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Top 6 Best Tabletop Grills in 2019 – Gas and Charcoal Options

You know those pictures you see in ads of epic backyard kitchens? The kind that makes most people’s indoor kitchens look sad? If you have such a space, congratulations – and please invite us over for dinner sometime!Some folks, however, have a very small space available for grilling.Perhaps you have a small patio or balcony? Or, maybe you only cook for one or two people normally, and you don’t need a large grill? Perhaps you travel a lot and spend time camping or RVing. All of these are excellent reasons to own a tabletop grill.

A Weber go anywhere tabletop grill on a work surface with many BBQs in the background

If you think a tabletop grill belongs in your future, keep reading to learn what to look for before you buy. Plus, we’ll tell you where you shouldn’t use one.

We’ll finish with reviews of our top choices for contender of the best tabletop grill in 2019.

At a Glance: Our Top 6 Contenders for Best Tabetop Grill

Note: Clicking the above links will take you to further information, current prices and customer reviews on Amazon.

Our Top 6 Picks for Best Tabletop Grill

Now that you know what features you want, let’s review six of the best tabletop grills available. Which one will end up on your table?

Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill

Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill

If you want the freedom to grill wherever you may roam, and don’t feel the need for unnecessary extras, you need a lightweight model that’s sturdy and reliable. This very portable, back-to-basics grill from Weber has everything for grab-and-go outdoor cooking in one convenient package.

Specs:

  • Fuel type: Charcoal
  • 2” L x 21” W x 14.5” H
  • 15 pounds
  • Cooking surface area: 160 sq. in.
  • Nickel plated steel grate, legs
  • Porcelain enameled steel box and lid
  • Glass-reinforced nylon carrying handle
  • Aluminum vent lids
  • 10-year no rust through/burn through warranty on lid, box; 5 years on plastic; 2 years on everything else

What We Like

First of all, we are almost invariably pleased with Weber products. Like it’s bigger siblings and cousins, the Go-Anywhere is well designed and executed. The way the legs fold over to lock the lid in place during transit is just great engineering. We also like that the bowl and the lid are each made from single pieces of steel – no rivets or seams to fall apart, leak, or rust.

Nice-to-have features include a place to hang the lid when it’s not in use, heat-resistant handles, and an easy to clean grate.

Oh, and with the twin top vents, you can control your temperature, just like on the full-size grills.

What We Don’t Like

The folding legs are cool, but they look a little flimsier than some others we’ve seen. The total cooking area is smaller than some others we’ve seen too, but it can still hold about half-a-dozen burgers. Would also have been nice to include a built-in thermometer.

Final Thoughts

The Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill is a very nicely made piece of equipment with a lot of desirable features. It’s an excellent way to enjoy classic charcoal grilling on the go, or in a small outdoor space at home.

We’re quite willing to overlook its few shortcomings and focus on the many positive attributes, and as can be seen in my review of the Weber Go-Anywhere that I own, I highly recommend it.

While we still have five more fabulous tabletop grills to review, we’ll forgive you if you decide to click the link and buy yours right away. There are a lot more pictures and a nice video that shows the folding legs in action, too.

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Cuisinart Cgg-200 12,000-Btu Tabletop Gas Grill

Cuisinart CGG-200 All Foods Tabletop Gas Grill, Stainless Steel

Here’s a barbeque for those who want a really good grilling experience at home without taking up a lot of space, and just maybe want to do some cooking on the road, too.

It has plenty of the features found on full-size grills, but scaled down to a compact footprint with the option to travel.

Specs:

  • Fuel type: Propane (16 oz. or 14.1 oz. portable bottles)
  • 8” L x 27.8” W x 12.8” H
  • 5 pounds
  • Cooking surface area: 240 sq. in.
  • Stainless steel lid, base, side shelves
  • Porcelain-enameled cast iron grate
  • 2 burners
  • 12,000 BTUs
  • 3-year limited warranty on defects
  • Also comes in black

What We Like

Can you think of a time when you didn’t know the name Cuisinart? They may not be first on your mind for grilling, but they definitely know how to cook. The point is we like a product backed by a name we respect. The folding side tables are a prime example of the convenience features we love about this grill.

The twist ignition makes lighting the gas safe and easy, and the built-in thermometer lets you know when it’s ready to cook. Clean up will be a breeze with the enameled, modular grates, and the removable drip tray. It’s quite sturdy, and there are readily available accessories like a 20-lb LPG tank adaptor, stand, and cover.

What We Don’t Like

While it’s for sure a tabletop unit, it’s not the most portable of our choices. It’s on the heavy side, the legs don’t fold, and the lid doesn’t lock. But, for RVing, or most non-backpacking excursions, it’ll be fine.

It’s a little bit of a shame that there are two burners, but you can’t control them separately. Yes, it’s small, but the idea of dual temperature zones on a compact grill is appealing.

Final Thoughts

The Cuisinart CGG-200 is probably more of a homebody when it comes to tabletop grills. It would be perfect for someone who wants a solid home barbecue that isn’t occupying much space.

You could easily put it away entirely between uses, but not feel like you’re giving much up versus a larger model when you do pull it out. Having the option to take it with you to the park, cottage, fishing, or whatever, is a nice bonus.

This is a snappy little grill that we really like. We encourage you to have a look at some more pictures and read up on it a bit more. Follow the link below to information and ordering options.

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Cuisinart Cgg-180t Petite Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill

Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill, Red

If your idea of a picnic always includes hot food, then you need a truly portable grill that’s easy to transport, carry, and set up. In fact, for anyone for whom small size and portability are the two most important considerations in a tabletop grill, this is one that’s really worth looking at.

Specs:

  • Fuel type: Propane (16 oz. or 14.1 oz. portable bottles)
  • 18” L x 12.2” W x 12” H
  • 5 pounds
  • Cooking surface area: 145 sq. in.
  • Stainless steel lid and box
  • Porcelain enameled grate
  • Aluminum legs
  • 1 burner
  • 5,500 BTUs
  • 3-year limited warranty on defects
  • Also comes in black or stainless

What We Like

Tabletop grills don’t get much more portable than this! It’s light, the legs fold up and the lid locks shut. With the large handle, you can carry it around like a briefcase and set it up in seconds.

The convenience of using LPG cylinders means you’re up and cooking in no time, especially since it has a twist ignition. You really can use this just about anywhere. Added bonus – dishwasher-safe grate!

What We Don’t Like

It really is very small, but as long as you know you won’t be cooking for the whole football team, you’ll be fine.

A temperature gauge would have been nice for the odd time you’ll be cooking with the lid closed. We also think the manufacturer is a bit optimistic – don’t expect to cook eight steaks on a tiny grill with just 5,500 BTUs.

Final Thoughts

Anyone who loves to tailgate, picnic, camp, etc., will fall in love with the Cuisinart CGG-180T Petite Gourmet. It’s just about the most convenient grill for travel we’ve seen.

We think it’s best suited to solo adventurers, couples, and very small families. Not recommended for backyard BBQ bashes, but absolutely perfect for road trips and balcony life.

Have a peek at this little cutie and give some serious thought to snagging one for your next weekend outing. Just have to click the link!

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Pinty Portable Folding Tabletop Charcoal Grill

Pinty 250 Square Inch Portable Folding Charcoal Grill Carbon Steel Tabletop BBQ Grill for Outdoor Use

There are times when basic is good enough. If you occasionally enjoy grilling a few small items for your family, or would like the option of cooking a hot meal at the park or campground, but don’t want to invest in large or complicated gear, check out this nifty little grill.

Specs:

  • Fuel type: Charcoal
  • 22” L x 15.7” W x 15.4” H
  • 92 pounds
  • Cooking surface area: 250 sq. in.
  • Powder coated carbon steel lid and box
  • Porcelain-enameled grates
  • Silicone handles

What We Like

Although this is a basic model, it still comes with enough features to make charcoal grilling fun, and not a chore.

With adjustable front and lid vents, you’ll have plenty of control over your temperature, allowing for precise grilling. There’s more than enough room to cook plenty of food, yet the whole thing folds down and locks shut for easy transportation.

It’s large enough to be a perfectly good balcony or patio ‘cue, with the added bonus of grabbing it to go at a moment’s notice.

What We Don’t Like

Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to clean out the ashes – you have to remove the grate and dump everything, and that can be messy. There’s no temperature gauge, which is always annoying, especially since they really aren’t expensive.

Final Thoughts

If you’re an adherent to the old KISS philosophy -Keep It Simple, Stupid!- you’ll love the Pinty Portable Folding Tabletop Grill.

It’s just right for charcoal grilling the occasional delicious meal at home, and you can easily pack it down and bring it with you wherever your adventures may take you. Small investment, big returns for the casual griller.

Intrigued? Go ahead and give it a look, and have your credit card ready in case you decide to take the plunge.

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Giantex Propane Tabletop Gas Grill

Giantex Propane Tabletop Gas Grill Stainless Steel Two-Burner BBQ, with Foldable Leg, 20000 BTU, Perfect for Camping, Picnics or Any Outdoor Use, 22” x 18” x 15”, Silver

If you’re a serious griller, you might think no tabletop grill can possibly take the place of a full-size barbecue. But, if one could, and if you could even take in with you to the cottage, the lake, or the park, wouldn’t that be tempting?

We have a serious contender for you that combines the best of both worlds.

Specs:

  • Fuel type: Propane (20-pound tank)
  • 22” L x 18” W x 15” H
  • 26 pounds
  • Cooking surface area: 266.5 sq. in.
  • All stainless steel construction
  • Stainless steel grate
  • Two burners
  • 2x 10,000 BTUs

What We Like


There is a ton of cooking space on this little grill! Plus, with two separately controlled burners, you can set up dual zones for searing and cooking, or for different foods.

2x 10,000 BTUs is impressive for a tabletop; you’ll have no problem grilling even the thickest steaks. There’s also a temperature gauge in the lid. It’s just like grilling on the big guys! It’s ready to travel, though, with a robust front handle, folding legs, and lid latches.

What We Don’t Like

To be honest, 26 pounds isn’t exactly “light-weight,” but it’s not bad.

We would have preferred an enameled cast iron grate, but understand that would make it even heavier.

Other than that, there’s not much to dislike about this model.

Final Thoughts

We really like this little grill because it nicely straddles the line between tabletop and full-size grilling. By combining the key features of both categories, the Giantex will make grilling a pleasure both home and away.

Give this one some serious thought, especially if you’re thinking about a one-size-fits-all grilling solution, or if you want a big grill experience on your small patio.

Read more about it and then click to order – just follow the link:

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Char-Griller 2-2424 Tabletop Charcoal Grill

Char-Griller E22424 Table Top Charcoal Grill and Side Fire Box, Black

Some folks just will not give up their charcoal, and that’s ok. Some folks like their gear “heavy duty,” and that’s ok too.

Combine those two and you have a one very serious tabletop grill that cooks and looks like a beast. Want to be the envy of the tailgate party? Here’s your grill.

Specs:

  • Fuel type: Charcoal
  • 5” L x 17” W x 16” H
  • 40 pounds
  • Cooking surface area: 250 sq. in.
  • Heavy steel construction
  • Cast iron grates
  • 5-year warranty on rust through/burn through on hood and box, 1 year on ash pan and other parts

What We Like

This is a seriously solid, dare we say “macho” little barbecue. Everything about it is solid and rugged, from the braced legs to the bolted damper panel to the wooden lid handle. You honestly get the feeling that, properly taken care of, it will last forever.

The slide-out ash drawer makes it easy to clean out your grill after a cookout. Plus, the whole thing looks classic and cool.

What We Don’t Like

One of the “selling points” of this model is it can be mounted onto many Char-Griller barbecues for use as a side smoker. That great, except you can’t take it off again once it’s attached.

Don’t buy this thinking you’re going to be switching back and forth from smoking to camping. Pick it for one job or the other.

Also, while it’s a great tabletop grill, it is very heavy for toting around. Many people won’t want to lug it to the campground or bring it on a picnic.

Final Thoughts

So it’s not the most portable of the group, but it is an excellent option. You can have a premium charcoal grilling experience but take up a fraction of the space of a full-size unit. And, if you do toss it in the truck or RV for a tailgate party, you’ll surely draw a crowd.

The Char-Griller 2-2424 is a sweet blend of image, grilling prowess, and versatility.

Like what you see? Click the link and check out more pics and specs. Order it now and get ready to start the party!

 

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

 

Not all Tabletops are Created Equal

While tabletop grills are incredibly convenient, they can’t be used just anywhere. Many of them get very hot (that’s kind of the point, right?), making them unsafe for use on certain surfaces.

Metal, like on a tailgate, is totally fine. Generally speaking, you’re safe on most wood surfaces, like picnic tables, too, although even there it’s best to put something underneath the grill, if only to catch any grease drips.

What you should never do is use a tabletop grill on a plastic table, unless the table was designed for grilling. You run the risk of melting the surface of the table, thus ruining it, plus you’re releasing toxic chemicals into the air. If you’re grilling on a picnic table, don’t have a tablecloth underneath.

If you really don’t have a good spot to use your tabletop grill, there are specially made tables you can buy just for the job. They’re lightweight, portable, and offer convenient workspaces. Here are three of the best we’ve seen:

What to Look for When You’re Buying a Tabletop Grill

If you plan on shopping on your own, here are some things to look for when you’re buying a tabletop grill.

Fuel Type

The most basic question you have to ask yourself is what you want your fuel source to be – charcoal or propane. Both types have pros and cons. Just ask yourself which type makes more sense for you and how you plan on using your tabletop grill.

Both require carrying fuel with you if you’re going mobile, but once you use charcoal, it’s gone. Propane tanks, not so much. On the other hand, if you’re mostly at home and not needing to lug gear around, propane fires up more quickly.

The choice is yours, and there’s no wrong answer – just make sure to pick the solution that’s most right for you.

Folding Legs

While not 100% necessary, if you plan on taking your grill camping, tailgating, or picnicking, folding legs make packing a lot easier. Those few extra inches can make a big difference if you’re short on space.

Even if they don’t fold, make sure the legs provide sufficient clearance to keep the hot exterior of the grill away from whatever surface it’s resting on.

Note: We also have a guide dedicated to the best camping grills.

Weight

Again, this is only a relevant factor if you mean to take your tabletop grill on the road, boat, or trail. There’s no point in buying something for portability and it be too heavy to carry comfortably. We can’t tell you what’s too heavy, of course. Only you know what you can comfortably carry.

If you plan on leaving it at home, also consider where you plan to use it. A 40-pound grill on a rickety old table is a very bad combination.

Carrying Handles

A good tabletop grill should have a handle – or handles – to make it easy to carry. For short moves, a pair of side handles will do. For real portability, though, we favor a top handle, either lunchbox or briefcase style.

Make sure those handles are solidly attached! Flimsy welds or tiny screws could lead to an accident.

Locking Lid

You don’t want ash or other debris strewn about your vehicle or pack, so look for a lid you can lock shut during transit.

That’s What Little Grills are Made of

The grills may be little, but there’s a lot of information to sift through before you make a decision. What we can promise you, though, is you’ll have a lot of fun with your tabletop grill! The freedom to grill when you want, and where you want is so worth the investment. Just remember to season your new grill before you first cook food on it

Don’t be the only one having fun, though! Hook your friends and family up so we can help with their search for the best tabletop grill, by sharing the link. Group outings are so much better with multiple grills.

And please feel free to send us your questions, tips, gripes, comments – whatever you’ve got! We’re always happy to hear from our readers and will answer every comment.

Thanks for joining us today and hopefully we’ll see you again soon!

Happy grilling!

 

Product image credits: © Amazon.com

Mark Jenner

Hi. I'm Mark Jenner, owner and creator of FoodFireFriends.com. I grill and smoke food outdoors at least three days a week on a wide range of equipment, have done so for years, and love nothing more than cooking good food, over live fire, enjoying it with friends. The aim of this site is to educate and help others to do the same.

2 thoughts on “Top 6 Best Tabletop Grills in 2019 – Gas and Charcoal Options”

  1. I’m surprised you didn’t review the Weber Q Series table top grills here. The Weber’s get consistently high reviews. The Smoke Hollow portable grills also get good reviews. Could you give us your impressions of these grills? Thanks!

    • Hi Jeff,

      I did consider putting in the Weber Q series, you can find them in my ‘best portable gas grills’ roundup, but I tried to stick to grills marketed by the manufacturers explicitly as ‘table top’ for here, rather than overall ‘portable’, or at least those that others have said are good for tabletop use without causing the surface to burn etc. The Q series may be a good addition, and I do update semi-regularly so I will consider them for my next round of updates.

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