The Best Compact Grills for Small Spaces and Yards in 2020

The Best Compact Grills for Apartments, Balconies and Small Spaces

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Live in an apartment with a tiny balcony? Don’t want to break the bank for your BBQ? Hoping to buy an on-the-go grill? Consider buying a small grill! Bigger doesn’t always mean better; small grills can cook food just as well, and with the same efficiency as big grills. That is, as long as you purchase a high-quality small grill.

This guide will point you in the right direction, covering everything you need to know about small grills, including reviews of the best small grills you can buy online right now.

PRODUCT FEATURES
Weber Original Kettle Charcoal Grill 441001 - The Best Compact Grills for Apartments, Balconies and Small SpacesWeber Original Kettle Charcoal Grill 441001
  • 5 to 10-Year Warranty
  • Charcoal Grill
  • Traditional, Durable Grill
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George Foreman 15 Serving Electric Grill GGR50B - The Best Compact Grills for Apartments, Balconies and Small SpacesGeorge Foreman 15 Serving Electric Grill GGR50B
  • 1-Year Warranty
  • Electric Grill
  • Works Indoors and Outdoors
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Char-Griller E06614 Akorn JR. Kamado Kooker Charcoal Grill - The Best Compact Grills for Apartments, Balconies and Small SpacesChar-Griller E06614 Akorn JR. Kamado Kooker Charcoal Grill
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Kamado Charcoal Grill
  • Unbeatable Smoky Kamado Grilling Flavor
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Weber Electric Grill 52020001 - The Best Compact Grills for Apartments, Balconies and Small SpacesWeber Electric Grill 52020001
  • 5-Year Warranty
  • Electric Grill
  • Small but Mighty
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Char-Broil Classic 2-Burner Gas Grill 280 - The Best Compact Grills for Apartments, Balconies and Small SpacesChar-Broil Classic 2-Burner Gas Grill 280
  • 2 to 5-Year Warranty
  • Gas Grill
  • Simple Grill that Can Produce Large Meals
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What Type of Grill is Best?

Which type of grill is best is really going to depend on your grill preferences and what kind of powers source you want to use. Below are descriptions of the most common types of grills.

Charcoal

Although they tend to be messier than other grills, there is no beating the delicious, smoky flavor that charcoal grills give food.

Charcoal grills are powered by charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal, which you light on fire, let heat up, and then use to cook your food. Charcoal grills can be a bit tricky to get the hang of but once you understand how to use them it will be seared into your memory.

Briquettes or lump charcoal can be expensive, costing more than gas, however, charcoal grills themselves tend to be one of the most affordable grills you can buy.

There are tons of small charcoal grill options that are great for people who want to grill on the go.

Electric

One of the most common types of small grills is electric grills. Whether you are looking for an indoor electric grill or a portable one, there is no shortage of options. It should be noted though, while electric grills tend to be the lightest and most compact grills, their portability is hindered by them needing to be positioned near an outlet.

small electric grill for small spaces on balcony

Not only are electric grills cheap, you also don’t have to buy anything, like charcoal or gas, to power them. They use electricity to cook food on heated grill plates.

They are hassle-free and relatively mess-free, and much more eco-friendly than charcoal and gas grill options. However, the food you cook on them will

not benefit from the smoky flavor that charcoal and gas grills can impart.

Kamado

Clay pots have been used to cook food for thousands of years, but kamado grills have only been around for a decade- and they are taking the grilling world by a storm!

Powered by charcoal, these grills function like wood-fired ovens, reaching high heats that their thick, durable sides have no trouble handling. They are versatile in what they can cook- anything from grilled steaks to smoked chicken to even pizzas!

Their use of charcoal is much more efficient and they cook food more evenly than typical charcoal grills.

These grills are expensive, and their weightiness hinders their portability, however, everyone who has one swears by them.

Gas

In general, one of the most popular kinds of grills to buy is gas grills.

However, there are definitely not a lot of small, gas grill options. This in large part has to do with most gas grill designs being large and heavy and not built with portability in mind.

The small gas grills that do exist tend to not be that small, but benefit from all the perks of gas grills like ease of use and cooking food evenly and quickly.

Who Makes the Best Small Gas Grill?

Char-broil makes some of the best small gas grills on the market, however, other brands, like Weber and Dyna-Glo, have some stand-outs as well. Char-broil’s small grills tend to not have a lot of the extras frills and features of bigger gas grills, however, their price effects that, making them a great, affordable option for beginner grillers.

What is the Smallest Weber Gas Grill?

The smallest Weber gas grill is the Weber Q1200 Gas Grill. It sports stainless steel burners, a 189 square inch cooking space, and porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates. It performs efficiently and has elegant styling that makes it not only an awesome compact grill but an amazing grill in general. It includes features like ergonomic side handles, a large fold-out table, and split grates, but is relatively inexpensive. You can use it indoors, and only weighing in at 30 pounds, it’s extremely portable.

Who Has the Best Deal on Grills?

Charbroil, Cuisinart, and Weber all have some great grills that you can buy for less than $200. However, although you can buy these grills at affordable prices, they are definitely not the best grills on the market and lack a lot of the features other grills have that improve ease-of-use. When it comes to something that you use as much as a grill, and that you want to own for the long-term, consider splurging. The grills I reviewed below might be a little bit more on the pricier side but their quality is guaranteed.

What is the Cheapest Grill?

The cheapest grill you can buy online is the Cuisinart Portable Charcoal Grill CCG190RB. It is extremely inexpensive and great for beginner grillers who don’t anticipate needing to feed a lot of people. It has a 150 square inch cooking space that consists of a chrome-plated grate. It only weighs 2 pounds, so it’s extremely portable and great for small balconies and yards. It also features an easy-to-use ash catcher, three secure lid locks, and a dual venting system.

DIY Grill

If you are interested in a small grill because of how inexpensive they can be, consider making your own. It’s actually quite easy and can be done with only a few inexpensive materials.

What You Will Need

  • Terra Cotta Pot
  • Terra Cotta Saucer
  • Small Replacement Grill Grate
  • 1 Brick
  • Sand
  • Charcoal Briquettes

Instructions

Use a ceramic flower pot that is anywhere from 10”-16”. The saucer should be the same size as your pot.

Stack 1 brick at the base of the pot to stabilize it and plug up the hole. Then, fill the pot up to the halfway point with sand. The sand will keep the heat in the pot so you can rest it on surfaces without worrying about it transferring too much heat.

Add charcoal briquettes to the pot, carefully lighting them as you add them. You should have a single layer- too much heat may crack the pot.

Add your grill grate on top of the pot.

Then, grill your chosen food!

Once you have used your grill, you can place the saucer on top to extinguish the fire, removing oxygen from it. You can leave it on there to prevent animals or the elements from getting into your new grill.

DIY Small Grill Warnings

Your terra cotta flower pot will hold in heat to cook your food, however, this does not mean that the outside of it will not be hot. Do not touch it while using it to cook, or for some time after cooking.

Do not throw water on your fire to put it out after cooking. The sudden change in temperature may crack your pot open.

Need some visual instructions on how to turn flower pots into grills?

Check out the video below!

Top 5 Small Grill Reviews

Best Small Kettle Grill

Weber Original Kettle Charcoal Grill 441001
    he Weber Original Kettle is one of the most recognizable grills you can buy, but this model touts some extra features that make charcoal grilling way easier.

      Pros:

      Cons:

Weber’s Original Kettle pairs the durability of Weber’s brand with a compact, effective charcoal grill. With features like a convenient lid hook, a sturdy triangle stand base, dampers for precise heat adjustments, and a grate designed to retain heat, this traditional charcoal grill is one of the best on the market.

Other than its newly-adapted features, this charcoal grill is the same one that Weber has been selling for decades, which has become something of a grilling icon. You absolutely at some point in your life have eaten food that has been grilled on one of these.

Charcoal grills can be messy, but Weber’s one-touch cleaning system can make dealing with ash way easier. The porcelain-enameled bowl is guaranteed not to rust or peel and effectively keeps in heat. Although this product is rust-resistant, it’s still a good idea to buy a cover to protect it.

It’s small, but it still has 363 square inches of cooking space, so you will have no trouble feeding your family. It’s not one of the most portable grills on this list but does have wheels. However, the wheels are plastic, so they will likely fail the test of time, but the rest of the grill is built-to-last.

This grill has no thermometer, so you do really have to know what you are doing charcoal-grilling-wise to operate it.  Because of this, the original kettle is best for experienced grillers who want an affordable, compact charcoal grill.

Best Small Grill for a Crowd

George Foreman 15 Serving Electric Grill GGR50B
    This electric grill is hassle-free and mess -free and can be used outdoors or indoors.

      Pros:

      Cons:

There is no way you can make a list of the best compact grills and not include a Geroge Foreman on it. The George Foreman brand became famous for making easy-to-use, hassle-free small electric grills that you can use in your home.

This is one of the bigger George Foreman grills, with 240 square inches, but it’s still compact enough that their boast that it holds 15 servings of food seems slightly unbelievable. This grill heats up quickly though, so no need to worry about people having to wait around for their food to finally cook.

It features a nonstick coating, a removable stand that allows it to function indoors and outdoors, and easily adjustable temperature controls.

Although it can be used outside, it must be used near an outlet because it’s cord is not that long. You can remedy this problem by attaching it to an extension cord. Also, the circular design can make it a little awkward to fit in your kitchen and in your sink for cleaning.

This grill is great for small events and small families. For someone who grills enough that they want to be able to grill outside on their balcony on sunny days, and indoors in their kitchen on rainy days, this is a great buy.

Best Small Kamado Style Grill

Char-Griller E06614 Akorn JR. Kamado Kooker Charcoal Grill
    This incredible kamado grill is compact but still brings kamado-quality to the food you use it to cook.

      Pros:

      Cons:

Kamado Joe is unquestionably the best brand to buy a kamado grill from- and this compact grill absolutely represents what makes the brand so good.

This premium charcoal grill is their most compact model at 13.5”, with a grill space of 148 square inches, which is enough room to cook dinner for a small family.

Yet, despite being their most compact model, it still weighs 75 pounds, so it’s still not exactly the most portable machine. You can move it, but you are going to need help.

It’s on the expensive side but that is because it will last your entire life, touting a lifetime warranty. All of its parts are quality, and you can use it to make so many different meals, quickly cooking classic barbecue items like burgers, or using its slow cooking function to smoke meat like turkey or brisket. It’s limited in how much it can fit, but keep in mind, the next size up weighs 188 pounds and has a bulk that reflects that.

It features a durable ceramic frame, a built-in thermometer, stainless steel cooking grates, ash tools, and a ceramic heat deflector.

This small grill is best for people interested in a kamado grill who don’t have a lot of space to store one.

Best Small Electric Grill

Weber Electric Grill 52020001
    This outdoor electric grill is hassle-free and perfect for balconies or small yards.

      Pros:

      Cons:

Yes, we are covering another Weber grill. They make great grills, what can we say? This powerful electric grill is compact but still has 189 square inches to evenly and thoroughly cook your food.

This grill features porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates, an aluminum lid and body, easy assembly, and numerous control burner valve settings for precision cooking. It has a relatively long cord that spans 6 feet, but you still need to be near an outlet to use it which impacts its portability. You can sear everything from meat to fruit on this versatile grill which leaves an enhanced grilled taste on the food it cooks.

No need to worry about charcoal, a gas tank, heat flare-ups, or an open fire. This hassle-free outdoor electric grill is perfect for city dwellers with balconies. A downside of this grill is that it can take a while to heat up, but once it does, it’s good to go.

Best Compact Propane Grill

Char-Broil Classic 2-Burner Gas Grill 280
    This is an traditional, compact gas grill is easy to use and great for beginner grillers.

      Pros:

      Cons:

This is one of the biggest grills on the list, but it’s still compact for a gas option, and a great value buy, being fairly inexpensive. It weighs only 43 pounds so it can be transported, but will take some effort to do so.

The classic 280 is a classic grill- with very little additional features. It has 2 burners, giving you some flexibility with how you grill, and a push-button ignition that makes turning your grill on easy. The frame is made from porcelain-coated steel and the burners are made from stainless steel. It even includes a side shelf for food prep and resting your grilling tools. You also have 280 square inches of cooking space which is more than enough for a family.

It does miss out on some of the features that have come to be seen as standard in grills like a warming rack and thermometer. The assembly can also be a bit difficult and the stand the grill sits on seems a little bit flimsy.

Otherwise, this is a great grill for beginners who are looking for a compact gas option.

Conclusion

The best small grill is the Weber Original Kettle Charcoal Grill 441001. It burned the competition because of it being portable, inexpensive, easy to use, and compact, all qualities that exemplify why people vie for small grill options. All of the grills on this list were exceptional though, so feel free to go with one of the other electric, kamado, or gas options. If you are looking for a normal-sized gas and charcoal grill or an electric grill, check out some of our other guides.

If you found this guide helpful, be sure to share it, and comment below with which small grill you decide on!

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