In this article, we’re going to take a deep dive look at the best tabletop grills on the market today.
You know those pictures you see in ads of epic backyard kitchens? The kind that makes most people’s indoor kitchens look sad? If you have such a space, congratulations – and please invite us over for dinner sometime!
Some folks, however, have a very small space available for grilling. Perhaps you have a small patio or balcony? Or, maybe you only cook for one or two people and don’t need a large grill? Perhaps you travel a lot and spend time camping or RVing.
All of these are excellent reasons to own a tabletop grill.
If you think a tabletop grill belongs in your future, keep reading to learn what to look for and what to avoid before you buy. Plus, we’ll tell you where you shouldn’t use one.
But first, let’s start with tabletop grill reviews, looking at the best ones in various categories, from gas fueled to charcoal, indoor and outdoor, and from premium to budget models.
At a Glance: The Best Tabletop Grills Discussed in our Guide
- Weber Q2200 Liquid Propane Grill
- Giantex Propane TableTop Gas Grill Stainless Steel Two-Burner
- CUISINART CGG-180T Portable Propane Gas Grill
- Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill
- Blackstone 22″ Tabletop Griddle Outdoor Grill
- Hamilton Beach Electric Searing Grill
- Masterbuilt Propane Tabletop Grill
- Cuisinart CGG-200 All Foods Tabletop Gas Grill
- Char-Griller Table Top Charcoal Grill and Side Fire Box
Best Tabletop Grill Reviews
Here are the best of the best, top tabletop grills available in 2021.
Not all Tabletop Grills are Created Equal
While tabletop grills are incredibly convenient, they can’t be used just anywhere. Many of them get very hot (that’s kind of the point, right?), making them unsafe for use on certain surfaces.
Metal, like on a tailgate, is totally fine. Generally speaking, you’re safe on most wood surfaces, like picnic tables, too, although even there it’s best to put something underneath the grill, if only to catch any grease drips.
What you should never do is use a tabletop grill on a plastic table, unless the table was designed for grilling. You run the risk of melting the surface of the table, thus ruining it, plus you’re releasing toxic chemicals into the air. If you’re grilling on a picnic table, don’t have a tablecloth underneath.
If you really don’t have a good spot to use your tabletop grill, there are specially made tables you can buy just for the job. They’re lightweight, easy to move around, and offer convenient workspaces. Here are three of the best we’ve seen:
- Weber Portable Charcoal Table
- GCI Outdoor Slim-Fold Camp Kitchen
- Cuisinart CFGS-222 Take Along Grill Stand
What to Look for When You’re Buying a Tabletop Grill
If you plan on shopping on your own, here are some things to look for when you’re buying a tabletop grill.
The most basic question you have to ask yourself is what you want your fuel source to be – charcoal or propane. Both types have pros and cons. Just ask yourself which type makes more sense for you and how you plan on using your tabletop grill.
Both require carrying fuel with you if you’re going mobile, but once you use charcoal, it’s gone. Propane tanks, not so much. On the other hand, if you’re mostly at home and not needing to lug gear around, propane fires up more quickly.
The choice is yours, and there’s no wrong answer – just make sure to pick the solution that’s most right for you.
While not 100% necessary, if you plan on taking your grill camping, tailgating, or picnicking, folding legs make packing a lot easier. Those few extra inches can make a big difference if you’re short on space.
Even if they don’t fold, make sure the legs provide sufficient clearance to keep the hot exterior of the grill away from whatever surface it’s resting on.
Note: We also have a guide dedicated to the best camping grills you may want to check out.
Again, this is only a relevant factor if you mean to take your tabletop grill on the road, boat, or trail. There’s no point in buying something for portability and it be too heavy to carry comfortably. We can’t tell you what’s too heavy, of course. Only you know what you can comfortably carry.
If you plan on leaving it at home, also consider where you plan to use it. A 40-pound grill on a rickety old table is a very bad combination.
A good tabletop grill should have a handle – or handles – to make it easy to carry. For short moves, a pair of side handles will do. For real portability, though, we favor a top handle, either lunchbox or briefcase style.
Make sure those handles are solidly attached! Flimsy welds or tiny screws could lead to an accident.
You don’t want ash or other debris strewn about your vehicle or pack, so look for a lid you can lock shut during transit.
That’s What Little Grills are Made of
The grills may be little, but there’s a lot of information to sift through before you make a decision. What we can promise you, though, is you’ll have a lot of fun with your tabletop grill! The freedom to grill when you want, and where you want is so worth the investment. Just remember to season your new grill before you first cook food on it
Don’t be the only one having fun, though! Hook your friends and family up so we can help with their search for the best tabletop grill, by sharing the link. Group outings are so much better with multiple grills.
And please feel free to send us your questions, tips, gripes, comments – whatever you’ve got! We’re always happy to hear from our readers and will answer every comment.
Thanks for joining us today and hopefully we’ll see you again soon!