Best Small Gas Grills For Limited Space

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Stainless steel small gas grill on balcony
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Looking for a small gas BBQ grill? You’re in the right place.

I’ve done the research and put everything together in this article. I’ll start off with what is available on the market and a detailed assessment of each product.

Then I’ll show you the criteria to look for when you’re out shopping.

Hopefully, in the end, you will have all the information you need to pick the best small gas grill for you.

Let’s get started!

In A Hurry? Here Are My Top 5 Picks For Best Small Gas Grill

  • Best Overall: Weber Spirit II E-210
  • Runner-Up: Weber Q3200 Gas Grill 
  • Budget-Friendly: Char-broil Classic 280 2-Burner Gas Grill with Side Burner
  • Honorable Mentions:
    • Char-broil Performance 300 2-Burner Cabinet Gas Grill Stainless Steel
    • Char-griller E3001 Grillin Pro Gas Grill

Notice: The links above will direct you to Amazon for more details and the latest information on the products.

Best Small Gas Grill Reviews

Best Overall – Weber Spirit II E-210

This grill is best for:

  • Someone who is willing to pay extra for quality and long-lasting grill.
  • Suitable for small decks or patios. Might be too big for balconies.
  • Perfect for family summer cookouts.

The Weber Spirit II E-210 has the dimensions of 57” Height X 48” Width X 26” Depth with the lid open. The lid is hinged and standing up so you don’t have to worry about it hitting the back wall or railing.

The grill has two side tables but only the left one folds down. It will help fit the grill into a tighter space if you don’t need the left table. Overall, the Weber Spirit II E-210 is a good small patio gas grill.

The total cooking space is 450 square inches which break down to 360 square inches of main grilling surface and an extra 90 square inches of a warming rack. This is plenty to cook for a family of four, a couple or even a small gathering. It might be a bit big for a single person but if you have the dough and want something quality, this is it.

The Spirit II E-210 has two burners. You can set up the two zones/indirect heat cooking with these. It also has a back burner across the cooking space. This is to ensure even heat throughout the grill.

Equipped with either propane or natural gas. The BTU of this grill is 26500 over 360 square inches of cooking space which yields a heat flux of 74. This grill is the hottest one among the five I reviewed.

From the top, porcelain-enameled steel dome similar to the Weber Charcoal Kettle which will help retain the heat while grilling. The cast aluminum on the side prevents the lid from rusting.

Side tables, front panel, and frame are made from stainless steel. You will not see much plastic in this grill except for the wheels, end of tables, feet, knobs, and handles.

This grill features an open cart with the propane tank on the side for easy access, mount and dismount. This design will allow you to store extra items underneath the cook box. The Spirit II E-210 also has hooks on the end of the tables for cooking utensils.

The assembly instructions are good and easy to follow. According to some customers, you can get access to a 3D guide via the BILT app to put together this grill.

This grill comes with two plastic wheels and two feet. Some people reported that it is sometimes challenging to lift and move the grill since it weighs about 103lbs. It can be heavy for a small person. The same people said they would rather have the four casters because it is easier to push than to lift and roll.

Other customers also said that the left side table isn’t sturdy enough to act as a moving handle. Another thing is that the propane tank might fall off when you move the unit so you have to dismount it.

The ignition is powered by an easy-to-reach AA battery compartment on the opposite side. There are clips underneath the front panel that hold the wire connecting the ignitor and the battery compartment. This will keep the wire away and ensure safety for users.

The propane tank is hooked to a plastic gauge that tells you how much fuel left in the tank. The connector might be an issue down the line due to plastic fatigue after some years. However, you will now know when to refill the tank.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Dimensions – lids open (inches): 57H x 48W x 26D
  • Dimensions – lids closed (inches): 44.5H x 48W x 27D
  • Main cooking area (square inches): 360
  • Secondary cooking area (square inches): 90
  • BTU: 26500
  • Heat flux: 74
  • Fuel: Propane and Natural Gas
  • Number of burners: 3
  • Side burner: No
  • Weight (lbs): 103
  • Warranty: 10 years

GOOD

  • Open cart design and hooks for extra storage.
  • Side tables for additional working space; left side folds down to save some room.
  • Easy to assemble with clear instructions (through paper or BILT app).
  • 10-year warranty on all parts.
  • Easy access to the propane tank.

BAD

  • Heavy unit – 103lbs.
  • Two wheels and two feet are difficult to maneuver. The left side table isn’t strong enough to act as a moving handle.
  • Even though the open cart design provides extra storage space, it can attract critters or vermin if left outside.
  • Uncovered propane tank can get dirty and rust over time.

>> CHECK ON AMAZON <<

Runner-up – Weber Q3200

This grill is best for:

  • Someone who is looking for a mobile grill that fits into a small deck.
  • Great for tailgate parties but might be too big for camping.
  • People who want a high-quality grill from a trusted brand.

If you want a small BBQ gas grill that is better than cheap box store grills, and at the end of the luxury spectrum, then take look at the Weber Q3200.

With the two side tables, you have extra working space to put your plates, thermometer and other accessories. These tables will fold down if needed for saving space and easy storage.

There are also hooks attached to a sturdy cart underneath the firebox so you can hang your trusty tongs and spatulas.

The cart is made from heavy-duty plastic. This results in a reduction in the weight of the grill without the loss of feeling solid. You can also store your propane tank inside the cart with a shelving bracket. There is a front panel that covers and protects the tank as well. These features help secure and move the tank and the grill together as a unit.

However, some customers reported that you can only get access to the tank from the back which can be cumbersome if you have the grill up against a wall. Some suggested getting rid of the panel.

The Weber Q3200 has a cast aluminum lid and body that are rust-resistant if you happen to live in a humid area. The cooking grates are made from porcelain-enameled cast iron which helps distribute heat evenly.

Tip: I recommend not to clean the grates with stainless steel brush since it will strip off the porcelain coating and expose the cast iron to corrosion over time.

With a 393 square inches of the main cooking area plus a 75 square inches of a warming rack, you have plenty of space to cook for a family of four or even a small party. The grill has two burners, one around and one across in the middle. Combined with an egg-shaped dome, these burners do a great job of heating up the grill quickly.

However, there are no “flavorizer” bars to protect the burners from greases. Greases eventually block them and create flare-ups and uneven heat. Like any grills, I suggest cleaning up the Weber Q3200 as often as you can to ensure top performance.

Some users had problems moving the grill because it only has two wheels, two fixed legs, and the side table isn’t strong enough to act as a handle. Some users argued that this unit wasn’t made for moving around. It was small and compact for tight space such as small patios and balconies. The fixed legs are there to stabilize and keep the grill in place. Some even said that the Q3200 is mobile but not portable thus perfect for tailgating but not camping.

Other noteworthy details are…

  1. An extra grill light that turns on when lifting the lid.
  2. Built-in thermometer.
  3. Not compatible with small disposal propane tanks.
  4. Easy to assemble and clean up.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Dimensions – lids open, tables out (inches): 55.5H x 50.2W x 30D
  • Dimensions – lids closed, tables out (inches): 43.5H x 50.2W x 21D
  • Main cooking area (square inches): 393
  • Secondary cooking area (square inches): 75
  • BTU: 21700
  • Heat flux: 55
  • Fuel: Propane and Natural Gas
  • Number of burners: 2
  • Side burner: No
  • Weight (lbs): 83.8
  • Warranty: 5 years for cook box, lid, burners, grates, and plastic components; 2 years for the rest.

GOOD

  • Great for tailgating.
  • Body and lid made from cast aluminum that is rust-resistant.
  • Plenty of cooking space plus warming rack.
  • Easy assembly and cleanup.
  • Extra grill light and built-in thermometer.
  • Side tables for extra space. Folding down when not in use for easy storage and saving space.

BAD

  • Access to the propane tank is from the back. Can be cumbersome if positioning the grill against the wall or railing.
  • No “flavorizer” bars to protect and cover the burners from greases.
  • Lack of colors.
  • Difficult to move sometimes.
  • Not compatible with small portable propane tanks.

>> CHECK ON AMAZON <<

Budget-friendly – Char-broil Classic 280

This grill is best for:

  • Someone who is on a budget.
  • People who just want a quick grill after work and don’t care about fancy features.
  • Perfect for apartment balconies.

If you’re on a budget and want a simple, “I-just-wanna-get-some-bbqing-done” grill, the Char-broil Classic 280 is a great option.

The grill is perfect for a single person or apartment dwellers because of its size. It doesn’t come with a natural gas option and can only work with the regular 20lbs propane tank (Sorry, no small disposal tanks!).

With only 280 square inches of cooking space and a BTU of 20000, the Char-broil 280 can produce a heat flux of 71 BTUs per square inch – second place among the five grills I reviewed, only after the best overall small gas grill – the Weber Spirit II E-210. That means this little grill can get hot FAST.

Being small and light-weight, the grill is easy to move around. It also includes a side burner if you wish to have and two side tables for additional working space. You can’t fold down the tables though.

Despite its advantages, the Char-broil 280 does have some drawbacks. One thing that many customers complained is the tedious, time-consuming assembly. Some said the instructions are unclear while some weren’t fond of the grill having too many parts to put together.

One customer recommended a YouTube video with detailed instructions on how to set up this grill. Please see below:

The majority of the grill is made from steel with a thin coating of either porcelain or paint. This will corrode the unit over time if left outside uncovered and exposed to humidity.

There is no warming rack and a built-in thermometer. This grill only comes with one color black.

All in all, the Char-broil 280 is perfect if you want a simple grill that doesn’t break the bank.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Dimensions – lids open (inches): N/A
  • Dimensions – lids closed (inches): 45.6W x 24.1D x 41.9H
  • Main cooking area (square inches): 280
  • Secondary cooking area (square inches): N/A
  • BTU: 20000
  • Heat flux: 71
  • Fuel: Propane
  • Number of burners: 2
  • Side burner: 1
  • Weight (lbs): 43
  • Warranty: 5 years for burners; 2 years for firebox and lid; 1 year for the rest.

GOOD

  • Small, compact and lightweight.
  • Budget-friendly.
  • Have side tables.
  • Side burner is optional.
  • Perfect for a single person or apartment dwellers.

BAD

  • Tedious, time-consuming assembly.
  • No warming rack or built-in thermometer.
  • Made from thin steel with a light coating that is prone to rust.

>> CHECK ON AMAZON <<

Honorable Mention #1 – Char-broil Performance 300

This grill is best for:

  • Apartment balconies.
  • Someone who is looking for a narrow and compact grill for easy storage.

The Performance 300 is another my favorite from Char-broil.

This is a great apartment grill because of its narrow footprint. It has two side tables that can be folded down to fit into a very tight space.

Despite being narrow, the Performance 300 has a tall hood that you can use a rotisserie rack with it. A warming rack of 100 square inches provides additional space to cook vegetables while you’re working on that medium-rare steak.

One thing to notice about this unit is the four durable rubber wheels. The two on the front has locks that can act as an anchor to keep the grill stationary. The quality rubber tread wheels make for smooth and quiet mobility. These sure will last longer than plastic ones other brands carry.

The grill comes with a cabinet door design which holds and secures the propane tank inside. This is great because the tank won’t sit on a flimsy bracket or hang on the side which can be potentially unsafe. One downside that many customers reported is that you can’t store anything else inside the cabinet except for napkins or paper plates.

It is easy to assemble. The Performance 300 has a removable dripping pan for easy cleanup. It heats up quickly and includes a built-in thermometer so you can keep track of the internal temperature.

Similar to the Char-broil 280 above, the grill doesn’t come with a natural gas option and can only work with a regular 20lbs propane tank.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Dimensions – lids open (inches): N/A
  • Dimensions – lids closed (inches): 42.9W x 24.5D x 44H
  • Main cooking area (square inches): 300
  • Secondary cooking area (square inches): 100
  • BTU: 24000
  • Heat flux: 60
  • Fuel: Propane
  • Number of burners: 2
  • Side burner: No
  • Weight (lbs): 82.5
  • Warranty: 5 years for burners; 2 years for firebox and lid; 1 year for the rest.

GOOD

  • Four durable rubber wheels with two on the front have locks.
  • Narrow profile that can fit into a tight space.
  • Can use a rotisserie rack.
  • Easy to assemble and clean.

BAD

  • Can’t store extra thing in the cabinet.

>> CHECK ON AMAZON <<

Honorable Mention #2 – Char-griller E3001

This grill is best for:

  • People who want a powerful gas grill that has plenty of cooking space.
  • Someone who is also into charcoal grilling and smoking.
  • Small enough to fit into small decks or patios.

Are you a charcoal purist that wants to try out some gas grills to see what all the fuss is about?

Meet the Char-griller E3001.

The first impression of this grill is the shape of its cook box. It is very similar to a typical charcoal grill with the two chimneys poking out. However, these are decorative and serve no purpose at all.

Tip: Some users recommended to stuff the chimneys with foil to regulate the heat inside the cook box and spaghetti cans to stop rain from entering the grill.

But here is the best part. You have the option to install an extra smoker on the side if you plan to use charcoal in the future.

However, that will make the grill heavier and some people had problems with the wheels not strong enough to support the extra load. There is also no handle to move the unit so you have to use the side table as one. Users reported sharp edges when grabbing onto the table.

Having a spacious grilling area and three burners, the E3001 allows you to set up the two zones cooking similar to your regular charcoal grill. The cooking space can also accompany a small smoker box (if you don’t install the one mentioned above) to add some flavors.

Despite being a 3-burner, the grill is still compact enough to fit into a small space such as decks or patios.

It also has a side table and burner. There is a lid to close the burner so it can be another table if needed.

Several negative comments about this grill are…

  1. Difficult to put together. A quick tip from one customer is to not tighten anything up until you assemble the whole unit.
  2. The grill tends to rust over time if you live in a humid area. Many users recommended spraying with vegetable oil and firing it up to 350 degrees for two hours to prevent future corrosion.
  3. Lastly, access to the tank can be awkward because a protective panel blocks the tank from the front. There is, however, a small clearance between the tank valve and the grease catcher but you can get burned trying to reach through.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Dimensions – lids open (inches): N/A
  • Dimensions – lids closed (inches): 49L x 28W x 49H
  • Main cooking area (square inches): 438
  • Secondary cooking area (square inches): 192
  • BTU: 40800
  • Heat flux: 65
  • Fuel: Propane
  • Number of burners: 3
  • Side burner: 1
  • Weight (lbs): 92
  • Warranty: 5 years for grill hood (top half) and main burner tubes (excluding side burner); 1 year for grill body (bottom half) and side burner and other defective parts.

GOOD

  • Can add a smoker box to the side.
  • Big cooking space for a small grill.
  • Extra side burner and table. Can close the side burner to act as another table.

BAD

  • Chimneys are for cosmetic purposes.
  • Not easy to assemble.
  • Prone to rust
  • Limited access to the gas tank from the front.

>> CHECK ON AMAZON <<

Important Features To Consider First

Footprint

The first crucial factor you have to look at is the footprint of the grill.

Gas grills come in many shapes and sizes. Some are wider while some are narrower. In any case, they all need space around them.

You need a foot or more of space behind the grill (with the lid open), not to mention the area above it. That will allow airflow and ventilation to prevent catching anything on fire.

I would recommend a flattened cardboard box to map out your space when measuring the area for the grill.

Use Flattened Cardboard Box to Find the Right Fit for Grill in Small Space

“Am I Allowed?”

If you happen to live in a condo, you may ask “But, am I allowed to have a gas grill in my balcony?”

The question might apply if you have a small deck or patio as well.

The answer is Yes and No.

Whether or not to have a balcony gas grill will fall under your local Fire Code and/or building restrictions.

Some cities, such as Toronto, do allow a small propane grill on your balcony. However, if your building manager restricts the use of it then you have to follow.

Philadelphia, however, bans all grills on decks, porches, or balconies of one and two family houses and apartment buildings.

In my situation, the landlord permitted me to have a small charcoal grill on my condo balcony. He won’t insure the condo in case of fire though. Thus I got to have my own renter insurance to cover that.

Your circumstances might be different than mine. Regardless, you always have to confirm with the proper authority before buying any grill.

Cooking Space

This is the second factor that you need to consider. Buying a small BBQ doesn’t mean you will have a limited cooking area. Some small gas grills can still provide an ample amount of space.

However, you have to first ask yourself what you use the grill for.

  • For only you?
  • For your family of four?
  • Or for summer cookouts?

You can then know how much space you need to make the right decision.

A few extra things to pay attention to:

  • A removable warming rack is a good bonus. This accessory will add more cooking surface for vegetable or burger buns. You also have the option to remove it if you want to smoke a thicket cut of meat such as brisket.
  • Ideally, look for two burners since you can set up the two zone or indirect heat cooking.

Fuel: Propane vs Natural Gas

When it comes to gas grills, there are two categories. Propane and natural gas.

Let’s get a bit technical here.

Propane burns hotter and contains more energy than natural gas. It means that propane has more BTU per cubic foot than natural gas (2516 BTUs vs 1030 BTUs).

So what is BTU anyway?

BTU is short for British Thermal Unit. It is the measurement of the heat content of a specific fuel or energy source. You see it a lot on the package of many gas grills because BTU has long been considered the standard of how hot a grill can get.

But that could be untrue or even inaccurate.

In fact, BTU doesn’t tell you how hot a grill can get but how much fuel it can burn in an hour.

For example, there are two grills. One has 20000 BTUs and a bigger one has 30000 BTUs. The bigger grill might burn more fuel in one hour but that doesn’t mean it can get hotter than the little one. 

How do you know how much heat a grill can generate though?

You need to consider the cooking space that you have. 

Say, the bigger grill, with 30000 BTUs, has 700 square inches of cooking space. That means it can burn 43 BTUs per square inch (30000/700).

The smaller grill, with 20000 BTUs, has only 400 square inches of grilling surface. That means it can burn 50 BTUs per square inch (20000/400).

The second grill can burn more fuel per square inch and therefore generate more heat per square inch. When combining all the cooking surfaces, the second grill ends up hotter despite being smaller and having less total BTUs.

The BTU per square inch is heat flux. This measurement isn’t on any label but you now can calculate it to know how hot a gas grill can get. Its formula is

Heat flux = BTU / Cooking space

Propane grills come with a hose that connects to a tank. When filled up, that tank can hold 20lbs of liquid propane. When you use up all the propane, you can exchange for a new one at your local hardware stores or gas stations. Be aware that your tank might run out so you might want to have a backup one just in case.

You would need a licensed gas contractor to install your natural gas grill. There is no need to refill natural gas as long as you pay your hydro bill on time. In the long run, natural gas ends up being cheaper than propane.

Despite those advantages, natural gas grills do have their drawbacks. You can’t move it anywhere or only to where the gas hose connector allows. That can be inconvenient for a small space. Natural gas is a rare choice for people who just look for a small gas barbecue grill.

Build quality

To judge the quality of a grill, pay attention to its smallest details.

  • Look at the edges of the grill. Are they still sharp or dulled away?
  • How about the wheels? Are they made from cheap plastic or sturdy rubber?
  • Examine the bolts and screws.

The devil is really in the details.

Furthermore, you need to know how often you are going to grill.

  • If you only grill once in a while, a cheaply-made grill will do.
  • If you want to get some serious grilling done, then opt for a higher quality grill that will last. 

Also, if you happen to live in a humid area or near the beach, think about rust resistance. Look for 18/8 or 304-grade stainless steel. You will have to pay a bit extra, however.

Shelves & Storage Space

You would want a grill with extra storage space. That way, you can store other accessories without cluttering the surrounding area.

The goal is to have enough space for other activities and things around the grill such as people hanging out or a comfortable chair to sit down and enjoy your favorite drink.

Budget

The criteria are very similar to the build quality of a grill.

Are you grilling occasionally on the weekend or are you a hardcore griller?

The more you grill, the more you might need to spend.

You also have to consider other extra costs:

  • If you go with propane, keep in mind a backup tank in case the main one runs out. With natural gas, you need to budget for a licensed gas contractor to install the pipe.
  • Proper thermometers. A decent one will cost you a bit of money.
  • A good cover to protect your grill from the elements. Other things like tongs, spatulas, gloves, etc.
  • Hidden costs such as replacement parts in the future.

Other Secondary Features

Assembly

Some grills can be tricky to assemble. It is due to a lot of moving parts or confusing assembling instructions. Either way, you don’t want to spend a whole morning trying to put everything together without success when you have a dinner party that evening.

Consider asking the shop you buy from to assemble the grill for you upon delivery. My local shop does it for a fee.

Tip: If you buy online through Amazon, try their Amazon Assembly Services.

Ease of Cleanup & Maintenance

You need to clean your gas grill every so often to avoid any grease fires, keep it in good shape, and increase the longevity.

If the grill has many moving parts, you should consider how are you going to take them apart with all the oils and greases and are you WILLING to clean them?

If it’s too hard, you will not do it and that will affect the performance of the grill.

I would recommend a bucket of warm soapy water and sponge, grill brush, paper towel, terry cloth and paint scraper for your regular grill maintenance.

Portability (with Wheels) & Weight

For a small space, you might want a grill with two feet and two wheels. Two feet to anchor the grill and make it stationary. You don’t want to move a hot grill by accident. Two wheels to push it around if you have to. Look for wheels that are sturdy and roll smoothly. Four casters are also fine if you have even surface.

If you have to move the grill by lifting the side table, check how strong and sturdy it is.

Pay attention to the weight of the grill as well. Can you move it by yourself or it requires two people to do it?

Warranty & Support

Confirm the warranty for your unit. Smaller parts, such as the ignition, can break easily but won’t be covered under warranty for as long as the bigger parts.

For example, one of the grills I recommend in this article has a 10-year warranty for everything. Others, however, have a 5-year warranty for the cook box but only 1-year warranty for the rest.

Also, check if rusting will be covered under warranty. Some companies do depend on the situation while some don’t.

The last thing is to see if the brand you buy from has a dedicated customer support line. Something might break when shipping and you need a replacement right away.

Safety

Grilling in a small space can be potentially dangerous. The way I look at it, you can never be too careful. Better safe than sorry.

  • How are the wheels on the grill? Do they have a locking mechanism when not in use?
  • Do the handles get hot after a while? Anything to protect your hands?

You might want to do a soapy water test every now and then to ensure there are no gas leaks on your pipe.

Color

A small feature but something to keep in mind. The grill is going to take up some space so do you want it to stand out like a sore thumb or blend in with the rest of your surrounding area?

Recap

By now, you should be able to make an informed decision on which small space gas grill is best for your circumstance.

To sum up:

  • Best Small Propane Grill: Weber Spirit II E-210
  • Runner-Up: Weber Q3200 Gas Grill 
  • Budget-Friendly: Char-broil Classic 280 2-Burner Gas Grill with Side Burner
  • Honorable Mentions:
    • Char-broil Performance 300 2-Burner Cabinet Gas Grill Stainless Steel
    • Char-griller E3001 Grillin Pro Gas Grill

I hope you find this article useful. In the meantime, take care and keep on grilling!

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