Outdoor grills can be known for being big and bulky, which may be why choosing the best tabletop BBQs could make life easier for smaller families, those who are space-constrained, and people who love to enjoy a camping trip. Smaller portable BBQs used to be known as 'instant' low-cost disposable BBQs – you can just turn up, light up and then dispose of them after one use. They have proved to be terrible for the environment, scorch grass, and are, ironically, difficult to dispose of. This is why tabletop BBQs have seen a rise in popularity.
To help you find the best tabletop barbecue for your home, we've enlisted the help of Modern Gardens contributor Jill Morgan, who offers some handy advice. She praises the tabletop grill for being compact with a small clean-up, therefore ideal for "a quick lunch, an impulsive weekend breakfast or an impromptu supper on a surprise sunny evening." Not only that, but a smaller tabletop option will be a great way to cook for two, prep appetisers or keep the vegetarian or vegan food separate from the meat, says Jill.
Not only do they provide efficient grilling, but they're simply made for smaller spaces, whether a tiny balcony or a leafy terrace. Lucky for you, the designs are simple and user-friendly, some models come equipped with a skillet for a breakfast feast. It's all about your preferences. If you opt for charcoal over an electric BBQ, you're not missing out on that "characteristic smoky atmosphere," Jill points out. She notes that: above all, make sure you keep your new piece of kit away from small, curious fingers and ensure that your outdoor dining table can handle the heat.
Best tabletop BBQ at a glance:
• Best value tabletop BBQ: Argos Home Table Top Charcoal BBQ - View offer on Argos
• Best gas tabletop BBQ: Nexgrill 2 Burner 19" Gas Table Top BBQ Grill - View offer on Amazon UK
• Best for home and away: Weber Q1000 Gas Grill Barbecue - View offer on Amazon UK
• Best all-in-one tabletop BBQ: Ninja Woodfire Electric BBQ Grill and Smoker OG701UK - View offer on Amazon UK
Tabletop BBQs are smaller versions of gas or charcoal BBQs that you can rest on a table and use again and again. They can be used at home, campsites, beaches, and parks, though you should always check council websites before grilling. Jill writes, "They open up a whole new world of small-scale garden entertaining." Perfect to share with friends and family. As the spring and summer months approach, we've rounded up the best tabletop BBQs to suit your needs, whether you want something simple and easy to carry or a permanent fixture for your garden table.
Best tabletop BBQs
Best value tabletop BBQ
This handy little table top BBQ from Argos will grill meat, fish, and veggies to perfection. Even
- Comes with a lid that can be used as a chopping board
- Lightweight and portable
- Instructions were hard to understand
- Doesn't come with a bag
Best gas tabletop BBQ
If you're more of a gas BBQ connoisseur, this stainless steel Nexgrill includes two 304-grade
- Includes removable fat tray
- Foldable and easily portable
- Clean and easily kept tidy
- May scratch easily
Best luxury tabletop BBQ
Not everyone needs a large BBQ that stays in one spot for years, but size shouldn't mean you
- Incredibly well made, will last years and years
- Heats up in minutes
- Can slow cook, roast, smoke and even bake
- Looks great
Best small tabletop BBQ
Ready to cook in under five minutes, this standard-sized LotusGrill barbecue gives you authentic
- Fan system
- Small and light
- Comes with carry bag
- Choose of colours
- Requires batteries
Best for home and away
Available in a choice of stylish colours, Weber continues to be a favourite in the BBQ arena with
- Excellent heat retention
- Compact with large cooking space
- Easy to control temperature
- Legs will cost extra
Best all-in-one tabletop BBQ
This BBQ from Ninja was made for foodies and keen cooks. The easy-to-use outdoor grill uses
- Weather resistant for outdoor storage
- Includes Woodfire Pellet starter park
- Amazing functionality
- You will need to be within reach of a power source
Best tabletop BBQs for larger cookouts
If you're after a tabletop BBQ that can still cook a mighty amount of food, this one from Argos is
- Surprisingly lightweight, given the size
- Built-in thermometer
- Good quality for the price
- More of a smoker than a BBQ
Best camping tabletop BBQ
Cobb BBQs not only look great, but they are also an all-rounder as they can roast, bake, fry,
- Amazing reviews
- Easy to clean and dishwasher safe
- Not just a BBQ
- Comes with carry bag included
- Not many features for direct grilling
Best versatile tabletop BBQ
Renowned for its kitchen grills, George Foreman has taken their knowledge outside with this
- Lightweight and portable
- Easy to clean
- Some found the hinges to be a little lightweight
What is the difference between a tabletop and a portable BBQ?
Tabletop BBQs are made so that they can either sit or stand on a table, and they are normally sturdier and smaller than portable BBQs that can come with longer legs. You will need to check whether your chosen tabletop BBQ can rest on a table whilst cooking, as some may need to rest on bricks.
What is the easiest BBQ to use?
If you're not a frequent BBQ user and are just after a small tabletop BBQ for the summer, charcoal grills tend to be the most simple to use. Not only do they give a gorgeous smokey flavour to your cookout, but they're also more affordable and just require charcoal to get cooking. It may take longer to reach the correct temperature, but that's all part of the experience.
However, if you have the budget, you may find a gas BBQ more convenient. The heat can be controlled more easily for an even cook, which might instil you with a bit more confidence too. However, you will need a gas canister.
How can I ensure safety when using a tabletop grill?
Thanks to Jill Morgan, we have some pointers. Your dining set needs to be "stable, strong enough to support
the grill and constructed from sturdy material that won't melt or conduct heat." Plus, when your outdoor cookout is in full swing, you're likely to have prepared summer salads, pitchers of botanical drinks and utensils. Jill recommends ensuring that you have plenty of room to accommodate everything else you intend to include in your spread.
According to Jill, some tabletop BBQs have a hinged lid, but if you're allowing guests to pick from your smoky selection, opt for something easily accessible by all - but not too accessible. After all, you want to avoid any burnt fingers. Luckily, some designs are "doubled skinned, which makes them cool to touch even while cooking", which is ideal for children.
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Hannah Mellin is a Homes & Garden Product Writer for Modern Gardens, A Modern Kitchen, Yours and Take A Break. She has been working in the Journalism industry for over a decade and has written for an array of brands including John Lewis, Daily Mirror and Grazia. When she's not writing, researching or testing products, she's renovating her Victorian terrace and chilling in the garden with her sausage dog Waffle.