Having a daily routine can be great, but over time, it might become a bit dry and dull. So how do you counter that? Allow more spontaneity in your life!
How about a spontaneous BBQ with your friends every once in a while?
Few things can top that.
So what do you need to always be ready for an unexpected grill? The answer is - a tabletop grill.
This lightweight, portable contraption can be ready to go in no-time, and most importantly, you can bring the grill along with you anywhere you go. Just imagine the possibilities!
Now that we got your attention, we’d like to assist you in purchasing one of these products. We have prepared a buying guide and a list of reviews which are going to help you find the best tabletop grill for your needs.
So, without further ado, let's get into it.
Table of Contents
- Top 3 Best Tabletop Grills: A Comparison Chart
- Why Get A Tabletop Grill?
- Top 5 Best Tabletop Grills of 2019 - Our Honest Reviews
- #1. Giantex Propane Tabletop Grill – A Powerhouse Gas Grill
- #2. Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Tabletop Grill – Best Tabletop Grill for Camping
- #3. Cuisinart CGG-200 Tabletop Gas Grill – Best Tabletop Grill for Parties
- #4. Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill – Best Budget-Friendly Tabletop Grill
- #5. Char-Griller E22424 Tabletop Grill – Best Heavy Duty Tabletop Grill
- How To Find The Best Tabletop Grill For You: Buyer’s Guide
- Final Thoughts & Recommendations
Top 3 Best Tabletop Grills: A Comparison Chart
Why Get A Tabletop Grill?
As we already mentioned, the main benefits of a tabletop grill are its portability and size. It has the same function as any ol’ grill, but it provides much more flexibility in terms of space and location.
All that a tabletop grill needs is, well, a tabletop that’s big enough to hold it. Each of these grills has legs that elevate it from the area it stands on, thus making it safe to use on any (hard) surface.
Tabletop grills are (usually) powered by either charcoal or gas, each of which has their good and bad sides but they mostly do the same thing.
Almost every model includes a lid or cover that prevents heat from escaping, speeds up cooking, and decreases the expenditure of the heat source.
One more advantage of a small cooking surface is that there will be less to clean up after you’re done. All in all, tabletop grills are highly practical, very simple to use, and don’t take up a lot of space.
Top 5 Best Tabletop Grills of 2019 - Our Honest Reviews
We’ve come to the meat and potatoes of this article - the reviews.
In the following sections, you can read detailed analyses of some of the best tabletop grills on the market.
A model that’s going to spark some interests is definitely the Gigantex Propane tabletop grill. What sets it apart from the competing models is the power, so let’s talk a bit about that now.
This grill features two-burners which can produce a BTU of 20,000. To put this into perspective, an average gas grill can reach somewhere between 10,000 and 13,000, so Gigantex is quite a beast. Each of the burners has a separate control, which gives you more flexibility when preparing food on it.
Made of stainless steel, the grill has a rather heavy-duty look, which we personally find cool. Don’t worry it’s lighter than it looks. As for the additional features, you'll get a thermometer built into the lid, as well as the folding legs.
A problem that some customers complained about is the coarseness of the controls, so it might be difficult to set the desired temperature. Also, the legs turn out slightly uneven on some units.
The following model is made by a company that needs no special introduction - Cuisinart, and as expected, it has lived up to its name. The CGG-180T is a serious contestant for the title of the most portable grill, so let’s see what qualifies it.
The grill is truly petite and looks like a suitcase when all of its parts are folded and closed, which makes it super easy to transport. Really, kudos to the designers; they’ve done a stellar job with this one.
Once set up, the grill has a surface which can hold around eight burgers at a time, so it’ll cook you lunch without any problems.
The heat source that this model uses is gas, and it is among the less powerful ones on today’s list. The output of the grill is only about 5,500 BTUs so some folks might find it too weak.
As for the other features, there are foldable legs with stabilizing feet, which indeed make the entire structure very stable. There is also the temperature control knob as well as a lid lock for added safety.
Camping and picnic enthusiasts or those whose primary concern is portability will probably be satisfied with the CGG-180T.
If you’ve read the previous review, you won’t be surprised to see another Cuisinart grill on this list. Compared to the last model, the CGG-200 isn’t so ideal for camping trips, but it’s more of a compact option for a home grill.
This grill is one of the bigger tabletop grills that you’ll ever encounter, and its cooking surface amounts to 240 square inches. It also has two side shelves, one on the left and one on the right, which is ideal when preparing a lot of meat, as you would at parties.
The CGG-200 is a gas-powered grill and includes two burners. Unfortunately, they cannot be adjusted separately, as there is only one temperature control knob. Their overall output is 12,000, which is pretty good.
Now, the main reason why we feel that this model isn’t optimal for trips is that its legs aren’t foldable, nor does it have a lid lock. However, it’ll be excellent for RVing as you’ll have a lot of packing space.
This is a well-built grill that’s going to last you a long time, and it comes at a price that’s not exactly cheap, but we’d say it’s a fair deal.
What if gas-powered grills aren’t exactly your thing, though? The Weber Jumbo Joe might be what you’re after here. Aimed at grill enthusiasts, it combines the more hands-on cooking experience of charcoal grills with the convenience and portability of typical tabletop grills.
Also, it’s, by far, the cheapest tabletop grill you’ll find on the market. So, if you’re working with a very tight budget, this could be the perfect solution for you.
Construction-wise, it resembles Weber’s larger kettles – round, simple, and sturdy. The grill’s body is made of porcelain-enameled steel, along with the rust-resistant aluminum dampers on the lid, as well as on the bottom of the unit for better airflow and temperature control, and the aluminum ash catcher integrated into the grill’s three-legged stand.
The unit is surprisingly compact and portable, but doesn’t compromise cooking space – you’re still getting 240 square inches to grill on here.
Overall, it feels and performs like a full-size Weber charcoal grill, but don’t get carried away trying to fit an entire chicken in it – the limited clearance under the lid won’t allow it. Trust me I tried.
Also, I wish it had a built-in temperature gauge – it would’ve truly made this the perfect portable charcoal grill.
There’s just something appealing about owning a “proper” grill, and I think guys can relate to this more than girls. The grill is the “man’s kitchen,” and if you feel like that, then you’ll want to check out the Char-Griller E22424.
This model is perfect for folks who want to have a heavy-duty, sturdy grill but also want it to be compact and portable. The E22424 combines the best of both worlds. We’re basically talking about a steel barrel with legs and a lid which makes it very “macho” looking.
Inside you’ll find cast iron cooking grates with a surface of 240 square inches, so it’s pretty big for a tabletop grill. It also has a sliding drawer which gives you access to the charcoal whenever you need to stir it up.
You're probably aware that this is, by no means, a lightweight model, but with a weight of 40 pounds, it's not terribly heavy either.
There’s one more thing that you need to know about this grill. The company advertises it as attachable to any other Char-Griller barrel, which is true. However, if you attach it to a bigger grill, you won’t be able to take it off so easily.
How To Find The Best Tabletop Grill For You: Buyer’s Guide
So, how do you choose the model that best suits you?
These are the factors that you need to consider
1. What Brings the Heat?
The most important characteristic of a tabletop grill is its heat source, and if you remember, we mentioned two of them - charcoal and gas.
As you know, these two elements are very different and may make your grilling experience more or less convenient, depending on what you’re looking for.
The gas creates a fire at a flick of a switch, and your grill will be heated up and ready to roll in a very short time. However, you’ll have to have a gas tank with you at all times, so it’s not the ideal option for picnics.
The grill that uses charcoal will require more preparation (lighting a fire, heating up the coals), but it’s more portable than a gas-powered one.
Tieing right into the previous section, we’re going to cover the difference in temperature between the two heat sources.
Those who are looking for a high-temperature grill should go for the charcoal one, hands down. Charcoal can reach a temperature two times higher than the gas grill, and this is important if you like to sear and char your meat (or veggies).
On the other hand, a gas grill gives you more control over the heat as it is adjustable, so it will provide you with more flexibility when cooking.
When analyzing gas grills, you’ll encounter a unit called BTU (British Thermal Unit) which tells you how much power your grill is able to create. BTUs of different models can greatly vary, so unless you’re looking for something super-powerful (13,000 and more) anything from 5,000 to 12,000 will do just fine.
The choice is yours, my friend!
3. Size of the Cooking Surface
Overall, tabletop grills are rather small compared to “standard” grills. However, there are significant differences within this category too.
Now, let’s try to determine the ideal size for you.
How many people will you be cooking for on average?
The more people there are to be fed, the bigger the grill should be. It’s a no-brainer really.
How important is portability to you?
If you’re planning on bringing the grill on picnics often, then a smaller one would be preferable. Yes, your cooking surface won’t be huge, but it’ll be easier to fit in your car.
4. Additional Features and Useful Options
Ok, so we're done with all the essentials, and now it's time to take a look at some features that are not necessary but will make your life a bit easier.
Side surfaces are more commonly found with gas models, and they can be used to hold uncooked or cooked meat. This is great because you don't have to dirty the table or plates.
Folding legs. Because they'll make the grill more compact and easier to transport. Since every tabletop grill has legs, you might as well find one that can fold them.
Lid lock is used to prevent any heat from escaping the grill, once the lid is down of course. The lock also doubles as a safety measure if you've got kids running around.
Thermometers are a fantastic feature for those who know exactly how they like their meat and want to make sure that it's cooked that way. If you're interested in this, find a model with a built-in thermometer. Be aware that its temperature reading might be off by 5-10 degrees, but that shouldn't be a big deal.
As convenient as these additional are, they often increase the price of the product, and sometimes by a hefty sum.
There's no need to spend all this extra money on minor details, so first make sure that you the essential elements of the grill and then consider all of the accessories.
Read more —
Final Thoughts & Recommendations
Now that you’ve learned all about how wonderfully practical tabletop grills are it’s time to answer the question of which model is the best.
In my humble opinion, it would be the Gigantex Propane tabletop grill due to its sheer power, the versatility that two burners bring, and the solid metal construction. The dimensions of this model allow it to be both a “grill-to-go” and a backyard grill.
- 【Giantex Tabletop Grill】: Giantex 2-Burner stainless steel tabletop grill is built for the BBQ-grillers, Construct of 430 stainless steel offers durability and easy-to-clean surfaces.
- 【Easy To Operate】: Two push-and-turn ignition burners for quick and easy start-ups. It offers 20,000 total BTUs and reaches high temperatures quickly with each burner independently adjustable.
- 【Foldable Design】: Foldable legs and lockable lid for portable transport and storage. Also make it more easily transportion or storage.It is perfect for dinner party and camping.
- 【Light-weight & Safety Use】: CSA standard approved gas grills. Light-weight and with locking hood for transport and storage.
- 【Widely Use】: Perfect for tailgating, camping, picnics, boating or anywhere your travels take you. Overall dimensions: 22” x 18” x 15” (L x W x H) is suitable for home using, Easy assemble...
Well, I hope that this does it for you, but if you happen to have any additional questions – or suggestions – drop me a line below!
Enjoy your grill responsibly!