Some people enjoy barbecue cooking come rain or shine, summer or winter, and we have to admit that we admire their style. Cooking outside is guaranteed to raise a smile and remind everyone to have a good time on tour.

So what’s the best kind of barbecue or portable grill to pack in your motorhome locker? We have tested a selection of gas-fired barbecues and traditional charcoal units to find out. The gas barbecues on test were the Outwell Cervon Grill & Fire Pit, which costs £84.99, the large and leggy Kampa Caddy gas BBQ, priced at £190, the Kampa Sizzle Tabletop BBQ at £36.99, and the Weber Go Anywhere gas BBQ, at £103. The charcoal-fired portable barbecues on test were the SunnCamp Compact BBQ, at just £5.99, the Weber Smokey Joe, £39.99 and the more expensive Outwell Cervon Grill & Fire Pit costing £84.99. 

We checked the leg heights of our barbecues to see how safe any dry grass on the pitch might be from the fire risk. We assessed the strength of the materials used and whether the heat output could be controlled in any way. How easy was it to set up, fire up, cool down and pack away each of these supposedly portable BBQs and grills? And how many people could you reasonably cook for using each one?  

In this review we’ll concentrate on the Kampa Sizzle Tabletop Barbecue, priced at £36.99.

We’ve all seen the portable, single-ring stoves that run on small, disposable butane bottles: Kampa’s Sizzle Tabletop Barbecue is more or less the same thing, but the one gas ring has been replaced by a basic gas-barbecue layout. However, don’t dismiss it as just another pointless gadget — the controllable 2.3kW heat output and 26 x 35cm cooking area make this an excellent gas barbecue for a couple or small group.

It comes with automatic ignition, so that you don’t need to mess about trying to light a match in the wind. There is variable heat control which shows the temperature going from yellow to red, which is a handy international language and seems better than using hard-to-read small print numbers or words. There is also a built-in pressure safety device. You should get up to 2.5 hours of cooking time from each gas cartridge, and there’s a vaporiser plate, which is designed to catch any fat and send the smoke back up to flavour the food on the grill at the time. The cooking grid is chrome plated for cleanliness and to prevent rust. 

Obviously you’d mostly use the Sizzle placed on a camping table or a campsite’s metal barbecue stand, but there is a clever removable drip tray arrangement that prevents any hot fat or oil dripping through and spoiling the tabletop surface beneath – or setting fire to any dry vegetation in the surrounding area.  

The Kampa Sizzle Tabletop Barbecue is designed to be portable, so it comes in its own neat little carry case and it measures 43.5cm x 2.5cm x 10cm. It uses the P220 self-sealing cartridge, which is not included. Buy several, because you’ll get through them fairly fast.