.
The easiest way is to set a portable grill down on a table top, but that could be risky when the waves and wind pick up. And I don’t need to tell you why.
A portable gas grill that mounts on the rails is always my preferred option every time.
Food Grilling Tips
If you’re a man reading this guide, then I can almost guarantee that you don’t think you are going to need any tips on how to BBQ food!
But please do swallow your pride and check out some of these grilling tips below.
- Coat cooking oil onto the grill to stop meat from sticking
- Use a digital thermometer to check the food is safe to eat
- Avoid food poisoning by not using the same tongs for cooked and raw food
Grilling Safety Tips
Finally, I wanted to highlight some safety issues. Cooking and grilling BBQ on a boat is very different to how you would do so when on land, as the risks to injury are that much higher.
You might look at some of these and think that they are obvious, and most are common sense, but it doesn’t hurt to have a quick reminder now and again.
- Don’t forget to read the instructions on your pontoon gas grill
- Don’t grill in areas where BBQ is not allowed, and this change from dock to dock
- Don’t cook whilst your pontoon boat is in motion
- Don’t leave the BBQ grill unattended whilst hot
- Don’t forget to check all gas connections properly before use
- Don’t start the grill if you suspect a gas leak
- Don’t forget to ensure the grill is fully extinguished after use
- Don’t store away a gas grill that is still hot or warm
- Don’t forget to have a fire extinguisher ready to hand just in case
What Can You Cook on the Grill?
Some food ideas work better on a boat, especially if you’re limited on space, time, and how much grilling area you have on the BBQ grill. Most portable gas grills you see on pontoons are small, as they have to be for obvious reasons.
So, with that in mind you might need to be strategic about what you decide to cook on board.
In the spirit of trying to be as helpful as ever, my wife and I have put together a number of different guides elsewhere on the website which will give you some inspiration on what to cook. You can access those guides below.
- Ideas and recipes for pontoon gas grilling
- Food ideas that you can prepare before the boat trip
- Tips on how to store your food safely and properly
And that’s it!
The winner of the Pontoonopedia best grill for a pontoon boat is the Cuisinart modified version that comes with a square rail mount.
Of course, it’s all very much down to your own personal preference, but I hope that this has given you some insight into what to choose, why, and what could be best for you.
If you have found this buyer’s guide useful, then I would really appreciate it if you share on your social media networks using the icons and buttons that you can see top and bottom of this page.
Handy Hint: For more images of what the Cuisinart looks like in action, head on over to Pinterest which has loads of photos of this particular BBQ grill at work.