Pontoon boats are used for a variety of reasons from during Oceanic survey work to fishing. However, this type of boat is more frequently used for gathering friends and family together for a day out on the water. Which is probably why this boat has been dubbed “The Party Boat.” It’s also probably the reason why sales of boat grills are rising each and every year. More and more people are discovering the joys of grilling out on the water.
Of course, if you intend on grilling on your pontoon boat, then you are going to have to get the best pontoon boat grill that you can find. Which means that you are probably going to have to check out the various models and choose the right one for you. In order to help you out with that aim, we’ve gathered together some of the models and accessories that we think are the best ones currently available.
Best Pontoon Boat Grills Of 2018
5Arnall’s Boating Grill Bracket Set
Arnall’s Boating Grill Bracket Set allows users to take their favorite BBQ grill and mount it quickly and easily to their pontoon boat rail. This bracket set is made of steel that’s been electroplated with zinc. This makes it a durable and long-lasting solution that can be used year after year. And when you are done using it for your boat grill, then you can stow it away easily. This bracket system will work for the majority of flat-bottomed grills that are on the market today and it won’t scratch or dent your pontoon railing. It’s a great grilling option that will keep your grill within your reach – even when you’re on the water.
4Extreme Marine Products Modified Cuisinart Grill & Arnall’s Bracket Set
This marine grill solution combines a modified Cuisinart BBQ grill with an Arnall’s Bracket System. This allows it to be mounted easily and to be removed when needed. This model not only has a mount that allows it to be attached to the railing but also has a solid rear mount for holding on to the propane tank used by the grill. It also has its own ignition system and does a great job of grilling. This model is great for anyone who loves to BBQ on the open water and also would make a great gift for any boating enthusiast.
3Magma Marine Kettle Gas Grill
The Magma Marine Kettle is not only a fine working grill but it’s one that is also quite stylish. It’s made of mirrored stainless-steel and has a control valve that all but eliminates blow-outs. It uses standard 1-pound propane canister or can be converted to a natural gas system. Its bowl shape cooks food evenly and the grill gets hot without having to use a lot of fuel. While it doesn’t come with all of the grill mounting hardware that may be needed to install it, it’s still a good grill for boating enthusiasts to own and use.
2Kuuma Stow and Go 160 Propane Grill
The Kuuma Stow and Go 160 Propane Grill is a grill for pontoon boats that can be used either on deck or attacked to the boat railing using a mounting kit that’s sold separately. This model doesn’t require any assembly whatsoever and can be up and cooking withing moments of unpacking it. It’s constructed of stainless steel and uses disposable fuel bottles or refillable tanks. This grill has a removable grease tray that makes it really easy to use and does a decently job at cooking food. It’s a grill that would be home on just about any deck and makes a great gift as well.
1Magma Connoisseur Series A10-803 Portable Grill
Made from 18-8 polished stainless-steel and with a balanced over-sized lid, the Magma Connoisseur Series A10-803 is a grill that looks like it means business. It’s a unit that can be easily moved from one location to another thanks to its fold-away legs and its full-length handle. It can be set up for easy grilling in just a few moments and has a lock-in grease tray that makes it easy to clean. This model also has a swiveling valve that makes swapping gas bottles in and out a whole lot quicker and safer. This is a nice little grill that really makes grilling a pleasure instead of a chore.
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Key Features to Look For in a Pontoon Grill
While boat grills are becoming increasingly popular, there, unfortunately, is still not a huge selection of them to choose from. Which makes it even more important for grilling enthusiasts to pay close attention to the features that a particular grill may have. In order to help you out on that front, we’ve decided to give you some tips on what to look for before buying a grill for your boat.
The first thing you’re going to want to look at is the housing. Make sure that it’s stainless steel and that it is made for marine applications. Generally speaking, if you plan on using your grill in a saltwater environment, then you are going to want to get a grill that uses 316 stainless steel. That’s because this form of stainless steel has a high tensile strength and is very resistant to corrosion. Unfortunately, grills using 316 stainless-steel are not easy to find and as a result are somewhat pricier than other grills.
If you’re only going to be using your grill in freshwater bodies of water, then you can also go with an 18-8 grade of stainless steel. This grade of stainless steel is more corrosive resistant as regular stainless steel (which is 304 stainless-steel) but not as corrosive resistant as 316-grade. Most of the top grills use this type of steel and often polish it to a highly mirrored sheen.
No matter what type of steel your grill uses, however, make sure that it features a double liner – one on the inside of the shell and one on the outside. This will protect against the metal becoming discolored and will guard against gas leaks. It also keeps the outside cool to the touch and is safer to use around children.
Another thing that you need to consider is what type of fuel do you need your marine grill to use. While the norm nowadays is propane there are a few other options on the market. There are also charcoal and natural gas systems as well. Usually, charcoal grills are a little cheaper but otherwise, it’s up to personal choice. Some people prefer charcoal over propane or natural gas because it imparts that smokey flavor. Other people prefer propane because it’s cleaner and more convenient. Ultimately, the choice is up to you. Choose the one that fits your circumstances and cooking style.
Another thing to consider is the shape of the grill. Traditionally, kettle shapes have dominated among grills for boats but that is beginning to change. Kettle or dome shapes tend to do a better job at reflecting wind and keeping heat reflection even. However, rectangular or square grills usually offer more grilling surface area – which is probably why many boaters are beginning to switch over to these type of BBQ grills for the boat.
Grill size is a very important consideration. You’ll want to get a BBQ grill for your boat that’s big enough to cook all of the burgers, fish, hot dogs and pork steaks that your friends and family are going to eat but you also don’t want to go overboard (excuse the pun). Among grills, there are a few sizes to consider: usually 15 to 17-inches among kettle grills and 22-inch grills among rectangular ones. Be sure to choose a size that fits what you need but keep in mind the bigger the grill the more fuel it will use to maintain temperature.
Type of Mount
How you intend to use the grill is something else that needs to be taken into consideration before buying a grill. Some grills come with shore stands that allow them to stand alone. Others require mounting to a pontoon rail or other such service. Keep in mind that not all grills with shore stands can be used on the deck of a boat. Also, be advised that not all grills come with the mounting hardware necessary to mount them to a rail.
Push Button Ignitions
Obviously, not every grill is going to have a push-button ignition but they are fairly common on propane grills. While it’s not an essential feature for your grill to have, it does make it easier and safer to operate, so be sure to pick a model with a push button ignition.
If you keep the above things in mind before purchasing your grill, then you have a better chance of buying the perfect one for your grilling style and needs. Of course, price is something else that needs to be considered as well, so be sure to choose one that also fits in your budget.
Safety Tips for Grilling On Your Boat
Before I go, there is something else I want to talk about. And that’s some safety considerations that you need to keep in mind before you start grilling on your boat. After all, pontoon boat grilling isn’t the same as grilling on land and there are a few extra things to consider. While most of these are common sense, I still think they are worth mentioning. So here are some suggested safety tips:
- Always make sure that you follow all grill manufacturer’s recommendations during grilling.
- Make sure that grilling is permitted at your Marina before grilling.
- Never grill while your pontoon boat is underway.
- Do not use gasoline or any other accelerant that isn’t made specifically to be used in a charcoal grill
- Do not leave your grill unattended at any time during the grilling process
- Make sure that you do a safety inspection before and after using your propane grill—paying specific attention to propane connections.
- If you suspect your propane grill has a leak, then DO NOT start it.
- Put out the grill when you’ve finished cooking.
- Let the grill cool before stowing it away.
- Prevent any embers from falling onto any part of your boat,
- Do not use the grill around flammable materials.
- Keep a fire extinguisher close at hand at all times.
- Make sure that you keep your grill clean and in good condition.
- Do not use mounts that aren’t manufactured specifically for grills.
- Do not add lighter fluid to charcoal grills while in use.
- The best way to handle flare-ups is by putting the lid down on the grill.
If you follow all of the above safety precautions, then you can be assured that your grilling will be safe and free from the specter of fire or death. Paying special attention while you’re grilling will ensure that everyone has a good time without any incidents and is well worth the time.
Additional Tips For Grilling
To get the most out of your grill make sure that you take the following recommendations into consideration:
- Coat the grates of the grill before using to prevent food from sticking.
- Don’t grill at high heat otherwise you’ll either burn or dry out your food.
- Use a meat thermometer to ensure adequate cooking temperatures.
- Don’t use the same tongs for both raw and cooked foods.
- Don’t poke and prod your food. Give it time to cook.
- Allow your meat to get sear marks before turning it over.
- Avoid using lighter fluid in charcoal grills to get the best flavor – use charcoal chimneys to start your coals.
- For juicier meat, allow it to rest before serving.
To Sum Up
Okay, that’s everything you need to know about these types of grills. We’ve covered everything from the best ones currently available to the features you should look for in a model you’re considering buying and some safety tips for when you actually purchase the grill and are ready to entertain your friends and family.