Buying Guides: What to Look for in the Best Tabletop Grill
“Your grills, your rules,” said someone wise.
Keep this in mind when you pick up your grill.
The best machine for you is not necessarily the most popular one. Something that is tailored to meet your specific needs should be the ideal one to go for.
Here is a handy guide to help you define what you want for a tabletop grill.
Gas or Charcoal?
Tabletop grills are mostly either gas-powered or charcoal heated.
A charcoal grill will take more time to heat up and reach cooking temperatures. Charcoal grills are also messier.
Even so, if you are a devotee to the robust smoky flavor of charcoal, a gas grill will never satisfy your cravings. So better not go for a propane-fueled unit. A charcoal grill is generally more affordable as well.
The cleaning issue can be solved by bringing a unit that comes with an ash collector such as the Char-Griller E22424 Table Top Charcoal Grill.
On the other hand, if you just want to taste the meat and not coal fumes, a propane grill is a neat choice. It doesn’t interfere with the taste or flavor profile of your recipes. Cuisinart CGG-306 Chef’s Style Propane Tabletop Grill is a great unit you can check out.
A gas grill heats up fast. It is less messy but generally costs more than charcoal girls.
One problem with gas grills is that you will have to constantly lookout for the status of your fuel tank. Propane run-out is a common reason for failed campsite parties.
How Much of Square Inches?
In order to determine how large your primary grilling area should be, think of how many people you would usually like to cater to.
While a small and insufficient grilling surface is not what you must be looking for, purchasing a large and power-hungry grill to cook dinner for a duo is not an efficient idea either.
Calculate and map how much you need. An average burger occupies about 20 square inches of grill space. This knowledge comes in handy when you check out the dimensions of your desired unit.
Coleman NXT Lite Tabletop Propane Grill is a great pick if you are looking for a small grill.
Conversely, ISUMER Charcoal Grill Barbecue Portable BBQ is great for gatherings.
Heat Zones: More than One?
Although asking for more than one heat zones is asking too much from a tabletop, some manufacturers actually provide it, and thereby feed our greed for more versatility in even the most compact systems.
Our top pick Giantex Propane Tabletop Gas Grill has independent burners with which you can create separate heat zones for combination cooking.
A secondary warming area is also a welcome feature. The Smoke Hollow Masterbuilt has one.
You can warm veggies while the meat sears.
Bulky or Lightweight?
The grilling surface area isn’t the only thing that matters. The overall bulk of the unit matters too, especially since we are talking about portable table tops here.
A large machine takes up more space. With something like this, easy storage and easy transport seem less likely.
If you want to keep your tabletop grill stationed in your backyard, then a large and heavy grill is great.
On the other hand, if hitting the roads often is what you have in mind, go for a lightweight and compact system like the Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill.
Skipping The Must-Have Features?
A grill should be much more than just a cooking appliance if it is deemed the best.
When it comes to Tabletops, these features are a must-have:
- Foldable legs for portability and storage
- Locking lids and carrying handles to further increase portability
- Ash catcher/ drip tray for hassle-free cleaning
We made sure our top picks fulfilled these standards. Make sure your choice does as well.
Ask Away! : FAQs on Tabletop Grills and Grilling
Here are the answers to questions we get asked the most about Tabletop grills.
01. What do you put a tabletop grill on?
Tabletop grills are designed in such a way that the grilling surface lies high above the table. Therefore, putting them on surfaces such as wood and aluminum is fine.
However, we suggest not to place them on a plastic table as it may melt.
02. Is a charcoal grill safe on my patio?
Charcoal grills should not be meant for small apartment balconies as a fly-away spark can start a fire.
However, a tabletop charcoal grill is safe enough for your patio once you abide by the rules of safe grilling.
You can use a grill mat on a wooden deck. This not only protects you from rogue sparks but also protects your deck from grease stain.
Another effective way to minimize fire risk is to close all the vents after you are done grilling.
03. What does BTU in a gas grill mean?
BTU is the short form of the British Thermal Unit. The higher the BTU of your grill, the more powerful it is, meaning your grill will heat up more and faster. However, this also means that it will consume more fuel.
04. Should I clean the grill after every use?
Yes, you should.
After every use, a light clean up is due. The best time to brush it up is when the grill is still warm ( not hot ).
Simply remove food residues stuck on the grill with a wire brush. Empty the drip tray/ ash pan. And you should be covered.
05. Can I cook with a Cuisinart CGG-180T with the lid down?
Yes, you can.
While some tabletop grills do not offer this convenience, CGG-180T by Cuisinart does.
Keep Calm and Grill
“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating” – Anonymous
We don’t know who said this, but he certainly hit the right chords with us. We believe, by this time, you have done all the research necessary.
Ergo, it’s time to stop reading tabletop grill reviews and start digging in.
There are a few extra steps in the middle though. Take your pick, order it on Amazon, and once the best tabletop grill arrives at your doorstep, keep calm and grill!
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