There are few things more frustrating than running out of space on your grill.
Whether you love to entertain or if you simply want to cook meals for yourself or your family, you should choose an appropriately sized grill.
The size of a grill has a direct relationship with the price, so choosing the right size will ensure that you get the most economical option.
You’ve asked the question: how much grilling area do I need?
We’ve got the answer with some examples that you can compare today.
How Grill Sizes are Measured
Grill sizes can be confusing especially when manufacturers advertise the number of burners as well as the surface area.
The answer to how much grilling area you need depends on how many people you want to cook for.
Everybody varies depending on the ingredients being used, but there are some basic guidelines that you can follow…
- How much grilling area do I need for up to three people? At least 200 square inches. A good example of a small grill suited for three people is the Royal Gourmet portable grill. This can be used at home or on the road and has 280 square inches of cooking area.
- What’s the best grill size for four people? At least 280 square inches. It’s better to go slightly beyond the minimum size. The Char-Broil Performance 2-Burner Cabinet grill has 310 square inches of primary cooking area and is a good affordable family grill.
- How big should my grill be for five people? At least 360 square inches. The Weber Spirit II E-210 is a two-burner grill that is ideal for family cooking and entertaining friends for parties and on holidays.
- How much grilling area do I need for six or more people? At least 430 square inches. If you want to entertain guests and cook larger ingredients, you can consider a flat top grill. Flat top grills are easy to work with and are ideal for parties because you’ll have plenty of open consistent space. The Blackstone Flat Top Gas Grill 1517 has 470 square inches of cooking area.
We’ve listed just four different grill models to give you an idea of how much grilling area you will need.
Feel free to explore other models with our grilling area recommendations in mind.
Note that manufacturers often advertise total cooking area.
You should check the details and ensure that the primary cooking area meets our minimum recommendations.
What About the Number of Burners?
The grilling area is closely related to the number of burners on a grill.
The smallest 200 square inch grills will have just a single burner.
When you move up beyond 280 square inches, you’ll typically see at least two burners.
More burners give you even heat distribution across the surface.
There are also other advantages to enjoy…
- Having at least two burners and a hood allows you to cook with indirect heat for low-and-slow styles.
- You can have two or more heat zones with different surface temperatures for different ingredients.
- If you are using the entire grilling area, multiple burners will reduce the risk of cool and hot spots forming.
Generally, if you want a more versatile grill for your favorite recipes, you should choose a model with at least two burners.
Get a Slightly Bigger Grill to Cover Any Scenario
While you might only need a grill for one or two people today, it can be difficult to predict your needs in the future.
If you suddenly had family arrive, would your small grill have enough grilling area to cook for everyone at the same time?
Unless you’re on a very strict budget, it’s recommended that you choose a grill one size above your needs.
This will give you the flexibility that you need on unexpected occasions.
It’s not just about the people that you will serve, but also the ingredients that you can work with.
If you want to cook large cuts, particularly BBQ cuts and slow-cooked ingredients like brisket, then you will need a larger grill with two burners.
360 square inches is the sweet spot for most home cooks.
It’s not too big to make the space unusable, but it’s big enough that you can work with a variety of ingredients or cook several smaller ingredients at the same time.
Of course, if portability is your key requirement, then you might have to make some compromises.
Even if your grill isn’t big enough to serve everybody at the same time, you can still prepare your grilled ingredients in batches.
Choose the Best Grill for Your Needs
Understanding how much grilling area you need is one of the most important aspects of buying a new grill.
With the recommendations from this guide, you’re now ready to choose the best grill for your unique needs.