Space for grilling is one major challenge a lot of grilling enthusiasts face. This is in addition to the issue of having to choose between different grills including propane-powered models and their charcoal counterparts.
For a lot of us, the tabletop grill is one grill that addresses our needs when it comes to having limited backyard space for grilling. It also eliminates the possibility of spending a fortune on a grill when the grill is only needed for two persons.
With different tabletop grills from different manufacturers, choosing one can be quite inundating. Keep reading to find out which one is our top pick and what we considered before choosing it and the others that made it to this page.
#1. Best Tabletop Grill – Char-Griller E22424 Table Top Charcoal Grill
In the course of this review, we picked several products and considered a handful of factors to finally settle for this Char-Griller charcoal grill as the best tabletop grill.
This dual-purpose grill which is compact shaped, lightweight, made from strong stainless materials and packs a ton of features is all you’ll probably need for your quick grilling activities at home.
It does lack a few features that would have made cooking with it much easier but it’s still worth owning.
Buying a Table Top Grill: What You Must Know
Here are a few pointers to nudge you in the right direction now that you’re about to purchase a tabletop grill. Remember to first define set out a reasonable budget; this can be a deal-breaker in many cases.
After setting out your budget, what next?
Consider Fuel Type
Most grills are either powered by gas or charcoal. Tabletop grills aren’t an exception to this general rule. Gas has its own advantages over charcoal and vice versa. Everything boils down to what type of fuel you use.
A lot of people believe that using charcoal gives a somewhat distinct taste to grilled food. It’s a debate for another day, but in all, either of the two is a great option. However, you should bear in mind that when using gas models, there’s the need to take extra caution.
In addition to that, you’ll need to carry the gas cylinder with you and this might pose risks in certain situations. This applies if you use charcoal as fuel although charcoal poses fewer risks than gas.
Again, for gas-powered grills, you need to consider the BTU of the grill. The higher the BTU, the more powerful the grill will be and the faster the food will cook, but this will burn more gas.
Let’s not fail to mention that there are also electric grills. Finding an electrical outlet for it while you’re on the road is one of the many reasons why people prefer others to it.
Size & Weight
If your grill will serve a dozen individuals, then it needs to be larger than what you and your spouse would keep at home.
The larger the size of the grill, the larger the cooking space you’ll get from it.
It’s also pertinent to note that size can affect portability and weight. Fortunately, the majority of the tabletop grills on the market including the ones we reviewed in this article are compact-sized and are quite lightweight.
They don’t often weigh more than 40lbs.
It’s no news that legs on grills tend to occupy a great deal of space – kamado grills are a typical example. A grill that doesn’t have folding legs will pose a storage challenge for the owner. But if you have ample storage/transportation space and you like the grill in question, then, by all means, go for the one that doesn’t have legs.
Carrying Handles & Locking Lid
Take note of your carrying handles.
They should be made of wood or any other material that doesn’t conduct heat.
Also, take note of how strong the build quality of the handle is. The stronger, the better.
As for the locking lid, the grill should have a firm locking lid so that you can close the grill when cooking and be assured the contents are safe. Again, it is also important grills that the lid doesn’t come off when it is being transported from one place to another – might cause instant damage if the grill drops to the ground.
This is one area where many tabletop grills fail. They can easily reach and maintain high temperatures but certainly not low temperatures. The reverse is the case with the gas-powered grills as they have temperature adjustment knobs.
Hence, if you like grilling at low temperatures, then a gas grill might be a better option for you.
Tabletop Grills Review
In this section, you’ll find our review of the best tabletop grills and why we choose them over others. We selected only charcoal and gas-powered grills for this review.
#1. Best Tabletop Grill – Char-Griller E22424 Table Top Charcoal Grill
Cooking Space: 250 sq. inch
Features: unique design, can serve as an attachment to other Char-Griller barrel grills, durable steel materials, sliding drawer, ashtray, heat-proof handle, 40lbs weight
The Char-Griller E22424 Table Top Charcoal Grill is our top pick for tabletop grills. It’s a compact-sized grill which has the ability to serve in other capacities other than a grill; it can serve as a side firebox for other grills.
We’d like to mention that if you intend to use the grill as a side firebox, then you cannot use it as a grill again. This is to say there’s no going back from upgrading it for use as a side firebox.
With respect to the design, it’s compact-sized, measuring about 18.5 x 17 x 16 inches and weighing just 40lbs. There’s nothing special about the design, but we’d like to point out that it’s made from high-quality stainless steel materials and has a feeling of durability to it.
The grill comes with a ton of features that allow you to cook easily on it. It’s also lacking some good features although they don’t impede on your cooking.
Let’s start by mention that great features like an adjustable fire grate, warming rack, side tables and a temperature gauge are missing. But the grill makes up for its absence by offering other a sizeable cooking space, strong build quality, lightweight body, short legs, etc. to mention a few.
It also comes with a sliding drawer that gives you easy access to the charcoal and ashes used for cooking. This makes it easier to add and remove charcoal without disturbing the food you’re grilling.
Is the Char-Griller E22424 Table Top Charcoal Grill worth it? Yes, and the missing features are negligible and can be handled externally.
Cooking Space: 160 sq. inch
Features: lightweight, compact-sized, enameled plated lid, offers 160 sq. inch of cooking space, stainless steel cooking grates.
Weber is known for making compact-sized grills and the Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill is not an exception. The only reason why we didn’t pick it as our best tabletop grill is that it offered a much smaller cooking space and wobbly legs.
Its design is unique and the combination between porcelain and stainless steel on its body creates a unique look and feel. The grill weighs only 14lbs – thus making it one of the easiest to carry about.
We concur to the argument that the Weber 121020 has strong build quality – it does but the legs on the grill are quite wobbly. The legs serve as a lock for the grill as it holds it in place when you’re moving it.
The Weber 121020 grill well-positioned dampers that promote good airflow. And it also has sturdy heat-resistant handles fitted to its sides and onto the lid. With its compact shape, fitting it into a small trunk space is as easy as ABC.
Out of the box, the grill needs no assembly to get it working. You just need to get the charcoal and light it up. If you want extra cooking accessories, you can purchase them for a little extra fee.
One thing is missing in this grill – a removable ashtray. To that effect, removing ash and cleaning the grill requires flipping it into a steel container.
Tabletop Gas Grills
The grills below are all gas-powered tabletop grills.
Cooking Space: 275 sq. inch
Features: twin burners with 10,000BTU capacity, sturdy control knobs, lightweight, firm short legs, integrated thermometer, twist start ignition, locking lid, made from stainless steel materials.
The Cuisinart CGG-306 Professional Tabletop Gas Grill is a beauty to behold, which is why it is on this list of the best tabletop grills. With its stainless steel finishing and chrome accents, it can pass for a premium grill anytime. The grill features short sturdy legs, hence, there’s no need for folding legs.
But even at that, Cuisinart still included folding legs. Apt for people looking for total compactness, if you must say. The grill measures 21.5 x 19 x 15 in and weighs only 22lbs. Even at that, it offers about 275 sq. inch of cooking space.
It is a gas-powered grill that requires a 20lbs tank of propane where it draws its energy from. There are two burners with each having a 10,000BTU capacity – both burners have a combined BTU of 20,000.
We love the easy to use control knobs on the grill and how the grill quickly responds to its controls. Did we mention that the grill also has a twist to start ignition? The twist to start ignition makes it possible to start the grill without using match sticks.
Setting up the grill is easy and straightforward and no tools are required to do that.
In all, the Cuisinart CGG-306 Professional Tabletop Gas Grill is a cost-effective, lightweight, portable tabletop gas grill that fits your space, grilling needs, and budget.
Cooking Space: 256 sq. inch
Features: lightweight, portable, offers ample cooking space, 20000BTU, foldable legs, stainless steel finishing with chrome accents, easy to use control knobs, and lockable lid.
The Giantex Propane Tabletop Gas Grill is yet another awesome tabletop gas grill. It shares similar features with the Cuisinart CGG-306 Professional Tabletop Gas Grill but it has a smaller cooking space.
Although it has a smaller cooking space, it’s still enough to cook enough food at once for at least have a dozen persons. The grill has a strong build quality and is made from stainless steel materials. It also features a short folding leg which is sturdy and firm. There’s also the locking lid that keeps the contents of the grill secure when you’re moving it.
It features two burners that each have a BTU of 10,000 and each burner has a control knob that is independent of each other. The turning knob which controls the burner is quite as responsive as we expected.
There’s a grease collector – the equivalent of an ashtray in a charcoal grill. It makes cleaning the grill after each use as easy as possible.
With respect to weight, the Giantex Propane Tabletop Gas Grill is lightweight; it weighs only 26lbs and measures 22” x 18” x 15”. Out of the box, you have to put a few things together to begin cooking as soon as possible.
Cooking Space: 145 sq. inch
Features: very lightweight, compact-sized, stainless steel materials, offers 145 sq. inch of cooking space, has foldable aluminum legs, integrated lid-locking mechanism, 5,500BTU burner made of stainless steel, and porcelain-enameled grates.
To wrap up on our review of the best tabletop grills, we present to you the lightweight Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill. It weighs about 13.5lbs – making it the lightest tabletop grill we’ve come across so far.
In addition to being the lightest, it’s also the smallest in terms of cooking space; the cooking space is pegged at 145 sq. inches.
The grill features foldable legs made from light aluminum – they feel strong and the legs extend out to give the grill great balance when it’s in use. And of course, there’s also a powerful stainless steel burner with a 5,500BTU capacity inside the grill.
The burner is not as powerful as the one on the Giantex Propane Tabletop Gas Grill but it still gets the job done. We love the lid locking mechanism and the carrying handle for the grill.
But side handles are missing and this might be a concern if you want to move the grill while cooking.
The grill is available in a variety of colors and is super easy to set up and hook up to a gas source.
After purchasing a tabletop grill, you should constantly clean it and store it away from weather elements if you want longevity.
Don’t forget to buy one that is powerful enough to serve you and a handful of persons at once – it’s beneficial in the long run.