Summer is the ultimate BBQ season. There’s nothing better than spending time with friends and family with a delicious meaty aroma in the air. Pairing the BBQ with freshly grilled vegetables and chilled drinks is the cherry on the icing. But wait—do you have the right equipment?
A portable BBQ is good enough for a backyard.
But what about the long drive plan? And if someday you get up in the morning and decide to go camping on a bright sunny day, are you willing to take that heavy machine all the way? What if there isn’t enough space in the car? What if you want to have a barbecue in the park? An awesome tabletop barbeque might just be the perfect solution for you.
A tabletop BBQ is lightweight, small enough to carry anywhere, and generates enough heat to cook properly without the use of any specialized tools. Today, we are going to review some of the best out there.
- What to Look for When Choosing a Table Top BBQ
- Best Tabletop BBQ Reviews
- To Conclude
What to Look for When Choosing a Table Top BBQ
Convenience and size do matter, but there are also other factors you should consider before buying a tabletop BBQ. Here’s a list of factors you should keep in mind to make your decision a little easier.
Type: Gas, Charcoal, or Electric
Propane is more convenient because it does not require a lot of effort to light up. Most of the newer models have electronic ignition, which starts the grill in a matter of seconds with the push of a button whereas the charcoal BBQ takes a long time to ignite.
A propane BBQ also allows temperature control, so food cooks on controlled heat. It does not produce smoke, which also makes it convenient for indoor use. It cools down quickly and is easy to clean.
The drawback of a propane BBQ is the lack of authentic barbecue flavour. Because food cooks on gas, it naturally does not ingest smoke, which affects the overall taste. It is also expensive compared to its charcoal counterpart. It comes with a disposable tank which you will eventually have to recycle.
The biggest reason why more people go for a charcoal barbecue is the smoky taste. It is also better for searing food to achieve that golden-brown crust, which isn’t possible with a gas BBQ. It is also cheaper and needs low maintenance.
The downside of a charcoal grill is the smoke buildup, making it unsuitable for indoor use. Charcoal pieces can quickly stain your hands and clothes. Cleaning it can also be messy as you will have to get rid of the burnt coal and dusty ashes.
The most untraditional version is the electric BBQ. It has gained popularity in recent years, and some users find it a more convenient and healthier option.
However, an electric version requires plug-in support to operate and does not produce a smoky taste. They are pretty expensive and can also boost electricity bills upon frequent use.
The size of the tabletop grill depends on the frequency of use and the usual food quantity. Do you regularly host backyard parties, or are you going to use it for an occasional treat?
It is ideal to have 50 square inches of cooking space per portion. BBQs with multiple zones (one for each: searing, slow cooking, and finishing) save time and accommodate more food. If you require a larger size, go for a model with side burners and warming space.
Durability is one of the main factors to look for in a tabletop BBQ. The cheaper materials are aluminium and sheet metal. Stainless steel is a bit steep priced but is long-lasting, rust-resisting, and easy to clean.
Plastic knobs and handles may break quickly, so it is essential to look for higher-grade material. A lid plays a vital role in maintaining air circulation, and inside plating cuts off the need to flip food.
The British Thermal Unit (BTU) measures the amount of heat produced in a barbecue grill. A higher temperature setting does not necessarily induce more heat.
Factors such as a proper fitting lid, a sealed backside, and thick sides affect the grill heat efficiency. Check the model specs and BTU support ideal for your use.
Grates and Burners
Most high-end models come with stainless steel grates that are rust-resistant and easy to clean. Traditional BBQs with porcelain or cast-iron coating also do a good job and create golden brown grill lines.
Gas grills have straight tube burners. With additional burners, you can set a controlled temperature for each and create cooking zones.
Even small-sized tabletop grills may come with additional side burners, warming racks, utensil storage, and more. Most of these accessories add to unnecessary expenses and end up piling.
Also, make sure, if your model requires assembly, the provided warranty and if replacement parts are easily available. Remember, you are paying extra for peace of mind and to avoid any repair costs for a long time to come.
Best Tabletop BBQ Reviews
Based on the factors discussed above, we have come with a list of the best tabletop BBQs to help you with hassle-free grilling to enjoy during the grilling season.
1) Weber Q 1000 Gas Barbecue, Titanium
The clamshell lid and overall style get the Weber Q1000 extra points in the looks department. This little grill also performs to please. It features porcelain-coated cast-iron grates, a cast aluminum cover, a rust-proof body, and a high-quality grease pan. It has enough cooking space to accommodate four people with an easy clean grill.
A red starter button triggers the ignition, and the surface quickly heats up with even distribution, leaving no cold spots. Temperature support is up to 85000 BTUs per hour, and the infinite control cooking valve helps you set the perfect heating.
2) Char-Broil X200 Grill2Go Portable Barbecue Grill with TRU-Infrared™ Technology
It may seem small, but the Char-Broil X200 is one of the most durable BBQs in the market. It features stainless steel burners and grate, hardcore lid, and break-resistant heavy-duty plastic parts. The hood has a support handle and an in-built temperature gauge.
- TRU-Infrared Cooking System - cooks food evenly, with less...
- Stainless Steel Burner - strong, durable burners that are built...
- Electronic Igniter - lights up your grill at the push of a...
- Stainless Steel Cooking Grate - high quality and easy to clean
- Lid-Mounted Temperature Gauge - monitor the inside temperature of...
A simple push of a button initiates ignition, and The tru-infrared technology ensures equal heat distribution in every corner for even cooking. This helps retain moisture and taste in the food and prevents it from drying out. According to makers, this system helps reduce gas bills up to 30% compared to competitor models.
The Char-Broil X200 requires a 16.4-ounce propane cylinder to operate, and you can buy a pack of six for quick replacement.
3) Campingaz Gas Plancha Stainless Steel Burner Tabletop Gas BBQ
When it comes to grilling, it’s hard to beat something that’s nonstick. Because the burners are steel, you know they’re going to stand up to a lot of wear and tear. Even better, you can heat each burner to a different temperature, meaning you can cook your veggies and your meat at the same time.
- High quality and powerful: Two high-performance aluminized steel...
- Even heat distribution: Large enameled stamped steel grilling...
- Easy cleaning: Grease collecting cup can be removed for cleaning;...
- Healthy and versatile Mediterranean cooking: Ideal for creating a...
- Specs: Dimensions (L x W x H): 76 x 50 x 29 cm; weight: 17 kg;...
It also comes with a grease-collecting cup to make cleaning a breeze, but it also keeps your dinners lean and low-fat. This isn’t your average grill: it’s designed specifically for Mediterranean cooking, perfect to be enjoyed on a warm summer evening as you sip wine and grill some lamb.
It uses a standard gas cylinder, which is unfortunately sold separately.
That being said, it’s large enough to cook plenty of food for the whole family, but it’s still small enough to be conveniently portable. Head down to the park, lake, or beach to have an amazing night out with the lads or family.
4) UTTORA Barbecue Grill
At only 1.6 kg, the Uttora BBQ grill hardly weighs as much as a thick book. The lightweight does not make it flimsy, but it stands firm on its four l-shaped metal legs, leaving enough room for the underneath surface to avoid any damage. Although it is sturdy, you will need to place it on a flat surface to prevent any wobbling, as it happens with most portable BBQ models.
The barbecue and carbon grills are easy to remove, which makes cleaning a piece of cake. The legs fold into the frame, so it saves space anywhere you keep it. The cooking surface is big enough to serve three people and even more if you wish to grill small portions.
The body structure is a combination of iron and stainless steel with a rust-proof exterior for extra durability. The grill paint and BBQ mesh chrome do not emit toxic fumes when the BBQ is in use.
When cooking multiple portions of food, the 12 air vents on the sides of the grill ensure airflow from all directions for even heat distribution and cooking.
5) Weber 40020 Smokey Joe Premium 14-Inch Portable Grill
The overall design gives the Weber Smokey Joe a UFO spaceship look, but this little wonder, weighing roughly 4.45 kgs, grills scrumptious barbecue. The quality exterior finish speaks for itself, and the sturdy lid snaps intact so everything stays in one piece.
- Grab the handle of your Smokey Joe Premium portable charcoal...
- Holds up to five burgers made with a Weber burger press
- Compact and lightweight for grilling on the go
- Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat, and won’t rust or...
- The Tuck-N-Carry lid lock doubles as a lid holder to avoid...
Both the lid and bowl are porcelain coated which enables perfect heating inside the bowl. The air vents on both sides are controllable, so you can keep them open and closed as per temperature needs. The charcoal grill and cooking grid are also adjustable, so you can slide them apart and back.
The triple-plated nickel cooking grill serves as a non-stick surface with careful handling, and the surface is large enough to cook a family meal. The lid handle is a nylon material with a glass coating that prevents scalding.
6) Notebook Folding Grill
The folding notebook grill is the result of a clever design idea with convenience in mind. It weighs only three kgs and folds into a three cm slim briefcase which means you can keep and carry it pretty much anywhere. The parts are easily detachable and take a few seconds to reassemble.
- The Original Portable Fold-Away BBQ by Direct Designs
- Heat-Resistant Painted-Steel Construction
- Chrome-Plated Steel Grids
- Convenient Carry Handles
- Cooking Dimensions: 44cm x 27.5cm, Height: 30cm
The strong stainless steel structure ensures durability, and it comes with two chrome-plated stainless steel grills (a small one for coal placement and a large one for food). The cooking surface is enough for three to four people, which means a pack of sausages and a few burgers are good to go. It comes with a pair of tongs to grill food and handles the metal grills.
The exterior is powder-coated with heat-resistant enamel, and it is safe to wash in a sink or dishwasher.
Whether it is gas, charcoal, or electric tabletop BBQ, your final decision comes down to three main factors that are your preferred taste, the number of servings, and budget.
Tabletop BBQs have everything that makes them a better choice over their bulky counterparts. They are a convenient size, weigh a fraction of the large BBQ, are easy to handle, operate, and clean, and are more affordable.
Take your time pursuing your options and pick out a model that works for you. The perfect tabletop BBQ will last for years.
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