The only way to enjoy a good barbeque is by investing in a high-quality grill that won’t disappoint your taste buds. If you can carry that grill with you everywhere you go then that will be a bonus.
Tabletop grills are the perfect solution for people who want a compact grill that will not weigh them down (no pun intended!). Not only are these grills portable, but they are also inexpensive and easy to install compared to other traditional grills.
But, with so many tabletop grills on the market, how do you know which one to buy?Well, in this article, we’ve come up with 10 of the best tabletop grills on the market. There is also a buying guide that elaborates on things to consider before spending your hard-earned money on a particular grill.
From the overall best performance to value for your money, here are the top 10 best tabletop grills.
The 10 Best Tabletop Grills in 2020
|Brand & Item Name||Multi-Fuels||BTUs||Total Spaces||Price|
|Lodge Sportsman’s||Yes||-||235 sq. inch||Check Price|
|Smoke Hollow 205||Yes||10,000||205 sq. in||Check Price|
|Cuisinart CGG-180T||Yes||5,500||145||Check Price|
|Cuisinart CGG-200||Yes||12,000||240 square inch||Check Price|
|CChar-Broil Grill2Go||Yes||9,500||200||Check Price|
|Cuisinart CCG-190RB||Yes||-||150||Check Price|
|Volcano Grills||Yes||19,500||-||Check Price|
|Giantex Grill||Yes||20,000||-||Check Price|
|Pinty Portable Folding Grill||Yes||10,000||250||Check Price|
|Char-Griller E22424||Yes||-||250||Check Price|
1. Lodge Sportsman’s – for Picnics, Tailgating, Camping or Patio
After several hours of research, the Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s tabletop grill came out as the undisputed winner in this comprehensive review. This grill excels in versatility and durability. Some of its novel features such as the inclusion of draft and flip-down door make the grill to stand out from the rest.
The draft door helps in regulating the heat and keeping food warm while the flip-down door enables you to access the coals. Apart from these two doors, there is also an attached handle that makes it possible for you to carry the grill anywhere you want.
We have to admit that the 120 square inch cooking surface is not adequate for a large crowd. But, if you’ll be preparing a meal for a few people, then this space is more than enough. Because the grill is seasoned using vegetable oil, you don’t have to worry about chemicals or synthetic coatings.
Other features of this Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s tabletop grill include two adjustable heights, easy-release finish and an in-built shelf that comes in handy when you want a place to keep your utensils. The cast iron construction ensures you have the perfect sear.
It would have been perfect if this Lodge tabletop grill came with a lid. Lack of this essential feature makes it a challenge to use in cold weather. Another area that the grill has fallen short is the draft door which is somewhat tricky to operate.
- 120 square inches cooking surface
- Removable draft door
- Flip-down door
- Two adjustable heights
- Seasoned cookware
- Easy-release finish
- Small cooking surface
- The draft door is difficult to operate
- Doesn’t come with a lid
2. Smoke Hollow 205 – Stainless Steel Tabletop Grill Review
Coming in at the second place is Smoke Hollow’s 205 Stainless Steel tabletop grill. Its sleek design and total cooking area of 305 square inches were some of the things that fascinated us about this grill.
Before you take out your credit card though, you must know that the total cooking area comprises of 205 square inches primary cooking surface and a 105 square inch chrome-plated warming rack. You’ll agree, however, that the main cooking area is still spacious enough to accommodate various meals simultaneously.
The stainless steel construction enhances the grill’s durability and longevity. This Smoke Hollow 205 Stainless Steel grill operates on one-pound propane cylinders and produces 10,000 BTUs of heat.
The only challenge you might encounter is the uneven distribution of heat. You have to keep an eye on your food to ensure it cooks evenly on all sides. You can check the grill’s heat using the temperature gauge that comes with the unit.
There is a stainless steel drip tray that collects excess grease which means you won’t need to spend a lot of time cleaning up. For portability purposes, the unit has foldable legs, a front carry handle, and a locking lid. These three features also make storage a lot easier.
- 10,000 BTU stainless steel burner
- 205 square inches cooking area
- 105 square inches chrome-plated warming rack
- Foldable legs
- Locking Lid
- Temperature gauge
- Stainless steel drip tray
- Uneven distribution of heat
3. Cuisinart CGG-180T – Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill
We all know Cuisinart for their outstanding food processors. It is hard to associate this company with anything else other than food processors. But that changes when we take a look at their CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill.
Its unique briefcase design, portability, and the color variations are just some of the selling points of this unit. The compact grill weighs only 13 pounds making it the perfect unit to take with you tailgating, camping or any other outdoor event you like.
Transportation and storage are made easier by the locking lid, front carry handle, and foldable legs. Unfortunately, the legs don’t lock in place. Because of this, the legs tend to be unstable when you fold or extend them.
The stainless steel burner produces 5,500 BTUs of heat. Because of how compact it is, the grill tends to keep heat near the cooking surface. It makes it more energy efficient compared to other grills. The cooking grilling area of 145 square inches can accommodate eight hamburgers, eight steaks, ten chicken breasts or 4-pounds of fish.
Even though the company has included a spill-resistant drip tray and a dishwasher safe removable grate, the design of this unit still makes it difficult to clean.
The CGG-180T Petit Gourmet operates on propane and comes with a twist-start ignition to make startup easy. You can select a red, silver or black tabletop grill.
- 145 square inches grilling area
- Foldable legs
- 5,500 BTU stainless-steel burner
- Briefcase-style carrying handle
- Porcelain-enameled grate
- Integrated lid lock
- Difficult to clean
- Unstable legs
4. Cuisinart CGG-200 – Best Tabletop Gas Grill
The CGG-200 All-Foods gas grill comes with a large cooking surface of 240 square inches which accommodates enough food to feed eight people. Another reason to opt for this grill is the 12,000 BTU stainless steel burner which distributes heat evenly across the grill. The grill’s double-wall cover also helps in even distribution of heat.
The grill comes with a porcelain-enameled cast iron cooking grate. This grate ensures there is even distribution of heat, so you don’t have to worry about cold or hot spots.
The built-in thermometer lets you know the exact temperatures while the temperature dial does an excellent job of controlling the intensity of the flames. A twist-to-start ignition is a great feature that ensures the unit is up and running in no time.
When it comes to ease of storage, the Cuisinart has you covered with the convenient fold-out side shelves and cool-to-touch handles. The only thing that the company has let us down on is the poor instruction manual that comes with the package. The instructions are not clear which can make assembling the grill a challenge.
- 240 square inches cooking area
- 12,000 BTU stainless steel burner
- Removable drip tray
- Twist-start ignition
- Temperature gauge
- Folding side shelves
- Porcelain enamel-coated cast-iron cooking grate
- The instruction manual is not elaborate enough
5. CChar-Broil Grill2Go – Portable Liquid Propane Gas Grill
If the idea of using an infrared technology grill is appealing to you, then this is your grill. The Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 utilizes the TRU Infrared Technology to ensure you get evenly cooked meals every single time.
No flare-ups mean you can use this grill pretty much everywhere even in cold climates. Moving on from infrared technology, we have a high-impact frame with sturdy legs and carry handles that make transportation easy. The sturdy construction enables the grill to survive in any condition. So, you can take the grill during your next outdoor event.
The push-button ignition lights up the 9,500 BTU burner. The ignition is located inside the right front leg of the grill to avoid it from getting damaged. The 200 square inches cooking surface can accommodate various foods like chicken, hot dogs, burgers, and even vegetables.
The durable steel construction is rust-resistant to extend the life of the grill. The only disappointing thing when it comes to this Grill2Go X200 is the grease holes that are on the grate. These holes tend to clog when you’re cooking so purchasing a good grill brush may come in handy here. Another downside is the lack of an adjustable vent on the lid.
- TRU-Infrared cooking system
- Cast aluminum firebox and lid
- 200 square inch cooking surface
- 9,500 BTUs burner
- Temperature gauge
- Push-button ignition
- The lid lacks an adjustable vent
- Grease holes tend to clog
6. Cuisinart CCG-190RB – Portable Charcoal Grill (Camp and Travel)
Like all the other tabletop grills in this review, you’ll be amazed by how great this grill is. For the aesthetic folks out there, there are three different colors you can choose from- red, green and black. Now that we have that out of the way let us look at the nitty-gritty details of the CCG-190RB grill.
Coming in at only 2 pounds, this grill is light and compact enough to fit in the trunk of your car. The 150 square inches grilling surface can cook up to six burgers at a time. Or, you can decide to cook three hot dogs and three hamburgers at once, and no one will complain. Since it uses charcoal as fuel, you are assured of getting mouthwatering meals.
The lid locks to the bowl making transportation a breeze. Plus, you don’t need to worry about making a mess while carrying it around. There is an ergonomic handle that comes with a rubberized grip to protect your hands while cooking. As a bonus, the unit also comes with a spatula that has a serrated cutting edge and a bottle opener.
The dual venting system helps in controlling the temperatures and managing charcoal. Equally important is the mess-free ash catcher that enhances easy cleanup. The CCG-190RB has a chrome-plated cooking grate. Despite this grate being durable, it comes with one significant flaw. The top grate shifts and tilts into the coals making it unstable.
- 150 square inches cooking surface
- Enamel coated firebox
- Ash catcher
- Dual venting system
- Three lid locks
- Rubberized grip handle
- Top grate is unstable
7. Volcano Grills – 3-Fuel Portable Camping Stove/Fire Pit
There are two types of people: people who like to stick to one kind of fuel and those who want to have it all. If you fall in the second category, then you’ll be delighted to know that there is a grill out there that gives you an opportunity to use propane, wood or charcoal. It all depends on what you’re in the mood for.
The 3-Fuel Portable Camping Stove/Fire Pit is Volcano Grills’ most popular model. It is all thanks to its tri-fuel capability. The unit gives you a variety of cooking options- you can use it to grill, wok, fry, and even bake your meals. To make things even more interesting, you can go a step further and use it as a Dutch oven.
Despite its small cooking surface area (144 square inches), the grill produces 19,500 BTUs of heat. There is a patented heat chamber that ensures even distribution of heat.
Air vents help to keep the cooking surface cool by directing air to the chamber. There is an adjustable vent that allows you to adjust the rate at which your wood or charcoal burns and an insulated bottom that helps to prevent heat loss. With all these great features, you can be assured of evenly cooked meals.
One good thing about this grill is it enables you to collapse it down to 5 inches. With this feature, one would think that this tabletop grill is as light as they come. But, no! Even though 20 pounds may not seem much, it is still on the heavier side as far as tabletop grills go.
Before purchasing the grill, you should also know that the unit is not that simple to assemble. Looking at all the great features, from the three fuel capability to the 19,500 BTUs of heat, we can confidently conclude that the two drawbacks are insignificant compared to all the benefits you’ll receive.
- Tri-fuel capability
- 144 square inches cooking surface
- Patented heat chamber
- 19,500 BTU burner
- Adjustable Vent
- Insulated bottom
- Hard to assemble
8. Giantex Grill – Perfect for Camping, Picnics or Any Outdoor Use
This Giantex grill is ideal for those who are used to traditional heavy-duty grills. No, the 205 square inches surface is not enough for you to cook for a large party. But, with a total heat of 20,000 BTU and a durable 430 stainless steel construction, you are sure to make heads turn during outdoor events.
The two burners produce 10,000 BTUs of heat each. One great thing about this grill is it heats up quickly. You, therefore, don’t have to wait around for the grill to reach the right temperature. Speaking of temperatures, there’s a built-in thermometer that lets you know the specific heat level.
The grill also comes with two push and turn ignition that makes sure you have a quick and easy startup. Its foldable legs and the lockable lid make transportation and storage easy.
Even though the Giantex tabletop grill is constructed from stainless steel material, it is still tough to clean. To ensure your grill lasts longer, you’ll need to clean it as soon as you finish cooking.
While it may be true that this grill produces a lot of heat, there is still one major flaw. This heat is not distributed evenly across the unit. Because of this, there are hot spots on some parts of the grilling area.
- 430 stainless steel construction
- The cooking surface of 205 square inches
- Foldable design
- Total 20,000 BTUs
- Two burners
- Difficult to clean
- Uneven heat distribution
9. Pinty Portable Folding Grill – Tabletop BBQ Grill for Outdoor Use
This Pinty tabletop grill is perfect for a family outing. With a large cooking surface of 250 square inches, you can prepare a meal of seven people. And the best part is, it only weighs 9.92 pounds to make it easier to carry. The foldable design further enhances portability.
Not only are the cooking grates of this unit heat-resistant, but they are also dust-proof. Seven air vents help in ventilation and discharging dust. The portable and compact grill is made from a carbon steel material and comes with a silicone handle which is also heat resistant.
Pinty Portable Folding Charcoal Grill has ultra-thick feet that increase its stability. The feet also ensure the unit is sturdy and durable to last you a long time.
Adjustable front, as well as lid vents, enables you to control the temperatures. Checking the exact temperatures is not possible, however, due to lack of a temperature gauge. It could have been nice if the company included this feature. Another downside with this Pinty grill is the vague assembling instructions on their user manual.
- 250 square inches total cooking surface
- Heat-resistant handles
- Foldable design
- Seven air vents
- Porcelain-enameled cooking grates
- Assembly instructions are vague
- No temperature gauge
10. Char-Griller E22424 – Table Top Charcoal Grill and Side Fire Box
For the Texas Style smoking, you have to attach the unit to a Char-Griller barrel grill. It will ensure you go from a grill to a side firebox in an instant. Before you go ahead and do this though, you have to keep in mind that once you convert the grill, there is no turning back.
You cannot switch between the two. You have to decide beforehand if you want a grill or the infamous horizontal Texas-style smoker.
The large 250 square inches cooking surface can accommodate up to 10 burgers at the same time. The grill comes with two adjustable dampers that help in controlling the heat. There is a sliding drawer that allows you to access the coals and ashes. Cleaning the unit is more comfortable thanks to the convenient dump ash pan.
The heavy steel construction ensures your grill is durable and long lasting. Unfortunately, this makes the grill to be too heavy as well. For a tabletop grill, we have to admit that 40-pounds is too much weight to carry around.
Another problem is the paint chipping off after a while. Since paint is not part of the warranty, you’ll have to buy it elsewhere. Just make sure it’s high heat paint otherwise it won’t last long also.
- Two adjustable dampers
- Removable ash pan
- Heavy steel construction
- Cast iron cooking grates
- 250 square inches cooking surface
- Stay cool hood handle
- Paint chips off
What to Look for in a Best Tabletop Grill?
Before you go ahead and purchase one of the grills from our list, it is crucial first to figure out which unit suits you best. There is more to grills than just the price tag and portability. So, in this next section, we’re going to look at some of the things you have to look out for as well as some answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
Not every tabletop grill is constructed the same way. The size and shape of a grill affect its portability. You have to find out if the grill will be able to fit in the trunk of your car during transportation. Another thing to look out for is the weight of the grill.
Even though tabletop grills are supposed to be lightweight, there are still some that are heavier than others. You need to keep in mind that size and weight are not always synonymous. A grill may be compact but weighs more than a large grill. It all depends on the construction of the grill.
The cooking area of a grill is one of the most important features you have to consider before purchasing a grill. Tabletop grills don’t have a large cooking surface compared to the traditional grills. Most of them usually range from 100 square inches to 250 square inches. The ideal surface area for you depends on the number of people you’ll be serving. If it’s four people or less, then a smaller cooking area will do. If you’re planning to cook for many people though, then the bigger surface will be the better option.
Due to their size, most tabletop grills have only one burner. The number of burners, however, varies from one company to another. The most important thing to consider when buying a burner is the type of material used. Most burners are made from stainless steel, brass, cast iron, or cast aluminum. Stainless steel burners are durable and corrosion-resistant.
Cast iron burners heat up quickly and hold a lot of heat compared to stainless steel burners. The only issue with cast iron is they rust quickly. Just like cast iron, brass burners also hold a lot of heat. But the good thing about the brass is they don’t rust easily. Cast aluminum is durable but does not retain heat well as cast iron.
BTUs (British Thermal Units)
BTU refers merely to the amount of heat produced by a grill. If you want a grill that has hotter temperatures, then you can opt for a unit that has more BTUs. Some companies specify the number of BTUs of each burner. It includes the main burner, side burner, as well as rotisserie burners. Others, however, add up the total amount of heat produced by all the burners.Tabletop grills that have low BTUs usually take a long time to heat up. On the other hand, those that have BTUs that are too high may heat up too quickly and end up burning your food. Always go for BTUs that are neither too high nor too low.
They type of material used in a grill determines its sturdiness and durability. Tabletop grills are mostly made from stainless steel, cast iron, and cast aluminum. If you want a tabletop grill that is easy to clean, then you can go for stainless steel construction. Just a side note:
Not all stainless steel materials are equal. There are some that are more durable than others, so make sure you know the type of stainless steel used. If you want a more durable grill, then you can go for a cast iron tabletop grill. But, you need to keep in mind that cast iron tends to rust.
Most grills use convective heat, that is, hot air to cook meals. There are some that use Infrared cooking system. Infrared grills use radiant heat to cook meals. Because of this, they get hot quickly compared to other grills. Another advantage of this cooking system is they vaporize grease that falls on the cooking surface. It eliminates flare-ups and also creates smoke which adds flavors the food.
Grates help to maintain the heat of a tabletop grill. There are various types of grates- stainless steel, cast iron, and chrome-plated grates. The stainless steel is easy to clean; cast iron holds a lot of heat, and chrome-plated grates are lightweight. It is up to you to decide which will work best for you.
There are two types of igniters- Electronic and Battery Powered ignition. Most tabletop grills use electronic igniters as they are more efficient and effective compared to battery-powered ones. The electronic igniters come with a push button that makes starting the grill quick and easy. In case the igniters suddenly stop working, you can start the grill manually by using matches or candle lighters.
Type of Fuel
You can choose a grill depending on the type of fuel that is more convenient for you. The most common fuel sources are charcoal, propane, and wood. All these sources come with their pros and cons. Charcoal and wood offer flavorful meals, but they can be messy which makes it difficult to clean. Propane grills, on the other hand, is easy to clean but lacks smoke-flavored taste.
Always go for a tabletop grill material that is easy to clean. Generally, stainless steel grills make cleaning a breeze. Apart from the material, you should also consider other things like grease management system or ashtray feature. Grease management system consists of a drip tray which collects grease from food. For charcoal grills, you can look up for one that has an ashtray. Another thing to consider is whether or not you want a dishwasher safe grill.
Tabletop grills are usually lightweight and compact to make transportation easy. But there are some components such as foldable legs that come in handy when moving the grill from one place to another. Other features you can look out for are cool-to-touch handles, secure lids, and a carry bag.
When it comes to purchasing a tabletop grill, it all comes down to the cash you’re willing to spend. High-quality grills tend to cost more than low-quality ones. It does not mean, however, that low price grills are not durable and long lasting.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) On Tabletop Grills
Q: Why should I buy a tabletop grill and not any other grill?
A: Well, for starters, a tabletop grill is portable- you can take it with you anywhere you want. These grills are also easy to use. Because of the small size, there is little space between your food and heat, so your food will cook quickly. The grill also uses less fuel compared to other traditional grills.
Q: What is the ideal cooking surface area for a tabletop grill?
A: Generally, tabletop grills are compact to make them more portable. So, you shouldn’t expect a large cooking surface area. Most of them are between 100 to 250 square inches. When it comes to the cooking area, it all depends on the number of people you are serving. If it’s just one or two people, then there’s no need to buy a grill with a large surface.
Q: Which is better chrome-plated, stainless steel, or cast iron grate?
A: It depends on your preference. If you prefer a grate that is easy to clean and can hold temperatures, then stainless steel will do. Cast iron grates are the best option when it comes to retaining heat. The only disadvantage is they tend to rust. If you want a more compact and lightweight grill, then you can go for chrome-plated grates. Just keep in mind that being lightweight means that it can’t hold heat for long.
Q: Do I need more than one burner?
A: As long as you go for high-quality grills, then one burner is more than sufficient. The most important thing is the burner should be made of durable materials like stainless steel.
Q: Can I place my tabletop grill on a plastic table?
A: No! You should avoid using a plastic table because it will end up melting. In addition to this, plastic material usually emits toxic chemicals which can lead to various health issues. Stick to a picnic table or better yet a grilling table.
With so many tabletop grills on the market, it can be overwhelming finding one that suits your needs. That’s why we went ahead and broke it all down for you. We hope that this article has at least given you some great ideas for your next purchase.