The 9 Best Portable and Indoor Grills, Tested by Allrecipes

The Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill is the winner.

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four grill on blue and yellow background
Photo: Allrecipes Illustration

A full-size grill just isn't a reality for a lot of people, and that's okay because you can find portable grills that are just as good as their larger counterparts. Maybe you're an apartment dweller that needs to keep your grilling indoors, or you're a traveler who wants to bring your grill camping or to the beach. Or maybe tailgate season is approaching and you're ready to show off your grilling skills like your team shows off their skills on the gridiron.

We tested nine portable and indoor grills, including both charcoal and electric, to find the best ones for your needs this summer (or winter, if you're grilling indoors).

Backed by our testing, the winner is the Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill with its specially designed quick heating bowl.

Indoor Electric Grills vs. Outdoor Portable Grills

The first thing you want to ask yourself when purchasing a grill is where you want to use it. If the answer is indoors (or anywhere you have access to an outlet), there are plenty of electric grills that will fit neatly on a countertop, no fuel or outdoor space required. These are great options for apartment dwellers or anyone looking to bring the smokey, grilling flavor indoors, say, for a cabin trip during the winter months.

For those looking for a grill you can use anywhere you don't have access to an outlet, there are plenty of portable grills that don't require electricity. Whether you're camping, tailgating, or spending a day by the beach or pool, these little grills are small enough to fit neatly into the back of a car, yet still offer a large cooking surface that can accommodate a family (about four to six burgers). Portable grills are usually either fueled using charcoal or gas. For our testing, we went with charcoal because it's more widely available than propane, can be reused, and it tends to be far more affordable.

Size and Weight

Indoor electric grills tend to be the heaviest, as they are meant to live on a countertop or in a storage closet. They usually weigh anywhere from 10 to 20 pounds, which is still light enough to transfer to the car for travel. Portable charcoal grills on the other hand are meant to be carried, which is why they tend to be far lighter than their indoor counterparts — the lightest grill we tested weighed just two pounds!

But just because these grills are light, that doesn't mean their cooking surfaces are small. Many of the grills tested in this review have a large enough surface to accommodate a small family, or between four and six burgers.


A grill that goes with you on the go is one you'll want clean and tidy by the time it goes in your car. Indoor grills often have dishwasher-safe plates, making cleanup a breeze. Charcoal grills can be a bit trickier when it comes time to clean, but using a nonstick cooking spray can really help keep the grates clean. And the good thing with charcoal is it can and should be reused — simply close the vent and lid to keep the coals fresh for next time.

Best Portable Grills at a Glance

The Best Portable Grills of 2022

Best Overall Portable Grill: Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill

portable charcoal grill in black

Weber is the name most people think of when grilling season arrives, and this tiny charcoal grill certainly lives up to its name.

This 18-inch diameter cooking surface cooks about as much as its larger counterparts (enough for around four to six people), but this model is set apart for its compact build. It has seven vents, giving you maximum control of the heat. The "Tuck-N-Carry" lid lock, which doubles as a lid holder, makes it so easy to take along on a picnic or camping trip.

This grill also takes less charcoal than a larger model but heats up quicker because of the design of the bowl. It took five pounds of charcoal just 20 minutes to heat up. It held its temperature throughout the cooking process and was even hot enough to go back 30 minutes later to make s'mores.

Buy it: $89; or

Best Value Portable Grill: Cuisinart CCG-190RB Portable Charcoal Grill

portable charcoal grill with red lid and steaks and veggies on grates

Looking for a grill that travels well and can be used as a tabletop grill for your patio, RV, camping trip, or for tailgating? Weighing in at just two pounds, this is certainly the lightweight champion of all the grills we tested.

Cuisinart's portable charcoal grill gives you a 150-square-inch chrome-plated grate with a 14.5-inch circular cooking space.

It's large enough to cook for two adults or a small family, about four to six burgers. Its dual venting system gives you the ultimate charcoal management. Plus, it features three lid locks, making it easy, safe, and convenient for travel. At just under $30, you really can't go wrong with this pick.

Buy it: $29; or

Best Overall Indoor Grill: Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill with Air Fry, Roast, Bake & Dehydrate

Ninja foodi
Bed, Bath, and Beyond

This indoor electric grill offers five types of cooking, and earned high marks in every test; it grills, sears, roasts, bakes, air fries, and even has a food dehydrator.

Thanks to its compact build, this appliance will be a welcome addition to your countertop, and you will find a use for it every day. The total weight of the unit is 14.5 pounds, which is easy enough to pick up and move around the kitchen.

Every function cooks great and even has a thermometer to tell you the internal temperature of what you are cooking. If you want to let your meat rest, the thermometer will even tell you what the resting temperature is.

The grilling chamber gets up to 500 degrees F, with the same BTU power as that of an outdoor grill. It's ideal for cooking inside, say on rainy days or during the winter. And all parts can go in the dishwasher for a super fast clean up.

This is a definite buy for about $200, seeing as you get a lot more than just grilling from this indoor grill.

Buy it: $200;

Best Budget Indoor Grill: Hamilton Beach 25361 Indoor Grill

tabletop grill with steaks and kebabs

At less than half the price of the Ninja, this no-frills indoor grill is perfect for grilling a quick dinner without leaving the house. It weighs eight pounds and is compact enough to leave on the counter at all times, but light enough to move it or store it.

This grill came out of the box and was ready to use, no assembling necessary. It has a big viewing window so you can check on the foods being grilled without lifting the lid.

Use the adjustable temperature control to choose between six different temperature settings. In our testing, it took just five minutes for the grill to come to temperature. All parts are dishwasher safe, and the base can be wiped down with a paper towel or warm soapy sponge.

You may not get all the bonus features of a multi-use appliance, but if you're just in the market for an indoor grill, Hamilton Beach delivers at a great price.

Buy it: $85;,, or

Best Grill with Griddle: CalmDo Smokeless Indoor Grill

tabletop grill with meat and veggies

Along with a spacious cooking surface of 14 inches x 8 inches, this portable grill features a nonstick grill and griddle plate, making it a true 2-in-1 appliance. You'll find yourself reaching for it multiple times a day: Use it to cook breakfast on the flat top and dinner on the indoor grill plates.

The smokeless grill cooks food in less time due to the cast aluminum construction which heats up at a rapid pace.

This grill is probably a better choice for those with enough counter space to accommodate the total grill size of 20-inches x 12-inches. Although it can be moved around, at 19 pounds, it's on the heavier side of the grills tested.

Buy it: $144;

Other Portable and Indoor Grills We Tested

While functional, these grills didn't live up to the competition.

CUKOR Indoor Smokeless Grill

tabletop electric grill with clear lid

This sleek countertop grill features a tempered glass lid so you can monitor your food while protecting your kitchen from grease splatters. It also has a generous cooking surface of 13.75 inches by 8 inches, and an exhaust fan system to help redirect smoke. There is nothing wrong with this grill, but considering it doesn't offer secondary uses such as a griddle surface, we think the $110 price point is a little high.

Buy it: $110;

Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill

black portable charcoal grill

The rectangular shape of this grill is certainly an advantage for travel, as it will fit nicely in the back of most cars. However, it didn't perform well in our testing: Linda found the charcoal to sit too close to the grilling surface, leaving a charcoal taste on the food. She also found the food cooked too quickly on the outside but was left underdone inside.

Buy it: $71; or

UTTORA Barbecue Grill

black grill with meat and corn on grates

Although we loved the easy set up of this tabletop grill — simply pull it out of the box and pull down the legs — we weren't too impressed with its performance. This is a fine portable grill for hot dogs or small burgers, but anything heavier began to put a strain on the grill, so much so that the grates began to bend and warp.

And cleanup was no breeze either: "While grilling on the tabletop at home it was easy to wipe or hose off, but while camping it was hard to wash inside and out," says Linda. "It used a lot of charcoal because we had to keep adding fresh to keep the temperature consistent."

Buy it: $27; or

ISUMER Charcoal Grill Barbecue Portable BBQ

grill with stainless steel with legs

At just over three pounds with foldable legs, this grill is built for travel. Unfortunately, it lost points for uneven heating and difficulty with cleaning. Once the grill had cooled off, Linda had to do some serious scrubbing to get the grates clean.

Buy it: $29; or

How We Tested Each Portable Grill

Allrecipes product tester Linda Croley put all nine grills through the same series of tests. First, she cooked five-ounce frozen hamburger patties to test how long it took for them to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, as well as how nicely they seared and how evenly they cooked.

Next, each grill was used to cook four-ounce salmon filets until they reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees F, in order to test for how crispy the skin gets as well if any sticking occurs (each grill was sprayed with nonstick cooking spray prior to cooking the salmon).

Finally, each grill was used to grill eight ounces of fresh asparagus, in order to measure how long it took for them to become tender and whether or not they developed the desired grill marks.

Once done cooking, Linda cleaned each grill according to manufacturer instructions. During testing, Linda paid special attention to the following factors:

  • Overall Look and Feel: How much does the grill weigh? What is the size of the cooking surface? What materials is it made of?
  • Assembly and Portability: How much assembly is required? Is it easy to store and transport? Does it fit on a countertop? Does it have lid locks?
  • Performance: How quickly and evenly does it come to temperature? How much control do you have over the temperature? How well does it sear and produce grill marks?
  • Ease of Cleaning: Are the parts dishwasher-safe? How easy/difficult is it to clean the grates?


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