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Ultimate Guide to the Best Tabletop Grill for You: the Top 8 of 2021

by Outdoor Cooking Pros July 08, 2021

Ultimate Guide to the Best Tabletop Grill for You: the Top 8 of 2021

Finding the best tabletop grill for you can be confusing and overwhelming if you do it on your own.

That's why our grilling team has searched through everything and compiled this list of the 8 best table top grill models this year.

Read on to find the best for you!

8 Best Tabletop Grills: 2021 Edition 

1. Giantex Stainless Steel Tabletop Gas Grill: Best Overall Pick

 

Giantex Stainless Steel Tabletop Gas Grill

Key Features

  • Comes with a drip tray
  • 396 sq. in. tabletop gas grill
  • Stainless steel burner and tabletop grill
  • 20, 000 BTUs

Would you believe us if we say there was a tabletop gas grill out there that can give full-sized grills a run for their money? Well...you're looking at it.

The Giantex Tabletop Gas Grill is a MARVEL.

This blows all other propane grills out of the water with its 20, 000 BTU gas grills with 2 burners. If that's not enough to convince you, you get a MASSIVE 266 SQUARE IN. are for all your grilling needs.

That can cook up to 10 burgers or 6 steaks in one go on this tabletop grill!

It deserves its name, huh?

But despite its size, this propane tabletop gas grill surprisingly weighs just 26 lbs! Everything is made of robust 430 stainless steel and even comes with a convenient removable catch pan.

And with a dual burner set-up and built-in lid thermometer, grilling on this stainless steel burner is a breeze.

It's perfect if you regularly have to cook for 8 - 10 people. It even comes with foldable legs and locking latches on its lid to ensure you can take the best tabletop grill with you on any of your outdoor adventures.

This is for the serious grillers out there.

If its all-stainless steel construction accounts for anything, it's that Giantex built this for heavy-duty, serious grilling anywhere you want it.

This is the best among the tabletop gas grills we've seen in all aspects!

Pros

  • Convenient drip tray
  • Massive surface on its grill grates
  • Durable stainless steel construction
  • Gas hose longer than other gas tabletop grills

Cons

  • Cooking grates too close to the burners
  • Not cast iron cooking grate

2. Cuisinart CGG-180T Portable Propane Gas Grill: Best Value Pick

 

Cuisinart CGG-180T

Key Features

  • Foldable design
  • Porcelain-enameled cast-iron grill grate
  • Built-in spark system
  • Weighs 13.5 lbs.
  • 145 sq. in. cooking area
  • Liquid propane burners

Cuisinart is famous for making all kinds of appliances. We don't know about you but if they're confident enough to stamp their name on this portable gas grill, we're willing to give it a shot.

Its size makes the Cuisinart CGG-180T one of the most portable tabletop grills we've found.

While it may look a little more futuristic, its design has a purpose. Ready for it?

It's FOLDABLE! You can easily turn this into a little suitcase that weighs just 13.5 lbs. because of the foldable legs.

Inside this gas grill, you get a single burner you can easily control with a single knob. It has 5, 500 BTUs of heat, which is impressive considering its size. AND you can even cook up to 8 burgers all at once!

We particularly love the cast iron cooking grates because it ensures you get even heat and temperatures so you can cook your food to perfection.

You won't have to wait a long time either because those burners do a good job of heating everything quickly.

If ultimate space-saving and portability are what you're looking for, this is the tabletop propane grill of your dreams.

You get a balance of an average-sized grilling surface, the convenience of a tabletop propane grill, and excellent features such as a catch!

Pros

  • Easy to store or transport
  • Cast iron grates

 Cons

  • Can't reach super high temperatures

3. Presto 09020 Cool Touch Electric Indoor Grill: Best Budget Pick

 

Presto 09020

Key Features

  • Electric
  • Sizeable cooking area
  • Up to 400°F
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Fits in most dishwashers and cabinets
  • Has non-stick coating

 You'd think that something that costs around 1/5 the price of the most expensive tabletop grill on this list will just give you a barely functional grill, but the Presto 09020 Cool Touch is here to prove you wrong.

With 168 square inches of cooking area and a maximum temperature of 400°F, you can do a lot on this grill, from burgers to steaks and maybe even a Korean barbecue dinner.

Plus, it's lightweight and portable so you can take it to a barbecuing party or maybe even outdoors (as long as you have access to a socket). It's even small enough to fit side tables!

We also love how beginner-friendly this is compared to other tabletop grill models.

You don't have to fiddle around with charcoal or even propane refills because it's just plug-and-play!

Temperatures are easy to adjust with a knob, and its non-stick coating is a huge help. You can remain safe with its cool-touch base.

And when you're done, simply remove the power cord and thermostat then chuck the whole thing in the dishwasher! How's THAT for easy?

If you're looking for a tabletop grill that is extremely portable or affordable, this is the one for you.

This lets you set up a barbecue area anywhere, even at a tailgate party, as long as you have an electric socket or power source, making it a versatile choice for any event.

 Pros

  • Easily cook for up to 6 people
  • Entirely dishwasher-free
  • Comes with a free spatula
  • Compact and portable
  • Cool-touch base

 Cons

  • No lid
  • Short cord 

4. Weber Go-Anywhere Tabletop Charcoal Grill

 

Weber Go-Anywhere

Key Features

  • Tabletop charcoal grill
  • 160 square-inch cooking surface
  • 10-year limited warranty on bowl and lid
  • 5-year warranty on plastic components
  • Porcelain-enameled lid and base

Tabletop grill reviews RAVE about all the grills Weber has to offer. And with decades of experience under their belts, we can see why.

Standing the test of time, you're certain to get the best charcoal grill from a brand and model that has been tried and tested by HUNDREDS, if not THOUSANDS of customers before you.

With a durable triple-coated nickel stainless steel grate and a porcelain-enameled lid that makes it resistant to rust, this is a tabletop charcoal grill that's meant to last for years to come.

That means you'll have a lot of time to enjoy its huge cooking surface that can fit 6 burgers or 4 medium steaks.

And with that charcoal fuel type, you're sure to get the smoky taste and those sought-after grill marks for the ultimate carnivore's feast.

To help you on your way to the PERFECT STEAK, this comes with dampers on the base and lid to adjust airflow and regulate the cooking temperature.

If you're looking for the best in tabletop grilling for days outdoors or long RV trips, the Weber Go-Anywhere tabletop charcoal grill is the one for you.

If you haven't figured it out yet from its name, this charcoal tabletop grill is highly portable and versatile. Now you don't have to sacrifice taste for portability!

 Pros

  • Portable charcoal grilling
  • Long warranty
  • Easy to assemble
  • Grate and lid are easy to clean

 Cons

  • No removable ashtray
  • Handle gets hot

5. Blackstone 17-inch Tabletop Griddle

 

Blackstone 17-inch Tabletop Griddle

Key Features

  • Gas burners
  • 260 square-inch cooking area
  • 12, 000 BTUs of heat
  • 90-day limited warranty

Looking to entertain or need a liquid propane grill for parties? This is the one for you.

With the 2nd biggest cooking area out of any model we found, you can easily churn out loads of food with this griddle.

You get 12, 000 BTUs of heat to make sure your food is cooked quickly and evenly.

Plus, the electric ignition makes it easy to turn on and off as you need.

And you can expect this will last you a LONG TIME because the cold-rolled stainless steel used for its cooking area gets stronger the more you season it while also imparting better flavor into your food.

The control knob on this liquid propane grill makes it easy to adjust the cooking temperature, while the grease catcher ensures you don't end up eating unnecessary grease! You save time with clean-up!

We love the versatility this offers. You can make almost anything on this!

You also have the option of purchasing a longer hose and adapter so you can use this propane tabletop grill with a larger propane tank. Now THAT'S a barbecue party!

While this may not be a portable gas grill in the total sense of the word, it's excellent if you're looking for something that can handle heavy-duty cooking while still offering some degree of portability.

This makes it perfect for RV life.

 Pros

  • Gets better the more you use it
  • Stainless steel burner
  • Even heat distribution
  • Solid construction
  • Easy to clean
  • Can connect to large propane tank

 Cons

  • Relatively short warranty

6. Weber Smokey Joe Premium Portable Grill

 

Weber Smokey Joe Premium Portable Grill

Key Features

  • Charcoal fuel type
  • 154 square inches of cooking surface
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Adjustable dampers
  • Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl
  • Stainless steel body

Who would've thought that a charcoal grill that offers this many features can come in at just 9.8 lbs.? Well, it does!

And with a carrying handle made of nylon that's been reinforced with glass, you know that Weber designed this to be a portable charcoal tabletop grill.

You can see the sturdiness of this because of the triple nickel-plated stainless steel cooking grate and heavy gauge stainless steel charcoal grate.

This means you don't have to worry about any heavy grilling you may have to do.

Plus, it also comes with a porcelain-enameled bowl and lid and dampers made with rust-resistant aluminum to not just give you excellent quality but also fantastic temperature regulation!

We know you'll want to maximize those dampers because of the sizeable surface area you get on this bad boy!

Just note that the absence of an ash catcher is a polarizing design topic among its users.

It's a love it or hate it kind of a deal because it's convenient for cookouts and prevents ash from getting into your food, but it's also irritating at times.

It comes with an enclosed bowl, though to help keep the embers in one place.

If you want a high-quality charcoal tabletop grill that's also portable, the Weber Smokey Joe Premium Portable Grill is a strong contender.

With its robust construction and high-quality materials, this is one of the best tabletop grills you can get.

Pros

  • Solid build
  • High-quality materials
  • The multipurpose handle is convenient
  • Portable
  • Convenient lid lock

 Cons

  • Reportedly poor airflow
  • No ash catcher

7. Hamilton Beach Electric Indoor Searing Grill

 

Hamilton Beach Electric Indoor Searing Grill

Key Features

  • Electric design
  • 150 square-inch cooking surface
  • Up to 450°F cooking temperature
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Removable nonstick plate
  • Dishwasher-safe parts

There's nothing like that sizzle when the steak hits the grill. And when you get that perfect crust after a good sear? PERFECTION.

This Hamilton Beach Electric Indoor Searing Grill was made for that very purpose because of its high cooking temperature.

It can do more than that, though.

You can choose between 200, 250, 300, 350, 400, and its maximum of 450 degrees Fahrenheit to cook a ton of things. And with a 150 square-inch cooking area, you can make a lot (up to 6 burgers or 2 steaks).

To assist you, there are red and green lights to tell you when it's turned off, in preheating mode, or all ready to go. We love this feature because it helps keep you safe from unnecessary burns.

And at the end of it, this is one tabletop grill that's a breeze to clean. Simply remove the grid, upper lid, and the extra-large drip tray and put them all in the dishwasher. Then, wipe everything else down, no scrubbing required!

Speaking of the upper lid, it's excellent for locking in all that heat and flavor. This also prevents any delays in your cook times. Despite its electric fuel type, you still get the authentic barbecue taste

If you're on the hunt for a tabletop grill that can give you the excellent taste of other models without the inconvenience, this is for you.

You can experience the same quality and cook of consistent heat and searing while enjoying its ease of cleaning and assembly.

Pros

  • Fantastic for searing
  • Nonstick cooking area
  • Variable heat control
  • Indicator lights for safety
  • Parts are dishwasher safe

 Cons

  • No incremental temperature adjustments
  • Short cord

8. George Foreman GFO240S

George Foreman GFO240S

Key Features

  • Electric grilling at its finest
  • 5 variable temperature settings
  • 240 square inches of cooking surface
  • Comes with a drip tray and stand
  • 3-year limited warranty

If you don't know who George Foreman is, we don't know what rock you've been hiding under. Hailed for the invention of the unbeatable George Foreman grill, what better brand could there be?

Living in an apartment where you can't risk creating all that smoke? Or maybe you have roommates who don't share the same love for freshly grilled hot dogs like you?

Well, WORRY NOT!

The beauty of an electric grill is you can easily use this indoors without the hassle that a live fire or charcoal brings (and without setting off your smoke detectors, too).

This is incredibly easy to set up on countertops, side tables, and even in the middle of any room because it comes with a stand!

All you need is access to an electrical socket, and you're good to engage its 5 variable temperature settings.

With its huge grilling area, you'll be hard-pressed not to play around with all those temperatures until you perfect your recipe.

How much can it fit?

Well, let's put it this way. If you ever have to make burgers for 15 people, YOU'RE ALL SET!

Even with all that meat, you won't have to worry about the fat because this tabletop grill features George Foreman's patented slope design to trap up to 42% of the fat to keep it off your waistline.

For those on the lookout for a tabletop grill versatile enough to be used both indoors and outdoors while still giving you a huge cooking surface, you've found the one for you!

It's also an excellent tabletop model for anyone who doesn't have an outdoor area where they can grill.

Pros

  • Fantastic for indoor use
  • Set-up anywhere you want
  • Humungous cooking area
  • The detachable stand is convenient

 Cons

  • Some issues with the stand
  • Difficult to clean

What Is a Tabletop Grill and Who Should Have One?

Imagine your backyard grill, only smaller and more portable.

That's basically what a tabletop grill is.

Despite its size, the best tabletop grills should still give you great-tasting food. So, you get the same results in a smaller and cheaper body.

They're More Versatile

Look, not everyone has the space for a full grill. But that doesn't mean you have to say goodbye to a perfectly grilled steak or burger forever.

Tabletop grills are meant to be used on top of a table or stand, which everyone already has in their home. Plus, you can't lug a full-sized grill around. THIS, on the other hand, you can.

If you happen to want to grill outside today and inside tomorrow, it's no problem! Tabletop grills are meant to give you that flexibility.

You Get the Same Features and Taste

Just like we've mentioned, you still get the same results with a tabletop grill. Here's what they both have in common:

  • Fuel options - Of course, you have the same choices between charcoal or liquid propane as a fuel type. This will affect how you cook and how the food will taste (more on that later).
  • Grill grate - You'll also get the same grill grate, though the size, shape, and material will vary depending on the model you choose.
  • Heat retention - They all come with some kind of heavy-duty lid or cover to help retain the heat inside so you can save on both fuel and cooking time. This also makes sure your food is evenly cooked so you don't get meat that's cooked on the outside and raw on the inside!

Giantex Stainless Steel Tabletop Gas Grill

So you see, besides the smaller cooking space, you won't be giving much up when you choose a tabletop grill over the more traditional full-sized ones!

The best tabletop grills shouldn't remind you of what you're missing.

Just note there are some features, like cast iron cooking grates, stainless steel parts, and more that are worth the extra dollars so you can maximize yours.

What's the Right Fuel Source for You: Propane vs. Charcoal Tabletop Grills

Ease of Use

Winner: Liquid propane/gas grill

Gas grills win in one category: convenience. And that applies just as much to its general ease of use, post-cooking clean-up, and even its learning curve.

You see, charcoal requires practice and technique. There are a couple of things you'll need to master before you become a pro at it that doesn't apply to gas grilling.

Temperature Control

First, temperature control is a lot trickier for charcoal. With propane, you just need to turn the knob on the temperature valve.

But with charcoal, you need to know when to add more, when to feed it, etc. Plus, you'll need to master regulating airflow to give it more or less oxygen, which in turn affects the strength and heat of the fire.

And when you want to use flavored woods[1], that adds even more stuff for you to learn. Not all types of wood burn the same, so you need to learn them one by one, depending on your preferred type.

Refueling

This particularly applies to long or heavy cooking sessions.

The higher the temperatures or the longer the cooking time, the more charcoal you'll need. It's just a matter of science.

This may seem easy when you try to imagine it, but a 2-hour cooking session can easily devolve into a lot of huffing, sweating, and more puffing.

outdoor grilling with Cuisinart CGG-180T

It's bad enough that the fire can get extremely hot, but add the summer heat and you've got yourself a sauna.

With liquid propane, there's none of that.

You just need to refuel once every 10 cooking sessions or so, and you're all set. Plus, it's as easy as just opening the compartment and replacing one cartridge with another. It's a breeze. 

Here's a tip: If you're unsure about how much you want to master grilling or if you're new to this whole thing, we recommend trying out a propane model first. When you're ready and only if the taste/temperature difference is something you're after, go for the charcoal model.

But that's just us. Even if you're a beginner at this, if you want the challenge and the payoff of using charcoal-fueled grills, go for it!

Temperature

Winner: Charcoal grills 

The liquid propane burners in most tabletop grills can reach a maximum temperature of 500-550 degrees Fahrenheit, which is MORE THAN ENOUGH for whatever you're planning to make.

But, where charcoal wins is when you need to quickly roast or sear a piece of meat. The standard lump charcoal can reach temperatures as high as 1300-1400 degrees Fahrenheit.

The great thing about such a high temperature is you can make tons of more exotic recipes and food preparation techniques.

Just remember to handle them with care!

One thing to watch out for is the type of table you'll place this on because not all of them can handle this high heat. If convenience is what you're after and you do not need such high temperatures, go for the liquid propane grill. But if you want that charred taste and powerful heat generation, go for their charcoal counterparts.

Note that a cast iron cooking grate can make a huge difference when grilling for that even temperature.

It's All About the Taste

Winner: Charcoal

This is where charcoal edges out your typical propane burners.

There's no replacing that delicious charred, smoky taste and that's why we still use charcoal today. Plus, you can play around with different kinds of wood and charcoals to see how will affect the taste of your meat.

grilling vegetables and steak with Presto 09020

BUT, that presupposes that you LIKE the taste of food cooked over charcoal. It's a matter of preference, so if that's not your thing, then a gas tabletop grill will do the job for you.

You can even add a little bit of wood to the fire to mimick that smoky taste, though we must warn you that this takes some technique and lots of practice to master.

Clean-up

Winner: Gas grill 

After a fantastic meal, all you want to do is curl up in bed or relax in front of the TV. This is why clean-up and maintenance should be one of your biggest considerations.

Most tabletop grills will require that you use water, soap, patience, and some good ol' fashioned elbow grease to clean it off after each cooking session.

However, there's one tiny detail that edges out coal and made us choose gas as the winner in this category: ash disposal.

Burning charcoal creates ash, and this is one extra step you'll need to deal with if you use this fuel source.

Fear not, though.

Most coal-powered models have an ash disposal tray that makes this a pretty easy job, but STILL, it's an added step. Plus, you have to regularly dispose of and maintain this because it can leave residue on your food that will negatively affect its taste.

Conclusion

With all this, you won't be starved for choice. Enjoy your new grill!

Outdoor Cooking Pros
Outdoor Cooking Pros


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