The Best Tabletop Grill, According to Our Test Kitchen
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With our pick for the best tabletop grill, you'll be able to whip up burgers and steaks on your patio, in the park, at the campground, and anywhere else you can carry it!
Sometimes you might not have space for a full-size outdoor grill, but that doesn’t mean you have to live without delicious grilled food. Tabletop grills are an unbeatable alternative when you’re pressed for space or on the road, as they can be set up just about anywhere, from picnic tables to truck beds.
What Makes a Good Tabletop Grill?
However, not all types of grills are created equal. For a tabletop grill, you’ll want a product that provides powerful heat and is spacious enough to cook several servings at once. Because these grills are designed to be portable, it also helps if they’re easy to clean, pack up, and carry. We took all these considerations into account as we scouted out the best tabletop grills.
The Best Tabletop Grill: Cuisinart CGG-306
If you’re searching for a tabletop grill that will let you cook for a crowd, look no further than the Cuisinart CGG-306, which aced our tests thanks to its thoughtful design.
- Spacious cooking surface: Despite being a tabletop model, this Cuisinart grill has a surprisingly spacious cooking surface. We found the 275-square-inch grate to be large enough for up to eight servings, making it ideal for both large and small groups of people.
- Temperature control: The tabletop grill has two independently controlled burners, and we loved how quickly it reached high temperatures. You have total control over the temperature, and the grill does a great job cooking food evenly.
- Easy setup: It took less than five minutes to set up the Cuisinart CGG-306 grill, which makes it an awesome option for camping, tailgating, and more.
- Sleek appearance: How could you not like this grill’s beautiful design? Its stainless steel finish is classic and durable, and it has a built-in temperature gauge on the lid.
- Portability: The legs of this grill fold up for easy transport, and it even has latches to keep the lid shut while you’re carrying it.
- Fuel: This model runs on a 20-pound propane tank, which you’ll also have to bring along if you plan on traveling with it.
- Outdoors-only: This gas tabletop grill is not suitable for indoor use.
- Cost: $179
- Size: 21.5″ x 19″ x 15″
- Weight: 24lb.
- BTU: Two 10,000BTU Burners (20,000 BTU Total)
We Also Recommend…
Weber Q1000 Liquid Propane Grill: Weber is one of the top names in the grilling world, and the Weber Q1000 is designed with convenience in mind. This tabletop grill runs on 14- or 16-ounce liquid propane tanks, and it has cast iron cooking grates to put a lovely char on your food. Plus, its removable catch pan makes for easy clean-up so you can get back to enjoying the summer weather ASAP.
- Portability: Loved by beachgoers, campers and tailgate pros, the Weber Q is truly a grill you can take anywhere. Its compact propane tanks are less clunky than other gas grill options.
- Easy cleanup: The disposable aluminum catch pan will catch all your drippings and make cleanup a breeze.
- Price: Compared to other tabletop models, the Weber Q can be on the expensive side.
- Outdoors-only: This grill is not suitable for indoor use.
- Cost: $200
- Size: 16.5″ x 27″ x 14.5″
- Weight: 26lb.
- BTU: One 8,500 BTU Burner
Hamilton Beach Electric Indoor Searing Grill: If you’re looking for a tabletop grill you can use indoors, this electric model from Hamilton Beach is the way to go. It can reach temperatures up to 450 degrees, and you can cook up to six servings at a time on its dishwasher-friendly grilling surface.
- Ease of use: Since the grill is electric, you won’t have to fuss with flareups, smoke or imprecise heat. Plus, it’ll fit right on your kitchen counter.
- Simple cleanup: Once the grates cool, you can pop them into the dishwasher. No grill brush needed!
- Lower heat: While this model is able to produce a sear that’s similar to a traditional grill, you won’t get the same flavor and texture that comes from the flame.
- Materials: Since the exterior is made from plastic, the Hamilton Beach Electric Indoor Grill is less durable than other tabletop grills.
- Cost: $67
- Size: 12.4″ x 16.7″ x 6.8″
- Temperature: Adjusts from 200 to 450°
- Weight: 11lb.
Safety Tips for Grillers
Even if you’re not using a full-size grill, it’s essential to follow grilling best practices to keep your guests and your food safe. Here are a few essential guidelines to keep in mind when you’re working as a grillmaster:
- Only place tabletop grills on approved surfaces, and use long-handled tools to keep your hands away from the heat.
- Never leave the grill unattended.
- Don’t overload your grill. If there’s too much fat dripping down, it can cause a flare-up.
- Never use an outdoor grill inside.
- Shut down your grill according to the instructions, and clean it thoroughly after use.
- Have fire safety equipment nearby—just in case.
What to Cook on a Tabletop Grill
The beauty of a tabletop grill is that you can cook all your favorite summer dishes outdoors, including classics like steaks and burgers, as well as more adventurous recipes like grilled bruschetta and grilled angel food cake! No matter what you’re in the mood for, chances are there’s a grilled version that you can try out on your new tabletop appliance. If you need some inspiration, here are some of our favorite grilling recipes to get you started.