Backyard grilling is fabulous, but not everyone has a backyard. Plus, even if you do, there are other locations where grilled food is a must, like on a boat, at a tailgating party or for a camping trip. In all of these situations — or if you have very small outdoor space — a tabletop grill is just the ticket for great food and a great time. Choosing a tabletop grill that runs on propane is the best bet, especially if you’ll be taking it on the road. This type of grill is ready to cook not long after you light it and you don’t have to worry about lugging around charcoal. Clean-up is also a breeze because you don’t need to cool and discard ashes, which can be a challenge in a place like a boat deck.
While you give up some size in favor of portability, today’s tabletop gas grills can cook more food than you might think. Most models will use convenient one-pound propane canisters although some use a standard 20-pound tank, and others can be converted to use the larger tank. Note that as a rule, portable grills cannot be converted to natural gas. Beyond that, the specific features are up to your own needs and preferences. Ready to shop? Here are the best tabletop grills for adding some fun to your outings:
If you often want to move the party from the backyard to the boat, you need to get the Blaze Professional Marine Grade Portable Propane Gas Grill. This super convenient tabletop grill uses a one-pound propane cylinder but also has an adapter for a 20-pound tank when you’re at home in the backyard. This grill is a powerhouse when it comes to cooking because it has 200 square inches of grilling area. The marine-grade, 316L stainless steel exterior can stand up to the salt air, whether you use it on a boat or just happen to live near the ocean where salty sea breezes can take their toll on metals. It also has a cast stainless steel H-burner, 12-gauge stainless steel flame tamer and heavy-duty 12mm stainless steel cooking rods so you can easily sear meats.
The Blaze Professional Marine Grade Portable Propane Gas starts with a push and turn flame-thrower ignition and features two front-facing clips that lock the securely while you’re transporting it or when you need to safely store it. Plus, handles are conveniently located on each side, making it super easy to move or carry. Buyers have called this the “The Bentley of Portable Grills” for its substantial construction and fantastic function. Blaze Grills offers a best in class lifetime warranty and with the proper care, this tabletop grill will last even longer than you’d ever expect.
Weber’s Q 2200 Portable Propane Gas Grill is a good choice when you’re on the go not just for the portability, but because it has lots of features that grilling enthusiasts love, just on a smaller scale. The is the grill you want for tailgating, camping or cooking out on a small balcony. Fueled by a disposable one-pound propane cylinder, it lights right away thanks to the electronic ignition. It features a stainless steel burner that puts out 12,000 BTUs and is easily controlled by a knob that adjusts the flow of fuel. And, a built-in thermometer allows you to monitor the temperature — a feature that not many tabletop grills offer.
The body of the Weber Q 2200 is cast aluminum for portability but the cooking grate is cast iron, which evenly conducts heat. It features a cast-iron lid that allows you to grill larger items. The frame of the grill, along with the handles, is made from nylon that is glass-reinforced. There are also two folding worktables that flank the grill, providing extra space for prep or cookies items. Clean up is simple with the removable grease pan. Finally, if you plan on grilling for a larger group of people, an adapter hose for a 20-lb. propane tank is available separately. Weber covers its gas grills with a limited manufacturer warranty against defects in material & workmanship. The aluminum castings, lid assembly and stainless steel burners are warranted for five years as are stainless steel burners, plastic components and porcelain-enamel cast iron cooking grates. All the other parts have two years of coverage.
The Cuisinart name is synonymous with great kitchen appliances and you can have the same quality outdoors with the Cuisinart Chefs Style Portable Tabletop Grill. This portable gas model, which has been rated tops by a leading consumer publication, features two 10,000-BTU burners that together can reach 700 degrees F, giving you the ability to sear meats with ease. The 13 x 20-inch grates provide 240 square inches of cooking area and can accommodate food for up to eight people. Buyers say that this tabletop grill can cook up more food at once than they expected!
Made completely from stainless steel, the grill has separate controls for the two burners which let you create different heat zones for different foods. It’s also easy to keep tabs on the temperature inside the grill with the built-in thermometer. The Cuisinart Chefs Style Portable Tabletop Grill uses a standard 20-pound propane tank, making it perfect for use in a smaller backyard or patio setting. It cannot be converted for use with natural gas. Cuisinart covers this grill with a three-year warranty against defects in parts and workmanship.
If you want the Cuisinart name and quality for your outdoor grill but the Chefs Style model is too big, the Cuisinart Petit Gourmet Tabletop Gas Grill will be ideal. This one uses one-pound propane canisters, making it perfect for life on the go. Even with this degree of portability, the grill’s single burner powers out 5500 BTUs and is rated for up to 500 degrees. And, you can cook for up to four hours on one propane canister.
The smaller size of this tabletop grill can still accommodate cooking for four people. That means you can serve up 8 steaks, 8 hamburgers, 6-10 chicken breasts or 4 pounds of fish for family and friends. Even better, the enameled steel grate, which gives you 145 square inches of cooking area, is dishwasher safe. Cuisinart’s Petit Gourmet Tabletop Gas Grill assembles in five minutes and lights up with the turn of the knob. Happy buyers say that this grill is perfect for tailgating or camping and they love that the lid locks shut, so it’s easy to grab it by the handle to carry. Cuisinart covers this grill with a three-year warranty against defects in parts and workmanship.
For a high-end grill with complete portability and versatility, you can’t go wrong with the Coyote Portable Propane Gas Grill w/ Bo Jackson Signature Grates. Made from marine-grade 316 steel, this sleek grill can withstand the salt air, so take it with you on a boat or use it in a seaside climate without worry. Open up the top and inside you’ll find the Bo Jackson Signature laser-cut stainless steel cooking grate that has a heavy-gauge design that’s perfect for those sought-after sear marks. Best of all, you can use this grill with a standard 20-pound propane tank or with a portable one-pound canister using the adapted that comes with the grill.
This tabletop grill has a Coyote Infinity burner that puts out up to 20,000 BTUs, capable of reaching up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit. A ceramic briquette heat control grid helps keep cooking temperatures even across the 200 square inches of cooking area. It also has a removable drip tray that makes for easier cleanup. Happy reviewers have called this the Cadillac of tabletop grills for its durability and ease of use. Coyote Outdoor covers the grill with a limited lifetime warranty against defects in workmanship and materials on the stainless steel frame/housing and stainless steel burners. The cooking grids are covered for five years, flavorizer bars and electric/plastic components for two years, and the ignition systems/valves for one year.
If your aim is to have something that’s ideal for life on the go or to have something for a smaller outdoor space that can easily be packed away, these are among the best options for a tabletop grill. With so many great features, it’s easy to find one that’ll make grilling with your friends easy and fun, no matter where you do it