HitchFire F-20 Review
(Photo/David Young)

Start ‘Adventure Grilling’: HitchFire F-20 Vehicle-Mounted Grill Review

If you are a grill master who also loves traveling, then the HitchFire F-20 may be exactly what you never knew you needed. The new HitchFire fills a niche dubbed ‘adventure grilling.’

This rugged, 20,000 BTU grill mounts to a standard truck or sports utility vehicle (SUV) 2-inch hitch receiver and goes anywhere the vehicle does. Whether camping in the woods or tailgating at the game, it’s possible to fire up the grill as soon as you put it in park.

The HitchFire ($649) is designed for those road trips or overlanding excursions where you don’t want to hassle with the effort of setting up a grill. Instead, the grill is assembled and ready to cook as soon as you arrive, saving time and energy.

The design caters to RVing, tailgating at the game, or a spontaneous BBQ with friends. Combining outdoor adventure and grilling, the brand created what it calls “adventure grilling.”

Intrigued by the potential of such a mobile grill, I hooked the HitchFire up to my Toyota Tundra and hit the road to test it out.

In short: It makes grilling on the go easier than ever by saving space. Rather than packing a bulky grill when you hit the road, you can hook it up to the hitch instead. When you arrive at any destination, it only takes a few moments to deploy the grill, hook up the propane, and throw on the burgers and dogs.

HitchFire F-20 Review

HitchFire F-20: Specs

  • Dual zone – Two 10k BTU burners
  • Grilling zone: 18”x22”
  • Prep tables: Two foldaway side tables
  • Serves: 8-10 people
  • Bottle opener: One built-in bottle opener

Easy to Set Up

HitchFire F-20
(Photo/David Young)

The HitchFire arrived in a large, relatively heavy box. However, I was able to assemble it in about half an hour by myself with minimal tools and effort.

It helps that the grill and hitch arrive preassembled. All I had to do was hook up the swinging HitchFire arm to the receiver hitch on my truck and then place the grill on the pole, which serves as the grill’s base.

The HitchFire was so easy to put together that I didn’t even need the assembly instructions. The grill locks to the hitch (lock sold separately) to ensure that it stays secure and deters theft. The Locking Hitch Pin will set you back an extra $32.

To use the grill, you simply unlock the swinging arm on the hitch, rotate the grill out, attached two propane bottles, and fire it up.

Within an hour of opening the box, I had the grill sizzling on the back of the truck in my driveway, drawing some curious looks from neighbors.

On the Road

HitchFire F-20 - setup
(Photo/David Young)

While you certainly can grill in your driveway, the HitchFire is designed for the wild. So, I locked it in place, put on the heavy-duty grill cover (another $50) to keep it safe, and hit the road.

I am used to having a bicycle rack or trailer hooked up to my hitch, so having the HitchFire was smaller and lower profile than what I am used to. I drove around town for a week with it hooked up and barely noticed it was there.

HitchFire boasts that the grill will go anywhere you do, and it’s intended for off-road adventures.

When I traded pavement for dirt trails, the grill did just fine. Bouncing around dirt roads and avoiding holes and big puddles, the grill stayed securely in place. That said, you should expect some play — other reviews and our own editors have noted the grill has similar flex to a beefy bike rack.

When I arrived at my destination and removed the grill cover, it was good to go. While I wouldn’t recommend taking the HitchFire on any extreme off-roading trails with big drops, I’d feel comfortable taking it anywhere I’d take my hitch bike rack.

Adventure Grilling

I love grilling, and the concept of “adventure grilling” brings to mind tasty burgers and beers atop a mountain vista.

When I tested out the grilling potential of the HitchFire on a pleasant Colorado spring evening in the foothills, it worked great. As I fired up the grill adjacent to a scenic lake, a passerby stopped and snapped a photo of the HitchFire, obviously intrigued by the setup.

cooking with HitchFire F-20
(Photo/David Young)

The grill includes two side tables that fold out for meal prep, and are ideal for condiments or to hold your beverage while you’re cooking. The burners require two separate 16-ounce propane bottles that screw in. It also comes with a propane adaptor hose that works with standard propane tanks, if you’d prefer to haul a full-size propane tank.

I deployed the swinging hitch arm, which provided full access to the bed of my truck. This is convenient because I was able to grab gear and food, and still have a place to sit while cooking.

The grill is a standard propane grill and will handle burgers and dogs with ease. The ample grilling surface means you can get a little more creative with your camp meals if you want. It also is nice to have a built-in base set to grill on. There’s no need for a table.

The HitchFire does detach from the hitch receiver and acts as a standalone tabletop grill, which is versatile if you want to grill on a picnic table or even just a rock.

There is even a grease pan and bottle opener included with the HitchFire. Plus, the brand offers some fun accessories, such as a grilling tool kit and a side burner.

Grilling - HitchFire F-20
(Photo/David Young)

Once finished, simply let the grill cool off, lock it back in place, and you’re ready to roll onto your next adventure grilling destination.

Is the HitchFire for You?

The HitchFire delivers exactly what it advertises — a solid grill that hooks up to a hitch. If you are short on space and can’t justify packing a standard propane grill, then the HitchFire may be exactly what you need.

For most casual campers and grillers, it is likely overkill. If you have a big truck or SUV, it may be easier to just throw in a standard grill and forgo hauling it on your hitch.

The biggest drawback of the HitchFire is that you can’t use your hitch for anything else, such as a bike rack, trailer, boat, or carry rack. Technically, it is possible to hook up the HitchFire and a bike rack, but it will require a dual hitch extender.

The grill also has a little wobble to it even when locked out, which didn’t interfere with grilling. But it’s good to be aware of this, so you don’t spill anything.

And to be clear, this is an investment in your grilling game. The grill alone costs $649, and that’s before you add the grill cover, locking pin, and accessories. All-in, you’re pushing $1,000.

However, there’s no denying that the HitchFire is an easy and convenient way to get a full-size grill into the wilderness. It is not a gimmick. While expensive, the grill is solid, and the HitchFire will go most places you take it.

Especially if you have a smaller vehicle and are pressed for space when packing, the HitchFire is a great option for adventure grilling.

Check Price at REICheck Price at AmazonCheck Price at HitchFire

David Young
By

David Young is a freelance writer based in Fort Collins, Colorado. He specializes in outdoor writing and has a degree in journalism and English. He has more than two decades of experience writing for daily newspapers and working in public relations. David enjoys all that Colorado has to offer from mountain biking and fly fishing to backcountry skiing and backpacking.