If you’re a grilling fanatic, you probably already have a large grill installed in your yard. But, you also know how fast you can burn through fuel. Sometimes using one of the best small gas grills can be more than enough for you and your family. It can even cover you for small gatherings.
As you learn about the most common small gas grills designs, you’ll find that it’s quite easy to pick a suitable model. It’s all about understanding some basic features and how they relate to your needs.
9 Best Small Gas Grills with Powerful Burners
- 9 Best Small Gas Grills with Powerful Burners
- How Much Output Do You Need?
- Cooking Surface Considerations
- High-End Technologies
- Build Quality
- Nice Perks to Have
Boasting a power of up to 26,500BTU, the Webber Spirit II E-210 is one of the mightiest small gas grills. It works with liquid propane and features two burners. That’s more than enough for grilling a meal for the entire family, plus guests.
The entire cooking space is 450 square inches. Among the high-end features, you’ll find flavorizer bars, grease management, cast iron grates, fuel gauge, and six tool hooks. With the lid open, the grill measures 26”x48”x57”(LWH).
You should also know that both the grates and flavorizer bars feature porcelain enamel. It helps minimize sticking so that you can get proper grill marks as well as cook delicate meats and vegetables.
The grill also comes with a 10-years warranty. Another thing that makes this one of the better small gas grills is the Infinity Ignition system. It’s very efficient and minimizes loss of fuel.
The feature I like the most is the flavorizer bars. This unique system helps deal with fat drippings while preserving the smoky flavor. Due to how they are angled, the bars direct the drippings to the removable grease management tray.
The Char-Broil Performance 300 liquid propane grill has two burners and is made of durable stainless steel. It features a large cooking surface with a 300 square inches rack as well as the additional swing-away rack that provides an extra 100 square inches.
Between the stainless steel lid, temperature gauge, and smooth polish, the Performance 300 is a good-looking and durable grill. It has an electronic ignition system, nothing too fancy but reliable nonetheless.
I like that you can fold the side shelves down when you don’t need them. That should help minimize the grill’s footprint. Of the four casters, two are lockable. That’s super important as it provides stability as well as mobility.
Both the extension rack and the iron grate are porcelain-coated, so sticking shouldn’t be an issue. The storage cabinet is rugged and offers easy access to all your accessories and the propane tank.
In terms of power, the two-burner Performance 300 puts up to 24,000BTU. It’s a medium to high output when compared to other similar grills in this price range.
If you want something affordable that can cook up to eight burgers at a time, then the Cuisinart CGG-180T tabletop gas grill may be for you. It offers a cooking surface of 145 square inches and up to 5,500BTU of power through one burner.
The grill is also fitted with aluminum legs for extra stability and to avoid damaging anything underneath it through direct heat exchange. The grate features enamel as you would expect. That will prevent sticking and help provide more even heating.
I like the compact tabletop design and the fact that the grill is small enough to be carried like a regular briefcase. It weighs just 13.5lbs but comes with a robust and comfortable carry handle.
The ignition system is electric. Unlike regular push ignition buttons, this one is a twist-to-ignite knob. It works just as smoothly and may even prove to hold up better in time.
4. Webber Q1000
The Webber Q1000 is an 8,500BTU single burner liquid propane grill. It’s compact at just 16.5”x27”x14.5”(LWH) when closed. It comes with a standard porcelain-enameled cooking grate, made of cast iron for extra longevity and even heating.
Webber installs an electric push-button ignition system on this model. It’s reliable but not high-end like in other Weber models. However, what is neat is unlimited burner control settings. Although small and lightweight, the Q1000 burner only runs on specific 14.1oz or 16.4oz liquid propane cylinders.
I should also point out that this grill may need some additional preheating time. It might take up to 15 minutes with the lid on and the burner on the highest setting if you’re going for fast, well-done steaks and restaurant-quality char marks.
The 189 square inch cooking surface will fit about six burgers at a time. I find this enough for quick family meals, especially given the small footprint of the grill and its even heating.
If you want to grill comfortably on a gas grill, even in the worse of conditions, the Grill2Go X200 may be a good fit for you. It features a high-impact frame, very sturdy legs, a durable aluminum firebox, and stainless steel latches.
It’s weatherproof and pretty much impact-proof. Although it can deliver up to 9,500BTU from its main burner, the Grill2Go X200 also features TRU-Infrared heating technology. That means that up to 65% of all the cooking heat is infrared heat.
That ensures even heating, minimal drying, as well as fewer drippings and smoke. Flare-ups won’t be an issue either due to how radiant heating works. Because it’s rugged and bulky, the grill also has a slightly larger cooking surface than equally sized grills – 200 square inches.
I like the use of infrared heating as it helps cook food faster, healthier, while at the same time, it preserves fuel. That makes it a very cost-efficient option if you want a small gas grill.
6. Fuego F21C-H
The F21C-H is an element-hinged propane gas grill. It is a vertical model, so even though it’s very tall, it has a small footprint. The whole thing is 21”x21” with the lid closed, making it an ideal solution for a small balcony or small patio.
Due to it being able to support a larger gas canister, the F21C-H takes advantage of this through its 22,000BTU dual-zone burner. You can also use this for both indirect and direct grilling. You don't usually see this feature on compact gas grills, certainly not on tabletop models.
The grilling grate is cast iron and offers a 346 square inch cooking surface. It should take around five minutes for the burner to reach a temperature of up to 500 degrees. And you can get a maximum of 650 degrees.
That’s great if you want to make pizza too. And as such, there’s an optional pizza stone kit you can buy from Fuego.
This grill has a cooking surface of 160 square inches. It’s not a lot, but thanks to the 6,500BTU burner, the even cooking surface will be more forgiving to amateur home cooks.
One of the most exciting things about this grill is the smart legs design. They can pivot and, at the same time, lock the lid in place. Although they’re not the sturdiest legs around, they can keep the grill balanced even when it’s packed with steaks, burgers, or veggies.
The cooking grate is porcelain-enameled. It’s not the best coating, but it is good enough if you preheat the grill first and use oil. The amount of smoke release will be minimal.
I also like the reinforced nylon handles. They’re comfortable enough to allow you to operate the lid and carry the grill when not in use.
Note that the burner doesn’t have too many settings. However, it should have enough to cook a wide range of meals in record time. If there’s one thing that could use some extra work, it is the ignition system. It doesn’t even match up to some of the cheaper compact gas grills on the market.
The Masterbuild Smoke Hollow PT300B is a tabletop gas grill with extra lid clearance and a warming rack. The total cooking surface is 205 square inches if you include the warming rack.
In terms of power, the PT300B outputs up to 10,000BTU through its U-style stainless steel burner. That’s a very high output for this price range and such a small device. While we’re talking about the size of the girl, it measures 27”x17”x12” (LWH) when fully assembled.
The stainless steel drip tray is a nice touch as it improves the overall durability of the grill. It also has a high capacity, so you won’t have to clean the tray after each use.
Between the tabletop design, carry handle, and secure latches, this is one sturdy and eye-catching gas grill. One that you can take you anywhere you go.
As far as small gas grills go, this one is on the larger side. That said, it’s easy enough to move around the yard. The RoadTrip 285 puts up to 20,000BTU through three burners.
All three are adjustable and allow for precise temperature control. Of course, some might consider it overkill because the cooking grate has only a 285 square inch surface.
The built-in thermometer is a nice touch and ensures precise temperature monitoring. The grill does have a larger footprint. However, the fact that it comes with foldable legs and wheels makes it easy to transport and much easier to store.
Another nice touch is that it’s compatible with smaller 16.4oz propane cylinders. The cooking surface is porcelain-enameled, so it should not cause any sticking. I also like the push-button ignition and its reliability.
If there’s one minor downside, the RoadTrip 285 only comes with a three-year limited warranty. It’s sturdy and adaptable but doesn’t offer the same long-term reliability as similar models.
How Much Output Do You Need?
Or to put it in simpler terms, how many BTUs are enough? Small gas grills tend to have at least around 5,000BTU burners. That should be enough to grill anything whether you want your meat rare with restaurant-quality char marks, or well done and still juicy.
That said, the lower the output, the more you have to wait until the grill reaches the desired temperature. Grills with two or more burners can output upwards of 10,000BTU. That’s great for speeding up the cooking process and reaching even higher temperatures. If you like baking pizza on a grill, models with 10,000BTU or more are ideal for you.
However, a high BTU rating does come with its downsides. Higher output means that the grill is less energy efficient, and you’ll burn through gas at a faster rate. It’s up for you to decide what you need.
I think that it’s most important to remember that you should aim for a minimum of 5,000BTU, especially if you have more than one burner.
Cooking Surface Considerations
Most small and tabletop gas grills today come with porcelain-enameled cooking grates. The quality of the coating will differ from one manufacturer to another. Not all cooking surfaces will be equally non-stick.
It’s also important to understand that not all cooking surfaces are cast iron. I prefer recommending this material because it has better heat retention.
You should also look at the positioning of the burners. Consider both the distance from the cooking grate and the spacing between them. If you’re dealing with just one burner, you may find that there are multiple hot spots as well as cold spots.
I suggest that when using a more spacious cooking surface, either opt for a two-burner model or a U-shaped burner that provides better coverage and, thus, more even heating.
Not all gas grills rely just on their burner or burners. More and more manufacturers have started implementing infrared heating technology.
That’s an exciting concept. The infrared heat can account for more or less of the overall heat, depending on the overall design of the grill. Infrared heat can help cook meals more evenly.
At the same time, it can help reduce your fuel costs. Some grills use up to 65% or more infrared heat instead of burner heat. Therefore, your propane canister should last much longer.
The downside is that you’ll also need to plug the grill into an outlet. Therefore, you’ll have more restrictions in terms of placement.
The beauty of small gas grills is that they don’t have to be entirely weatherproof. They’re small, sometimes foldable, and otherwise easy to transport. Therefore, you should be able to put them back into storage after you finish grilling and clean them.
That means that you won’t have to worry about covers or about setting up a grilling station outside, as you would for a fixed, full-size gas grill.
But, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look for a sturdy build. A durable propane cylinder cabinet and sturdy legs are essential. So are lockable wheels, if your grill has wheels.
Nice Perks to Have
An integrated thermometer is one of the coolest perks to have. It will allow you to monitor your food without having to open the lid and lose precious heat.
More burner control levels are also better. Some smaller gas grills with high output are quite versatile and will allow you to cook a vast array of dishes and ingredients. So, the more heat settings you have, the more things you’ll be able to make.
Electric ignition systems are pretty much the norm. But, I’ve found that sometimes twist knobs can perform better than push-button systems.
One more perk you could keep an eye out for is a fuel gauge. It can save you some embarrassment at parties. It will also let you figure out just how hot you can get your grill without blowing through too much fuel for a quick snack.
You Don’t Need the Biggest Grill to Make a Big Impact
Small grills can cook just as well as large ones. Of course, the burners will have to pack enough power, and you’ll have to have a quality cooking surface. As you can see, the best small gas grills pack plenty of power, are easy to maneuver, and can cook all the food for an entire family in one go.
Peggy loves spending her free time visiting new restaurants, tasting new cuisines, and trying to replicate some of those incredibly tasty dishes in her own kitchen.