You’re Backyard BBQ Fan with limited space?
Backyard barbecues are a favorite American pastime, just like baseball and apple pie. Unfortunately, not everyone has a big enough backyard to fit a good-sized grill. Fortunately, grills do come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. One of which is the tabletop grill. It’s also the perfect solution to grilling for two and grilling on the go. The question is, which tabletop grill should you get? Have a look below to find out market winners:
Cuisinart CGG 306
Review: The Cuisinart CGG-306 Chef’s Style Stainless Tabletop Grill is all sleek and shiny. But that’s not why it caught our eye. This tabletop grill is our overall pick because it delivers power, performance, and portability all in one compact package. It has all stainless steel construction from the body to the grates. This makes the grill incredibly light at less than 25 lbs but still durable and long-lasting. The two stainless steel burners have a total output of 20,000 BTUs, each with a dedicated control knob. This allows you some versatility in your cooking; you can easily create 2-zone cooking even in this compact grill.
The grates are good at heat retention and help you cook your meat evenly. There are 280 square inches of cooking space which can easily cook food to feed a large group. The grill is ready for grilling straight from the box. You don’t need to assemble anything. It comes with foldable legs as well as side latches to make it easy to carry from car to picnic table and back. It even comes with a built-in thermometer and a twist-start automatic ignition. Everything you’ll ever need in a full-sized grill built in this one small package.
Review: While charcoal smokers are as old school as it gets, that doesn’t mean that none of them have transitioned into the 21st century. The Masterbuilt Gravity Series 560 is a digital charcoal grill + smoker that combines the mouthwatering flavor from cooking with charcoal and the ease of use that you often find in a gas or electric grill. This baby features a GravityFed hopper that can hold up to 10lbs of lump charcoal or 16lbs of briquettes. There’s a digital control panel that allows you to control temperature and cook time. You can also use your smart device to control the unit; just connect it to the grill via WiFi or Bluetooth. There’s a fan that ensures that the hot air from the hopper flows to the cooking chamber and maintains your desired cooking temperature. It can easily reach 700 degrees Fahrenheit for grilling and searing. Or go as low as 225 degrees Fahrenheit for low and slow cooks. With a fully loaded hopper, you can grill and/or smoke meat up to 12 continuous hours without having to refuel. Even if you did, loading up the hopper is a breeze. What’s more, this grill-smoker combo features smoke + sear versatility. The cast iron cooking grates are reversible, enabling you to sear your meat when needed. With this digital charcoal grill + smoker, you can set it and forget it when the mood arises or keep an eye on your meats while chatting and drinking.
Review: The Megamaster 2-Burner Tabletop Propane Gas Grill is a stainless steel grill that’s built for life on the road. It comes with a durable stainless steel lid that can be locked into the body using side latches. The two legs are foldable for easy transport and storage. Inside the grill, you’ll find two stainless steel burners controlled independently using push-and-turn ignition knobs. Each burner has an output of 8,000 BTUs. The stainless steel firebox is great at holding heat while the flame tamers help distribute it evenly throughout the cooking surface. The stainless steel grates offer 199 square inches of cooking space. With this stainless steel tabletop grill, you won’t have to worry about the unit breaking down wherever you might be. You can take it out on hot sunny days at the beach or your regular tailgate party. Enjoy a nice cookout even when there’s a bit of a drizzle. You never have to worry about rust. More importantly, there’s no assembly. If you want a grill that’s no fuss, no muss straight from the box, then this is the grill for you.
Char-griller TableTop Grill
Review: If you want a horizontal barrel-shaped grill but don’t have the space for it, then you should get the Char-Griller Tabletop Charcoal Grill and Side Fire Box. This tabletop grill is made of heavy duty steel with a cast iron cooking grate and a wooden handle. It has 250 square inches of cooking space which is perfect for feeding a family of four. The charcoal drawer allows you to easily refuel your fire and dump ash out once you’re done cooking. There are two side vents, one at the top and one at the bottom to enable you to control temperature. The grill comes with a 5-year warranty on the hood and box while the ash pan and other parts are backed by a 1-year warranty. The Char-Griller Tabletop is a “macho” little unit that is capable of cooking as well as its bigger brothers. It is solidly constructed and will surely last a good long while. As an added bonus, once you do get space to buy a bigger Char-Griller, you can attach it as a smoker. Just take note that once attached, you can no longer use it as a portable grill.
Tabletop Grill Buying Guide:
Space is a premium for some people. But that shouldn’t limit their enjoyment of the most delicious of American pastimes – the barbecue. That’s why tabletop grills were invented after all (or it should have been the reason). There are plenty of benefits to these compact grills. Not only do they take up as little space as possible, they also enable you to enjoy grilled food on the go. Picnic at the park, a trip to the beach, a fishing or camping trip with friends, a tailgate party at the local football stadium… you name it, these grills can be there for it. Of course, you can’t just get any old tabletop grill in Walmart, Target, or whatever local store you have where you live. If you want something that will serve you the most delicious barbecues anytime, anywhere, you’ll need to get the best one. And the only way to do that is to know what you’re looking for.
Tabletop grills come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, features, and fuel types. One of the best ways to narrow down your choices is to decide what kind of fuel you want to use – charcoal, gas, or electric. All of these have pros and cons. Charcoal is messy but produces the most flavor. In addition, chances are, you won’t run out of fuel while you’re cooking. You just need to make sure you bring enough. Gas, on the other hand, is more convenient to use. Provided that you are using a full propane tank. Running out of fuel in the middle of a cook can leave you hangry which is never a good thing. This means you need to keep an eye on how much fuel you’ve already used (maybe during a previous trip) or carry an extra tank just in case. Electric would be the most convenient. There’s no way for you to run out of fuel. You just need to make sure there’s an outlet you can plug into. There’s really no right or wrong answer here (though charcoal fanatics would disagree). You just need to make sure to pick the fuel source that makes the most sense for you.
Size and Weight
Size is always a factor when it comes to choosing a grill. Even a tabletop one. How many people do you plan to feed? One, two, four? Some models are bigger than others, enabling you to cook more food at a time. There are even a few that allow you to do 2-zone cooking. Of course, aside from cooking space, you also need to consider available space. There’s a reason why you’re getting a tabletop grill. It may be because you lack space for a full-sized one. This means that you need to make sure to get a tabletop model that fits on your table or counter without compromising on prep space or eating space. If you’re getting a tabletop grill for on-the-go grilling, then you need to look for something that will fit the storage space in your vehicle. In addition, you’ll want to find something that you can comfortably carry to and from the car.
Of course, if you’re going to be carrying this grill from point A to point B (even if it’s just from the garage to the table on your patio), you’ll need handles for your hands to hold onto. It makes things easier and less likely for you to drop your precious grill. Aside from handles, look for grills that feature latches to keep the lid from falling or opening during transport.
This isn’t really necessary for tabletop grills. The foldable part, we mean. Legs are a necessity because you really can’t let the hot body of the grill lay on top of your table unless you don’t mind ruining it. There needs to be sufficient clearance between the bottom of your grill and the table surface. Foldable legs are recommended because it makes it easy for storing away. A few extra inches can be a big deal when you’re packing up all your camping gear in the trunk of your car.
Whether you’re buying a big ass grill or a small one, judging the cooking performance of the unit is essential. Even if you just plan to cook burgers and hot dogs on it. To properly evaluate cooking performance, you need to look at temperature control and heat output. How much heat can your tabletop grill produce? It doesn’t matter whether it’s charcoal, gas, or electric. If the heat is too low, you’ll dry out your food before it even gets cooked. The same thing applies to temperature control. If your grill is unable to maintain the desired cooking temperature, you can end up with food that is overcooked or undercooked (which is incredibly dangerous). If the grill is unable to distribute heat evenly, then you get hot spots which can also affect the quality of your food. For charcoal grills, look for features that help temperature control and heat output such as adjustable vents. For gas grills, look for independently controlled burners and check their heat output.
There are various types of grates available for tabletop grills – stainless steel, die-cast aluminum, cast iron, etc. We recommend that you go with either stainless steel or cast iron. Both of these materials are good at retaining heat and radiating it. Stainless steel is the more durable option since it is resistant to rust. Cast iron, on the other hand, requires a little more care. But it does produce lovely sears on your meat. Make sure to choose the grate material that you find easier to deal with.
Naturally, you don’t want your grill to be flimsy and easily broken. It’ll likely be roughing it with you on your travels. Look for one that’s weather-resistant such as one with a stainless steel body. Some feature a cast aluminum body which makes it rust resistant as well. Look for gaps, flimsy screws, etc. A solidly constructed tabletop grill can ensure you never have to grill without