With so many different tabletop gas grills on the market, it can be difficult to find the best one for your needs. While tabletop grills are typically more affordable than freestanding models, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t carefully consider your investment. By taking the time to find the right one you can ensure many seasons of trouble free grilling, whether you use a grill at home, on a campsite, or even on a boat or at your favorite picnic spot.
We’ve explored all of the different tabletop gas grills on the market, found out what makes the best ones stand out, and developed this simple buying guide with five recommendations that you can purchase today.
Benefits of a Tabletop Gas Grill and Choosing the Right One
There are two key scenarios where a tabletop gas grill could be ideal for you. The first is one where you need a grill for home but don’t have the space or need for a larger grill. A tabletop grill will allow you to cook your favorite grilled meats and vegetables without having to worry about investment in a large and expensive freestanding grill. In some cases, you may even have a tabletop grill as a backup for when you are cooking for yourself, your family, or a small group of visitors.
Another popular scenario is when you would need a grill for cooking outdoors away from the home. This could mean purchasing a grill for your RV, for camping, or even for use on your boat. In this scenario you would need something that is lightweight and portable, but with plenty of cooking power and even heat so that your grilling experience is just as good as what you would get at home.
Of course, there are some compromises to be made when you cook with a tabletop gas grill. The most obvious is the size. A portable grill will have a small surface area that is usually good for cooking a single meal, or for cooking grilled food for a group of around four people. You can cook for larger groups, but you will need to be aware that it will take longer and your servings would be staggered.
Actual cooking options is another compromise, as a tabletop grill won’t typically have a large hood like you would find on a standalone grill. Even with the basic compromises, you can still have delicious grilled food whether you are looking for succulent steaks, grilled veggies, or classic burgers. A grill is also perfect for fresh catch when you’ve just finished fishing for the day.
When evaluating any tabletop gas grill, there are a few key points that you will need to consider:
- Does the grill have a shallow hood that allows for closed top cooking?
- Does the grill have a quality stand that will allow it to be stable when cooking on any surface?
- How big is the cooking area?
- How many burners does it have?
With all of this in mind, let’s move on to five of the best tabletop gas grills.
1: Cuisinart CGG -180T Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill
Compact, stylish, and affordable, the Cuisinart CGG-180TS tabletop gas grill is one of the best small grills that you can purchase today. It is available in a black or red enameled finish, or a classic polished metal finish.
This grill features a single 5,500 BTU gas burner and 145 square inches of total cooking surface. One of the biggest advantages of this grill is that it is solid and durable, and constructed mostly from metal. This is important if you will be using the grill outdoors for camping, fishing, or picnicking. This model features an interesting design with an incorporated adjustable stand, as well as a handy hood handle/carry handle.
The hood on this model is slightly raised, which means you’ll be able to perform some top down cooking to help seal in flavors and moisture. This is perfect for windy days when you are cooking away from home. The actual surface area is compact but it still allows some flexibility for your cooking. You’ll be able to cook smaller cuts of bone in chicken, steaks, burgers, and all of the vegetables that you want.
This grill is highly popular and has won awards for its even cooking ability and innovative design. It is also highly rated by consumers with an average 4 Star rating from online reviews.
2: SUPERSPACE 2 Burner Stainless Steel BBQ Tabletop Propane Gas Grill
The next grill to consider is quite a departure to the design of the Cuisinart, but it is more capable and may be a better long term investment. The SUPERSPACE 2 Burner Stainless Steel BBQ is a tabletop gas grill that features two burners and an impressive 20,000 BTU heat rating. This is approaching the heat level of a smaller standalone grill, which means that you’ll be able to get up to temp faster to sear in the flavor on all of your favorite barbeque meats.
The cooking surface is 252 square inches, which is a significant improvement over the Cuisinart. The design of this model is focused on utility, but it still comes across as stylish and attractive. The grill is entirely made from 430 stainless steel, which will prevent corrosion and ensure that this lasts for many years to come. Even the cooking grids are made from stainless steel, and it features heat spreaders like you would find on a full sized grill.
The two burners can be individually controlled so you will have two completely separate cooking zones, and the closing hood allows some room so that you can cook some food with the hood down, or, you can use the hood open as a rear splash guard. Some tabletop gas grills don’t perform well with open-top cooking, but this model has the high BTU rating to make it possible.
The stand folds out from below and the entire assembly locks up for easy storage and transport. For a small price increase over the Cuisinart, the SUPERSPACE grill is altogether more impressive and the construction quality gives us confidence that it would last much longer with regular use.
Consumer reviews for this product give it an impressive average of 4.5 Stars.
3: Smoke Hollow 205 Stainless Steel TableTop Propane Gas Grill
The Smoke Hollow 205 is another stainless steel tabletop gas grill that looks impressive. It features a built-in temperature gauge, which is unusual for a small grill of this size. The price is also very reasonable, which makes it ideal if you want a quality tabletop grill on a tight budget.
Designed to be portable for use in almost any situation, the Smoke Hollow does have some disadvantages when compared to the competition. It doesn’t feature a folding design which means that it will take up more space to store. However, you may prefer this as it also eliminates a point of failure by incorporating the legs into the body design. Overall construction quality is impressive, especially considering the size and the price.
Inside of the grill you will find a single burner. The design follows a horseshoe shape so there are effectively two coverage areas from a single valve control. This gives it similar heat-spread properties to a dual burner tabletop grill, although you won’t be able to control individual temperature zones. The total cooking surface is 205 square inches, and the maximum heat rating is 10,000 BTU.
While not the hottest tabletop gas grill you can buy, it’s still a good choice if you want something that is made from high quality stainless steel. The hood is also much deeper than what you would usually find in this category, which allows for more versatile cooking, especially when combined with the temperature gauge. This grill also features a warming tray, which makes it one of the best featured tabletop gas grills available to buy today.
Online reviews average 4 Stars from almost 800 individual customers.
4: Char-Broil Portable 240 Liquid Propane Gas Grill
Char-Broil is well known for representing quality and affordability, and their portable propane grill continues the tradition. Out of all of the grills in this list, the Portable 240 model is the least impressive in terms of aesthetic. However, what it lacks in good looks it can make up for in practicality.
The entire design of this model is clearly aimed at function rather than form. There’s a large hood with a thermometer, the grill casing is solid, and it uses a tubular steel stand that can’t be removed or folded down. This might make it less compact in terms of storage, but it allows for sturdy construction that should be able to take some punishment when being stored or transported for tailgating, camping, or picnicking. There’s a carry handle integrated into the hood, and the entire grill is just over 20 pounds in weight.
The 240 square inch cooking surface can allow for up to 8 standard sized burgers, or 2 – 3 steaks depending on their size. The hood has a reasonable amount of depth so you won’t have any trouble cooking small food items with the hood down. The temperature gauge is an added bonus that will allow you to keep a close watch on your cooking temperatures.
There’s only a single burner inside the Char-Broil Portable 240 tabletop gas grill, controlled by a single valve that is integrated with the gas hookup. This is a basic design but it’s one that we can appreciate because of its ability to be replaced. Because the regulator and control are in a single housing, it eliminates the potential points of failure and will make future maintenance or repairs simple. This model also features a piezo ignition system for quick and reliable flame starting in all conditions.
The average online review rating for the Char-Broil is 4.2 stars, with owners praising its ease of use, good cooking ability, and basic rugged design.
5: Weber 50060001 Q1000 Liquid Propane Grill
It’s impossible to talk about portable tabletop gas grills without mentioning the Weber Q1000 model. Weber has long been established as one of the benchmarks of quality in backyard grills, so it’s no surprise that they have expanded their business to include convenient tabletop grills.
Weber built their brand on charcoal grills, but their quality carries over to gas models. The Weber Q1000 features the most unusual design out of these five tabletop grills. It is rounded with a deep hood that will allow for better closed cooking than any of the other models that we’ve looked at. The design also allows for easy collection of oil, which makes cleanup quick and mostly effortless.
The unique design helps in some areas but it may hinder in others, depending on what you are looking for in a tabletop gas grill. There are no folding parts, with the legs being an integral part of the body design. This grill also uses less stainless steel than some of the other models that we’ve looked at. In many ways this is a tabletop grill that has been designed primarily for home users. Its shape wouldn’t look out of place on your patio dining table, and the white enameled lid is more similar to a slow cooker than an outdoor grill. However, it does follow the classic Weber ‘kettle’ aesthetic, and that may be exactly what you’re looking for.
The cooking surface is on the small side at 189 square inches, and the heat rating comes in at just 8500 BTU. The elongated shape helps to make up for the smaller surface area, but there’s still no ignoring the fact that you can get much more out of a model like the SUPERSPACE 2 Burner.
The Weber is by no means a bad tabletop gas grill, it’s just that it has to compete in a market where there are some compelling options from brands that aren’t as established. Your choice with this one might ultimately come down to the aesthetic and the easy-clean design.
Consumer ratings are overwhelmingly positive for this model, with an average of 4.7 Stars from online reviews.
Find a Grill That Meets Your Needs and Budget
All of the grills covered here are capable in their own ways, and all will offer excellent cooking at home, or while out camping or tailgating. A portable tabletop gas grill offers convenience to cook the foods you love, no matter where you are. Choose the one that best suits your needs and your budget, and when you stick to this list you’ll be sure of getting one of the best small grills currently on the market.