Do you love charred or grilled food and would love to make that delicacy at home, on your small patio, apartment balcony or on the road? Well, with the best small gas grill, that is possible. A small gas grill could be a wonderful and versatile addition to your existing cooking arsenal, but you will need a model that’s easy to clean, portable, and that gets the job done. Whether you already own a large propane smoker or just want to buy your first grill, a small gas grill is something you might want to look into.
Best Small Gas Grill Buying Guide
How To Choose the Best Small Gas Grill
You’ve gone to a store and looked at Char-Broil, Weber, and a dozen more. You’ve listened to the salesperson tell you about BTUs, surface area, side burners, rotisserie burners, infrared burners, and other things you’ve not heard of. Well, we have a little friendly advice to help you out in your grill shopping. Here you go.
In most cases, you will typically get what you pay for. As you go about shopping, you’ll probably come across gas grills in the price range of $100 to $400. However, some could run over $1,000. While your local store may only carry a few models, there are literally hundreds of models every year, so having a rough idea of how much you’d like to spend will help narrow down your search. When comparing prices, be sure to inquire whether or not a propane tank is included since it could add about $40 to the total cost if you buy it separately.
Another aspect to take into account is the fuel. Do you want natural gas or propane? Natural gas will require a gas line at point where you choose to grill. Most grills can be bought in either configuration but you can’t run a natural gas grill on propane or vice-versa. Most of the lower-priced grills don’t have the natural gas option though the trend is changing. When you think about the long-term, natural gas will cost you much less and save you trips to a propane store.
Next in line should be the material your grill is made out of. The main body of a gas grill is normally made from sheet metal, cast aluminum, cast iron or stainless steel, with stainless steel being the preferred option. The frame is also another thing to watch for. There are numerous stainless steel grills with painted steel frames that rust. Once you choose the material, you need to look at the entire grill to see how it is put together.
Another important aspect to consider is the BTU rating, which is usually a measurement of the total heat created by the burner. One thing you should understand is that a higher BTU rating doesn’t translate into more heat. BTU rating is a factor of the heat created, size of your grill and how well it retains and distributes heat, so do not buy a gas grill just because of a high BTU rating. You need to compare the BTU rating with the shape and size of the grill. The smaller and more compact grills could produce higher grilling temperatures with a lower BTU.
Would you like a side burner? How about a side burner, multiple level cooking surfaces, lights, rotisserie burner or any of several other things that get added to gas grills these days. Remember that the basic grill will do most of the work and most of these extras are rarely utilized. Besides, features cost money so only buy what you know you will use.
What’s The Best Way To Clean/Maintain a Small Gas Grill?
When the weather is mild, most of us are firing up our gas grills almost every day. With all this action going on, it would be easy to forget some of the essential aspects of grilling: cleaning and maintenance. Taking care of my grills is usually high on my list of cooking priorities because the performance of this equipment could diminish without proper maintenance.
Uneven heat, low temperatures and food sticking to the grates are some of the possible side effects of poor grill cleaning and conditioning. Fortunately, a simple monthly maintenance plan is a quick and inexpensive way to keep your small gas grills in tip-top shape.
- Wipe the outside of your gas grill lid. This should be done with a paper towel and specific cleaner (stainless steel cleaner for the stainless steel lids and glass cleaner for the porcelain-coated lids). If you have a stainless steel grill, you will get the best results by polishing with the grain while using a microfiber towel.
- Clean all side tables. This should be done with a stainless steel cleaner and microfiber towel. Again, be sure to polish with the grain. For tables made of thermoset plastic, you should use some warm water and a mild detergent instead.
- Clean the cook box. This might seem tricky but it is incredibly simple and could have a huge impact on the performance of your grill. When the grill is completely cool, carefully retrieve the cooking grates as well as flavorizer bars. With a stainless steel brush, brush off all excess debris and grease from the inside of the cook box. Direct it into the bottom tray so that it is easy to discard.
- Burning off residue. It is always good practice to burn off the residue left on your grill. All you need to do is turn on all the burners to high for about 15 minutes before embarking on grilling. When your grill attains high temperatures, all food debris will turn to ash and can be easily brushed off with a bristle brush.
That’s just about it! Pretty straightforward, really. Just follow this routine every month and your gas grill will be cooking strong for dozens of years to come.
The 6 Best Small Gas Grills 2019 Reviews
Sleek and slim-line, the Char-Broil Performance 300 Propane Grill offers 300 Sq. inches of sufficient cooking space with an incredibly low profile. This cabinet-style gas grill starts up fast, heats up fast, retains heat well, and is fairly consistent with temperature. The grill’s construction is impressive with the lid and control panel made of high-grade stainless steel, 2 fold down side shelves for additional preparation space, and a storage cabinet right below the cooking surface. The liquid propane tank is housed in the closed cabinet for safe storage if you often leave your grill outside.
For easier grilling, this Char-Broil model comes equipped with a built-in thermometer gauge that’s mounted on the lid. Besides, cleaning up this grill is simple all thanks to the removable porcelain-coated tray that is non-stick to prevent debris build up. Equipped with 4 wheels and weighing 82.5 pounds, this grill is easy to move around the yard or campground. We were particularly impressed by the locking feature present on two wheels for extra security. And with two burners producing 24,000 BTUs of heat, you’re sure to grill through the toughest of steaks.
- Great design and built quality
- Convertible to natural gas
- Durable, stainless steel top-ported burners
- Starts up fast
- Two metal side shelves offer extra workspace
- Storage cabinet keeps propane tank out of sight
- Doesn’t get very hot
- Poor customer service
The Weber 46110001 Spirit E-210 LP Grill has all the features of larger gas grills, but with fewer burners and a compact footprint. You still get 360 Sq. inches of cooking space along with 90 Sq. inches of space on the warming rack that folds away when you don’t need it. The cooking grates are heavy-duty, porcelain-enameled cast iron that heats up evenly, cleans up easily, and leaves impressive grill marks. The porcelain enameled shroud circulates heat inside the grill effectively, comes with a built-in thermometer for monitoring cooking temperature, and opens smoothly on the hinges.
The 2 stainless steel burners provide a total of 26,500 BTUs and won’t corrode or rust. Right above the two burners are porcelain enamel flavorizer bars that catch all food drippings so that you won’ get flare-ups as you cook. Below the main grill is a steel cabinet where the propane tank is enclosed for safety. This grill is also fitted with six tool hooks for easy reach of your grilling tools. The grease management system makes this unit easy-to-clean while the heavy duty caster wheels make it easy to move the grill on grass or concrete.
- Easy punch electric starter button
- 6 tool hooks
- Could be set up for rotisserie use
- Easy to assemble
- Sturdy base
- Compact size
- Comes with a grilling guide
- Flavorizer bars to catch food drippings
- No separate control for each burner
- Doesn’t come with a cover
The Thermos 265 2-Burner Propane Grill represents another great option in the small gas grill market. This 2-burner, cart-style gas grill efficiently distributes 26,500 BTUs of heat across its cooking surface. Its primary cooking surface provides 265 Sq. inches of cooking space right above the porcelain coated grates. The Thermos 265 boasts a piezo ignition system that quickly and consistently starts a gas flame. Right beside the ignition are two control knobs that let you adjust the cooking temperature accordingly.
The grill also features side shelves with built-in hooks to hang any of your grilling tools. We were particularly impressed by the porcelain-coated steel lid that features a curved handle in addition to the stylish firebox design that can withstand harsh outdoor elements. The firebox design rests on two four legs, two of which have 6-inch wheels for extra portability.
- Easy to put together
- Great for a small family
- Has a separate control for each burner
- Comes with a porcelain-coated lid
- Plastic side shelves are not durable
If you’re looking for a modern, small gas grill that rests comfortably on your balcony with the power of two great burners and big enough to pull through an entire roast, then the Weber 57060001 Q3200 Propane Grill is what you need. The two stainless steel burners produce 21,700 BTUs per hour whereas the cast aluminum lid and body guarantee durability and longevity. The combined grilling surface and warming rack offer 468 Sq. inches of cooking space while the split grates allow for a griddle/grate cooking combination. It also comes with an infinite control burner valve that locks in your preferred cooking temperature for greater efficiency.
Sold with a sturdy cart that is mounted on wheels, we were impressed by the fact that the Weber Q3200 comes with several convenient extras such as the built-in thermometer and grill handle light for nighttime grilling. For extra storage space, this grill is fitted with two removable side tables and a bottom shelf. The glass-reinforced nylon frame ensures that your grill remains stable as you cook.
- Good heat retention
- Rust-resistant cast aluminum body
- Handle light for low-light grilling
- Great cooking surface
- Quite pricey when compared to full-size grills
- The propane tank is sold separately
With a powerful grill that delivers 40,800 BTUs, the Char-Griller E3001 Grillin’ Pro is well-pried and offers a large cooking surface. This grill has a solid, powder coated steel construction for great strength and durability, and its matte black finish adds to the aesthetics. It has a generous 438 Sq. inches of cooking area, a 192 Sq. inches warming rack and a 12,000 BTU side burner which is versatile for searing steaks or cooking an array of sauces and foods. The thick, high-quality iron grates help maintain great consistent heat.
Besides having an easy-to-use electric ignition system, this unit also boasts porcelain-coated cast iron grates that are easy to clean. The large removable grease tray also helps with grease management and fast cleaning. In its price range, this unit is a competent and durable propane grill that works well and doesn’t fall apart after a few rounds of use.
- Large warming rack
- Comes with a side burner
- Durable steel construction
- Good heat delivery
- Cooks evenly
- Relatively inexpensive
- Weak plastic wheels
- The assembly process is tedious
If you always have a sauce or side dish that needs simmering as you grill, then the Char-Broil Classic 280 Gas Grill offers a side burner that offers an additional 8,000 BTUs for you to multitask. Besides, this grill has a 280-Sq. inch main cooking area and two stainless steel burners that deliver 20,000 BTUs of cooking power. The cooking grates are porcelain coated for great stick-resistant cooking as well as easy cleaning.
Two metal side shelves also provide extra space for you to hold tools, plates, and sauces. The body is made from porcelain-coated steel for durability whereas the two 6-inch molded plastic wheels below make mobility and maneuverability easy. This grill also features a piezo ignition system for fast and reliable burner start-ups with the simple push of a button.
- Heats up fast
- Straightforward assembly
- Well designed
- Easy to move
- All components come packaged precisely
- Easy to clean grates
- Thin firebox
- You should be careful while opening the lid
If we had to choose what the best small gas grill was, we’d have to go with the Weber 46110001 Spirit E-210 LP Grill mainly because it presents the best price-to-value ratio. It is everything that a small gas grill should be: high-quality, solid construction, great heat output, easy to move, and offers a large cooking area. It also comes with a fuel gauge to let you know where you stand on propane whereas all its components are accessible and easy to clean.
Of course, you won’t go wrong with any of the small gas grills listed here, as long as you keep your own needs as well as their capabilities in mind.