portable mini grills

Grills at the ready, wherever you go.

Summer is coming!  It seems to fly by, so I like to have all my cooking equipment ready to go so I don’t miss any grilling time. And, due to the pandemic, I’ve developed the ability to enjoy outdoor picnics in 45-degree weather, so I might be starting summer picnics immediately.    Here are the current highly rated portable mini grills that are easy to take with you wherever you are going to picnic.

Gas grills are easy to use – they heat up quickly and there’s no messy charcoal or the 20 minute wait to be ready to cook.  They also produce less smoke than charcoal grills.  They are, however, quite a bit more expensive.  Charcoal grills have advantages of their own.  They burn hotter than gas grills and are able to sear grilled meats and poultry in a unique way. The charcoal smoke gives food a yummy smell and flavor that gas grills cannot compete with.

Charcoal Grills:

charcoal portable grill - weber

The Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill

This charcoal grill holds up to six burgers.  It is compact and lightweight. Its legs are foldable, and its rectangular shape makes it easier to store than round portable grills. The lid locks to make traveling with it easier.  The base and lid are porcelain-enameled which retains heat and won’t rust or peel. The grill is 12L” x 21W” x 14.5H” when assembled. The grill arrives needing assembly and there are 3D interactive assembly instructions through the app.  For an extra $40.00 you can opt for your grill with “expert assembly”.  $59.99 without “expert assembly”.

GoPQ Backpack grill

This is the GoBQ Portable Charcoal Grill that fits in a backpack.  It folds up in an 8” diameter 14” long tube with a carry-handle on top and a shoulder strap.  It is made of silicone-coated fiberglass fabric with a collapsible metal frame and can withstand temperatures up to 2,200 degrees.  A flexible metal basket holds the charcoal.  It cooks bone-in chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs perfectly.  It is a great grill to take camping, traveling or just living in a small apartment. $159.95.

Webber Smoky Joe portable grill

This classic charcoal grill is hard to improve on.  It is a Weber 40020 Smokey Joe Premium 14” Portable Grill. It is lightweight and has a carry-handle.  It can grill up to 5 burgers at one time.  The dampers and bottom vent allow for easy temperature control. It has a porcelain enameled lid and bowl that retains heat and won’t rust.


Gas Grills:

Cuisinart gas grill

This Cuisinart CGG-306 is a highly rated portable tabletop gas grill.  It is a dual-burner and delivers excellent heat distribution across the cooking surface, which is large for a portable grill.  Each burner can be precisely controlled – one can be set on high and one on low for cooking different foods. It is easy to set up and requires no assembly.   It uses a full-size 20-lb propane canister with 20,000 BTU output.  It measures 21.5” x 19” x 15”.  $175.98.

Weber Q1200 table top grill

The Weber Q1200 is very popular because it is lightweight and compact.  It has a single burner that provides heat to a porcelain-coated cast-iron cooking area that is 189 square inches and has slots for the drippings.  When the lid is down the heat circulates well over the food.  It gets hot so users must monitor the cooking.  It uses liquid propane in disposable cylinders that are sold separately. Weber sells a stand for the grill if you don’t always have a table to sit it on. It comes fully assembled and has an easy electronic ignition. It comes in six colors.  With the lid closed it measures 14.5”H x 27”W x 16.5”D. $219.00.

Cuisinart Venture

This is the Venture portable grill from Cuisinart.  It is very quick to set up the three pieces which are the wood top, grill body with handle and base.  The top and base combine to make a work surface that clips alongside the grill.  There is a single 9,000 BTU burner fueled by a 16 oz propane canister that stores in the base.  This grill has a 154 square inch enameled cooking grate and distributes heat evenly and efficiently.  It weighs 20 lbs.  It measures 16.25” x 13” x 10.75”. On sale for $262.99 at Macy’s.

See ASE’s earlier article on grilling tips and accessories


Cooking and Grilling with Leaves

If hot dogs are your thing to grill, check out our article dedicated to hot dogs!