Interested in grilling but your new place doesn’t allow you much space for it? Having limited space does not mean you have to miss out on all the grilling fun. An enjoyable grilling experience can come with any grill as long as you know how to get the best out of it.
For those of you who can’t spare the space for a large outdoor grill or those who are constantly on the move and would like to enjoy a BBQ while camping, small gas grills are a great option. These are compactly designed and fit (both literally and figuratively) into your BBQ plans.
Let’s have a look at why small gas grills are such a popular choice among grillers, and what are some of the best small gas grill options to watch out for currently.
Small Gas Grills – An Overview
Small gas grills are placed between portable and midsize gas grills and are the most popular type of gas grills sold. These grills are a great option for a small cookout as they occupy so much lesser space than midsize or larger grills.
Designed to seem smaller doesn’t necessarily mean that these grills compromise on quality or functionality. Like any larger grill, many small gas grills have ample prep space and have fold-down shelves that lead to a smaller footprint. These grills are typically non-portable and come in a variety of sizes and designs, with durable carts and shelves made of stainless steel.
These grills are the perfect fit for smaller families or if you plan to grill for yourself and a couple of friends. If you’re looking for a grill that fits your small patio or a balcony, this is probably for you. They are also more reasonably priced than their bulkier counterparts, so saving a couple bucks is a nice change for once.
In a Hurry….. Comparison at a Glance
|Char Broil Performance||CHECK PRICE|
|Weber Q1200||CHECK PRICE|
|Pit Boss 2 Burner Portable||CHECK PRICE|
|Weber Spirit II E 210||CHECK PRICE|
|Cuisinart Petit Gourmet||CHECK PRICE|
|Cuisinart Roll Away||CHECK PRICE|
|Char Broil 280 : 2 Burner||CHECK PRICE|
|Masterbuilt Tabletop||CHECK PRICE|
|Fuego Professional||CHECK PRICE|
|Napoleon Travel Q Portable||CHECK PRICE|
|Broil King Porta Chef 120||CHECK PRICE|
|George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Grill||CHECK PRICE|
Choosing The Right Small Gas Grill
If you’ve decided to buy a small gas grill but are unsure of where to begin, consider these features that are very useful and make your life a lot easier. Certain features like drawers to store your grilling accessories make grilling more convenient, while other things like a pull-out grease tray can make clean up a breeze.
Among all the other kinds of metals used in grills, stainless steel and cast-iron grates are found to work the best. They are durable and help maintain consistent temperatures giving your BBQ that perfect sear.
Compared to a rotary or push-start igniter, electronic igniters are easier to navigate. These give you infinite control over the temperature and are especially good for newbies.
Though many grillers (irrespective of their size) boast of a massive cooking space that can accommodate a lot of food, the actual delight is in the presence of a side burner. Prep space, even a small one, is very welcome because grilling is not just about searing or roasting food. Side burners can be used to keep dishes warm while cooking the main course, and even for cooking sides and sauces. Some side burners double up as searing burners too. These are hard to find on most small gas grills. Typically you can find them on 3-burner and larger gas grills but Char Broil has it available on a two burner.
Not just a part of the aesthetics, LED controls to contribute to the functionality of a grill as they illuminate the knobs and control panels. This not only adds jazz to your unit, but it’s also very useful if you’re grilling after dusk or in low lights.
Gas and propane grills come with a fuel tank that powers the grilling unit. A fuel gauge takes out all the guessing in the level of fuel remaining and indicates how much propane is left in the tank. Some gas grills come with an inbuilt fuel gauge, for those that don’t, you can buy one separately.
Pull-out Tray For Tank
Having a pull-out tray for your propane tank makes it easy to turn on and off the gas, and makes it easier to change the tank when you’re out of gas.
Natural Gas Conversion Kit
Most grills use propane but some come with an option to convert to natural gas, through dual-fuel valves. A conversion kit can also be bought separately from your grill. Connecting your grill to your home’s gas line will ensure that it never runs out of fuel, and also avoids tedious refilling of propane tanks. On the flip side, your grill will be less mobile, and you’ll need to call in a professional to make the connection. Some brands also make separate natural gas varieties of certain models.
Don’t be like my buddy that finished grilling and forgot to turn off the gas to his grill. He left for a holiday and came back a week later to find his grill still burning and hot. That can be very dangerous. Luckily nothing started on fire.
Benefits Of A Small Gas Grill
For over 50 years, gas grills have been a favorite of grillers and the more takers we’ve had for this type of grill, the more it has evolved. From it retaining its efficiency in a much smaller footprint to its versatility, small gas grills have an added benefit over other forms of grills.
For many grillers, grilling is more a social thing than a culinary practice. A lot of us may swear by our mid-sized or large gas grills, but some wish that it was much smaller and could be hauled around on our camping trips.
While small gas grills are not as mobile as portable grills, they are still gold when it comes to flexibility of use. If you opt for one of the higher-end models, you won’t even be required to attach it to a gas line, making it easier to move. Some small gas grills also come with a carry case that protects your grill during transportation.
Perfect For Small Groups
Larger grills come with a huge cooking space that is admittedly appealing. But consider you buy a large grill but end up cooking more often for smaller groups or just your family and yourself. This turns out to be quite an expensive affair since you’ll be wasting a lot of gas.
A smaller sized grill works great if you live in an apartment or have limited outdoor space. These grills are more practical, can be set up in the most compact spaces and still does not compromise on the quality of food.
Smaller gas grills are less expensive to both buy and maintain, than other grills. Owing to their compact design, these grills take up fewer materials to build, need lesser fuel to run and cost lesser to transport as well.
With fewer materials, there is lesser wear and tear of parts which means lesser replacement or repair costs. They also consume lesser fuel to get fired up, so you get to save on operating costs too.
One of the biggest advantages of a small gas grill is that it is compact and lightweight, which means it can be placed practically anywhere you like and doesn’t get in your way when it’s not being used. Most grills come with a protective cover that ensures your grill body is dust-free. If your grill doesn’t include a cover, you can buy one separately as it’s very useful in the off-season or when your grill is stowed away.
Quite logically, small gas grills are easier to get started because they come with smaller areas that heat up quickly. These grills are easy to operate and require minimal maintenance too. This is especially great if you are a novice and wish to spend more time on learning to grill, then worry about the frills and extras of grill upkeep.
They also come with some fantastic temperature control, which is very important as roasting, baking and slow grilling have different requirements. Smaller gas grills in the market today come with some of the latest technology like LED lights, electric ignition, and thoughtful design that make grilling a lot easier and fun.
Small Gas Grill: Things To Note
Gas grills are more preferred over charcoal grills these days for their ease of use and low maintenance. These grills fire up instantly, don’t take too long to reach the desired temperature, and don’t leave behind ash, making clean-up a much easier process.
All the attributes we see in larger gas grills are now possible in a much smaller design, adding compact frame and portability to the list of positives. While thinking of which is the best small gas grill for your money, here are a few things that sweeten the deal.
Look Beyond Burgers
Any basic grill will get your burgers and hotdogs ready but if you’re also looking to grill fish and sizzle steaks, make sure to check out the temperature range of your small grill. Better temperature settings mean that the grill is capable of handling different kinds of food.
Versatile cooking is one of the best things in a gas grill. While we mostly look for searing power and maximum heat control, we often overlook the wonders we can do with slow cooking. Ideally, your small gas grill should be able to perform consistently in both high-temperature grilling and low-temperature roasting or cooking.
BTUs (British Thermal Units) per hour are a means of calculating just how much heat can a grill create. Different models provide different heat powering temperatures, and models that have a high temperature are preferred over others.
Notably, BTUs only represent the heat generated by the grill, but it does not say much about how evenly your steak is seared, or how long it takes to get done. BTUs do not guarantee you better pre-heating or consistent cooking, so instead of being blindsided by just the searing power of a grill consider these factors to be a fair evaluation of the grill’s performance.
Remember that for many small gas grills (like their larger sized counterparts) burners are the most used and replaced part. Burners last somewhere between 2 to 10 years depending on the quality and use. If the burners need to be replaced, do so without hesitation as it’s a fairly simple process, but matters a lot.
Look For Robust Construction
Small or large, appearance and build quality does matter when you’re choosing a grill. You wouldn’t want to spend your money on something that looks out-of-place in your home or is impractical, or is more work than it needs to be.
Your small gas grill needs to be stable, and easy to maneuver. Be sure that the different parts of the grill like the cart, lid, firebox etc. are not flimsy. Casters or wheels under your grill are always a plus, you don’t want to drag your grill around clumsily. We feel our top picks demonstrate good quality and construction.
Sturdy grills not only survive many grilling seasons but also provide you with a safe grilling experience. Sturdier grills sit better and avoid tipping. Avoid buying grills with sharp metal edges, to avoid cuts and scrapes while cooking.
Make sure that the handle is not too close to the lid. While you can expect some flare-up, look for models that are designed to prevent flare-ups. All grills that have a greater distance between the grates and where the burners have flavorizer bars tend to have lesser sustained flare-ups.
Electric Grill Vs Gas Grill- Which Small Grills Are Better?
When it comes to outdoor grilling especially in smaller grills, electric and gas grills offer some interesting options. Electric grills are the least conventional of all grills but are still a popular option known for their convenient use, maintenance, and easy operations.
Both electric and gas grills have their advantages and disadvantages, and comparing the 2 helps get a fair idea of what you can expect.
Electric grills offer much less cooking space compared to gas grills. Electric grills are known more for their portability, and a lot of tabletop options are available in this. Even the larger models of electric grills do not size up to an average-sized gas grill.
Even small outdoor gas grills need a decently sized area away from any combustible material. There are a fair few small grill models that fit into patios and smaller porticos, but they still need to be set up outside. Electric grills, on the other hand, can be used both indoors and outdoors as it just needs to be plugged in for use. Also, electric grills don’t need a designated area (as long as they are near an electrical outlet) and this works well for those who live in apartments where gas grilling is not allowed.
Quality of Food
Since gas grills use open flames to cook food and sear, they create the authentic smoky flavor much better than electric grills. Electric grills make up for this shortcoming with excellent temperature control.
Ease Of Use
Both gas and electric grills are easy to navigate but it’s worth mentioning that electric grills are more beginner-friendly as it can take a while to understand the setting for different cooking techniques. They come with easy-control knobs that make temperature adjustments more precise. Gas grills also operate just as easily but don’t achieve the precision of electric grills.
Gas grills are a lot more versatile than electric grills because of their high heating capacity, and their ability to ace different types of cooking. Many models come with 2-zone cooking, where each burner works on high and low temperature; making smoking, roasting, and baking all possible on the same grill. This is not possible with electric grills which do offer consistent results, but not more than that.
Small Gas Grills Vs Large Gas Grills
BBQ grillers are divided on whether smaller gas grills are better than larger gas grills. For the most part, a bigger sizer offers more cooking flexibility. While few people may need a large grill, it never hurts to have a few extra inches of cooking space to spare.
While considering space, note that many grills not just come with a primary cooking area, but also include a warming rack, side burners for sauce or sides preparation and space for indirect cooking. While the active burners sear food at high temperatures, the indirect zone helps slow down the cooking. Larger gas grills that have multiple burners make the most of these features as all the burners are independently controlled, thus increasing your cooking options.
Using A Small Gas Grill
Every year we see grilling experiences going wrong, so we’ve put together some safety tips that ensure you enjoy your grilling while being protected from fires, flare-ups, and other accidents.
- Before using your gas grill, check for leaks in the gas connection. You can do this by brushing the gas line with a diluted soap water solution, if bubbles begin to appear then there is gas leaking in the connection.
- Check for rusted burners and replace them when needed. Also, make sure the burners are not clogged with food particles or grease, as this could obstruct the flow of gas.
- Clean the tubes that connect the valves to the burners regularly.
- Remember to light your gas grill with the lid open.
- Don’t overfill the propane tank. As propane needs space to expand, filling your tank to 80% is sufficient for cooking.
- Position your grill in an open, well-ventilated space. Carbon monoxide build-up has caused many injuries and even deaths.
- Use cylinders that are within their expiry date, and do not store extra cylinders indoors.
- After every grilling session and at the end of the season, turn off the burners and propane tank and clean the grill regularly to avoid grease and residue build-up.
For a more detailed, step by step version on how to thoroughly clean and maintain a gas grill check out our article on how to clean a gas grill.
Best Small Gas Grills To Consider
If you’ve decided to invest in a gas grill and are wondering which is the best small gas grill to buy, we’ve rounded up some of the top-rated small gas grills available in the market and have picked our favorite.
Char-Broil Performance Series 2-Burner
This Char-Broil Performance grill makes basic grilling possible and comes with great features that are not found in budget grills. Made of robust materials and convenient features, this is a budget-friendly grill that offers 2-zone cooking.
The Char-Broil 2-Burner comes with a primary cooking surface of 300 sq. in. and a warming rack measuring an additional 100 sq. in. cooking grates are made of porcelain-coated cast iron that protects them from rust and moisture.
2 folding side shelves give ample prep space and are easy to store. This grill is designed with a spacious storage cabinet that is enclosed and protects your propane tank from external elements too. The unit is semi-portable as it rests on 4 casters, of which 2 are lockable.
The Char-Broil 2-Burner allows for both direct and indirect cooking with 24,000 BTUs searing power. Precise temperature controls ensure that high temperature searing and slow cooking deliver consistently delicious results.
Weber Q1200 Propane Grill
A perfect companion to your camping, tailgating, and even suited for your apartment patio, the Weber Q1200 comes with 189 sq. in. of grilling space that can hold quite a large amount of food. Its porcelain-coated cast-iron cooking grates are easily maintained and heat the grill quickly and evenly.
For a tabletop grill, this one seems a little heavy. It also comes fitted with side tables that can come in handy when you are out on a picnic and need extra space to hold your food or accessories.
With one stainless steel burner that produces about 8,500 BTUs, the cooking time on this grill is surprisingly short for a product of this size. It produces even sear marks and starts up quickly with electronic ignition.
An infinite control valve gives you some great control over the temperature, and an built-in temperature gauge helps you achieve that perfect temperature for your grilling.
Pit Boss Two-Burner Portable Grill
The Pit Boss Grills 75275 is a portable grill that comes with 2 stainless steel burners. This grill aims to achieve perfect grilling results in reduced cooking time. This model is designed with 276 sq. in. of grilling area that makes the grill easy to accommodate anywhere you want.
Designed specifically to be portable, this model comes in sturdy construction with foldable legs and a latching hood that makes it easy to transport.
With a gas tank capacity of 20lbs, this portable grill is constructed using quality 430 stainless steel and a grid with 304 stainless steel. It is lidded with a built-in thermometer that provides accurate readings and helps maintain the heat in the grill.
Both burners combined, the Pit Boss 75275 produces a searing power of 20,000 BTUs and allows for both grilling and searing.
This grill is fitted with a push-start ignition that gives reliable start-ups every time. It heats up quickly and retains the temperature for a long time.
What makes this grill a popular favorite is that it is user-friendly, affordable, and easily maintained.
Weber Spirit II E-210 2-Burner Grill – Top Freestanding Small Gas Grill
The Weber II E-210 of the Spirit series is one of the best freestanding small gas grills we see today. Designed to fit into small balconies in style, this model comes with a host of convenient features like a powerful GS4 grilling system and iGrill capability.
2 stainless steel burners even heat at 26,500 BTUs across a 360 sq. in. of primary grilling area. 90 sq. in. of warming rack add to the grilling surface and can be handy in holding food. Cast iron cooking grates are porcelain coated and provide an even distribution of heat across the grill’s surface.
The GS4 system includes infinity ignition for quickly starting the grill, high-performance burners, an excellent grease management system that makes cleaning easy and the classic Weber flavorizer bars for an authentic BBQ taste.
This grill also accommodates your grilling tools and is fitted with a foldable table that is easy to store. A mounted thermometer helps in precise temperature control and a fuel gauge lets you know how much fuel is left in the tank.
The app-connect iGrill 3 thermometer displays the temperature of your food throughout the cooking time, on your mobile. This is sold separately.
Cuisinart CGG-180 Petit Gourmet Gas Grill
One of the most portable grills out there, the Petit Gourmet has the easiest assembly and comes with a stand that extends outward and drops as you lift it. Despite its heavy cast-iron cooking grates, this grill is light enough to carry and doesn’t consume too much space, making it easy to store.
The grill body comes in durable stainless steel and other parts of the grill are made of high-quality materials. This grill can be used as both a tabletop as well a free-standing grill.
In its cooking surface of 145 sq. in. this grill can easily cook a meal for a small family. A 5,500 BTUs searing power helps you cook in a reasonable amount of time, but lacks the clear sear marks that a lot of other grills of this category can get.
The gas control knobs with built-in ignition give you good control over the temperature and flame. A drip tray catches grease and food debris, helping keep the grill clean.
Cuisinart Roll-Away Gas Grill
Powerful performance combined with convenient portability the Cuisinart Roll-Away gas grill is a perfect choice for the chef on the go. With versatile cooking, ample grilling space, easy storing side shelves, and an easy-rolling cart, this grill works its magic just about anywhere.
This grill features a 15,000 BTUs stainless steel loop burner and porcelain-coated cast-iron grates over a cooking surface of 240 sq. in.
A reliable twist-start ignition and a temperature gauge that gives accurate readings and better temperature control are other features of this grill.
A heat distribution panel maintains consistent temperatures across the grilling surface and reduces flare-ups.
One of the best features of this grill is the roll-away folding cart that makes it easy to move this grill, giving you a decent upright grilling experience.
This is the portable grill that Jannah and I use on our camping trips. We’ve taken it on road trips over 1000 miles and it has never let us down. I’ve grilled everything including perfect steaks, shrimp and salmon on this grill. It is a real winner.
Char-Broil Classic 280 2-Burner Gas Grill with Side-burner
This grill is a great outdoor grilling option, spread across 280 sq. in. of grilling surface. The lid and firebox are made of porcelain enameled steel which is durable and rust-resistant. The grill is also fitted with 1 side shelves to store your grilling accessories and a 8,000 BTU side-burner.
The 2 burners produce a total of 20,000 BTUs and give you very good searing results. The consistency and evenness are dodgy in places. The Piezo ignition system guarantees quick and reliable start-ups every time.
The Char-Broil Classic 280 offers versatility in cooking by both direct and indirect cooking options. It does a good job searing on high temperatures and even slow roasting. The lid helps retain the heat and spread it evenly across the cooking area. A drip tray helps manage the grease making it easy to clean.
This is the only small gas grill in the roundup to come with a side burner!
Masterbuilt Tabletop Gas Grill
The Masterbuilt Propane Tabletop grill is one stylishly designed grill that is worth its value. With a total cooking surface of 288 sq. in., this grill features a single burner that sears at 10,000 BTUs.
The cooking area comes with a chrome-coated warming rack that helps keep warm. The U shaped burner provides even heat distribution across the surface. This grill is fitted with a removable grease tray that catches food drippings and is quite easy to clean.
The compact size of the grill makes it perfect for camping and tailgating, and the cooking surface can hold sufficient food (around 8 burgers). A push-start ignition helps fire up the grill easily.
This grill uses propane cylinders rather than a tank so you make sure these are accessible to you before opting for this grill. You can get a converter hose that will hook this grill up to a regular 20-30lbs propane tank.
Feugo Professional Gas Grill
The Feugo Professional is a sleek looking gas grill that offers a great grilling experience despite its compact set up. It manages to cook a surprisingly larger amount of food despite its smaller footprint.
This grill is very easy to assemble and heats up quickly with a dual burner meant for direct and indirect cooking. This model comes with a total of 525 sq. in. of grilling area consisting of a 415 sq. in. of primary grilling surface and 110 sq. in. of warming rack which may not be large enough for Thanos but should be plenty large enough for you.
The cast-iron grates help get a perfect sear with quick and even heat distribution. The lid’s range of movement is at a 45-degree angle, making sure that you don’t have your hands too close to the fire and risking burns.
A residue tray effectively manages grease and dripping and makes cleaning and maintenance easy.
A downside to this grill is that it does not have side shelves for setting up your prep. If you like, separate clip-on side shelves are sold separately, measuring about 100 sq. in.
Napoleon Travel Q Portable Gas Grill
Built with a cast aluminum lid, the Napoleon Travel Q is the best portable small gas grill available today. The porcelain-coated stainless-steel body set on foldable legs is easily cleaned and perfect for any kind of indoor, outdoor, camping, or tailgating experience.
With about 285 sq. in. of cooking surface, this grill produces 12,000 BTUs and accommodates at least 19 hamburgers and chicken pieces at a time.
This grill features 2 stainless steel burners that can be controlled individually, letting you set the temperature precisely. Napoleon’s cast iron cooking grids come in a wave design that provides even heat distribution and perfect sear marks,
Also included, a reversible cast iron griddle can replace one set of cooking grids, allowing you to roast, sear together. Each burner s separately controlled by a reliable push-start ignition.
The folding legs make the grill easy to store. A built-in temperature gauge helps accurately control the temperature of your food.
Broil King Porta Chef 120
The Broil King Porta Chef 120 is designed in a durable cast aluminum cook box that retains heat and produces even cooking results. The stainless-steel burner feature ports along the sides of the burner for even flame and the Flav-R-Wave cooking system with cast iron cooking grids give you some fantastic and flavorful searing.
This grill comes with a pair of simple detachable legs and removable side shelves that are easy to store and transport. The side shelves provide prep space and can hold your sauces, accessories, food, and anything else that you need.
With a primary grilling area of 220 sq. in. and an additional 128 sq. in. of warming rack, the burners of this grill sear at 14,000 BTUs and the porcelain-coated cast iron grids ensure you get a perfect sear.
Electronic ignition ensures reliable push-start and linear-flow valves with 180-degree sensi-touch allow you to precisely control grilling temperatures.
The cook box of this grill is backed with a 10-year warranty, burners come with 5 years back up and paint and other parts are covered for 2 years.
George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Rectangular Electric Grill
Though this is not a gas grill, the George Foreman electric grill is well worth a mention when we speak of portable grilling units. This grill can be used both indoors and outdoors and comes with a detachable base that allows it to be used as a tabletop grill too.
Constructed over 200 sq. in. of grilling space, this grill allows different cooking techniques and can produce more than 12 servings.
The grill grates are made of non-stick coating that is easy to clean and is very durable. The adjustable heat controls of this grill come in 5 temperature ranges, giving you some great temperature control.
Designed with a classic George Foreman slope, the sloped grilling surface removes up to 42% fat, supported by a drip tray that helps in effective grease management.
This grill is fairly easy to clean, with most of its components detachable and constructed of quality materials. The cooking grids however are not detachable so if food drippings get caramelized, you’ve got a big mess on your hands.
The Weber Spirit II in the Limelight
To round up our favorite small gas grill, I find that the Weber II Spirit E-210 is one of the best freestanding small gas grills there is today. Its portability backed by some excellent features has made this a popular choice among over 3,000 grill enthusiasts who have rated this to be a 5-star grill! This grill fulfills all your needs and more, helping you with some serious grilling at powerful temperatures, packed in a compact body with the latest technology features. It also have an amazing 10-year warranty and is backed by a brand that has been around forever. Interested in Weber’s other models, we compare the Spirit Series to the Genesis.
While picking a grill ultimately is a matter of preference, be sure to check what each grill has to offer to see what is best suited for you. Happy grilling!