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 10 Best Tabletop Grills of 2021 - Our Honest Reviews
- #1. Hamilton Beach Electric Indoor Searing Grill - Best Pick
- #2. Giantex Propane Tabletop Grill – A Powerhouse Gas Grill
- #3. Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Tabletop Grill – Best Tabletop Grill for Camping
- #4. Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill – Best Budget-Friendly Tabletop Grill
- #5. Weber 50060001 Q1000 Liquid Propane Grill - Best Gas Tabletop Grill
- #6. Coleman Gas Grill - Best Tabletop Grill With Two Burners
- #7. Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 Portable TRU-Infrared - Best Durable Design
- #8. Char-Griller E22424 Tabletop Grill – Best Heavy Duty Tabletop Grill
- #9. Cuisinart CCG190RB Portable Charcoal Grill - Best for Smaller Crowds
- #10. Oklahoma Joe's Rambler Portable Charcoal Grill - Best for Home & Camping Use
- How to Find the Best Tabletop Grill for You: Buyer’s Guide
- Final Thoughts & Recommendations
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 10 Best Tabletop Grills of 2021 - 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.
No camping trip would be complete without this great Hamilton Beach electric grill! This is the best tabletop grill you can find in the 2021 market, and it's an electric model! So, it offers all the convenience you need when you are on the go.
Now, let's check out some of its most important features so you can see just why this is our best pick.
For starters, the Hamilton electric grill allows you to lock in all the flavors and juices of the meat! You can sear the produce at 450 degrees or if you want a customizable process, use a temperature dial.
The Hamilton tabletop grill is also easy to use. It has an indicator light that alerts you when you can use the grill. That being said, it's perfect for beginners facing the charms of a grill for the first time.
On the lid, there is a window that allows you to observe the grilling process. This also ensures all the heat is trapped inside, so you don't have to open the top each time you want to take a sneak peek.
Moreover, the tabletop grill is super easy to clean! The parts, including a large drip tray, indoor grill hood, and grill plate, are removable and dishwasher-safe! I told you you would be amazed! It's perfect for a busy lifestyle when you can't spare a couple of hours scrubbing the grill.
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.
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.
You have to have heard about Weber grills! They are one of the most popular grills on the market, and it's for a reason as well! Their full-sized models are a real gem, so it's time we take a look at the tabletop version and see what it can offer you.
The Weber 50060001 portable grill is made out of stainless steel that delivers 8,500 BTUs to heat the 189 sq in a cooking area! The cooking area might not seem that big, but this is perfect for small crowd gatherings.
On it, you can cook around 6-7 burgers at a time and genuinely enjoy grilling. Moreover, the design features a cast aluminum body and lid, which will deliver a durable and long-lasting use!
We love it the most because you don't have to go over the hassle of assembling this grill. It already comes entirely made out of the box, so there are no tricky installations you should dread over.
Overall dimensions of this tabletop grill measure out in 14.5H x 27W x 16.5D," which is super helpful when you want to take it along!
The start-up is also relatively easy to use. There is a push-button ignition and infinite control burner valve settings that are perfect for beginners. It uses liquid petroleum gas fuel, but you have to purchase the cartridge separately.
Next, we have another gas grill all of you grillers will appreciate! This one comes with all the features necessary for a successful camping trip! Come on; it's time we take a closer look.
The Coleman gas grill has a spacious cooking area of 225 square inches and delivers 11,000 BTUs to heat the area. It's perfect for your next party as it can fit a lot of meat or veggies on its grills!
You can genuinely wow all your friends with the innovative features this grill offers, such as temperature control, swappable cooktops, and more that will deliver the best-grilled produce.
This Coleman portable tabletop grill has two temperature zones which allow you to enjoy a more controlled temperature on both sides. If the meat requires more heat, you can place it separate from the veggies, which need a low-heat treatment. Now, isn't that amazing?!
You will truly appreciate that this grill comes fully assembled, so there is no messy assembly! Plus, it can be placed on most flat surfaces, but you should avoid plastic ones.
We mentioned that this portable grill features swappable grates you can genuinely benefit from. In addition, the cast-iron grates are effortlessly interchangeable so that you can prepare more meals!
It even offers an easy start-up with the push-button ignition that eliminates the use of matches.
Honestly, the review would not be complete if we didn't include one Char-Broil item! You will appreciate this portable tabletop grill if you value quality, magnificent performance, and budget prices.
To begin with, the Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 is a gas grill you can take on any of your next camping trips. It's made out of hard-cast aluminum construction, which allows for easy grilling and no sticky business.
This is rather heavy-duty construction, so if you were looking for a sturdy and durable grill, this is the one you should get.
There are no flare-ups with this tabletop grill. It features a unique cooking grate technology with a TRU-infrared system that spreads heat evenly. Because of this, a barrier is created between a grill and the food so you can forget about the flare-ups.
Moreover, the same system will not allow for cold spots!
Instead, it will let the grill cook evenly with the same temperature throughout the grates. Plus, you can adjust the desired temperature whether it's high or low!
Lastly, the Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 portable grill has a 200 square inches cooking space area which is enough for a smaller crowd of friends! In addition, it can cook up to 8 burgers at the same time.
It has high-impact legs which can be folded for a space-saving design and easier portability. This is the perfect pick for grilling dates, camping trips, picking, or alike when you don't want to carry a bulky grill along.
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.
Let's move on to the Cuisinart portable charcoal grill. This is a classic red design no chef can resist! Whether you are mainly a home cook or a professional, you will value the glorious performance Cuisinart offers. So, let's see what is so special about this portable grill.
The Cuisinart CCG190RB portable grill is super lightweight for starters so that you can take it pretty much anywhere! This unit weighs only 2 pounds! Yes, you read that correctly! It's a piece of cake to pack on the back of your trunk or even take it along on a bike.
Its space-saving design is convenient for those who don't want to hassle with heavy-duty units. Plus, it's secure to carry as the lid locks in place, so you won't make a huge mess when you want to bring it.
Moreover, the grill's cooking capacity is perfect for a smaller crowd! It has a 14-inch cooking grate which results in 150 square inches of cooking space. Wonder just how much that can benefit you? Well, you can cook up to three burgers and three hot dogs at the same time.
It's not the best pick for those who plan on a bigger BBQ session as the cooking surface will not cut it. In addition, it will take you a lot of time to cook everything, which is not what you signed up for.
But, this is a perfect tabletop grill for those camping trips with just you and your closest pals.
The Oklahoma Joe's grill is yet another trendy pick among chefs! You ought to hear about the brand from some of our previous reviews as we value its supreme quality and the impeccable reputation they hold for years now!
What we appreciate the most about this Oklahoma Joe's grill is its versatility! It's sturdy and tough enough to serve you as a home grill but also portable when you want to hit the road.
It has taken some of the best parts that the charcoal grill offers and combined them into the tabletop version every camper will love! This portable grill is made out of stainless steel with the height-adjustable tray and air dampers!
I have to admit real quick, this is one of the most impressive qualities and builds we have ever come across regarding tabletop versions. It even features a full-sized removable ashtray pan which delivers a quick and easy clean-up.
With its thick cast-iron grates, you can achieve perfect sizzling sear! It's incredible to think that a tabletop version of a grill can offer you such performance and functions.
The Oklahoma Joe's grill has 218 square inches of grilling area surface, perfect for a small group of friends. It's enough to cook around ten burgers or sausages at a time.
Plus, you can continuously monitor the temperature with the professional temperature gauge located on the lid.
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 —
What do you put a tabletop grill on?
You can put tabletop grills on surfaces that handle heat well. That would mean they are suitable for aluminum, wood, metal, or any other heat proof surface.
However, it's not recommended you place the tabletop grill on plastic tables or surfaces as it will melt it right away.
Can you use a tabletop grill indoors?
You can use most of the tabletop grills indoors. However, tabletop grills that are used indoors will require a lot more attention than those outdoor models. This is because they present a greater risk when used in an enclosed space. Remember, you can only use electric models; propane ones are a big NO in indoor use.
Also, remember you will deal with a lot of smoke as there is no wind to carry it away. A great trick to cut down on smoke exposure is to trim the fatty parts of the grilling meat.
How do you use a tabletop grill?
Tabletop grills are mostly electric, so they are pretty much easy to use! They are perfect for beginners who like to enjoy an occasional grilling session by the campfire.
You use a tabletop grill by adjusting the temperature and placing the meat, veggies, or any other food you had in mind on the racks. Most of them will include a window in the lid, which lets you observe the process and check it constantly.
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 Hamilton Beach Electric Indoor Searing Grill tabletop grill. This model will amaze everyone looking for a high-quality grill they can take on a camping trip or a beach day.
The Hamilton electric indoor searing grill allows you to sear meat at 450 degrees temperature, or you can use an adjustable dial to set the desired controls. Its 118 square inches cooking surface is enough to feed six people, which gives you plenty of space when preparing for a minor party.
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!
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