The best things come in small packages. From portable charcoal cookers to propane gas models, here are the best small grills for your backyard.
Not everyone is blessed with the luxury of a big yard or patio, and the absence of good outdoor space can be frustrating for a lot of people.
Small spaces don’t necessarily mean no grilling however. Small compact grills are becoming more and more popular, providing fantastic options for city-dwellers, tailgaters and campers alike.
At a Glance: Our Top 3 Picks
Here are 11 of the best small grills out there. Some are great for balconies, some for garages, some even for indoors. Hopefully there’s something for you in this list.
Weber Genesis II E-210
Weber are one of the top BBQ brands out there, so it should come as no surprise that one of their grills have made it into this list. They’ve consistently produced great gas and charcoal cooking gear over the years, and this model is no different.
This grill is one of Weber’s smallest to date, making it perfect for home use.
This compromise in size doesn’t mean a compromise in features though. It actually has some of the exact same features as it’s larger counterparts.
Considering its size, it still offers an impressive 380 square inches of cooking space. It also has a foldaway cooking rack to the side, offering 114 square inches of space.
Underneath the cooking grates, it has two stainless steel burners, which are lined with ‘flavorizer bars’. These help protect you from flare-ups but also incredibly help impart smoky flavors and beautiful grill marks on your food.
It’s easy to start, needing just a turn of a knob, and also has an iGrill digital thermometer to monitor the temperature of your grill, or even the internal temperature of your food. This is paired up with the Weber iGrill app for your phone, allowing you to monitor heat levels remotely.
This electric grill is perfect for apartments because it offers an easy fire-less option for assured safety in the home. No need for coal, wood or gas. It just needs plugging in and you’re good to go.
This grill has quite a modestly sized cooking area at 189 square inches. However this is backed by a 1560-watt heating element which allows for good cooking temperature levels and even the opportunity to sear your food.
The Q-1400’s porcelain cast iron cooking grates provide beautiful sear marks on your food, which might come as a surprise given it’s an electric grill. They also ensure even cooking, reducing the risk of hot spots or cold zones across your grill. It has easy temperature control, giving you a good range of heat options as you cook. It has a drip pan to catch any runoff from meat as you cook it.
Some grills that are small in size suffer from being heavy and hard to maneouvre, with all the features tightly packed in its small space. Not so with this Weber grill. Its frame is made with glass reinforced nylon, which makes it extremely easy to lift and move around should you need to pack it away.
Weber Smokey Joe
One of the best things about charcoal grills is how stripped down they are. They don’t need gas canisters or electrics, just a barrel to accommodate your fuel. This is why charcoals often make great small, portable grills.
This small charcoal grill is built in the iconic Weber kettle style. Despite being small and compact, it has enough grill space to cook for a group.
Its kettle bowl and lid is made with porcelain enamelled steel so is durable and strong enough to last you a long time.
Weber Q 3200
Weber have created this with compact size in mind rather than portability, so this a much better home or balcony grill than it is a tailgating or camping one. Its 83lb weight makes it too impractical to try transporting around.
An updated version of the Weber Q 320, what this grill lacks in mobility it makes up for in versatility. Its cooking grate size allows you to grill indirectly just like you would on a large gas or charcoal model. This allows you a much more authentic barbecue experience, all while having something compact that doesn’t dominate your home.
Built with 250-square-inch cast iron cooking grates, the Char-Griller E3001 offers a decent amount of cooking space while also giving you a model that retains and spreads hit efficiently. It only weighs 50lbs, which makes it great for moving around as and when you need it. Despite it being lightweight, its powder-coated steel shell guarantees durability.
Solaire Anywhere Portable Infrared
It’s not often that the power capacity of an infrared grill is so efficiently packed into a small BBQ grill. Solaire has achieved it admirably. Boasting 14,000 BTU power, this grill is the most powerful on this list, arming it with impressive heat levels. Even more remarkably, it’s all packed into a 20lb frame and marine steel shell, making it light but robust.
Its grilling grate size is a modest 155 square inches, so cooking space is limited. However if you’re in need of something that can reach high heat levels quickly, then this is the grill for you.
Char-Broil Patio Bistro Infrared
Electric grills make a great grill alternative if you’re unable to have either a gas or charcoal grill. They don’t emit smoke or gas to the same extent as more traditional models, making them much cleaner and safer for use in tighter spaces, like on a balcony or in a ventilated kitchen.
Its compact size doesn’t mean that it’s too limited in what it can offer you though. It can easily cater for a group of 3-5 people, and its 1,750-watt heating element means that you still get a good return on heat. As long as it can fit under the hood of the grill, then the Char-Broil can take care of it.
KitchenAid are much more well-known for their kitchen appliances than they are for anything else, but they do also offer a great range of outdoor grills.
Among this range is their 2-burner gas grill. Boasting 26,000BTUs, it is packed full of power without being so big it dominates your cooking area.
It has stainless steel cooking grates, making it durable and easy to maintain while also spreading heat efficiently. It also has flame tamers to prevent flare-ups from the grill, making it safe to use.
It has a built-in thermometer, which is a feature I don’t see often enough on BBQ grills. This will help you not only monitor the temperature of the grill but also, far more importantly, the internal temperature of your meat.
Char-Broil Classic 280 2-Burner
What I like most about this is that it has a good sized grilling area while also comes with a good deal of cooking power behind it. It has 280-square-inches of cooking space, offering a great deal of room to play with. Behind these grates comes 20,000 BTUs of power.
Its cooking space comes on top of porcelain coated cast iron grills, which is a sign of very good quality.
This type of coating works well in two ways: One is that it helps ensure even heat distribution across the grate surface, preventing the emergence of hot or cold spots; the other is that it helps make the grill more durable, guarding it against rust and general wear.
It has an easy ignition system, helping you to get things going at just the push of a button, and its porcelain-coated lid ensures that this grill will last you a long time.
Weber Original Kettle
The Kettle isn’t fancy and it doesn’t try to overcomplicate things. Weber have stripped back everything to create a compact grill that goes back to the pure basics of barbecuing.
The Kettle is all about using raw power from wood and charcoal to cook with, and it’s a pure delight.
At 22 inches in width, it’s compact enough to suit most small homes or balconies. Despite this compact size, it offers a generous 363 square inches of cooking surface to play with.
It comes with an ash catcher, making keeping things tidy straightforward, while its heat shield ensures that you stay safe while using it. It’s also listed as rust-resistant, so is built to last.
A grill that’s small in size but big in character.
Strange in appearance, the Fuego lets you stay compact without compromising on real BBQ flames.
The cylinder futuristic design might put some people off, but there’s plenty to admire and enjoy here.
Only 21 inches in width, this grill is easy to store away and won’t come anywhere close to dominating your home space.
While small in stature, it still offers a really impressive 346 square inches of cooking space, providing more than enough room to cook for several people at once.
It’s also a powerful machine, able to reach 500°F/260°C in just a few minutes. Not only this, but you can set up two temperature zones on the grill, allowing you to cook on one and sear on the other.