The Tabletop Grill is often simply associated with portable grills, although it comes with many more applications, which makes it a versatile device.
First and foremost, it is a perfect grill for those who don’t cook a lot ( 1-2 people for example ) or for those who don’t have much space in their backyard, on their balcony or their terrace.
It is also a great type of grill for those who travel a lot and need to cook away from home, like when camping or on any longer road trip.
Regardless of the reason why you need a table top grill, it is worth knowing what to pay attention to before you decide to buy one of the many available models.
For that purpose, we have prepared a list of what I believe to be the few best tabletop grills to make it easier for you.
Below you will also find tips for those who have completely no idea on where to start.
Blackstone Table Top Grill
260 total sq. in.
189 total sq. in.
240 sq. in.
Weber Smokey Joe
147 sq. in.
160 sq. in.
The Best Table Top Grills of 2020
1. Best Overall Blackstone Table Top Grill
My favorite tabletop grill when it comes to mobility, quality, efficiency and price.
Especially when it comes to cooking away from home, the grill’s structure was designed perfectly in this regard.
Sadly, the greatest downside is that it is not a typical grill that most of us are used to.
I’m talking about lack of grill grates, with griddle used instead – contrary to a popular belief, it is an equally great solution ( much more versatile ), I recommend checking videos on YouTube to learn more about this cooking style.
Back to the topic of the structure, it is rectangle-shaped and offers a lot of space ( whole 260 square inches of cooking area ).
Once you’re done cooking, you can flip the griddle over, thus getting more space and convenience during transport.
The structure of Blackstone Table Top Grill is very simple yet efficient. The burner heats the entire surface of the griddle evenly, thus achieving high temperatures very fast.
The griddle has a hole in the corner that collects all the accumulating grease in a special container that you can slide out any time.
There are no complicated elements here, and the entire grill is made of high quality materials. It is a truly solid tabletop grill built for more demanding people, especially those who think about cooking away from home.
2. Runner Up Weber Q1200
I don’t think I need to introduce this brand to anyone, but if you are completely new to the topic, I’d like to remind that Weber is the king among manufacturers of charcoal and gas grills.
Their care for their customer and their products has won them the hearts, or rather trust and wallets, of millions of people.
Their products are high quality which is usually backed with the best warranty in the industry.
That’s exactly the case with Weber Q1200 which is a mobile version of the gas grill intended for those who like to travel or with very limited space in their backyard, on their terrace or the balcony.
The quality of workmanship and efficiency are phenomenal, and all of that is backed with 5 years of warranty.
The cast aluminum structure is lightweight and also rust-resistant, what is most important though is that it is hidden under a lid. These are high quality porcelain grill grates that ensure results similar to those you know from a standard gas or charcoal grill.
You have 189 square inches of cooking area at your disposal, which are heated by only one yet very strong burner. I have to admit that it can achieve very high temperatures in a short time.
Weber Q1200 also comes with folding side shelves that provide a lot of work space.
In many regards it is a high end grill and I believe it to be one of the best tabletop grills.
Something for grilling enthusiasts and a great alternative to Blackstone, which uses a griddle instead of grill grates.
3. Cuisinart CGG-200 Tabletop Gas Grill
A Tabletop Grill that lives 100% up to the definition of that word. You don’t have much space or your needs aren’t big when it comes to grilling?
Cuisinart CGG-200 offers what every enthusiast of real grilling expects.
The grill’s structure was designed with convenience, large cooking area and not taking much space in mind.
The pretty high stand effectively separates the main part of the grill from the ground you’re planning to cook on so you don’t have to worry about whether you’re using the right table, tabletop etc.
You can easily start grilling any place where the surface is hard which means even on the ground.
240 square inches of cooking area is enough space to prepare food for as many as several people – grill grates get heated by just one yet strong burner that can handle this task perfectly.
The work area was also taken into account, you can find sliding side shelves on either side that allow to get extra space when needed. When not, just slide the side shelves inside the grill which lets you get more space to store the grill.
Cuisinart CGG-200 is another very interesting tabletop gas grill that is perfect to grill at home without taking much space. It will also work great away from home when camping or any place when on the road.
4. Very Lightweight Weber Smokey Joe
A suggestion that will be very interesting to enthusiasts of the smoky flavor of charcoal grill food.
This time it’s the famous weber kettle, but in a much smaller version that maintains the key characteristics of a standard kettle ( air flow and temperature control ).
It is not exactly adapted in terms of convenience and mobility but in household conditions where space saving is important it will work great.
It will also be perfect when away from home, like when camping, but you have to keep several important things in mind.
Weber Smokey Joe is a perfect grill for those who don’t cook a lot as well as those who do it sporadically, hiding the grill away someplace obscure once they’re done cooking.
There’s no point arguing that food from a charcoal grill is the best, which makes it the main reason to consider this grill. I have to admit, though, that it is sadly much less convenient and less adapted to cooking away from home grill than my previous suggestions.
Weber Smokey Joe is also a low-malfunction grill thanks to its simple structure. The quality of workmanship, as is always the case with Weber – high level, which is backed with an adequate warranty.
All of that is also available at a very low price compared to any competitive tabletop grill.
5. Best Portable Weber Go-Anywhere
The best designed portable charcoal grill, which is very durable, lightweight and very cheap. ( the most lightweight out of all of my suggestions ).
Solidity is a must when it comes to Weber products and you can even see it in such inexpensive grill.
Weber Go-Anywhere is the best designed charcoal tabletop grill when it comes to low weight and mobility.
A definite upside are the steel legs that, when folded, effectively lock the lid in place, which allows you to conveniently carry the lightweight grill around while holding it by the handle on the top of the lid.
Another upside is the side handles, which make it possible to easily and safely move the grill during cooking, when away from home such situations often take place which makes it a good thing that they thought of it.
You only have 160 square inches at your disposal, but that’s more than enough for a quick meal for 1-2 people.
What about the temperature control? Two adjustable air vents are located in the lid whereas the rest of vents ( non-adjustable ) are located in the side walls of the grill.
In practice, temperature control as well as cooking go well but due to the grill grates being close to the furnace, I suggest starting with a smaller amount of charcoal. Too much of it generates too high a temperature so I suggest simply getting experienced and remembering how much charcoal to use in order not to burn the food.
If your first priority is true mobility, and only then flavor and convenience of cooking, then this is a phenomenal grill for you.
If, however, you require better air flow, control and results of cooking, pick Weber Smokey Joe – this is a choice at the expense of mobility.
My list of recommended tabletop grills looks interesting, but you still don’t know which one of them to pick?
If you can’t decide which of the table top grills I suggested would be the best for you, I recommend reading the below tips. I have prepared several key tips for those who have never come across this type of grill.
How did I pick the best ones ?
I have a whole lot of different grills, and most of all experience in BBQ and grilling. Thanks to that, there is no thing I wouldn’t know about in this area.
Over all those years, I had opportunities to cook on every type of grill and I still keep a close eye on all new things which lets me be up to date with what comes up on the market.
Based on my experience I have prepared a list of the potential table top grills. I took old models as well as the newest ones into account, then I gradually narrowed the list by eliminating the poorest models.
That way I created a list of the few most popular tabletop grills that featured several models I’m not that familiar with. When making a list, I always take many different factors into account, including the price to quality ratio, functionality, type of structure, warranty, additional features etc.
The last step was to compare all models in practical tests.
How I test ?
Not all tabletop grills are equal, which is why tests are needed to verify in practice not only the efficiency of a grill, but also convenience and structure’s usefulness.
A table top grill should be lightweight and mobile while maintaining enough cooking space.
During the tests I started by checking how useful the structure of every grill is. Does it come with side handles, folding legs, lid lock etc. All of that is very important so that grilling is not only effective but also convenient.
I created conditions in my backyard similar to those away from home or when camping. That way I tested how each of the grills works in practice in every regard.
Never use a Tabletop Grill on a plastic table
The right place is the key, start by preparing a safe surface for the grill. Remember that the grill can reach a high temperature, some structures are not insulated enough which means that by putting them in contact with a flammable surface that is sensitive to high temperatures you cause a huge hazard.
For example, a plastic table may not only melt but also burn down if the temperature is too high. On top of that, reactions of this type during burning create a lot of toxic substances that you would be inhaling when standing nearby.
If you find the right table/surface, take the tablecloth or any other fabric prone to damages off of it.
What to look for in Table Top Grill
Type of fuel – I think that’s the place to start. Think about what type of fuel will be the best for you ( out of my suggestions, you have charcoal, electric or gas to choose from ). Each of them has their upsides and downsides so research them and decide for yourself what will be the perfect solution for you. Read my guide on gas vs charcoal to see the differences between the two most popular types.
Size – Think about how many people you cook for most often. Forget about a bigger tabletop grill if you only cook for 1-2 people. In such situation, it is better to pick something smaller yet much more economical. Also take into account whether you’re going to be taking your grill on the road.
Weight – It’s a very important aspect when you’re looking for a tabletop grill with cooking away from home in mind. In such situations, every additional weight becomes an annoying problem. Certain ( charcoal ) models are very lightweight so consider them if weight is very important to you.
Handles – It might seem obvious but not all tabletop grills have handles. They come in handy when you suddenly need to move a very hot grill to another place. They allow to simply carry the grill conveniently as long as they are located in the right place ( on the top, on the sides or both ).
Folding legs – They allow to increase the distance between a hot grill and the surface and they improve the convenience of cooking. They aren’t necessary but if you cook away from home a lot then you won’t always have a fitting place for that. In such situations folding legs prove themselves very helpful. On top of that, with folding legs a grill takes much less space during transport.
Lid lock – Most of us have probably experienced this problem when driving or simply carrying the grill in hands. Without a lock, the lid can open on its own in the worst possible moments, which is made even worse if there is ash or other food remains inside the grill.
Warranty – A grill only used at home is usually safe, whereas on the road it is exposed to many dangers and accidents. On top of that, even with the best manufacturers an employee may overlook some defects during the quality check. Which may make you an owner of a grill with a hidden defect that will only make itself known after some time.