10 Best Small Outdoor Grills of 2021

Last update: 2021-12-01

When it gets warmer, it’s the perfect time for outdoor grilling, a great chance to gather with your family and friends. To have the best grilling experience and avoid unwanted problems, you’d better make sure you have got the best small outdoor grills.

If you haven’t got one, here’s what you should do.

Here are the best small outdoor grills you can buy in 2021:

  • Best Overall (Electric Grills): George Foreman 15-Serving
  • Versatile (Electric Grills): Weber 52020001 Q1400
  • Best Small Tabletop Grill (Electric Grills): Cuisinart CEG-980T
  • Best Overall (Propane Grills): Cuisinart CGG-180T
  • Sturdy and Convenient (Propane Grills): Char-Broil Grill2Go X200
  • Best for Large Groups (Propane Grills): Weber 50060001 Q1000
  • Best for Seafood (Propane Grills): Cuisinart CGG-059
  • Best Overall (Charcoal Grills): Cuisinart CCG190
  • Best for Yakatori (Charcoal Grills): Fire Sense Small Yakatori Charcoal Grill
  • Best for Kabobs (Charcoal Grills): ISUMER Portable Charcoal Grill 180 square inches
10 Best Small Outdoor Grills
Best Overall
George Foreman 15-Serving
  • Electric Grills
Versatile
Weber 52020001 Q1400
  • Electric Grills
Best Small Tabletop Grill
Cuisinart CEG-980T
  • Electric Grills
Best Overall
Cuisinart CGG-180T
  • Propane Grills
Sturdy and Convenient
Char-Broil Grill2Go X200
  • Propane Grills
Best for Large Groups
Weber 50060001 Q1000
  • Propane Grills
Best for Seafood
Cuisinart CGG-059
  • Propane Grills
Best Overall
Cuisinart CCG190
  • Charcoal Grills
Best for Yakatori
Fire Sense Small Yakatori Charcoal Grill
  • Charcoal Grills
Best for Kabobs
ISUMER Portable Charcoal Grill 180 square inches
  • Charcoal Grills

Best Overall (Electric Grills): George Foreman 15-Serving

George Foreman 15-Serving
George Foreman 15-Serving
9.2Outstanding
Pros
  • Roomy yet compact & safe to use – 240 square inches of cooking area, measured by 11 x 20 x 20.5 inches, & Apartment-Approved design
  • Easy to adjust the temperature - temp probe with 5 heat options
  • Reduce up to 42% of fat from grilled meat - sloped surface & drip pan
Cons
  • No way to extend the base

The George Foreman 15-Serving is an easy apartment-style living BBQ grill.

It is compact, easy to assemble, and more importantly, super easy to cook indoors & outdoors. Giving 240 square inches of cooking area, it is spacious enough to make 6-8 burgers at a time.

The best thing is everything has been cooked thoroughly, all thanks to the temperature probe with 5 heat options.

While grilling, all the excess grease will flow through the sloped surface and be caught in a drip tray. With this improvement, you’re able to decrease up to 42% of fat from meats.

George Foreman 15-Serving Specifications

Weight

17 pounds

Dimension

11 x 20 x 20.5 inches

Cooking Size

240 square inches

No of Servings

15

Highlight Features

240 square inches of the cooking area; Apartment-Approved design; temp probe with 5 heat options; sloped surface & drip pan

Verdict

According to its best overall performance, we’d like to recommend the George Foreman 15-Serving to everyone to own one.

Versatile (Electric Grills): Weber 52020001 Q1400

Weber 52020001 Q1400
Weber 52020001 Q1400
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Heat up fast and evenly – Infinite control burner valve settings & 1560-watt electric heating element
  • Remain temperature flawlessly - cast iron grates, and cast aluminum body & lid
Cons
  • A bit expensive
  • The grate is a bit sticky

A bit smaller in cooking surface yet packing a punch, the Weber 52020001 Q1400 is our proud suggestion for small families and couples.

In spite of its modest silhouette, the grill generates the same wattage or heat as the larger one does, meaning that it really gets hot with no cold spots. Seem that it has even across the whole cooking space.

Fans of this unit also praised for their heat retention, especially when compared to the cheaper grills, even when opening & closing the lid often.

It all thanks to the flawless combo of cast iron grates, and cast aluminum body & lid.

From such highlight points, it’s easy to guess that this electric grill is versatile enough to handle any food for the best results.

Weber 52020001 Q1400 Specifications

Weight

29.5 pounds

Dimension

14.5 H x 27 W x 16.5 D

Cooking Size

189 square-inches

Highlight Features

Infinite control burner valve settings & 1560-watt electric heating element; cast-iron grates, and cast aluminum body & lid

Verdict

Get this versatile Weber 52020001 Q1400 electric grill and you’ll be added with more confidence to cook any recipes like a pro.

Best Small Tabletop Grill (Electric Grills): Cuisinart CEG-980T

Cuisinart CEG-980T
Cuisinart CEG-980T
8.6Great
Pros
  • Able to sear the foods – provide 1500W heating element and even-heating grates
  • Easy to maneuver – weighs 13 pounds, briefcase-style carrying handle, and measured by 18.6 x 11.8 x 17.6 inches
  • Stand steadily and stably – durable and firm base & strong legs
Cons
  • Small grease cup
  • The lid seems a bit flimsy

The Cuisinart CEG-980T is perfectly a small tabletop grill for apartment balconies. It provides a 1500W heating element with a twisting knob and 145-square-inch capacity, which is perfect for not just grilling but also searing foods.

We’re amazed that the meat is cooked evenly on both sides with reflected heat and good moist and taste really as we cooked it on charcoal.

The folding legs are another notable feature.

Unlike other counterparts here, they are strong and sturdy for a much more stable and durable base. When not in use, just collapse them and stow away.

Cuisinart CEG-980T Specifications

Weight

17 lbs.

Dimension

18.6 x 11.8 x 17.6 inches

Cooking Size

145-square-inches

No of Servings

4

Highlight Features

1500W heating element and even-heating grates; briefcase-style carrying handle; strong legs

Verdict

The Cuisinart CEG-980T small tabletop grill is a flawless solution to having a little BBQ fun out in your apartment balcony this summer.

Best Overall (Propane Grills): Cuisinart CGG-180T

Cuisinart CGG-180T
Cuisinart CGG-180T
9Outstanding
Pros
  • No hot spots at all - even-heating porcelain-enameled grate & a knob to adjust the flame
  • Perfect for 4 servings - 145-square-inch cooking surface
  • Not deteriorate when exposed to extreme weather – rust-free aluminum legs, stainless-steel burner, and durable body
Cons
  • There is only one burner
  • The lid lock could be better

The Cuisinart CGG-180T is our suggestion for the people who get tired of messing with the large propane tank for their gas grill.

It works great - comes fully assembled, ignites like a breeze, and the flame is easy to control for correct temperature. There also comes an even-heating porcelain-enameled grate so, no hot spots to worry about.

Although its modest design is not suitable for parties, the 145-square-inch cooking surface is still roomy enough to hold 10 hen breasts, 8 steaks, 8 buns, or 4-pound fish at a time.

The grill is also durable against most kinds of weather with no signs of deterioration or damage.

Cuisinart CGG-180T Specifications

Weight

13.5 pounds

Dimension

13" H x 16.50" W x 16" L

Cooking Size

145-square-inch

Highlight Features

even-heating porcelain-enameled grate; 145-square-inch cooking surface; rust-free aluminum legs, stainless-steel burner

Verdict

The Cuisinart CGG-180T gains the highest overall scoring and truly outperforms our expectations.

Sturdy and Convenient (Propane Grills): Char-Broil Grill2Go X200

Char-Broil Grill2Go X200
Char-Broil Grill2Go X200
8.6Great
Pros
  • Strong and sturdy – solid latch, grippy rubber feet, and die-cast aluminum construction
  • Eliminate flare-ups - TRU-Infrared cooking system
  • Convenient to fit any car trunk for most outdoor activities – various handles and measured by 23.7 x 15 x 13.6 inches
Cons
  • The provided tool does not clean out the slots very well
  • The temperature regulator is a little limited
  • Still very hot on the lowest setting

We like the Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 because it is easy to transport, simple to set up, and seems very sturdy. The latch is solid and the rubber feet come in good grips on a hard floor.

It never takes more than one click to ignite, thanks to the convenient push-button ignition.

It also produces plenty of heat from a minimum of fuel - only go through one can in 3 days using it for all five meals – so you will save more on fuel refilling.

Unlike the full-sized sibling, its dimensions now are shrunk down a lot to conveniently fit any car trunk, RV kitchen, and is perfect for outdoor use, such as tailgating, camping, and more.

One last bonus for its TRU-Infrared cooking system which is specifically built to prevent flare-ups more efficiently.

Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 Specifications

Weight

20 pounds

Dimension

23.7 x 15 x 13.6 inches

Cooking Size

200 square inches

Power Output

9,500 BTU main burner

Highlight Features

solid latch, grippy rubber feet, and die-cast aluminum construction; TRU-Infrared cooking system; various handles

Verdict

Featuring sturdy construction and convenient size for ease of transport, the Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 is our top choice for camping, tailgating, and more.

Best for Large Groups (Propane Grills): Weber 50060001 Q1000

Weber 50060001 Q1000
Weber 50060001 Q1000
8.6Great
Pros
  • Enough room for 8 adult-sized steak servings – 189-square-inch cooking size
  • Cook fast after preheat - cast-iron grates and 8500 BTU/hour of burning production rate
  • Easy to clean - PFAS- and PFOA-free porcelain enamel coating & two-piece design
Cons
  • Lack of locking latch for transporting

The Weber 50060001 Q1000 is a nifty yet roomy small outdoor grill providing plenty of room for a total of 8 adult size steak servings to be cooked at the same time.

How? It’s all about the cast-iron grates and 8500 BTU/hour of burning production rate so you can cook ultra-fast after preheat. Another advantage is it doesn’t get all smoke revealing your location.

Another great improvement from the traditional propane grills is its PFAS- and PFOA-free porcelain enamel coated for extra ease of cleaning.

The two-piece construction, on the other hand, is simple to take apart for simpler maintenance.

Weber 50060001 Q1000 Specifications

Weight

26.6 pounds

Dimension

20.5 x 27 x 23.5 inches

Cooking Size

189 square-inch

Power Output

8500 BTU-per-hour

Highlight Features

189-square-inch cooking size; cast-iron grates and 8500 BTU/hour of burning production rate; PFAS- and PFOA-free porcelain enamel coating

Verdict

The Weber 50060001 Q1000 is a great outdoor grill for large groups.

Best for Seafood (Propane Grills): Cuisinart CGG-059

Cuisinart CGG-059
Cuisinart CGG-059
8.6Great
Pros
  • Give nice smoky flavors – airtight lid
  • Cook fast and even heating - 8000BTU burner, enameled steel grates, and sided temp-adjustment knob
  • Simple to clean
Cons
  • Vents are sharp
  • The temp setting could be better

There are three core elements making a delicious grilled seafood dish, smoky flavors, fast cooking, and ease of cleanup.

We’re glad to find the Cuisinart CGG-059 to meet them all.

While its 8000BTU burner and sided temp-adjustment knob provide precise heat control, the closed lid intensifies the smoke. An extra tip if you want smokier flavors is adding a smoker box on the grill.

Finally, it has no hassle of cleaning. No need for a dishwasher, all you should prepare is just a grill brush and cloth, then, give it a nice wipe.

Cuisinart CGG-059 Specifications

Weight

10 pounds

Dimension

19 x 11.5 x 10 inches

Cooking Size

146-square-inches

Power Output

8,000 BTUs

Highlight Features

airtight lid; 8000BTU burner, enameled steel grates, and sided temp-adjustment knob

Verdict

For those who are finding the best outdoor grill for seafood, we assure you that you never go wrong with this Cuisinart CGG-059.

Best Overall (Charcoal Grills): Cuisinart CCG190

Cuisinart CCG190
Cuisinart CCG190
8.6Great
Pros
  • Easy and safe to use – ash catcher & enamel-coated firebox
  • Simple to transport – 3 solid lid locks
  • Good temp management and charcoal tracking – dual ventilation system
Cons
  • The height of the upper grill is not adjustable

The Cuisinart CCG190 is a very economical and safe choice for anyone who prefers to enjoy standard smoky grilled foods at home. It comes in a great size for small families and is very easy to install.

Ventilation is great.

The grill highlights a dual venting system for ultimate temp control and charcoal management so you can cook up at searing hot temperatures or slow & low.

For souped-up convenience, it features a well-secured lid with three solid locks and an easy access ashtray for low maintenance.

Cuisinart CCG190 Specifications

Weight

2 lbs.

Dimension

14.5 x 14.5 x 15 inches

Cooking Size

150-square-inch

Diameter

14-inch

Highlight Features

ash catcher & enamel-coated firebox; 3 solid lid locks; dual ventilation system

Verdict

Not just provide a perfect size for small space but also highlight good ventilation and convenience, no doubt when the Cuisinart CCG190 is our top choice in this field.

Best for Yakatori (Charcoal Grills): Fire Sense Small Yakatori Charcoal Grill

Fire Sense Small Yakatori Charcoal Grill
Fire Sense Small Yakatori Charcoal Grill
8.4Good
Pros
  • Fuel-efficient - well-adjusted ventilation and heavy handmade clay construction
  • Durable and long-lasting - Chrome cooking grill
Cons
  • The bottom could be more quality

This small ceramic Yakatori grill is like a fuel-efficient Japanese car. It is the only model that has the least heat loss, meaning that your food is well-grilled with a lesser amount of charcoal compared to others.

Want to know the secret?

Well, it all lies in the well-adjusted ventilation and heavy handmade clay construction.

They make heat not be conducted to a metal surface other than the grate, and as the result, the heat does not radiate outward to anyone who isn't leaning right over the top or to the table.

Regardless, the grill is commended for durable construction to last long.

Fire Sense Small Yakatori Charcoal Grill Specifications

Weight

12.97 pounds

Dimension

0d-1 inches x 10.75 inches x 7.25 inches

Cooking Size

121 square inches

Diameter

11”

Highlight Features

well-adjusted ventilation and heavy handmade clay construction; Chrome cooking grill

Verdict

For cooking generally little Asian stuff, like single strips of meat, little kabobs, and yakatori, we choose this one.

Best for Kabobs (Charcoal Grills): ISUMER Portable Charcoal Grill 180 square inches

ISUMER Portable Charcoal Grill 180 square inches
ISUMER Portable Charcoal Grill 180 square inches
8.2Good
Pros
  • Easy to assemble – clear instructions and simple design
  • High-quality – durable steel body with rust-resistant finish
  • Provide good temp control - Lid and dampers & lots of vents
Cons
  • The height is too much to sit in a chair to work
  • No temperature gauge

For under $35, having this small charcoal grill is a good buy if you want to start kabobs grilling. All the hardware is in good quality and the instructions are very easy to follow (take under 10 minutes for assembly).

We like how stable the grill is with charcoal in it, and the size is perfect for small BBQ parties in the backyard.

You can control the grilling temp phenomenally well with lots of vents at the top and the front side. But be aware of 10 to 15 mph winds, it might take you extra few minutes of cooking time to compensate for it.

ISUMER Portable Charcoal Grill 180 square inches Specifications

Weight

7.09 pounds

Dimension

15.9 x 11 x 8.8 inches

Cooking Size

180 square inches

Highlight Features

durable steel body with the rust-resistant finish; Lid and dampers & lots of vents; cooking space of 180 square inches

Verdict

We’d like to recommend the ISUMER Portable Charcoal Grill 180 square inches as a good entry-level choice to start out kabobs grilling.

How To Choose The Best Small Outdoor Grill?

Types

There are a number of grills with different characteristics, you need to know them all to figure out which type is the best for you.


Highlight features

Pros

Cons

Best for

Charcoal grills

Very hot

Require coal arranging for direct and indirect heat cooking zones

Smoky flavor

Portable

Easy to use

No temperature control knobs

Take longer to heat

Messier

Limited budget

Small groups

People who like the charcoal flavor

Gas grills

More space on the grill grates

Run on propane

Require refilling and replacing the tank

Easy to use and clean

Heat quickly

Various size options

More expensive

No smoky flavor

Require extra care

Backyard grills

Electric grill

Require plugging into an outlet

Safe for small spaces

Compact

Easy to clean and use

Expensive

No smoky flavor

People living in a condo or lack of outdoor space

Smokers

Cooks slowly

Lower temperature

Large cooking area

Deeply smoked flavor

Take long to cook

Expensive

Barbecue enthusiasts

Portable grills

Run on 16 oz propane tanks

Portable

Simple control

Durable

Easy to use

Require a separate propane tank

Expensive if not used frequently

Two people

Grilling on the road, camping

Wood pellet grills

Require plugging into an outlet

Allow for setting temperature and cooking time

Add wood pallets automatically

Easy to use

Heat up fast

Produce great smoky flavor

Expensive

People who want hands-free cooking

Cooking Space & Size

Before deciding on a gill to buy, you also need to take the cooking space and size into account. Your grill should have enough surface area for cooking your typical meal along with versatility for adding more food when needed.

To choose the right size, you need to answer one question: how many burners will you need? These tips will help you:

  • Check to see if the burners are big enough to cover the entire cooking surface.

  • If you are looking at gas grills, keep in mind that you don’t have to use the burners all at once. They also have specialized zones for different cooking types along with super-hot infrared zones to sear meat.

  • Check the maximum total temperature of the grill, which should be 600 degrees F or higher.

  • Find a grill with extra side burner attachments if you want to cook different dishes at the same time.

  • You should go with steel, porcelain-coated steel, or cast iron cooking grids.

Features

  • A grill cover: protects the entire grill.

  • Sturdy shelving on the sides: holds the meat before grilling as well as condiments, spices, cheese, etc.

  • A built-in thermostat: helps you know what temperature you’re cooking at

Which Brands Make The Best Small Outdoor Grill?

George Foreman Grill

This is a brand of portable, electric grills with its first product introduced in 1994. Until now, there have been more than 100 million Goerge Foreman grills sold globally.

Weber

With its first product in 1952, the brand has got almost 70 years of experience in making grills. Its sole purpose is to help people make better dishes.

Cuisinart

Cuisinart, established in 1971, is among the more popular brand when it comes to electric food processors and other kitchenware, including grills.

Char-Broil

This brand was founded in 1944. Over the past 76 years, it has been operating as a manufacturer of outdoor grills (electric, gas, charcoal), smokers, as well as accessories. In 2013, its TRU-Infrared Thin grill got the Gold Medal Honor at the International BBQ Awards, Germany.

Fire Sense

Since its foundation in 1998, this brand has been offering fire pits, electric and gas patio heater, patio fireplaces, along with electric fireplaces. It aims at high quality and innovative design for each and every one of its products.

FAQs

When's the best time to buy a grill?

The best time for buying a grill is September, or the Fall in general because there are deep discounts on charcoal and gas grills. But you should start looking at deals from July.

How long should a grill last?

A grill can last for a very long time, from 5 to 15 years. However, it’s often replaced after 3 years on average.

Is grilling and barbecuing the same thing?

When barbecuing, you cook with a slow, circumvented unit of hot air and the lid is closed. When grilling, you cook with the lid up, using direct heat from the bottom rather than all around the source.

Can I leave my grill outside?

Yes, you can, but you should use a grill cover to protect it from being damaged by the weather. Plus, if you’re using a grill running on propane, never store the tank indoors.

Should I cover my outside grill?

Yes, definitely. A grill cover will help the grill maintain for years. You should the grill cover over the grill after each use once it’s cooled down.

Conclusion

At this point, we hope that our guideline has helped you get an overview of what to do when choosing the best small outdoor grill for yourself.

Don’t forget to look at all types of outdoor grills, their pros, and cons, or it will be much harder for you to find the perfect product that meets your needs. Also, buying from a reliable brand we listed above will further ensure the quality for you.

At the end of the day, we all want a product with high quality that can last long, don’t we?

Eugene Williams
Eugene Williams

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