Looking for that easy, big grill experience but don’t have the space for a hulking 6 burner?
We’ve been there and we’ve found answers.
There’s a reason people buy a small grill. And it’s not because they like taking longer to cook their steaks.
They don’t do it because they enjoy the frustrations of their bbq struggling to heat to the right temperature as soon as a breeze has the audacity to gatecrash the party.
They definitely don’t do it because they welcome the smirks from their buddies, and the side comments regarding the relative output of a baby grill vs. the power of their latest behemoth.
No, the vast majority of grillers looking for a small grill do so because they are short on space, NOT on expectations.
Small grill cooking doesn’t have to be a matter of total compromise. Sure, you’re going to be working with fewer burners and you’re not going to have that sweet rotisserie kit, but the basics shouldn’t be sacrificed.
I’ve put together a list of my favorite small grills for small spaces or grillers on the move, all of which live up to the expectations you would have for a grill of ANY size.
The Spirit is the first grill I ever purchased and I was blown away by the hallmark Weber cooking experience delivered in a smaller package.
What Weber has done especially well with this grill is sit down and think, “What does the best small gas grill need to have and what does it need to do, and what can we live without?” And I think they’ve nailed it.
With the E210, Weber took the top core features of their larger grills and engineered them to fit in a neat, compact mini version that still packs a power punch. The Spirit delivers 26,500 BTUs with 360 sq inches of cooking space and 90 inches of warming rack. This grill provides solid, even heat to every inch.
The two burners are each supported by stainless steel, top quality tubes mounted to them. These tubes aren’t your typical burner tubes. They won’t rust quickly, or damage easy and leak gas. They are in fact, specifically designed to be durable and they actively limit the effects of rust agents.
Even with just two burners the Weber really feels like a portable outdoor kitchen. It comes with reasonably-sized side tables on both sides (more room to layout food), that fold down for easy storage. Both tables are equipped with 3 sturdy hooks to hang your tools (pans, spatulas, knives, etc.). Not to mention, the lower part has a good amount of storage space locked away behind more stainless steel.
You can also expect to enjoy Weber’s exclusive Flavorizer bar system, porcelain coated cooking grates (designed for quick cleaning), and an easy push button electronic ignition system.
What really signifies that this is a Weber grill is how evenly it cooks and how quickly. I’ve used the Spirit to cook just about any kind of meat you can think of: steaks, burgers, dogs, ribs, chicken breasts, chops, etc. It cooks all of them evenly (no random cold spots) and delivers a killer sear. Heat time is quick, usually 10 minutes, tops.
The E210 doesn’t come equipped with a side burner. While I occasionally like to use one, it’s not a deal breaker and is a pretty minor. If your main concern is space, then this shouldn’t be a major deterrent for you.
The Spirit has a solid 4.5 out of 5 star rating on Amazon with over 1,500 reviews.
I was trying to come up with the right word to describe this compact offering from Dyna-Glo, when my buddy hit the nail on the head: Muscular.
That sums it up perfectly. Slightly bigger than the Weber, in terms of cooking space and output, the 2 stainless steel P-shaped burners push out an impressive 30,000 BTUs making the Dyna Glo one of the most powerful of the small gas grills.
Like the Weber, the Dyna Glo also offers two burners. But don’t be fooled by the compact space.
If you aren’t careful, the heat will take you by surprise. This grill will quickly and easily reach 600 degrees, so unless you want everything a bit scorched – and I’m guessing you don’t – just hold back on the heat once it gets up to speed. That’s easily done, the temperature is ridiculously easy to regulate, something that I know can sometimes be a struggle on a 2 burner.
The experts at Dyna-Glo have also made sure that they have done everything possible to make use of what space they have (547 glorious square inches, to be exact).
The storage unit is easily big enough for the gas tank along with any accessories, and the side tables fold down to reduce the footprint when not being used. The lockable casters – a must, especially for those with restricted space – mean it can be easily wheeled away after everyone’s been fed.
Another bonus feature I liked is that the warming grill is detachable, freeing up space if you aren’t using it. And, it also comes in just under the $500 price point.
It also received top marks on Amazon with 4 out of 5 stars.
The first time I saw the Fuego FELG21C, I wasn’t sure if I should cook on it or send it up into space.
Its looks are what will grab people’s attention, so let’s start there: the Fuego looks like no other grill you have seen.
That in itself is maybe no compliment, I could design a grill that looks like no other, but this one actually looks incredible. It is sleek, and ultra-modern. Literally like a rocketship.
I’m sure most people will not give two hoots that the grill they’ve just laid their porterhouse onto was the brainchild of a former designer from Apple, and all its pedigree and slick looks would all be for nothing if it didn’t tear it up in the cooking department. And it does. Like a champ.
In terms of heat, like it’s name suggests, this grill brings it to the max. I actually timed it because I didn’t quite believe the claims, but this heats up to 500 degrees in 5 minutes. FIVE minutes. It takes that long to get the ignition started in some grills I’ve tested!
Thanks to its dual zone heating system, the Fuego gives you the option of cooking just on the outer burner for lower temp, slower cooking, or to turn on the second burner to make full use of the 700 degrees of heat this bad boy can produce.
The design makes very good use of space, and there are no hotspots at all, so you can cook perfectly on every inch of the space it provides. The round grill is deceptively large, and you can fit 10-15 burgers on without issue.
If I had to take issue with anything, bearing in mind the design and the thought that has obviously gone into this grill, I was slightly disappointed in the wheels. They aren’t the sturdiest I’ve seen, and do have a cheap look about them, but then with the rest of it looking like it does, who wants to look at the wheels?
Overall, this may look like a bit of a novelty, but it’s the real deal for small grills when it comes to compact, high quality outdoor cooking. And it comes in at just under $300.
I am a grill freak! It's hard to pick my favorite thing to grill, but if I had to choose... it is still a tie between pork ribs and a juicy beef burger. I am currently grilling on a Weber S210(I live in a small space) but my dream grill is definitely a summit. Those things are bad ass. Anyways I would love to hear from you, leave a comment or question below!