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The Best Small Grills for 2020

You need a perfect grill for small spaces? I know that not everyone has a huge patio or a big backyard, which is why I have prepared a guide to small grills.

I focused on the most popular types of grills so that everyone can find something for themselves no matter how little available space you have and where you live.

A small grill is not the end of the world, of course it won’t come with many functional gadgets or five versatile burners in case of gas options.

A small grill is a great option for someone who mostly cooks for 1-2 people and therefore doesn’t need that much space (it is also more cost-effective and mobile).

In order to help you, I have prepared a diverse list of the best small grills based on my experience. I sorted them based on the fuel type which is why I suggest thinking about which type you prefer before you start reading the reviews.

The 5 Best Small Grills for Every Purpose

I have split the reviews into three sections, each of them on a different type of grill. I sorted the reviews for those who are well familiar with their needs and preferences on the type of fuel. That way it is much faster for you to find the best small grill that suits your surroundings perfectly.

The Best Small Gas Grills

You’re looking for the best small gas grill? I guarantee that each of the below options will be great. You don’t need a huge grill with seven multi-purpose burners and lots of gadgets to prepare delicious food.

You will get the same results of grilling from a small grill that makes a great option when the limitation is small space.

weber spirit II e-210

The best entry-level small gas grill, let me explain why. First and foremost, it was created with small spaces in mind, which means it was designed so that it takes as little space as possible.

A grill of this size is also a good option if you only cook for 1-2 people.

Despite its size, it has maintained all the essential features present in a regular big grill. Therefore, it mostly differs in its much smaller cooking area and a small number of burners.

On top of that, Weber Spirit II E-210 is a phenomenal grill that makes top-tier grilling possible by offering 360 square inches of the main cooking area.

It also actually offers a large working area on the side shelves, which can be folded anytime. It comes with tool hooks and a lot of room under the grill to store different accessories.

A little bit on the quality, Weber is famous for its solidly made grills and that is also the case here. Personally, I own a bigger model from this series and I really recommend it to everyone regardless of experience.

Let me remind you that Spirit II series models are covered with a great warranty (up to 10 years).

In practice it preheat up very fast, it reaches high temperatures and makes it possible to cook like on a big grill. Two burners isn’t a whole lot, but it is still possible to create two heat zones.

Without a doubt, Spirit II E-210 is the best option in terms of quality, efficiency and most importantly the price. It will work great on a small patio, balcony or any place where size matters.

weber q 1200

The next option is characterized by versatility and high quality of workmanship. The small construction will work great in small spaces and away from home (like when camping).

Weber Q1200 is a small mobile gas grill that every fan of grilling should have at home.

It gives results similar to cooking on a full-sized grill, but it offers much less space for better mobility.

It only has one burner, but that is more than enough on a surface of 189 square inches, weber burners are very strong and efficient.

It looks pretty unusual but you need to know that the construction was very well thought-out.

You can put it on a table, on the ground or on any other surface and start cooking or you can buy the separately sold Q Portable Cart and cook like on a regular propane grill. The advantage of the stand is that you can fold it and put it away when you’re done cooking, that way you can save a lot of space.

It gets a lot of positive reviews for the works, whereas I’m rating it for the quality of workmanship. The body made of cast aluminum is something that works great in this type of grills, increasing durability and the risk of damages.

This small gas grill is ready after just 15 minutes from the moment you start the burner.

You also don’t need to worry about grease and cleaning, the adequately designed system will make sure that everything ends on a tray that can be replace with a new one fast and easily.

A very huge advantage of Q1200 is versatility, thanks to such well thought-out construction it will work in many places. For everyday use it can serve as a small stationary grill, whereas when you get a chance you can bring it along on the road (I recommend it for camping).

The Best Small Charcoal Grills

You prefer grilling with charcoal? No problem, here are the two top-rated small charcoal grills you can buy for small spaces. One of them is bound to be perfect depending on how much space you have.

weber original kettle 18 inch

Weber has the best offer of charcoal grills at low prices, and this model is a perfect choice for people with a very limited space. It is small-sized and doesn’t take much space, but it’s still a full-sized kettle that is characterized by great temperature control.

The Kettle original premium 18” offers 240 square inches of cooking area which is enough to easily prepare food for 1-2 people.

It comes with the One-Touch cleaning system which is very important for those who hate removing ash.

The quality of workmanship, just like with the rest of the offer from this manufacturer, is top-level. Despite 10 years of warranty, I am pretty sure that in good hands this model can last for much longer. That’s great news especially considering the relatively low price compared to other types of grills.

If you have ever come across a bigger kettle from weber, you need to know that this model doesn’t differ in terms of efficiency despite its much smaller size.

The only downside to many might be no working space when cooking and no room for accessories. It is however a problem with nearly all small charcoal grills so if it’s not important to you then I recommend checking out small gas grills.

Weber Smokey Joe 14-Inch

A kettle-shaped charcoal grill or a mini construction of the legendary original kettle from weber. The Smokey Joe is a grill made with mobility in mind, which means that on top of cooking at home you can bring it along anywhere you want.

It is also a good suggestion for someone who wants to prepare a quick, small-sized meal for 1-2 people once in a while. There’s no need to use a bigger grill in such case, a small version of kettle will be more convenient and cost-effective.

It comes with legs that separate it from the surface which also makes it a great tabletop grill. For example, if you’re going to use it as a stationary grill, all you have to do is put it on a table. That way you get a lot of working space when cooking, as well as convenience.

The lower tray is great at collecting ash, which makes cleaning less annoying.

A very important aspect is temperature control, and sadly most small grills struggle in this regard. The kettle-shaped construction is a whole different level, the well-situated air vents ensure great air flow which significantly improves temperature control.

It is very lightweight so you can easily bring it along to the park, on the beach or when camping.

On top of mobility, Weber Smokey Joe is also characterized by its quality of workmanship (like every product from Weber). A great option if you have a very limited space, another advantage is very low.

The Best Small Pellet Grill

I have also found something for the fans of pellet grilling, it was a surprise even to me as I mostly associate this type of grill with rather big and expensive options. If you have a slightly bigger budget and value convenience then it’s a good idea to consider this set & forget style smoker.

Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill

It is hard to find a small pellet grill that offers the same efficiency and features as a full-sized model. I believe that it’s a perfect option for smaller spaces, but it is also necessary to mention its mobility.

It was also designed with transport in mind, which makes it a great option to go camping with for example. It’s a good idea to have a versatile small grill that on top of cooking at home can be brought along on the road any moment (it comes with adapters for different power options).

I have to emphasize that GMG Davy Crockett is more like an option for smoking enthusiasts as a pellet grill is actually a great smoker.

An interesting feature in this price range is Wi-Fi, you can connect to the digital controller using a smartphone/tablet app. It makes it possible to monitor the entire smoking process on the screen of your mobile device.

Going back to mobility, it comes with folding legs which makes it easier to store it or to bring it along on the road.

Out of all the options presented by me (gas, charcoal and pellet) only the pellet offers such convenience and no temperature control while also giving a great food flavor (read more on that in the second part of the guide).

The greatest advantage of that is simplicity and not having to worry about temperature control.

Tips for buying a small grill

Fuel Type – You have plenty of types of fuel to choose from: charcoal, gas (propane or natural gas), electric or even pellet. Each of them has its upsides and downsides, which you should learn about and pick your preferred fuel type based on that. Depending on where you live you should find out what type of fuel is allowed there, for example there are certain limitations in urban areas.

Size – Despite looking for an overall small grill you should think about how small it should be. Take into account where you need a grill, at a patio, at a terrace or at a small backyard. Slightly bigger models come with side shelves etc for better convenience. The solution for those with very limited space, on the other hand, are the smallest and simplest options.

Cleaning – Even a small charcoal grill might cause problems in urban areas due to the ash. In such situation, a gas or electric grill will be more convenient, but it’s up to you to take where you live into account. Consider the cleaning systems as well, without them it’s very difficult to remove ash, grease etc.

Mobility – A small size is not enough, what matters is for the construction of a small grill to be mobile. If you only need a stationary grill then it’s no problem but if you travel a lot and want to cook away from home, check out the mobile versions (like Weber Q1200, Smokey Joe or GMG Davy Crockett).

Versatility – You mostly care about grilling, but once in a while you’d also like to smoke? In such situation you should look for a versatile grill, in this case the best choice will be weber kettle 18” or even smokey joe.

Warranty – You want your investment to last for as long as possible? Pay attention to the warranty. In most cases the longer it is, the better the grill is made, it shows how the manufacturer approaches their product. Of course it doesn’t always prove true, but either way it’s a good idea to protect your investment.

Fuel types

There are two reasons why you should choose the right type of fuel. Firstly, it is necessary to make sure what type of grill is allowed where you live (mostly applies to urban areas). Then you need to analyze such issues as convenience and how a particular type of fuel impacts the food’s flavor.

Charcoal

The first and most crucial thing is whether charcoal grills are allowed where you live. If they are, we can move on to the upsides and downsides of this type of fuel. First and foremost, it stands out with a great flavor of food, especially smoked food. These are very unlikely to malfunction and very durable grills available at relatively low prices compared to other types of grills. They require a lot of interaction in form of temperature control, air vent adjusting etc.

More useful information on this type of fuel can be found in the dedicated guide on charcoal grills.

Gas

The speed and convenience are the two greatest advantages of grills that run on gas (propane or natural gas). No need to get the charcoal burning, just turn a burner knob and 10-15 minutes later you can start cooking. The food is characterized by very good flavor, but it can’t compare to charcoal. In certain places regulations prohibit keeping gas tanks, which is something to check out.

You also need to remember that there are two versions of gas grills and it’s good to be able to tell their upsides and downsides. Propane grills are great in terms of mobility (especially if you want to cook away from home). Natural gas grills, on the other hand, are characterized by lack of mobility and constant access to fuel (you don’t have to worry about running out of gas halfway through cooking).

Pellet

If that’s the first time you ever came across this type of grill, you need to know that its greatest advantage is the digital controller that monitors the entire cooking process. It has a lot of electronics, which usually makes it cost much more than a regular charcoal grill.

All you have to do is refill the pellet tank, set your desired temperature using the controller and start the grill. After about a dozen minutes you can start cooking without worrying about anything. The system will make sure to add pellets to the furnace at the right moment, thus maintaining a fixed temperature.

More on the upsides and downsides as well as the recommended options can be found in my guide to the best pellet grills.

Are You Allowed to Grill Where You Live ?

It’s a very important thing that you should definitely check out first.

For example, someone living in the city, in an apartment to be exact, has to comply with certain regulations. Violating them not only is penalized but you simply expose yourself and others to dangerous situations.

For example, you can’t usually use charcoal grills on balconies due to the smoke and flames generated in the process. In such situation the solution is usually an electric grill that will successfully eliminate both problems.

Another good example is a rented apartment, find out if the owner agrees to the use of grills.

A little more freedom is enjoyed by those with a small backyard, but they still have to adhere to certain rules if they live close to other people.

The conclusion is clear, due to safety and legal reasons it is necessary for you to read about the rules applicable where you live. You wouldn’t want to put others at risk or get fined for violating regulations, it is much better to simply stick to the rules.

The advantages of small grills

Mobility – The truth is that most models are to a certain degree characterized by mobility in terms of size. Certain models, however, were designed mostly with mobility in mind. That’s their additional advantage, being able to bring them along wherever you want.

Low fuel consumption – A small cooking area needs less power to maintain the right temperature inside the grill. Because of that, a small grill is simply more cost-effective as it needs less fuel.

Price – Smaller construction means less materials used to make it and thus a much lower price. Sometimes it’s a good idea to buy a smaller yet solid grill rather than something big yet of poorer quality.

They don’t take much space – Probably one of the greatest advantages and the main reason why people buy small grills. They don’t take much space which makes it possible to enjoy grilling for people who can’t have a big grill due to having a small backyard, terrace, balcony etc.

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