Coleman NXT 300 Gas Grill Review
This portable grill should be in the starting lineup for your next tailgate.
Tailgating, America's favorite meal, makes outdoor dining even better by adding sports. But with stadium parking lots filled to the brim, tailgaters need a grill that performs well and isn't a pain to transport. We made sure to test the Coleman NXT 300 (MSRP $249) well before the season. Despite its small size, this grill tackled all our tests, and cost less than a season ticket.
Design, Features, & Usability
Put me in, Coach!
The Coleman NXT 300 is a portable grill that doesn't sacrifice on features. Despite having only a 321 square inch grilling surface, this grill has an electric starter, the option to add different grate attachments (sold separately), and two side trays. These are far more useful at a tailgate than on a patio, unless you prefer lugging around a folding table. We especially liked Coleman's take on fuel access, allowing the grill to utilize a 16.9 ounce cylinder of fuel or a full-size 20 pound tank if you pick up a $10 adapter. When game day is over, the legs fold into each other, allowing the grill to be stored vertically.
Like a five foot seven, 210-pound running back, it's small but powerful.
It might be small, but the Coleman NXT 300 showed some impressive power. No one likes waiting to get the patties on the grill, and the NXT's rapid preheat cuts down on wait time. But the small grill went a bit overboard when we set the temperature to its hottest setting (more than 750ºF!) with uneven heating across the small grate. Even the grill's exterior gets hotter than we'd like to see, which may be an issue in a crowded parking lot.
The solution? Just set it to a lower temperature. In our low-fire test, it hit close to 490ºF without much variance in temperature across the cooking surface. Depending on what you're cooking, this may be perfect, or it could be too hot. You could always heat only one burner to get around that problem, and for hot dogs, burgers, and the standard game-time fare, this grill should do just fine.
If portability and quick speed is paramount...
In a perfect world, you'd be able to lug a grill like the Weber Spirit E-320 and its 20 pound tank of liquid propane to the game, or have the patience to wait for the Weber One-Touch's coals to heat up. While some people do in fact live in that world (or, at least, in Texas) the Coleman NXT 300 makes tailgating a cinch for the rest of us, thanks to acceptable performance, the useful side-table and add-ons, and a travel-friendly setup.
Obviously a portable grill is going to sacrifice some performance and grilling area for mobility's sake, but the NXT holds its ground enough for us to give it a nod of approval.
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