In this article, we’re going to take an in-depth look at the best tabletop grills available on today’s marketplace.
Tabletop grills are an often overlooked category of barbecue style. Most table top grills have the same great features of a larger grill, just in a smaller package.
They’re perfect for someone who doesn’t have a ton of space for a traditional barbecue, like on a small patio, balcony or RV. They’re also very convenient for someone who likes to barbecue on the go.
In this guide, I’ll show you the ten best tabletop gas grills available for almost any kind of need. I’ll also go into detail about what you need to look for in a tabletop grill.
What To Look For in a Tabletop Grill
When you’re thinking about buying a tabletop grill, there are several important things you should consider to get the most value for your money. Here are some important areas you should think carefully about to make the best choice.
One of the major reasons people prefer tabletop grills is the portability they provide. This isn’t that important if the grill is going to be permanently stationed in your backyard or balcony. But if you’re the type that likes to barbecue on the go, you’ll want a unit that weighs less than 50 pounds. It should also have detachable or fold-able legs so you can set it up anywhere, with or without a table, and be able to put it back into your vehicle easily.
Grilling Surface Area
A tabletop grill isn’t intended for really large gatherings, and you’ll probably never host a party for 20 people using a tabletop grill. However, there are still plenty of grill sizes available in the tabletop grill category. What’s important to consider is how many people you intend to feed at one time.
Generally, you want a grill that has at least 150 square inches of cooking area (or close to it), in order to make enough food for a family of four. This allows you to cook about 8 burgers or 6 to 10 chicken breasts.
You also want to consider if the grill has a warming rack, which provides a separate area to keep food hot while you’re finishing other items that take longer to cook.
Number of Burners
The number of burners is important because they provide control over the heat. If you have multiple burners, you’re able to have separate heat zones to cook food at different rates. This is a nice feature if you want to cook different foods at the same time, such as searing a steak while cooking chicken breasts. A single burner grill only allows for one heat zone.
Ease of Use
One very important factor to consider in a tabletop grill is how easy it is to use.
Most tabletop grill models have electronic ignition, which allows you to light the grill with the push of a button. This is extremely convenient if you don’t want to have to try to light your grill in outdoor conditions like wind or rain.
Ease of cleaning is also another important factor to consider. Because of their smaller size, tabletop grills need to be cleaned regularly. Easy to get to drip trays, grease catch systems, and durable grates with stain resistant protection all help to make cleaning the grill easier.
You want your new tabletop grill to last a very long time, so look for one that’s made of rugged materials and can take a beating. Look for ones with stainless steel or die-cast aluminum materials.
Finally, look for models that includes the longest warranty available.
Some models only include a 90-day warranty. But some models, such as the Cuisinart Chef’s Style Stainless Tabletop Grill have a 3 year warranty. The Napoleon Travel Q Portable Grill has a lifetime warranty on most of its components!
Although you may never need to use the warranties on these, it’ll be nice to have if you do need it years from now.
The Top 10 Best Tabletop Grills for 2020
Here is our list of the top tabletop grills available in 2020. I start with the top overall choices, then go into the best options for different needs.
For a truly great cooking experience on the go, consider the Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 Portable TRU-Infrared Gas Grill. This sturdy little grill is perhaps the best tabletop infrared grill available.
If you’ve never tried an infrared grill before, you should check it out. In contrast to traditional gas grills which heat food through convection (hot air), infrared grills cook food through radiant heat.
Some kind of solid surface, like a ceramic plate, is heated by the burners which then radiates the heat upward to the grates. This design creates a separation between the burners and the food which keeps it from flaring up or smoking and helps produce juicier food.
It has 200 square inches of cooking surface with a single 9,500 BTU burner and stainless steel cooking grates.
The Char-Broil TRU Infrared Grill2Go X200 Portable is also very rugged. It’s built like a piece of military hardware, with a die cast aluminum locking lid and sturdy side handles. It can take a beating.
- Road worthy and built to travel easy
- Cast aluminum firebox and lid with dual stainless steel latches and temp gauge
- High-impact frame with legs and carry handles
If you’re looking for the best small tabletop propane grill on the market, the Napoleon Travel Q Portable Grill may be the right choice for you.
Not only does it look really cool (like a colorful UFO in my opinion), but it’s fold-able design is extremely easy to transport or place into small storage spaces. It can be set up in under 10 seconds, according to the manufacturer.
A stainless steel burner provides 10,500 BTUs of heat across 225 square inches of cooking surface. Despite being a very compact portable grill, it provides enough cooking area for at least a family of four.
The Napoleon Travel Q has an optional table stand available, which gives it a sturdy surface to set up in any location like a park, outdoor concert, campsite, or beach.
What I like best about this grill is its durability. There are lots of reviews of the Travel Q on Amazon talking about how long this small tabletop gas grill lasts, even when exposed to the elements. People love it, and you probably will, too.
- Large 225 square inch efficient cooking grid
- 10,500 BTU circular stainless steel burner for even cooking
- Sets up in 10 seconds and uses standard portable propane cylinders
The beautifully designed Cuisinart Chef’s Style Stainless Tabletop Grill takes a spot on our list for one important reason – it’s a professional grade tabletop grill that gets the job done and doesn’t cost a lot.
It has 2 stainless steel burners that produce 20,000 BTUs of heat across 276 square inches of primary cooking area. With so much heat power, it gets hot very fast, and can provide a perfect sear on steaks quickly.
This stainless steel tabletop gas grill weighs in at 22 pounds, not exactly the lightest tabletop model on the list, but portable enough to be able to transport relatively easily.
It has twist start ignition, folding table legs, and adjustable temperature control knobs that provide excellent heat control.
What I like best about this tabletop grill is its quality. Cuisinart is known for producing top-of-the-line kitchen equipment, and the Cuisinart Chef’s Style Stainless Tabletop Grill definitely lives up to its brand’s reputation.
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If you’re looking for a no-frills tabletop grill for camping, the Char-Broil Gas 200 Portable Gas Grill may be just what you’re looking for.
It’s constructed of durable stainless steel, ensuring it will last for a long time and resist rusting.
A single burner produces 10,000 BTUs of heat across 200 square inches of cooking surface. That amount of heat across such a small area helps it heat up hot and quickly.
What I like best about the Char-Broil Gas 200 Portable Gas Grill is the price – it’s on the cheaper side (around $100). At that price, you’re getting a great tabletop grill that will help make all your camping adventures memorable.
- 200 square inch total cooking area
- Durable stainless steel construction
- Durable stainless steel wire grates
The Grillerette Pro Take Anywhere BBQ Grill is one of my FAVORITE tabletop outdoor grills. It has a totally unique design that makes tabletop cooking really fun!
This is not a gas grill, it’s a small charcoal grill that’s meant for tabletop grilling. The main benefit of using charcoal is it gives meat a lovely smokey flavor. Who doesn’t enjoy the delicious smell of a charcoal barbecue?
The way this grill works is you first fill a small canister in the center with charcoal or wood pieces and burning gel. You light the gel on fire and set the charcoal canister on top of that. The flames from the gel burn the charcoal. A battery-powered fan pulls air downward to keep the coals burning hot.
A large grill plate fits down over the hot charcoal, providing about 200 inches of cooking surface which is about perfect for a small family or couple.
What I like best about this round tabletop grill is how similar it is to a traditional Korean barbecue style grill. Koreans have a long history of preparing food on a tabletop charcoal grill, and it’s a lot of fun. Get this grill and invite your friends over for a Korean Barbecue party!
This grill takes longer to set up and get hot because it’s a charcoal tabletop grill. But if you enjoy the ceremony of a tabletop barbecue and don’t like to rush, the Grillerette Pro Take Anywhere BBQ Grill is the perfect grill for you.
- A BETTER PORTABLE BBQ: The Grillerette Pro is a lightweight, portable, battery-powered charcoal grill that is perfect for every occasion. Portable bbq grill for camping, tailgating, travel and more!
- 90% LESS SMOKE: Innovative grill plate design blocks grease from spilling on the charcoal, which creates a 90% reduction in smoke!
- AUTHENTIC CHARCOAL FLAVOR: Your food is enhanced with a hint of smokiness and authentic charcoal flavor!
If you’re like me, you love to grill on the go. You need a grill that’s ultra-portable and doesn’t take up a lot of storage space. This is where the Cuisinart Petit Gourmet Gas Grill really shines.
Weighing in at a mere 13 ½ pounds with lid locks and a large carrying handle, this attractive tabletop BBQ grill can be carried easily to any location and set up quickly.
One stainless steel burner provides 5,500 BTUs of heat across a 145 square inch porcelain-enameled cooking grate. It’s able to cook about 8 hamburgers, 8 steaks, 6-10 chicken breasts, or 4 lbs of fish at one time.
Although it doesn’t have a tremendous amount of heat power, this grill gets hot quickly and easily. That’s important when you’re trying to enjoy your time with friends and family, not waiting around for your grill to reach cooking temperatures.
What I like best about this portable tabletop grill is it can be easily transported wherever you go, thanks to its small size. It may not be the most impressive table top BBQ, but it gets the job done quickly and well.
- Portable gas grill with 145-square-inch grilling area and foldaway legs
- Cooks 8 burgers, 8 steaks, 6 to 10 chicken breasts, or 4 pounds of fish
- Powerful 5,500 BTU stainless-steel burner and even-heating porcelain-enameled grate
The Blackstone 22-Inch Tabletop Griddle is a fantastic tabletop cooking tool that lets you grill things you can’t normally cook on a traditional barbecue, like eggs, pancakes, grilled vegetables, fish, and lots more. It comes in two sizes, a 17 inch and 22 inch model.
If you’re not familiar with flat top grills, you should check them out. Also known as a gas griddle, hibachi, or teppanyaki, these devices have large flat cooking surfaces and are excellent for camping, tailgating, outdoor parties, and more.
The Blackstone 22-Inch Tabletop Griddle has 330 inches of cast iron cooking surface, which is enough to cook a full meal for a family of four.
It uses two independently-controlled H-style burners to produce 24,000 BTUs of heat, powered by a standard disposable propane gas canister. It can be connected to a 20 pound propane tank using an optional adapter.
What I like best about this table top griddle is how easy it is to clean up. The built-in grease channel and catch helps move grease and fat away from your food and into a cup at the back. Simply wipe or scrape the grill surface to clean.
Pro tip: Season this griddle prior to first use! Heat it up to maximum temperature and apply an even layer of cooking oil. Let it “burn in” for a few minutes, then scrape off the excess and repeat. The griddle will turn slightly dark.
- PERFECT SIZE - With 330 sq. inches cooking surface, this portable grill makes it easy to cook a quick, full meal wherever you are without the hassle of setting up a full sized grill
- ADJUSTABLE HEAT ZONES - Two independently controlled H burners makes for a versatile cooking surface where you can cook several foods at once and not burn a thing! Also allowing the option to keep certain foods warm while others cook.
- REAR GREASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - Built in grease channel and catch draws grease away from your food. Allows for easy clean up at then end of each use
Weber is known in the barbecue industry as a maker of premium gas grills, and the Weber Q1000 Liquid Propane Grill definitely lives up to its brand’s reputation.
As one of the few grills available that comes fully assembled, it can be ready to go in minutes. Just take it out of the box, hook it up to a propane cylinder, and you can start cooking immediately.
With a single 8,500 BTU burner and 189 square inches of grilling area, the Weber Q1000 is a bit on the smaller size. But don’t let its size fool you, this table top gas grill has most of the features you might expect in a larger grill.
It has premium cast iron grates which take a little longer to heat up, but they retain a lot of heat and help provide excellent grill marks on your food. It even has push-button ignition and infinite control burner valves.
What I like best about this model is the design – it’s beautiful! You may not be intentionally looking to impress your fellow grill heads, but with the Weber Q1000 you’ll certainly turn some heads.
- One stainless steel burner produces 8500 BTU-per-hour to heat 189 square-inch total cooking area
- Porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates and cast aluminum lid and body
- Fully assembled out of box. Dimensions - lid closed (inches): 14.5H x 27W x 12D inches
The Smokey Joe is a popular kettle-style charcoal tabletop grill. It’s lightweight and easy to transport, making it a perfect portable charcoal grill option. It’s built by Weber, a company known for its quality outdoor grills.
The plated steel cooking grates hold onto heat pretty well and provides you with enough cooking area for around 6 burgers or 3 steaks.
It’s large enough to allow for different temperature zones around the grill.
It has a porcelain-enameled lid and bowl that help retain heat and provide rust and peeling resistance.
Smokey Joe is a pretty basic model without any fancy bells and whistles, but it does its job well. If you’re looking for a good charcoal tabletop grill that’s also inexpensive, give ole’ Smokey Joe a try.
- Holds up to five burgers made with a Weber burger press
- Compact and lightweight for grilling on the go
- Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat, and won’t rust or peel
If you’re looking for one of the most affordable tabletop grills on the market, the Coleman Party Propane Grill is a good choice.
Don’t let the low price fool you, this is still a good tabletop grill model.
An 8,000 BTU burner produces plenty of heat to get this little grill very hot very quickly.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a lid so it’s not ideal under windy conditions. It also tends to get a hot spot under the center area if used on high heat.
What else can you say about this grill? It’s cheap, it does its job, and it’s super easy to move around. That works for me.
- Compact, portable BBQ grill ideal for camping, picnics, and tailgating
- Delivers 8,000 BTUs of cooking power across grilling surface
- InstaStart push-button ignition for convenient matchless lighting
With so many great models available, picking the best tabletop barbecue grill for you may be a bit of a challenge. Hopefully this list provided you with some good options to choose from.
If you’re still undecided, I’d recommend the Cuisinart Petit Gourmet Gas Grill as a good well-rounded choice. It’s affordable, has great features, is very portable, and looks fantastic.
Whichever portable tabletop propane grill you pick from this list, you’ll probably be very happy with, so have fun and buy that grill you’ve always wanted.
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