Reviews

The Best Small Grills (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021

Consider these small grills for a high-quality cooking experience.

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BY Zach Faulds / LAST UPDATED ON March 28, 2021

If you're cooking a lot of meat, chicken, or fish, a high-quality grill is a necessity. However, many people don't have the space for a large grill. Small grills are convenient for cooking outdoors on your small patio, deck, backyard, or small spaces indoors. The best small grills are often just as efficient as larger grills. Small grills are available in various types, including charcoal, propane, or electric, to best fit your grilling preferences.

 

These grills are also portable and can easily be moved around your yard or even stored in the back of your truck or RV to bring with you on camping trips. Whether you are looking for great value, durability, versatility, or a user-friendly option, we took a look at the best small grills currently on the market.

Best Overall
Char-Griller Charcoal Grill
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Summary
Summary

This small yet versatile grill is a smoker combination product. It features  triple-walled 22 gauge steel to retain maximum heat while cooking.

Pros
Pros
  • Maintains cooking temperatures ranging from 200 degrees  to 700 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 153-square-inch cast iron cooking surface with an easy dump ash pan, and built-in temperature gauge
  • Exterior made from powder coated steel
  • Interior made from porcelain coated steel
Cons
Cons
  • Issue with its weight
  • Should not be carried by just one person
Best Overall
Char-Griller Charcoal Grill
Best Value
Weber Original Kettle
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Summary
Summary

This is one of the best budget-friendly options on the market. It is extremely durable, and it is designed to withstand high temperatures. The coals can be arranged on the fuel grate for direct or indirect grilling.

Pros
Pros
  • Temperature can be controlled without lifting the lid
  • Durable and easy-to-clean cooking grate
  • Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat for consistent temperature and even cooking
Cons
Cons
  • Issue with potential leaks
  • Some grills have air leaks in the lid, resulting in trouble maintaining a consistent temperature
Best Value
Weber Original Kettle
Honorable Mention
Weber Spirit II Propane Grill
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Summary
Summary

This grill features durable porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates. The grate is entirely reversible to cook everything from delicate white fish to T-bone steaks.

Pros
Pros
  • Open-cart design allows easy access to grilling tools
  • Left side table can be folded down to save space
  • Integrated hooks on the side safely hold grilling utensils and accessories
Cons
Cons
  • Issue with consistency
  • Grill may not cook evenly on both sides
Honorable Mention
Weber Spirit II Propane Grill
Small Grill Close Up
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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Benefits of Small Grills

  • Saves space. One of the main features of small grills is that they are space savers. They do not take up much room in your home, deck, or patio. Just make sure that the grill is large enough to cook all the food for yourself and your family at once.
  • Portable. Small grills are typically designed to be portable and can be carried in and out of storage in your home, as needed. Many small grills can even be transported in your RV or vehicle for long trips.
  • Versatile. Most small grills are extremely versatile products. The grills can be used to cook various items and are available in several different types. Depending on the type of small grill, the product can be used for grilling both indoors and outdoors.

Types of Small Grills

Charcoal

If you are using your grill primarily outside, either in your backyard, campsite, deck, or patio, then a charcoal grill may be the best choice for you. Many grilling purists prefer a charcoal grill. The only downside to this type of small grill is that the coals can be a fire hazard. Make sure to extinguish the coals before you leave your charcoal grill unattended.

Propane

Propane gas grills, also known as liquid gas grills, are another prevalent type of grill. This type of grill is an extremely convenient, versatile, and generally safe option. Depending on the size of the grill, it may require a different size propane tank. Make sure to properly store your tank when not in use.

Electric

Electric grills are another versatile and convenient option, as they can be used both indoors and outdoors. Ensure that you have an outlet nearby or an extension cord if you plan to use an electric grill outdoors. This type of grill is probably the safest option of the three types of small grills because there is not much risk of a fire hazard while in use.

Top Brands

Weber

Founded in 1893 and headquartered in Palatine, Ill., Weber has developed into one of the top American manufacturers of charcoal, gas, and electric grills, as well as related grilling accessories. In addition to high-quality small grills, Weber produces wood pellet grills, grilling tools, merchandise, and more.

Char-Griller 

Char-Griller has developed into one of the most reputable manufacturers of grilling equipment and accessories in the nation. This company is known for its excellent customer service and quality equipment. Char-Griller produces gas griddles, kamado grills, steak rubs, and more in addition to high-quality small grills. 

George Foreman

Founded in 1994, George Foreman has become one of the most trustworthy grilling equipment leaders globally. This company is known for its electric grills across the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, and more. Aside from high-quality small grills, George Foreman produces plate grills, griddle plates, air fryers, and more. 

Small Grill Pricing

  • Under $150: Small grills in this price range are available at an excellent value. Make sure to read the reviews and ensure that your grill is sized correctly before purchasing this price range.
  • $150-$250: This is the most common price range for small grills. Small grills in this price range are available from various types, typically very high quality and reliable. 
  • $250 and up: Small grills in this price range are priced at a premium. These small grills are typically the highest quality and tend to come with several special features and extra accessories.

Key Features

Fuel Type

Depending on the type of small grill you purchase, the fuel type will vary. Small grills can be fueled by electricity, propane, charcoal, or even natural gas. Depending on your budget and personal preferences, you may want to purchase a different fuel type grill. For example, charcoal and propane are ideal for outdoor use, while electric and natural gas grills can be used indoors or outdoors.

Size

Depending on your space and what purpose you will be using your small grill for, your grill size can be an essential factor to consider. If you will be traveling with your small grill, then you will want one that is lightweight, easy to clean, and can easily be packed away in your vehicle or RV for long trips. You will also want to make sure that the grilling space is large enough to cook the amount of food required for yourself and your family.

Stand

If you are using your small grill primarily indoors or have a space to set the grill outside, then a stand may not be as important. But if you will be grilling outdoors, in your backyard, deck, or at a campsite, then a stand can be a useful accessory. Make sure to purchase a stand that is stable and not prone to tipping over, even in windy conditions.

Other Considerations

  • Accessories. The grilling accessories included with your small grill are another important factor to consider. For some small grills, you may not need any extra accessories, while other grills come with special features such as utensils, utensil racks, and grilling griddles. The number of accessories will also affect the price, so if you are shopping on a budget, you may not want to worry about grilling accessories.
  • Budget. Consider how much you are willing to spend before deciding on your small grill. Your budget will significantly affect the type of grill you can purchase and the special features or extra accessories that can be included with your grill purchase. Make sure to thoroughly read the reviews before making your final small grill purchase.
  • Warranty. The length and type of warranty are important considerations when contemplating the best small grill to fit your needs. Most reputable manufacturers will include some kind of warranty with their grill. Look to purchase a grill with a limited warranty that will at least cover any manufacturing defects or issues with your grill for its first few uses.

Best Small Grills Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Char-Griller Charcoal Grill

This small yet versatile grill and smoker combo features triple-walled 22 gauge steel to retain maximum heat while cooking. It is designed to easily maintain cooking temperatures ranging from 200-degrees to 700-degrees Fahrenheit. There is a 153-square-inch cast iron cooking surface, easy dump ash pan, and built-in temperature gauge for added convenience. The exterior is made from powder-coated steel, while the interior is made from porcelain-coated steel for added durability and maximum rust resistance. Two durable handles allow you to carry the grill easily, and at a weight of 37 pounds, it can be transported in your vehicle or RV.


One downside is its weight: while the handles allow you to carry the grill, it should not be carried by just one person. Use two people to lift the grill and carry it around or transport it as needed.

Best Value
Weber Original Kettle

This grill is exceptionally durable and is designed to withstand high temperatures. Coals can be arranged on the fuel grate for direct or indirect grilling. You can control the temperature without lifting the lid by adjusting the dampers on top of the lid. The cooking grate is also extremely durable and easy to clean. The porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat for consistent temperature and even cooking. It also prevents rusting, corrosion, cracking, and peeling while withstanding high grilling temperatures. A convenient lid hook allows you to hang the lid on the side of your grill when cooking things uncovered.


Some users have reported that their grills have air leaks in the lid, which results in trouble maintaining a consistent temperature. If this happens to you, reach out to the company regarding a potential refund or replacement.

Premium Pick
Weber Spirit II Propane Grill

This propane grill features durable porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates. The grate is completely reversible to cook everything from delicate white fish to T-bone steaks. The open-cart design provides additional room and allows for easy access to grilling tools. The left side table of the grill can also be folded down to save space. There are integrated hooks on the side of the grill to safely hold and access all of your grilling utensils and accessories. There is also a warming rack to keep food warm or toast burger buns as your meat cooks below. An easy-to-read fuel gauge located next to the propane tank allows you to see how much fuel is left. 


Keep in mind that this grill does not cook evenly on both sides. If you have any immediate issues upon first use of your new grill, reach out to Weber regarding potential replacement parts or a refund.

Most Versatile
George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill

This grill has 240 square inches of circular grilling surface, which allows you to use it for parties or large groups of people as needed. The fully removable stand enables you to bring this grill outdoors for use in your backyard, deck, and more. The patented nonstick coating is durable and easy to clean. This small grill even includes a temperature probe with five adjustable heat settings to cook all different kinds of food. It is easy to use: simply plug the grill into any outlet and allow about 10 minutes to fully preheat your cooking surface. All fats and cooking liquids will be collected in the included tray for added convenience.


However, you need to be located near an outlet for operation. If you are using the grill outdoors, make sure you are near an outlet or have an extension cord to reach your cooking location.

Best Propane Grill
Char-Broil Performance Series 2-Burner Gas Grill

This grill features two high-quality burners that can deliver up to 24,000 BTUs of heat. The 300-square-inch cooking surface includes porcelain-coated cast-iron grates, which are rust-resistant to help prevent food from sticking and are easy to clean. The two stainless steel top-ported burners are also durable. An electronic ignition system allows for a quick and reliable startup with just the push of a button. The two metal side shelves provide additional workspace, but they can both be folded down to save space as needed. A convenient storage cabinet with a door allows easy access to the propane tank. There are four wheels for easy mobility, and two of the wheels can be locked for stability while cooking.


While this is a high-quality grill, if you are shopping on a budget, you may want to consider another option for your household.

Best Electric
Weber Electric Grill

This small grill can easily be plugged into any outlet, and it is an excellent option for grilling outdoors. It features exceptionally durable porcelain-enameled, cast-iron cooking grates that are very easy to clean. The 189 square-inch cooking area includes a powerful 1560-watt electric heating element. This product is extremely easy to use and comes fully assembled for immediate use out of the delivery box. There is a six-foot grounded cord for added convenience. It is made from a durable aluminum lid and body. The heat retention liners help to provide a constant temperature and consistent cooking surface. 


One issue with the Weber Electric Grill is its cord: the included cord is just 6 feet long. Ensure you are near an outlet or have a reliable extension cord to use when cooking with this electric grill outdoors.

Honorable Mention
Green Mountain Davy Crockett Wood Pellet Tailgating Grill

This small grill includes a thermal sensor to continually monitor your grill temperature. It features a meat probe, a peaked lid for rib racks, and a convenience tray with utensil hooks. This high-tech product even comes with a digital Wi-Fi controller, which can be controlled and monitored through the company's smartphone application. With a weight of 57 pounds and fully collapsible legs, the grill can easily be placed in the trunk of your vehicle or RV for use while camping, tailgating, and more. It can be plugged into any standard electric outlet, but it also comes with adaptors for three other power options.


However, some customers have reported that this grill has had issues maintaining consistent heat after the first few uses. If you have any problems with your grill, reach out to the company about a possible refund or replacement.

Honorable Mention
Char-Broil Infrared Kettleman Charcoal Grill

This grill's infrared porcelain-coated cooking grate is designed explicitly for low flare-ups while grilling. The infrared heat helps prevent hot and cold spots on the grill's cooking surface, and it also facilitates faster cooking with minimal fuel consumption. It includes 360 square inches of cooking space. The no-fall-through cooking grate will keep food on top and distribute heat evenly. There is a vent on the lid to let heat out, and the lid can be closed to increase your cooking temperature. Two heavy-duty wheels provide easy mobility, and a chrome-plated wire bottom shelf is included for stability and convenience. A lid-mounted temperature gauge and a removable ash bowl are included for added convenience. 


While this grill is a decent product, some customers have reported that the grates start to rust after a few uses. Make sure to properly care for and clean your grate to prevent any significant rust or corrosion.

Tips

  • Even though your grill is small, make sure that it has enough cooking space for yourself and your family.
  • If you are looking to travel with your small grill, make sure that it is lightweight and collapsible to fit inside your RV or trunk.
  • If you plan to use your grill indoors and outdoors, make sure to purchase an electric type that is safe for both.
  • If you buy a charcoal grill, make sure that the coals are fully extinguished before using to prevent any fire hazards.
  • If you own a propane grill, make sure that it is turned off when not in use and that the propane tank is stored away correctly to maximize the safety features.

FAQs

Q: What is the best small gas grill to buy?

There are several high-quality small gas grills available on today's market. Our top-rated small gas grill is the Weber Spirit II Propane Grill, but there are several excellent options available depending on your specific needs.

Q: What is the best small charcoal grill?

There are several great small charcoal grills available on today's market. Our top-rated small charcoal grill is the Char-Griller Charcoal Grill, but there are other options available as well, depending on your specific needs.

Q: What is the best cheap grill?

There are several budget-friendly options available. Our best value small grill is the Weber Original Kettle, but read our reviews to see if another budget-friendly alternative is the best fit for your needs.

Final Thoughts

For a high-quality small grill, consider the Char-Griller Charcoal Grill, featuring a triple-walled 22 gauge steel construction. For a less expensive option, consider the Weber Original Kettle, featuring a completely reversible grate.