Best Tabletop Grills – 2020 Reviews

Tabletop grills allow you to have a BBQ party anywhere, anytime. The best models are small, lightweight, and enable you to enjoy a perfectly seared hamburger or hot dog whenever you want. If you only want to cook for a few people or have a small space for grilling, then a tabletop grill is exactly what you need!

However, with so many different charcoal and gas grill brands available today, choosing the right one can be a confusing and time-consuming decision. To ensure you don’t end up wasting your money, this guide includes reviews of some of the best models, the different types available, and things to keep in mind when making your purchase. Let’s get started!

Comparison Chart of the Best Tabletop Grills

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Blackstone Table Top Grill

  • Designed with an electric igniter and a built-in grease catcher
  • Uses 1 lb propane bottles for firepower and fuel
  • 12,000 BTU heat output and a cooking surface area of 260 square inches
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Char-Broil American Gourmet

  • Grilling space of 225 square inches with cast iron grates
  • Can be attached to the side of the 840 or 625 unit as an offset smoker, or used as a stand-alone unit
  • Damper allows airflow adjustment and controls the heat released from the charcoal
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Giantex Propane Tabletop Gas Grill

  • Best for the money
  • Constructed with 430 stainless steel and two push-and-turn burners
  • Each burner can be adjusted independently and offer a total of 20,000 BTUs
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Weber 51060001 Q1200

  • Best tabletop propane grill
  • 189 square inch cooking area is heated by an 8500 BTU burner
  • Cast aluminum body and lid and cast-iron porcelain-enameled cooking grates
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Weber 1141001 Go-Anywhere

  • Best Weber tabletop grill
  • Cooking area measuring 160 square inches and one 6500 BTU-per hour stainless steel burner
  • 3 glass-reinforced nylon handles and a porcelain-enameled grate
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Coleman NXT Lite

  • Best Coleman tabletop grill
  • Swaptop interchangeable cooktops enable users to switch grill grates with stove grates or griddles
  • 168 sq. in. grilling surface is equipped with an 8500 BTU burner
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Why Are Tabletop Grills a Great Go-to?

There’s nothing more frustrating than finding out that there’s not enough space in the car for a grill when going camping. Along with ensuring a memorable camping trip, some other advantages of a tabletop grill include:

Portability

Unlike traditional grills, tabletop grills can be easily moved around. Most traditional grills are cumbersome, big, and difficult to move, but portable grills usually weigh less than 30 pounds and can be folded up easily for quick and efficient moving.

Perfect for Individuals or Smaller Groups

Arguably, the biggest problem with traditional grills is that they draw a large amount of unused energy if you’re cooking for only one person. This results in a lot of gas being wasted on the empty part of the grill.

Since portable grills can be easily moved around, they’re smaller in size and have cooking surfaces that are perfect for small groups. They’re also innovatively designed to save fuel, so you don’t have to worry about wasting gas or coals when using them.

Less Expensive

Portable grills have a smaller price tag than larger models. You can easily find a quality portable charcoal or gas grill for less than a hundred dollars that will surely last you a long time.

What Makes a Great Tabletop Grill?

To help you find a model that best suits your needs, here are some things you need to look out for before finalizing your purchase:

Folding Legs

If you’re planning on taking your unit tailgating, picnicking, or camping, then it’s better to choose a model with folding legs as they make packing easier. These extra inches can be a great help, especially if you’re running short on space. Even if the unit doesn’t have folding legs, it’s essential that the legs offer sufficient clearance to keep the grill’s hot exterior away from the surface it’s kept on.

Carrying Handles

Quality models are designed with a handle or handles to make them more convenient and easier to carry. It’s advisable to choose a unit with a top handle in a briefcase or lunchbox style. Also, make sure that the handles are firmly attached. Tiny screws or flimsy welds can lead to serious accidents.

Ease of Use

Some models require matches or a lighter to start the fire. However, quality units are designed with easy lighting or auto igniting to ensure ease of use. It’s also better to choose grills that are manufactured with stain-resistant materials, and feature grates and easy access drip trays. These features will make the grilling and cleaning process a whole lot easier.

Willy's Top Picks - Best Tabletop Grills

Review of the Best Tabletop Grills

To help narrow down your options, the following are detailed reviews of some of the best tabletop grills available in the market today. So, make sure you go through them to find the model that best suits your needs!

Pros

  • H burner heats up fast and provides even heat distribution
  • Spacious cooking surface ensures durability and versatility
  • Black powder coating protects the unit from rust and damage
  • Grease tray is easy to remove and clean and helps keep cooktop clean
  • Griddle top can be stored upside down on the griddle body to save space

Cons

  • Drip tray is slightly smaller in size
  • Small cooking surface is not ideal for large gatherings

What Recent Buyers Report

Almost everyone who purchased this unit loved it and stated that it cooked great. Users liked its lightweight design and said that they could easily take it on their camping. While customers found clean up to be a snap, some reported that it did not get hot enough. Some buyers were also disappointed with the customer base.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This model is designed with an electric igniter to ensure a smooth start, while the one-pound propane bottle makes cooking and grilling a truly effortless task. Once you’ve finished cooking, cleaning, and winding it up is also incredibly simple. Boasting a natural cleaning up process, a simple storage system, and a grease catcher, it ensures you have a fun outdoor experience.

Who Will Use This Most

This unit is the perfect grill for every occasion or event. It is ideal for tailgating, hunting, camping, road trips, and even everyday outdoor use. It can further be used to cook several different items, including pancakes, burgers, bacon, and eggs.

Bottom Line

The perfect option for all kinds of outdoor fun, this unit will serve you everywhere. With its tiny storage space and normal size, it is incredibly portable and suitable for outdoor activities. The natural cleaning up process and grease catcher further make it extremely easy to use. However, the size of the drip tray could be increased.

Pros

  • Side shelf provides a lot of space for prep work
  • Side carrying handles make it easy to transport
  • Slide-out charcoal drawer ensures easy removal of ash and charcoal
  • Durable and rugged handle and tube frame provide stability and support
  • Barrel-style design is compact and can easily fit onto a small patio or deck

Cons

  • Cooking space is a bit limited
  • Might require high-heat resistant paint

What Recent Buyers Report

The majority of the buyers were extremely happy with their purchase and stated that it did everything it claimed to do. Users stated that it was easy to assemble, cooked great, and incredibly easy to clean. While customers found that it was perfect for RV camping, some reported that the paint started to peel off as soon as the charcoal was lit.

Why it Stands Out to Us

With a barrel-style design, this unit is designed with an ash disposal tray under the cast iron grill grate. However, it truly stands out because of its complex temperature control system. This intricate system regulates the airflow via vents situated on the upper chamber’s side. Moreover, it features a non-foldable four-legged stand, which ensures stability.

Who Will Use This Most

Sturdy and compact, this model is the perfect option for families. It has ample space and can be used to grill around 6 to 8 burgers at the same time. Its portable and compact design further makes it ideal for camping, picnics, and tailgating.

Bottom Line

To put it simply, this unit certainly deserves a place on our list of top picks. The durable tube frame ensures stability, while the side carrying handles make it incredibly easy to transport. While its compact size is perfect for small patios and decks, the cooking space might be limited for some.

Pros

  • 2 burners ensure easy and quick ignition
  • CSA standard approved, making it extremely safe to use
  • Included hardware makes it incredibly easy to set up and use
  • Lockable lid and foldable legs allow easy transport and storage
  • Stainless steel provides easy-to-clean surfaces and ensures durability

Cons

  • Bit heavier than other models
  • Grill grates are a little too close to the burners

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers were very happy with this unit’s quality and performance and said that it was easy to set up. They stated that it provided excellent even heat across the surface and that they could easily attach the hose. However, some customers were disappointed with the lack of fine gas controls, which resulted in extremely high temperatures. Some also reported that the grease ran down the front legs.  

Why it Stands Out to Us

With a cooking space of over 266 square inches, this unit allows users to cook for a much larger gathering than other models. It boasts two burners that offer 10,000 BTU each, enabling you to have different temperatures and heat zones across the unit. These multiple burners further allow you to reach higher heats, cook delicious foods, and get good sears.

Who Will Use This Most

Designed for the BBQ-grillers, this model is perfect for camping, boating, tailgating, picnics, or anywhere the road takes you. Its cooking capacity further makes it suitable for medium-sized crowds and dinner parties. All in all, it’s ideal for grill enthusiasts who need the big grill experience when they’re away from home.

Bottom Line

A powerful combination of great design and raw grilling experience, this model is certified by CSA. It’s big enough for a crowd but boasts features explicitly added for transport and storage. Perfectly straddling the line between full-size and tabletop grilling, it will undoubtedly make grilling a pleasurable experience.

Best Tabletop Electric Grill:
Kitchen Academy

Pros

  • Removable oil tray reduces spillage and allows easy cleaning
  • Grill surface can be easily cleaned by a dishwasher or hands
  • Infrared technology does not produce any smoke and evenly heats the food
  • Rotisserie function frees your hands and gives a delicious flavor and even color to your skewer
  • Smart temperature control enables users to adjust the time and firepower according to different items

Cons

  • Cooking space might not be enough for some

What Recent Buyers Report

Almost everyone who invested in this unit was extremely satisfied with it and recommended it to other people as well. Users had nothing bad to say about it and loved its rotisserie function. They stated that it was easy to use, and everything turned out deliciously juicy.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This model primarily stands out to us because of its outstanding performance. Designed with a fast-heating feature, it ensures that your food is ready in no time. It also boasts an extremely high level of flexibility. Since it does not produce smoke, you can use it anywhere inside your house without fear.

Who Will Use This Most

Since this unit can reach a temperature of 450°F, it’s perfect for searing meat. The aluminum rack further makes it perfect for grilling vegetables and meat, while the rotisserie option can be used to grill chicken.

Bottom line

An upgrade of traditional indoor grills, this unit is designed with state-of-the-art technology. The smokeless infrared technology evenly heats the food, while the smart temperature control allows users to adjust the time and firepower according to the different requirements. However, the cooking space might be insufficient for some.

Best Tabletop Propane Grill:
Weber 51060001 Q1200

Pros

  • Available in eight different colors
  • Fully assembled unit comes ready to use
  • Innovative design allows proper heat circulation for even cooking
  • Infinite control valve setting and electronic ignition ensure ease of use
  • Cast aluminum cook boxes are efficient, durable, and require minimal maintenance and care

Cons

  • Regulator might stop working after a few uses
  • Awkward shape and heavier materials make it a bit difficult to transport and store
  • Handle above the regulator is awkwardly situated, making it difficult to attach the propane bottle

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers loved this model and said that it delivered exceptional performance. They stated that it heated up quickly and cooked fast with even heat. One user even said that they were able to grill a ribeye to perfection. However, customers were disappointed that it did not accommodate cooking at higher elevations, while several complained that the regulator did not let enough gas to pass through.   

Why it Stands Out to Us

The cooking surface is what makes this model stand out from its competition. The high-quality cast iron gates are constructed with a tough porcelain coating, ensuring reliability and longevity. Furthermore, once the unit has preheated properly, it will absorb and evenly distribute heat, resulting in a delicious seared-in flavor.

Who Will Use This Most

Thanks to minimal heat buildup, this unit is perfect for tailgating. If you don’t have enough space for a grill on your condo balcony or are looking for something that’s easy to move from your house to the weekend cabin, then this unit is the one for you! Moreover, it's big enough to grill about 18 regular hotdogs or six large hamburger patties at the same time.

Bottom Line

Truly an excellent grill, this model is a big grill in a compact and much smaller package. Perfect for patio use and RV owners, it requires minimal maintenance and ensures even heat distribution. While it’s easy to use, its design could be improved.

Best Weber Tabletop Grill:
Weber 1141001 Go-Anywhere

Pros

  • Push-button ignition ensures ease of use
  • Three handles make it incredibly easy to transport
  • Steel legs pivot to lock the lid firmly in place, allowing easy carrying
  • Durable steel grates are easy to clean and excellent at retaining heat
  • Integrated temperature dampers enable users to manage and monitor the cooking time of their ingredients

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with an ash pan
  • Plastic handles can get very hot
  • Height of the cooking grates cannot be adjusted

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers loved this unit and stated that it was easy to store and travel with. They said that the temperature was easy to control, and it cooled down quickly, allowing safe transportation. While users found it easy to disassemble, they did not like the fact that it had to be cleaned out after every use. Some customers were also disappointed with the lack of a flavorizer bar.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This extremely portable unit has all the features for a simple grab-and-go cooking grill. The folding model is designed with plated steel legs that swivel up and secure the lid in place, making it extremely easy to store and transport. When in use, the legs further swivel down and latch together, creating a stable place on which the unit can be placed.

Who Will Use This Most

This model is ideal for campers, road-trippers, beach-goers, and campers who love grilling in the beautiful outdoors. While it’s not suitable for large crowds, it can easily be used to cook an entire meal for 2 to 3 people. Moreover, the cooking space is enough to grill 6-8 chicken pieces or 2 medium-sized steaks at once.

Bottom Line

With an incredibly simple design and a beautiful square shape, you can never go wrong with this unit. It seals up nicely and prevents any ash or grease from dripping during transportation. While it’s the perfect grab-and-go cooking grill, the lack of an ash pan might be disappointing for some.

Best Coleman Tabletop Grill:
Coleman NXT Lite

Pros

  • Can be used with up to 5-gallon propane tanks
  • Grease tray collects grease drippings for a mess-proof disposal
  • PerfectHeat technology delivers more effective heat with less fuel
  • InstaStart button automatically ignites the grill without a lighter or match
  • Even-Temp burners evenly distribute heat across the grill, ensuring consistent performance

Cons

  • Legs are not level
  • Cooking area is a bit small

What Recent Buyers Report

The majority of the buyers were satisfied with their purchase and said that the unit worked perfectly. They loved its quality finish, lightweight design, large cook surface, and automatic igniter. Users said that it was easy to set up, but found it difficult to clean. Some customers also reported that it burned too hot, even on its lowest setting.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This unit’s versatility is what truly makes it stand out from the crowd. Along with a standard grilling surface, it comes with optional plates that can be used to turn the grill into stove grates or griddles. This gives users the ability to take only a single item on their trip, and use it as a griddle, a regular stove, or a traditional grill by only switching out the plates.

Who Will Use This Most

Perfect for picnicking, camping, and tailgating, this model gives you enough cooking power to cook vegetables or meat. Its large cooking area provides enough space to feed the entire family. All in all, it’s ideal for campers who want to grill burgers and hot dogs and cook up a few pancakes at the same time.

Bottom Line

Coleman has always designed high-quality outdoor equipment, and this model is no different. Compact and incredibly easy to travel with, it’s the perfect choice for tailgating and camping. Although it offers unparalleled versatility, the cooking space might not be large enough for some.

Types of Tabletop Grills

You can easily get lost in the wide range of shiny, new grills available today, and while most of them look similar, there’s a huge difference in their quality and prices. Before purchasing a tabletop, it’s essential that you understand the different types. These include:

Gas Grills

The most popular type of tabletop grill, gas grills can run on both bottled propane and natural gas from the utility provider. They allow users to quickly start the fire and cook a meal without worrying about the cleanup and preparation of charcoal. However, they only add a slight hint of smoke flavor as compared to genuine charcoal smokers or grills.

Charcoal Grills

These units use charcoal briquettes for firepower and fuel. While using charcoal grills is a bit expensive and time-consuming than gas grills, some people prefer the smoky flavor that charcoal adds.

Electric Grills

Powered by electricity, these models cook meat with heated grill plates and do not require any fire. They are ideal for people living in the city who are prohibited from using charcoal or gas grills because of fire regulations. However, the smoky flavor is almost completely lost when using electric grills.

Conclusion

When it comes to choosing the best tabletop grill, portability is the most crucial factor to consider, especially for expert campers. If you want a unit that’s simple and easy to move, then we recommend the Blackstone Table Top Grill. Along with having exceptional features, it’s easily portable, which is what really matters in the long run.

However, your choice should ultimately depend on your budget and personal preference. Hopefully, the aforementioned products will help make your decision easier.