Tabletop grills are often much more affordable than a regular grill or smoker, and they’re super compact, which makes them great for taking on camping trips. You can even get smokeless ones that are safe to use indoors.
There are some really great tabletop grills out on the market at the moment, and it was quite hard to pick out just three to review for you.
In the end, we settled for ones from some of the top brands in the business, namely Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, and Char-Broil.
But first, we’re going to kick things off with a quick comparison table before laying out the key criteria we used to assess and compare each tabletop grill.
And after the product reviews, we’re going to add another handy section where we answer some of your most frequently asked questions on the subject.
So, without further ado…
Key Criteria for Assessment and Comparison
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit and is a measure of how much heat a grill can throw out. The higher the BTU of the grill, the quicker your foods get to the desired temperature and the quicker your food will cook.
Amount of Grilling Surface
Presuming you’re not dining alone, you’re going to need enough cooking space for both you and whoever is joining you. But if you have too much cooking surface area, the tabletop becomes less compact and portable.
One of the things many people love about tabletop grills is their portability. They’re usually very compact and lightweight and easy to take away on camping trips and tailgating.
Does it Have a Lid?
Placing a lid on your grilled foods helps them to retain their moisture, which means they’re nice and juicy when they’re ready to eat.
Easy to Clean
Whatever grill you choose, you’re going to have to clean it after every use. So anything that can help with this is a plus.
Value For Money
Tabletop grills can really vary in price, with some costing as little as $20 or so, while at the other end of the spectrum you can expect to pay over $200.
You certainly don’t need to spend $200 for a decent tabletop grill, but if you go for a grill that’s too cheap, you won’t have as many nice features.
Best Tabletop Grill
1. Best Overall Tabletop Grill: Cuisinart CGG-306 Chef's Style Propane Tabletop Grill
How It Stands Up Against the Comparison Criteria
- BTUs - This beauty can throw out a whopping 20,000 BTUs of heating, meaning your burgers etc will be ready in no time at all. 10,000 BTUs for each burner.
- Amount of Grilling Surface - And it has over 276 square inches of cooking space, which leaves enough room to cook meat and vegetables for an entire family.
- Portability - One of the things we love about this tabletop grill is how you can close the lid and carry it like you would a briefcase. And at just 22 pounds, it’s super lightweight to carry. Perfect for vacations or tailgating.
- Easy to Clean - The Cuisinart CGG-306 is easy to keep clean, thanks to the integrated drip tray.
- Does it have a lid - We can confirm that the Cuisinart CGG-306 does have a lid, in order to maintain your foods’ juiciness.
- Value for Money - Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular tabletop grill - simply click on “Check Price” to see if there’s a deal on now.
The Cuisinart brand was founded in 1973, and what really made it take off was when their culinary experts saw the potential of food processors as a kitchen appliance.
But since then, Cuisinart has been committed to producing innovative, functional, and top-quality products. And not just in the field of food processors and blenders, but also in the realms of kitchen appliances in general.
Today, Cuisinart is a universally recognized brand. Their mission is to help their customers “Savor the Good Life®” and they are driven to keep culinary education alive.
They have partnered with a number of educational and charitable causes, including Macaroni Kids, and The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®, to name but a few.
Why is this the best overall tabletop grill?
There’s a lot to love about this tabletop grill from Cuisinart. We particularly like just how portable it is, at just 22 pounds in weight, you can easily close the lid and carry it like you would a briefcase.
But the other stand-out feature for us is how it has two independently operable burners. This means that you can have some food cooking at a high temperature while you’ve got other food cooking at a lower temperature. So versatile, and offering so much control.
It’s also particularly easy to set up and use, with no assembly required and no need for matches or lighters, thanks to the reliable electronic ignition.
We also love how it happens to be backed by a particular lengthy warranty that lasts a whopping 3 years.
Experience of Using the Product
After well over 2,500 individual customer ratings on Amazon, the Cuisinart CGG-306 managed to earn an average customer rating of an impressive 4 and a half stars out of 5. This is thanks to more than three-quarters of customers rating it at a full 5 stars.
Customers also rated it at 4 and a half stars for heat output and heat distribution, and at 4 stars out of 5 for temperature control.
Customer reviews typically say things like they love this grill, it’s a great grill, it’s well-made, it heats up very quickly, and it’s easy to clean. They compare its performance to full-size stand-alone grills.
- Compact, lightweight & portable
- Features a lid to retain moisture
- Two independently operable burners
- Can throw out up to 20,000 BTUs of heat
- Some customers felt that it throws out too much heat, which affects the temperature control
- Product 1: FAST AND EASY SETUP: The grill requires no assembly and can be set up and ready for grilling in under 10 minutes without the need for tools or matches.
- Product 1: TWO STAINLESS 20,000 BTUS BURNERS: A powerful two-burner system with electronic ignition and dedicated control knobs for each stainless-steel burner. Each stainless-steel burner provides 10,000 BTUs and allows for simultaneous grilling.
- Product 1: STAINLESS GRATE PERFECT FOR LARGE CUTS OF MEAT: Stainless grates provide top performance of a large grill in a portable one. Foods cook evenly with a two-burner system, making it ideal for cooking large cuts of meat.
- Product 1: LIGHTWEIGHT AND PORTABLE: The stainless steel grill weighs only 22 lbs. making it lightweight and small enough to fit in a compact car. The locking cover, folding legs and a comfortable carrying handle makes it easy to take anywhere.
- Product 2: For use with portable gas grills
2. Best Tabletop Grill for Indoors: Hamilton Beach Electric Indoor Searing Grill
How It Stands Up Against the Comparison Criteria
- BTUs - Unfortunately the number of BTUs is not stated anywhere in the product description, but the wattage is, it offers 1200 watts of power. And it can reach temperatures of up to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Amount of Grilling Surface - The Hamilton Beach Electric Indoor Searing Grill offers 118 square inches of grilling surface, which is just about big enough to serve up to 6 people at a time.
- Portability - Like the Cuisinart CGG-306 we showed you earlier, this grill can also be carried like a briefcase when the lid is locked in place. And it’s also very compact, taking up very little space, which makes it perfect for taking on vacation in your RV.
- Easy to Clean - Your foods are grilled on a removable easy to clean non-stick plate, which is perfectly safe to put in your dishwasher. There’s also an integrated drip tray to catch any excess fat, and this is also dishwasher safe, along with the hood of the grill too.
- Does it have a lid - Not only does this great tabletop grill feature a lid to retain your food’s moisture, but this lid has a see-through window, so you can still keep an eye on your foods even when the lid is closed.
- Value for Money - At well under $100, this indoor tabletop grill is excellent value for money, costing a fraction of what you would often be expected to pay.
The Hamilton Beach brand has a long history. It was founded as far back as 1910, when LH Hamilton and Chester Beach spotted a gap in the market for making electrical appliances for use in the home.
They began a long process of innovating new products designed to solve problems and address unmet consumer needs.
Much more recently, in 1990, Hamilton Beach paired up with Proctor-Silex and became THE largest manufacturer of small kitchen appliances in the US.
In 1995, they expanded internationally, and now their products can be found in Brazil, India, and China.
Today they have an extensive range of kitchen appliances in their portfolio and a strong social media presence, including their own blog where they share recipes that can be made with their products.
Why is this the best table top grill for indoors?
What makes this such a great grill for use indoors, is how it’s virtually smokeless. Of course, some steam rising from your food is inevitable. But this grill is run by electricity rather than off propane, which means that won’t get any smoke billowing out, which makes it perfect for grilling indoors.
And besides that, it’s also a great tabletop grill all around. Plenty of cooking space able to serve up to 6 people, super easy to clean in your dishwasher, looks great, available for a great price, nice little viewing window when the lid is closed, the list goes on.
Experience of Using the Product
A prominent bestseller with the leading online retailers, there have been well over 12,000 individual customer reviews for this product on Amazon alone.
Better yet, it has managed to earn an average customer rating of an impressive 4 and a half stars out of 5. And this is thanks to three quarters of customers giving it a full 5 stars rating.
Customers also rated it at 4 stars and above for a number of important features. These are as follows: easy to assemble, easy to use, versatility, easy to clean, temperature control, and durability.
Customers typically say things like, it’s super easy to use, it’s easy to clean, and that they highly recommend it. They love how the parts are dishwasher safe. They compare the grill’s performance to that of a George Foreman.
- Can serve up to 6 people
- Available at a great price
- Viewing window in the lid
- It’s super easy to clean
- It’s virtually smokeless
- There’s only one burner, so you can’t have food cooking at two different temperatures
- ENJOY OUTDOOR FLAVOR INDOORS. Grill your favorite foods year-round in any weather with this Hamilton Beach indoor grill. There's no need for a bulky, time-consuming outdoor grill that needs propane, charcoal or lighter fluid to heat up.
- LOCK IN JUICES AND FLAVOR — SEAR AT 450° F. The high searing heat of 450° F (232° C) locks in juices and flavors to provide perfect grilling results for everything you sear on this electric grill, from steak and burgers to pork chops and fish fillets.
- KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR FOOD: This indoor grill with hood comes with a convenient window in lid lets you watch food cook while keeping heat inside.
- EASY-TO-CLEAN NONSTICK GRILLING PLATE. The nonstick grilling plate keeps food from sticking to this indoor electric grill as you cook and is removable and dishwasher safe, so there's no more endless scraping to remove stuck-on food.
- VERSATILE GRILLING TEMPERATURES LET YOU GRILL EVERYTHING: From quick grilled shrimp and scallops to mushrooms, peppers and pineapple, there's almost no limit to the versatility of grilling, since the temperature adjusts from 200° F to 450° F.
3. Best Budget Tabletop Grill: Char- Broil Portable Liquid Propane Gas Grill
How It Stands Up Against the Comparison Criteria
- BTUs - This dinky little tabletop grill can throw out 11,000 BTUs of heat, which means your food gets cooked quite fast, and you can quieten those hungry tummies.
- Amount of Grilling Surface - The Char- Broil Portable Liquid Propane Gas Grill offers 187 square inches of grilling surface. And again, that’s big enough to cook food for the entire family.
- Portability - This grill was designed for being on the go. The legs can fold over the top of the grill, which locks the lid in place, allowing you to carry it like you would a briefcase anywhere you like. And it weighs little more than 10 pounds - perfect for taking to tailgating parties.
- Easy to Clean - The chrome plated grilling plate is a breeze to clean - and it’s also dishwasher safe to boot.
- Does it have a lid - We can confirm that this grill has a lid. And that’s great for sealing in the moisture in your foods.
- Value for Money - You don’t get many tabletop grills much cheaper than this! And you might be lucky and catch one of Amazon’s occasional deals - simply click on “Check Price” to see if there’s a deal on now.
Char-Broil has been around since as far back as 1948, when it brought out one of the first charcoal grills to market. In the years that followed, they’ve introduced innovations that are now standard among modern grills.
As backyard grilling went from being unheard of to being something of a tradition, Char-Broil was there every step of the way, innovating great quality products that were also affordable for families.
And although they started off with charcoal grills, their product lines have vastly expanded. They cover portable grilling, electric grilling, gas grills with electric ignition, and even infrared grilling.
Why is this the best budget tabletop grill?
While Char-Broil is best known for its big outdoor grills, they’ve certainly managed to turn their hands really well into making a small budget model.
So much so that it’s the very affordable price point that has become the main selling point for this grill.
And it’s an excellent little grill for the money. It’s very lightweight and portable, while still managing to feature enough cooking space to feed the entire family.
And it throws out plenty of heat, so you don’t have to keep hungry tummies waiting too long for their food.
We also love how easy and convenient it is to clean, since you can simply remove the cooking great and put it into your dishwasher to deal with, rather than having to handwash it.
Experience of Using the Product
After well over 3,000 individual customer ratings, the Char-Broil portable grill still managed to earn an average Amazon customer rating of an impressive 4 and a half stars out of a possible 5 stars. And that’s thanks to 65% of customers giving it a full 5-star rating.
Customers rated it at 4 and a half stars for portability and for ease of assembly. And they rated it at about 4 stars out of 5 for heat distribution and temperature control.
Customers typically say things like it’s easy to put together and assemble, it’s easy to use, and that it’s the perfect size for them.
- Bargain, affordable price point!
- Throws out 11,000 BTUs of heat
- Comes from top brand for grills
- Very portable - great for vacations
- Large enough to feed the family
- The standard version doesn’t feature push button electric ignition
- Designed for on-the-go, anywhere grilling! The legs fold over the top of the grill to lock the lid in place and heat-resistant handles mean you don't have to wait for the grill to cool down to move it
- 190 square inches of cooking surface with 11,000 BTU burner designed for use with 16.4 oz. or 14.1 oz. propane cylinders
- Quality rust-resistant steel firebox and lid construction with high-temperature porcelain finish for prolonged grill life
- Great for grilling and indirect cooking at low temperatures - just close the lid and you'll get even heat and low flare-ups
- Convenient hook allows you to hang the lid while you grill
Frequently Asked Questions
We would argue that the best tabletop grill out on the market at the moment is the Cuisinart CGG-306 Chef's Style Propane Tabletop Grill. And there are several reasons for this decision…
The Cuisinart CGG-306 offers the perfect compromise between offering plenty of grilling surface, allowing you to cook several items of food at the same time, while also being quite portable, which makes it great for grilling on the go, on camping trips and such.
And another thing that makes the Cuisinart CGG-306 such a favorite for us, is its two independently operable burners, which gives you much better control over the temperature of your foods, allowing you to cook some food on a high temperature and others on a lower temperature.
And this is perfect when everyone likes their steaks cooked differently.
And it met all the key criteria that we set out earlier.
But we totally get that not everyone can afford to buy such a top quality grill. And if that includes you, you should also check out the other two tabletop grills that made our shortlist, since they are both significantly cheaper and more affordable than the Cuisinart CGG-306.
Now, the answer to this question pretty much depends on what exactly it is you’re looking for in your tabletop grill. But, as we have discussed, our 3 favorite brands for table-top grills are Cuisinar, Hamilton Beach, and Char-Broil.