Best Small Grills of 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

It’s obvious that not everyone has the room for a full outdoor barbecue, but that certainly doesn’t mean our space-limited pit-masters should be excluded from an awesome grilling experience.

In this review, we’ll take you through what to look for in a space-saving grill and give our recommendations for the best small grills out there. 

If you need a small grill to crank out some great grilled foods, we have the information you need.

Comparison Chart of the Best Small Grills 

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Cooking grate is porcelain-enameled
  • 160 square inches cooking space
  • Legs can pivot to lock the lid in place
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  • Makes use of tough non-stick coating
  • Indicator light for temperature control
  • Safe and Fully electric system
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  • Durable cast-aluminum body
  • Strong heating element
  • Features a removable catch pan
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  • Space-saving and effective
  • Removable plate makes cleanup easy
  • Has a non-stick coating so food doesn't get caught
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  • Easy to clean and rust-resistant
  • Unique and effective design
  • Side shelves can fold
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  • Dimensions of 14.5 x 14.5 x 15 inches
  • 15 square inch chrome-plated cooking rack
  • Dual venting control to change the amount of smoke
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Advantages of Small Grills

There are numerous benefits of opting for a small grill. For one, it’s much easier on the wallet compared to a full-size grill.

Certain landlords won’t even allow a gas or charcoal grill in apartments, so if you’re limited on outdoor space, a plug-in small grill is a no-brainer as you can have all the functionality of a great barbecue without it taking up every inch of your yard or deck, nor violating any safety clauses.

And the mobility of a small grill would be very favorable for those who enjoy frequent camping or who may be in a more temporary living situation.

These would also come in handy if you’re a novice griller who may not want to take the plunge into purchasing a giant fully-outfitted barbecue. These small grills are less of an investment and much easier to maintain.

Aspects to Keep in Mind While Looking For a Small Grill

While on the lookout for the best small grill, there are a few things to keep at the forefront of consideration.

Materials/Technology

There’s no point in getting a grill of any kind if it does cook well. That’s why it’s important to understand what the little machine is made of.

Electric heating and advanced temperature control are essential, and while it’s not a necessity, a non-stick coating on the grate is basically standard for a quality grill.

Portability

If you’re opting for a small grill, you’ll want it to be as mobile as possible. Some good features to look for are handles, collapsible legs, and a lightweight composition so it will be easy to carry and transport.

Ease of Use

User-friendliness is key in almost any home appliance. In a small grill, some important ease-of-use aspects include the level of temperature control you get, low incidences of flare-ups (which can quickly dry food up), easy lighting or ignition of the flame, and an even distribution of heat on the grate.

Maintenance

All grills will need some kind of maintenance, but the best quality ones will limit the upkeep work as much as possible. Non-stick coatings, removable inserts, and rust-resistant materials are all good indicators of a low-maintenance buy.

Willy's Top Picks - Best Small Grills

Review of the Best Small Grills

Now, we’ll take you through some of our product reviews for the best small grills.

Weber 1141001 Go-Anywhere Gas Grill, ONE Size, Black

Weber 1141001 Go-Anywhere Gas Grill, ONE Size, Black

Pros

  • Easy ignition
  • Evenly distributed heat
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Helpful lid holding structure
  • Top and side handles for carrying
  • Porcelain grate prevents flare-ups
  • Steel legs pivot to lock in lid for travel

Cons

  • No non-stick coating
  • Flame can have trouble staying lit
  • Consumers report instability in grill legs and lid

You can tell from the name that Weber’s Go-Anywhere Gas Grill is designed with the ultimate portability in mind.

At 24 x 12 x 9 inches, this mini barbecue is roughly the size of a carry-on suitcase, and its minimal weight of 13.5 pounds with the convenient handles and lid-locking steel legs make for easy carrying.

The cooking grate is porcelain-enameled, which provides an even heat distribution and helps to avoid flare-ups.

This small grill is made to be user-friendly with a reliable push-button ignition and tuck-away lid holder that safely keeps the lid of the grill away from your hands when checking on food.

The Go-Anywhere encompasses all of the essential features of a small grill, and at a very reasonable price. 

Bottom Line

It’s hard to find a better small grill for the price of this Weber Go-Anywhere, and with all the features for optimal portability, this grill will surely live up to its name. If the "small’"in small grill is your priority, we highly recommend going for this one.

George Foreman 15-Serving Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill, Silver, GGR50B

George Foreman 15-Serving Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill, Silver, GGR50B

Pros

  • Heats up quickly
  • Decent temperature control
  • Non-stick removable grill plate
  • Makes a very large amount servings
  • Fat-draining slope in grill plate with drip tray
  • Indoor/outdoor functional with removable stand

Cons

  • Electrical cord is a bit short
  • Has trouble maintaining higher temperatures
  • Takes up a lot of counter space if used inside

This George Foreman 15 Serving Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill is ideal for those who may be serving large groups of people, but want the convenience and space-saving properties of a small grill.

It’s got the standard George Tough non-stick coating, as well as a removable stand for patio or counter-top use, giving this grill its indoor/outdoor title.

The grill plate is removable for easy cleaning and has a fat-draining slope with a drip tray to collect the excess. The five temperature settings allow for better control and fewer flare-ups. 

Bottom Line 

For all of the features and versatility included with this George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor grill, it’s hard to beat this mid-price range small grill.

If you have a little extra space, but still want the convenience of a small grill, this is a great option, just beware of the possible faultiness that previous buyers have reported.

Weber 52020001 Q1400 Electric Grill, Gray

Pros

  • Reliable heating
  • No assembly required
  • Infinite control temperature knob
  • Handles and compact size for portability
  • High-grade grate and body materials made to last

Cons

  • For outdoor use only
  • Does not give preferred charcoal flavor
  • Takes longer to heat up than gas grills

For a truly top-of-the-line small grill, we suggest looking into the Weber Q 1400 Electric Grill.

This grill prioritizes durability with porcelain-enameled, cast iron cooking grates, a cast aluminum body and lid, and nylon frame with glass-reinforcement.

With a minimal 16.5 inch diameter and heavy-duty side handles, this grill offers all of the portability of a small grill without compromising quality of the cooking.

The Q1400 is an extremely robust model and backed by the reputable Weber name.

Bottom Line

For the pit-masters who want to invest in a high-end, lasting grill while conserving outdoor space, the Q 1400 Electric Grill from Weber is a very solid choice if it fits within your budget.

George Foreman 4-Serving Removable Plate Grill and Panini Press, Platinum, GRP3060P

George Foreman 4-Serving Removable Plate Grill and Panini Press, Platinum, GRP3060P

Pros

  • Compact size
  • Heats up quickly
  • Hinge holds lid in place
  • Tough non-stick coating
  • Special fat draining design
  • Easy to clean removable plates

Cons

  • No on/off button
  • Little temperature control
  • The 4-serving label is limited to small servings

For those who want to bring the pleasures of grilling into an apartment environment, we suggest the classic George Foreman option.

As compact as it gets, this small grill is ideal for those who may only have counter top space, but still want enough of a grill to cook for the whole family.

This Foreman features the brand’s signature non-stick coating, and boasts a special sloped grilling surface which helps to drain excess fat.

With user-friendliness in mind, this design has removable, dishwasher-safe grilling plates and an adjustable floating lid hinge.

For a low-budget price, the George Foreman Grill and Panini Press is a safe choice to bring into your apartment or small space while maintaining the versatility and efficiency of a fully-outfitted grill.

Bottom Line

The George Foreman Grill and Panini Press is a reliable and easy-to-use staple, and at a wallet-friendly price, this would be pretty ideal for those in a more space-limited living situation if you’re willing to give up the more customizable features of a higher priced grill.

Char-Broil 17602047 Infrared Electric Patio Bistro, 240, Red

Char-Broil 17602047 Infrared Electric Patio Bistro, 240, Red

Pros

  • Easy cleaning
  • Good temperature control
  • Little incidence of flare-ups
  • High-quality cooking grates
  • Extra prep space with shelves
  • Simply must be plugged in to heat
  • Steadily holds higher temperatures

Cons

  • No non-stick coating
  • Requires extensive assembly
  • Heavy and not designed for portability
  • Opening the lid can cause significant heat loss while cooking

If the indoor grilling life isn’t for you, but space is still on short supply, consider this Char-Broil Electric Patio Bistro as a great addition to your balcony.

With the oven-style knob to give greater temperature control and Char-Broil’s TRU-infrared technology, flare-ups are prevented while delivering efficient and even heat to the grate.

This small grill is made super easy to clean with porcelain, rust-resistant grates and a removable grease tray beneath the cooking surface.

It features two side shelves as a convenient prep surface, which can quickly be folded away for storage, while the two front wheels add mobility.

At a high-end price point, this is a top-of-the-line investment, but is priced rather appropriately given the reputable quality and durability.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a more permanent fixture in your outdoor balcony and are okay with dropping a little extra cash for quality, this Char-Broil Electric Bistro is a very solid purchase.

While it requires a bit more effort to put together and move, you’re rewarded with juicer grilling and the convenience of shelving and easily cleaned grates.

Cuisinart CCG190RB Portable Charcoal Grill, 14-Inch, Red, 14.5' x 14.5' x 15'

Pros

  • Ash catcher to minimize mess
  • High transportability, due to 2 lbs. grill
  • Firebox has an enamel coating for increased life
  • Effective temperature management with dual venting
  • Spacious cooking surface to accommodate more food

Cons

  • Assembly is slightly difficult
  • Grate sometimes falls into the grill

Why it Stands Out to Us

It stands out to us with its bright red hood, which fits the circular frame nicely. Its dimensions of 14.5 x 14.5 x 15 inches provide enough space to accommodate large batches of food. It can easily fulfill the needs of a medium family. 

The circular frame of the grill means that there are no edges, which will lessen the amount of available space. Another great feature is the presence of a dual-venting system in place. This helps the users in keeping the amount of smoke and temperature in control. It also helps in keeping the right amount of smoke inside the smoker to ensure thorough cooking. 

Moreover, it weighs only two pounds, which makes it easy to carry around. The ash catcher catches all the messy burnt fuel, which helps in keeping the surroundings clean. 

Lastly, the firebox comes with an enamel coating on it, which increases resistance to weather and water damage. 

Bottom Line

Summing it all up, this Cuisinart smoker has a highly useful frame and superior construction. The red hood makes the overall smoker quite impressive. The grill has an evenly distributed frame that ensures a thorough spread of heat. 

So, going for it will be a wise decision on your part if you love grilled or smoked food. 

Can You Really Find a Quality Small Grill That’s Affordable?

Yes, you can find a small grill that is highly affordable. This is because grills, on the whole, have similar construction material and design. This is why there is not much that any brand can flaunt to sell their smokers on a ridiculously high price. 

Small grills are for small or medium families, so they do not have to be priced at a high cost. Thus, you can get an affordable, high-quality small grill, but you have to be careful of the features and warranty they come with. This helps in ensuring that your money goes into a reliable smoker and is not wasted on some flimsy grilling frame. 

What Are The Best Uses For a Small Grill?

A small grill can be very useful to you, especially if you have a small family or some friends over. Such grills have higher usability with their small frame as they are easier to use. So, let’s have a look at some of the major uses of a small grill. 

Quicker Smoking

The best use of small grills is that they have a small cooking area where heat spreads very quickly. This, in turn, decreases the time that the grill takes to be hot enough to start cooking meat. 

Thus, quick and even heat transfer in small grills saves cooking time. Smoking is also quicker this way because there is a lesser gap between the fuel and the grilling plate. This way, heat reaches the food items, directly cooking them even more quickly.   

Weber 1141001 Go-Anywhere Gas Grill

Effective Fuel Consumption

Another great use of small grills is that they consume fuel quite efficiently. Small wood pellets or coal burn more thoroughly, as there is no extra exposure to air. The meat is also huddled closely on the grill, making it possible for you to cook more food with less fuel burning. 

Outdoor Parties

Outdoor cooking is fun, and it gets even better if you have the right tools at your side. Small grills help in outdoor cooking, even at campsites, because they are easy to transport and set up. 

Conclusion

No person who appreciates a nice barbecue should have to settle for the frying pan just because space is limited. There is small grill out there for just about every need, preference, and price range.

That said, we do recommend the Weber Go-Anywhere Gas Grill as the all-around best small grill due to its compact size and versatility.

Still, whether you’re looking for portability, low maintenance, or just want to spare the cash that a full-fledged grill will cost you, any of the above small grills would be a solid way to go. Happy (small) grilling!