Gas grills and kettle grills in mini format
Exuberant grilling is part of the comfort of the warm season for many people. The taste of this preparation remains simply unmistakable. But unfortunately, the enjoyment can be limited by external circumstances. If there is little space at home or compact equipment for mobile use is required, a Mini BBQ is the answer. Small versions can even be used on a cramped balcony or for camping. They are available in all known designs – from the classic kettle grill with charcoal to the gas grill and the compact electric grill.
In the following, we will show you which mini BBQ is recommended. You will also find out what you should bear in mind in this context. We hope to be able to help you with this guide.
Mini BBQ – 3 models in the presentation
Weber Q1000 Titanium
The Weber brand is virtually the epitome of fancy grilling and enjoys an impeccable reputation in this segment. A popular mini BBQ from the manufacturer is the Weber Q1000 Titanium .
This model is a gas BBQ. It can be operated either with a cartridge or a bottle. However, a pressure reducer and a hose for operation with the bottle must be purchased separately. The barbecue takes up just 69 cm of space in width and 60 cm in depth. This makes it a good solution for small families who do not want to take up a lot of extra space. The grate is made of high-quality cast iron, which is why tasty aromas and visually impressive brandings can be created.
Although the housing is largely made of robust die-cast aluminium, the gas BBQ only weighs 10 kg. It can therefore be moved effortlessly at any time. The stainless steel burner has an output of 2.5 kW. For this reason, you don’t have to exercise patience at the beginning and can easily reach temperatures beyond 250 degrees Celsius if required.
Weber Smokey Joe Premium
Charcoal grills are also sometimes offered as mini versions. One recommendation in this context is the Weber Smokey Joe Premium .
This kettle grill takes up less than 45 cm of space in diameter. Accordingly, it can be used almost anywhere. Nothing stands in the way of transporting it in camping equipment. In addition, its own weight is only 4.5 kg, which is why the appliance can be carried easily at any time. A large handle ensures that this is done safely. It is positioned so that the lid does not simply fall off.
The grate is made of classic stainless steel. This is particularly easy to clean. Because charcoal is used, there is no danger of the grill getting too cold. However, you have to allow for a certain waiting time at the beginning. The grill surface offers enough space to feed 2-3 people. Since there are ventilation slits, you can vary the temperature.
WMF Lono Master
A mini grill can sometimes even be used indoors in the kitchen. A good example is the WMF Lono Master .
This small electric grill has the advantage of having 2 differently adjustable temperature zones. This is a rare feature in the compact model range. The 2 individually adjustable zones allow you to prepare meat and vegetables at the same time, for example. The appliance takes up 68 cm of space on the sides and 32 cm in depth. For outdoor use, you can mount the windbreak. This and the power consumption of 2400 watts ensure that you can get started quickly.
The two grill plates have a non-stick coating. This ensures low-fat and healthy food. In addition, they can be conveniently cleaned in the dishwasher after use. The same applies to the aluminium grease drip tray and the windshield. Because the total grilling surface measures 50×28 cm, this mini BBQ can also be used in families.
Mini BBQ – This is what you should generally look out for
Selection options & design
In the mini BBQ segment, there is now almost as much choice as in the classic stand-up barbecue segment. Well-known brands such as Weber or WMF are also represented in this category. Generally speaking, the grills can be subdivided into the following types:
- Charcoal barbecues
- Gas barbecues
- Electric barbecues
A traditional charcoal BBQ provides a great and atmospheric barbecue feeling even in a small format. The appliances here act either as a classic kettle grill or open as a table grill. You never have to worry that there won’t be enough heat. The disadvantages are the formation of smoke and sometimes pronounced odours.
Gas grills can be brought up to temperature quickly and adjusted precisely. The latter, in particular, naturally favours the gentle cooking of fish, vegetables or cheese. Furthermore, no excessive formation of smoke is to be expected. Smaller models are operated either with cartridges or 5 kg bottles.
A compact electric grill offers you the possibility to grill indoors as well as outdoors. When used correctly, these grills produce almost no smoke. In addition, there is no need to purchase separate equipment. After all, there should always be a power connection around the household or mobile home. Open table grills are particularly popular here.
Of course, a mini BBQ is only an appliance as such if its dimensions are very compact. In this context, many models take up less than 50 cm of space on the side. In addition, the weight is usually less than 10 kg, so that women and senior citizens can also expect absolutely effortless handling.
Performance & temperature
Power is definitely the decisive factor. To ensure an adequate grill aroma, the grill must be able to heat up properly. Actually, due to its small grilling surface, a mini BBQ has the advantage that relatively little energy is needed to generate high temperatures. Nevertheless, care is required here.
In general, the grill should be able to reach a temperature of more than 200 °C. Only then will the typical roasting aromas appear. Only then will the typical roasted aromas and branding appear on the grilled food. A charcoal BBQ does this most reliably, but also requires the longest waiting time at the beginning.
You should take a closer look at a gas or electric grill. The higher the wattage, the greater the potential that can be called up. As a result, the grill will heat up faster and can generate higher maximum temperatures.
High temperatures are particularly crucial when searing steaks. Only they bring thick crusts to light and close the pores. The latter prevents the juices from escaping to the outside.
A mini BBQ can also be used for indirect grilling. In addition, you can treat vegetables, cheese and fish gently at low temperatures. These can be kept most constant using a gas grill or electric grill.
If your mini BBQ has a lid, this increases its efficiency. It gets hot faster and can maintain the temperature better in windy weather, for example.
In addition, the lid helps you to clean the grill conveniently. To do this, simply close the bonnet and heat the grill to maximum. Afterwards, the greasy residues of the marinade and the remaining fat turn into dry ash. The latter is of course much easier to brush off.
The grill grate is the heart of every BBQ. It has to meet various requirements. Either stainless steel or cast iron is often used as the material. Mixtures, such as die-cast aluminium, are also possible. An inferior solution is simple sheet metal.
Cast iron is preferred by most professionals because it naturally promotes the formation of roasting aromas as well as magnificent patterns. It also stores heat well and releases it evenly. The disadvantages are its heavy weight and susceptibility to corrosion. Therefore, this material should never end up in the dishwasher.
Stainless steel is generally considered easy to clean. Even when brushed down brutally, there are usually no scratches or chips to be expected in the surface. Often, the grate can simply be cleaned in the dishwasher. Since a stainless steel grate is rather thin, it does not store heat very well. Therefore, it is often only used in combination with charcoal.
The size of the grill is also important. With a mini BBQ, it is naturally rather compact. Therefore, you must be prepared to serve only 2-4 people with tasty food at the same time.
The grill should always be treated as gently as possible. Then it will last a long time and the appearance will not suffer. In practice, this means using a brush rather than aggressive chemicals. Special grill cleaners are an exception.
Choice of location
In terms of space, a mini BBQ naturally offers advantages. However, just because it can be placed almost anywhere, it should not be used in every such place. How comfortable and, above all, safe it is to use, depends largely on where it is placed.
Generally, the place of choice should be level and have a durable surface. For a mini grill, a compact table can be sufficient. Soft sediment, on the other hand, can increase the risk of accidents even with these models. Electric grills have the special feature of being able to be used indoors in the kitchen.
Because a mini BBQ is lightweight, it can be moved around at any time without complications. However, this has the disadvantage that it is particularly susceptible to accidental knocks and gusts of wind.
In addition, you should not only keep an appropriate distance from easily flammable objects. It is a good idea to leave some space to the sides. Then you can enjoy maximum freedom of movement, which reduces the risk of accidents.
Cleaning is certainly a tiresome subject. Nevertheless, it is simply part of the job. If you take good care of your mini BBQ, you will always be able to enjoy its pure taste and generally enjoy all its components for a long time.
Fortunately, only the grill needs extra care after each use. This can be done particularly quickly on a mini grill, as its surface is simply so sturdy. If there is a lid, the first thing to do is to “burn off” the grate. If there is no lid, you can use mild soapy water. Brushes, sponges and cloths can be used as manual aids. The grate can only be put in the dishwasher if the manufacturer clearly recommends it. After care, the grate should be wiped dry directly. This prevents corrosion.
A complete cleaning of the grill is appropriate in most households 2-5 times a year. The more often it is used, the more often it should be cleaned. When the appliance has cooled down, you should first remove all removable parts.
Depending on the model, the grease tray can easily be placed in the dishwasher. It must be cleaned at the latest when it is 3/4 full. Otherwise there is a risk of fat burning.
Once all parts have been removed, the interior can be wiped out. If it is a mini electric BBQ, you must be careful with moisture. In general, any grill should use as little liquid as possible. If mild soapy water was used, you should definitely dry all areas directly afterwards.
Mini BBQ – Advantages & disadvantages at a glance
Small barbecues offer various advantages. They allow you maximum flexibility in your choice of space. They are also easy to transport, because not only the dimensions but also the weight are very limited. At the same time, the ease of use usually increases. However, the devices cannot meet every requirement. So that you can quickly weigh up the pros and cons, we have provided an overview below:
- Mostly goes hand in hand with relatively low price
- Good choice among proven brand manufacturers
- Mini gas barbecues, mini kettle barbecues and mini electric barbecues are also available
- The choice of space is as flexible as possible
- Perfect choice on small balconies and for camping
- Low weight ensures easy transport at all times
- Start-up is quick and intuitive
- The grill surface heats up more quickly than with a larger model
- There can be enough power to provide steaks with roast aromas and thick crusts
- Even if material is saved, it can still be of high quality and durable
- Storage takes up little space
- Comparatively environmentally friendly, as proportionally less energy is required
- Not suitable for large families and celebrations (food could not be served at the same time in this environment)
- Usually only one temperature zone can be set up so that only one type of meal can be prepared
- Back-friendly posture can only be achieved by additional objects
- There are no additional storage options for bowls, cutlery etc.
- Equipment is generally not as extensive as is the case with XXL models (no side hob etc.)