Why You Need a Micro-Grill This Summer
These extra-small gas and charcoal grills are ideal for on-the-go grilling. Here's what we learned about how to pick one while cooking with them in Food Network Kitchen.
Now that warmer weather is finally here, we're ready to get cooking outside as much as we possibly can. That means grilling at home and on the go. From picnics in the park to burgers on the beach, being able to park a grill wherever we are and enjoy smoky, charred food is sometimes easier said than done. A typical tailgating-style grill might be too large for a small soiree setting. And if you don't have the space for it in the car or on public transport, you could be out of luck.
Luckily, there is a solution for on-the-go grillers: micro-grills. These small-but-mighty grills are perfect for afternoons spent with friends in public spaces. They're ideal for cooking at intimate gatherings and are the most portable grills you'll find on the market. Our test kitchen chefs recently took them for a spin — here's everything we love about cooking on a small, portable micro-grill.
They come in gas and charcoal models.
No matter what kind of griller you are, you can find a micro-grill to fit your preference.
If you swear by charcoal, the Berhoff Tabletop Grill is a great fit for your needs. Pack some coals in a portable bag and bring a starter with you. Once your coals are hot, you're good to go. Some charcoal models don't come with a lid, so you'll want to make sure whatever dish you choose can be made simply over direct heat. Look for a charcoal model with a handle, so you can bring your grill home without burning your hands. The charcoal grills can take a while to cool down enough to the touch.
Gas micro-grills are some of the easiest portable cooking solutions. Grab yourself a tiny tank of propane at any gas station or mini-mart on the way to your destination and you'll be ready to grill in no time. Gas grills usually do come with a lid and you'll want to use it to ensure even, quick cooking for your food. We found gas models didn't get as hot as charcoal without closing the lid.
You can make more than burgers.
We found these grills to be almost as versatile as full-size models. Save for big batch meats, we found these grills work well for burgers, a couple of steaks, and even sausage and pepper hero sandwiches. They're ideal for cooking for up to four people at a time. Check out our recipes for lamb burgers and sausage and pepper sandwiches on a micro-grill.
Their footprint is smaller than a cooler.
All of the micro-grills we tested have an extra-small footprint. Most are roughly 12 x 12 inches. Some might be a little bit bigger — around 16 inches long. None were larger than 18 inches in either direction making them easy to pack in a car or carry on public transportation.
You can take them (almost) anywhere.
These tiny grills can fit into many on-the-go scenarios, however, you should make sure you're using them on a level surface and not in the side of a hill or slope. You'll also want to ensure you use them on solid ground or a heat-safe table. (A wooden picnic table is not a safe choice here.) Of course, read the manual thoroughly before use.