In the summer, grilling meats and veggies (and fruit) comes naturally. And while some of us have plenty of room (read: backyards) for large grills, some of us have to make do with porches, rooftops, and portable grills that we can keep indoors. Or consider the camping folks who want to bring the joys of a grill with them to glamping—er, I mean camping— sites. Whichever camp you fall into, we’ve got your back and have rounded up some top-rated smaller grills (several of which I’ve used and will swear by down below) that are perfect for anything you plan on cooking (so long as you have the right grilling tools, of course).
Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill, $70 on Amazon: You can never go wrong with a charcoal grill. It’s simple. It’s interactive. And it always gets the job done. This basic grill, though, includes a few hidden design gems that really push it to the top of this list. Easy to put together, its porcelain-enameled lid and bowl will keep the heat where it belongs. It perfectly cooked dry-rubbed wings and a half-dozen vegetable skewers. Its so-called Tuck-and-Carry lid lock is brilliant and makes carrying this grill around so easy you’ll bring it over when you visit friends, just for fun.
Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill, $209 on Amazon: This one’s my favorite weekday grill considering how crazy easy it is to put together and convenient to get going — and it also has some really great color options (like the Blue model I got to test). The burner inside the grill gives you full control over nearly 200 square inches of grilling surface. Building it is a breeze as it comes mostly assembled in the box and it weighs less than 30 pounds. But it’s the operation that’s a dream. After clicking it onto the companion and optional Weber Q Portable Cart (which makes it easy to cart around and folds down for easy storage), I simply turn the propane nozzle downward and ignite the grill. Foldable wings on each end of it hold my grilling tools (or a glass of Tuesday evening wine) and when I want to, I shut the lid and get a glimpse at the temperature inside. Once you’re done, the grill is easy to clean and fits neatly into a bottom shelf in your kitchen. Approximately 1,000 people left the Q1200 a 4.7-star average rating, and I give it a standing ovation.
Cuisinart Petit Gourmet Gas Grill, $103 on Amazon: For a cute take on the compact and portable grill, we get one that has optional legs you can pop out and prop it up a bit from a tabletop. While built around a small surface, this grill can still handle about eight burgers at the same time, which is a lot of burgers. Cusinart’s family of grills collectively boast a 4.1-star average rating from more than 3,300 reviews.
Smoke Hollow Stainless Steel Gas Grill, $103 on Amazon: I’m a big fan of the brushed matte stainless steel look and Smoke Hollow is delivering it in this grill over every inch. With more than 200 square inches of surface space and a powerful U burner, you’re getting a solid grill that will look great no matter where you lay it down.
Coleman Fold N Go Instastart Grill, $65 on Amazon: On the more affordable end is Coleman’s take on the portable propane grill. It’s a bit weaker in delivering heat than the Q1200 but that only matters if you require lots of heat. It’s also a bit smaller, giving you about half the cooking surface and again, the priority there relies solely on your needs. Notably, its grates are dishwasher-safe.
Cuisinart Venture Portable Gas Grill, $144 on Amazon: And I couldn’t leave out the most adorable of them all: the Venture. The porcelain-enameled grill is heated by a surprisingly strong burner and its propane is stored in a built-in space within the venture. What’s more, the aluminum handle makes carrying this grill around as simple as carrying around a picnic basket and its wooden top can double as your cutting board or even plate.
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