Our Top Picks
Most Popular: Weber Q-1400 Electric Grill at Amazon
"Boasts a 1560-watt electric heating element that heats efficiently."
Best Overall: Weber Genesis II E-210 at Amazon
"Has all of the features of the larger grills but with a more compact footprint."
Best Indoor/Outdoor: George Foreman Electric Grill at Amazon
"Can be used indoors or outdoors and comes with a pedestal stand."
Best Propane: Char-Broil 2-Burner Liquid Propane Grill at Amazon
"The two main burners have 20,000 BTUs of cooking power."
Best Charcoal: Weber 14-Inch Smokey Joe Portable Grill at Amazon
"A classic kettle-shaped charcoal grill but in a smaller size."
Best Infrared: Char-Broil Patio Bistro Infrared Electric Grill at Walmart
"Infrared cooking reduces flare-ups while cooking food quickly and evenly."
Best Natural Gas: Weber Spirit II E-210 Gas Grill at Amazon
"You won’t need to buy charcoal or swap propane tanks with this grill."
Best Pellet Grill: Green Mountain Davy Crockett Pellet Grill at Amazon
"This budget-friendly option has a smaller footprint and it's WiFi enabled."
01 of 08
Most Popular: Weber Q-1400 Electric Grill
While cooking over a fire can certainly be appealing, using an electric grill has many benefits. For one thing, there’s no need for charcoal or gas tanks that need to be replaced, and you don't have to worry about live fire. And if you purchase a small electric grill like this one, you can take it on the road and use it on vacation (or anywhere you have electricity).
The Weber Q-1400 has a total of 189 square inches of cooking space and a 1560-watt electric heating element that heats efficiently. The grates are porcelain-enameled cast iron, so you’ll get great grill marks. The lid and body of this grill are aluminum and the frame is glass reinforced nylon, reducing the weight to make it easier to move(also making it rust-proof). A removable catch pan makes cleaning easy when cooking is done. This has a 6-foot cord, so you’ll need to use it close to an outlet. It is for outdoor use only.
02 of 08
Best Overall: Weber Genesis II E-210
This small Genesis grill has all of the features of the larger grills in this line, but with fewer burners and a more compact footprint. You still get 380 square inches of cooking space, along with 114 square inches of space on the warming rack that tucks away when you don’t need it. The cooking grates are porcelain-enameled cast iron that heats evenly, cleans easily, and creates impressive grill marks. They are reversible, so you can cook on thin rods when you’re cooking delicate foods, and cook on thick rods when you want that impressive sear.
The burners are stainless steel so they won’t rust or corrode, and there are porcelain-enameled Flavorizer bars protecting them from food drippings so you won’t get flare-ups during cooking while creating flavorful smoke. The side trays are stainless steel and include hanging hooks for your tools, and the open-cart gives you space for your propane tank and supplies. A grease management system makes cleaning easy when cooking is done.
03 of 08
Best Indoor/Outdoor: George Foreman Electric Grill
Best known for their line of countertop contact grills, the George Foreman company also manufactures other grills such as this innovative electric pedestal grill that can be used indoors and outdoors. It’s great for cooking on the balcony when the weather is nice, but you can also use it inside when it starts to rain. The temperature control gives you a choice of five settings, and for added versatility, the grill can be removed from the stand so you can use it on the counter.
The smaller footprint still provides you with 240 square inches of cooking space on a nonstick surface. The slightly sloped drip tray collects grease and drippings, and it can be tossed in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. The grill plate is also removable for hand washing.
04 of 08
Best Infrared: Char-Broil Patio Bistro Infrared Electric Grill
Infrared cooking reduces flare-ups while cooking food quickly and evenly, and since this is electric, you don’t need to worry about buying charcoal or keeping a propane tank handy.
With a generous 240 square inches of cooking space plus an 80-inch warming rack, you'll be able to sear your favorites meats with room to spare. Two side shelves give you space for condiments and tools, then they fold down for more compact storage. A shelf under the grill gives you space to hold supplies while you cook. The cooking grates are porcelain-enameled cast iron for easy cleaning and even heating, and the grease tray is easy to reach when it’s time to clean the grill. The grill body and lid are made from porcelain coated steel that’s resistant to rust, and two large wheels make this simple to move.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Best Pellet Grill: Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill
Pellet grills tend to be large and expensive, but this budget-friendly option has a smaller footprint and it's WiFi enabled. It boasts many desirable features that you’d typically find in larger grills, like a thermal sensor that constantly monitors grill temperature, and a digital controller with WiFi that can connect to an app on your iOS or Android phone.
This pellet grill is also portable, so when you want to store it or take it on the road the legs fold up and you can use them as handles. Since it’s built for travel, you can plug this into a standard electric outlet, but it also comes with adaptors for other power options (you can run this on 12V on the road). As far as storage, the peaked lid allows you to cook taller foods with the lid in place, and a wire side rack with tool hooks gives you space for sauces and tools.
06 of 08
Best Propane: Char-Broil Classic 280 2-Burner Liquid Propane Gas Grill
One good reason for cooking outdoors in the summer is to keep the heat out of the kitchen, but it seems like there’s always a side dish or sauce that needs to be simmered on the stove. This grill has a side burner, so you can simmer while you grill.
This has 280 square inches of cooking space, two burners, and 20,000 BTUs of cooking power from the stainless steel main burners. Plus, the side burner offers an extra 8,000 BTUs of cooking power. The cooking grates are coated with porcelain for stick-resistant cooking and easy cleaning, and metal side shelves give you space to hold sauces, plates, and tools. The body of this grill is crafted from porcelain-coated steel for durability and two large wheels underneath make it easy to transport.
07 of 08
Best Charcoal: Weber 14-Inch Smokey Joe Portable Grill
This is a classic kettle-shaped charcoal grill but in a smaller size—just 14 inches in diameter—so it’s perfectly portable, whether you want to move it around your yard or bring it with you on a road-trip.
The body and lid are rust-resistant porcelain-enameled steel, and the cooking grate is plated steel for rust resistance and easy cleaning. Temperature can be controlled using the dampers that regulate airflow, just like on larger kettle grills.
A bottom tray collects as and small bits of charcoal for neat grilling and easy cleaning. Users have mentioned that although this is a no-frills grill, it’s very durable and resistant to harsh weather.
08 of 08
Best Natural Gas: Weber Spirit II E-210 Gas Grill
Natural gas makes grilling very convenient since you won’t need to buy charcoal or swap propane tanks. All you need is an outdoor gas hookup, and you simply turn on the gas, fire up the grill, and you can start cooking in no time.
Like other Weber grills in this series, this has porcelain-enameled cast iron cooking grates that are easy to clean and create great grill marks. They are also reversible, so you can cook on thinner or thicker bars, depending on the food you’re cooking. The porcelain-enameled Flavorizer bars keep the two burners clean and vaporize drippings to create flavorful smoke. This provides 450 square inches of cooking space plus 90 square inches on the warming rack.
Two side shelves give you room for condiments and sauces, and tool hooks let you keep your cooking tools and grill brushes nearby. The left shelf folds down to save you space in storage or on a small deck. An open cart with a bottom shelf also allows you to store supplies, and the grease management system makes cleanup a breeze.
Products Tested by The Spruce
How We Tested
We bought three top-rated small grills that our reviewers tested for more than 52 hours. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these grills, from cooking space to portability. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
What to Look for in a Small Grill
Cooking space This is a consideration for just about every grill, but it’s possibly more critical with small grills. When you’re cooking dinner for the family, can you fit everyone’s burger on the grill at the same time, or will you be cooking in shifts while you’re trying to keep everyone’s food warm enough to eat? The key is to get enough grill but not too much.
Portability While all of these small grills are somewhat portable, some are designed to be brought out of storage when you need them, while others are designed to have a permanent space in your outdoor area. Your lifestyle and space will let you know which grill is best for you.
Fuel type Some people say that charcoal gives the best flavor, while others prefer the convenience of propane. Meanwhile, there are folks who can’t have a live-fire grill on their balcony or deck, so electric grills are the best option. Each type of fuel has its pros and cons, but no matter which you choose, you’ll be enjoying outdoor grilling on any of them.
Test Results: Weber Q-1400 Electric Grill (Most Popular)
Retains heat well
Easy to move
No temperature gauge
Preheating takes a long time
The Weber Q-1400 Electric Grill came highly recommended by our tester for how well it cooked food and the fact that it’s lightweight and easy to move. Saying it’s an “ideal size to cook for a small family,” our reviewer loved the cast iron grate cooking surface, which she said retains heat well. She didn’t like that there wasn’t a temperature gauge, however. Plus, she noted, “The grill also needs 20 minutes to preheat, which is a bit of a long time for a grill that size.” Overall? “It's very durable and will last for multiple outdoor grilling seasons.”
Test Results: Weber Genesis II E-210 (Best Overall)
Even, consistent heat
Not the smallest compact grill
No side burner
Our tester felt that this grill was definitely worth buying: “Although it’s more expensive than other small, two-burner grills, the Weber is very well-made and is backed by a decade-long warranty,” he said. “So instead of having to replace the grill in just a few years, you can keep on cooking with the Weber.” He also noted it heats evenly and was easy to clean. In terms of negatives, he noted that it wasn’t very portable. “It's also slightly larger than some other two-burner grills,” he added, “so that could be a problem if you have a very small deck.”
Test Results: George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Grill (Best Indoor/Outdoor)
Large grilling surface
Easy to clean
Grease splatters onto heat controls
Difficult to remove grill from base
Our tester loved the functionality of the George Foreman Electric Grill because it can be used both in the house and outside. She also noted, “The grilling surface is large enough to cook for the whole family.” In terms of negatives, she said it was tricky to remove the grill from its base. In addition, our reviewer mentioned she “would love to have the heat control positioned differently—when it got spattered with grease from cooking, it got really slippery.” Bottom line? According to our tester, it’s an affordable grill that’s also “incredibly easy to use and to clean.”