6 Portable and Small Gas Grills — Enjoy the Best Taste Wherever You Go!
Last updated: Mar 08, 2020
52Hours of Research
Summertime and barbecues go hand-in-hand, which makes an outdoor grill a necessity. They come in a wide range of sizes, but those with limited space can’t have a huge model taking up most of it. That’s why many people are choosing the best small gas grill instead of a larger model, due to their compact size and easy handling. They are perfect for an apartment balcony, a small patio, or for camping and other outdoor gatherings where you will be preparing food.
Small gas grills may not have all the frills of a larger model, but they do have everything you need to make a great meal. Certain features are essential, though. One is the size of the cooking area, so you know it will be large enough for your needs. A warming rack for keeping everything nice and hot is a bonus. The BTUs tells you how hot the grill can get. You should also look at the dimensions and weight of the unit, especially if you have limited space or are taking it along on your travels.
Top 6 Small Gas Grills Review 2020
With so many different models on the market, it may be hard to decide which one is the best small gas grill for your specific needs. To help, we’ve spent countless hours researching different grill brands, checking product information, and reading hundreds of customer reviews. Then we chose the top grills models, created a comparison table, rated each one, and added in-depth product descriptions. We even included a buying guide, to show what features to look for.
Those who require the best small propane gas grill need to look no further than the Smoke Hollow 205. This portable model is constructed from stainless steel, so it is built to last, even withstanding varying summer weather. It is also compact, with a locking lid and legs that fold underneath, so it can be taken with you on various adventures. Though there is no carry handle, there is a large one on the lid that can be used for this purpose.
The Smoke Hollow includes a 10,000 BTU stainless steel U-shaped burner inside, giving you even heat and fast cooking times. The cooking area is 205 square inches, so you have plenty of room to make burgers, hot dogs, or steaks for the whole family. There is also a 105 square inch warming rack above the cooking grate, so you can toast some buns or heat up veggie sides. A stainless steel drip tray catches the grease, keeping the inside of the grill clean.
Other handy features include the temperature gauge, which lets you keep track of the heat, and the ignitor for starting up the grill. There is also a hole for using a lighter if needed. Another reason this is one of the best small outdoor gas grill models on the market is that it uses portable one-pound propane cylinders, which are easy to pack and take with you on the road.
The Giantex Propane Tabletop Gas Grill is one of the best rated small gas grill models around, due to its sturdy construction, easy-to-use controls, and fast cleanup. This grill is made of solid stainless steel, so you know it will be durable enough to last for years of grilling. To top it all off, this is a very affordable choice, and definitely one of the best gas grills under $200.
There are two burners inside, each with its own push-and-turn ignition. This allows you to turn on one or both burners as needed, depending on how much food you’re cooking. You can also adjust the heat independently on each one, giving you varying temperatures in one grill for multiple cooking options. Each burner has 10,000 BTUs, so they heat up fast and maintain their temperature.
The cooking area on this grill is huge, too, so you can cook multiple burgers, steaks, or pieces of chicken all at once. When the cooking is done, the whole grill is easy to clean, so it’s ready for next time.
Another excellent feature is its portability. It is a bit heavy at 26 pounds, but it has foldable legs for more compactness. The lid also locks down, so you can carry it by the handle without worrying about it popping open and spilling its grate out onto the ground. This stylish grill is an excellent addition to any backyard barbecue or camping trip.
The Fuego F24C gas grill has a futuristic design that would look great on any patio or balcony. It comes with a hefty price tag, but with all the great features included, it’s well worth the price. This isn’t the cheapest unit on our list, but worth its price, in our opinion. If you have a slightly smaller budget, take a look at our picks of the best gas grills under $400, or our lineup of the best gas grills under $300.
One reason this is one of the best rated small gas grill models is the huge 26,500 BTUs, which allow you to reach temperatures up to 500 Fahrenheit. There is also a dual zone burner system inside, so you can cook your food over direct and indirect heat at the same time, depending on where you place it on the primary and warming racks.
Cleanup is also easy and quick, thanks to the residue tray, which catches the oil and cooking debris that falls down in the fire bowl. When you’re done the cooking, and the grill has cooled down, just remove this tray, wash it, and put it back in for the next grilling session.
To keep you safe while you cook, the lid opens up at a 45-degree angle, with a handle on the side, keeping your arm away from the heat. It also acts as a windshield for those times when you need to leave it up while grilling. The propane tank is enclosed in the bottom of the grill, latching closed to reduce any annoying rattles. Smooth rolling industrial castors won’t leave any marks if you need to move your grill around.
If you’re looking for the best small inexpensive gas grill, this one from Cuisinart is a great model that’s kind to the wallet and easy to use (for more like this, take a look at some fantastic grills under $100). It has a compact size, so you can take it camping, to the park, or to the beach without sacrificing too much trunk space. There are three color options as well.
The Cuisinart CGG-1890T has a stainless steel body. The aluminum legs fold out when it comes time to start grilling, though they don’t lock in place. They also fold back in when it’s cooled down after the meal, making a more portable piece for storage or travel. There is even a locking mechanism on the lid and a briefcase-type handle for carrying the grill.
This little gas grill is fueled by propane and can handle the little portable tanks or the larger five-pound ones, whichever suits your needs. It uses a twist-start ignition and heats up quickly for fast cooking. Stainless steel burners produce 5,500 BTUs to cook your meals quickly and evenly.
The porcelain-enamel grate is quite large, with room for eight burgers or steaks, or up to ten chicken breasts, allowing you to feed the whole family with no waiting. An included drip tray keeps the mess to a minimum. When the meal is done, the whole unit is easy to clean, especially the dishwasher safe grate.
There are a few features that make the Coleman Sportster Propane Grill one of the best small portable gas grill models on the market. It has solid construction, with a rugged latch on the lid to keep it from popping open while you move it.
A wheeled stand is included, which locks onto the grill to hold it in place while you cook. This stand also collapses, with the grill still attached, becoming a handy wheeled carrier when you need to move your appliance around. This also makes a more compact storage item for travel or when the grilling season comes to an end.
This small grill uses portable propane tanks, which attach right to the side of the grill. An Instastart push-button ignition makes it easy to light the grill, without the need of a separate lighter. This grill has three temperatures to choose from to cook your food, including low, medium, and high, for a maximum of 11,000 BTUs.
Inside the grill is a porcelain-coated grate for non-stick cooking. This grill has a huge 225 square inches of cooking space, so you can easily make large group meals. It is also removable for quick cleanup. A drip tray collects any fluids or debris, keeping the burners clean. When you’re meal is ready, the tray can be removed and emptied, which makes cleanup a breeze.
The best small BBQ gas grill is easy to set up and use, no matter where you are. This one from Coleman meets these standards, plus is easy to take with you on any trip. It has a collapsible design, with a built-in stand that folds down, making it easy to pull it along on the wheels like a piece of luggage. It is also simple to lift and lock the grill in place when it comes time to cook. Two side tables give you room for utensils, plates, or other cooking accessories.
This little grill has 285 square inches of cooking space that use 20,000 BTUs to heat it up and cook your meals. This is a 2 burner gas grill with independently adjustable burners and Instastart button ignitions that you can use on their own or together, with varying temperatures if needed. This allows you to cook multiple foods all at the same time, even if they require different cooking methods.
Two porcelain-coated cast-iron grill grates fit together perfectly, plus are easy to clean. These are Swaptop grates, so they can be swapped out with Coleman’s stove or griddle grates, though these two need to be purchased separately. A removable grease tray catches most of the drippings and debris that would otherwise fall into the bottom of the grill. This makes less of a mess inside of the grill while you’re cooking.
Two sliding side tables
Two independent adjustable burners
Collapsible wheeled stand
Grills don’t lock in place
Hard to clean
Cooking food over an open flame gives it a great smoky taste no one can resist. Unfortunately, not everyone has the need or space for a huge barbecue. That’s why so many people are looking for the best gas grill for a small household or limited space. Of course, with so many different types of gas grills out there, you need to look at each model carefully before you decide on one. This way, you’ll know you have the features you’re looking for to meet all your grilling needs.
Advantages of having a small gas grill
There are many advantages to choosing a small gas grill over a larger model. They are compact so that they can fit on a small patio or apartment balcony. Small gas grills are also easier to travel with, taking up very little space in your vehicle, making it a great cooking companion for camping, beach trips, or barbecues in the park. These are highly portable models – if this feature is your primary concern, we also recommend taking a look at our top picks of portable charcoal grills and some infared grills units, which are also very convenient!
These little grills are also easy to use, heat up fast, and clean up in a snap. They don’t have a lot of dials or other features, but they can still do the job of a larger grill. Many of them even have huge cooking areas, allowing you to feed your whole family, and even a few friends, all at the same time. This means no waiting for a hot burger or a perfectly cooked steak.
Another benefit of the small gas grills is their convenience. All the products reviewed above use propane, so you can take along a large tank or a few portable canisters to keep your grill running, and all of them have built-in ignition systems, so no matches or lighters required.
Features to consider while choosing small gas grills
If you’re in the market for the best small portable gas grills, there are many options available. They all have varying features, so be sure to check that they have the options you need. The following features are a right place to start.
The size of the cooking area is one of the essential features you need to look at in small gas grills. If you’re only cooking one or two burgers, the smallest grill possible is excellent. For a family of four, though, you’ll need room for at least half a dozen burgers. If you plan to add a few friends to the mix, an even larger grill rack is needed.
Thankfully, these small grills come with a wide range of grate sizes. The largest on our list is the Fuego F24C Professional Propane Gas Grill, with a rack that is 24 inches across, giving you plenty of room to feed a small army. If you don’t need one this large, any of the other grills we’ve reviewed can give you the space you need.
Most of the small outdoor gas grills have very basic features, but a few of them, like the Smoke Hollow 205, come with the addition of a warming rack. These are smaller grates above the main one, away from the flames.
The purpose of a warming rack is as its name suggests, to keep the food on it warm. This way, if you’re cooking some burgers, hot dogs, or anything else, and some are done before others, you can place them on the warming rack. This keeps them nice and hot without burning them. It is also a handy place to toast some buns or heat up a side dish.
The British Thermal Unit, or BTU, shows the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. For grills, a more common explanation is how much heat that particular grill can generate when the burner is turned up to its highest level. Different fuels can affect this, so the best small natural gas grills will work differently at reaching this maximum output then the best propane gas grills will, because of the way the fuel is consumed.
For grills, the BTUs are measured per burner, plus it is also stated for the overall unit. The latter is the number you usually see on a gas grill description. For instance, the Coleman Sportster Propane Grill is capable of producing a maximum of 11,000 BTUs at its maximum output.
If you’re choosing a small gas grill, it likely because you prefer a more compact model for specific reasons. You need to make it fit in a smaller space, like on a small balcony or patio, or you’re looking for something to be easy to use as a travel appliance. All of the models we have reviewed are mini versions of the huge grills you see in many people’s backyards. Some of them are quite compact, perfect for tabletop grilling. Some grills are a bit larger, like the Fuego F24C Professional Propane Gas Grill, with a full stand that houses a large propane tank.
Be sure to check out the space you have at your home and in your vehicle and buy the small gas grill that will fit in the areas you’ll need it for.
If you’re going to put your new gas grill in one spot and leave it there permanently, the weight of the grill won’t be an issue. Of course, if you plan to take your grill along on various adventures, you won’t want to be dealing with a heavy 60-pound, but you want an easy transportation. For this reason, you may want the lightest grill you can get, like the Cuisinart CGG-180T, which is only 13.5 pounds. This will be easy to take out to the car, down to the beach, or in and out of the camper for various meals.
Wheels and handles
Taking the best small BBQ outdoor gas grills with you may be a great idea, but you need to be able to carry such models around with you. All gas grills come with a handle on the lid for opening and closing it while you cook. Some of these handles can be used as a carry handle, provided the lid locks closed. Other models add a second handle that you can use to carry the grill, adding to its portability.
Another great option to make a small grill more portable is the addition of wheels. These are usually found on the bottom of some sort of built-in stand, which collapses and gives you a makeshift cart. Then you can pull the grill behind you, similar to how you would pull a piece of luggage.
When you take your grill with you to less civilized areas, you may not have the luxury of a table to place it on when you’re ready to cook. Luckily, many of the best small outdoor gas grill models come with their own table, in the form of collapsible legs. These grills, like the Coleman RoadTrip LXE Portable Gas Grill, have legs built right into the base of the grill, which can collapse below it for travel. Then, when you reach your destination, you can unfold the legs, lock the grill in place, and start cooking. These legs usually have wheels on them as well, as described above, for added convenience.
When looking for a new gas grill, one of the most important things to look at is the warranty, to be sure that if anything happens, the problem will be easy to solve. These little models aren’t built for rough use, so the warranty likely won’t cover any damage from mishandling. There should be enough to cover you for any type of manufacturing defects or issues with workmanship, though. Some brands also have different warranties for different parts of the grill. The Fuego F24C Professional Propane Gas Grill, for instance, has a one-year limited warranty for the entire grill but adds a three-year guarantee for the burner itself. Be sure to check out any specifics like this, so you know exactly what parts are covered and for how long.
It may be difficult to find the best small gas grill with a side burner, for instance, but there are a number of other handy features available. One thing to look for is quality materials, like porcelain coating on the grates to reduce sticking, or stainless steel construction to prevent rusting.
You should also look at how much assembly is required when your grill is purchased, and whether or not the tools to assemble it are included. The easier it is to put together, the happier you’ll be when grilling outdoors.
A temperature gauge lets you keep track of how hot the grill is without having to open it up repeatedly and losing the heat. Side tables, like the ones on the Coleman RoadTrip LXE Portable Gas Grill, make enough room for you to put dishes, food items, and cooking utensils.
The type of propane cylinders needed varies with the type of gas grill you’re using. Most of them can be used with the small portable 16.4 ounce canisters, except for the Fuego F24C Professional Propane Gas Grill, which can only use a 20-pound tank. If you prefer to swap out the canister for a larger tank, there are adapters available for this purpose.
Be sure to use grills outside and away from any flammable structures to prevent a fire. Set them up on a flat surface, so they won’t tip while in use. Keep them clean to prevent flare-ups. Watch for propane leaks in the hose or connections. If the flame goes out, wait a few minutes before relighting. Don’t leave grills unattended when lit. Keep baking soda close for grease fires and a fire extinguisher nearby for other types of fires. Don’t wear loose clothing, roll up sleeves, and keep apron strings away from the flames.
First, make sure the gas is off, or the tank is detached. Then remove the grill grates and warming rack. Scrub them with a grill brush. Then clean the burners with a wire brush or some steel wool, using degreaser if necessary. Scrape any debris on the inside of the lid, again using degreaser if there is a lot of buildup. If there is a drip tray, remove it, empty it, and wash it out. Rinse everything with water, dry it thoroughly to prevent rust, and put it all back together.
For small spaces and outdoor travels, the best small gas grills can be a blessing. They are compact, easy to use, and still have the capability of creating a mouth-watering meal. There are dozens of different models on the market, but a few options rise above the rest.
The Smoke Hollow 205 is our favorite, due to its lightweight and compact design, and durable stainless steel construction. It also has excellent features, like a warming rack, temperature gauge, locking hood, foldable legs, and a handy drip tray.
The Giantex Propane Tabletop Gas Grill is another great option, also with a locking lid and folding legs, but it has the addition of the two independent burners, each with its ignition and temperature control. Plus, it comes fully assembled.
If you’re looking for a more stationary model, the Fuego F24C Professional Propane Gas Grill is larger, offering 26,500 BTUs and an enclosed propane tank area. Other great features include the dual zone burners for direct and indirect heat, the 45-degree angle lid, a warming rack, and those smooth-rolling castors.