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What features make for the best small gas grill? Like other gas and propane grills, it starts with a high-quality burner and durable, heat-safe materials to ensure complete combustion and safe operation. These grills should have a cooking surface designed for even heat distribution and be free from toxic or thermally unstable materials regardless of fuel type. Keep in mind that at least 60 square inches of cooking space are preferable for most cooking and grilling needs. If you’re also open to a larger option that’s more integrated into your home, you can get the best built in grill instead.
You’ll also want a unit that’s easy to set up, and it should be light enough to use as a tabletop grill in nearly any outdoor space. The best compact gas grill can add to your cooking repertoire and allow barbecue-style meals even if you have limited outdoor space. The finest portable grills save time on setup versus a traditional charcoal grill or barbecue. Unlike an electric grill, portable gas grills don’t require an outlet and can also be convenient for camping uses.
Keep reading to learn more about the small gas grills and how to choose the best grill for your needs.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: With a compact countertop design and folding base, this device is easy to set up and transport. It has a red and black color scheme to add visual interest to any space.
With a compact tabletop design, the Cuisinart Petit Gourmet CGG-180T 145-square inch grill is ideal for home use and travel. This device has enough space for cooking eight burgers or 6 to 10 chicken breasts. With a 5,500 BTU stainless steel burner, this model provides adequate heat for grilling and searing. A porcelain-coated grate retains heat, cooking meats fast. This model has aluminum legs with stabilizing feet that install securely on various surfaces. However, this grill may be small for families.
With a large briefcase-style carrying handle, users can easily tote this device from place to place, and it weighs just 13.5 lbs, so it can be moved by one person. The table base folds for hassle-free carrying. This model has a red and black color scheme that will add a new focal point to any room. A lid latch on this device secures the interior parts, and it also has a spill-resistant drip tray for easy cleanup.
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Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: High-quality steel construction provides lasting durability. This device uses a single customizable burner to provide heat for grilling, roasting, and searing.
Designed for on-the-go use, the Char-Broil 190 190 square inch grill has a portable design that’s easy to transport. It boasts steel construction that stands up to regular use and frequent transportation. This unit is rust-resistant and has a high-temperature finish that holds up well when exposed to the elements. It has high-quality porcelain-coated grates that lock in heat for fast grilling. However, this model doesn’t have a temperature gauge.
Designed for use with 16.4-oz and 14.1-oz propane bottles, this grill supports on-the-go cooking.it has cool-touch handles and a lid handle that simplify operating the grill and monitoring the progress of food. With a single gas burner, this device provides a steady supply of heat, preparing anything from veggies to meats. A control knob enables adjusting the intensity of the heat, while retractable legs facilitate moving this device from place to place.
Award: BEST APPEARANCE
WHY WE LIKE IT: With two 10,000-BTU gas heaters, this grill provides adequate power for fast grilling and searing. It has a pleasant silver-gray finish that will add visual interest to any space.
With a pleasantly stainless steel finish, the Pit Boss 75275 276-square-inch grill makes a lasting impression and supports easy cleaning. This grill has legs that allow easy placement on tables and countertops. We like the two-burner design with 10,000-BTU independently controlled heaters that allow preparing two different recipes simultaneously. Although it has folding legs, the legs have no locks, so there is a risk of accidentally tipping the grill over during cooking.
This gas grill has a lid temperature gauge to help with controlling the heat. An ergonomic lid handle lets users visually monitor the cooking easily. With a push-and-turn ignition system, this grill offers a hassle-free start-up. It’s compatible with 20-lb gas cylinders and boasts a sizable cooking surface ideal for families. This grill produces adequate heat to cook fast and it features a tabletop design that is ideal for use at home, at tailgate parties, and during picnics or camping trips. It’s a great example of high-end grills from Pit Boss. With that said, you’ll love this top-rated Pit Boss pellet grill, too.
Award: BEST FOR HAND-CARRYING
WHY WE LIKE IT: A brilliant red palette makes a bold statement at tailgate parties or camping trips. This device has a folding design that is suitable for hassle-free transportation.
With a distinctive red finish, the Coleman Fold N Go 105 square inch grill adds a pop of color to any outdoor kitchen. This device has a portable design, unlike its cousin the Coleman 225 gas grill, which is too heavy to transport! The Fold N Go allows for hassle-free transportation. It has a 6,000 BTU horseshoe burner that provides heat for grilling and roasting, and a knob precisely adjusts the heating. This device has an InstaStart button ignition system that provides a fast, reliable start-up. However, this model is very limited in terms of cooking space.
The cooking surface and grease tray on this model are removable for hassle-free cleaning. PerfectFlow tech ensures consistent performance even in high winds, while PerfectHeat technology minimizes the amount of fuel used for efficiency. This unit is compatible with 1-lb propane bottles for simple operation on the go. This device is compact and lightweight, so it’s perfect for camping trips and picnics, and it has an aluminized steel cooktop that resists rusting.
Award: BEST FOR ENTERTAINING
WHY WE LIKE IT: With a whopping 339 square inches of cooking space and a warming rack, this device is ideal for gatherings. It has three gas heaters and side tables for keeping accessories and ingredients.
Featuring a large cooking surface, this Master Cook SRGG31403 339-square-inch grill is the ultimate small grill for entertaining. It has three gas burners that produce a total of 30,000 BTUs of heat per hour, handling large family-sized meals fast. A piezoelectric ignition system with a push and turn mechanism simplifies start-up. This device has a stainless steel control panel with chromium-plate control knobs for simple operation. However, transporting this grill is not easy, owing to its wide and high construction.
Porcelain-enameled wire cooking grates provide durability and retain heat, saving fuel, and a 132.8-square-inch warming rack keeps food ready for serving. This device uses propane for reliable cooking, and it has an open cart design with large wheels, helping users to move it around easily. Folding side tables on this unit provide space for preparing seasonings and keeping cook tools, while an integrated lid temperature gauge helps users monitor the heat.
Award: BEST BUILD QUALITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: Tough die-cast aluminum construction with a five-layer enamel paint job stands up to the elements. This system has a spacious cooking surface, warming rack, and dual side tables.
The Huntington 24025 240-square-inch grill has a large cooking surface that is suitable for entertaining. This device also boasts a warming rack, keeping meals hot after cooking. An aluminized steel cooking system provides durability. This model boasts a Sure-Lite ignition system that provides reliably fast start-up. It has an EZ-Q-Cart design that wheels easily across the lawn, and a heat-resistant cover handle enables hassle-free opening and closing. However, this unit lacks a temperature gauge.
A powerful 25,000 BTU burner system with two heaters enables cooking two different recipes at the same time. The grill has weather-resistant die-cast aluminum parts with a five-coat enamel paint job that resists rusting and corrosion. With porcelain-coated wire cooking grids and a stainless steel cooking system, this device provides excellent heat retention and durability. It’s equipped with side tables that enable hassle-free food preparation and they also accommodate cook tools.
Small gas grills are compact, often portable, cooking appliances that use a gas flame to heat a grilling surface. These versatile cooking tools can grill meats, fish, vegetables, and meat substitutes. Some models can also provide stovetop-like cooking functionality, allowing for frying and simmering.
Most small gas grills offer between 140 to 400 square inches of cooking area and weigh from ten to forty pounds. Like the best portable charcoal grills, small gas grills can provide enough heat for searing meat and can heat up quickly.
As the name implies, small gas grills stand out for their compact size. This allows for great convenience if you need to bring a grill to a tailgate party and makes these appliances work well on an apartment balcony or pool deck. A small, lightweight grill is often preferable for travel uses as well.
Compared to a traditional grill like the Blackstone 28-inch outdoor flat-top griddle station, a small gas grill has a smaller cooking area and usually uses a single grill grate instead of multiple grill plates. Unlike larger grills, smaller compact models may not have an area to keep cooked food warm. Compared to a smokeless indoor grill, they offer more outdoor flexibility since it doesn’t require an outlet.
Gas grills with a compact design often have smaller gas tanks but benefit from more efficient heat conduction. This means that they require less fuel to cook a given set of items than a large grill.
Unlike electric grills, portable grills that use propane tanks or natural gas fuel don’t require a nearby power outlet. This makes them great for cooking out on the beach or at the park. They can also be more lightweight for a given size, making them easier to transport than a portable charcoal grill. Many come with built-in carrying handles. This type of grill can be well suited to outdoor grilling while camping and on vacation.
Small gas grills use natural gas or propane as a heat source, replacing the charcoal of a traditional barbecue or the pellets of a pellet grill. Most portable propane grill and natural gas grill models use stainless steel burners for efficient combustion and even heat distribution.
Mini gas grills generally have a cooking grate placed above the burners. They use outer housing with a closable lid that features one or more air and smoke vents. Some models offer different cooking surfaces, including griddles and cast iron grates, and heat-reflective inner lids for indirect heat distribution. Most at least come with a durable grill made of iron or porcelain-coated iron, letting them leave visible grill marks on steaks and burgers.
Most gas and propane gas grills use standard-sized burners designed for commonly available propane and CNG tank sizes. Some offer push-button ignition, and some offer adapters with multiple fuel-type options. A built-in valve controls fuel flow and enables a larger or smaller flame for different heat settings. Some units use a built-in thermometer to show grill temperature.
A small gas grill can provide a convenient, portable way of cooking outdoors, enabling barbecue-style meals without taking up a huge amount of space or requiring heavy charcoal. If you’re looking for a setup for cooking on the balcony or for tailgate parties, buying the best tailgate grill you can afford may have advantages over comparable charcoal or pellet grills and electric grill options.
Newer small gas grills may offer a range of improvements in heat retention, fuel efficiency, and design, along with extra features such as a fuel gauge, built-in temperature gauge, grease tray, and electronic ignition. Newer gas grills also may offer advanced, flexible fuel options, letting you choose between CNG, traditional propane, charcoal, or even solar or infrared cooking.
Well-chosen materials and efficient design let the best newer small gas grills deliver more even and flavorful cooking. New models are also less likely to leak fuel than older units and may have cool features such as heated grease trays or a heated drip tray that vaporizes meat juices for a more concentrated flavor.
When properly maintained, small gas grills can last decades. A high-quality portable gas grill uses durable materials like porcelain-enameled cast-iron and stainless steel. It’s not uncommon to see ten or fifteen years of use out of a small propane or gas grill before you need to replace any major components.
Typical wear areas on portable grills include the grill grate, handles, lid hinges, and moving parts such as fold-out side tables and caster wheels. Modern gas grills often use electronic ignition, which means added convenience and easier starting, and perhaps an additional wear item, as the electric spark and push-button ignition systems may not last as long as the grill itself. Some models rely on batteries for ignition, and thus you may have to replace the batteries every two years or so, depending on how much you use the grill.
Propane and natural gas burners are generally very robust and simple systems, but proper cleaning is needed to keep them working right year after year. Experts recommend storing your grill indoors and away from excess humidity, as rust is one of the main reasons a gas grill may stop working. Over time, lids and other folding parts may become stiff and require oiling. Some grills use adapter plates and slide-out trays, which can also wear out.
Iron grill grates can develop carbonized build-up that may eventually require replacing the grate. Periodic deep cleaning using a quality grill brush can help extend the lifespan of the grate. In addition, porcelain-coated grates are usually easier to clean and may last longer.
Several factors can help you decide which small gas grill is best for you. In general, you’ll want to consider size, fuel type, portability, and materials. For outdoor grilling at parties and family outings, you’ll likely want at least 120 square inches of cooking surface. You may also want to look for additional features, such as a removable grease tray, a built-in lid thermometer, and reversible cooking grates.
If looking for a grill for travel, prioritize models that fold up for easier carrying and storage. Flexible fuel options and a rugged, durable manual igniter can be beneficial for a camping grill you’ll mainly use outdoors. Grills intended for balconies of apartment complexes may benefit from convenience features, such as fold-out side tables to hold cooking utensils.
One of the main considerations when looking for a small gas-powered grill may be the size of the available cooking surface. If you typically grill for just a few people at a time, a compact model with about a 100-130 square inch cooking surface may be enough. For larger gatherings or meals, you may want a model with dual grates or an expandable cooking surface.
If you’re looking for a portable stove and grill for cooking at a campsite, additional factors to consider include portability and flexible fuel options. Some small gas grills weigh 15 pounds or less and can accept the standard 1-lb propane tanks sold in camping stores.
The type of cooking surface and heat output you’ll need depends in part on what types of foods you want to prepare, as well as the cooking process. For charring meat and fish steaks, you may want a small gas grill that gets hotter, while even heat distribution and precise temperature control are more important for slower cooking.
If you have limited space, you may want a small gas grill that can fold up for easy storage. For a grill that may live mostly outdoors, you may also want to look for durable, easy-to-clean materials such as enameled cast iron and stainless steel.